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September 07, 2017

Comments

wj thanks for the xkcd link, it made me laugh so hard I almost couldn't breathe.

I like the version # thing especially much. The article I saw yesterday (?) mentioned that "X" is pronounced "ten" twice in the first two paragraphs. That's when I stopped reading, so I don't know if there was a third mention, or a fourth, or an 1876th.

I see bob's bark, like mine, may be worse than his bite.

I have rage issues, and seem to be somewhat reflexively antisocial, especially in extended relationships. When it is demanded that I jump through the ritualistic social hoops and cues, like North Country Girl says, I have to fight very hard not to rebel.

"What about that mass murderer Stalin?"
"Well, you know, ..."

I wouldn't get along with Socrates at all

"Well, let us start. What is justice?"
"Justice is eating the heart of a small child for breakfast every day."

I'm kinda ok with grotesque immaturity. Probably done as little real damage to others as anyone you know, although haven't helped much either. Solitude is my lifelong companion and comfort.

that's on the contractor and not the employees who had taxes withheld.

yeah, could be. when i talked to his foreman (who was trying to get the job of finishing the house for us), he told me about the withholding issue. he thought he was going to be on the hook for it. but this was just days after we all found out what was going on, so it's possible he didn't have all the facts about his situation yet.

I was particularly taken with the "High thread count CPU" feature.

so smooth and yet so supple! warm, too!

The Audubon Society app that identifies birds and lets you control their flight got me for some reason.

When it is demanded that I jump through the ritualistic social hoops and cues, like North Country Girl says, I have to fight very hard not to rebel.

I hope it's not just ritualistic social hoops and cues, bob, but maybe it is just part of the dance of being able to maintain the conversation, without someone (anyone) being driven to stalk out in fury and/or paranoia. It's because I value the exchange of views, and don't want that to end or degrade. I've certainly noticed in the past your tendency to take terrible offence when you thought someone (lj) had implicitly insulted you, when he meant no such thing and in fact clearly respected you a great deal. However, each to their own, and I have no doubt that my attempts to keep things civil are extremely annoying to some (certainly sapient, and I guess you as well). Oh well, that's life I guess.

cleek,
I assume you took out a loan against the house equity to finance the job...so the bank could care less about managing the contractor...not their job.

whudda' mess.

GFNC

Oh well, that's life I guess.

For sure. We need a "snark font" like commenters employ at LGM.

Cleek,

Tell the foreman to make sure he has a W-2, and if not that he hangs on to pay stubs and files a form something-or-other with the IRS. He can Google "my employer didn't submit my taxes" or something similar to get details.

However, each to their own, and I have no doubt that my attempts to keep things civil are extremely annoying to some (certainly sapient, and I guess you as well).

Calm down, please, GftNC. I just don't like it when you soft-sell people's views, although you're certainly entitled to your interpretation.

...someone (lj) had implicitly insulted you, when he meant no such thing and in fact clearly respected you a great deal.

Foucault, I think focused a little too much on the negative manifestations of everyday power, and we are lucky that his successors demonstrated that often what feels to the initiator to be kindness, flattery, or benign ritual...for instance the gaze, the wolf whistle or inappropriate compliment... are the more powerful means of enforcing hegemonic hierarchies.

And no doubt, often it is projection and paranoia. I may have excessive empathy for the asbergerish and the abject. Years on skid row have made me too free and unsyncopated.

An everyday hermeneutic of suspicion is too hard on everybody, and I can only apologize with a hope that I am the one hurt the more.

often what feels to the initiator to be kindness, flattery, or benign ritual...for instance the gaze, the wolf whistle or inappropriate compliment... are the more powerful means of enforcing hegemonic hierarchies.

This sounds (although I may be misinterpreting) like you are saying that kindness is a bad thing. Usually, or at least often.

But it seems to me that lack of kindness would be far more a means of "enforcing hegemonic hierarchies."

You're so much prettier when you smile, wj. (Maybe I think I'm being kind. Do you?)

"enforcing hegemonic hierarchies"

my least-favorite Yes album

This sounds (although I may be misinterpreting) like you are saying that kindness is a bad thing. Usually, or at least often.

Sometimes. Depends on the unconscious power relations and recognition of agency.

Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak," about Western attempts to stop a young Hindu woman from climbing on her husbands funeral pyre, addresses this somewhat.

Consider 2:00 a fart from badly digested post-structuralism. Believe it or not, and understanding there is so much irony I no longer know myself, I consider myself ridiculous and silly, and am laughing at myself not you while unsuccessfully trying to think. Sometimes I wonder if I am hoping to be ignored until I go back to my reading.

But...addictive webs are addictive, and am linking some self-deprecation over at the Hurricane Bob thread.

You're so much prettier when you smile, wj. (Maybe I think I'm being kind. Do you?)

I'm having serious trouble wrapping my head around the idea of anyone calling me "pretty"....

whelp, this isn't great.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/13/black-lives-matter-targets-jefferson-monument-in-charlottesville.html

About 100 students, faculty and community members – some invoking "Black Lives Matter" chants – showed up at the Charlottesville, Va. university and placed a black tarp on a monument honoring Thomas Jefferson, a U.S. Founding Father and a founder of the university.

...

