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How Linux Mastered Wall Street

delirium of disorder Re:I dont care of WallStreet likes linux (339 comments)

That's interesting. In the USA almost all Swedish policies are seen as left-wing. That is to say that conservatives think Sweden is all godless government control and leftists think it's policies are sensible but too socialistic to gain popular support here.

However, privatizing Social Security is seen as extremely right wing. Investing our main retirement fund in the stock market would be a huge boon to companies in the short term, but who knows what the effects would be in the long run? All US liberals (equivalent on a good day to EU Social Democrats), socialists, progressives, most moderates, and even a good portion of conservatives want social security to remain a state entitlement program.

more than 2 years ago
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Have American Businesses Been Stranded By the MBAs?

delirium of disorder Syndicalism (487 comments)

"Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys and software firms by software guys." That's called workers' self-management. It is best implemented through industrial unionism, anarcho-syndicalism, or a network of co-operatives.

The problem with corporate capitalism is twofold. One is that management (the so criticized MBAs) have a class interest separate from both owners and workers. There are cases where management will act to retain their own wealth and power even at the expense of overall efficiency. They are also not necessarily the most knowledgeable about the core work of the businesses they run; much of business school is unscientific trendy buzzword compliant model building and improperly contextualized case studies. The business world chants the mantra, "a manager is a manager". The assumption is they can run any firm regardless of actual knowledge of the technical and social aspects of a particular market. Workers end up with clueless destructive bosses.

The other main problem with corporations, from the perspective of the worker, is the market itself. The short term interests of shareholders often drastically differ from the long-term interests of workers, consumers, and society at large. Investors ignore systemic risk that can destroy whole economies, sell off valuable assets and cut R&D for short term gains at the expense of long term viability, move production to whichever nation can do the work with the lowest human rights and environmental protections at tremendous social cost, etc. This system is clearly sub-optimal, to put it mildly.

more than 2 years ago
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The Dark Side of Making L.A. Noire

delirium of disorder Unionize! (242 comments)

If workers want to have a say in their conditions and want to retain the value of what they produce without bosses and investors taking most of it away in profits, than we need to organize a union. The time is long overdue for an IT industry union.

more than 2 years ago
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If I could revisit / re-run a chunk of my schooling:

delirium of disorder None of the above (309 comments)

I got expelled from high school three times, so that's as far as I got, but my experience was that schooling is anything but "book learning". The books you could read were censored and academic work mostly consisted of regurgitating what you were told.

more than 2 years ago
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Obama Calling For $53B For High Speed Rail

delirium of disorder Funding (1026 comments)

Posters are asking where the money will come from. I doubt this is what congress and Obama have in mind, but here are some ideas.

Tax oil and cut subsidies to highways and airports. Fossil fuels have negative externalities and should not be supported by the state. Right now driving and flying are artificially cheap due to public funding of roads, street signs/lights, airports, security and traffic cops, etc. Not only should subsidies end, but a tax should be placed on carbon intensive travel to reflect the true social cost of driving and flying (loss of liberty/privacy due to the TSA and traffic cops, deaths from accidents, health costs from pollution, climate change, other environmental effects, etc).

The US government could also reduce it's dangerous empire. The USA has hundreds of military basses and spends more than the rest of the world combined on the military. It's time to put the interests of domestic social spending ahead of suppressing self-determination in the developing world. Military spending was a proxy for high tech development throughout the cold war. If we could invest in science and engineering to blow people up, we can certainly invest in science and engineering for green transportation and energy.

The USA also has the largest prison system in the world. Releasing those who committed minor crimes, especially consensual crimes related to drug use or sexuality would go a long way to reducing state costs. Better to spend $15,000 to put someone* on welfare or $20,000 to put them through community college than to spend $40,000 a year to incarcerate them.

