Inequality

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Warren
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Re: Inequality

Post by Warren » 23 Jul 2019, 11:49

I really don't get iPhone vs friends. Like really what the fuck are you talking about? Those things are not exclusive or transferable.
Is he saying that spending too much time focused on your job comes at the expense of personal relationships? That's a sentiment I agree with, but the iPhone is a shit illustration. Also, the trade offs between work and family/friends is an individual choice. One of the thousands of decisions each person must grapple with in their own personal pursuit of happiness. You can advocate for spending more time cultivating relationships, but it's not something you, or the government, should be deciding for other people.
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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 23 Jul 2019, 11:51

JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:02
Ok I listened to it as well. I would agree that I'm not sure front row / back row is a very good model for the thing he is presenting. It is about how you wound up, but it's a lot more about your relationship to a fixed community and whether that is "okay" in modern society. The differentiator between the groups in his discussion was somewhat about ability and interest in academic things but it was more about the view one has of the neighborhood in which they live as a high value thing relative to other things they could be doing GIVEN that they have low aptitude or interest in things that make money these days.

I felt like there was a tension between "we should grant people making the choice to stay in their communities dignity - they have agency and value the connections they have in that place - we should respect that place is more important for them than it is for front row types" and "I find this staying at home business romantic - we should pay people to stay put so they can have dignity in their choices". I mean, for starters there's this idea that the choice to remain in a dead economic zone has a romance to it - a romance worth subsidy. That I don't get. Then there's the idea that dignity is amplified rather than diminished by something like UBI (not explicitly suggested but significant redistribution in some format was). I don't think that's how dignity works. Not from others and not from yourself. This is an objection Roberts raised.
Right. I may be misremembering, but the way I took it was that both of them agreed these people do have dignity in their current situation, but that the front row may not recognize that dignity. And the redistribution, I thought, wasn't about dignity because I thought Arnade agreed that dignity can't come from money; the redistribution was more just because these are people who have less, and that's wrong. So I saw it more than dignity was unaffected by welfare/redistribution. Welfare can't provide dignity but also doesn't remove it.
JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:02
Then there's the idea that people may want one iPhone and 3 friends - but these things are not separable through some view of materialism vs community. Gryll is an online community facilitated by some of the stuff we might have wanted to halt had we taken "put the brakes on change so community can adjust" seriously in the past. What always strikes me about this kind of community instinct on the left and the right is the presumption that the institutions of community must be dictated, provided by the public, somehow prescribed. He talks about how McDonalds is a community hub - I mean great, why is that bad? What's the thing you want instead?
Yeah, again here, I don't necessarily think Arnade thinks there is anything bad about McDonalds as much as he wishes there was just more of the same -- and this is where I always interpret it as ultimately meaning, "if not everyone is participating in these communities, it's not enough; we have to drag you all in to live off your life force or else it isn't enough life force for everyone."
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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 23 Jul 2019, 11:52

Warren wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:49
I really don't get iPhone vs friends. Like really what the fuck are you talking about? Those things are not exclusive or transferable.
Is he saying that spending too much time focused on your job comes at the expense of personal relationships? That's a sentiment I agree with, but the iPhone is a shit illustration. Also, the trade offs between work and family/friends is an individual choice. One of the thousands of decisions each person must grapple with in their own personal pursuit of happiness. You can advocate for spending more time cultivating relationships, but it's not something you, or the government, should be deciding for other people.
Yes, that is the point, the trade-off between work and personal relationships on the individual level but also how those trade-offs, en masse, ladder up to a society where now iPhones are cheap but friends are (relatively) expensive.
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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 23 Jul 2019, 11:52

Hugh Akston wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:22
It's worth mentioning that people could just as easily use their UBI checks to escape from economic dead zones.
Yeah, echoing JasonL, Arnade doesn't want them to escape from economic dead zones because the economic dead zones are valuable to them.
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Warren
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Re: Inequality

Post by Warren » 23 Jul 2019, 12:02

nicole wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:52
Warren wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:49
I really don't get iPhone vs friends. Like really what the fuck are you talking about? Those things are not exclusive or transferable.
Is he saying that spending too much time focused on your job comes at the expense of personal relationships? That's a sentiment I agree with, but the iPhone is a shit illustration. Also, the trade offs between work and family/friends is an individual choice. One of the thousands of decisions each person must grapple with in their own personal pursuit of happiness. You can advocate for spending more time cultivating relationships, but it's not something you, or the government, should be deciding for other people.
Yes, that is the point, the trade-off between work and personal relationships on the individual level but also how those trade-offs, en masse, ladder up to a society where now iPhones are cheap but friends are (relatively) expensive.
What is the currency you purchase your friends with?
It's dumb out there kids, keep your heads down. - JasonL

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Dangerman
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Re: Inequality

Post by Dangerman » 23 Jul 2019, 12:17

Time and attention.

