economic theory

  • right-winger: leftist pinkos just want to redistribute the wealth and expand the size of government!!
  • an actual leftist: actually those are short-term solutions proposed only as long as capitalism is a thing. as long as an elite class hierarchically controls the means of production and sources of wealth, higher taxation on the wealthy and more middleman government programs/regulations will be necessary. in the transition from capitalism to socialism, we do favor large-scale wealth redistribution, but from there we want the entire economic framework changed to one involving democratic job complexes and production for human need rather than for the profit of the elite class; at that point, "big government" for the sake of redistribution and regulation will no longer be necessary because the system as a whole would actually be structured to work for the people rather than just mostly elites, and thus egalitarianism and oversight by the people for the people would be written into the economy's genetic makeup.
  • right-winger: leftist pinkos are always trying to take away our guns!!
  • an actual leftist: actually many of us support the inalienable right of self-defense for the oppressed against their oppressors. guns and gun culture are incredibly dangerous when linked with reactionary ideals, which is why we want cops, violent patriarchs, and fascists disarmed. in imperialist white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalism, the oppressors should relinquish their guns first.
  • right-winger: leftist pinkos don't want people to keep the product of their labor!!
  • an actual leftist: actually we want a system where people are better able to retain the product of their labor; if you work for a boss in a capitalist firm (i.e. most people) the grand majority of your labor product belongs to the boss and you have no say over what happens with it or with production as a whole.
  • right-winger: leftist pinkos hate freedom!!
  • an actual leftist: actually we want more freedom for the average person, in the sense that we want all people to have influence over and access to the things that involve them and the things they need. flat workplace democracy is more conducive to human freedom than vertical workplace autocracy. reduced working hours that arise from automation and democratic production-for-need are more conducive to human freedom than long hours of exploited labor for the benefit of capitalists.
  • right-winger: .....
  • right-winger: .....
  • right-winger: i'm gonna pretend i didn't hear any of that.
John Stuart Mill says in his Principles of Political Economy: ‘It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.’ That is, however, by no means the aim of the application of machinery under capitalism. Like every other instrument for increasing the productivity of labour, machinery is intended to cheapen commodities and, by shortening the part of the working day in which the worker works for himself, to lengthen the other part, the part he gives to the capitalist for nothing. The machine is a means for producing surplus-value.
—  Karl Marx, Capital (1867)
Cyber Punk

Punk has to do with Robert Merton’s Strain theory.

Back in the 1950s as criminologists began to more seriously explore the sociological causes behind crime, Robert K. Merton put forth his perspective through strain theory. Merton argued that mainstream society holds certain culturally defined goals that are dominant across society. In a capitalist society, the dominant goal that most people aim for is accumulating wealth. Merton further argued that this goal of becoming financially wealthy was so powerful that the goal of getting rich itself had become more important than the means by which one attained wealth. In other words, whether you got rich via conventional/legal means, or via unconventional/illegal means, it didn’t matter, as long as you got your coin. For Merton then, there was anomie (normlessness) regarding the means.

Merton furthered this perspective by providing a framework by which sociologists could typologise criminals and non-criminals – strain theory. Strain theory argues that one must consider if an individual rejects or accepts (1) society’s cultural goals (wanting to make money), as well as (2) the institutional means by which to attain those goals.

To this end, five typologies were established:

Conformists, who accept the culturally defined goal of financial success, as well as the institutional means society defines as appropriate to reach that goal (e.g., advancing one’s education, steadily working, saving money). Conformists follow rules and believe doing so will pay off financially.

Innovators, who also accept the culturally defined goal of financial success, but do not follow society’s rules (i.e., laws) in their pursuit of attaining wealth. Innovators may not have the means to attain financial wealth (e.g., not enough money to further advance education), and/or simply not believe in the law. Hence, innovators turn to crime.

Ritualists are those individuals who do not believe they can attain the culturally defined goal of accumulating financial wealth or who do not value this, but who continue to do so through society’s acceptable cultural pathways simply because they are supposed to (e.g., going to work and school, despite feeling such actions will never pay off).

