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There is nothing wrong with, and much to be gained by, using our mind analytically, but to use it almost exclusively in this way is unbalanced and has a not insignificant responsibility for the perilous state of affairs on our planet.  Though the odds against it happening seem to be mounting, perhaps a more intuitive way of thinking about he world might help us to recognize and reduce in time our overdevelopment of and overdependence on the ever-growing machinery that is supposed to make our lives easier and better.  We are swept along by technological development so that in our urban environment, many of us interact increasingly with electronic devices and less with other human beings.  In addition, our culture is gradually losing our knowledge of and our direct connection with the natural or unprocessed things of the earth.  With a more intuitive way of thinking about our lives could come the realization that our very survival may depend on the other forms of life our present political and economic systems are destroying.  At the least, a better synthesis than we have now between the analytical and the intuitive, in which the intuitive gets equal attention, seems necessary to our longer-term welfare.
  —   Herman Kauz
From his book: “Push-Hands: The Handbook For Non-Competitive Tai Chi Practice With A Partner
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On This Day In:
2019 It’s Only Funny If You’re Old Enough To Know What “Film” Was
2018 Bourne Wicked Blonde
First Things First
2017 This Explains A Lot
2016 Me Too
2015 A Proper Price
2014 Well Hard
2013 Because I Can
Eloquence, n.
2012 Why Bother?
2011 Peculiar Notions

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We cannot ensure success, but we can deserve it.
  —  Joseph Addison
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On This Day In:
2019 Or Thought I’d Thought
2018 Go And Dare
2017 And Wealth A Poor Substitute For Ability
2016 Neither Darkness Nor Shadows
2015 It Took Roots
2014 Hard Evidence
2013 Full Participation
2012 Roving (Again)
Ooops, Again
2011 Why Not?

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Orwell sought to awaken British and U.S. societies to the totalitarian dangers that threatened democracy even after the Nazi defeat.  In letters before and after his novel’s completion, Orwell urged “constant criticism,” warning that any “immunity” to totalitarianism must not be taken for granted: “Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”
For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies.
Because this power does not claim our bodies through violence and fear, we under-value its effects and lower our guard.  Instrumentarian power exiles us from our own behavior.  It delivers our futures to surveillance capitalism’s interests.  And it undermines human autonomy and self-determination, without which democracy cannot survive.
Surveillance capitalist falsely claim their methods are inevitable consequences of digital technologies.  But Orwell despised “the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment.”  Courage, he insisted, demands that we assert our morals even against forces that appear invincible.
Seven decades later, we can honor Orwell’s death by refusing to cede the digital future.  Like Orwell, think critically and criticize.  Do not take freedom for granted. Fight for the one idea in the long human story that asserts the people’s right to rule themselves.  Orwell reckoned it was worth dying for.
  —  Shoshana Zuboff
From her opinion / editorial:  “The Threat of Big Other
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 6 June 2019
This quote is from the hard-copy issue.  The article is also online, but significantly differs from the text version.
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On This Day In:
2019 Before & After
Quiet, Please!
2018 Heavy On The Starch
2017 But The Beginning Of What?
2016 Today’s Rule
2015 Remembering Oklahoma City
2014 Who Was That Masked Man?
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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If you don’t figure out how to make things work from a broader societal perspective, you will pay a steep price for many years.
  —  Brad Smith
President, Microsoft Corp.
As quoted by: Romesh Ratnesar
In his article: “Trust
Appearing in Time Magazine,  dtd:  16 September 2019
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On This Day In:
2019 Eureka!
2018 Learning About My Humanity
2017 Laugh Or Shake Your Head
2016 The Expected Cure
2015 Of Two Minds
2014 Pride And Remembrance
2013 Repeating Bad Memories
2012 No Sooner
2011 Just Cheesy!
Are You Illin’?

