Mocktagon

gomer21xx:

therealcountjackula:

So as you probably all know, the “gaming community” is at its own throat again over the issue of sexism. There are those that see the forces of equality as a threat to their hobby, and those that see machismo as an enemy to be eradicated. That’s a…

What a load of horseshit.

"Harassment on both sides is awful." Yes, harassment sucks. Police HAVE become involved. Because the harassment on one side has forced two women to flee their homes due to death threats, organized boycotts of anyone who publicly expresses support for them, attempted to ruin at least one person’s livelihood, and accused the victims of making it all up for attention and sympathy. And the other side has… responded to a constant stream of abuse by asking people to stop treating them like garbage and stop spreading the spurious accusations being used as justification for the harassment.

But harassment on both sides is just awful, you guys.

And the debate is far from over. Five games published in the last six years have central female characters? Yes, I DO think you need to go on—especially when one of those games deliberately keeps that central character it’s lauded for off of the cover of the game out of fear of scaring away dudebros, even over the objections of the developers.

You think things will change because demographics are changing? That companies can’t resist an opportunity like that? That’s funny, because… demographics have barely changed in a decade. The ESA publishes demographic information every year, and as far back as 2005, they’ve been reporting that there’s a 55/45 gender split and more women over the age of 18 playing games than boys age 6-17. And that’s just as long as there’s publicly-posted data for—the numbers aren’t public, but even back in the 80’s, the split was like this. Those demographics were the origin of severely gendered marketing for games in the first place—in the early 90s slump, panicking publishers were told by their marketing departments that more boys play than girls, so they should target their marketing and design to boys. This, based on 60/40 splits. And even today, assholes try to explain this disparity by saying “Oh, but the women aren’t playing REAL games, they’re just playing these fake games that shouldn’t count” and continue the extremely gendered marketing strategies unabated—even when those so-called “fake” games are what carry their companies for years at a time while their dudebro-targeted games flop.

The studios aren’t deciding to change on their own. Developers like Deep Silver are citing Sarkeesian’s videos as an influence on their development process. Others who have spoken up similarly about the importance of this kind of activism in general and influence on their work in particular are Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, Gears of War designer Cliff Blezinsky, and Gearbox’s Anthony Burch.

And they STILL have to fight executives and publishers to change things.

The one thing this guy is right about is that the path of good IS harder. It involves not resting easy just because of a few signs of hope. It involves pressing on in the face of a constant stream of abuse from people threatened by even the merest suggestion that games, the gaming industry, or the gaming community treat women poorly. And it involves putting up with assholes like this one who seem to think that having their tone-policing called out for the bullshit that it is makes them just as much of a victim of harassment as the women receiving death threats for daring to try to make games, but they’re still totally on your side for real, honest.

The problem is, automation is quickly poised to take over the majority of service jobs as well, leaving only skilled service jobs left. The service sector won't have enough openings to support the population as a whole.

atopfourthwall:

I don’t think we have automated waiters/waitresses, cleaners, gardeners, accountants, cooks, writers, plumbers, architects, reviewers, entertainers, programmers, teachers, and etc.

Hell, even large-scale construction is still outside the realm of robots and automation. And there’s still something to be said for hand-made craftsmen, anyway. Even today we get products that boast hand-painted as a selling-point as well as people preferring a human touch to the creation of an object rather than mass-produced.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy nor am I saying it’s going to end well for everyone. I’m saying it’s going to CHANGE.

Automated Waiters.

Automated Cleaners.

Automated Gardeners.

Automated Accountants.

Automated Cooks.

Automated Teachers.

Automated large-scale construction.

We have more architects than we have jobs for architects. And even you have to admit that you’ve been very lucky to make a living as an entertainer, and that for every person who manages to eke out a living doing it there’s a dozen who still need a day job. The same goes for writers.