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nicole
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Re: Inequality

Post by nicole » 23 Jul 2019, 12:17

Warren wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 12:02
nicole wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:52
Warren wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:49
I really don't get iPhone vs friends. Like really what the fuck are you talking about? Those things are not exclusive or transferable.
Is he saying that spending too much time focused on your job comes at the expense of personal relationships? That's a sentiment I agree with, but the iPhone is a shit illustration. Also, the trade offs between work and family/friends is an individual choice. One of the thousands of decisions each person must grapple with in their own personal pursuit of happiness. You can advocate for spending more time cultivating relationships, but it's not something you, or the government, should be deciding for other people.
Yes, that is the point, the trade-off between work and personal relationships on the individual level but also how those trade-offs, en masse, ladder up to a society where now iPhones are cheap but friends are (relatively) expensive.
What is the currency you purchase your friends with?
Time and co-location
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"Sliced bagels aren't why trump won; it's why it doesn't matter who wins." -dhex

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Inequality

Post by Hugh Akston » 23 Jul 2019, 12:21

nicole wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:52
Hugh Akston wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 11:22
It's worth mentioning that people could just as easily use their UBI checks to escape from economic dead zones.
Yeah, echoing JasonL, Arnade doesn't want them to escape from economic dead zones because the economic dead zones are valuable to them.
What Limeade wants doesn't matter because he doesn't seem to have anything particularly interesting to say. What those people value is an empirical question that can be answered by how they choose to use additional resources. Some of them will no doubt continue to while away their lives at the Seed & Feed. Others will catch the first Greyhound out of town. Still others will choose to stick around and maybe use those resources to improve their communities.

This whole community vs opportunity tradeoff theorem is so retardedly oversimplified that I'm frankly surprised you guys are giving it this much breathing room.
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JasonL
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 12:58

It’s a very much simplified model yes. In a weird way he reminds me of oh fuck whathisname Wendell Berry. He’s a romantic about place.

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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 13:12

It probably goes without saying that I disagree with a suggestion that redistribution is neutral to dignity.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Hugh Akston » 23 Jul 2019, 13:28

JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 13:12
It probably goes without saying that I disagree with a suggestion that redistribution is neutral to dignity.
Anybody who claims that it is has never been on the receiving end of redistribution.
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 13:57

It's a long held view among most of the left that the feeling you are discussing is related the design of the benefit not the essence of the benefit. More things paid universally makes acceptance of those things universal and nobody is robbed of dignity by being singled out. There's a certain kind of conservative instinct that's like you are creating a horror show here wherein we all pretend a thing isn't what it really is but we still in our hearts know (and it comes up if/when funding fights happen) and my most conservative instincts are along those lines.

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Re: Inequality

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 23 Jul 2019, 14:09

Of course, there's a relevant distinction between collapse of community as an abstract good and the collapse of communities that may have ceased to serve their original purposes or, worse still, have come to be understood to do more harm than good. I'm certainly disinclined to embrace Nicole's vision of Earthly paradise as a world of wealthy hermits whose material needs are presumably provided by drone delivery to their various fortresses of self-imposed solitude. People are, as Aristotle noted, inherently gregarious, not in the extrovert versus introvert sense but in the sense that everything about being a human being derives fundamentally from being a part of a larger group of human beings, beginning most significantly with the invention of language. For that matter, there is no such thing as money or economic success except in society nor is there much to the very nature of ethics divorced from questions of how we are to live among one another.

But it doesn't follow that the received institutions or communities of our lives are per se of greater value than the lives we can fashion for ourselves having abandoned some if not all of those institutions and communities. You don't like your family? When you grow up, leave. Who the hell cares what happened to one's school friends or the people in the church our parents forced us to attend or the small towns and villages speckling the landscape that, per Dylan, if they're not busy being born are busy dying? We move from womb to home to neighborhood to larger and larger communities and, in the process, our level of intimacy and our need per capita for those in those communities diminishes proportionately. It doesn't follow that we don't need community, it only follows that the nature of that need changes as the communities, themselves, change. You like life in Smallville or, worse yet, some gawdfersaken rural homestead? Have at it. Who's stopping you? Say what you will for the evils of social media, but you won't go stir-crazy or suffer cabin fever nearly as quickly a hundred miles from nowhere as long as you have an internet connection.

By the same token, you want to get involved in your community? Coach a little league team? Bowl in a league? Show up at town hall meetings and express your views? Run for the local school board? Join the Moose, Elks or Knights of Pythias? Great, go for it. Host Super Bowl parties. Organize block parties and neighborhood watches. That's no worse a life, I suppose, than traveling around the country to go to comics conventions or follow your favorite band from city to city or punctuate your life with cruise ship tours. *shrug* It's a life.

