[Old] Politics

/Tag:[Old] Politics

Breakneck Advances ~ Are Conventional Business and Politics no longer relevant?

It’s weird when you think about how far we’ve come in a single century. A small but non-zero number of people lived long enough to go from horses being the only form of travel, to cars, to airplanes, then to the moon. When you compare that to any generation prior it really begins to put things into perspective in terms of technological advancements. Never in history has there been such an extreme and fast paced evolution of knowledge. Various geniuses have caused us to leap forward but never before was technology so widespread and democratized. We are rushing headlong through discoveries and advances. Measuring things in both the extremely large and the extremely small with increasing accuracy.

When you consider we went from cowboy firefights in the late 1800’s to vaporizing entire cities in the 1940’s it really starts to hit you. Things are moving extremely quickly and they show no signs of letting up. I don’t think this is a bad thing but it does raise some problems. Society is built around slow burns, as is capitalism. They need buffer between the cause and the effect. Our government was built in a time when getting communications between states was a taxing and time consuming affair. Now you can send millions of pages of text from one side of the country to the other in a second. Data is moving at scales that are literally unfathomable. People think they have it but we really don’t. Between ten and forty thousand stocks (100 s/ms * 400 ms) can (and are) traded in the time it takes for your lids to close for a single blink.

Capitalism was built for a horse and buggy society with very little improvements in security over its lifetime. Now we live in a time where things literally change faster than a blink of the eye. This means that any problem in the system ripples out and causes great damage before anyone could ever hope to fix it. That would be the case even if we had a very active and agile political system too, it is only compounded by the other side of the coin.

Our three houses are all too slow to keep up. If you go back a hundred and fifty years having a lifetime supreme court makes a lot of sense. Things are moving slowly and you want people who are knowledgeable in the laws above all else. But now we’ve got very old and very out of touch people passing laws on things they literally don’t understand. Science has advanced so quickly and so profoundly in my own lifetime that you’ve got barely a dozen people in the entirety of congress that even appear to know what is going on. The arguments against climate change have gotten so stupid that they actually hurt to hear. Adults shouldn’t be this out of touch. But can you blame them? I want to but I got thinking.

Thousands of years we’ve had a slow moving society. During this time people fantasized about the past. Entire cultures were built around idolizing the past. What is Religion if not an entire governing body built around idolizing the past. When your future moves at a snails pace there seems little reason to be in the here and now. There is much more to treasure from the gloried past of the generations. Many of our first advancements that spread out across society were tools to immortalize the past. Pictures and videos to capture and hold onto those few moments of importance.

But now it all moves so quickly. Bolts out of the blue sending us into the stars. These generations are no longer fantasizing about the past. They want to think about tomorrow and where we are going next. All the social networks are about what is happening right now. Caffeine use keeps going up and the number of drugs and drinks focusing on keeping us awake grow and grow.

My parents and my grandparents (and likely yours) could hold the same job for decades. Businesses rose and fell in much less abrupt fashions than they do now. Or at least it feels to me like this was the case. Now even the most iconic businesses seem to be struggling to keep afloat. Everything changed and yet our method of commerce stayed the same. Fast food places raise their places, get purchased, or closed. Nationwide electronic stores struggle and die. It’s not the apocalypse but I think it isn’t going to change.

When I look at jobs now I never think about ten years from now. When I meet other people who are employed we don’t talk about where we are working but rather what field we work in. The modern world of business looks a bit like a gas cloud in space moving at a breakneck speed. Power condenses and bursts into light only to burst and leave behind bits for others to feed on. Repeating the process ad infinitum every decade or so.

Economies are likely not going to improve anywhere for a long time. Politics is likely boned for now as well. Corruption wasn’t quite as critical when it didn’t have the potential to destroy an entire body of water. Taking money under the table now can poison an entire city. These things that used to be just big problems in very small locations are now globalized.

I don’t think this problem is going to be resolved until all persons alive have been born in this period of rapid advancement. Which means we’ve got quite a while to wait. Until then the old ways will be stubbornly attempted and they will fail. They’ll fail worse and worse with every new leap.

