Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor. —
Wallace Stevens(via stoweboyd)
An average, busy professional gets up in the morning, gets the kids to school, goes to work, uses the telephone or e-mail, has meetings, works on a prospectus or bank loan, goes home, puts the kids to bed, has dinner, reads the newspaper, goes to sleep, and has no idea that, in the course of that day, he or she has very likely committed three felonies. Three felonies that some ambitious, creative prosecutor can pick out from that day’s activities and put into an indictment. — Harvey Silvergate, author of Three Felonies a Day (via hipsterlibertarian)
Last month, the Department of Labor released new job market numbers, which suggests that the economic recovery is perpetuating the trend of college graduates turning to minimum wage jobs. Though there has been significant employment gains, many recent college graduates have been forced to resort to low-wage, low-skilled jobs. There are now 13.4 million college graduates working for hourly pay, up 19 percent since the start of the recession. According to the Department of Labor, there are about 284,000 graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree that were working minimum wage jobs in 2012. — The Economy is “Recovering” By Creating More Low-Wage Jobs… Increasingly Filled By Graduates (via azspot)
So remember: 12:01 a.m., May 26. The schedule after that will be approximately as follows: the first animated GIFs from the first episode will appear at 12:01 and a half, people will complain that Netflix is down at 12:02, spoilers will begin appearing on Twitter at 12:03, angry tweets about spoilers at 12:04, think pieces about how this distribution model affects spoilers at 12:05, think pieces about how this distribution model might result in the return of Firefly at 12:06, listicles of 10 more shows that Netflix should revive at 12:07, complaints that these episodes “suck” at 12:08, complaints about haters at 12:09, questions about why people who are so into Arrested Development refuse to watch Community at 12:10, and 25 pictures of cats watching Arrested Development at 12:11. — ‘Arrested Development’ Comes Back On Netflix On May 26. (via nedhepburn)
Slavery and Capitalism -
Without slavery, however, the survey maps of the General Land Office would have remained a sort of science-fiction plan for a society that could never happen. Between 1820 and 1860 more than a million enslaved people were transported from the upper to the lower South, the vast majority by the venture-capitalist slave traders the slaves called “soul drivers.” The first wave cleared the region for cultivation. “Forests were literally dragged out by the roots,” the former slave John Parker remembered in “His Promised Land.” Those who followed planted the fields in cotton, which they then protected, picked, packed and shipped — from “sunup to sundown” every day for the rest of their lives.
Eighty-five percent of the cotton Southern slaves picked was shipped to Britain. The mills that have come to symbolize the Industrial Revolution and the slave-tilled fields of the South were mutually dependent. Every year, British merchant banks advanced millions of pounds to American planters in anticipation of the sale of the cotton crop. Planters then traded credit in pounds for the goods they needed to get through the year, many of them produced in the North. “From the rattle with which the nurse tickles the ear of the child born in the South, to the shroud that covers the cold form of the dead, everything comes to us from the North,” said one Southerner.
As slaveholders supplied themselves (and, much more meanly, their slaves) with Northern goods, the credit originally advanced against cotton made its way north, into the hands of New York and New England merchants who used it to purchase British goods. Thus were Indian land, African-American labor, Atlantic finance and British industry synthesized into racial domination, profit and economic development on a national and a global scale.
When the cotton crop came in short and sales failed to meet advanced payments, planters found themselves indebted to merchants and bankers. Slaves were sold to make up the difference. The mobility and salability of slaves meant they functioned as the primary form of collateral in the credit-and-cotton economy of the 19th century.
It is not simply that the labor of enslaved people underwrote 19th-century capitalism. Enslaved people were the capital: four million people worth at least $3 billion in 1860, which was more than all the capital invested in railroads and factories in the United States combined. Seen in this light, the conventional distinction between slavery and capitalism fades into meaninglessness.
Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world… — Marshall McLuhan (via nathanielstuart)
Income inequality is very rigid | Matt Bruenig -
… [T]his study smashes through one of the more sophisticated argument from the right-wing about the issue of income inequality. The dumber sorts on the right tend to just pretend inequality does not exist or they tell some sort of totally irrelevant story about how their great-grandfather was poor before he wasn’t. But some of the smarter sorts have been saying that the inequality statistics do not mean anything because there is a great deal of mobility from year to year. So while it is the case that, in any given year, the income distribution is pretty unequal, folks move up and down that distribution throughout their lifetimes, meaning that inequality in lifetime earnings is much less dispersed.
But we now know with very reliable data that this simply is not true: folks generally live their adult lives at the same spot on that distribution. So our income distribution is simultaneously very unequal and very rigid. With that established, the sophisticated right-wing will have a hard time mounting much of a case about inequality anymore. There is no way to deny that it exists, that it is rigid, and that it generally transmits itself across generations (i.e. very low intergenerational social mobility). So what else is there? All the right seems to have remaining in its arsenal is the argument that such rigid inequality is not relevant to justice anyways. They wont say that of course, even though many believe it.
(Source: theamericanbear, via socio-logic)
We’ve also noticed over the last year to 18 months in particular this very steady stream of dehumanizing, overly cruel rhetoric aimed at not just the poor but also the unemployed, people who are out of work for 26 weeks and need an extension on unemployment benefits, or 52 weeks. Sure, it’s been coming for a long time and we’ve certainly noticed it for years but we’re seeing more of this steady drumbeat of rhetoric, of the takers vs. the makers; there’s the Mitt Romney tape during the campaign about the 47% of the American public who just don’t want to work. You can hear this rhetoric regurgitated on Fox and on talk radio. There’s this constant stream of critique, not just about social safety net programs which had been critiqued by conservatives for years, but a real critique of the core humanity of people who need those programs, whether it’s health care, unemployment insurance or food stamps. It’s people saying things like people should be ashamed to be on food stamps, we should drug test them, we should make them jump through all kinds of hoops, we should make it harder for them, we should make them feel pain. Literally people saying these things. Or saying the poor aren’t really poor after all because they have washing machines and color TVs and microwaves. — Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor (via azspot)
Literary Birthday - 1 April
Happy Birthday, Abraham Harold Maslow, born 1 April 1908, died 8 June 1970
- If you deliberately set out to be less than you are capable, you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.
- It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.
- A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.
- What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
- Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.
Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualisation. His works include Toward a Psychology of Being and Motivation and Personality.
Source for Image
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
And ultimately he killed himself.
A magazine article is like a strip tease. Whereas a newspaper article is like being flashed on the subway. — Jennifer Kahn to Kathryn Roethel, The Future of Freelancing. The Science (Not Art) of the Magazine Pitch. (via futurejournalismproject)
And ultimately he killed himself.
The Internet is full of ideas for ways to reuse pallet wood. We here at Unconsumption certainly have shared a good number of them. (Browse our Pinterest board here, Tumblr archive here, and/or Facebook album here for various examples, including several ideas for DIY projects.)
If pallet repurposing interests you, and you’ve been wondering how to go about disassembling pallets, here’s a brief tutorial from Old World Garden Farms that looks like it could be helpful.
I’m guessing that most of us don’t own the tool the tutorial recommends using: a reciprocating saw (a.k.a. “sawzall”) that can cut through nails. If, like me, you don’t own one, perhaps you live someplace where there’s a tool bank where you could rent such a tool, or a tool library where you could borrow one?
Special note: For reuse projects, many of us look for pallets that are made from harder wood that, if it’s been treated, was heat-treated, not chemical-treated. We mention it on Facebook here.