Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bigger than You, Internet News, Ejumacation Dept.

Do it lesser

This just in....the problems of scarcity of resource, over-consumption, overpopulation, avarice and contempt for the environment are no longer problems! They don't need to be solved because, all together now, "no one knows, nothing matters, nobody cares".

I recently visited the US and found the economy (at least where I was) to be normal looking, could have been thriving really. I couldn't tell. Perhaps bubbles of economic 'normalcy' in areas that attract folks still holding currency exist, but in stark contrast and near proximity to vast tracks in a land laid waste.

Monster mansions make a comebackA friend and contributor to these pages is currently scanning the country without-a-future and reports that it appears "outwardly normal, but feels hollow".

I can't decide if it's difficult or all too easy to choose whom to blame. Informal surveys tell me that it's most often found to be caused by somebody other than to whom you are talking. Since it's nobody, I figure it must be everybody.

A story out of the LA Times Opinion section ( a curious enough entity to deserve a post of it's own) ran this story about the renewed McMansion building trend and the ethos of bigger-is-better that has been part and parcel of American life for decades. They site Thomas Frank's book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”. Here's a quote;

“This [McMansion] is [American] civilization’s very center, the only thing that really makes sense in ‘[expletive] nation,’ the tawdry telos at which all our economic policies aim. Everything we do seems designed to make this thing possible. Cities must sprawl to accommodate its bulk, eight-lane roads must be constructed, gasoline must be kept cheap, coal must be hauled in from Wyoming on mile-long trains. Middle-class taxes must be higher to make up for the deductions given to McMansion owners, lending standards must be diluted so more suckers can purchase them, banks must be propped up, bonuses must go out, stock prices must ascend. Every one of us must work ever longer hours so that this millionaire’s folly can remain viable, can be sold successfully to the next one on the list. This stupendous, staring banality is the final outcome for which we have sacrificed everything else.”

Web of Lies

We're hearing a lot about NET NEUTRALITY these days. Let me further confuse you. Since we don't really know how to live without the internet, this may be of interest to just about everyone.
Fortunately the tech blogs and geekesphere has been keeping this story alive. I am not sure how much this affects the web world wide or if hackers will save the day.
On the surface it appears to be about cable companies and such wanting to charge various rates for the 'signal' or the internet. Not a big deal, right?  So Amazone and Shittybank get the fastest and home made web sites and blogs (hrumph) get dial up speed internet.
It looks to me like commercial interests want government cooperation (read: muscle for enforcement) to control (read: manipulate for maximum profitability) OUR continued access to everything. I don't normally want everything, but in this case uh, yeah.
Here's a story about someone fighting back.

Smarter'n you

 "Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education." Bertrand Russell

If you believe the university system in the States could be better. then you'll like this.
A shocking report that state school presidents are increasing their pay, while tuition soars and students are racking up ever greater debts. The report says higher executive pay translates into less funding for scholarships. Duh.
Even Time Inc. can illuminate a grave problem like this to the democratically challenged. Still, what to do?
At a minimum, public schools should be as accessible as possible.
This means cheap or free and yes, subsidized by the people.

Another addition of old news editorialized by a know-nothing.
Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.

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