It strikes me as a facile and too tidy-looking dichotomy: economic success versus community? Fuck that. I can have an iPhone and friends, too. I know I can because I do. Most of the back rows, understood in this context, are boring people. They lead boring lives after school and they probably know they lead boring lives. Plenty of wealthy people lead boring lives, too. More comfortable boring lives but every bit as boring. I have no obligation to value any of them, let alone aspire to their lives. It suffices that I don't begrudge them their lives and that they leave me be to make whatever sort of life I want.

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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 14:52

His thesis is that we have "accepted" pace of change, efficiency and growth optimization that as a society we could have slowed down in the name of preservation of community, even citing a commune strategy that eliminated automation from their furniture manufacturing business so that old people could feel valued. I ... yeah I don't agree with pretty much any part of that conception of the world.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Shem » 23 Jul 2019, 15:19

JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 13:57
It's a long held view among most of the left that the feeling you are discussing is related the design of the benefit not the essence of the benefit. More things paid universally makes acceptance of those things universal and nobody is robbed of dignity by being singled out. There's a certain kind of conservative instinct that's like you are creating a horror show here wherein we all pretend a thing isn't what it really is but we still in our hearts know (and it comes up if/when funding fights happen) and my most conservative instincts are along those lines.
Does Social Security damage dignity?
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 15:50

I would say yes many would say no. It’s not that dignity is the only variable - there are practical aspects of something like an anti poverty old age program that outweigh the effects on dignity - but those effects are still present and you cane see them in the mythology of the program with trust funds and I’m taking out money I put in and such. Those are lies told to ameliorate the damage to dignity in the program when described as it actually exists.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Jadagul » 23 Jul 2019, 18:34

This is actually starting to sound like one of the recurring topics of discussion among my tumblr friends. But the difference isn't really between "having friends" and "not having friends"; it's about a certain type of deep community.

A lot of people argue for the benefits of a community that you, effectively, can't escape. Your family is your family. Your neighbors are your neighbors. You're enmeshed in this deep community, and you can't leave and neither can you be kicked out. You know that your friends and neighbors now will still be your friends and neighbors in twenty years. You have a connection not just to people, but to an enduring community. This creates a lot of deep ties but also a lot of restraint and being-trapped.

I'm way on the other end. I have tons of friends. But they're all individual people I have individual ties to; I don't tend to have ties to "a community" as a whole. Other people are less radical about that, but like to have ties to communities they have chosen.

This creates a lot more freedom. You can find the sort of community that you like and that supports you. But it's also scarier, because you're not guaranteed a friend group or a community at all. And so people who aren't good at making connections, and want more connections than they can maintain; or people who want the security of knowing they will _always_ have a community regardless of what they do can find this alienating and frustrating.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Painboy » 23 Jul 2019, 18:45

I just hate the way people who talk about "community" often sound like their talking about a garden, that they own.

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Jadagul
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Re: Inequality

Post by Jadagul » 23 Jul 2019, 18:45

Painboy wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:45
I just hate the way people who talk about "community" often sound like their talking about a garden, that they own.
To be fair, some people want to be owned as well.

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Re: Inequality

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 23 Jul 2019, 19:54

Jadagul wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:45
Painboy wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:45
I just hate the way people who talk about "community" often sound like their talking about a garden, that they own.
To be fair, some people want to be owned as well.
That's certainly what it said in my 3rd grade Virginia history textbook, anyway.

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JasonL
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 23 Jul 2019, 21:58

Jadagul wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:34
This is actually starting to sound like one of the recurring topics of discussion among my tumblr friends. But the difference isn't really between "having friends" and "not having friends"; it's about a certain type of deep community.

A lot of people argue for the benefits of a community that you, effectively, can't escape. Your family is your family. Your neighbors are your neighbors. You're enmeshed in this deep community, and you can't leave and neither can you be kicked out. You know that your friends and neighbors now will still be your friends and neighbors in twenty years. You have a connection not just to people, but to an enduring community. This creates a lot of deep ties but also a lot of restraint and being-trapped.

I'm way on the other end. I have tons of friends. But they're all individual people I have individual ties to; I don't tend to have ties to "a community" as a whole. Other people are less radical about that, but like to have ties to communities they have chosen.

