This was rather vertigo inducing.
This was rather vertigo inducing.
Amil Niazi in a sobering article about ambition, COVID, women, mothers, and late-stage capitalism.
On Twitter, a year after that video:
I know people who’ve worked there (none of whom are with the company, mercifully) and have heard nothing but fascinating tales of dysfunction, fiefdoms, sinecures, overwork, and bureaucracy. One engineer told me that, of all the bad places he’d worked at, he felt his “soul dying slowly” at Oracle. It’s a generic and very real Evil Corporation™, and probably the company the protagonists in Office Space work at.
And this wouldn’t be too far-fetched a thought. Consider that the producers of Terminator: Genisys, who are an Oracle Co-Founders’s own children, based “Cyberdyne Systems, the fictional defense company responsible for the creation of the evil AI Skynet” on their dad’s company. Amazing.
Because we don’t simply write non-annoying and non-creepy software that respects you and does the thing you want it to do anymore. Gotta deliver Value™ to all key stakeholders. By which we mean ourselves and the Market. Not you. You are nothing more than Data that taps “Purchase” to us.
I cannot help rewatch this powerful scene from “Margin Call”. A masterclass in acting by the great Jeremy Irons.
Every sentence, glance, and gesture projects complete and menacing presence, power, and finality, and is done to absolute perfection 👌
A simple-enough argument about a dangerous, toxic worldview.
[…] To highlight that contradiction let’s try to explain these facts with individualist logic. Women and non-white people, by sheer coincidence, all individually chose to be paid less for more demanding jobs. Also by coincidence, they chose to work those jobs and be paid less than women and non-white people in other similarly developed countries. Simultaneously, people born in the same zip codes all just happened to make choices that led them to similar incomes, similar lifespans, and similar rates of disease. Those born to poor families chose, with little or no outside influence, to work lower paying jobs. The rich also chose, of their own accord and without significant systemic advantages, to work higher paying jobs. The huge differences in the inequalities between America and other wealthy nations is also a coincidence caused by Americans choosing to be lazier.
Rather than consider that centuries of enslavement and systemic racism has sabotaged the quality of life for black americans, individualists insist that black individuals choose to live in poverty more frequently than non-black people. Rather than consider that society exists, individualists have created a web of absurdities and chosen to live there. They also insist that none of these absurdities are racist, sexist, or classist. We shouldn’t temper our language here: anyone who claims that individual choices rather than systems entirely determine how most people live should be dismissed outright. It’s an embarrassing and absurd worldview and even the tiniest bit of research should make that clear.
[…] Individualism is a worldview created not to explain the world but to control it. It’s designed to fragment strong communities, turn workers against each other, and diminish the power of solidarity among the people. When you see yourself as the morally upright hero and everyone else has competition, you’re turning your back on what it means to be human. There’s plenty to go around, or at least there would be if it weren’t all funneled straight to the top, to the people who manufactured the idea of individualism.
See also: “We Ought to Live in a Society, not an Economy”
Not sure why this actually got to me.
TL;DR be a ruthless, inflexible, self-absorbed dick so you can identify, refine, and deliver Value™.
See also: “Where profits come from”
A New Hampshire family says that after a night out to eat at Friendly’s didn’t go so well, a restaurant staffer decided to express their inner feelings through the increasingly preferred medium of the restaurant’s billing system, dropping the phrase “100% sh*t show” at the bottom of the dinner bill.
However, judging by the family’s recollection of the night, that phrase might be an accurate description of the service they received.
After waiting for about 30 minutes without service, they thought they finally located a waitress to take their order. But over the 45 minutes that followed, they were twice served other diners’ food, while theirs was missing in action.
“Come to find out, the waitress that had taken our order never submitted it she just left,” one of the customers tells WHDH-TV, “She went home I guess.”
The restaurant apologized and offered to pay for the family’s meal. And while this comp was reflected on the final check, so was the “sh*t show” remark.
“They had to have had it either entered into the cash register or they had a [expletive] show button,” says the diner, adding that she and her family aren’t offended or boycotting the restaurant and that they will go back to that Friendly’s in the future.
For what it’s worth, Friendly’s HQ released a statement to WHDH:
“[T]his type of behavior is completely unacceptable. We are investigating this with the restaurant and will take swift action. We hope we get the opportunity to rectify this directly with the guest.”
Thanks to Craig for the tip!
Watched with LD. Kate Winslet is an amazing actor and this miniseries is her best work yet. It is excellent everything: story, score, cinematography, dialogue, casting, acting. About economic depression, blue-collar America, forgotten America, the opioid epidemic caused by unchecked Capitalist greed, community, family, single parenthood, decline in religious participation, and the country’s abysmal attitude towards the treatment of mental illness.
