WIRED | Gig-ing, the next economy

20130917-191617.jpgThe Gig Economy: The Force That Could Save the American Worker? BY MICHA KAUFMAN, 09.17.13

Back to the future, the steady job ‘created’ by Henry Ford and his cohort will fade from center stage after about a century of centrality, making economists’ jobs even harder. My belief that this is already happening and is part (probably a tiny part) of the official jobless recovery problem.

NYT | power by the hour, Light by the cent

The Next Wireless Revolution, in Electricity : By TINA ROSENBERG : September 11, 2013
Great synopsis piece on how the spin offs of our mobile life is creating an underpinning for a financially, socially and ecologically sound human social revolution. Or at least that’s what we can hope for.

I’m not a “conservative,” I’m an 18th-century Enlightenment radical

From Charlie Martin at pjmedia.com/lifestyle/ : Does buddhism require you to be a liberal? The short answer is no ….

I don’t think it’s necessarily so. In fact, I think Buddhism, real Buddhism, is inherently more in tune with libertarian “conservative” politics. (This isn’t the place for this particular rant, but I scare-quote “conservative” because I think it’s a bad term. As I was telling someone last night, I’m not a “conservative,” I’m an 18th-century Enlightenment radical.)

Absolutely! So am I.

And regarding the rant….as usual the “liberal” progressives have managed to at once de content and blacken + distort the abstract philosophical meaning of the words conservative and liberal…as I have whined about in the past. Politicians do this to avoid being pinned down, progressives to control the message and short circuit dialogue. Going back to the discussion on political philosophy, progressives often called liberals are not at all about liberty in anything but the most puerile sense and conservatives are generally cautious, not reactionary, and are pro liberty in its more robust sense. Progressives are generally about changing human nature by government fiat.

Libertarians…the old liberals, are about core human rights, property rights, equality before the law, the rule of law, financially competent government, citizen dominated politics, de politicized + meritocratic bureaucracy and minimalist + open regulation. In other words an eighteenth century Enlightenment radical!

Reagan’s ’86 Libyan strike is a reasonable model for a ’13 Syrian strike

From Real Clear Politics: 86 Attack on Libya: A Template for U.S. Action Now

Should we choose to demonstrate our resolve in this manner, we must also prepare for the counter-response of Syria and its confederates. While we should prepare for terrorist attacks, kidnapping, or military strikes against U.S., allied, or Israeli targets, we must be equally vigilant in the cyber-domain. The actions of the Syrian Electronic Army already indicate the ability to launch increasingly sophisticated cyber-disruptions, and Syria’s Iranian sponsors also have significant cyber-capabilities that could be used to disrupt key infrastructure, communications, or energy facilities throughout the region. Suspected Iranian cyber-attacks have already targeted Saudi Aramco and Qatari RasGas, and similar attacks could be part of any retaliation.

Using the historical lesson of 1986’s Operation El Dorado Canyon, U.S. and allied forces can incur significant damage against Syria through a limited campaign and avoid the more deleterious outcomes of inaction or prolonged intervention. The bottom line: Like Reagan in Libya, Obama today has few good options — but the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces requires a response, albeit a judicious one.

It seems likely that ‘Syria’ will end up a patchwork of mini states, so we probably should encourage the regime to retreat to its bastion on the coast, perhaps with a loose network of the other small sects in mutual support. Once the players set up their own cores, hopefully they would settle into some kind of loose confederation. Of course the jihadis don’t want this, but if there comes a period of settling out, separating and then taking out the hard liners should become feasible, with local support…expect more drone war…

This requires a basis for a future better time, right now the old regime has proven that the only peace they accept is that of subjugation and coercion. So degrading the regimes offensive capability and its ability to limit future intervention while not going for the jugular, in any more than a symbolic way, makes sense beyond mere face saving. Degrade the offensive forces enough and a defensive cordon is their only hope. It is going to be ugly, monstrous, utterly unfair, but there is no other solution given the situation as it stands today.