This creates a lot more freedom. You can find the sort of community that you like and that supports you. But it's also scarier, because you're not guaranteed a friend group or a community at all. And so people who aren't good at making connections, and want more connections than they can maintain; or people who want the security of knowing they will _always_ have a community regardless of what they do can find this alienating and frustrating.
The peculiar nature of the left / right split on community has always fascinated me. Like, the explicit goal of many scandinavian social programs is to liberate you from the chains of family or church community you didn't choose by making you a participant/dependent on a government you didn't choose either. Like local bonds bad / national bonds good or something but then you see something like this guy who comes from the left looking to restore dignity to local social conventions it is in other arenas his explicit goal to undermine. It's bizarre and I don't really get it.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Hugh Akston » 24 Jul 2019, 00:01

JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 21:58
Like, the explicit goal of many scandinavian social programs is to liberate you from the chains of family or church community you didn't choose by making you a participant/dependent on a government you didn't choose either.
Is that true?
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Re: Inequality

Post by Jadagul » 24 Jul 2019, 02:37

JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 21:58
Jadagul wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:34
This is actually starting to sound like one of the recurring topics of discussion among my tumblr friends. But the difference isn't really between "having friends" and "not having friends"; it's about a certain type of deep community.

A lot of people argue for the benefits of a community that you, effectively, can't escape. Your family is your family. Your neighbors are your neighbors. You're enmeshed in this deep community, and you can't leave and neither can you be kicked out. You know that your friends and neighbors now will still be your friends and neighbors in twenty years. You have a connection not just to people, but to an enduring community. This creates a lot of deep ties but also a lot of restraint and being-trapped.

I'm way on the other end. I have tons of friends. But they're all individual people I have individual ties to; I don't tend to have ties to "a community" as a whole. Other people are less radical about that, but like to have ties to communities they have chosen.

This creates a lot more freedom. You can find the sort of community that you like and that supports you. But it's also scarier, because you're not guaranteed a friend group or a community at all. And so people who aren't good at making connections, and want more connections than they can maintain; or people who want the security of knowing they will _always_ have a community regardless of what they do can find this alienating and frustrating.
The peculiar nature of the left / right split on community has always fascinated me. Like, the explicit goal of many scandinavian social programs is to liberate you from the chains of family or church community you didn't choose by making you a participant/dependent on a government you didn't choose either. Like local bonds bad / national bonds good or something but then you see something like this guy who comes from the left looking to restore dignity to local social conventions it is in other arenas his explicit goal to undermine. It's bizarre and I don't really get it.
We've had this conversation before, but they see two differences. One is that the government benefits are ideally as unconditional as possible, so you don't have to please any particular person to get them. (This is always an ideal, but from what I can tell Scandinavia gets reasonably close.)

Second is that there's a distinction between being socially enmeshed and only being financially enmeshed. The idea is to have some guarantee of your physical needs met so that you aren't beholding to a social group to get them met.

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JasonL
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 24 Jul 2019, 06:39

Hugh Akston wrote:
JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 21:58
Like, the explicit goal of many scandinavian social programs is to liberate you from the chains of family or church community you didn't choose by making you a participant/dependent on a government you didn't choose either.
Is that true?
It was a recurring theme with those interviewed in An Almost Nearly Perfect People, not that that is definitive, but it kept coming up.

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JasonL
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Re: Inequality

Post by JasonL » 24 Jul 2019, 06:42

Jadagul wrote:
JasonL wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 21:58
Jadagul wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 18:34
This is actually starting to sound like one of the recurring topics of discussion among my tumblr friends. But the difference isn't really between "having friends" and "not having friends"; it's about a certain type of deep community.

A lot of people argue for the benefits of a community that you, effectively, can't escape. Your family is your family. Your neighbors are your neighbors. You're enmeshed in this deep community, and you can't leave and neither can you be kicked out. You know that your friends and neighbors now will still be your friends and neighbors in twenty years. You have a connection not just to people, but to an enduring community. This creates a lot of deep ties but also a lot of restraint and being-trapped.

I'm way on the other end. I have tons of friends. But they're all individual people I have individual ties to; I don't tend to have ties to "a community" as a whole. Other people are less radical about that, but like to have ties to communities they have chosen.

This creates a lot more freedom. You can find the sort of community that you like and that supports you. But it's also scarier, because you're not guaranteed a friend group or a community at all. And so people who aren't good at making connections, and want more connections than they can maintain; or people who want the security of knowing they will _always_ have a community regardless of what they do can find this alienating and frustrating.
The peculiar nature of the left / right split on community has always fascinated me. Like, the explicit goal of many scandinavian social programs is to liberate you from the chains of family or church community you didn't choose by making you a participant/dependent on a government you didn't choose either. Like local bonds bad / national bonds good or something but then you see something like this guy who comes from the left looking to restore dignity to local social conventions it is in other arenas his explicit goal to undermine. It's bizarre and I don't really get it.
We've had this conversation before, but they see two differences. One is that the government benefits are ideally as unconditional as possible, so you don't have to please any particular person to get them. (This is always an ideal, but from what I can tell Scandinavia gets reasonably close.)

Second is that there's a distinction between being socially enmeshed and only being financially enmeshed. The idea is to have some guarantee of your physical needs met so that you aren't beholding to a social group to get them met.
These distinctions are naive.

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