Watch on kazerad.tumblr.com

I didn’t even know about this yesterday when I wrote that long post on Empowerment, but apparently there is some pretty big empowerment stuff going down right now. Or, at least trying to go down.

If you haven’t been following it, there was a whole bunch of scandal stuff recently in the indie gaming scene. I don’t really care. The important part is: a group called The Fine Young Capitalists - geared toward bringing more female developers into games and black representation in manga - has been under fire, getting slandered and having press coverage denied. And in the midst of it all, 4chan of all places has been banding together to come to their aid.

This is still a pretty fresh issue and essentially involves a fracturing of feminism, so I’d encourage you to look into it and draw your own conclusions before supporting anyone. Personally though, I really agree with the approach The Fine Young Capitalists are taking. It mirrors a lot of my feelings on empowerment - there is a recording where they talk about it at length. The important part:

We tried to explain this to journalists, and everybody just [said] “you need to have a woman who is oppressed, and to discuss it”. And it was very disheartening because we just wanted to do something were I could just point to them and say “This game. I helped this woman make this game. And the only reason I did it was because I really liked the game”. And it’s just… that was apparently the last message I should be giving. 

The Fine Young Capitalists have been having a hard time getting attention. There’s no figure they’re demonizing, no message of oppression they’re forwarding, nothing but this positive idea that women can make awesome games. And yet, they’ve been getting flak for everything from their transgender policy (requesting that entrants in their female-only game contest have self-identified as female for at least six months) to the very fact that their organization is accepting money from 4chan. You know, accepting money to give to female game developers and charities.

They asked 4chan what they could do to gain attention, and at their suggestion TFYC has been doing a video series on significant women in the games industry. Not ranting about how the industry is unfair to women, or all the reasons women can’t become successful, but focusing on the awesome women who helped shape gaming today. 

I guess what I’m asking is: don’t let this group fade away. Gaming news outlets are refusing to cover them - possibly because they were doxxed, slandered, and ddos’d by a relatively popular name in and indie gaming. I’d encourage you to look into this group yourself, and if you like what they’re doing, show some support. 

Watch on redbloodedamerica.tumblr.com

When liberals claim the rich want to hold down the poor or make “the poor” poorer, they’re totally ignoring the fact that the rich benefit off of everyone’s prosperity, not the poor’s stagnation.  The wealthy do not become richer by someone else being poorer.  These are just erroneous postulations by economic illiterates and class warfare proponents.

The only entity that benefits off of the poor staying poor is big government, who’s politicians promise more and more handouts to perpetuate their condition rather than improve it.

Watch on moralanarchism.tumblr.com

James Corbett of The CorbettReport.com says it looks like we are headed towards global war. Corbett says,

“It is only a matter of what shape and what form that war will take place. We are seeing the battle lines being drawn… . I think this is very much going to be an economic conflict, or at least one that is fundamentally centered on economics… . They are constructing an alternative system, and we are truly moving out of the unipolar world, U.S. hegemony towards a multipolar world. There is no doubt that is taking place right now, and there is no doubt that can’t happen without some conflict happening. That conflict is on the way.”

China is considering a massive government program to build more charging stations for electric vehicles and boost demand for the eco-friendly cars. The policy, which could provide as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in funding, will be announced soon, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News this week.

Bloomberg said its sources asked not to be named because the policy discussions are private, and they declined to say how long the program would last or which types of electric cars could use the chargers.

Fast and easy access to charging stations is seen as critical for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Most drivers are accustomed to pulling over at a nearby gas station whenever the tank runs low, so the idea of being stuck on the road with a dying battery and nowhere to charge has deterred many car shoppers from going electric.

To combat “range anxiety,” automakers are investing in charging networks that would allow their customers to travel longer distances. California-based Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has installed more than 100 of its “superchargers” across the United States and about 70 in Europe and Asia, with plans to build more in the next year. The company announced last week that it would build a network in Australia to complement the rollout of its Model S luxury sedan in the country. Germany’s Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) said earlier this month that it was launching its own network of charging stations to make its i3 city car more convenient.

The Cost of Raising & Educating Kids

The average cost of raising a child from birth through age 18 is about $250,000 (excluding the cost of birth, college, and lost wages in between) or $13,900 per year. That Department of Agriculture estimate includes an extra bedroom and some transportation cost which, for some families, may not be a marginal cost. But it is still breathtakingly high–about a quarter of annual median income of $54,000.