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It’s a simple fact that technology has been weaponized by private companies against democracy.  Corporations are not people.  They don’t have souls.  They’re institutions designed to make money.  And the way the government has always dealt with them is to regulate them to the point where they cease being dangerous to the public.
  —  Barry C. Lynn
Executive Director
Open Markets Institute
As quoted by: Romesh Ratnesar
In his article: “Trust
Appearing in Time Magazine,  dtd:  16 September 2019
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On This Day In:
2019 Does Terrible But Not Important Count?
2018 Have You Stretched Today?
The Original
2017 Being Nice
2016 Zero To Some = Most
2015 Born More Obligated
2014 Rage And Fury
2013 Successful Children
2012 For God So Loved The World
2011 Go Cheeseheads!!
Structured Mentality

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Why do techies insist that things should be sped up, torqued, optimized?
There’s one obvious reason, of course:  They do it because of the dictates of the market.  Capitalism handsomely rewards anyone who can improve a process and squeeze some margin out.  But with software, there’s something else going on too.  For coders, efficiency is more than just a tool for business.  It’s an existential state, an emotional driver.
Coders might have different backgrounds and political opinions, but nearly every one I’ve ever met found deep, almost soulful pleasure in taking something inefficient — even just a little bit slow — and tightening it up a notch.  Removing the friction from a system is an aesthetic joy; coders’ eyes blaze when they talk about making something run faster or how they eliminated some bothersome human effort from a process.
  —  Clive Thompson
From his article:  “Efficiency Is Beautiful
In Wired Magazine, dtd: April 2019
Also online at:  https://www.wired.com/story/coders-efficiency-is-beautiful/
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On This Day In:
2018 Cursive In The News
2017 Coffee Crunch
2016 Preparation
2015 Scarcely Asked
2014 They Resemble Us
2013 Both
2012 That’s Success!
2011 Losing At Dominos
2010 1,001

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We believe that according the name ‘investors’ to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a ‘romantic.’
  —  Warren Buffett
[With the Dow at very near an all-time high, a “normal” market “correction” (a 10% drop) will still leave the market above 25,000 which would still be a historic end of year high.  The only questions are when will the correction eventually happen and how far past “normal” it will go?  Okay, three: how long will it last?  Remember, this is the first Presidency to have an 800 point drop in a single day…  Of the top five daily losses in Dow history (roughly 120 years), ALL five have happened during the current Administration.  So far, we’ve recovered from each quickly…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Dominoes II (Update From Last Year’s Post)
2017 Dominoes
2016 Itchin’
2015 In The Not So Distant Future
2014 Sources
2013 Three Essentials
2012 Just Looking
2011 Religious Lessons
2010 View From Under The Bus… (A mid-term report card on the Obama Administration. Long, but still worth reading for historical perspective.)

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The central event of the twentieth century is the overthrow of matter.  In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth in the form of physical resources is steadily declining in value and significance.  The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things.
  —  George Gilder
[I wish this were true, but then I remember, we still have wars.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Up For Progress
Day 1.5: Done (For Now)
2017 And Second By Second
2016 Bakeries And Coffee Shops
2015 Spirit Not Form
2014 Sometimes Even Kneeling Seems Insufficient
2013 Hobgoblins
2012 Got Sleep?
2011 Not Another Barren Corner

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Technology feeds on itself.  Technology makes more technology possible.
  —  Alvin Toffler
From his book:  “Future Shock
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On This Day In:
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?

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“An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity,” she says.  “I have never seen that, or experienced it, really, in my adult life.”
  —  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
As quoted by Charlotte Alter
In Ms. Alter’s interview / article: “The Making of AOC
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 3 April 2019
[Actually, they’ve seen nothing but prosperity.  What they haven’t seen is increasing personal prosperity or any hope it (increasing personal prosperity) will happen in their lifetime.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 The One Thing
2017 Never Give Up
2016 Which Generation Are We?
Congratulations, Kyle!
2015 Centered
2014 Economic Trinity
2013 At Both Ends
2012 Holding Allowance
2011 The Power Of Good

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 “Spoiler alert: the gig economy is about not giving people full-time jobs,” she says.  “So it should be no secret why millennials want to decouple your insurance status from your employment status.”
  —  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
As quoted by Charlotte Alter
In Ms. Alter’s interview / article:  “The Making of AOC
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 3 April 2019
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On This Day In:
2018 Tic-Toc
2017 Explaining Working Class Support For Donald
2016 Not In My Experience
2015 Effort
2014 Honest Wants
2013 Faith, n.
2012 Surprise Me
2011 Confused With Truth

