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Cake day: June 25th, 2023

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  • When it comes to capitalist macroeconomics, as I understand it, wealth disparity is one of the big decay factors the government is supposed to monitor and correct for. Mind you, I learned MacEc in the mid 1980s but even after theory shifted from national economies to globalist economics (the free(-er) trade movement of the 1990s) wealth distribution, and the bow of that graph was supposed to be kept shallow.

    There are a lot of ways to restore some balance, such as taxing rich people and investing in welfare programs and social safety nets. In the case of freelance musicians (and freelance investments, which allowed people of lower income classes to invest sooner) these are just paradigm changes that allowed more people to participate, with the expectation that more people would be moderately successful rather than a few people being ostentatiously successful. Fewer Bruce Springsteens, more John Coultons. This wasn’t contrived by government though, so it’s more of a happy accident.

    And yes, Marx in Das Kapital notes that the ownership class invariably captures government and regulation which ends efforts to keep wealth more evenly distributed so we have situations like now (or like the Great Depression, a century ago) where a few people own almost everything and aren’t willing to let it go, even though the only thing they can do by hoarding their wealth is accumulate more wealth. And history has continued to bear this out, and to show that a well-regulated capitalist system is only temporary at best, which has driven me to believe we have to figure out something better.

    Post-scarcity communism would be ideal, but we haven’t yet worked out how to get there from here, and really I’d be happy for anything that doesn’t turn into a one-party plutocrat-controlled autocracy held together by fascism and a nationalist war effort.

    And sure, economics is a soft science so this is all just someone’s opinion, though the someones in this case are multiple smart historical figures who actually thought about it a bit. I’m not an economist, so I rely on experts who are.

    PS: This is my attempt to either find common ground, or to lay plain what my position is and where it comes from. I’m not invested in you adopting it, but if you want me to consider a different one, I’ll need cause to do so.










  • Which is why our governments are trying to kill US Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides that platforms cannot be held responsible for their content. (Although, if you want advertisers, it needs to be brand safe, and its this that does most of the censorship) – there are still some limits. You have to take down CSAM when someone posts it, and it’s generally a good idea to moderate spam and hate speech. And when dealing with billions of posts or comments per hour, it’s really hard to moderate at that scale.

    Social media allows us to see the truth of what’s going on, e.g. what it’s really like on the Gaza Strip and what’s really being done by the IDF. Police shootings and unnecessary SWAT and DEA raids were a problem before the internet got going, but now when someone dies, BLM and ACLU get videos of the incident, and that fuels discontent and unrest, and to our elites, that’s a problem.

    This is the very point of the Freedom of the Press in the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to let people know when institutions aren’t serving the public, rather are serving something else, usually plutocratic interests.

    All the disinformation, the enshittification of big social media platforms, and heck, Musk’s direct purchase of X are about neutering the power of the internet, which is how I ended up on Lemmy.



  • If it is art that other people value then that framework already existed

    From Wikipedia on Vincent Van Gogh: Van Gogh’s work began to attract critical artistic attention in the last year of his life. After his death, Van Gogh’s art and life story captured public imagination as an emblem of misunderstood genius

    The art we get from pre-made frameworks emerged because people figured out they like art, and then someone capitalized on that. Or in cases of monarchs and governments, they created a fund to allow artists to do their thing instead of waiting tables.

    There is a compelling argument that tens of billions of dollars being used productively to research anything would have at least some useful results.

    For every $1 spent on the moonshots, we got $14. Feel free to look for other investments, but big science really has proven itself.


  • Nope. People will still make content. It’ll be on far less of a budget, but that didn’t stop the Film School generation of independent films in the 1970s (before which you had to sell your life and soul and beating heart to a studio). In between all the schlock were the occasional arty films we consider classics today.

    And then there’s government subsidization of art projects, as per the National Endowment of the Arts.

    I think the MCU movies, the DC movies, the many studio iterations of Spiderman have shown us what capitalism eventually churns out. Sony actually chose this path content as product the same resort to formula that plagued the music industry in the 1980s (and drove the Hip Hop Independent movement of the next half-century).

    We just need to empower artists. Make sure they don’t have to moonlight as restaurant wait staff in order to eat and pay rent while they create, and make sure they have access to half-decent (not necessarily high end) hardware with which to do their thing. And yes, as Sturgeon observes, most of it will be schlock, but through sheer quantity of content we’ll get more gems than Hollywood is putting out.




  • Jesus is a failed apocalyptic prophet from the iron age. He wasn’t resurrected, and the narratives written by the biblical authors had their own agendas. The scholarly consensus remains that the OT and NT are not univocal, not divinely inspired and not inerrant. It’s a historic work, but is not a strong chronicle of history but of mythology, like The Illiad.

    But ministries are always going to take advantage of common mythologies and ideologies to manipulate the people. They are, after all, for-profit institutions in a capitalist market, or before were a nexus of political power. They remain places that serve themselves, not the people.

    We can even note that the message of Christianity has changed with time to serve the ministries, to reflect the mores of the culture at the time, though in the 20th century, there was an active effort to shift Protestant Evangelical Christianity in the United States towards American Exceptionalism, far-right conservatism, anti-communism, pro-patriarchy and pro-hierarchy, resulting in the Christian nationalist movement we are facing today. The movement that wants to purge LGBT+ and non-Christians, and force women to become breeding mares is the product of decades of willful manipulation. As some sociologists and historians who are Evangelist, themselves have observed, this may well kill Christianity as we know it today, making it the de-facto bad-guy the way Nazis (the old German Reich ones) have been for the last century.

    In the meantime, the poet is doing something different. In this case, it serves the same role as other internal mentors and heroes. In Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT, related to CBT – the other CBT) imagining what Wonder Woman, or Captain America, or Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Jesus Christ might say to you taps into that part of you that loves you unconditionally, beyond the fear that you don’t fit into mainstream society. Jay Hulme is seeing within himself someone that loves and regards him and accepts him for who he is, which is a critical step for all of us, especially those of us who didn’t have others to do the job.

    (This can also be applied to other media that celebrates the love of Jesus or the love of a mentor, such as I Don’t Deserve You by Plumb or The Wind Beneath My Wings by… two songwriters – Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley – and performed a whole lot of artists)


  • Jinn traditionally are magical beings (beings of essential fire) from the Dusky Lands. We assume they’re stuck in jars because Solomon vacuumed a bunch up (angels too) and stuffed them into objects, sometimes geasing them so they are bound to serve.

    This is how King Soli got his civil works projects done.

    There are tens of thousands of Solomon’s captured Jinns, spread asunder and lost to time. But beware opening a vessel with Solomon’s seal. Some are untamed and with just kill you, while others are tricky and will spoil any requests.

    Those that are bound usually are limited only by their own endurance and patience. It’s fairies who like to number their boons.


    • Sorcerers and Witches, those who practice magic without a license from the religious establishment, often consulted by the poor and underprivileged since the undesirables can’t simply walk into Oz without the right fancy dress.

    • Thieves, shunned by all since stealing is a greater sin than murder or human sacrifice (mostly because it’s a lower-class crime), but are clever enough to activate wands, identity herbs and potions and use practical household magic, just from ad-hoc experience and fiddling around.