“Despite the tone of my initial post, I do agree. We use the social decorum of the time, in that time.
What I bemoan, is the loss of human to human interaction that has been limited by our physical detachment from one another. We, and all of the primates like us, are social animals. Throughout human history, and before human kind, our social needs have been met through physical contact. The transition to lonely prisoners of technological isolation has not been kind to us, psychologically speaking.”
“Thank you for recognizing the multiple levels this post works on. I made it a point to use inclusive language: "I, yet another self-absorbed child of store-bought nirvana, am as pretentious as the rest I indict."
To the addiction, I agree that the net makes our habit easier to indulge, but I think that we are too keen to celebrate the addiction, rather than critically analyze our behavior. It seems that most conversation conducted via this medium is on a continuously polarizing and oversimplifying trajectory. It all starts to look and sound the same, until it is all just a bunch of clucking in a henhouse-empty noise.
As far as the use of language, yes, it is overblown. But it is a tool used to make a point as concisely and precisely as possible. Given the limitations imposed by both the character count and the attention spans of the potential audience, it is important to utilize whatever resources are available to raise the dialogue bar: Impressionism for internet conversation. Plus, it's fun.
On the other hand, as Emmerson said; "The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language."
So many posters are careless with their writing. Is it so hard to use the proper word, and the proper spelling? Why should I care what you have to say if you do not care how you say it?”
Lisa B on Nov 12, 2010 at 15:31:46
“I hate to engage in a debate with you when I agree with you on so many levels, however:
If the average person gets lost in the language you use, they never receive the message behind it. If you know that and do it anyway, are you really attempting to communicate or just indulging yourself?
As to your other point, yes, it is that hard for some to use proper words and spelling because for all of our advanced technology, education for many is still in the dark ages. For others they simply don't care because they don't have to. Yes, I realize how incredibly sad that fact is even as I type it.
I make my living designing for this medium, and I've always looked for ways to elevate it and make it more about critical thought, emotional connection and enlightening others on matters of importance. Occasionally I get to do that, but the work that allows me to pay bills usually in some way contributes to the problem.
So I have to own and take back the snarky tone of my initial response. You actually are deep. I apologize.”
“And in the end, this is all that facebook is; we are real people interacting as caricatures, characters, in our own lives, in dramatic fashion as if our lives had meaning.
We, as a culture, have lost our purpose on this internet. It has, in it's turn, superseded the collective cultural molding of the media reflection before it. At each stage, the lowest common denominator is exploited for commercial gain, and humanity is left with a reflection of itself that was driven by the morally decayed iteration before it. This hollow image of our selves then establishes the next iteration to be driven via the most easily manipulated vices available.
We live superficial, narcissistic, shadow existences in a post industrial nirvana of ignorant, vain, self indulgence. We are the pretentious and insecure children of material wealth and spiritual depravity.”
Lisa B on Nov 12, 2010 at 12:23:21
“Okay, first, the most pretentious thing on the net today is this post. Second, our society has been floating in search of purpose since it began. The net only allows you a window into how lost it really is. We are addicted to conspicuous consumption. The internet only makes feeding the addiction easier, but the problem existed long before that.
Your salient point is buried in trying to impress with your use of language and screams "look at me, I'm deep!"”
Philosophy 101 on Nov 12, 2010 at 12:15:41
“This is only partly true, just like huffpost Facebook is a great way to get real information, such as; friend's birthdays, news stories etc. As for the superficiality of it, that is again only partly true. Ex: A friend (not close but mutual) posts cryptic messages alluding to depression, sadness, even suicidal tendencies. You post a few words, "so much to live for friend :)" . Those simple words can mean a lot, it could be the difference of life and death. With that being said, our society is built to conform people, and the pretentious and insecure children are byproducts of that. Facebook is neither the cause nor a symptom. Since each profile can only be updated by that individual, only superficial people come across as superficial, and they would be that way regardless of whether or not facebook existed.”
When oil is $300 a gallon, which is inevitable, we will wish we had invested in more efficient infrastructure when we still had the economic tools to do so.
Where: economic tools = cheap energy.
Remember the fable about the ant and the grasshopper?
This should be a no-brainer, but alas, we get the politicians we elect, and the politics we expect.”
myth buster on Sep 16, 2010 at 23:13:31
“If oil gets to $300/gallon, it's because of hyperinflation, and if that happens, what we've invested in won't make one lick of a difference.”
If you look at the proper data, you see that wages have stalled over the last five years. Look further, the gains over the last two could be attributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs since 2008. Lost jobs are those on shop floors, where wages are lowest. The jobs retained were the higher skilled management and engineering positions where unemployment has not risen dramatically. Durable goods manufacturing and goods producing industries:
Additionally, the same increase in manufacturing wages also coincided with massive layoffs in 2001, which is clear from the graphs. Unemployment rates for college graduates has not risen above 5%, and has held around 2-3% for the past ten years, even during the recession following 2001. Highly skilled employees, who earn more, are skewing the compensation data upward for manufacturing.
