Huh, that's weird...

Posted by DesertFox on Dec. 12, 2013, 2:14 p.m.

Its nice to see stuff like this coming to the forefront of public knowledge. We like to think that things are fine, but even in the land of "freedom" and "equality", they really aren't. This, coupled with the NSA spying scandals, means that this next year is going to be strange.


My avatar is all "Wat is going on o_O"


DesertFox 10 years, 5 months ago

Because most people don't know the sheer scope/inanity (or insanity, as well) of the situation. There is a massive disconnect between the perception and reality, as the video illustrates. People won't rise up if they don't know they are being screwed.

North Korea is an excellent example of this tactic. Constant propaganda to make the citizens think that they are lucky to have it as good as they do.

Additionally "it could be worse" is an accompanying tactic that is used to keep people from acting. When people get upset about wealth inequality, they divert attention by pointing to a poorer country and saying "Well, you could be living like that instead! Ain't <insert-country-here> great?" - completely ignoring the fact that A) just because it can be worse doesn't mean that it can't or shouldn't be better, as well as B) it's a useless truism because it can /always/ get worse - just add Instant Hitler Spider Zombies™ to the mix.

This makes me realize that I should bring you guys into my rants/discussions a lot more often. I talk with my friend/roommate practically all the time about various geopolitical and scientific happenings, and their potential current and future (multi-decade) ramifications. Anyhow, apparently he has been posting cleaned-up transcripts/versions of the stuff I say, and has gathered a decent following on Facebook. He keeps pressuring me to get into activism/politics, but I'm a bit focused on financial stability and planning right now. It is, however, interesting to read/watch some news story unfold, and feel vindicated when you notice something that they missed, which they later pick up on. Sometimes it isn't what they say, but what they don't say.

Case in point, Obama* is guilty of this far too commonly as of late in regards to the NSA scandal stuff. Half the time a new scandal breaks, he speaks about it saying reassuring things and it is insinuated that 'oh no, we don't do that, that isn't how it works' but he never actually denies any of it. It is all equivocation, semantic fuckery, and distraction. He's been called on it several times now, but never accepts any requests for clarification or followup.

*This isn't an attack on any specific party - both sides do this when in power, Obama is merely a current, convenient, and high-profile example.

Toast 10 years, 5 months ago

Why can't the Americans or the British do it while the Ukranians and the Arabs can?

Cos we already went through all that, they're just turning into us.

I was thinking the other day about how you can be completely cynical and quite accurately think about the behaviour of capitalist countries in terms of the interests of their giant businesses and corporations. For instance, there are no more world wars and no nuclear wars because it is against their interests, however there are plenty of wars in little brown countries because it is in their interests - arms trade and defence.

This is the whole basis of conservatism. The people with the money keep the money, and in our countries it's the corporations. I look at that interview with Russell Brand and pretty much agree with everything he says. But what is the answer to the problem? No one has a better alternative, esspecially not Russell Brand.

Castypher 10 years, 5 months ago

The president has less control than people think. He pretty much exists as a face for the country, and someone to place the blame on.

Good post, DF. That was a very unsettling video.

DesertFox 10 years, 5 months ago

@Cyrus *cues I want YOU posters*

@Toast - I'm going to watch that video you linked, but I absolutely agree with the cynicism. It is absolutely a requirement for any meaningful sort of discussion on this topic. I should dive into this because there's a ton to talk about - abdication of responsibility and decision making because of committees (tragedy of the commons), and how it applies to why all public-stock companies must exclusively be profit-driven (legal-bound duty to shareholders) to the exception of literally everything else, including laws and user satisfaction.

The whole thing is a game of tactics, nothing more, nothing less. A good way to put their behavior in perspective is to imagine it as an MMO, in which your subscription is payed for in in-game coinage. Most people are still Lvl. 1, struggling to meet the minimum amount to keep playing, and those that are Lvl. 60 with their +5 God-tier armor simply are incapable of understanding why this is so - for them it is easy to farm cash (it takes money to make money), and they are so out of touch with the normal population that they cannot fathom why.