Anywho, yeah, was on my mind.

By | 2014-10-10T18:25:01+00:00 October 9th, 2014|Journal|Comments Off on Breakneck Advances ~ Are Conventional Business and Politics no longer relevant?

Why Businesses (and Conservative Congress people) hate Single Payer.

EDIT: Never thought I’d find myself linking to fox news but here is an opinion piece they posted about someone signing up for ObamaCare. It is worth your time.

A while back on the Daily Show Jon Stewart asked one of his guests why any business that complains about healthcare would be against a single payer option. He seemed perplexed about what advantages a business gains by paying for the healthcare themselves. Given what happened today I feel this is a great time for me to discuss the very real reason why this happens and why single payer is disadvantageous for businesses.

The simple truth is that controlling your access to affordable(ish) healthcare is one of the greatest powers any business can have. You are always going to get sick, this is how bodies work and a part of life. You don’t know when you will get sick however. This provides an incidence of randomness to the formula which creates fear (fear being largely produced by uncertainty of safety). Because of this a business need to work much less hard to keep your employment. You become, in many ways, attached to their business.

Single payer removes the single simplest ways for businesses to provide people with little to no benefits and still have an upper hand in keeping them on staff. If people need not fear the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy they are more likely to be more adventurous with their careers and not stick with hurtful or harmful businesses. This is also why conservatives in politics were against the public option, conservatism has been tightly linked with business now in the US (ironic since the reverse used to be true). The modern version of the ACA is actually a republican plan and was designed as an alternative to single payer. It was created specifically because it helps keep power in the hand of businesses.

So that, to answer Jon Stewart (though he’ll never read this), is why big businesses are against single payer. It removes all their power and leaves them being forced to compete. Businesses hate to compete and this is why there is such a consistent effort to legislate away protections that have been built up over the decades. Corporate personhood being the most disturbing of the perversions.

BUT! That’s a tale for another day I suppose. Now you know.

PS. The reason the ACA is being attacked now is because it is politically savvy to do so. If you can convince people to sabotage it then it may fail and then you can say “See I told you so!” without pointing out the self fulfilling prophecy of sabotage.

 

Neat.
By | 2013-10-21T22:14:01+00:00 October 21st, 2013|Journal|Comments Off on Why Businesses (and Conservative Congress people) hate Single Payer.

A thought or two on the New Deal, Innovation, and the Size of Government

  If you’ve visited here more than once you most certainly know how I write these updates. Something piques my interest and I just vomit text until I feel like I’m done. Sometimes I come to new conclusions and my own writing reshapes my life. I don’t know if that’s some kind of hubris but I certainly feel like there are two me. The thinking me and the feeling me, I’d like to say that they are one in the same but they most certainly are not and their actions motivate one another.

  Today I’m going to talk about government intervention. Mostly because on the drive home I started thinking about how – and I’m being gentle here – batshit stupid it is when people say “Look that didn’t work so lets abandon it altogether!” I loathe this mindset because it requires the least possible brain power. With that in mind I’m going to describe a situation, however oversimplified, to help explain to you why hearing that makes me want to falcon punch people in the face.

falconpunchtotheface

 

  People break bones all the time. This is an unfortunate reality and part n’ parcel with living on a planet that is harder than we are. There was a time where people would break bones and basically just leave it at that. It would heal wrong and everything was terrible. This still happens to millions of animals I would presume yearly. I know I’ve seen some very jenky looking limbs in my day.

  Imagine then that someone in your area decides to stop this travesty. They realize that the problem is folks letting their broken bones flop about like an over leveled magikarp. The problem is that this doctor is also a little bit retarded. Not the hurtful slang mind you, but a person who selectively does stupid shit. The kind of person that would look at blood letting and say “That’s perfect.”

  They begin strapping branches to people’s broken arms and legs. This isn’t too weird, people do this when they break limbs in the wild and it can turn out alright. The problem is that this doctor is an idiot and is using bent branches. Sure the arm isn’t flopping about but now it is setting incorrectly. Basically the underlying premise of setting the bone was correct, but the application was wrong.

