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Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, July 8th, 2012 - 4 comments
Categories: interweb, science, us politics - Tags:

I’m going to try and put up a piece each Sunday of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring).  This week: Work, American Lies and Science.

Before I get started on where work has gone, a quick update on last week – my feminism links could be enjoyably joined by this piece about France’s bearded feminists – with a wicked streak of humour to emphasise their point.

But what is happening in the world of work?  Mike Smith was wanting us to be truly innovative and Make It Here, which in a world rapidly becoming starved of jobs is surely a good idea.  At the Guardian, they’re talking about the graduate without a future – destined to be poorer than their parents, and highly educated on the scrap heap.  At the BBC they’re talking about the creative destruction of the internet economy – innovation can destroy jobs as well as create them.  And back at the Guardian, there’s the question of what ever happened to the future utopia where increased mechanisation meant the end of work?  We were meant to all be wealthy without having to put in the 40 hour week.

Some would have it that it’s because the wrong financial elite is in charge, and they don’t intend to share.  Certainly the Republicans have perfected the lie.  Mother Jones have a handy diagram to make your lie go mainstream in 26 steps…  They also show from voter suppression to climate change, the truth need not get in the way of the argument.

They also explore the science behind why we deny science

We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself. […]  Head-on attempts to persuade can sometimes trigger a backfire effect, where people not only fail to change their minds when confronted with the facts—they may hold their wrong views more tenaciously than ever.

4 comments on “Sunday Reading ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    At the Guardian, they’re talking about the graduate without a future – destined to be poorer than their parents, and highly educated on the scrap heap.

    Um, no they’re not:

    As the years have ticked by – with the freshmen of the Lehman Brothers year now into their second year as postgrads, or second year on the dole – the realisation has dawned on the graduate without a future: you have to make the future yourself. And if you look hard enough – look past the unkempt beards and the party-smeared mascara – they are having a pretty good go at it.

    They’re saying that the future won’t resemble the past.

    At the BBC they’re talking about the creative destruction of the internet economy – innovation can destroy jobs as well as create them.

    And what the BBC is describing there is anarchy and, eventually, the necessary dropping of patents and other artificial restrictions. Kiss IP goodbye as it’s going to get in the way. And that’s just the first casualty – the entire capitalist ownership model will eventually have to go.

    And back at the Guardian, there’s the question of what ever happened to the future utopia where increased mechanisation meant the end of work?

    The same question was asked over at Redline:

    Indeed, in 1994 a look at work and exhaustion in New Zealand by the TV1 current affairs programme Assignment noted that it now took 60 hours of work a week to maintain a lifestyle commensurate with one based on 40 hours of work in the 1960s. And so we come to the situation today where Labour, one of the two main capitalist parties, wants to raise the retirement age, ensuring that more of us work until we drop. In the meantime, low pay, longer hours and less social mobility, and more blurred lines between work time and personal time are the best the system can do for us. This is as good as it gets.

    What happened to the leisure society? Capitalism happened.

    And it’s a good question because we should have a reasonable living standard with less work than what was done in the 1960s but we don’t. In fact, the majority of people are actually worse off.

    PS, the embedding of movies in the post is doing horrible things to the text immediately surrounding it. On FF 13.1

  2. ropata 2

    the video is a good demonstration of the snobby elitism of the intellectual left. you have to pick your battles and being too analytical and obnoxious is a great vote loser.

  3. Jenny 4

    It pays to be anti-nuclear. I hope our sailors are appreciative of the NZ protest movement that won them this honoured status.


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