People hurting for money don’t spend money on stuff just because it’s hand-crafted, and they tend to cut out entertainment from their budget when their budget is tight. If you’re proposing a shift toward more people doing arts/crafts/writing/entertainment as a profession, you are—by necessity—proposing a shift toward subsidizing those professions in some way, shape, or form.

atopfourthwall:

therobotmonster:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!""But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

Assuming society doesn’t collapse in the next 15 years, this is going to become a necessity, due to a number of technologies:
3d Printing - This is getting more and more flexible, inexpensive and impressive. 3d Printing has the potential to completely alter how manufacturing, and thus retail, works. While we’re centuries off from a full on Star Trek style replicator, all manner of minor utility items and luxury goods are already printable. This will heavily alter not just the manufacturing landscape, but the retail landscape as well.
Automation. Those things that are still cheaper to mass produce rather than print will continue to be increasingly produced by robots. This will further erode manufacturing’s position as a major employer. This will also start affecting retail environments and even food service. 
Power. So the retail jobs, food service jobs and manufacturing jobs are all obsolete. At least there’s still value in electricity to run all that, right? Well, while computers compound her computing power solar energy divides its cost per kilowatt-hour. It doesn’t have to be efficient if its cheap enough, and there’s no sign of this trend stopping.
So in the next few decades we can see a potential landscape wherein entire sectors of employment vanish to automation and the power needed to run that automation becomes essentially free. Suddenly we hit a conundrum: can we continue to value people based on their labor when there literally isn’t enough labor to go around? 
This is basically the Star Trek: TNG conundrum. If power can be turned into stuff, and there’s no shortage of power, then stuff has no value. This is the “post-scarcity” economy, which our current economic principles cannot handle. We won’t hit post-scarcity in the next few decades, but we’ll start getting close enough that the cracks in the system will start to show.
Once you hit that point, or even approach it, you have a choice: either people have to be valued as people and given a certain level of comfort and security so that they can pursue their interests and abilities (STTNG), or you have labor-as-value in a world with a vastly decreased need for labor resulting in a massive poverty-class and a small wealthy over-class (Hunger Games). There is a third option, but is a weird sort of ‘make work’ situation, where people are made to do meaningless tasks to ‘earn’ their living despite the tasks being essentially theater to make sure no one gets ‘a free ride’. 
Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where a small fraction of the hunters can feed the whole tribe, but the ones who don’t have to hunt go on pretend-hunts that net no game and do nothing but occupy their time in order to get their share. 
Even if you accept Capitalism as the best answer in a zero-sum economic game it becomes a moral and ethical sinkhole when the economy is no longer zero-sum. At that point the existence of poverty isn’t about an uneven distribution of limited resources. It is about the denial of distribution of nigh-unlimited resources. 

Oooooor, just throwing this out there, manufacturing jobs shift more and more towards the service sector, which they’ve been doing for a while anyway. Manufacturing is not the only type of job out there. Not to dispute the other stuff you’re saying, I’m just saying we need not fear for TNG’s rather bizarre economy or the Hunger Games - just that the employment landscape will continue to change as it has been for a while and we will adapt.

Automation is primed to kill a bunch of other sectors of the economy, especially the service sector.
One of the largest service sector jobs is transportation. We’re years, not decades, away from self-driving cars being not only commercially viable but commonplace. All those jobs have expiration dates.
Retail? Stores are pushing toward self-checkout lanes and minimizing store staff, and are facing heavy competition from online shopping.
Hospitality? The minute there’s a Roomba that can change sheets and make a bed, half of the maids employed by US hotels are fired.
Even “higher-end” jobs are at risk. The number of accountants employed over time is only going to go down as software packages improve. Tech support is increasingly automated. Customer service is increasingly automated. Government bureaucracy is increasingly automated.
We can’t all be teachers, doctors, or work in restaurants. Especially not when fast food restaurants start automating. (And the fast food restaurant employees aren’t making a living wage to begin with.)
Either we “adapt” to a world where not everyone has to have a job just to qualify for subsistence and we’re OK with that, or we “adapt” to a world where 90% of people exist to be the playthings of people rich and well-connected enough to own successful businesses.

atopfourthwall:

therobotmonster:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.

The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.

But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"

"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”

"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)

And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!

Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.

And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.

Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.

And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.

The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?

TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 

But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.

Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

Assuming society doesn’t collapse in the next 15 years, this is going to become a necessity, due to a number of technologies:

  • 3d Printing - This is getting more and more flexible, inexpensive and impressive. 3d Printing has the potential to completely alter how manufacturing, and thus retail, works. While we’re centuries off from a full on Star Trek style replicator, all manner of minor utility items and luxury goods are already printable. This will heavily alter not just the manufacturing landscape, but the retail landscape as well.
  • Automation. Those things that are still cheaper to mass produce rather than print will continue to be increasingly produced by robots. This will further erode manufacturing’s position as a major employer. This will also start affecting retail environments and even food service. 
  • Power. So the retail jobs, food service jobs and manufacturing jobs are all obsolete. At least there’s still value in electricity to run all that, right? Well, while computers compound her computing power solar energy divides its cost per kilowatt-hour. It doesn’t have to be efficient if its cheap enough, and there’s no sign of this trend stopping.

So in the next few decades we can see a potential landscape wherein entire sectors of employment vanish to automation and the power needed to run that automation becomes essentially free. Suddenly we hit a conundrum: can we continue to value people based on their labor when there literally isn’t enough labor to go around? 

This is basically the Star Trek: TNG conundrum. If power can be turned into stuff, and there’s no shortage of power, then stuff has no value. This is the “post-scarcity” economy, which our current economic principles cannot handle. We won’t hit post-scarcity in the next few decades, but we’ll start getting close enough that the cracks in the system will start to show.

Once you hit that point, or even approach it, you have a choice: either people have to be valued as people and given a certain level of comfort and security so that they can pursue their interests and abilities (STTNG), or you have labor-as-value in a world with a vastly decreased need for labor resulting in a massive poverty-class and a small wealthy over-class (Hunger Games). There is a third option, but is a weird sort of ‘make work’ situation, where people are made to do meaningless tasks to ‘earn’ their living despite the tasks being essentially theater to make sure no one gets ‘a free ride’. 

Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where a small fraction of the hunters can feed the whole tribe, but the ones who don’t have to hunt go on pretend-hunts that net no game and do nothing but occupy their time in order to get their share. 

Even if you accept Capitalism as the best answer in a zero-sum economic game it becomes a moral and ethical sinkhole when the economy is no longer zero-sum. At that point the existence of poverty isn’t about an uneven distribution of limited resources. It is about the denial of distribution of nigh-unlimited resources. 

Oooooor, just throwing this out there, manufacturing jobs shift more and more towards the service sector, which they’ve been doing for a while anyway. Manufacturing is not the only type of job out there. Not to dispute the other stuff you’re saying, I’m just saying we need not fear for TNG’s rather bizarre economy or the Hunger Games - just that the employment landscape will continue to change as it has been for a while and we will adapt.

Automation is primed to kill a bunch of other sectors of the economy, especially the service sector.

One of the largest service sector jobs is transportation. We’re years, not decades, away from self-driving cars being not only commercially viable but commonplace. All those jobs have expiration dates.

Retail? Stores are pushing toward self-checkout lanes and minimizing store staff, and are facing heavy competition from online shopping.

Hospitality? The minute there’s a Roomba that can change sheets and make a bed, half of the maids employed by US hotels are fired.

Even “higher-end” jobs are at risk. The number of accountants employed over time is only going to go down as software packages improve. Tech support is increasingly automated. Customer service is increasingly automated. Government bureaucracy is increasingly automated.

We can’t all be teachers, doctors, or work in restaurants. Especially not when fast food restaurants start automating. (And the fast food restaurant employees aren’t making a living wage to begin with.)

Either we “adapt” to a world where not everyone has to have a job just to qualify for subsistence and we’re OK with that, or we “adapt” to a world where 90% of people exist to be the playthings of people rich and well-connected enough to own successful businesses.

shitloadsofwrestling:

"Rusev, CRUUUUUSH!”

