335. shoddy everything

March 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

After WW2 and before Japanese competition upped the standards, we built shoddy cars, and the rest of the consumer world went with them.Cheap, not long lasting. We built housing and offices and stores that are cheap and won’t last long.

The result is, we have a replaceable society with no money to replace what is rotten and nearly exhausted. Just cleaning up would be extremely costly, and disposal an environmental  monster.

This could be a great opportunity if managed well, but more likely, with just in time junking, not going to go well.


216. Kierkegaard

August 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’ve been reading his Concept of Dread. He builds an entire book on what we might thin of as a small deal, but as he makes clear, dread is a pervasive aspect of human lives, maybe all lives, and yet we do not recognize it, not make much of today. In the past, say in christian meditation, getting clear about such feelings was important. Our sense today of what a human being is is weak because we ignore suc explorations.

213. Higher Taxes May Be Only Solution

August 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

To increased number of poor. Do I beleive it? Sort of, but there is also the coming agricultural economy.

With the march of technology, the size of a future American underclass dependent on public support for part of its livelihood is hard to predict: 10 million, 20 million, 100 million? We could imagine cities where entire neighborhoods are populated by people on state support. In France, generous welfare has already produced huge suburban housing estates, les banlieues, populated with a substantially unemployed and immigrant population, parts of which have periodically burst into violent protest.

So, how do we operate a society in which a large share of the population is socially needy but economically redundant? There is only one answer. You tax the winners — those with the still uniquely human skills, and those owning the capital and land — to provide for the losers.

via Gregory Clark — As Economic Disparity Grows, Higher Taxes May Be Only Solution – washingtonpost.com.

171. Obama now

July 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

it looks like he will deal with, in order

  • 1. health
  • 2. finance and employment (this is a complex system)
  • 3. climate change

while trying to improve international relations in all directions.

It looks like he might

1. fail with medicine because he allowed special interests to *increase* costs and lose those voters who are concerned about cost. If this happens he will be even weaker to deal with 2

2. Being surrounded by Rubin colleagues he has lost leverage, hence change may not be possible.

3. with less power, facing climate change will be impossible,e

The logic that says that climate change requires education, health, jobs, technology and really tough regulation – all to create a new economy – will not be achievable.

166. challenge

July 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

Doug North, whom I’ve been reading traps us in a mechanical vocabulary, but steps out when he challenges us.

to improve the human prospect we must understand the sources of human decision making. That is a necessary condition for human survival. Understanding the process of economic change,  2005

It might be good to know what he means by “sources”. His later book on violence has more.

A full account of human behavior would begin by asking how the mind deals with the process of change .Although some progress has been made in cognitive science, a pressing concern for future research is to understand the origin of conflicting belief systems, their flexibility, and their interaction with organizations and institutions…..The theories have in the social sciences, however, are predicated on the notion of an ergodic, repeated, and predictable world in which the same problems are and individuals can fashion solutions to them. How do we think Hiding of what is happening to them as they continue to confront new experiences and novel situations that require an awareness of the dynamic are of the process of change in which they are participants? How do we with the new and novel problems that emerge as humans reshape the human environment in ways that have no historical precedent?  Violence and Social Orders 2009

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