  You have two political ways to approach this (apparently). One is to say “Well the idea is sound but it needs reworking.” and the other is to say “Fuck it! This is stupid! It didn’t work 100% and we should abandon it eternally or else we are literally Hitler!” If in this fictitious example we abandoned the idea of setting bones we would be left with a populace that will sustain unnecessary and lifelong injuries that could have otherwise been avoided.

  What any sane person should do is examine the data. Is there a sound and factual underlying mechanic behind the idea? If so, is it working? If not, how can we make it work? This is as far as I can tell at this exact minute the only way these things can and should be approached. I hear it a lot when people talk about the new deal, or the modern government getting involved with commerce and other “private” things. But to me, if the idea is sound and it’s the implementers that are getting it wrong, you shouldn’t be killing the idea.

  You shouldn’t kill the implementers either, that’s illegal. But no town should suffer because their doctor is stupid. Whenever a plan is passed by congress and it doesn’t work this should be a sign that the current congress people need to be replaced. We shouldn’t look at their bad implementation of otherwise sound ideas as proof that the ideas can’t work.

  Bureaucracy, as they* say, destroys innovation. I know many a person has used this belief to argue that less government is the solution but I feel like that will not solve the problem. Having 30 stupid doctors in your town is no better or worse than having only 10 doctors who are all stupid. Now you have less help and the same level of incompetence. Improve the quality of your representative and all good ideas will fruit beautifully.

*[They being Frank Herbert]

By | 2013-10-18T20:01:28+00:00 October 18th, 2013|Journal|Comments Off on A thought or two on the New Deal, Innovation, and the Size of Government

Weiner’s wiener wiggling into politics (and I don’t know why it matters)

  I was very confused a couple years ago (I believe it was in 2011) when Anthony Weiner stepped down from his position in government because it was revealed that he likes to talk dirty and send pictures of his wiener to women on twitter.

hotdog

(Scandalous!)

  I couldn’t see how any of this was relevant to politics and I’m still not entirely certain. There are 535 people in congress that are doing actual relevant bad things on a weekly (if not daily) basis. If it were a matter of honesty or integrity all of these people would be out of a job (so I feel that argument is bunk). The place is so nasty and full of debauchery that apparently a few states are having trouble finding candidates to put on ballots this coming election.

   I understand that he’s married and that he should have probably asked his wife or something. “Sweetie can I send pictures of my peeper to some ladies on twitter?” But I’m fairly sure what he was doing doesn’t fall under adultery either. But don’t take my word on it as this isn’t something I’ve researched. Generally speaking I’m not big about flashing the pan but for those folks that like putting their stuff out on the interwebz I’m not sure I see the harm.

  What relevance does it have to a political position? Was he found doing anything questionable otherwise? Are we really so caught up in sex and sexual kinks that this becomes news? I’m not just saying this because he’s a man either, if it were a woman who was in congress (or any government position) and they were found to have been filmed naked I wouldn’t care.

dachsundisalsoknownaswienerdog(Always keep it under wraps)

  What I care about is policy. What is their view on taxation? Wars, poverty, or corruption? Actual relevant things that matter. This seems to me like projection. A bunch of folks are embarrassed by their own vices and lash out at people who get caught. Maybe he has a dark underbelly? Maybe there is something about him I don’t know. If these things are the case then these things are what should be getting discussed.

  I’m speaking specifically from what I know and with that in mind I feel like literally nobody was hurt by what he did. It was barely a notch above writing 50 shades of grey. Which I suppose could be a punishable offense but I’m trying to keep an open mind.

  All I’m really saying is that we should be concerned with things that actually matter. Colbert made the point more cleverly by pointing it out that in this same period Bob McDonnell [who I had to Google just to remember the name of] was caught accepting over a hundred thousand dollars in illicit loans and other bribes. Was everyone posting his face up on the internet or the news? No, they were posting pictures of Wiener’s wiener.

wienerwiener

(Its wieners all the way down)

By | 2013-07-26T23:14:55+00:00 July 26th, 2013|Journal|Comments Off on Weiner’s wiener wiggling into politics (and I don’t know why it matters)

Computer Monitors and Politics ~ Shooting the Messenger

  Many times in our lives we will be confronted with a situation where the messenger and the source of the message are grossly distanced from one another. There is not a person who will live a full life in modern society without experiencing this in one way or another. But I think that its so ubiquitous that people don’t give it the important care and observance that it demands.

