CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

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CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Dan » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:16 pm

It's out now...
http://traffic.libsyn.com/dancarlin/cswdcc18.mp3

Hope you enjoy it...
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Weissmann » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:54 pm

You talked about the certain thinkers postulating make-work projects for a future age of automation. This seems like the most unpragmatic, clinging-hopelessly-to-ideology solution possible. If we had benign electric factotums, forcing people to work just to support some illusory market seems hellishly cruel. Economics is apologetics with implications.

Capitalism is just an evolutionary algorithm that seems to distribute wealth, and foster innovation, better than other systems. When we have enough computing power to entirely automate society, it's likely we'll be able to foster innovation and distribute wealth utilizing methods we can't even imagine now, rendering current economic theories obsolete. Or, more likely, the robots will kill us.

Anyways, the make-work suggestion would be as idiotic as resurrecting the guild system today.
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Waleis » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:38 pm

Outstanding show. My favorite out of the last ten, where subject matter is concerned.

100 years ago we had Eugene V Debs to talk about class for us, and represent us. Now we have...Bernie Sanders. Debs could get press attention. Sanders cannot get press attention. Where is our source of objectivity, or at least, hope?
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby boethius » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:43 pm

Weissmann wrote:You talked about the certain thinkers postulating make-work projects for a future age of automation. This seems like the most unpragmatic, clinging-hopelessly-to-ideology solution possible. If we had benign electric factotums, forcing people to work just to support some illusory market seems hellishly cruel.

^^+1 this.

If we don't have to toil for our daily bread, it is simply monstrous to "make work" for people. We should use that freedom for art, music, philosophy, science, bullshitting at the pub, etc... Anything but digging holes just to fill them back up or shuffling paper from in box to out box and back to the in box just to keep people holed up in cubicles for 8 hours a day.
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Taliesin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:59 pm

boethius wrote:...
If we don't have to toil for our daily bread, it is simply monstrous to "make work" for people. We should use that freedom for art, music, philosophy, science, bullshitting at the pub, etc... Anything but digging holes just to fill them back up or shuffling paper from in box to out box and back to the in box just to keep people holed up in cubicles for 8 hours a day.


Ideally, that's what we would do. But the evidence of the past decade or so seems to indicate that people don't generally use the free time to engage in Jeffersonian self-improvement; they watch Jersey Shore, get black-out drunk, have tons and tons of casual sex, and engage in competitive consumerism. Is this acceptable? Does it represent a shifting of the foundational morals and aspirations of western society? If so, how ought it be changed? Or can it simply not be challenged at all?
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby acunningham » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:22 am

A very interesting show, Dan. It matches my impressions from living in the USA on and off over the last 13 years. The USA does have a much stronger class system than the American National Myth admits. At current time, it's at least as strong as the class system in the UK (where I grew up) where the class system has been slowly dismantled since the 1960s. It may even be stronger.
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Mr_Noyes » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:42 am

Taliesin wrote:
boethius wrote:...
If we don't have to toil for our daily bread, it is simply monstrous to "make work" for people. We should use that freedom for art, music, philosophy, science, bullshitting at the pub, etc... Anything but digging holes just to fill them back up or shuffling paper from in box to out box and back to the in box just to keep people holed up in cubicles for 8 hours a day.


Ideally, that's what we would do. But the evidence of the past decade or so seems to indicate that people don't generally use the free time to engage in Jeffersonian self-improvement; they watch Jersey Shore, get black-out drunk, have tons and tons of casual sex, and engage in competitive consumerism. Is this acceptable? Does it represent a shifting of the foundational morals and aspirations of western society? If so, how ought it be changed? Or can it simply not be challenged at all?



If we are talking about a true post-scarcity society (i.e. we can produce all the neccessary goods in sufficient manner so that every member of the society can be fed, clothed and given a roof over the head for free) this is of course accectable. After all, western society is striving for self fulfillment, no matter how someone defines this self fullfillment for himself. I believe there will always be people around who are motivated enough to further society, even if it's only 10 percent of the population - as for the rest: Where is the harm in letting them live a life of abundance and sloth when there is enough for everyone? Just take a look at Aristo- and Plutocrats through the ages; yes, many of them were dumb pieces of shit but many of them furthered arts, philosophy and even science.
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Kolokol888 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:56 am

Great show Dan... one of the best ever
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Thothgirl » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:00 am

Seconded (thirded or fourthed, lost track) on the Great Show!