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Capitalism, however, has been here before.  One of its great historic strengths has been its ability to reform and change shape as social needs and democratic demands shift.  In the late 19th century, parties of the right in Europe brought in a wave of progressive reforms to suit the times, from expanded union rights to the social insurance that began the creation of the modern welfare state.  In these cases, there was a pragmatic and also a moral imperative at work to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
Yet today, politicians and thinkers have largely stopped making the case for capitalism as a moral good.  What we have instead are abstract ideas about the supremacy of markets.  At the same time, the surges in inequality seen in country after country are corroding the moral principles that underpin capitalism.  The ethical basis for capitalism must be that it offers better life chances for a majority of citizens.  If it is failing to do that, what is the justification for its dominance as an economic system?  Little wonder that a Gallup poll found only 45% of U.S. young adults view capitalism positively, a 12-point decline in just two years.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to alter our lives to an even greater extent.  AI is best understood not as an upgrade of our existing structures but as a general-purpose technology (GPT), like electricity or the steam engine.  GPTs are transformative in their social and economic impacts, reaching into every aspect of life.  “Some people believe that it’s going to be on the scale of the Industrial Revolution,” says Demis Hassabis, the AI expert who co-founded the pioneering machine-learning company DeepMind.  “Other people believe it’s going to be the class of its own above that.”
The crucial factor for managing these changes is time.  In 1900, the proportion of the U.S. population who worked in agriculture was 38% and the proportion who worked in factories was 25%.  Today only 1.5% of the population works in agriculture and 7.9% in factories.  So there’s been a catastrophe of unemployment?  Absolutely not: the losses were more than made up for by growth in other sectors of the economy, which went from providing 24 million jobs in 1900 to some 150 million today.  Most of the new varieties of work simply didn’t exist at the dawn of the last century.  Given time, we know from experience that a society can manage this kind of transition.  The question is, do we have that time?
…Think about what the working life will be of a person who can expect to live for a full century.  What can we say about the likely span of her economic and political life?  The only absolute certainty is that it will involve change.  It will not be static.  It will not involve doing the same thing in the same place over and over again.  Unless we are all prepared for change, we are not prepared for the coming world of work.
At the individual level, the prescription for what we should do to prepare for this new landscape is relatively straightforward.  For a life of multiple careers and skills, people need an education that prepares them for a lifelong process of training and retraining.  They will need, more than anything else, to learn how to learn.  Flexibility and resilience will be crucial.  It won’t be easy, but at least we can see it clearly.  At the level of society it is harder.  Let’s be honest: this is a vision of insecurity, projected across a working life.  It is a clear principle of economic and political history—one we’re relearning today — that humans hate insecurity.
What we need is to rethink the relationship between the individual, the corporate sector and the state.  In recent decades, we have seen a “great risk shift” — to borrow the term of the Yale social scientist Jacob Hacker.  Individuals in temporary, insecure, giglike employment are taking on risks that used to belong to the corporate sector.  Not coincidentally, the share of GDP going to the corporate sector as profits has risen and the share accruing to labor as pay has gone down.
That trend, and that risk transfer, are not sustainable over time.  We need a social safety net focused on career support rather than just simple unemployment benefits.  Companies and individuals and the state must work together to build an enhanced and more flexible version of the welfare state that overlaps with lifelong training and education.
The architects of this new industrial revolution, by the way, agree with this proposition.  Yann LeCun, the chief AI scientist at Facebook and one of the pioneers of deep learning, said recently that every economist he has spoken to agrees that governments must take measures to compensate for rising inequality brought about by technology.  “All of them believe this has to do with fiscal policy in the form of taxing, and wealth and income distribution.”
We also need a functioning marketplace.  The collapse of U.S. government action in the area of antitrust and competition law has led to a damaging concentration across most industries — from cable TV to airlines, online advertising and farming.  While a new generation of robber barons controls huge sections of the U.S. economy, corporate profits surge, wages stagnate, and fewer ordinary workers have reason to believe in the capitalist system.
The final component of what we do next concerns not what we do but what they do — “they” meaning the elites who have profited most from the trends of recent decades.  Quite simply, those elites have to pay their taxes.  They have to stop using offshore havens and accounting tricks to hide their wealth from the societies in which they live and from which they make their profits. Instead of founding think tanks and gorging on discussions about improving distant lives, they have to attend to the lives around them in the places they actually live.
A new emphasis on the role of the nation-state; a new partnership between the state and the private sector and the individual; new action on lifelong learning and training; higher and fairer taxes; less security for big corporations: these things shouldn’t be unthinkable.  It is strange and sad that the least likely thing on my wish list is the idea that elites will change their behavior.
But elites may have to change if they don’t want change to be imposed on them.  This coming wave of technological transformation has the potential to be the most serious challenge modern capitalism has faced.  For people who don’t have the chance to change and adapt and reskill, a pitiless world ruled by algorithms and machine learning, in which they have no utility, no relevant skills and no security, could look completely unlivable.  Facing that prospect, the populations of the developed world may do things that make the current populist moment look polite, low-key and lawful.
— John Lanchester
From his article in Time Magazine (dtd: Feb4/11, 2019): “Economy: Leveling The Playing Field
The article also appears online as: “The Next Industrial Revolution Is Coming.  Here’s How We Can Ensure Equality
The link to the entire online version is: http://time.com/collection/davos-2019/5502589/next-industrial-revolution/
[Please note: This article is extensively quoted without permission from the author or from Time Magazine.  I personally subscribe to the physical version of Time Magazine and have done so for almost 50 years now.  I make no claim to ownership of the article or its ideas.  I do NOT normally post so extensively from an article, but this was (to me) a powerful article about the future of civilization, so I have made an exception.  The ellipses indicate where I have edited out portions of the article.  I hope neither the author nor Time Magazine will object to my editing or use of the article.  Obviously, I encourage all of my readers to go to read the original.  —  KMAB]
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2015 True Value In Life
2014 A Potential To Be Concerned
2013 Fine No More
2012 Have You Checked Your Height Lately?
2011 Are You Convinced?