At the rally on Tuesday, several people climbed atop the Jefferson monument and placed signs on it that called him a "racist" and "rapist." Students also chanted "No Trump, No KKK, no racist U-V-A," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


Letter from Theresa Sullivan (president of UVA) that appeared in my inbox this morning:

Dear alumni and friends of the University,

Last night about forty students held a demonstration on the north side of the Rotunda and as part of this demonstration, they shrouded the Jefferson statue, desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred. I strongly disagree with the protestors’ decision to cover the Jefferson statue. University personnel removed the shroud. One person was arrested for public intoxication. These are the facts of the situation, regardless of what you may read in media accounts of those who have their own agenda.

Coming just one month after the August 11 torchlight march by 300 racist and anti-Semitic protesters, a march that became violent, this event has reminded us that there are critical and sometimes divisive issues related to the exercise of free expression in an inclusive community.

I would like to frame this issue somewhat differently. Thomas Jefferson was an ardent believer in freedom of expression, and he experienced plenty of abusive treatment from the newspapers of his day. He would likely not be surprised to find that when there are critical disagreements in the polity, those disagreements will find expression at his University. UVA's importance as a university is underscored by the fact that arguments about free expression, hate speech, and similar issues occur here. Sometimes these arguments are noisy.

In your own college days, many of you experienced protests and activism at UVA. The war in Vietnam, Watergate, 9/11, and many other issues have been discussed, debated, and protested at UVA. We are at another such point. I prefer the process of discussion and debate, and the debate is happening here at UVA with a wide variety of guest speakers, panels, and other opportunities to look at underlying issues. That there is also activism should not be a surprise to any of us.

With my best wishes,

I thought it was a good response.

yeah, i like that, too.

I thought it was a good response.

thirded

Yeah, moderate and reasonable, and moderately accepting. And the sacred ground was unshrouded.

Seal of Virginia ...woman with law in one arm and violence in the other

Jokingly explicated, by the right as far back as the Civil War, but also by the Black Panthers (I think) in the 60s as:

"I'll be reasonable when you get your foot off my neck."

"enforcing hegemonic hierarchies"

my least-favorite Yes album

Made me laugh out loud (very rare these days).

bob mcm @ 02.00 p.m.: got it.

Also @03.34 PM.

"I'll be reasonable when you get your foot off my neck."

Isn't that the proper translation of "Sic semper tyrannus"?

We need a "snark font" like commenters employ at LGM.

That's the font that I *always* use, but somehow it just looks like the other fonts. Weird.

That's the font that I *always* use, but somehow it just looks like the other fonts. Weird.

Really? I see it.

often what feels to the initiator to be kindness, flattery, or benign ritual... are the more powerful means of enforcing hegemonic hierarchies.

Bob has a really good point here, but he may forget that I have lived in Japan for 30 years, where that principle is taken to its absolute limit.

And a little synchronicity

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/13/trotsky-ice-axe-murder-mexico-city

Bob has a really good point here, but he may forget that I have lived in Japan for 30 years, where that principle is taken to its absolute limit.

Didn't forget at all, and in fact I was going to bring in a Japanese example, but we may differ on interpretations and preferences. Besides the books, I also watch perhaps too much media, but my understanding is that media in order to be entertaining and interesting, must at least brush on social problems, if only in a humorous or shallow manner. But often much more seriously, within the constraints of the social system.

I like honorifics and some name conventions as I understand them. I have gone through this at CT with Holbo.

I don't like to be physically touched, and am wary of intrusions into my personal emotional space by relative strangers.

I am stuck with my "nym" and don't mean to criticize anyone who has followed standard American practices, but when called "Bob" by a stranger I am reminded of the used car salesmen who wraps his arm around my shoulder and says:"Can I call you Bob? I can call you Bob, right."

It is a forced intimacy meant to disarm and weaken, to put me into a position where I must try to avoid disagreement and conflict. Soon I will be saying 25k for that car is a bargain. Or of course I must side with the school administrator in pursuit of order and reasoned discussion or be a troll.

As I understand the Japanese name conventions, the use of -san and -sama, the abuse of -chan and -kun, the reluctance to use first names except on declared intimacy, some problems of personalized abuse of these
hierarchical interactions are institutionalized and socialized. It becomes deeply embedded that "this is the way things are" or "can't be helped" instead of "I thought you were my friend, why did you betray me."

The ungendered use of -san reminds me of the compulsory "comrade" in the theoretically egalitarian societies. I like it. Course anime may be lying to me, but even then it may express some socialized ideal. And it certainly doesn't resolve all problems of exploitation and power.

I find Okaeri tadaima frankly maddening, but the Japanese seem to find comfort in it.

I know of office ladies, and the brutal inequality of the education system, the horror of aged unemployment, the lack of support for singles, etc etc but I find their solutions at least interesting compared to American ones and use the results, say Gini indices and crime, to gauge the relative success of systems.

Perhaps the best and most talented get fewer opportunities in Japan, but perhaps the least and most unlucky have slightly better prospects.

Absolutely would loathe living in Japan. I'm a asocial pothead.

Fire away.

I Am Not Being Snarky

And with all due respect, lj, I have spent enough time in the youtube expatriates in Japan industry, both haters and lovers, to take as authoritative only one voice from Japan.

I didn't mention the death-by-overwork culture. Japan is not that attractive. Just interesting.

