A Thought for the Day
The median existence that workers can expect today lies so proximate to the borders of dissolution that even merely mundane travails can seem disastrous, so much so that suicide, homicide, or behavior that results in grievous bodily injury often enough result from what otherwise would seem nothing except brief interludes of discomfiture, discomfort, or hard luck—the upshot of recognizing such indisputable facts must remain an inquiry or two, to wit, “Does such a systematic degradation and endangerment of human beings, human resources, what bourgeois thugs so cavalierly call human capital, serve to make our society a better place?” or “Is this the best that we can do in relation to each other?” questions that onlya sadist or a moron, or a sadistic nutcase who combines both pathological propensities, could answer with anything other than a resounding “No!” a response, in turn, that would serve as a call to action for making some changes, manifesting transformation, and so on and so forth.
Today in Argentina is Journalists Day; in Palestine nine hundred eighteen years ago, the ongoing predation and geopolitical mayhem of the region and its relations with Europe continued with the initiation of the Siege of Jerusalem during the First Crusade; a half decade less than four centuries subsequent to that, in 1494, Spain and Portugal continued the expression of arrogant European imprimatur with the Treaty of Tordesillas that divided the world between the two Iberian powers; two hundred and forty years in advance of today, in 1776, Virginian representative to the Continental Congress, Henry Lee, introduced a resolution that, after Henry Adams seconded it, would soon lead to the penning of the Declaration of Independence;
Doc of the Day
ecology awareness OR consciousness interconnectedness OR mutuality OR interconnection OR interdependence absence OR diminution OR ignorance OR missing "herbert marcuse" OR "norbert wiener" OR "richard lewontin" OR "richard levins" = 82,400 results
Nearly Naked Links
From Wednesday’s Files
Kissinger and Chile Crimes – http://www.defenddemocracy.
Interesting People Places Things of Note
A Boston Review look at a lesser-known thinker whose work was criticized in his time but whose work has felt renewed relevance in today’s economic climate: “Polanyi’s influence on his present was almost nil. By 1947 he was ever more removed from prevailing understandings of liberal capitalism. Moral economics got paved over by a specialized, technocratic brand of economic thinking coupled to historically unprecedented growth and social safety nets. Sensing his discordance with his time, Polanyi turned away from the present, receding to focus on the economic history of ancient and tribal societies where Homo moralis played a larger role in the epic of humanity. In these areas, Polanyi’s influence was—and continues to be—profound. .”
A Guardian review of a book that can provide guidance to all who seek to embark on the literary path: “Everybody who has ever felt the need to write knows the silent hour. I have come across many such people – and indeed many such hours – during my writing and teaching life. I’ve been teaching now for the best part of 20 years. That’s a lot of chalk and a lot of red pencil. I haven’t loved every minute of it, but I’ve loved most….
All of these students, bar none, are looking, in Rilke’s words, “to say ecstasies that are unsayable”. The unsayable indeed. The job is theirs. The ability to trust in the difficult. The tenacity to understand that it takes time and patience to succeed.”
General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues
A Scholarly Kitchen look at the issue of paywalls v. accessibility: “Over the past several years, some online commenters have uncovered examples of publishers failing to make freely available articles for which an article processing charge had been paid for that very purpose. After raising this issue recently in response to a Scholarly Kitchen posting, one of our regular commenters investigated the issue more closely. This is his report. Charles Oppenheim is a Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK and at Cass Business School, London, UK, and is also an independent consultant on intellectual property rights and scholarly publications.”
A New Yorker look at the social and health devastations of modern day opiates on a population with little to look forward to in life: “At this stage of the American opioid epidemic, many addicts are collapsing in public—in gas stations, in restaurant bathrooms, in the aisles of big-box stores. Brian Costello, a former Army medic who is the director of the Berkeley County Emergency Medical Services, believes that more overdoses are occurring in this way because users figure that somebody will find them before they die. “To people who don’t have that addiction, that sounds crazy,” he said. “But, from a health-care provider’s standpoint, you say to yourself, ‘No, this is survival to them.’ They’re struggling with using but not wanting to die.””
General Past & Present Issues
A New Rambler post that documents the inherently non-democratic coup that created this nation, a lesson serving as an echo to today: “Curators R. Scott Stephenson and Philip C. Mead would surely be right to argue that our Revolution was a key event in world history. It did, after all, inspire independence movements across Latin America, and the failed republican revolutions in Geneva (1782), the Netherlands (1787), Belgium (1789) and France. Those events are beyond the scope of this Museum; I bring them up to point out that all political developments are shaped by the past. The French Revolution was one of Clio’s little jokes: a democratic revolution that overthrew the very King who had sent the naval fleet that enabled the Americans to win the Battle of Yorktown. But because Bourbon royal government was centralized and dirigiste, the French had no experience of democratic government, and revolution quickly descended into bloodshed, tyranny and terror. “