Not the Religion of Property and Inequality

Between 1930 and 1980, the rate applied on the highest incomes was on average 81% in the United States, and the rate applied to the highest inherited estates was 74%. Clearly this did not destroy American capitalism, far from it. It made it more egalitarian and more productive, at a time when the United States had not forgotten that it was their level of educational advancement and their investment in training and skills that was the backbone of their prosperity, and not the religion of property and inequality.

Reagan, then Bush and Trump subsequently endeavoured to destroy this heritage. They turned their backs on the egalitarian origins of the country, by counting on historical amnesia and by fuelling identity-based divisions. With the hindsight we have today, it is obvious that the outcome of this policy is disastrous. Between 1980 and 2020, the rise in per capita national income was halved in comparison with the period 1930-1980. What little growth there was, was swept up by the richest, the consequence being a complete stagnation in income for the poorest 50%.

Wealth tax in America

Not the Religion of Property and Inequality

(some things left untitled)

My love, where you are not
All else is dark and cold
All is toward an ice-ringed end

My love, I hide my eyes and cheeks
Behind a borrowed shawl
Behind your borrowed name

My love, I never told another
Because it was an interupted dream
Because I could never prove a thing

My love, did we really exist
Side by side, the lonely ocean
Side by side, the empty sky

My love, all
My love, behind
My love, because
My love, my love, my love

You tasted of the bluest salt
Your every word a floral form
We were so lucky to bear witness
To one another’s tears

(some things left untitled)

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis – The New York Times

Russian meddling, data sharing, hate speech — the social network faced one scandal after another. This is how Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg responded.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html

You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook. You can leave Facebook.

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis – The New York Times

Sometimes the pillars of the temple stand apart

They rehearse the wedding details
In the middle of the arts fair.

Someone’s selling handmade pipes
While the groomsmen stand in line.

The wedding planner wrings and wrangles
And a jewelry-maker works a deal.

Many random people block the bride
Unsure of where and if they fit.

I’m watching all this with my poem.
A half-full beer within arm’s reach.

Random people weave around me.
No one’s sure if this is it.

Sometimes the pillars of the temple stand apart

Tearing Away From The World

I told my son
About your dirt road
And how we’d drive too fast
Just to kick up dust behind us
Like a demon’s sandy sneeze.

I told him about the graveyard
Across the rocky road
And the long-abandoned church
With its broken stained-glass windows.

I told him about the dull lights
And the squalling caterwauls
Late nights on your back porch.

I told him what we found there
Among the crooked, sun-sprayed tombstones.

I told him all these little things and more.

He responded with a shiver, “Oh, Daddy! Daddy, why?”

Tearing Away From The World

Sans Social

A week ago, I dropped Facebook/Instagram. (I booted my Twitter account over the summer.) I feel nice about this. I have enjoyed many parts of social media, but have zero trust regarding the companies themselves and, generally speaking, feel that social media has done more harm to society than good, in aggregate. I try to be a responsible consumer in other areas of my life and feel that responsibility should extend to social media.

Next is to try to disentangle from Google, which seems Herculean and isn’t technically social media but is an technosystem powered by the same society-warping ethos. These actions aren’t based upon a fear of technology. I’m a technologist by trade. These actions are ones people should take in order to affect a change – social media companies don’t have to operate the way they currently do. They can be a force for good in the world (and oftentimes, great movements begin with social media only to get subverted by opposition forces using downward-dragging emotional tactics which social media favors for purposes of end user engagement.) Only we can force social media companies to do better in the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jun/30/new-dark-age-by-james-bridle-review-technology-and-the-end-of-the-future
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/books/review/jaron-lanier-ten-arguments-for-deleting-your-social-media-accounts-right-now.html
https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/facebook-data-breach-2018-victims-cybersecurity.html
https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/8/17951914/google-plus-data-breach-exposed-user-profile-information-privacy-not-disclosed
https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/10/15/2135254/most-americans-cant-tell-the-difference-between-a-social-media-bot-and-a-human-study-finds
http://calnewport.com/blog/2018/10/28/the-mona-lisa-doesnt-tweet/

Take care with your time and your attention. They are precious and finite.

Sans Social