(the PRE tag does most of what the CODE tag does, but it adds line feeds around the text)

but when called "Bob" by a stranger I am reminded of the used car salesmen who wraps his arm around my shoulder and says:"Can I call you Bob? I can call you Bob, right."

This reminds me of a great cartoon, where a couple seated at a table in a restaurant, and the guy says to the waiter,

"Nice to meet you, Bob. Do you mind if we call you 'waiter'?"

Hi bob mcmanus,
Not suggesting that I am authoritative in any way, just suggesting that the reaction you have to people being polite as a way of getting their way may color your reaction to me and to point out that I come by that from living here cause it is hard to imagine trying to resist it here.

I'm not living here now because I find Japan attractive, though it has its charm points. I know of a few people who have picked up and left after 2 more decades. Alex Bennett takes that up here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giAm-G2xJj8

I'm just here because I ended up here. That's it, there are things that pulled me here, but if I'd been looking in another direction, I would have ended up somewhere else. Or I might of been run over by a truck, who knows.

I've got a long post brewing about Japanese hospitals and medicine and my current entanglement with the system. Hope it is of interest.

"Bill, would you mind if I called you Waiter?"

I come by that from living here cause it is hard to imagine trying to resist it here.

A while back, oh over the course of a couple years, I watched a few seasons of the Begin Japanology series. After a while I started to notice that the body language and posture of Peter Barakan, American in Japan for forty years, seemed just a little overpolite, tentative, intimidated, tense, passive compared to Japanese men. It is a tough system to understand where and when to cross the lines.

So much sadness. One show I watched was about an American who wanted to become a Noh performer. Hearbreaking to see after twenty years his inability to break in.

Re: Barakan

It was like what's wrong with his shoulders, he looks like a factory worker.

Then I glommed that Barakan at least when working, has a permanent slight bow of automatic deference. He may not be aware of it, or he's plenty smart and the permanent bow is useful to an interviewer. In some circumstances too much deference, but not enough to get called or corrected, may generate just a slight response of contempt and a feedback effect.

Since I noticed it, I started seeing that hunch in older Japanese women, but of a certain class; elite women, especially when younger are taller (though this is changing) and stand straighter.

And of course the hunch can come from decades of hard physical labor.

I'm probably boring everybody.

I'm probably boring everybody.

Nope. Not me, anyway.

There's a reason why mono no aware is a Japanese concept.

Overpolite and tentative, I'll cop to those, but intimidated, tense, passive, not so much. Though one can pick up intimidated and tense from language, one can also (mistakenly) assume that it is there from a comparison with western norms. You may have contempt for him, do the Japanese around him have contempt? Of course, the foreigner has to be more Japanese than the Japanese. But contempt?

Being a wannabe musician trained me pretty well for Japan. Unless you are one of those blessed few, you get where you want to be through a series of being in the right place at the right time events. The Noh performer also, I'm assuming, had to deal with Japanese blocking him out, so it is sad that he might be as good or better than any Japanese out there, but he's never going to get the chance. But isn't that true for most of the rest of the world? Some other folks here might think that people only get where they are because of inherent worth, but I would never accuse you of thinking that.

I see a lot of things you point out. But I think you are putting a western spin on it, which has you use words like 'intimidated' and 'contempt'. Too much deference is a way (probably the only way here, certainly the way that works the best) to say 'fuck you' in Japanese. The sickest burns, as they say, are when a person suddenly changes register and puts themselves way below the person they are talking to. The sudden change in register can stop a Japanese person in their tracks and there is no way to recover.

You can see the physical equivalent here when Kyuzo Mifune, at the age of 75, gives up 20 or 30 pounds and a few inches of height. At 0:55, he goes in the direction of the throw to stop his opponent then at 1:05, with a simple shift of weight, down and to the side, throws the opponent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwsvJ8FfyY8

There are other videos on the net, but this one is interesting because both his opponents are Americans, I believe. No deferential students taking it easy on their elderly teacher.

I bow when I'm talking on the phone in Japanese. Maybe I got beaten down. But I know folks who have insisted that they were going to keep their western traits, Japan or no. They aren't here anymore. Don't know if that means I won, or I'm just too stupid to leave.

At 0:55, he goes in the direction of the throw to stop his opponent then at 1:05, with a simple shift of weight, down and to the side, throws the opponent.

Never seen that before; fascinating... 1:55, too !

Too much deference is a way (probably the only way here, certainly the way that works the best) to say 'fuck you' in Japanese.

Terrific point. I am amazed at how much sarcasm, as long as a person stays within the "rules" is allowed in Japan.

Veering back (vaguely) towards the original post, we have this tweet this morning from noted flaming liberal (/sarcasm) Ann Coulter:

At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?
What more can one say...? Could sanity be creeping in?

Could sanity be creeping in?

debatable!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/trump-republicans.html

1) Oh Noes! Another tick off my Times counter

2) Note on OP PPACA not safe yet.

