I liked it. A lot. It does not have a stiff theoretical spine; there is no thorough investigation of politics, humanism, religion, philosophy, etcetera. It is still a rather good read, relatively quick to.
Signor Carboni Raffaelo writes funny [& true!] anecdotes, the progress of history, some mediocre poetry, and an ability to communicate his own passion. To sketch out the events in the book loosely; it begins with Raffaelo’s visit to Australia, his discovery of several ounces of gold, then his gradual engagement with local affairs. He & his fellow gold-diggers are repressed by a licence scheme, there is a murder-later revenged by vigilantes, fire, (mild) abuse of clergy, and the climax is a bloody rebellion against the colonial government (which at the time was terrified of democratic revolution), finally trails off with his trial and departure to Rome.
My own impression was of his own sincere belief in a Christian God, his belief in equality beyond race or religion (although scarcely mentions Australian Aboriginals), his awareness of world affairs (such as Field Marshall Lieutenant Haynau) and of a sense of alienation from the colonial world. He was a visitor, not any type of colonist. His trial, which I believe to be directly transcribed, has shockingly bizarre & absolutely hilarious speeches.
Signor Raffaelo records various Australian lingo, some now fallen out of pop. use, and peppers his book frequently with, “Great-Works!”. “Spy Goodenough”, occurs frequently and took me quite a while to grasp. It was rewarding to expand my awareness about national caricatures-‘John Bull’; his pleasure in flames, and so deeply attached to commerce.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in Australia, this event even now carries social momentum (in the form of the Eureka Flag).
To relate this to the contemporary ‘centre of the world’, Mr. Trump may reduce ties with the international business community, primarily by reneging on the preliminaries of the TIPP and other major trade deals. This will allow time for mundane individuals and organisations to scrutinise, to plan and to propose meaningful alternatives & developments. It seems unlikely that Mr. Trump will pursue significant actions against the major accounting firms which are the major players in the Panama Paper crimes.
What may also occur is world leaders, specifically Mr. Putin, outwitting Mr. Trump. I anticipate that within his presidency of the United States of America, a serious symbolic diplomatic accord with Russia is reached, but one which materially benefits Russia more than the USA. This is due to the greater cooperation between big business and government in Russia,see: Gazprom, although this is not entirely restricted to Russia as shown above or shown here. This accord could be the renegotiation of trade law or infrastructure across the Bering Straits.
Astronomers are mapping the stars, and the galaxies beyond them. Although it may become utilisable in the distant future, or may discover points of escalating interest (ex. Armageddon asteroids, aliens) in the short term, it is not practical nor essential like plumbing or farming. A lack of practical purpose however, does not mean it is unworthy of pursuit. It indicates to the community which supports this pursuit of knowledge for it’s own sake, to rank the expenditure with other potentially useless investments, such as the military. Some researchers find it personally purposeful to inch precise instruments across the night sky, they find some pleasure witnessing the magnitude of the visible universe. Such pleasurable pursuits are extended beyond the community of researchers to the broader public via the mass media by shows like Cosmos, with much slower time-frames than sporting activities.
Mapping of the stars, supernova & other astronomical debris is no equivalent to practical industry from the perspective of democratic citizenry. Headlines, such as 40 000 000 Stars Mapped, are intended to loosen public purse strings but emphasize progress over pursuit. Farmers, plumbers and emergency services have a value which outstrips what is offered by astronomy (or the military). It may one day produce great value, as put forth with clarity by Mr. Stuhlinger. The link is to a piece of correspondence between a NASA director and a Christian sister.