The queastion that has always bothered me is if we live in a classless society than why are jobs so tied to who you know? Most of the jobs i have gotten are because I know, or someone in my family knows the person looking to hire someone. I always thought if we lived in a truely classless society your resume should be good enough, or even better, how you performed at your job last job would count more.

The idea of moving to a post-scarcity society seems like a rather good idea to me and I wish I was optomistic enough to hope for it. the snag is living space. as long as we place value on land (which for the record is a good thing in my mind) having a free place to live won't appear. The closest you can really get is a later fuedeal system where the land is owned by somebody who tells you were you get to live and then leaves you alone for a small fee every year.

Anyway, wonderful show!
Americans, taken as a whole, make the British aristocracy, look like a bunch of Pinkos. - Smitty-48
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby boethius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:23 am

Taliesin wrote:
boethius wrote:...
If we don't have to toil for our daily bread, it is simply monstrous to "make work" for people. We should use that freedom for art, music, philosophy, science, bullshitting at the pub, etc... Anything but digging holes just to fill them back up or shuffling paper from in box to out box and back to the in box just to keep people holed up in cubicles for 8 hours a day.


Ideally, that's what we would do. But the evidence of the past decade or so seems to indicate that people don't generally use the free time to engage in Jeffersonian self-improvement; they watch Jersey Shore, get black-out drunk, have tons and tons of casual sex, and engage in competitive consumerism. Is this acceptable? Does it represent a shifting of the foundational morals and aspirations of western society? If so, how ought it be changed? Or can it simply not be challenged at all?


I don't think we fix that by saying that people are too stupid/self-destructive to live their own lives and force them into "adult daycare" shuffling papers so as to keep them off the streets.

There's a huge danger in trying to control people for their own good:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis.
"Boethius was the only user here to successfully piss me off IRL, and you'll notice it's been crickets from him for a while. I'm not saying he's dead now . . . but . . . :twisted:" -- DBTrek

"How about you just suck on a cyanide lollipop and spare us your fucking hyperbole you whining little nancy?" -- Cid

"If Dan had a lick of sense he'd have booted your pompous ass ages ago." - RAnthony
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby evil muppet » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:51 am

I tended to disagree with several of the points there. I think that Dan was off base on the statements he made about libertarians. They were hurtful and I cried myself to sleep after hearing them.

The antebellum South might be an exception to this but I think that the idea of America being a classless society I think is based more on the fact that we didn't really had an aristocratic tradition. What tradition we had was pretty much destroyed in the Civil War. American culture is essentially one large bourgeois middle class.

I think that Americans have a more economic understanding of class while Europeans have a social-economic understanding of class. In the US someone's class depends almost solely on their income. In Europe it is a social function as much as income. You can have rich peasants and poor aristocrats. Often you'd have people in the middle class who were much wealthier than people in the upper class.

I also see libertarians talk about class all the time. They seem to conceptualize it differently than what we traditionally think of when we are talking about class though. Traditionally we tend to think of class as one of income. libertarians tend to think more of their function or their economic relation to others. You have a productive class who produces wealth. This could probably be divided into working class and the entrepreneurial class. Then you have a parasitic class which could be subdivided into welfare queens (poorer people who live on the dole) rent seeking crony capitalists (corporate welfare queens) then you have a government bureaucracy and finally a political class who runs everything.
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby kwils21 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:27 pm

Great show as always, Dan.

In light of your comment (which I agree with) about there being no reason to expect Obama to be any better in his second term because he wouldn't throw his VP or other party members under the bus, I want to ask: doesn't this mean that term limits wouldn't solve anything? You used to bring up the idea of term limits from time to time. Have you given up on that idea, or do you see some other benefit to it?
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby Kolokol888 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:31 pm

evil muppet wrote: I think that Americans have a more economic understanding of class while Europeans have a social-economic understanding of class. In the US someone's class depends almost solely on their income. In Europe it is a social function as much as income. You can have rich peasants and poor aristocrats. Often you'd have people in the middle class who were much wealthier than people in the upper class.


I agree with this - well maybe its a bit characaturized. But does this mean that classes are irrellevant so long as they only pertain to income?

I sometime think people get a little too focused on income level when talking about class - as I see it the key component to class is opportunity. Having money gives you better opportunities in life so while it is true you can have rich members of the lower class (class as social function) in a longer timeframe that familiy will migrate to upper classes because of the options money provides.