As far as Pelosi and Schumer offering up a solution to the national debt and making it easy for Trump to offer hurricane Harvey Relief. The Democrat relief gesture was humane; however, McConnell says he has a counter measure to the maneuver by Democrats to renegotiate the National Debt in December. Republicans are planning to stick it to Democrats and “all” constituents with a repeal of the ACA and by killing a large percentage of the subsidies. In the end if the repeal does happen, Pelosi and Schumer’s kind hearted display of bi-partisanship will be recognized as the dumbest move Democrats have ever made. They should have waited a week or so to extend the help.
End of a medium long article

3) In utterly too personal triviality, after sometimes thinking my brain is gone with age, and trying to remember where I put my coffee cup,and wondering why I bother to read at all if if just flows through the ears and eyes to the ether...I was thinking about the 15th C and Noh and Zeami came through. Yayyy. And just a minute later, after worrying for days that I couldn't remember the director of Ugetsu Mizoguchi came through. Can't take any credit or pride here, just a reminder that I ain't dead yet.

4) My greed and gluttony prevent me from enough rewatches and rereads.

Could sanity be creeping in?

debatable!

He's zigging and zagging. He's shaking and baking. He's not just the POTUS, he's an NFL-quality broken field runner.

His people love him because he's him. What he says or does don't matter that much. He's Donald. That's enough.

Never seen that before

I took an aikido class once where the teacher was blind. He was not a guy to be trifled with.

Trump Courts Democrats on Tax Bill

Mostly only Manchin and Heitkamp, Donnelly of Indiana

But Pelosi and Schumer showed it is fine to cross the aisle

It will definitely be a ROTFLOL moment if Trump ends up signing on to a tax reform bill which actually raises taxes on the wealthy.

But what a great way for him to get back at all those wealthy people who snubbed him all these years!

please, Nancy and Chuck, don't make me have nice thoughts about that scumbag.

wj: there was a NYT editorial today, the decried the "financial bubbles" that come from stocks, housing, assets, etc.

Yeah, we can prevent all of that stuff by just cranking up the capital gains tax, not that they want to hear that.

Someone suggests it to Trump at just the right time, and who knows what happens?

No matter what its other features, anything which claims to be tax reform, but leaves capital gains taxed at a different rate than other income is seriously flawed. Regardless of the impact on bubbles.

please, Nancy and Chuck, don't make me have nice thoughts about that scumbag.

eyes on the prize.

there was a NYT editorial today, the decried the "financial bubbles" that come from stocks, housing, assets, etc.

Bubbles are what you get when interest rates are kept artificially low.

that scumbag

I agree entirely with the assessment, but in purely party political terms, he is something of a force of randomness...

Speaking of which, this is a very interesting article which explores a moral perspective little addressed:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/18/the-sorrow-and-the-shame-of-the-accidental-killer
(No direct comparison or excuse for Trump intended.)

Fascinating and important article, Nigel. Thank you.

From Nigel's link:

A German S.S. officer, for instance, might have led a harmless or even an exemplary life had he lived elsewhere, or had the Nazis never come to power. Nagel thinks that the “area of genuine agency, and therefore of legitimate moral judgment, seems to shrink under this scrutiny to an extensionless point.” Nagel’s epigrammatic language reads more like Scripture than like philosophy. He concludes, “Everything we do belongs to a world that we have not created.”

A German S.S. officer, for instance, might have led a harmless or even an exemplary life had he lived elsewhere, or had the Nazis never come to power.

In a way, that's true. But we are part of the world, whether or not we have created it. And the capacity to make moral decisions in reaction to what we are given seems to be our task as human beings. I don't know that a random tragic accidental misfortune is similar to having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time given that other people managed to react to events differently.

A German S.S. officer, for instance, might have led a harmless or even an exemplary life had he lived elsewhere, or had the Nazis never come to power.

There were people who lived in that society, and who did not acquiesce to Nazism.

There were, in fact, German military officers of that time who did not acquiesce to Nazism.

What you want is a society where people don't have to be utterly heroic in order to be good.

That's not always a given. And, those conditions are frequently not consistently available to everyone.

I don't know that a random tragic accidental misfortune is similar to having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time given that other people managed to react to events differently.

I agree. There are more decisions involved in becoming an SS officer than in being, by chance, where a little kid runs into the road too suddenly for you not to hit him.

I thought it was an interesting quote, and one that reflects thoughts I've had since I was a child.

I can remember being 8 to 10 years old and thinking about being born in the United States, as opposed to some Third World country where I would be likely to live in grinding poverty, without running water or air conditioning or access to good food (or TV!!!). I thought what a lucky accident that was - something I had no hand in.

I could have lived in the 8th Century in a village overrun by Viking invaders. I could have been tortured during the Spanish Inquisition. I could have been captured by slavers and lived a horrible, brutal life of pure desperation in bondage.

But I got to watch cartoons and eat ice cream.

What you want is a society where people don't have to be utterly heroic in order to be good.

And this. But the response from some people to any suggestion of policy intended to make people less likely to do the wrong thing is that you're excusing people's bad choices. It's almost as though some people would rather have someone to blame and to punish than to prevent whatever wrongs were committed.

CharlesWT: Bubbles are what you get when interest rates are kept artificially low.

Mystery of the Missing Inflation ...Nouriel Roubini

"This is the view taken by the Bank for International Settlements, which argues that it is time to lower the inflation target from 2% to 0% – the rate that can now be expected, given permanent supply shocks."