Retreatists are people who reject the goal of financial wealth, as well as the means society deems acceptable to get rich. Hence people in this group escape, or retreat from society, often times through substance use.

Rebels are the last group who redefine society’s goals and create new institutional means of pursuing their unique goals. Rebels work outside of the established system.

Punks are either Innovators, Retreatists, or Rebels.

if you extrapolate the theory to be not just about financial wealth, but about any kind of currency (social, spiritual, etc), then this is doubly so, how ever cyber punk still tends to center around finance as its microcosm for all the societal issues that it explores using these five roles or strains.

in ghost in the shill, you could argue that Motoko and the rest of section 9 are Ritualists dealing with innovators and rebels.

they don’t really buy into the values that are thrust on to them by society, but they go through the motions anyways, because they feel like they have to, because its all they know, they can’t think of any worthwhile alternative.

this is thing that is funny about cyber punk, the main charectors don’t need to be the punks, so long as the punks (the innovators, rebels, and retreatists, are what the story is about, what you are supposed to contemplate)

a common motif in cyber punk, is to show the divide between the haves and the have nots expanding as corporatism expands through the use of society, as sky scrapers get taller, slums get wider.

this is where the confusion comes with “The Last Night”, it is absolutely a cyber punk story, but people are confused, because rather then relying on corporatism’s interaction with capitalism to show case the values that culture puts forth and its flaws (as to be punk is to be counter culture, and to be counter culture is to criticism mainstream culture), it uses corporatism’s interactions with socialism facilitated by technology. people think that the fundamental component of cyber punk is capitalism, because they confuse capitalism with corporatism, and because capitalism and corporatism are so regularly used in cyber punk. but its really just about societal critique of mainstream culture using cybernetic technology to exaggerate the societal factors that are present in the modern day to a lesser extent that you are criticizing.

The Last Night isn’t necessarily saying that working for wealth and to survive is the only noble or worthwhile method to have meaning in your life, or even that it is noble or worthwhile at all, it is merely suggesting that perhaps, even if you didn’t have to work to survive or to have wealth, that if you could instead just consume what ever you want, and live life like a game, that perhaps that isn’t so noble or worthwhile either. that there would be punks even in this world, who would resist and reject the mainstream gamification and consumption prevalent in society, and search for something else, that Innovators, Retreatists, and Rebels would still exist.

thats why wild wild west is not “steampunk”, its just steam tech fiction. because there are no punks. innovation in this context doesn’t mean inventing things, it means not following societies rules, but the maincharectors do follow societies rules, and they believe in them, and they believe in the values that society puts forth, and the movie doesn’t put forth things intended to provoke you to question this.

anything with “punk” in it is about Robert Merton’s strain theory, if it isn’t, then its not punk. cyberpunk without questioning societies value system and rules, is just cybertech fiction.

so The Last Night is cyberpunk, just not in a capitalist framework.

Western Marxism as a whole thus paradoxically inverted the trajectory of Marx’s own development itself. Where the founder of historical materialism moved progressively from philosophy to politics and then economics … the successors of the tradition … increasingly turned back from economics and politics to philosophy.
—  Perry Anderson, Considerations on Western Marxism, London: New Left Books, 1976, p. 52.

death match between the serial killer fandom and the shoplifting fandom to determine which is composed of the more annoying children

serial killer fandom

strengths: know many anecdotes about hurting people they can’t execute, may carry box cutters, can craft a mildly annoying poking instrument out of plastic utensils

weaknesses: may trip over their trench coats, inability to see due to hair being combed over eyes, parents insist on early bed-time

shoplifting fandom

strengths: poor grasp of economic theory, made-up justifications, ability to reach further than any group alive makes them flexible, larger amounts of disposable income due to stealing make-up

weaknesses: rendered unable to function by an employee following them around, if given a job they stop being part of the group, may have to leave battle early to do community service

Networking: You’re Doing It Wrong

I see a lot of people saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” - and in part, that’s true. But I have yet to see a successful explanation of how to know the “right people.” So I’m going to try.