I think class is a somewhat obsolete term, and we no longer use it in scandinavia, rather we talk about 'social inheritance'. This means children of lower educated parent have a much more difficult time in school and thus likely to be undereducated themselves.

Would replacing 'class' with 'social inheritance' or similar change anything? Perhaps a backdoor to opening the discussion in US
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby jediuser598 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:08 pm

I hate to do this but I'm going to put my real life into this.

Right now I feel as if I'm in the middle of classes. I'm in the middle of the poor class and the lower middle class. The paradigms with which these people tackle their lives are entirely different, but in both classes I see the same people but with different dogmas, yet there is still a rush to dogma.

I got into an argument with my father while we are were on our way to a funeral (I'm too poor to have enough gas money to drive to a funeral so it's either carpool or don't go.) and after arguing for a bit he ends up with just saying "You should just believe what I say." He himself, he's had a rather successful entrepreneurial business, which right now is facing tough times because of the economy.

I've always been smart. I don't know why but I've never bought into the superstructure of beliefs that most people in my specific area subscribe to. I'm an atheist among Christians, I am a want-to-be intellectual among community college attendees. Visiting these forums, I know on a regular basis that I'm not a genius, yet I'm consistently introduced as such by people who I go to school with, when I go to new classes. Things like, "Charles, you don't need to spend so much time writing on that, we already know you're a genius." - one of my fellow classmates, or introduced as, "the guy who sets the curve."

This reveals to me that classes have a certain gravity to which they pull on beliefs and the people that inhabit those beliefs. I'm trying like hell to break out of my class (poor) right now and into an educated lower-middle class (hopefully a teacher), but the beliefs and perspectives and fuel for the drive to that breaking through I've found are simply not there. I've had to manufacture artificial happiness and drive, and ignore 98% of the people I know in real life in order to justify my moving from a poor class to a higher class, and I'm still not certain I'm going to make it.

A lot of the lower class live in a different reality, they don't have the same perspective, they don't have the same measure of intelligence.

The same people that exist in the poorest class who are so prone to dogma are also the same type of people, like educators who rush to irrational dogma. I met a biology teacher who didn't want to teach evolution, I met a anthropology who scoffed at that idea, I have an English teacher who consistently dumbs everything down to an incomprehensible level, then I know people who are being preyed upon by for-profit online universities, I know desperate people who are trapped in escalating debt because they wanted to feed their kids so they went to a pay-day loan place, or a buy-here pay-here place whose only objective is to get their customers to default on their car loan. The predation is constant, and steady, and the harvesting of wealth from desperate people is astounding.

The game is rigged, I'm lucky to have no criminal record, no kids, and access to the internet so that I can become informed and aware. Without that? I don't know where I'd be.

America is harvesting the poor, wholesale, and not just their money but their dreams, and their bodies, then they're blaming the poor for all of the problems. What part of the American military is made up of the poor? Most people I know who went into the military didn't go because of patriotism (while a lot do) they went because of opportunity. The military is one way to ascend that ladder to another class, but it takes its toll.

I worked in drywall for a while with my family and friends and the illusion is absolute and it is appalling. Even the music contributes to it, it paints that picture that this is the only way to be.

I still have hope though, because when I run out of happiness, when I run out of hope, I still have anger, and you guys of course. :drunk:
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Re: CS Show #218 "Up Your Class"

Postby jediuser598 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:16 pm

Taliesin wrote:
boethius wrote:...
If we don't have to toil for our daily bread, it is simply monstrous to "make work" for people. We should use that freedom for art, music, philosophy, science, bullshitting at the pub, etc... Anything but digging holes just to fill them back up or shuffling paper from in box to out box and back to the in box just to keep people holed up in cubicles for 8 hours a day.


Ideally, that's what we would do. But the evidence of the past decade or so seems to indicate that people don't generally use the free time to engage in Jeffersonian self-improvement; they watch Jersey Shore, get black-out drunk, have tons and tons of casual sex, and engage in competitive consumerism. Is this acceptable? Does it represent a shifting of the foundational morals and aspirations of western society? If so, how ought it be changed? Or can it simply not be challenged at all?


How can they when under the yoke of such poor education? It is hard to aspire to be the best you can be if you have no conception of what is the best. It is this "everyone is special" bullshit. People don't have to aspire to be anything, they've achieved everything they need to achieve to be recognized as something significant because they were born.

Such Irony.
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