Fighting Bubbles: High Interest Rates Are Not the Best Route ...Dean Baker

Shrug

On the SS Officer question, I saw this play ("Good") in the West End years ago, with the late great actor Alan Howard in the lead.

http://www.alanhoward.org.uk/broadwaygood.htm

As I recall, it showed how a quite "good", normal human being might slide down the slippery slope given certain circumstances. An extract from the link:

What gripped him about the drama was the playwright's handling of the theme of moral disintegration. As Howard sees it, "Halder is an average man trying his best with a wife, a mistress, a senile, demanding mother and kids. It's a sad, hollow, inadequate existence." Vulnerable to flattery, morally indecisive, academically aloof from the reality of the Nazi regime, Halder becomes easy prey to megalomaniacal bullies. But Howard warns those who are tempted to feel morally superior. "It's bloody nearly impossible to put ourselves in a pre-Holocaust mind," he says. "What were these people like before they knew what we know now? What about us and the Bomb? That really is the issue today. Are we on the threshold of some other terrifying historical process which only our great-grandchildren will know about? And are we morally up to scratch to handle it?"
Nagel thinks that the “area of genuine agency, and therefore of legitimate moral judgment, seems to shrink under this scrutiny to an extensionless point.”

And yet, as long as you have a SECRET ballot, people can decide whether to vote for Hitler, or not, and whether to vote for Trump, or not.

And they shouldn't get let off the hook for the choice they made.

"I could have lived in the 8th Century in a village overrun by Viking invaders. I could have been tortured during the Spanish Inquisition. I could have been captured by slavers and lived a horrible, brutal life of pure desperation in bondage.

But I got to watch cartoons and eat ice cream"

Well, you could have been all of these things, you just remember the ice cream.

this is not my beautiful house. this is not my beautiful wife. where did that ice cream go to?

Well, you could have been all of these things, you just remember the ice cream.

Then, in what sense would those things be "me"?

I mean, I get what you're saying, and I've thought about that sort of thing, too. In fact, one incarnation of God that I've considered is that we're all God, we just don't know it individually. When I'm being me, I only know I'm me. But I'm also you and everyone else, just as you are.

God, as God, is the one who knows we are all God, and remembers being all of us, from the beginning to the end of time.

Please Call Me by My True Names. hsh's God, asking to be called into being?

Are we on the threshold of some other terrifying historical process which only our great-grandchildren will know about?

Total Surveillance Society

And are we morally up to scratch to handle it?"

I don't understand the question. We will continue to work laugh cry screw suffer die.

hah, I would say that the previous life experience get reflected in who you are. Do you see how good your life Is? How do you react to seeing others impoverished or enslaved? Not in a thoughtful, that's intellectual bad kind of way nut in a visceral reaction based on experience.

I think you can carry lives forward as a significant part of who you are, my experience with children makes me believe it more. They seem to have different levels of reaction, honest and unfiltered, to different things that happen around then.

But, that's just my anecdotal view.

bob mcm: what you omit from your list of things we will do is "inflict suffering". You may of course consider that one cannot live without doing so. But what I believe the question means is, will we be "morally up to scratch" enough to avoid inflicting suffering, as much as possible and/or foreseeable.

I think you can carry lives forward as a significant part of who you are, my experience with children makes me believe it more. They seem to have different levels of reaction, honest and unfiltered, to different things that happen around then.

Possibly evidence of reincarnation, or maybe just DNA.

Getting back to Nigel's link, that's another thing we don't get to choose - our genes. Randomness abounds.

Girl from the North Country: you might be interested in Browning's "Ordinary Men" (if you haven't read it already).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Browning#Ordinary_Men

hsh's God, asking to be called into being?

That's an even more expansive God. My conception was that God experiences every moment of human consciousness through all of time as a sort of singularity. What constitutes "human consciousness" is an open question.

I think I like Thích Nhất Hạnh's version even better. It's Goddier.

But what I believe the question means is, will we be "morally up to scratch" enough to avoid inflicting suffering, as much as possible and/or foreseeable.

1) The Total Surveillance Society on the near horizon is one in which we are on camera, recorded to a database, analyzed mostly by AI algorithms 24/7/365/birth to death.

If the wife says no and the husband persists, the door is broken down by authorities or alerted neighbors within 30 seconds because the interaction is live on camera, analyzed by computer algorithms. No theft or use of illegal drugs or banned porn or interperonal violence or subversion and rebellion. Whatever.

Behavior will adjust very fast. I think it will look much more like Huxley than Orwell. We will be smiling at the camera and holding back our tempers until our tempers, or those who lack control will disappear. There may or not be Big Brother, norms and enforcement may be determined by democratic means, including what needs to be enforced.

Everyone will not be watching each other at all times, but we will all be watched. The transition will be painful, but I am unclear as to how much suffering will remain after full implementation. Everyone will be happy in the Brave New World.

I will quote myself from a current active CT thread, in which I am ignored as a troll wherein the rest find entertainment in judging exactly how much suffering should be inflicted on the child-murderer.

Jones and Harvard

Ok, one little abstract dwell, taking [Dierdre] Golash, and maybe Foucault and funhouse-mirror Nietzsche to my favorite lonesome hermitage, cause troll.

Societies are mechanisms to institutionalize the pleasures of the exercise of personal and social power, both reward and punishment, inclusion and exclusion.

My instinct is to protect Jones from interpersonal and private punishment, including shunning etc. Apparently this mercy without qualities is tentatively shared by all in this thread.

