node created 2019/09/29
As long as either our attention or our personal information is traded by third parties in markets that do not incorporate their value to us, they will tend to be underpriced and used in ways that are both against our wishes and detrimental to our well-being. That meets the definition of exploitation. Things that we find valuable and are quintessentially our own are being stripped away from us without our consent or adequate compensation.
[..] celebrities (particularly, but not solely, movie stars) are always playing a role, even in interviews, etc. When they make a public appearance that isn't overtly as a character, the role they're playing is their "movie star" persona. Unless you are an actual friend of theirs, you don't really know what their true authentic selves are.

Social media, it seems to me, has caused everyone to do the same thing. In social media, people tend to be playing a role -- that role being what they view as the best version of themselves. But it's not their true authentic selves any more than with the celebrities.

I think this has caused a serious degradation in the social fabric. Before social media, the most common interactions you had were with friends and family, and you were mostly interacting with their authentic selves. After all, nobody really knows you until they've seen you at your worst.

Interactions in social media are not like that. You're interactive with people playing parts, and that interaction is no longer genuine human contact. It just has the window-dressing of that.

Loneliness and isolation is the logical result of that. It's a bit like replacing most of your food with "dietary fiber" that is made to look and taste like food. It will fill you up and taste good, but in the end you'll still starve to death.
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
If kids are studying for a test, they're not going to learn anything. We all know that from our own experience. You study for a test and pass it and you forget what the topic was, you know. And I presume that this is all pretty conscious. How conscious are they? I don't know, but they're reflections of the attitude that you have to have discipline, passivity, obedience, the kind of independence and creativity that we were shown in the '60s and since then - it's just dangerous.
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"
Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
"The Woman Destroyed"
When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.
"Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil"
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.

Ah, what an age it is
When to speak of trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
"To Posterity" (1939)
People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.
The dominant propaganda systems have appropriated the term "globalization" to refer to the specific version of international economic integration that they favor, which privileges the rights of investors and lenders, those of people being incidental. In accord with this usage, those who favor a different form of international integration, which privileges the rights of human beings, become "anti-globalist." This is simply vulgar propaganda, like the term "anti-Soviet" used by the most disgusting commissars to refer to dissidents.

It is not only vulgar, but idiotic. Take the World Social Forum, called "anti-globalization" in the propaganda system -- which happens to include the media, the educated classes, etc., with rare exceptions. The WSF is a paradigm example of globalization. It is a gathering of huge numbers of people from all over the world, from just about every corner of life one can think of, apart from the extremely narrow highly privileged elites who meet at the competing World Economic Forum, and are called "pro-globalization" by the propaganda system.

An observer watching this farce from Mars would collapse in hysterical laughter at the antics of the educated classes.
If, in Récoltes et Semailles I'm addressing anyone besides myself, it isn't what's called a "public". Rather I'm addressing that someone who is prepared to read me as a person, and as a solitary person. It's to that being inside of you who knows how to be alone, it is to this infant that I wish to speak, and no-one else. I'm well aware that this infant has been considerably estranged. It's been through some hard times, and more than once over a long period. It's been dropped off Lord knows where, and it can be very difficult to reach. One swears that it died ages ago, or that it never existed - and yet I am certain it's always there, and very much alive.
"The Life of a Mathematician - Reflections and Bearing Witness" (1986)
Accept praise for its worth — politeness. Be brutally frank with yourself. It's safer.
Mainstream media sources about most topics are propaganda, plain and simple. You can call it marketing, you can call it public relations, or you can call it propaganda. Same god damn'd thing. The news is simply a good way to know what the opinion leaders want us to think about various things.
Most wars in the 20th century have started as a result of lies. Amplified and spread by the mainstream press. And you go, well that is a horrible circumstance, that is terrible that all these wars start with lies. And I say no, this is a tremendous opportunity, because it means that populations basically don't like wars and they have to be lied into it.
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons
You don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars
Against the new non-rich
"Prison Song"
The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.
No community is easier to govern than one that rejects the very concept of community.
"The Dark Tower"
As many critics have pointed out, terrorism is not an enemy. It is a tactic. Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely make the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.
"American Hegemony: How to Use It, How to Lose It" (2007)
It is not the greatest of modern scientists who feel most sure that the object, stripped of its qualitative properties and reduced to mere quantity, is wholly real. Little scientists, and little unscientific followers of science, may think so. The great minds know very well that the object, so treated, is an artificial abstraction, that something of its reality has been lost.
At some point we all have to stop saying "well I'm a {baker, hacker, librarian, truck driver,...}, why should I worry about these problems?" and realize that this is world-altering stuff happening, and if you want your little corner of the world to survive, you have to mobilize to protect it, even if that means doing a little less of the things you normally do.
Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm, but the harm (that they cause) does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
I cannot tell why the spokesmen I have cited want the developments I forecast to become true. Some of them have told me that they work on them for the morally bankrupt reason that "If we don't do it, someone else will." They fear that evil people will develop superintelligent machines and use them to oppress mankind, and that the only defense against these enemy machines will be superintelligent machines controlled by us, that is, by well-intentioned people. Others reveal that they have abdicated their autonomy by appealing to the "principle" of technological inevitability. But, finally, all I can say with assurance is that these people are not stupid. All the rest is mystery.
My dear,