  If you ever find yourself sitting in front of a computer that is locking up and you want to falcon punch right through the screen you have experienced this phenomenon in the comfort of your own home, or perhaps in a library, or in a park. Mobile technology lets us take this interesting little disconnect with us anywhere.

falconpawnch

  The screen never did anything wrong, though – it is merely a servant of the tower that is feeding it input. It cannot deviate from this input in very many ways – most of which require your direct feedback. A broken pixel or (as I’ve experienced) a screen that loses its lighting are unique exceptions but the vast majority of hate a screen gets is because of some ill deed deep down in the tower.

  So to when you are dealing with customer service agents or other employees at a large company (or even small companies). You walk into the store and interact with a monitor, the employee, and they give you feedback that has been certified and fed to them. In most of my experiences people don’t get angry with the CEO of a company or the store itself – they instead lash out at the employee standing before them.

  Some people try to circumvent this system by demanding a manager but the reality in many cases is that the person you’ll be reaching is just a slightly better dressed version of the last screen you sat in front of. The people who actually have the authority to make major changes or concessions to you are never going to actually bring themselves down to that level. That’s the beauty of being the tower – the cords are so long and your so well hidden that everyone hurls their rage at your screen.

  Now to come back around to the title of this post (which I haven’t actually written yet) you have the leader of nations. There are some extremely obvious exceptions to this concept and I’ll allow you to discover those on your own (or to perhaps blurt them out in a rage at your screen). But imagine if you will for a moment the destructive force of a single person versus that of 535.

  The President of the United States is going to have power – great power – but they are (I believe) not the source of the degeneration of…oh balls this rhymes…wait I can save this. I do not believe they are the source of the degeneration of our country’s infrastructure and culture. If you think about the system it is beautiful and proven to work at the business level. You take a screen and place it in front of your customers. This screen allows you to do all the things you want to do without repercussions. All the hate you drive up will be force fed onto the plate of that screen.

  I suspect the worse [and perhaps least necessary] job in the nation is the White House Press Secretary. Here you have the messenger for the people (the press) and the messenger for the President. This is two levels of disconnection on the political side and one level of disconnection on the population’s side. A remarkable murky world of half answers and general chicanery goes down here. In the end the reporters bite at the ankles of the Press Secretary and they sweat it out until they inevitably quit.

  If we really wanted it to be interesting and informative we should require congress to hold rotating press meetings. 5 to 10 members each day answering questions from the press with no screened questions. It might be smart to make it illegal to have secret votes as well. They’ve learned that people will just punch the monitors and that protection needs to end.

  When you are looking for the source of your discomfort it is important to not vent at the first thing that you find. Be it a matter of health, a matter of politics, a matter of economics, or even a simple tech problem – don’t settle for the simple way out. In the end you don’t solve the problem and possibly even make it worse. The real culprit gets away completely free and the system will begin anew.

  While the line is popularly “Follow the Money.” it does not necessarily literally involve money. Information is incredibly valuable and I suppose it could be considered a currency of its own. In the case of your health or a frozen computer screen though these are not cases of seedy dealings but instead of a paper trail. Each clue leading to the next until the source is laid out in front of you as clear as day.

“Follow the Money”

  PS. Not advocating in any way that the President is not doing shady things. I do think however that routinely and actively rotating the members of congress would be so good for the health of the US that people would be stunned by the rate of positive change and the level of change. Presidents change constantly but people say that politics never changes – something else in politics never changes either and that’s likely the problem.

By | 2013-07-07T00:04:27+00:00 July 7th, 2013|Journal|Comments Off on Computer Monitors and Politics ~ Shooting the Messenger