Not for her, but for us.

Society is designed in order to facilitate me giving my son* a bike and taking it away when he stays out past curfew. Or a $50k SUV.

*I have no son. I withdrew in my twenties when I decided it was impossible to neither harm** or create opportunities for others to harm me. Perhaps this makes me a coward or psychotic, I certainly will not claim sainthood.

**One random incident involved my uncle's housewife, Devout Catholic, jumping in to try to stop an argument between him and me about atheism. Tipsy Uncle looked at her and said:"You should remember where the money comes from." They are still married after 6 decades.

I am weak and unforgiving perhaps, perhaps incapable of love, but daily life is painful to this observer.

Shorter: It is a world of immanent constant cruelty, paid for with intermittent kindness. We seem to like it that way.

Final note: I was less drunk than my uncle, and in that interchange I asked myself if I was harming his wife or their relationship by discussing atheism.

I want my epitaph to read:"He was contemptibly powerless."

The Total Surveillance Society on the near horizon is one in which we are on camera, recorded to a database, analyzed mostly by AI algorithms 24/7/365/birth to death.

If the wife says no and the husband persists, the door is broken down by authorities or alerted neighbors within 30 seconds because the interaction is live on camera, analyzed by computer algorithms.

Really? I can see us getting to the point where we are generally monitored when we are in public. But I am far from convinced that we will reach the point where we are monitored constantly in our own homes. (Not to mention if we are in a rural or wilderness setting, rather than an urban one.)

But I am far from convinced that we will reach the point where we are monitored constantly in our own homes.

Does the right to privacy balance out against rape or a murdered child? Let us discuss.

Thank you, novakant.

I will quote myself from a current active CT thread, in which I am ignored as a troll wherein the rest find entertainment in judging exactly how much suffering should be inflicted on the child-murderer.

Out of curiosity I have just read the relevant thread at CT. It repaid the effort. Here it is, for anybody else who may be interested:

http://crookedtimber.org/2017/09/14/michelle-jones-and-the-shame-of-harvard/

I consider myself monitored for much of my day on the internet and although it is known, and I know it is known, I worry little about admitting pot use in an illegal state or watching copyrighted material on youtube. It will may remain a tolerant society in many ways and intolerant in ways most of us will find acceptable.

Does the right to privacy balance out against rape or a murdered child? Let us discuss.

The world is full of 1 in a billion chances for something bad to happen. Something bad that could be avoided by a massive restriction on everyone's freedom.

How big, or how small, does a probability of a problem have to be to warrant how massive an intrusion? That's basically the issue.

We'll never get to perfect safety. So where do we decide to draw the line?

How big, or how small, does a probability of a problem have to be to warrant how massive an intrusion? That's basically the issue.

No, the issue will be emotional, social, and political with some slight restraints provided by scientific analysis, consequential and deontological arguments.

Facebook, Equifax, Euro fights over histories, Internet of Things...we are so close everybody can see it from here.

Well, as we decipher the way we perceive the universe to create a "timeline" for ourselves we will be able to monitor each entities timeline. No cameras required.

As everything "is" already, we just pick which to perceive anyway.

Bob, allow me to note that, in order to provide perfect safety, we would have to ban anything which might be used as a weapon. (Including everything from guns to baseball bats to kitchen knives.) Which means that the prospects for the revolution you desire/predict drop to zero.

You want an effective way to make sure that the Panopticon Society doesn't get too pervasive?

Make sure that the Rich&Powerful are subject to exactly as much total surveillance as us peons.

That might require gnat-sized spy drones that feed directly into Youtube, following Paul Ryan around. Get cracking, techies!

One reason I 'embrace' bob mcmanus is that here in Japan, we seem to be a lot closer to the all seeing, all knowing state and when he says something like, I feel like 'welcome to my world'.

Not exactly though. I started in Japan on a government program that brought a lot of uni grads to teach in the Japanese education system. There were a few people who had huge problems with the level of intrusiveness. Some of the people within the group ended up acting as liaisons. I was one of them. I remember reacting to an Australian who was convinced that his phone was tapped by saying just speak with your normal accent, no one will understand you.

AI promises/threatens to deal with that by dealing with all that information, which is even more horrifying, because who knows if you are going to get picked up because someone's AI algorithm screws up.

Japanese society also has the ability to make an example of someone for doing something that everyone else is doing. Funny how this person is usually someone who is an outsider. The solution of going somewhere where you are not an outsider isn't available, especially when the society where you were nominally an insider has changed so much. You can never go home.

Figuring out where one can push back and where one can't becomes a constant. For people who don't think that exists, that's insider privilege talking.

Founder of Bitcoin Discovered by Writing Style ...DHS used stylometry

I see these articles everyday.

Matt Stoller on the history of credit bureaus. Excellent

Now I have to finish the Jacques Rivette 2:20 he is always a challenge

Followed by Excel Saga, which maybe the interested could easily find online. Yup, there's a little, recommend the sub of course. Amazing performance by the seiyuu at 100 words per minute

Followed by Full Metal Panic:Fumoffu. Oh this a perfect glory, Kyoto Animation's first series. So class, so funny, so romantic, so casually experimental, so warm, so beautiful. In a lot of people's top ten. Opening here might be enough. Also a taste on youtube.