That’s a lot of layers and facets and it’s all done exquisitely, gut-wrenchingly well.
“Come back or get fired. We didn’t build this giant spaceship for nothing. And how’s our overpaid middle-management supposed to micro-manage you?”
Neil Panchal on substituting shitty, ineffective, and expensive consumer-grade items with their industrial and military grade equivalents. Emphases mine:
For I wouldn’t have any friends left if I did that. ↩︎
One of the most disheartening charts I’ve seen about the current hyperpartisan political climate. We fear each other so much more.
I suppose all’s fine and dandy if you’re in news or social media and are spiritually obligated to deliver Value™ to stakeholders via those almighty engagement metrics that do nothing more than sow rancor among people who have a lot more in common than they’re led to believe. All Facebook does is hold a mirror up to society. All the news media does is report. Ethics and responsibility are for the Value™-illiterate. The only thing that matters, as the society and country you and your children live in devours itself, is making gobs of cash.
Value™ must be delivered to stakeholders at any and all cost 🏏
Here’s some Buzzword Bingo based on these words by the same company.
Because the only thing that matters is delivering Value to shareholders. (cached)
Incidentally, and to the “huh” of many Value-illiterate people, defending totalitarian governments is exactly how one gives “people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
::Deadly pandemic rages::
Texas: “Let’s mismanage energy so thoroughly that our citizens are compelled to congregate en masse in heating centers designed to keep warm air and breath inside.” Here’s the problem with deregulation and privatization of public services.
The primary directive of a government is to serve and protect its citizens
The primary directive of a corporation is to make a buck.
When you give the duties of the former to the latter, failure ensues. Conservatives like to talk about running governments like businesses.
This is meant to drum up images of high corporate efficiency.
But a government that runs like a corporation is a failed government. A corporation, tasked with generating both higher profit and greater consumer satisfaction will work towards satisfaction ONLY insofar as it doesn’t impede higher profits.
If it’s one or the other, it will choose profit
This is a corporation doing what it is supposed to do. Theoretically the government’s choice should be the opposite.
It should work toward caring for people primarily, and if it is capable of recouping or exceeding its own costs then great.
But if public safety is at risk, money should be a secondary concern at best. In short, the govt model is “We’ll take care of you at any cost”
while the corporate model is “We’ll take care of you as long as it doesn’t cost us too much”
It’s clear why it’s dangerous to mix up these mandates.
Cause then people freeze to death over profit. It is understandable why government frequently needs to enlist corporations to provide specialized needs that the government can’t reasonably specialize in.
But that’s different than just ceding the whole thing to corporations and providing minimal regulation and oversight. It makes sense for instance that the government, without the equipment and resources to develop and mass produce vaccines, leans on corporations that already have the capacity.
But you don’t replace the Department of Health with Pfizer. Corporations are hostile to the things that citizens need from government:
They are hostile because those things impede maximizing profit. This is the reason that some of the most employee-benficial employment environments are within government.
All those equity-increasing initiatives that corporations have to be arm-twisted to adopt, like anti-discrimination policies, government just has to do.
If someone promises they’re gonna run a State like a business, they’re saying that they will prioritize making money over the needs of the citizenry.
They are saying they will reconstruct government to cut every corner, pinch every penny and deprive people of costly services
Texas decided that corporations should be responsible for civic infrastructure and now people are literally freezing to death in their homes…
The poor people of course.
The rich people are fine. Because they have money and that’s how capitalism works.
Just not government. A big piece of the failure to properly upgrade and protect critical energy equipment from extreme weather was that nobody wanted to take on a costly rehab that might jeopardize their competition with other companies and lose money and market share. So when the choice was between
Guess which won?
So now we have a state which is not only shamefully and woefully unprepared for the kind of extreme weather that their own denial of climate change ensures will only increase…
But whose only option now is to rely on a stopgap that accelerates a deadly pandemic. IF as discussed earlier, a government needs to rely on corporations to fill gaps in critical public resources, then it’s IMPERATIVE that those corporations be compelled to operate under the governmental mandate and not the corporate one.
Which is why strong regulation is key.
By Jace Avery
So why can’t the World’s Richest Man fund a paper as “critical” as the Washington Post in perpetuity?
Pictures taken 100 years apart. The image at the bottom is 18 years old.
I’m sure we can solve this with privatization, deregulation, lowering taxes on the rich, and letting an unfettered Free Market “figure it out” ♥️
, ThriftBooks, and Bookshop are three alternatives to purchasing books on Amazon. Powell’s is withdrawing from the Amazon Marketplace: “The vitality of our neighbors and neighborhoods depends on the ability of local businesses to thrive. We will not participate in undermining that vitality.”