*usually someone young and "of color".

more than 3 years ago
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Feds Settle Case of Woman Fired Over Facebook Posts

delirium of disorder Correct rulling (316 comments)

Concerted activity is protected regardless of the medium of communication. In order for workers to organize to improve their lives, they must be free to discuss wages or conditions without facing retaliation from their bosses. In practice this is rarely the case, especially since most workers lack a union to back up their rights. It's good that the courts didn't take capital's side for once.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder Re:"The clever shall inherit the earth" (671 comments)

Capital generates no wealth. "Without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn." Labor creates all wealth. Yes we can be more productive with better technology, but capitalists: private owners, managers, and investors do not create better technology, they only charge us for the "right" to use tools that our class (the engineers, miners, teamsters, fabricators, chemists, programmers, etc) created in the first place!

Moreover, capitalism is highly sub-optimal for creating "wealth" in the form the most advanced technology, best satisfying human needs, and minimizing externality costs. Market demand is all based on short term individual profit. Basic science that benefits all of industry/humanity and takes decades of investment generally needs to be paid for socially, not by through market investment. (Universities, national labs, NASA, the military industrial complex, etc). Human needs are not well satisfied by a system that gives more "votes" to the small class that has the most dollars while letting poor kids go uneducated, sick, and malnourished. Under capitalism, firms have an incentive to externalize as many costs as possible and force third parties to pay for things like pollution, systematic risk (bailouts), etc.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder Re:The Myth of the Meritocracy (671 comments)

It is true that intergenerational mobility is particularly apparent in American immigrant households. Every generation following the original immigrants appears to increase their income by 5 to 10 percent, thus creating social mobility.

However, people with many generations of family already in the USA experiencing little social mobility, and most intergenerational mobility is downward.

It's hard to compare racism in the USA and Europe. There are still structural socio-cultural-political barriers for people of color in the USA, even though it has a Black President. The criminal justice system incarcerates more people than any other nation and disproportionately targets Black and Latino men, especially for non-violent drug related offenses. There has been a recent backlash against immigrants with "Minutemen" vigilantes murdering innocent immigrants along the border.

The French suburbs may be ghettos, but Germany has probably gone further in the past 75 years than any nation in becoming a more inclusive society (granted they were in worst shape for racial/ethnic relations, so they had nowhere to go but up, but still)...some European nations have more favorable immigration policies than the USA, others more restrictive policies. Europe is a big diverse place.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder Re:"The clever shall inherit the earth" (671 comments)

How do you get...workers self management?

I can think of two basic paths. If we are dealing with a state that has some semblance of functioning electoral democracy, free speech, an educated populace, than I can imagine a libertarian social democracy gradually evolving into a more and more egalitarian and participatory society over time. This would probably be supported by various peaceful social movements, local community councils, tenants organizations, democratic labor unions, etc.

On the other hand, if we are dealing with an undemocratic state with little meaningful popular participation, powerful political, church, and corporate leaders would need to be toppled by force through workers militias. Anarcho-syndicalism could emerge in a revolutionary situation like it did in Catalonia in 1936. (of course this would take decades of building a very radical labor movement, a series of general strikes, and the buildup of revolutionary consciousness).

a couple of countries that tried to make that happen.... they generally wound up with genocide, a dictator...
This is why it's important to create social movements that are opposed to all forms of unjust coercive authority. Hierarchical systems aught to be opposed, whether they call themselves christian or secular, capitalist or Marxist-Leninist, whatever.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder Re:The Myth of the Meritocracy (671 comments)

the USA does a better job of meritocracy than most other countries.

Nope...not if you compare the USA against other OECD nations at least.

"By international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility: our parents’ income is highly predictive of our incomes as adults. Intergenerational mobility in the United States is lower than in France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States."
--Center for American progress

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder Re:The Myth of the Meritocracy (671 comments)

Actually, you have the wrong idea about libertarianism.

The term libertarian referred to anti-state socialists (anarchists) for a century before the word was hijacked by pro- laissez-faire capitalist right wingers.

Anarchism is at it's core, not so much anti-government (Proudhon's biting and brilliant "to be governed" aside) but opposed to all coercive forms of hierarchy such as the state, organized religion, capitalism, racism, patriarchy, etc. Anarchists envision and support various forms of non-hierarchical self-governance based on mutual aid and voluntary association such as localized or federated democratic structures (unions, councils, etc). Anarchism implies a egalitarian society where workers collectively manage the means of production without bosses or owners. Skilled work (as well as shit work) would be evenly available in balanced job complexes.

