node created 2019/09/29
What ultimately lies behind the appeal of bureaucracy is fear of play.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
The most profound legacy of the dominance of bureaucratic forms of organization over the last two hundred years is that it has made this intuitive division between rational, technical means and the ultimately irrational ends to which they are put seem like common sense.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
Freedom has to be in tension with something, or it’s just randomness.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
There was a time when academia was society’s refuge for the eccentric, brilliant, and impractical. No longer. It is now the domain of professional self-marketers. As for the eccentric, brilliant, and impractical: it would seem society now has no place for them at all.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
Women everywhere are always expected to continually imagine what one situation or another would look like from a male point of view. Men are almost never expected to do the same for women. So deeply internalized is this pattern of behavior that many men react to any suggestion that they might do otherwise as if it were itself an act of violence.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
the hidden reality of human life is the fact that the world doesn’t just happen. It isn’t a natural fact, even though we tend to treat it as if it is—it exists because we all collectively produce it.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
the ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.
"The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"
The whole world is shit, everything is shit, people are shit. Choosing to be positive and present is a coping strategy. It's definitely against my nature.

Compliments and other acts of kindness help. Just a little. Worth it.
The type of 'individualism' that neoliberal ghouls and those Randian dipshits propagate is ironically the very opposite of human nature, despite the 'muh human nature' shite they constantly propagate to defend their perverse ideological inclinations.

It's an individualism that can never truly bring about any actual individuality. One where your entire life is dictated by the exploitation of labour. One where you can never truly realise who you are. Life itself almost becomes soulless. Just centred on the 9-5 corporate grinder and an increasingly insular gated suburbia. An asphalt covered hellscape detached from nature or any true sense of community. Underpinned by an increasingly bureaucratic corporatocracy that does away with what individuality we do have.
FROMM: Like for instance, that we are confronted with the possibility of a war of such destruction that the whole existence of our nation and of the whole world is at stake. And yet, people know it - people read it in the newspapers, people read that at the first attack, a hundred million Americans might be killed.And yet, they talk about it as if they were talking about something being wrong with the carburetor of their car, perhaps.

FROMM: Actually, they have paid more attention to the danger of a flu epidemic than to the danger of the atomic bomb, because...

WALLACE: Don't you think that's a little overstatement, Dr. Fromm?

FROMM: Well, I wish it were, because what I see is relatively few people who experience, who feel, the danger, which we are threatened with, and who feel the responsibility of doing something about it.

WALLACE: Or maybe, when you talk about the responsibility of doing something, maybe it simply is this: that we find it very difficult to make ourselves felt in this amorphous society in which we live. Each individual would want to do something but would find it difficult to make himself felt.

FROMM: Well, I think here you point out to one, really, of the basic defects of our system: that the individual citizen has very little possibility of having any influence - of making his opinion felt in the decision-making. And I think that, in itself, leads to a good deal of political lethargy and stupidity. It is true that one has to think first and then to act -but it's also true that if one has no possibility of acting, one's thinking kind of becomes empty and stupid.
"The Mike Wallace Interview", 25th of May 1958
One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, nor attracted much sustained inquiry.

In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves.
"On Bullshit"
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.
If the world sees you are determined to make something of yourself it will help you.
I would like the expert physicians who are condemning me for my action, which has proven their ability, to take a perfectly sane and healthy woman, shut her up and make her sit from 6 A. M. until 8 P. M. on straight-back benches, do not allow her to talk or move during these hours, give her no reading and let her know nothing of the world or its doings, give her bad food and harsh treatment, and see how long it will take to make her insane. Two months would make her a mental and physical wreck.
Accept praise for its worth — politeness. Be brutally frank with yourself. It's safer.
It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world.
If you buy a hammer you expect it to work as long as you don't burn your toolshed. You don't expect it to change shape while you are using it, you don't expect it not to stop working once the manufacturer decides to give up on the design or once they go bust. Change being in your hands instead of the manufacturers is a feature, not a bug.
After years of studying it, I believe that cryptocurrency is an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity.

Despite claims of “decentralization”, the cryptocurrency industry is controlled by a powerful cartel of wealthy figures who, with time, have evolved to incorporate many of the same institutions tied to the existing centralized financial system they supposedly set out to replace.

The cryptocurrency industry leverages a network of shady business connections, bought influencers and pay-for-play media outlets to perpetuate a cult-like “get rich quick” funnel designed to extract new money from the financially desperate and naive.

Financial exploitation undoubtedly existed before cryptocurrency, but cryptocurrency is almost purpose built to make the funnel of profiteering more efficient for those at the top and less safeguarded for the vulnerable.

Cryptocurrency is like taking the worst parts of today's capitalist system (eg. corruption, fraud, inequality) and using software to technically limit the use of interventions (eg. audits, regulation, taxation) which serve as protections or safety nets for the average person.

Lose your savings account password? Your fault.
Fall victim to a scam? Your fault.
Billionaires manipulating markets? They’re geniuses.

This is the type of dangerous “free for all” capitalism cryptocurrency was unfortunately architected to facilitate since its inception.

But these days even the most modest critique of cryptocurrency will draw smears from the powerful figures in control of the industry and the ire of retail investors who they’ve sold the false promise of one day being a fellow billionaire. Good-faith debate is near impossible.

For these reasons, I simply no longer go out of my way to engage in public discussion regarding cryptocurrency. It doesn't align with my politics or belief system, and I don't have the energy to try and discuss that with those unwilling to engage in a grounded conversation.

I applaud those with the energy to continue asking the hard questions and applying the lens of rigorous skepticism all technology should be subject to. New technology can make the world a better place, but not when decoupled from its inherent politics or societal consequences.
The purpose of life is not to be happy at all. It is to be useful, to be honorable. It is to be compassionate. It is to matter, to have it make some difference that you lived.
Founders, investors, successful business owners and CEOs are more likely to show sociopathic behaviour than the average person next door.

They are the least competent group to be given power to shape any societal rules and contracts or to define how the humanity should look like.