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Three Measures to unblind capitalism (2)

Continued from here.

The right to die after a life of laziness profiting from other people’s sweat:

You can have hundreds of measures to counteract all the immoral outcomes of capitalism. None will succeed if they don’t touch the heart of the matter: putting matter before mind. The three most important achievements in keeping morality as primary are threatened by the constant erosion from capitalism’s constant competition. Whether it is social security, access to education or human rights, there’s no Western election that can’t be won by people challenging it all as politically correct and endangering economic productivity.

Fragmenting human rights by expanding them into minute details is not the right way to go. It just makes for a pathetic left wing defensiveness that appeals only to the converted while alienating those bearing the brunt of capitalism. I propose three measures that – in my view – will guarantee that the issues are dealt with at the root. On this basis, it won’t be necessary to overly stipulate specific policies as they’ll evolve automatically as a matter of public discourse. I realize that it’s not possible to realize them as a big bang and that incremental development towards them will be required. I’ll come back to that later. For now the problem is not how to achieve this but whether, if achieved, it will suffice to capitalize on capitalism without bleeding out from its blindness.

Measure 1: universal and unqualified right to die

It is not odd to start with a basic personal right given what has been said above. I realize that this measure is the most contentious one, precisely because this ultimate individual self-determination is directly at odds with the delusion of original sin (and hence original responsibility). It shows that we don’t live to redeem ourselves or to repay some original debt. If we feel we don’t derive any value from our existence, it is our right to terminate it. Full stop. Sure, there are qualifications but these are of process, not of right. Continue reading

December 5, 2016 Posted by | boredom, Thursday Take Down, Tuesday Hatred, Tuesday Quought | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tuesday Hatred: I am as much one of us as I am one of them

There is only one thing more stupid still than computers are: people who believe that algorithms can outsmart people. They may even see contradiction lurking in the previous sentence. That is what a lack of imagination can do to us. It makes us ignore the data and see everything bigly (probably how a pig would see it). The stress in artificial intelligence is on artificial, where intelligence itself is one and all art.
We should feel very strongly about this because it’s about us. The modern shamanism of technology has it that analytics can be predictive where it obviously can only be reactive. Algorithms do not create a single quark of novelty except by introducing the haphazard. They do not listen but just repeat so you eat your own cake over and over again until your mind is fat and lazy – zero hazard involved.
Once they stuffed us full of our own bigotry, Facebook and Google will wash their hands in innocence. It’s our stupidity, not theirs. That’s right. Wing it, you evangelists of superior complexity, who make us horny on bits, byting into the Apple of money. Wing it, by being right in creating a prophecy we can’t but fulfill playing back our stupidity until we think we are smarter than they are. Trump us up into hell.

Continue reading

November 22, 2016 Posted by | boredom, innovative technologies that shape our lives, Tuesday Hatred, waking up in a cold sweat | , , | Comments Off on Tuesday Hatred: I am as much one of us as I am one of them

Tuesday Hatred: Parabolic

More or less 25 years ago I experienced a zero-crossing. The sign of my well-being gently changed from negative to positive. My well-being in function of time is hard to measure. I do think it kind of maximized about 10 years ago. I hate to say that, being rather square, it doesn’t look likely I will avoid my second zero-crossing. Worse, I hate that it feels like it’s imminent. Here’s to hoping my polynomial has a reasonable term in the third degree.

I hate parabolic. I hope my vengeance comes in that third degree.

If you are lucky enough not to have been bored to death with polynomials of the quadratic kind when you were young enough to imagine aliens would rescue us from all that menial labor for which computers and robots were invented, you won’t mind a long sentence that promises to explain the above in more humane terms. The parabolic essence is: what goes up must come down. My family took me to a maximum but my gravity takes me down.

I hate gravity, specifically the one that I need to own up to as mine.

But more than all this, I hate being in suspense. And now for a rant. Continue reading

February 9, 2016 Posted by | boredom, shameless self-promotion, Tuesday Hatred | Comments Off on Tuesday Hatred: Parabolic

Tuesday Hatred: dreaming, trying, flailing.

It is popular to admit failure. Obviously those who report their failures do so after a subsequent success. If they weren’t in the end successful they wouldn’t have been newsworthy in the first place. I hate success. It’s such a subjective criterion. What we see is projected through the lens of success.

