2.23.2017 Daily

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          


In a world of work where more and more receive less and less, while overall availability of any employment at all continues its automated decline, a sobering look from Portside, via Inside Higher Ed, at adjunct faculty in Youngstown, Ohio, who last received any increase in pay twenty-five years ago and have no definite prospects for changing such a situation, though particular organizing drives and campaigns have resulted in substantial improvements in conditions and pay at a very few other institutions where the apparently inexorable trend to increase the number of non-tenure-track teachers has also been manifest, a story of labor’s travails that parallels a new Bob Lefsetz posting about the brutal contractions and disruptions in the ski-resort industry, in which Vail is buying up its competitors that it has driven to the brink of extinction, both of which explications of ‘disruption’ and the ‘gig economy’ seem perfectly congruent with a Naked Capitalism review of a Lancet projection of life expectancy in ‘advanced’ economies, where U.S. desultory experience in relation to women will likely decline slightly, while men’s likely lifespan will fall more precipitously in relation to other nations, all of which in turn interconnects with a pair of reports about renewable energy developments, the first  from Ecowatch about the growing role of State backing in amplifying renewable potential, which a second item from  Economist examines in terms of the ‘disruptions’ that cheap renewables are wreaking in the utility and electrical industries generally—all of which reportage about the contemporary workplace’s political economy and social impacts blends logically with a briefing  from The Times about recent upheavals at Uber as a result of hyper-competitive and undeniably sexist practices at the top-of-the-heap firm that holds itself out as the perfect exemplar of the new ways and their irresistible superiority.

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SEARCHDAYreason OR rationality OR reasoning OR logic OR cognition "political economy" OR economics OR employment OR "labor and capital" disruption OR transition OR contradiction OR contraction "nuclear power" OR "nuclear weapons" OR "arms sales" OR "merchants of death" irrationality OR paradox empire OR imperialism history OR origins OR development = 1,560,000 Intersections.

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              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

By an anthropologist and cognitive scientist, an in many ways technocratic presentation that comes to scrappy scribe and stalwart citizens via Edge, in the form of almost an hour about symbols and meaning and inference and communication and persuasion that seeks to contextualize the subtle and the complex elements of language and culture without semiotic or post-modernist or Marxist ideation, in so doing presenting a combination of structuralist and pragmatist thinking that leads to an evolutionary approach, in turn the basis for seeing the growth of communicative interaction in terms of biological precepts and social outcomes, an overview from the point of view of the intelligentsia that conjoins with a new item  in The Intercept about the parasitical rich, in the event a report on Peter Thiel’s Palantir company and software, an accessible and potent surveillance tool that, in its own estimation, portends a world without real potential for private thoughts and actions, both of which both supplement and contrast markedly with a sour new comic shtick  on Bill Maher’s regular program, in which the sometimes incisive host is reading a fatuous script about a ‘crazed’ President and the need to ‘resist’ that neither he nor at least his non-comatose guest even remotely believe, an ideal contextualization in turn for a new Free Thought Project article that examines a half-century old Malcolm X interview with Mike Wallace in which the grassroots leader discusses organizing and the police state, an interlude that is also available as a portal via YouTube, altogether materials that in aggregate speak to the fascist potential of the present pass, something that a more than fifty-year old British film , It Did Happen Here, portrays with some measure of dramatic intensity, while a new Amazon Prime series, The Man in the High Tower, considers quite similar issues and potentialities very much in the here and now.



Crushing Labor, Crushing ‘Progress’

A Chief Organizer analysis of the dire condition that afflicts unions today in the current political environment that is so fraught for so many: “Some unions are reportedly taking steps to prepare for these losses, both in their organizing and servicing programs, but lessons from not only Wisconsin but also from the British labor movement where union security was lost under Prime Minister Thatcher, indicate the losses under any reckoning will be severe. Never make the mistake in believing this will be a crisis only for American workers and their organizations. Conservatives know well what progressives should never forget, crippling institutional labor will have a seismic impact on all progressive organizations and capacity.”



YouTube Versus Its ‘Tubers’

A Polygon analysis of the fraught and predatory nature of life in the bowels of youtube-for-a-living: “Let’s play (ha) a game you can’t win. In the comments below, tell me how to get your videos featured, get your subscribers to watch videos or get your related videos in the related videos sidebar as opposed to some other person on YouTube….

I can bet that some of you got it right, but the problem is that your answer will become wrong in the next month or so. Content producers get frustrated with the system because the rules keep changing; it always seems like the site is keen to promote someone else, and it can feel impossible to keep up.”


Maher’s Abjection to CIA ‘Salvation’

A WSWS exploration of an SOP and ultimately fruitless opinion on what can produce necessary change by a faux liberal trying to sell the resistance out to the intelligence establishment: “Maher, who built a reputation for himself as an iconoclast during the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequently under George W. Bush, has claimed at various times to be a “liberal,” a “libertarian” and a “progressive, a sane person.” As we have noted previously: “His sneering, cynical, ‘anti-establishment’ posturing is aimed at taking in a certain section of those, especially among the young, disaffected with official politics and orienting them in quite a reactionary direction. His ‘iconoclasm’ has never gone farther than skin deep.””

GENISSAngolan Geopolitics Thirty Years Ago

A Spy Culture look back at the political evolution of a very-relevant section of the world, in regards to the entire history of colonialism and Western hegemony, from the always potent lens of film: “But new evidence and fresh conceptual approaches turn these narratives upside down. Research in a range of South African state archives—civilian and military—enables us to piece us together a much richer picture of South African geopolitics and the relationship with the United States. Meanwhile, bringing South African actors and their worldviews into the foreground provides an entirely different view on the big picture at stake here.”