Suddenly imagining Lana as a trainer and Rusev as her favorite Pokemon.

therobotmonster:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!""But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

Assuming society doesn’t collapse in the next 15 years, this is going to become a necessity, due to a number of technologies:
3d Printing - This is getting more and more flexible, inexpensive and impressive. 3d Printing has the potential to completely alter how manufacturing, and thus retail, works. While we’re centuries off from a full on Star Trek style replicator, all manner of minor utility items and luxury goods are already printable. This will heavily alter not just the manufacturing landscape, but the retail landscape as well.
Automation. Those things that are still cheaper to mass produce rather than print will continue to be increasingly produced by robots. This will further erode manufacturing’s position as a major employer. This will also start affecting retail environments and even food service. 
Power. So the retail jobs, food service jobs and manufacturing jobs are all obsolete. At least there’s still value in electricity to run all that, right? Well, while computers compound her computing power solar energy divides its cost per kilowatt-hour. It doesn’t have to be efficient if its cheap enough, and there’s no sign of this trend stopping.
So in the next few decades we can see a potential landscape wherein entire sectors of employment vanish to automation and the power needed to run that automation becomes essentially free. Suddenly we hit a conundrum: can we continue to value people based on their labor when there literally isn’t enough labor to go around? 
This is basically the Star Trek: TNG conundrum. If power can be turned into stuff, and there’s no shortage of power, then stuff has no value. This is the “post-scarcity” economy, which our current economic principles cannot handle. We won’t hit post-scarcity in the next few decades, but we’ll start getting close enough that the cracks in the system will start to show.
Once you hit that point, or even approach it, you have a choice: either people have to be valued as people and given a certain level of comfort and security so that they can pursue their interests and abilities (STTNG), or you have labor-as-value in a world with a vastly decreased need for labor resulting in a massive poverty-class and a small wealthy over-class (Hunger Games). There is a third option, but is a weird sort of ‘make work’ situation, where people are made to do meaningless tasks to ‘earn’ their living despite the tasks being essentially theater to make sure no one gets ‘a free ride’. 
Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where a small fraction of the hunters can feed the whole tribe, but the ones who don’t have to hunt go on pretend-hunts that net no game and do nothing but occupy their time in order to get their share. 
Even if you accept Capitalism as the best answer in a zero-sum economic game it becomes a moral and ethical sinkhole when the economy is no longer zero-sum. At that point the existence of poverty isn’t about an uneven distribution of limited resources. It is about the denial of distribution of nigh-unlimited resources. 

therobotmonster:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.

The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.

But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"

"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”

"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)

And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!

Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.

And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.

Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.

And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.

The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?

TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 

But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.

Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

Assuming society doesn’t collapse in the next 15 years, this is going to become a necessity, due to a number of technologies:

  • 3d Printing - This is getting more and more flexible, inexpensive and impressive. 3d Printing has the potential to completely alter how manufacturing, and thus retail, works. While we’re centuries off from a full on Star Trek style replicator, all manner of minor utility items and luxury goods are already printable. This will heavily alter not just the manufacturing landscape, but the retail landscape as well.
  • Automation. Those things that are still cheaper to mass produce rather than print will continue to be increasingly produced by robots. This will further erode manufacturing’s position as a major employer. This will also start affecting retail environments and even food service. 
  • Power. So the retail jobs, food service jobs and manufacturing jobs are all obsolete. At least there’s still value in electricity to run all that, right? Well, while computers compound her computing power solar energy divides its cost per kilowatt-hour. It doesn’t have to be efficient if its cheap enough, and there’s no sign of this trend stopping.

So in the next few decades we can see a potential landscape wherein entire sectors of employment vanish to automation and the power needed to run that automation becomes essentially free. Suddenly we hit a conundrum: can we continue to value people based on their labor when there literally isn’t enough labor to go around? 

This is basically the Star Trek: TNG conundrum. If power can be turned into stuff, and there’s no shortage of power, then stuff has no value. This is the “post-scarcity” economy, which our current economic principles cannot handle. We won’t hit post-scarcity in the next few decades, but we’ll start getting close enough that the cracks in the system will start to show.

Once you hit that point, or even approach it, you have a choice: either people have to be valued as people and given a certain level of comfort and security so that they can pursue their interests and abilities (STTNG), or you have labor-as-value in a world with a vastly decreased need for labor resulting in a massive poverty-class and a small wealthy over-class (Hunger Games). There is a third option, but is a weird sort of ‘make work’ situation, where people are made to do meaningless tasks to ‘earn’ their living despite the tasks being essentially theater to make sure no one gets ‘a free ride’. 

Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where a small fraction of the hunters can feed the whole tribe, but the ones who don’t have to hunt go on pretend-hunts that net no game and do nothing but occupy their time in order to get their share. 

Even if you accept Capitalism as the best answer in a zero-sum economic game it becomes a moral and ethical sinkhole when the economy is no longer zero-sum. At that point the existence of poverty isn’t about an uneven distribution of limited resources. It is about the denial of distribution of nigh-unlimited resources. 

siphersaysstuff:

areyoutryingtodeduceme:

flockofflamingos:

Old Spice ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

everyone go home this is the best one.

Also apparently they’ve reached over $50 MILLION IN DONATIONS this is freaking amazing ;___;

WHY IS HE SO PERFECT.
MOTHER OF PEARL.

Look, I gotta say it.

UNF.

Carry on.

agoodcartoon:

peakcapitolism:

dogbosser:

agoodcartoon:

graceland1962:

agoodcartoon:

Seeing as how supporting democrats has done little to improve the lives of black people in America, the obvious answer is that they would be better served by voting for republicahaaah hahahah ahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahahaaahahahah ahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahaha *wipes tear from eye, catches breath* bwaaahahahahahahah haaa haaahhhhahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahaha

Exactly, so vote Libertarian

 stop my sides still hurt from that first outburst of laughter i can’t take any more

It takes a special kind of dishonesty to act like libertarian groups have done anything but cast people from Ferguson in an awful racist light

I’ve seen a lot of people say that the people of Ferguson should just go out and vote to fix all of this, and then say with disdain that those idiots in Ferguson won’t remember this in a few years and will stop voting again.aaaaAHHHHHH

 now to be fair to republicans they also piss and moan when the black population of ferguson actually do get registered to vote so at least they’re consistent about being human garbage

It’s worth noting that municipal elections in Ferguson, MO are held only in April of odd-numbered years—tactics that have precipitously, and arguably deliberately, suppressed voter turnout to ridiculously low levels—frequently sub-10%.
It’s also worth noting that a) the municipal elections don’t list party affiliation (another tactic that tends to suppress voter turnout), but that also b) the current Mayor is a Republican based on donations and former political affiliations, as are the majority of the City Council.

agoodcartoon:

peakcapitolism:

dogbosser:

agoodcartoon:

graceland1962:

agoodcartoon:

Seeing as how supporting democrats has done little to improve the lives of black people in America, the obvious answer is that they would be better served by voting for republicahaaah hahahah ahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahahaaahahahah ahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahaha

*wipes tear from eye, catches breath*

bwaaahahahahahahah haaa haaahhhhahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahahaahahahahah haaa hahahaha

Exactly, so vote Libertarian


stop my sides still hurt from that first outburst of laughter i can’t take any more

It takes a special kind of dishonesty to act like libertarian groups have done anything but cast people from Ferguson in an awful racist light

I’ve seen a lot of people say that the people of Ferguson should just go out and vote to fix all of this, and then say with disdain that those idiots in Ferguson won’t remember this in a few years and will stop voting again.

aaaaAHHHHHH


now to be fair to republicans they also piss and moan when the black population of ferguson actually do get registered to vote so at least they’re consistent about being human garbage

It’s worth noting that municipal elections in Ferguson, MO are held only in April of odd-numbered years—tactics that have precipitously, and arguably deliberately, suppressed voter turnout to ridiculously low levels—frequently sub-10%.

It’s also worth noting that a) the municipal elections don’t list party affiliation (another tactic that tends to suppress voter turnout), but that also b) the current Mayor is a Republican based on donations and former political affiliations, as are the majority of the City Council.

shubbabang:

describing what its like to live in northern Illinois to people

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CHICAGO, CORN, MEH

Commander Vimes didn’t like the phrase ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’, believing the innocent had everything to fear, mostly from the guilty but in the longer term even more from those who say things like ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’.
Terry Pratchett (via beornwulf)