Episode 2

Yeah, I remain an adolescent in my heart.

"I started in Japan on a government program that brought a lot of uni grads to teach in the Japanese education system."

Is that the program to have native English speakers teaching English in Japanese schools? And if so, do you know if the program is still active?

I just don't want to be giving bad advice when I tell kids that they might want to look into it.

Yep, still going. There has been talk in closing it down, but with the 2020 Olympics, the voices for keeping it have been louder.

http://jetprogramme.org/en/

If you are advising folks and you'd like to put them in touch with me, please feel free, I'll drop a message with my 'real' email to you.

[edit] looks like your email is a placeholder, drop me an email at libjpn gmail if you want.

Looking over the thread, the CT discussion of Jones reminded me that I read this

http://sciencenordic.com/danes-killed-get-killed

No implied connection to the Jones case, just synchronicity.

You want an effective way to make sure that the Panopticon Society doesn't get too pervasive?

my plan is to bore our panoptical overlords into a stupor with long irate screeds about donald trump, google searches for trivia about patristic theology, jazz harmony, and cool honda engine swaps, and ebay bids on old cymbals.

i mix in random queries about lederhosen and cavy husbandry. just to keep the algorithms on their toes.

lj, thanks. It's not any sort of formal advising, but "hey, you might want to consider..." for kids that are at that stage of life, but not quite sure where to go next.

Peace Corps is the other option I mention, but it has much more visibility.

Re:Michele Jones at CT

FWIW Second Wave 70s Japanese feminism had a major focus on associating themselves with women child-killers for a while.

Setsu Shigamatsu - Scream from the Shadows - Womens Liberation in Japan, 2012

An early sentence that might show why I read theory and don't quite understand intellectual political work that doesn't, as in CT threads.

"This project seeks to problematize extant comparativist frameworks that assume self- same unity between national and linguistic entities and identities and, rather, attends to the imbrications and interpenetration of local, linguistic, transcultural, and transnational forces."

"This chapter not only elaborates how ribu refused the identity and prescriptive telos of wife-to-mother but demonstrates how many ribu activists instead formed communes with other women to raise their children and simultaneously declared their solidarity with mothers who killed their children (kogoroshi no onna). In purposely organizing to support and declare solidarity with such violent and criminalized women, ribu’s praxis as a radical feminist movement offered a complex and counterhegemonic response to how womanhood and motherhood in Japan were bound by the ideology of Japan’s nationalist family system. Ribu’s identification with criminalized and abjected women/onna— such as sex workers, unmarried mothers (mikon no haha), mothers who killed their children, and women fugitives— was part of its radical feminist politics and arguably marked the radical potential and revolutionary impulse of its feminist politics."

bob mcmanus, you are probably aware of this, but maybe others are not, in Japan, mothers killing their children and then committing suicide themselves is, well, I don't want to say, common, but certainly more common that in the US. In fact, there is a term for it, Oyako Shinju.

https://www.japanpsychiatrist.com/Abstracts/Shinju.html

The case of Fumiko Kimura is the most famous for US folks.

http://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1561&context=sjsj

http://escholarship.org/uc/item/9xq9b2r6

The first article asks a question I often find myself asking

"If Kimura’s actions constituted temporary insanity, despite their being in keeping with Japanese culture, wouldn’t that make Japanese culture similarly insane? "

Some might say that is a distance from what Jones did, but this is not

http://www.smh.com.au/world/why-japans-isolated-mothers-are-killing-their-children-20081107-5k7s.html

Those are when the woman loses face, but with hard economic times, we have cases of families doing this. This happened in July in the neighboring prefecture
https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2017072300305&g=soc
This is just a police report article, but it identifies two parents and two children found dead in a car in a forest near Fukuoka.

A second one, this time from Yamagata
https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2017050700448&g=soc

Last line of that story "Inside the car was a paper with the words 'I'm sorry' written on it. Local police are investigating"

Compare and contrast
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/nashville-woman-shot-homeless-man-who-asked-her-to-move-her-porsche-then-left-him-to-die-police/

"If Kimura’s actions constituted temporary insanity, despite their being in keeping with Japanese culture, wouldn’t that make Japanese culture similarly insane? "

All cultures have some level of pathology. Some more than others. And some may just be ill-suited for their times.

bob mcmanus, you are probably aware of this

Nope. Did not know. Knew of suicides and double suicides, and shrink Doi and amaeru, but not of this phenomenon. At the time of reading the Shigamatsu, I was following late 60s Japanese student activism and global 2nd wave feminism and never thought to search. Of course not in anime, but I cannot remember a single instance in the hundreds of Japanese films I have watched though that may be flawed memory. But it is not that surprising, based on what little I do know.

Boundless gratitude. There is so much to think about here, about cultural persistence in Japan, about Michelle Jones comparable circumstances in a radically different social setting.

So little time I have to self-limit my sources and not focus narrowly. But I know I miss so much. Another couple lifetimes please.

Thank you again. I learned something useful.

I haven't seen it in any kind of movie/anime/manga either, though Murakami's Coin Locker Babies touches on some of the cultural questions. There have also been murders of other parent's children by excluded mothers
http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/news/a445/murder-mothers/

The fact that the murderer was a Chinese immigrant was something that was noted a lot in the vernacular reports.