From the 1850s to the 1970s the term libertarian referred exclusively to the left (anti-capitalists). It was only in the early 1970s that the USA Libertarian Party hijacked the term. In most of the world libertarian is still refers to anarchists or anarchist leaning political orientations of the left.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

delirium of disorder "The clever shall inherit the earth" (671 comments)

Apparently it's all perfectly wonderful that existing race, gender, and class privilege translates to better access to technology, access to private schooling, growing up in the language/culture of the middle and upper classes, and other determinants of financial success. That way we know that the most deserving can do the most highly paid and socially valued work like engineering new ways to kill people, marketing/branding/manipulating public opinion, speculating on the markets and draining value from the real economy, managing and controlling workers, further entrenching the legal power of corporations in the courts, etc. The most genetically fit earn big bucks and everyone who is poor is there because they are lazy and stupid and do socially valueless work like teaching, manufacturing, transportation, food-service, etc. This is the Economist; what do you expect?

All this talk about the unfairness of socialist redistribution is rather absurd as well. Capitalism involves the most massive redistribution of wealth ever--redistribution from those who produce value (workers) to the ownership class (capitalists) (and their professional techno-managerial class lackeys). An economy under workers self management that allowed everyone to receive the product of their own labor would be vastly more fair than our current state-corporate oligarchy.

For some more illuminating data on inequality, check out Dumhoff.

more than 3 years ago
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Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

delirium of disorder Re:Take a guess... (252 comments)

That's a bit misleading.

I see benefit in collective bargaining, but I am against unions as they have made themselves today.
Why not support unions that are more democratic than the traditional unions? The UE and the IWW are member run and as democratic as possible.

you cannot remain outside of the collective agreement and retain your job.
In most of the US you don't have to join a union to work in a union shop. Now, you have to pay the same costs as dues to support the infrastructure (stewards, negotiators, etc) that benefits you, but you don't have to actually join the union.

I dislike the fact that in quite a few places a union can call a unionization vote year after year after year until they get in.
Sounds like democracy to me. Hell, why not have automatic elections every year for ALL workplaces where workers can choose which, if any, union they wish to join?

the union can call strike action whenever it likes.
Almost every union contract has a no-strike clause. Strikes tend to happen before a contract (strike for recognition), or after a contract expires.

more than 3 years ago
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Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

delirium of disorder Re:Unions in nuclear power industry is a bad combo (252 comments)

[Citation Needed]
OK Here's some data:
Herbert Abrams’ Short history of occupational health, published in the Journal
of Public Health Policy, says: “It is important to recognize that throughout the often
tragic history of worker health and disease, the worker played a primary role as the basis
of every significant improvement in legislation, factory inspection, compensation,
correction, and prevention.”

Abrams concludes: “Labour unrest, protests, strikes, lawsuits, and catastrophes were vital
catalysts in obtaining action. Organized labour has been the essential factor central to
most workplace health and safety improvements, from the industrial revolution to the
present.”

The Canadian Labour Congress cites a 1993 study done for the Canadian Ministries of
Labour which concludes that union-supported health and safety committees have a
significant "impact in reducing injury rates".

Later studies for the Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Agency “found that 78-79 per
cent of unionized workplaces reported high compliance with health and safety legislation
while only 54-61 per cent of non-unionized workplaces reported such compliance.”

But this isn’t a Canadian phenomenon. US academic Adam Seth Litwin, then with the London School of Economics,
concluded in a review last year of health and safety in UK workplaces that unions
dramatically improve safety in even the most hazardous workplaces.
A non-union office worker was, by Litwin’s calculations, 13 times more likely to suffer
an injury than was a closed-shop union worker on an industrial assembly line.

Even in the US, with a relatively low unionization level of 13 per cent, the effect can be
seen. A 1991 study, using US data, concluded that unions dramatically increased
enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in the manufacturing sector.
Unionized firms had a higher probability of having a health and safety inspection, and
their inspections tended to be more probing, as employees exercised their “walkaround
rights” — the right to accompany a government inspector during a workplace tour.