Have you noticed how those who move, move fast? And those who don’t, just stand still; motionless?

Yes, you can go ahead and rant to me about how an object in motion stays in motion, and how an object at rest stays at rest. But, I think there’s more to this than physics.

I think those in motion have seen something the others have not; their imprisonment.

While those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

Truly yours,
Rosa Luxemburg
I could not find a source for this (yet)
Well it’s very simple what happened. Everybody in America was convinced they literally lived in a police state, that if you go out to the streets and demand change, even if you non-violently sit in a park, RoboCops will come and beat you up. And for a moment, when we did this thing in Zucotti Park, that didn’t happen! Everybody was like: ‘What? You mean this actually is a free country? We can actually protest?’ And so they came. And then, in about two months, the cops said ‘no this is not a free society’ and they beat them up again.

It’s not that Occupy dissolved, but you can only create a movement for direct democracy if you can get everybody out in some kind of public place. They have to be safe enough to go there. So if going to an Occupy march means risking getting beaten up with stick, or being thrown into prison, then people with children, old people, they’re just not going come. And then only the hardcore activists come. It’s that simple.
The difference between a theory, a conspiracy theory and the truth are best described by varying levels of evidence. A theory is not currently accepted as the truth, but it might be the truth. A conspiracy theory is something that has been proven to be untrue, but people still believe it and pass it on. The truth is the internally consistent and fact supported state of the world as it was and as it is.

There were many people who were going out on a limb with the assertion that the NSA was probably vacuuming it all up, they had means, motive and opportunity handed to them on a golden platter, on top of that it corresponded with what we would expect to do ourselves when in that position (not that there was any such temptation). The hacker community was well capable of seeing this as a theory, rather than as a conspiracy [theory] simply for absence of proof. That didn't stop others from labeling the hacker community as a bunch of conspiracy theorists simply because they could not imagine it to be the truth [..]
Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.

Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.
It wasn't the "European banks" that got hurt from the mortgage-backed bunkum. They were made whole to the tune of 100 cents on the dollar. The people who are paying for it are the same ones that are paying for it over here. You and me. Our parents. Our kids.

They are creating a "breakaway" culture, who within decades will be the only ones with access to capital, to new technologies, to advanced health care. That's the ultimate effect of the dramatic increase in wealth disparity. Fifty years of this and they'll be as far ahead of the rest of us as the American settlers were of the Native Americans. When two cultures exist side-by-side and one is so far in advance of the other, it doesn't work out well for the ones on the bottom. We are seeing evolutionary branching based on wealth alone.
There are perfectly obvious processes of centralization of control taking place in both the political and the industrial system. As far as the political system is concerned in every parliamentary democracy, not only ours, the role of parliament in policy formation has been declining in the years since WWII as everyone knows and political commentators repeatedly point out. The executive, in other words, become increasingly powerful as the planning functions of the state become more significant. The house Armed Services Commitee a couple of years ago described the role of Congress as that of a sometimes querulous but essentially kindly uncle, who complains while furiously puffing on his pipe, but who finally, as everyone expects, gives in and hands over the allowance. And careful studies of civil military decisions since WWII show that this is quite an accurate perception. Senator Vandenberg 20 years ago expressed his fear that the American chief executive would become "the number one warlord of the earth". That has since occurred. The clearest decision is the decision to escalate in Vietnam in February 1965 in cynical disregard of the expressed will of the electorate. This incident reveals I think with perfect clarity the role of the public in decisions about peace and war. The role of the public in decisions about the main lines about public policy in general, and it also suggests the irrelevance of electoral politics to major decisions of national policy.

Unfortunately you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.

The corporate executives and the corporation lawyers and so on who overwhelmingly staff the executive, assisted increasingly by a university based mandarin class, these people remain in power no matter whom you elect and furthermore it is interesting to note that this ruling elite is pretty clear about its social role.