It doesn't help that they also pretty much treat the population like Lvl. 1 noobs, either.

Acid 10 years, 5 months ago

To be completely honest, I earnestly believe President Obama is doing his best in his figurehead position that he knows how to. Every action he makes, even if he thinks is the only real action to make, is always opposed by SOMEONE who thinks he had a political agenda the whole time, when in reality he just wanted pancakes instead of waffles. :\

Being the President would be shitty. Everything you do is judged and assumed that you had the worst intentions while doing it.

I'm not naive enough to think that actions AREN'T being controlled and manipulated by the extremely wealthy, but I will say that sometimes people are actually people, who do the best they can in their limited positions of power. They have to cave in to the pressure from those with actual power sometimes but, overall, do their best to contribute what they can.

DesertFox 10 years, 5 months ago

@Acid - Your third paragraph [I'm not naive enough to think that actions…] is spot on, I feel. It is asinine to think that there aren't people in power with their own agenda, as they had to get in power in the first place. I won't comment on whether or not I think Obama is actively participating in all this fuckery versus doing his best as a mere figurehead, as honestly I don't know which I think it is.

However, what I do feel is that, even if he is just a figurehead, he is giving tacit approval to all the bullshit, simply by the fact that he is defending those who are doing it, against overwhelming evidence and, less importantly but more viscerally, public opinion (don't forget that public opinion isn't always very well informed, as such incidentally pointed out by the video you just watched).

A fact to remember - a figurehead can be replaced, but those in positions of real power also always have someone underneath vying for their seat.

JuurianChi 10 years, 5 months ago

It is asinine to think that there aren't people in power with their own agenda, as they had to get in power in the first place.

Well speaking of figureheads, I'm sure if we got a group of people together it would be easy to pinpoint which senators are working solely in the interests of large corporations. One clue being anyone endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce.

Acid 10 years, 5 months ago

@DF: The shitty part though is that the seedy bullshit is now a necessity to run the country. It's gotten to the point where, if we were to shut down every corporation that's doing financial backflips to get/keep money they don't deserve/owe then every major corporate conglomerates, as well as all of the subsidiaries beneath them (even if THEY are straight), will go down. That would cripple us into nothing.

Everything is shitty. Everybody just quit. Game's over. Everybody lost, except those whose families have been winning for decades.

Edit: Just so you guys know, I'm actually pretty positive about potential change, that was just a joke.

Edit2: Slightly related - I'm going out on a limb and say "Trickle-down economics is bullshit rhetoric made by those in power to maintain power. They want poor people to keep feeding into their system and making the rich richer. The "trickle-down" part is subverted by tax-evasion and tax-breaks for the already-rich. :\

Glen 10 years, 5 months ago

It annoys me when people say "I blame Obama." for anything related to their income. The video shows a change over 30 years. You were already declining in wealth before him.

DesertFox 10 years, 5 months ago

@Acid - bingo - that seedy bullshit is a requirement to even remain competitive. It is a self-compounding problem. And I also think that things are, if not moving upwards yet, are experiencing a positive acceleration. This is especially true of lots of ridiculously amazing things happening in science as of late. I feel like we're leading into a late 60's/70's Renaissance era both in terms of political movement, personal idealism, and artistic expression. That may very well be a wonderful thing. First, though, we've got to get enough inertia to get out of this terrible rut we are in.

@Glen - +1, although I feel that though he cannot be blamed for a pre-existing problem, he does have responsibility for any of his actions or inaction that resulted in the furthering of the problem. Also, one cannot just consider 'declining income' as a measure alone - one must also look at derivatives such as the acceleration of the income gap (vs assuming linear projected growth). Growth trends far outweigh instantaneous growth when it comes to speculation on the future.