A 1998 paper provides more evidence of the union safety effect. Researchers who
surveyed over 400 industrial hygienists and safety engineers in New Jersey concluded
“effective strategies for involving workers appear to be conditional on a number of
variables, most importantly on worker activism and the effective use of formal
negotiations.”
The researchers, writing in the Journal of Public Health Policy, add: “Findings are
consistent with studies from both the US and abroad which emphasize the role of unions
in shaping opportunities for effective worker participation."

more than 3 years ago
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Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

delirium of disorder Re:Coverage? (252 comments)

After then complete their IT training / become a video game developer in 24 hours certificate, as per the radio commercials promising $75/yr, the kids can walk across the parking lot to the unemployment office

You can't collect unemployment insurance payments unless you have worked for at least a year.

more than 3 years ago
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Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

delirium of disorder Re:Unions in nuclear power industry is a bad combo (252 comments)

Union workplaces are, statistically speaking, much safer than non-union workplaces in the same and related industries. When you have a collective bargaining agreement, job security, and an explicit grievance procedure, you aren't afraid to report and fix safety problems. When you're non-union, you have no representation, are underpaid, and can loose your job at any time, so you won't stick your neck out for safety. I would most certainly prefer that nuclear workers (or any power-plant workers for that matter), be union.

more than 3 years ago
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Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

delirium of disorder Re:Coverage? (252 comments)

If you want good reporting on labor from anything but a business perspective (ie how will this effect share value), you have to look at the media of the labor movement itself, not the corporate owned and controlled mainstream media. On the Metropolis Honeywell workers in particular, I suggest these two episodes of Labor Express radio. Another good source for labor news is the Industrial Worker, the paper of the IWW.

more than 3 years ago
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Given one free trip to the past in a time machine, I would..

delirium of disorder Re:Nazis (1270 comments)

*turn.

more than 3 years ago
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Given one free trip to the past in a time machine, I would..

delirium of disorder Nazis (1270 comments)

Killing Hitler would not have prevented the rise of fascism in Europe. I would go back to Barcelona sometime between 36-39 and done everything I could to win the Spanish civil war for freedom and democracy and in tern stop Franco, Hitler, and Mussolini dead in their tracks. The revolutionary example of the CNT-FAI's anarcho-syndicalism could also have gone pretty far to provide an alternative to the brutality of both Stalinism and State-Capitalism.

more than 3 years ago
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Providing Wireless In the World's Most Dangerous and Remote Places

delirium of disorder Re:interesting definition of billionaire (40 comments)

The president may be a billionaire, while the company he manages has spent more than it has brought in. BTW I wonder how they plan to get out of a 4.3 billion dollar hole. US Cellular, which operates in a much wealthier, more mature market, has a revenue (total business) of only $3.93 billion and a net income (profit after expenses) of only $216 million.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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What is your political affiliation?

delirium of disorder delirium of disorder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

delirium of disorder writes "Moderate
Liberal
Conservative
Libertarian (pro-capitalism)
Leftist (socialist, green, etc)
Radical (Marxist, anarchist, libertarian socialist)
CowboyNeal is my benevolent dictator for life"
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delirium of disorder delirium of disorder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

delirium of disorder writes "Congressman Markey (D-Mass) previously called for the arrest of Christopher Soghoian for demonstrating flaws in the boarding pass system of Northwest Airlines on his website . Now that the FBI shut the site down and raided Soghoian's home, Markey has changed his mind. He is no longer believes the government should arrest Christopher, and even recommended that Chris work for Department of Homeland Security."
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delirium of disorder delirium of disorder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

delirium of disorder writes "From the article:
"A little-noticed provision in President Bush's proposal for the treatment of suspected terrorists would for the first time legally endorse the fight against terrorism as equivalent to war, lawmakers and national security lawyers say."
Members of congress and human rights leaders critical of the measure have expressed fears that it may broaden the president's power to act without conferring with Congress or the courts."

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