“Thank you for your chart on real compensation per hour in the manufacturing sector. It shows an approximate 30% increase in real compensation per hour between 1990 and now. Not bad for a period when the manufacturing sector was supposed to have been decimated.
I agree that it is terrible that the US is moving away from being an economy based on low-skilled, low-paying jobs and moving to one based on high-skilled, high-paying jobs. It would be far better if heaps more people were involved in sewing together underpants, screwing together I-Pods and working in call centers. Then we could all be rich like the Chinese and Indians.”
“This line of reasoning is only half finished.
The core problem of the trade imbalance isn’t that Americans export too little, but that they import too much.
Growing our exports cannot be reliably expected. But they can control their imports on an individual basis.
Consumer's who will choose to save ten cents on a Chinese-made product over American are as much to blame as the government/corporations for the trade deficit, and this behavior needs to shift.
Imposing a “trade” solution implies that Americans choose their own short term gain every time, and need to have a big brother to guide their self-destructive actions.
Remember the marshmallow test?
Americans need to see themselves as united, and responsible for their own economy, in the fight to improve their lives.
Instead they are divided culturally, economically, politically, you name it. And as a society are lazy, and would blame somebody else before looking hard in the mirror for the truth.”
Texas Aggie on Sep 16, 2010 at 14:52:23
“The problem comes when you start looking for high tech stuff, like laptops, that have a made in America label. They just don't exist. You can't even find exercise shoes anymore now that even Chuck Taylor has had to go overseas or go out of business.”
“This is where the nerds come in, they have the brains that are needed for the technological advances that will continue to come in all sectors of the economy from simple infrastructure projects to complex post-oil energy needs. Bachelors degrees in business are awarded at nearly ten times the rate of mechanical engineers, the most common 'hard' sciences degree. (Biology bachelors run about half the rate of Business.) http://www.myplan.com/majors/top-ten/bachelors-degrees.php
(sorry I couldn't find a better source in the few minutes I'm giving this topic)
Why so many Glass-half-empty naysayers who would rather not look for facts to back up their clearly flawed assumptions? Not only for the future, but recently the possession of a science and engineering BS degree was especially lucrative: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind10/c3/c3s4.htm
"In general, holders of S&E degrees have higher rates of pay and lower rates of unemployment than other college graduates."”
“Definitely agree. No guarantee, of course, but the diligence required to achieve a science degree goes quite a bit farther to prove to potential employers that you have the work ethic required to get some work done.
In many industries, including research labs such as Lawrence Livermore in CA, employers are hiring more foreign-educated scientists and engineers simply because there are not enough applicants who can call English their first language.
I am not saying that this is some crisis of foreign competition, but more a crisis of educational investment. At the college I attend, last year they graduated about four times as many business students as they did all science degrees combined.
Looking back to a previous post by Anya; "jobless millenials" It is not about what your education is in particular, rather, your motives and ability to stay on task is what is necessary to build the industries of the future. But, according to one poster to the comments: "It will take structural change and entrepreneurial action to help these new generations keep their heads above the water"”
“Excuse me, but the generalization of Boomers as a narcissistic and self-centered bunch is well documented. Don't get too excited about a bit of a generational blame game because we learned from the best never to "trust anyone over thirty."”
techjockey on Aug 22, 2010 at 19:18:03
“Generational slamming is non productive & ignorant on all levels.”
Progressives tend to be analytical and self critical (read as wishy-washy by the right), whereas the conservative mindset is one of low information, low thought input, "you are either with us or against", narrow minded faith in the GOP ideology.
Imagine a Republican, looking back and thinking:
"You know, I think invading Iraq may have been a mistake."”
“Please take a closer look at what I have written. I made no argument for or against the actions or intentions of the government, you did. Nor did I attempt to promote the platform of one party or another as possessing the 'right' answer. I tend to agree with Emerson, and the "Tea Partiers" that a less intrusive government is preferable to the despotic.
I do not conflate society and government in the sense that you imply, rather, I use it in the very sense that Emerson did; that social institutions and social phenomena may be utilized by politicians and campaigners as tools to rally the masses around their cause. In this instance, I believe that the "Tea Party" movement's grassroots authenticity has been seized by the "wingers", who have replaced the protesters message with their own.
I do not see the size of the government as a problem so much as I do with who has the most influence upon it. The reason the "Tea Party" roots are not represented in politics, is because they are dangerous to the status quo. Our representatives, left and right, are beholden to the interests of a minority of large corporations. So much so, that these corporations can literally extort the American people by threatening economic collapse. The “Tea Party” movement could have carried the banner of populism, personal responsibility, and independence in the face of corporate dominance for us all. Unfortunately, their message was drowned in a teacup by Fix news.”