First, do good work, and be a good person. Like, this always holds true - anyone with a modicum of sense knows that.  

So I’m just going to cover how to get your good work seen.

The most common advice I see is “put yourself out there.” That means:

  • Make a website.
  • Get on social media.
  • Go to conventions.
  • Basically, stick your work in front of everyone possible, every place possible.

Right. That’s all important. But that’s only step one.

I’ve got a huge network, and I generally don’t have a problem finding opportunities. … but get this, I’m actually an introvert. It’s not that I hate people, it just that maintaining relationships requires energy (and about once a month, I hole up in my room for a weekend to recharge).

There are generally two approaches to all problem-solving, “go wide” and “go deep.” The common advice is to go wide - people will remember your work after seeing it 100,000 times.  If you’re lucky, someone will remember. If you’re not, you’ll sink into that cloud of online noise and people who draw just like you and like the same things as you.  

My advice is “go deep.” That’s where my energy goes.

The core of networking is getting people to remember you, so they think of you when a good opportunity comes up. Since people are generally empathetic, the easiest way to do that is to remember them back.  Give time and energy to your newly-formed relationships - or else your image will fade like a 30-second commercial on Hulu. Here are my tips:

Most importantly, take the time to remember faces, remember names, and remember what they need.  Just the core of getting to know someone, really, knowing them as a person.  If you’re not good at remembering things, practice with celebrity faces, do some memory games. Remember, people are people, not just job gatekeepers!  

  • Go out of the way to remember seemingly irrelevant things they’d told you (don’t pressure them) like where they are from, what they like to eat, if they have pets, and what their favorite shows are. Try to find common ground that’s not work.  Be humorous, be intelligent. If you have a conversation about something other than “get me a job,” you will be more likely to remember each other.
  • If you can, truly dedicate a chunk of your brain to the new person.  Don’t be afraid to make the first move to show you want to invest time in this relationship, especially if they’re new in town.  Take them to your favorite restaurant.  Invite them to your next house party.  Suggest seeing a new movie. Or simply say, “i really like how you did [such-and-such] and would love to be a part of it. if you need more help, e-mail me.” (Caveat: small group gatherings in public places are wiser, otherwise things can be misconstrued and go into weird and possible squicky romantic territory.)
  • Go ahead and follow fan pages, blogs, and public sites, but don’t cold-add people on personal social media (ie, a private Facebook) if you haven’t had a conversation with them. Relationships, even networking ones, are largely about privacy and trust. That “follow for follow” thing is bullshit, don’t even try.
  • If your name is super common, hard to spell, or otherwise hard to remember, you might want to make it easier for the other party to remember by coming up with an easily searchable handle.  Things such as puns and common words work well (people remember my friend “ProdigyBombay” years after she stopped posting).
  • Even if it’s been years, don’t forget people. It shows people you give a damn.  Social media is great for this.
  • Finally, remember the setting and space you’re in. And respect peoples’ privacy. Don’t assume someone exists simply so you can get something from them. Showing your portfolio is what’s expected during a review, but not a bar unless they ask to see it.  And if someone doesn’t want to give you information, don’t pry. You wouldn’t make your friends owe you anything, so why should you do that to someone you just met?

Great, so you kinda know a bunch of people, now what?

There are two economic theories I’d like to introduce to you: “Giver, Taker, Matcher” Theory and “Tit for Two Tats” Paradigm. Read these two links before continuing because I’m going to talk as if you know what they are.