Me, I’m just flailing. Waving frantically, mostly without an audience. Failing probably but not failing fast as is the fashion of the moment. The best way to fail fast is not trying. The best way to not try is not dreaming. I never go for the best. Seconds is my thing and my seconds are not of fame.

Let me explain minutely. Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Tuesday Hatred, waking up in a cold sweat | Comments Off on Tuesday Hatred: dreaming, trying, flailing.

Tuesday Hatred of a whole Internet of Things

I hated people who have time to do this:

Now I am one of them.

And not particularly good at it either. With advance apologies to all fine people putting their passion into this IoT thing, at least they’re taking action in something and it’s taking action that counts.

Still, all this talk about fridges talking to cars on where they are located such that the car can summon the phone of a repair guy who can hold the phone in the right way for the troubleshooting SW to tell the fridge to reset (and if that doesn’t work tell the phone to get repair guy to push the reboot button) is kind of lame. Not that it wouldn’t be cool (except maybe if you are the kind of repair guy who wouldn’t take advantage of being let into a home because his phone tells someone’s door to open on account of the fridge telling the door that: “It’s O-Kay” on some fancy super-secretly encrypted protocol). It just seems a lot of fuzz over manipulating things where in principle one would think that it’s somewhat more interesting to work with what actual people do.

At the very least what I got out of this post is that I managed to write a paragraph where a majority of words are bracketed (but there is more on the core of the issue, for those who still practice the slowly disappearing art of suspending judgment). Continue reading

September 9, 2014 Posted by | innovative technologies that shape our lives, shameless self-promotion, torture, Tuesday Hatred | , , | Comments Off on Tuesday Hatred of a whole Internet of Things

Tuesday Hatred of Targets

If you’re not working in a big organization you might not know, but the rest of us are being managed by objectives. The people so managing us are convinced they are being SMART about it. The fact is that they are smarter than we are, as is clear from the fact that we have been stupid enough to put up with it for so long. They sell it to us like diet pills are sold to those addicted to sugar: as a replacement addiction. Suddenly we should feel liberated from micro-management when the only ones liberated are those managing us: liberated from caring about the actual human beings that do the actual day-by-day work.

If you are working in a big organization (and you’re a bit of an a***hole) you may find this amusing: the rest of them are being targeted as well. As politicians increasingly see themselves as entrepreneurs (mostly forgetting the adjective ‘failed’), they want in on the magic. This means they want all of the control and none of the taking-an-interest. They want to be liberal and eat our cake too. Above all they want us to feel different from the others who haven’t achieved independence. Divide …

Let me use my newly found independence to say something about managing for performance: it’s inhuman because it sets out to eliminate the specifically human uncertainties from the process. That is enough to stop doing it. More than enough to start questioning it. Forget about it not working. Forget about the appeal to intuition (diet pill ads appeal to your intuition as well). It is anti-human and we should not put up with it. Out of principle. Full stop.

I’m not the first to say this, see Geert Hofstede (1978):

Schermafbeelding 2014-08-18 om 20.14.55

In other words: the sole reason for reducing us to targets is Continue reading

August 19, 2014 Posted by | economics, innovative technologies that shape our lives, politics, Tuesday Hatred, waking up in a cold sweat | 2 Comments

Tuesday Hatred of The Excluded Middle

Ever since Aristotle phrased something like either it is or it isn’t, stupid people the world over have it ready to stop any discussion dead in its tracks. History knows no justice, or so it seems, because, in fact, history knows both justice and injustice. That’s just the way it is. Logic may always hold but it never applies.

My hatred is not for the law. Laws are fine even if they tend to grow like weed. My hatred is not for logic. Logic is actually quite interesting although pretty destructive in the hands of the irrational. My hatred is reserved for the exclusion bit. Of anything but specifically of the middle. The middle is nice. It’s where all of us loved to be when kids in our parents’ bed. 

Let’s establish the law of The Included Middle.

Continue reading

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Tuesday Hatred | Comments Off on Tuesday Hatred of The Excluded Middle

Tuesday Hatred of Word Nerds

Jen Doll and Sarah Miller have been having a cute word nerd back and forth about “the worst word on the planet” and I know it’s in fun but it makes me want to claw my eyeballs out, then chew them up, then spit out one of them and swallow the other one so I can throw it up in my mouth a little. Miller hates literally. Doll hates actually. I hate the discussion. Welcome back to Tuesday Hatred.