I learned of the phenomenon of Oyako, Shinju from reading about the Kimura case , which is to say, I tend to learn about Japan when it bumps up against my culture, which always leaves me wondering how much else I am missing.

There is a 'healthy' respect of death, which I mean in both senses, it is large and it is a good thing. Foreigners focus on the fact that Japanese don't sell things in sets of 4, because the number (shi) is a homophone of death, they freak out if someone plants their chopsticks in a bowl of rice (the way you offer it to the dead) or pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks (that's for the bone chunks left after cremation) and think ha ha funny Japanese who still are wrapped up in their superstitions. I'm not so sure and get less sure about it everyday.

Cultural persistence is part of it. The structures of society help that culture persist in a lot of ways. Acknowledging that structures of society make culture persist gets into a lot of territory that has me wondering what things culturally persist in the US, which gives me maybe a bit of a different perspective on race than others. That whole trope about 'ghetto culture' that racists bring out to justify the way things are carries a planetary blind spot, in that what kind of cultural practices by society at large are in place that do the same thing. I shared this already, it is the easiest thing to point to. I am constantly reminded that I have white privilege here, but I know that privilege only extends as far as I am not overly pushy. I'm helping with the translation of some stuff for a group going to Geneva for the ratification of the Minamata mercury treaty, and one group, they had a very Japanese name for their group (something like 'Let's talk about Minamata association') I suggested they needed to give an English name that was, well, more apt and suggested that they just calle themselves something like The Mercury Treaty group. Oh no, they think that the treaty soft sells a lot of the problems and they want it to be much more strict. OK, I said, let's get a name that reflects that. Oh no, the group receives its funding from the Department of Environment, so we don't want a name that is confrontational' (sigh). The high school student who was going to deliver a speech wrote something very interesting about not forgetting the past and how she was impressed by the Minamata victims she's met, it looks like all that was deleted. Too long...

I'm certain that someone will read this and think a ha, the solution is to stop letting the government pay for this. Yeah, yeah, dream on mcduff...

Well, waiting for the 3rd typhoon to come thru here this year. So don't talk to me about climate change...

You Are the Product ...London Review of Books

Just another article about Facebook, I find the medium-long ones from LRB to be very good.

The Total Surveillance Society may not have cameras in your bedroom yet, but it knows what sheets you are under, what snacks you eat, what tv shows or books you read as you fall asleep, how long you sleep. Who you sleep with.

At one point the author says that "building communities" and selling advertising are two separate activities. Late Capitalism theories, since the Italian Marxians in the 60s or maybe back to Frankfurt, says nope, they are the same thing, as industrial production becomes unprofitable, capitalism has to monetize and financialize every moment of your "private life" and all your feelings and emotions,

Jodi Dean, in Blog Theory and elsewhere calls in "the commodification of circulating affect." Attachment, preferences, connections, desires, love. Hate. Shared with others.

The "commodification" part (the circulation part is the market) is usefully studied under Marxian analysis. Use-value vs exchange-value. Reification, alienation. Our pleasures in quilting are not as satisfying if we can't share them with others, which we now can.

We are not only the product, we are producing the product. Ourselves.

Of course, is Facebook the "market" for the commodities of circulating affect, or does it create and regulate the market?

If the latter, then Facebook is the sovereign, the gov't that regulates the market, and in this case, Facebook is remarkable in that its model depends on its lack of regulation, its need for the market to run out of control, because freedom promotes creativity of the producers (us) who create the exchange value.

Then, by a process of homologization, we can look at national and global gov'ts as also desiring and needing to relinquish control, to maximize individualism and freedom, tribalism and movement.

Neoliberalism.

For GftNC

"In both Franzen and Lipsyte the invocation of “late capitalism” — a term most people encountered in Jameson, not Mandel — is a mark of immaturity, an outworn college creed. The thing itself may grow old with us, but the term can’t be used by middle-aged grown-ups participating in the real world (that is to say, the surface of the earth, minus college campuses)."

Benjamin Kunkel, London Review, 2010 as quoted at The Charnel-House also:

"Jameson once likened the goofy eclecticism of certain postmodern architecture to the recipes inspired by “late-night reefer munchies,” and it may be an observation to bridge the gap between his generation, steeped in the 1960s, and my own to say that reading Jameson himself has always reminded me a bit of being on drugs. The less exceptional essays were like being stoned: it all seemed very profound at the time, but the next day you could barely remember a thing. Indeed there’s no other author I’ve frequented or admired to anything like the same degree so many of whose pages produced absolutely no impression on me. And yet the best of Jameson’s work has felt mind-blowing in the way of LSD or mushrooms: here before you is the world you’d always known you were living in, but apprehended as if for the first time in the freshness of its beauty and horror."

I like can't grok that at all, ya dig?

Capitalism 2.0 has some pretty serious bugs. I always prefer waiting for the 2.1 release.

Just another article about Facebook

Personally, I am such a Luddite that I have only enough of a Facebook account (i.e. an ID and password, nothing else) that I can read something there if I have the urge.

I just can't see putting anything personal out to be read by strangers. Granted that's exactly what happens here, but still....

Capitalism 2.0 has some pretty serious bugs. I always prefer waiting for the 2.1 release.

Best guess is it will be a while yet before it makes it to beta. Just sayin'

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