That missive to the world, which is a contest for the faith of the multitude between two members of secular and sacred communities, keeps the ball rolling. If the ball, or to say it differently how we value our objectives, were to be the abolition of suffering, a Nietzschean perspective looms. Can the good can only be so, when there is suffering to mitigate? The affirmative answer is more Catholic than Christian, and has an equivalence in the Buddhist dogma of dukkha. Catholicism, which has an often wild and despicable history, has been a powerful ideology for millennia. Change was slow and suffering was a common thread to bind together a community (& to induce serfs to embrace their lot in life). How should this inform efforts to structure an understanding of modernity? Is the international community of tomorrow better united by the importance of suffering, or stargazing (or soldiering or shitting)?
Professional stargazers have reached a certain threshold in public awareness, the public figures of Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Cox demonstrate this. As much as they champion values of the Enlightenment (tradition of criticism, egalitarianism) and the significance of their academic domain, they have been unable to challenge the supremacy of the public dollar. They, and less prestigious members of their faculty, produce headlines as steps in the paper chase.
When progress is measured by percentages of mapped sky, for an activity which is communally, although not personally, worthless in the immediate future, I would suggest astronomy is serving an ideological purpose. It is a mental support for Western citizens to conceive, secure & justify the international situation. So to say, our moral elitism (science & secularism) is why our nations are leading the world (by non-faith based measures), why they will continue to do so and validation of the global economic system which is the best measure & explanation of differences in life quality. Does anyone know how often religious-social elitism justified suppression of lower classes in the past? To justify the relative standards of material existence, signs of progress are need to alleviate guilt by reassurances that change is coming. This justification is emptying the inner worth of pursuing knowledge for it’s own sake.
A quote from Mr. Deutsch from the book ‘The Beginning of Infinity’;
“But then there is the philosophical magnitude of a cluster of galaxies. As I moved the cross-hairs to one nondescript galaxy after another, clicking at what I guessed to be the centre of each, some whimsical thoughts occurred to me. I wondered whether I would be the first and last human being ever to pay conscious attention to a particular galaxy. I was looking at the blurry object for only a few seconds, yet it might be laden with meaning for all I knew. It contains billions of planets. Each planet is a world. Each has its own unique history – sunrises and sunsets; storms, seasons; in some cases continents, oceans, earthquakes, rivers. Were any of those worlds inhabited? Were there astronomers there? Unless they were an exceedingly ancient, and advanced, civilization, those people would never have travelled outside their galaxy. So they would never have seen what it looked like from my perspective – though they might know from theory. Were any of them at that moment staring at the Milky Way, asking the same questions about us as I was about them? If so, then they were looking at our galaxy as it was when the most advanced forms of life on Earth were fish.”
These days, mathematical algorithms become computerised and a machine is substituted for the man (or woman), all to produce signs of progress. What’s the rush?
Road lights should have a triggering mechanism, which might act on the 1 kilmetre of road ahead. Especially remote and rural roads where there is little large wildlife, no strong winds (trees on the road), no flooding, no rockslides and similar. In Australia, and I imagine many, many other places, there are a lot of roads like that. It would reduce energy consumption and light pollution, which hurts insect biodiversity. If it is expensive to install, then it could be done when other roadworks are done. The technology already exists, pressure sensors at traffic lights or motion sensors, and would be simple to modify for this purpose.
Social support can be provided by a prison with the doors open. The security would protect the vulnerable. It would make it simpler to concentrate social support. It would provide a safe place for homeless to shower. It would be entirely ineffective at providing social support to remote & rural areas, there the tyranny of distance reigns. It could create a core for a secular community, as religious buildings are to religions. It would equalise social support somewhat, no special groups garnering greater goods, and could integrate into public transport.
There should be a government register which marks down politicians promises. If online, it could be extended to petitions. A media employee would be in regular contact with various media outlets, so that the public is regularly informed about the consistency of politicians.
I like to describe the resources of public discourse thusly; attention, emotion, creative chances and action. Talk shows, panel shows and general media constantly circulate information throughout the community, according to various agendas and events. The subject of the popular public platforms will receive more attention, which feeds into expressions of emotion (eg. I care about this cause, I have more time for those people now, I never really got it before), feeds into a chance of someone creating a solution (eg. reduce the gender pay gap by asking women to negotiate wages), and it can feed into signing a petition, protest / solidarity march and what-not.