In fact, Tuesday Hatred has been here before, with respect to “literally.” Literally is a specific kind of intensifier–I like this explanation, from the OED via Language Log, “that some conventional metaphorical or hyperbolical phrase is to be taken in the strongest admissible sense.” For the current anti-“literally” campaign I blame David Cross, who worried that when you said you laughed so hard you literally shit your pants, that you then had to dispose of said pants. “You should stop using the word forever until you fucking figure it out,” says Cross. This was a funny routine! But it’s completely fucking wrong.

Like most language-nerdery, it’s not just factually wrong, but it’s riddled with status anxiety. Continue reading

August 7, 2012 Posted by | language, syntax, Tuesday Hatred | , , | 23 Comments

On what was Tuesday Hatred: one for the road

I hate unnecessary excitement. Almost all excitement is unnecessary. All of this is because people get excited so rapidly  that the currency of excitement is suffering from hyper-inflation. My hatred should be the least of anybody’s concern given that the ones really suffering are those which have good reason to get excited.

As a cultural optimist and believer in progress I need to find a away to reason away the tendency to the increasing levels of unnecessary excitement. This is the way: hyper-inflation of excitement is the balance of cultural growth. Progress is made but in order to continue l’élan vital it can only continue to be made if the progress that was made is canceled out in our perception, leading to excitement inflation.

I hate this reasoning because it connects Bergson, Darwin, Smith, Malthus to the crunching logic of monetary affairs and ‘the markets.’ And if there is one great subject of unnecessary excitement it are the markets. In the late 90’s I thought that the world would take a fundamental turn for the worse if the Dow Jones would pass the 10.000 mark. Now I’m convinced it can only take a fundamental turn for the better if people just stop talking about the Dow Jones as having any a meaning outside of its proper technical field. What I mean is that a turn for the better will only be achieved when people just stop talking at all about the Dow Jones or any of its ilk.

Only when people stop talking, let alone get excited, about this can we shed the third most silly human invention (after nationalist violence and the atomic bomb) which is the area of 3-letter acronyms such as Pay for Performance (bonuses), Key Performance Indicators, Balanced Score Card, Sales Incentive Plan, Manage by Objectives etc. &c &c.

It is concepts like these which I ultimately hate with a vengeance because they personalize something which should be a cherished common project: to try to be better than we were because it is better all around. So: fuck you, Six Sigma; fuck you in your black unlubricated hole, Integrated Quality Management. The knowledge we gain on natural processes is to be gained for 1 reason only: to escape the pernicious effects of unknown, and therefore, unconditioned natural processes.

This was it. No more Hatred.

April 24, 2012 Posted by | Small Talk About the Weather, Tuesday Hatred | 2 Comments

This may well be the last Tuesday Hatred except of course if it is not.

Forget about getting, I am an old man. I’m too mild to hate and those things I do hate are mostly unknown by readers of this site or are things readers of this site like. Neither do I have any confessing left in me, I rarely do stuff that is enough out of the ordinary to warrant confession. If I do, I already tell everybody so there is no edge in retelling it under pseudonym. As to food, I’m not even very good at eating it. Movies I barely watch any and – by the time I see any television worth spoiling – it has been seen by over half of the world already

In fine, it has been fun while it lasted but, before I need to confess that I started hating Tuesday Hatred, it is time to stop. If you’re interested in taking it over ‘click to continue’ below to read all about the process of such a take-over including, in the event no take-over interest is noted, what would be the plan B for Tuesdays.

Before all that let me just share one last genuine hatred with you all. I hated in the abstract the idea of people working like hell for close to 50 weeks in the year just to be able to spent around 2 weeks in a completely thoughtless state enjoying an all-inclusive holiday in a resort. I know have spent 5 days in such a resort & can turn this abstract hatred into a concrete one. Not that The Family didn’t enjoy the holiday, it was sufficiently short and we managed to pick out one thing to enjoy outside of the resort for every non-traveling day. Still, the sight of the same people occupying the same exact pool-side spot on every day comes awfully close to seeing people literally burned to death so slowly that they can’t possibly die as a result of it. It just goes to show how limited Dante’s imagination really was.

Continue reading

April 17, 2012 Posted by | shameless self-promotion, Tuesday Hatred | 3 Comments