  • Giver, Taker, Matcher suggests there are three kinds of people in the world: those who give, those who take, and those who match. Be a smart giver.  If you only take opportunities, no one will want to help you because you’ll be seen as a selfish ass.  Givers try to give opportunities to everyone. Most people are matchers who will “do unto others” - so they’ll take if you’re a taker but they’ll give if you’re a giver.  So if you are a giver surrounded by matchers and other givers, things will be given to you. Those so-called “impenetrable industry circles” are really groups of givers and matches who trust each other and therefore give to each other (you know, like groups of friends).
  • Tit for Two Tats is an iterated prisoner’s dilemma scenario which helps protect you as a giver. If you’re surrounded by takers, you’ll be well, taken advantage of. Be a giver in your first impression, because matchers and other givers will immediately give to you. But if you’re taken from, give once again - because hey, sometimes people are down on their luck and they simply can’t help you out. And a friend who only helps when you can help them back isn’t reliable.  However, if the pattern of taking repeats a lot, cut off your giving before that person hurts you.
  • So I’m saying, yes, sometimes you might actually want to work for exposure or for cheap. The world is full of takers who will leave you high and dry, but if you know someone is a matcher or a giver, it might just be worth it to do that discount job.  Good examples would be for a high-profile Kickstarter or charity, although most reliable for-profit businesses should offer to pay.  When doing small personal stuff for friends, I charge a nominal fee of about $10/hr. This works out pretty well by giving me motivation, and friends help keep friends fed. (Note, corporations who use your work for profit are not the same as your friends and for professional jobs the rate is the rate is the rate.)
  • Since we are all limited by physical and temporal resources, give your help when it’s needed most. Go out of you want to see the friend who’s in town for a only day.  Pick up that sad soul stranded at LAX (thank you, i love you, rollaine).  You don’t need to hang out every day to maintain a meaningful friendship, but a real friend is there when it counts.

Finally, once you’re comfortable with that person and have a reliable relationship, don’t be afraid to ask for work, especially when an opportunity really interests you and doubly especially if someone straight-up asks you to apply (this includes open calls for art).  Not everyone knows who needs work at what point in time, so making note of your status is totally allowable.  Your friends can’t help you if they don’t know you want help.  But if they do know already, don’t be bothersome.  You’re letting someone know your availability, not demanding they give you a job.

So yeah, that’s essentially the “going deep” part to networking - dedicate the same mental energy to whom you’ve met as you’d want dedicated to you!  And that includes not being a shitty, take-y person.

tl;dr - To network properly, don’t approach people like you want them to get your a job.  Approach them like you want to make a new friend. And don’t be a shitty friend.

Our elders have been warning us about this for generations now—they saw the unsustainability of settler society immediately. Societies based on conquest cannot be sustained, so yes, I do think we’re getting closer to that breaking point for sure. We’re running out of time. We’re losing the opportunity to turn this thing around. We don’t have time for this massive slow transformation into something that’s sustainable and alternative. I do feel like I’m getting pushed up against the wall. Maybe my ancestors felt that 200 years ago or 400 years ago. But I don’t think it matters. I think that the impetus to act and to change and to transform, for me, exists whether or not this is the end of the world. If a river is threatened, it’s the end of the world for those fish. It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along. And I think the sadness and the trauma of that is reason enough for me to act.
—  Leanne Simpson, Nishnaabeg writer and theorist

grfygrf  asked:

I'd argue that Paul Ryan is pretty frickin' brainless given that the perfect conditions for a political revitalization were dropped into his lap and he still decided to stick to the party line and basically screw his entire future into oblivion by clinging to this faint and terrible concept of complete health care destruction. Honestly, he deserves to watch all his bridges burn before his eyes...

Paul Ryan is a fraud. He’s been propped up by a political press that is desperate to invent a Republican who isn’t cruel and indifferent to suffering. He’s a liar, he’s not very smart, and he’s sort of the House version of John McCain: like McCain claims to go against his party on principle (he never does), Ryan has this manufactured image as a policy wonk who studies economic theory and history to inform his positions (he doesn’t; his ‘education’ begins and ends with Ayn Rand).

So it isn’t surprising that he’s been a massive failure as a leader and a policy maker, because he is incapable of being either of those things.