While more than 90% of parents take advantage of free public education, they and other citizens pay for it through income and property tax (and, for college, lots of student loan debt). The grand total of $32,600 to raise a kid raises questions about economic sustainability. The disproportionality that falls on low income families raises questions about equity.

liarsandbullies said:

Are workers human beings with property rights to the real property they create? Or are they human resources to be purchased at a market rate with no property rights to the real property they create? Which should they be?

Yes and no.  Value is completely subjective.

This is the problem with Locke.  When he described self ownership he wrote about owning the  “fruit of their labor.”  But labor is an action.  No one owns their actions.  We are all responsible for our actions.  Which is completely different use of terminology. 

But that’s why I don’t like the term “self ownership” I prefer the term “body ownership.” 

I can precisely describe what my body is.  I have no fucking clue what my “self” is.  But when libertarians speak about self ownership they mean body ownership.  It is just a confusion of being precise with terms. 

As individual body owners we are entitled to own things we homestead.  If we are the first creators and first owners of something than we own it.  But if I purchase your labor to make me something I own it.  Just because an individual performs a certain labor doesn’t mean they own what they make. 

But this also has to do when people expect profits from their capital and labor.  People who sell their labor want instant profits.  They deem if more valuable to attain money immediately. 

If I’m purchasing your labor and paying you immediately I’m valuing my future profits, which are always uncertain, more than my immediate profits. 

But this is why value is completely subjective. 

Here’s a fascinating — if not exactly uplifting — look at the economics, business, and design strategies that led to our throwaway culture came about: Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy « Discard Studies:

About one third of MSW [municipal solid waste] —food scraps, and to a debatable extent, yard trimmings—are present in pre-modern waste.

The rest of modern MSW are disposables: paper, plastics, aluminum, textiles, and packaging.[i] In 1956, Lloyd Stouffer, editor of Modern Packaging Inc., famously (and controversially at the time) declared: “The future of plastics is in the trash can” (Stouffer 1963: 1).

Stouffer’s idea addressed an emerging problem for industry. Products tended to be durable, easy to fix, and limited in variation (such as color or style). With this mode of design, markets were quickly saturating (Packard 1960; Cohen 2003). Opportunities for growth, and thus profit, were rapidly diminishing, particularly after America’s Great Depression and the two World Wars, where an ethos of preservation, reuse, and frugality was cultivated.

In response, industry intervened on a material level and developed disposability through planned obsolescence, single-use items, cheap materials, throw-away packaging, fashion, and conspicuous consumption. These changes were supported by a regimen of advertising that telegraphed industrial principals of value into the social realm, suggesting the difference between durable and disposable, esteemed and taboo.

American industry designed a shift in values that circulated goods through, rather than into, the consumer realm. The truism that humans are inherently wasteful came into being at a particular time and place, by design.

There’s a ton of great info in this piece, it really is a good read. The over-arching point is that the shifts are so massive that we can’t solve them via individual behavior-change (recycling, etc.) alone; we need policy-level solutions.

I half-agree: Yes, we need policy-level solutions, but we’re more likely to get there by way of individual-level action, behavior change, and engagement. Which is what this site encourages.

4

Everything is expensive because it’s expensive. It’s a nice place to live.

(( Switzerland is expensive because: company monopolies -> sell items at high prices by law/or for more profit -> items are more expensive -> people charge more money for services -> everything is expensive!!

BUT it works only because of the general Swiss attitude toward high prices. They’re used to paying them and say ‘that’s the price of things here’.

If you want a more detailed explanation, please ask me! ))

There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources in its production. Increasing demand for food will coincide with supply-side pressures: greater competition for water, land, and energy, and the accelerating effects of climate change. The need to produce food in ways that are more environmentally sustainable will become ever more pressing. And while global wealth will grow, not everyone will benefit, and the world will continue to be faced with the challenges of hunger and malnutrition, especially in the least developed countries. At the other end of the nutrition spectrum, we face a global epidemic of obesity.

This extract was taken from chapter 6 of Is the Planet Full?, edited by Ian Goldin.

Image: Urban life, © vkoletic, via iStock Photo

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