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The greatest victory in life is to rise above the material things that we once valued most.
  ―  Muhammad Ali
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On This Day In:
2018 Once Suddenly Free
2017 What Is Childlike
2016 The Latter A Lot Quicker Than The Former
2015 Notes On My Nightstand
2014 Generations
2013 Two For One
2012 Seen And Heard
2011 The Hazards And Vicissitudes Of Life

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Wealth should be like manure in the field.  When it is in a big pile it makes a bad smell.  But when it is distributed everywhere across the field, it makes the soil fertile.
  —  Leo Tolstoy
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On This Day In:
2017 No Universal Thinking
2016 Supervise The Results
2015 Just Magic!
2014 It Lies Ahead…
2013 At Least One Difference
2012 Are We, Are We?
On Not Playing The Game
Scale
2011 Nutcracker And Nooks
Seeing Differences

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I am a fiscally conservative life-long Democrat.  I do NOT support the funding of President Trump’s wall.  Other than providing jobs for American workers, there is no benefit to building a wall.  I do support increased spending on Security (border security and almost all other forms of “useful” security) – even increasing it by billions of dollars – IF NECESSARY!!  But building a wall is NOT necessary.  It will do little to nothing to increase our security or decrease illegal immigration.  MOST illegal immigration happens when people lawfully enter the country and then overstay their visa.  A wall – no matter the height, depth or width – will not reduce this.
And, in any case, when our #IdiotInChief was a candidate he promised (as he was such a great negotiator) that we (U.S. citizens) would not have to pay for a wall.  As President, he was going to make Mexico pay for building his wall.  I say:  “Let him get Mexico to pay for it!”  AFTER we have the funds coming in from Mexico, then we can start building the wall.  And furthermore, not one cent is to be spent on the wall until then, and not more than one cent over what has been taken in from Mexico should be spent on the wall’s construction or maintenance.
I am not in favor of a government shutdown.  In this case, the shutdown is entirely President Trump’s fault.  He has been President for almost two whole years and he has done almost nothing to negotiate funding from Mexico, nor demonstrate that building a wall will do more than minimally increase our security.  The “security” money would be far better spent on increasing the enforcement of hiring legal employees and prosecuting employers who hire those without work permits.  This would actually reduce illegal immigration, by reducing demand for illegals.  It would also improve the economy by marginally increasing wages for those at the bottom scales.  This is because there would be fewer workers willing to accept minimum wages, so the price for labor would go up.  That is, if you believe in supply and demand.
To any Democratic office holder who votes in support of building a wall:  I will make a list.  I will check it twice.  And, I will make a donation to any Democratic candidate who runs against you in your next primary.
#NotOneCent
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2016 Sincerest Flattery
The President-elect: Making Spirits Bright
2015 What Are You Looking At?
2014 Ite, Missa Est
2013 I Hear Voices
2012 Positive Thoughts
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2011 Look! Up In The Sky…
Humility Before The Unknowable

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