The circulation of information can indeed be circular. An example begins with those indigenous peoples of the world who face cycles of suffering which are an ongoing effect of colonisation. From the (what I imagine to be) perspective of a child, it is not immediately obvious that history is to blame for some social problems, nor that social projects specifically for minorities (instead of for problems) may be validated as an effort to break a cycle of suffering. Left to explain to themself, a child might learn a skin deep explanation to both predict and explain certain social issues, and that social projects specifically for minorities are simply a different expression of favouritism. As the child grows and learns the invisible explanation, the surface explanation is overcome, righteousness kicks in and this cycle repeats itself.
To briefly go deeper, a dogma, as opposed to a talking point, brooks no argument and readily produces contradictions (race-blind hiring set against racial benefits). A talking point allows the consistent explanation to be given, tweaks to the consistent explanation and immediate developments of the state of affairs alongside just arguing or joking, and it’s those last two which circulate the issue into smoko. These two paragraphs hopefully demonstrate a resource of public discourse, development & maintenance of the public opinion.
Most resources are limited in quantity, and this is true of the resource of public discourse. Each of us has only a finite time alive, and as attention requires life then our attention is a limited resource. As the developments of emotion, creative chance and action require that attention to begin, they are also limited. Competition for the limited resource of public attention comes from media personalities seeking to maintain their position, from advertising seeking to hold and manipulate it and from more places. Limitations of attention, perhaps by a limited broadcast time, means not all questions can be asked, conversation may be cut short, fuller explanations are inexpressible and so please be mindful of the balance of public discourse. Sometimes a dogma is a better response than a talking point.
Public discourse is a society wide resource to which we should all have recourse. An ability to determine what is discussed is at least as powerful as determining how it is discussed, and so there is a never ending battle over the hot topic & public enemy number 1. I believe a good discussion should include a relative position of the subject, and a relative position of social justice campaigns could undermine their impact. Positioning an issue within a broader context could also result in better distribution of the resource of public discourse.
Laissez-faire capitalism has no link between people. Communism has no distinction between people. To apply the Buddhist principle of the middle path, the best economic system will not regard all people as identical nor as infinitely different in value. By the logic outlined above, I found an economic perspective.
Job droughts, mechanisation, computerisation, distribution of responsibility or wealth hidden by international organisations and other factors are of great concern to anyone with both a social conscience and an economic interest. These processes tend to percolate profit to the peak of the company. If a job can be automated or outsourced cheaply, it is done, then the profit is pocketed by those able to do so. It’s financially sensible, and it produces inequality in the global & domestic communities. Some discussion of this dynamic tends to reductio ad absurdum (no that’s not a spell from Hogwarts), the dynamic it is real and it does matter.
Global industry is the new norm, the cotton to garment production line is illustrative here. Perhaps picked in the land between the Middle East, Asia, Russia & Europe (Turkmenistan / Uzbekistan), shipped to Bangladesh for processing into garments, from there sent to the sale point, before finally being purchased by a consumer, who’s payment is the ultimate justification of the whole process. The fundamental underpinning of the global production & distribution process is the almighty dollary-doo (in various national representations), which shows the truth the old adage, ‘money makes the world go round’.
Upper management of the cotton industry is not united in organisation of the process, but it is the upper management who link the meta-process together. They do contribute value by this organisation. However, if one imagines removing various classes of worker from the cotton industry; picker, weaver, shipper, sales, CEO, etcetera, the removal of the uppermost management would see the organisation stagnate and make no changes, and many companies would ultimately fail, although would McDonalds fail without a CEO? The removal of other roles from the industry, from sewing or sales, would see no cotton clothing produced and no final sale. By this logic it is unreasonable that the profits are focussed upwards when considered from a perspective of functional worth.