WilliamBradford on Jul 2, 2010 at 16:39:44
“I think we agree on many things. However, I do not share your paranoia regarding the "wingers", the "corporations", and "Fix News". These are all straw men that the Left has created to avoid discussing real issues.
There is no important distinction between the big corporations and the big government. Their interest is in the status quo. There interest is in maintaining, expanding, and further concentrating power. The federal government is just the largest part of this establishment - all of which is the enemy of individual liberty and personal responsibility.
You see the "wingers" and big business extorting people, but you don't recognize the same tools, and worse, being used by the government to exploit minorities, the poor, unions workers, and environmentalists in any way they can to keep power and gain more control of the economy.
Progressive government seeks to erase the social institutions and the personal character that are the source of virtue. The tea partiers believe this is the biggest threat that we face, and they are right.”
This preceded the quote about republics abounding, and puts the "Tea Party" in an interesting context:
"Society is an illusion to the young citizen. It lies before him in Rigid repose, with certain names, men and institutions rooted like oak-trees to the center, round which all arrange themselves as best they can. But the old statesman knows that society is fluid; there are no such roots and centers, but any particle may suddenly become the center of the movement and compel the system to gyrate around it."
While the initial motivations, and protests of the "Tea Party" may have been a natural outpouring of social unrest, or longing; and may have been capable of poetry; the movement has been recognized and co-opted by the far right as a particle with which to herd the disenfranchised into the fold.
The Tea Party, if left to honestly protest, would find as much abhorrent with the 'conservatives', as it does with the 'liberals'. Yet, it has had its voice stolen by the ideologues and replaced with the campaign slogans of the Republican party.”
WilliamBradford on Jul 2, 2010 at 14:58:46
“The root of your misunderstanding the tea parties, and perhaps Emerson, is making the argument into one about what government should, or should not, do and to be obsessed with which political party has the right answer. The answer is that government should be less important in general.
Its proper role is to do as little as possible so that individuals can be encouraged, and even expected, to "do their work" and develop their own private character. This "self-reliance" is not an obtuse concept. For Emerson it was real and practical. When he talked of "society", he did not see this as synonymous with "government" as many do today.
Of course society is fluid and some legislation is necessary and wise. But, as you quote RWE above, if you blindly pledge allegiance to big institutions as the solution, you are doing yourself, and your fellows, a disservice. The only good government is a decentralized government that defers to local solutions and embraces private character. That is the root of the tea party, but it is unfortunately not represented in our mainstream politics.”
“Could you provide more context? You quote Emerson, but fail to denote from what essay you source.
I think that Emerson himself has hedged in your reference. He refers to 'foolish' legislation, which leaves the interpretation open to debate. Clearly, not all legislation is foolish, as the libertarians would have us believe. Couching arguments in black -and-white terms that vilify government serve only to promote the dangerous dualism that has led us to this impasse, where honest debate is drowned by the shouting match.
"If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead bible society, vote with a great party either for the government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers-under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are: and of course so much force is withdrawn from your proper life. But do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. A man must consider what a blind-mans-buff is this game of conformity. If I know your sect I anticipate your argument."
If we willingly place ourselves in the left-right context, we allow the ideologues to dictate our thoughts. We are then "victims of society" and "parrots of other men's thinking." (The American Scholar)”
“We have been trained to mistrust our neighbors. We should be rebuilding our economy from the ground up: buy small, buy local whenever it is available, and it will grow. We don't need large corporations to feed and clothe ourselves, just a bit of sweat equity, so to speak. Some of us have gotten it, but it is a sad aware few.
There is three kinds of people:
The first guy who learns from books,
The second guy who learns from observation of others,
The third guy?
He has to pee on the electric fence himself before he gets it.
It is unfortunate, but I think you see it too, we are a nation that is going to need to feel that jolt of electricity before we get off our lazy a$$es and fix ourselves.
It will happen, but hopefully there will be enough of the forward looking experimenters to teach the rest of us how to live smarter.
Additionally, I hope we are humble enough as a nation to accept the bitter medicine when the time comes.”
“But surely we can consume our way out of our problems?!
We have become too good at producing consumer garbage, but forgot that economic self interest (as Adam smith saw it) only applies when people are fully participative in their economic ambitions.
I am not sure that scarcity can dependably create demand, but our overabundance is surely not dependent upon employment. Herein lies our problem: We don't need people for production anymore, but the loss of those jobs is the loss of our middle class. We transitioned from agricultural based employment to industrial, now we need to transition from industrial to? Service?”
In an Economic democracy, you vote with your dollar.
Before every purchase, you should be asking yourself:
Who do you want your dollars to go to?
As responsible consumers, we need to consider the money flow we create.
We spend too much time trying to save a couple of pennies, rather than saving our neighbors.
It comes down to the multiplier effect. If I spend locally, that money will be more likely to come back to me.”
“Good grief, and the overwhelming confidence in the Shrubs regulatory policies, as well as generous tax breaks for corporations led to the greatest economic boom in generations.
What planet are you on?”