Reagan had to live with Carter’s mess, Obama has to deal with his own, times have changed, bad outcomes are accelerating in a more densely populated and seriously degraded world…social and ecological degradation are at the root of this disaster and something was going to break. But the level of horror could have been reduced if action had been taken earlier.

The world Often confuses plebiscites with democracy, as if the two were synonymous.

Democracy’s Dog Days by Victor Davis Hanson. August 26th, 2013

We all want democracy to thrive and flourish, but can it?

The Obama administration was quite pleased that the anti-democratic Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood had come to power through a single plebiscite. That confidence required a great deal of moral blindness, both of the present and past.

Like other once-elected authoritarians who believe that democracy is similar to a bus route — in the words of Mr. Erdogan of Turkey, once you get to your stop, you get off — Morsi had no intention of fostering the sort of consensual institutions so necessary for republican government. Almost immediately he gave a de facto green light to cleanse the government of his opponents, to Islamicize a once largely secular society, and to persecute religious minorities.

. It appears that the Turkish Erdogan government and the Islamic Brotherhood utterly hoodwinked the US State Department and Obama into believing a rather threadbare lie, about their support of broad base elective government.

But more basically, only fools believe that good government is simply about elections. We spout ‘democracy!’ and yet our own nation is a republic not a pure democracy and is vastly better off because of that difference. You have to believe in government by and for the people before plebiscites, elections, voting, matter much. Our nation has evolved towards more direct elections over centuries, decades, years, and it is clear some of this is good, but even in our highly stable elective system it is not clear all direct ‘democracy’ is good

Ladies and Gentlemen all…

GENTLEMAN SPEAK: A GENTLEMAN IN PROGRESS

A gentlemen is, first of all, a cultural achievement. No boy is born opening doors or laying his jacket across puddles for his sisters and girlfriends. A boy doesn’t naturally keep his word or forbear a slight when an excuse or a score settled is within easy reach. All those things we might call virtues, and good manners must be learned. But to be learned they must be taught, and that requires first of all that they are esteemed. So you’ll immediately see our predicament: Mr. Darcy is not born, ladies, he is made.

…the American author James Freeman Clarke wrote over a century ago:

“Manliness means perfect manhood, as womanliness implies perfect womanhood. Manliness is the character of man as he ought to be as he was meant to be. It expresses the qualities which go to make a perfect man–truth, courage, conscience, freedom, energy, self-possession, self-control. But it does not exclude gentleness, tenderness, compassion, modesty. A man is not less manly, but more so, because he is gentle. In fact, our word ‘gentlemen’ shows that a typical man must also be a gentle man.”

In the end it is the intent and striving for the imago that is important. But that imago has to have a cultural context and be imagined in touchable icons. This is why father figures are so important…as long as they have something worthy they strive for.

Lies, filthy lies, statistics and spin…the Roman’s started this as well

From StrategyPage: The Golden Age Of Artful Dodging

August 26, 2013: Over the last few decades there has been an explosion in the number of news media outlets. With this has come fierce competition and more interest in gaining an audience than in reporting the news accurately. That has led to there being more propaganda than news out there. That wasn’t a difficult leap to make because in the last century some powerful propaganda methods and techniques for controlling public opinion were developed. Many of these techniques are actually ancient, but never before have they been used so intensively, persistently and in greater variety.

But this sort of thing goes back a long way. Two thousand years ago the ancient Romans saw schools of rhetoric as the best place to send bright young men with potential to be leaders. There schools of rhetoric taught how to use logic and persuasion to make a point and convince people. Some of books those students used are still studied and many of these ancient techniques evolved and mutated into modern propaganda and media spin. The schools at Rhodes were, for well-off ancient Romans, sort of a university education.

Has a good(horrifying) list of techniques, many in use by the media outlets we all listen to…even bloggers and the like, who may use the techniques without knowing they’re techniques.