Black history month day 12: economist and political philosopher Thomas Sowell

Sowell was born in Gastonia North Carolina on June 30, 1930. His father died shortly after his birth and his mother was a housemate who already had four children. So his great aunt and her two adult daughters adopted and raised him. When he was nine years old he moved from the Charlotte area to Harlem as his family sought better opportunities. He qualified for Stuyvesant High School, a prestigious academic high school in New York City, and he was the first in his family to study beyond the sixth grade. Unfortunately he had to drop out at 17 due to financial and home life difficulties. He was drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean War and due to his photography experience, he became a Marine photographer.

After his discharge from military service, Sowell got a service job in Washington DC and took night classes at Howard University. His scores or so impressive that they gained him admission to Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1958 with a bachelors degree in economics. He earned his masters from Columbia the following year.

In his 20s Sowell considered himself a Marxist, but his experience working with the government as an intern in the 1960s changed his philosophy to more free market economic theory. His writing from then on has been from a libertarian conservative point of view. Sowell received a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, published numerous works on economic and political philosophy, and serve as a professor at many universities including Cornell. He is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Broke: clickbait articles filled with shallow political comparisons to Harry Potter

Woke: structured economic theories based on Little Witch Academia

Dear Donald Trump

“You can criticize Bernie Sanders all that you want, but at least try to make sense when you do it. Last time I checked, Bernie Sanders was a democratic socialist, and not a socialist or a communist. I understand that nuance is not your forte, but, sir, you are conflating terms.

Seeing as Sanders is not advocating for the abolition of the state and class, he is not a communist. Since Sanders isn’t calling for the abolition of private property, you can’t call him a communist. Sanders has not once proposed common ownership of the means of production, which is a communist ideal.
Please stop appealing to outdated and uninformed “Red Scare” tactics. They don’t make you come across as more electable, they just make you look stupid.  

Sincerely,
Anyone who has an elementary understanding of socio-political and economic theory.”

— Scott Stephens

Deities, Death, and Devotion

So I have an American Gods fantheory about Laura Moon, and I will explicate it in convenient bulletpoint parlance. Potential Spoilers, as it works off somethings from the book.

Premises:

  • Laura Moon is dead.
  • Because she’s dead, the world is dull -dim, muted, cold, and colorless- to her.
  • Except for anything doing with Shadow, and the color blue.
  • To her eyes, a weird golden aura pulses off of Shadow.
  •  This aura is the most significant source of color and light in her world. She directly correlates it to the sun, the source of all life, and can see it for miles, sense it(in the books) from nearly anywhere.
  • Undead Laura is drawn to Shadow, and her reference to this aura in talking about her new love of him with Audrey suggests this aura is its primary cause.
  • In American Gods, deities and other divine beings(daimon in ancient greek, from which we get demon) are sustained by faith; belief, memory, and devotion.
  • Shadow believes in, remembers with love, and is devoted to Laura.
  • In the series, Wednesday asks Shadow if he believes in love: he responds “I believe the Fuck out of Love.”
  • Hinzelmann’s story, the story of the sacrificial child, shows that the Dead can become deities through faith and devotion.

Conclusions:

  • While Laura is raised by the Sun-Coin Shadow gave her, she is sustained by his belief, remembrance, and devotion.
  • Laura is a daimon: a divine being and potentially, to Shadow, something like a God.

Corollary:

  • Gods and daimons are defined and redefined by the belief people have in them.
  • It is possible that Laura’s newfound interest to Shadow is not just a “hunger” for his devotion and faith, but also partly a slight redefinition of her character to match what Shadow wants from her, though it’s impossible to say anything about this from just one episode.

Counterpoint:

  • Devotion and belief itself is not enough, the Gods need specific rituals and direct, explicit, belief in their existence and power; they need Worship. This is the point of the visit to Easter and one of the points of the story of Nunyunnini. It isn’t enough for Easter that people celebrate her feast day with her symbols and holy foods; they don’t believe in or worship her when they do it. It’s why Bilquis requires Worship from her sacrifices.