A link between the wages of each class of worker in a single organisation, industry or nation, would act to restrict this dynamic. A CEO and the board of executives, in search of higher wages for themselves, couldn’t vote on it, but would be forced to improve the business as a whole. Large corporations naturally produce greater wage inequality than small business, and so this economic policy is an impediment to the powers of mega-bucks and a small boon to entrepreneurs. The same restriction across an industry would mean each purchase could be made with confidence about the quality of life of the people in the supply chain, by so doing universally distribute the moral value commercialised in such forms as Fair Trade Coffee. CEO & executive board pay should be limited by the dollar a day workers.
Finally the national limit, which is outside the linear processes outlined previously. Necessities come before luxuries, surely those who provide our vaccines, lunch and plumbing are more valuable to, and more relied upon by, the community. So if each dollar represents one value token to be honoured by any sale within that community, then with a national pay limit, the community will know those who provide the bare necessities will earn will even if others earn more despite less socially worthy work. Also, a national limit would see greater consistency in earnings, which in turn immediately leads to the Tax Office seeing a slim increase from each worker, enabling easier budgets and in turn, social projects. It must be stated clearly, that without global change, a nation which pursues this alone also encourages job flight to nations without such measures, and creation of shell companies to secrete any wage paid in excess of the limit. That’s only financial sense after all.
Why should minority supporting quotas and incentives be accepted? If a job has two objectively equal applicants, why should subjective value be over-ridden by a quotas? Or objective value tilted by incentive?
A lot of discrimination occurs without organisation. A passive form of discrimination, of preferential treatment of those most comfortable to an authority figure, becomes a serious issue as it emerges from a community of millions.
Kim Davis, as an individual, refused to do the paperwork for a homosexual marriage, on religious grounds (an inconsistent personal standard, due to her divorces). This is an example of the category of discrimination which occurs without collusion. She did not act as a result of scheming between the USA government and Apostolic Christians.
Studies which found resumés with popular American-African* names require more applications to achieve the same number of respones, as those with popular generic American names. This is not due to the Aryan Brotherhood infiltrating business networks to influence hiring trends but instead evidence of an ideology without clear organisation & intent. A media which circulates more stories of American-African crime is an organised distribution which feeds the dynamic of discrimination, it is not done with the intent to disadvantage but to scandalise and sell.
*I hold that the first nationality is the place of residence and the second a heritage, so here an American with African heritage.
If TV news station has a segment for flattery of an individual, should an individual from the class which receives the most negativity elsewhere in the news, be chosen?
If two job applicants are objectively equal, in terms of education, experience etc., is it natural that subjective value (i.e. interviewer & interviewee share a hobby) becomes decisive?
Of course it is, and this aspect of humanity would see institutional dominance of the rich, white man maintained, but without intentional, organised ill-will. Mandatory quotas, alongside tax breaks & other incentives, act against this passive discrimination. However it means that the state enacting them is discriminating against the rich, white male, by legally de-valuing them or over-valuing the non-rich, non-white, non-male. Quotas and incentives then, become a systemic and intentional discrimination against the dominant class. What a strange inversion of the original state of affairs.
Much talk of discrimination frames the problem as though there were a conspiratorial group creating it, to the detriment of the minorities. Historically this has been true, and remains true of myriad situations. Also, that this is a realistic foundation subsumed into conspiracies of liberal perversion of government and public community promoted by right wing communities. Yet despite disorganised, unintentional discrimination against minorities, it should be seen that Western cultures which have systemic, intentional discrimination in favour of minorities are developing beyond a historic limit of equality.
Recently the government of Venezuela called for a 4-day work week. This curious fact came to me through openDemocracy. The goal is to reduce power consumption due to low dam levels and reliance on hydro-power, auguring rolling blackouts as a near immediate occurence. Regardless, a 4-day work week is a goal worth working towards.