Retort:

  • This raises a significant contradiction at the center of the book.
  • The New, American, Gods are not directly worshiped. No one worships Media or Technology or Science or Medicine or Globalism in the personal forms of Media/Fame, The Technical Boy, and Mr. World. No one makes icons and idols to these characters, or sacrifices to them. No one genuinely believes in the existence of, say, movie monsters, yet they appear, fighting on the side of the New Gods, at the climax of the story(iirc). They feed off of mortal participation in their portfolios.
  • The Intangibles(The Market/Invisible Hand) is debatable on this issue :|

Counter-Retort:

  • The New Gods are, at essence, conceptual in a way the Old Gods are not, which explains why they would not need the specific worship the Old Gods did.

Counter-Counter-Retort:

  • Odin’s whole plan is predicated on his ability to feed off of those partaking in his portfolio. If he could not gain power merely from other beings fighting and killing, then there would be no benefit for him in fomenting war between the Old and New deities, since none of them worship him.
  • Which, incidentally, undermines the whole story. If deities can be sustained by simple participation in their portfolios and representation, then they would be perfectly sustained by the modern world. Heck, Athena, goddess of Athens and Civilization, would be the most powerful deity on the planet and Odin -a God of War, Sacrifice, and Knowledge- would probably be the second or third most honored, and therefore powerful, deity in the US even without widespread popular devotion.

Counter-Counter-Counter-Retort:

  • But they would have been fighting in his name: The battle between the Old and New Gods is set off directly by Odin’s “death”. The Old God Faction is fighting specifically to avenge him.

C-C-C-C-Retort:

  • Grrrrrr >:(

graphic design is my passion

A (re)introduction 

Now that a school year is over and summer is here and next step for me is the actual IB diploma programme (#pray4me), I was kind of feeling like having a fresh start. Some of you may know me by my previous url marinette-s, which wasn’t very studyblr-ish, and tbh I’ve been quite lazy in making any of my own content these past months….

Anyway, with a new url and new blog theme, I really wanted to be more active here and make use of all the amazing resources you all share, as well as contribute in return and also document my school life and struggles through the IB.

So I guess it’s time to reintroduce myself, as my last introduction post was like over a year ago and lots of things have changed!

  • Name’s Mary, I’m 17 and I come from Finland (fun fact it was snowing last week. in june. fun times welcome to finland everybody)
  • I’ll be starting IBDP year 1 in August and the subjects I’m taking are
    • HL: maths, physics, chemistry, french B; 
    • SL: economics, english A; 
    • theory of knowledge
  • I’m super interested in languages and I’m currently learning French (intermediate) and German (beginner) as well as kind of casually learning Norwegian totally not because of skam
    • My native language is Swedish and I’m also fluent in English and Finnish. I can also speak Vietnamese but not read or write it, so that’s another language I’m still learning!
  • I’m also a massive classical music nerd, I’ve been playing the piano for about 4 and a half years (self-taught rip) and I’m really hoping to get into the local music conservatory this autumn to get some proper lessons… I had the entrance exam last month and it went quite well, so I’m crossing my fringers
    • I also play guitar (badly). Picked it up when I was in my pop punk phase but now I care way more about classical music so I’m thinking about maybe focusing on classical guitar more? idk it’s not a very popular thing is it
  • Also a space nerd. My dream plan is to study astrophysics at university in the UK, because at some point this “far-fetched” daydream turned into a definite goal I’m working towards and I cannot imagine what else I would like to do in two years time! 
    • btw I’m planing to apply to the universities of Oxford (#pray4me again), Birmingham, Edinburgh, St Andrews and University College London
  • Other interests include books, anime, history, and memes. My entire identity is in fact being a meme so don’t expect much from me

Anyway this is me! I’m thankful for how motivational the studyblr community has been for me, and surely for many others too, and am definitely looking forward to being more active in it!

P.S. shoutout to some of my fave studyblrs (and langblrs) who have kept me in this community (non-exhaustive list) @letsbesuccessful @athenastudying @asteroidstudy @studyblr @hunny-studies @lemonadeandlanguages @houkago-japanese and @langblog u rock like a floating space rock 

Sometimes I think about making up some really stupid economic theory and leaving my family to starve while I leech off of rich people so that teenagers on a social media site will worship me in the future.