This can be associated with climate change, as rain is an aspect of the climate, and it has changed. Whether this change is due to industrial influence on natural patterns, like the Yellow River running red, or micro-organisms altering the global atmosphere or a part of a cyclic change, does not get mentioned. Regardless, both sides of the climate debate should agree that we want to stay in the present Ice Age and discuss what to do to achieve this instead of laying the blame.
The Venezuela power crisis has given more momentum to the cause of developing an effective method of power transportation. Advancement in this domain would improve environmental impacts, business costs and industry efficiency. If discovered and disseminated early, it would enable developing nations to move directly to a better civil infrastructure which would be superior to the efficiencies of modern nations.
Forbes hosts an article about this crisis. There is not a single word about a 4-day work week being a reasonable goal of government. It boggles my mind that a reasonable solution to poverty is, & I quote,
“The right way is to give poor people more money so that they can buy whatever it is at that market price.”
Yes, wealth which enters the economy at the bottom of the socio-economic scale will turn a lot more wheels than wealth which enters at say, the banking sector. However there are surely more effective, easier structural tools of government, such as price fixing, than redistributing wealth from billionaires. Price fixing is ridiculed in the article as a useless economic tool and redistributive taxation is apparently the solution. Market clearing price is mentioned, compare it to price gouging, an effect of monopolies which can form in spite of taxation due to lack of regulation (such as price fixing). Price gouging is not unlikely to occur in the Venezuelan crisis, as it is a common occurrence in times of crisis.
A better tomorrow should be for more to lead the good life, rather than for business to grow. A 4-day work week should be applauded, despite the crisis, and support thought of to make it possible outside of ecological catastrophe &/ socialist stupidity.
This article is indicative of the elite dictating the terms to the many. Business in America can do well, but not without exploiting dollar a day workers (seriously) in Bangladesh. It is well and good to say the rich should give to the poor, even unwillingly so if the government must act with taxation. How though, should the government of Bangladesh move a fraction of the wealth of billionaires, to the local paupers? It speaks of the dystopia of capitalism that a 4-day work week is not a goal, but instead seen as a problem to be ended with laissez-faire markets. As I have said before, a minimum standard should be essential to modern government. As mechanisation, computerisation, and industrial performance advance, it is becoming increasingly possible that the normal standard of work is what the people want it to be, and not what the birth lottery dictates.
All people, until proven wrong, deserve care & respect. Those who are of our friends, families and those most deserving of prestige draw trust & love from inside of us. Love & care are emotional in a way which trust & respect are not, the latter two are intellectual in a way the first two are not.
Upon meeting a stranger, or when we become aware of a powerful stranger (i.e. police, spy) we ourselves feel secure due to an underlying assumption of care & respect. This may be validated from a number of different authorities, perhaps a Divinity implanted this quality or it is held as fundamental to our social, biological nature. As ones emotions & intellect dictate, what one can expect and what one can offer can rise & fall. How we offer these to ourselves can vary, and it is quite difficult to raise both high and be realistic.
If someone loses care & respect, rightfully or wrongfully, when they meet a stranger who automatically offers them,a beautiful thing occurs. The loser has room for hope, that they are worthy or can become so. Further, that not only the care & respect the other person offers may or is justified, but that more can be achieved, they can become or are worthy of love & trust.
This approach is underpinned by an assumption of love & care existing upon a sliding scale of the same underpinning emotion. Perhaps the underlying emotion could be described as immediate feelings of worth, despite self-doubt or an ugly truth which need not be overcome or re-written. So to, that respect & trust exist upon a sliding scale of the same intellectually assigned value. This could be stated as belief that the other believes that what is good, will be consistent. So to say someone we respect as generous will remain so, that someone we trust will remain honest.
Our minds & body are not separate, nor are our emotions & intellect. Love & trust, care & respect, it is difficult to describe one of these terms without use of the others. I take this to be a sign of the common core of people.