Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About Occupy Wall Street

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  • Richard Grevers,

    It is interesting that for many Americans discussion of OWS immediately reduces to Capitalism vs Socialism. I am viewing it more as growth vs sustainability. My economic nous is insufficient to know: is there any model of capitalism which can flourish sustainably, i.e. with zero growth or degrowth? Do we need to start measuring capital in a range of units, not just money

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Under the mountain…

    Don’t mock New Plymouth!

    Not me, I hold very fond (if not fragmented) memories of a great Flying Nun New Year’s Eve gig there – sometime in the ’80s at a sports hall near the coast… (belated thanks for the hospitality Gordon!)
    Though I do recall there being a big gap between those working in the well paid oil industry related jobs and the larger group who were hopelessly (but not dopelessly) unemployed…

    On a more sombre note I also recall Toy Love decided to break up there, when we were staying at the pub’s band house, it all came to a head one afternoon, but we couldn’t tell anyone till after the tour finished (and to ensure that the fabulous animator of Bride of Frankenstein got paid, in case the record company spat the dummy) – strange days…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh. Smart activism takes many forms.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Richard Grevers,

    The Guardian story linked to by Russell (I think) included a link to an article on the 'Steady State' economy. Worth a look.

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3941

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rich Lock,

    become the change you want to see in the world.

    How do you know Im not?
    Snowflake? avalanches? Your metaphor is misplaced.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Joseph Stiglitz and Lawrence Lessig speak at Occupy Wall Street. Lessig is very concise about root causes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The Onion is on the money (no surprise).

    ... Americans are eagerly awaiting a list of demands from the group so they can then systematically disregard them and continue going about their business, polls showed this week. "The protesters need to unify around a shared agenda with precise policy goals so I can begin paying no attention to them whatsoever," said Tulsa, OK poll respondent Kaye Petrachonis ...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to John Armstrong,

    Steady State is based upon the premise that the Earth is a closed system. What if we wish to leave, go to Mars or Venus or Jupiter?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Steady State is based upon the premise that the Earth is a closed system. What if we wish to leave, go to Mars or Venus or Jupiter?

    That's the whole point of having handy asteroids in orbit to mine and make things on. You go to a particular type of asteroid – there are shit loads of them – which we know how to do. You match velocities with the asteroid, which we know how to do. You attach some machines to the asteroid, which we know how to do. Robot ion engines, which we know how to build. The asteroid moves itself into geosynchronous orbit around the Earth. We go up to it and start digging holes, turn what we dig into machines in those holes. Eventually build a cable down to the ground and use the whole thing as a launchpad.

    While nobody starves.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi,

    Another story, a what if story

    A friend of mine grew up in communist Poland. One day, we were sitting around in the pub, and I mentioned his jokey t-shirt. Then we compared stories of what we thought now would be like when we were growing up. Mine was the usual capitalist-style technological leisure society dedicated to art, where everyone hoons around on jet-packs and holidays on the Moon.

    He recounted how his primary school teachers seriously told them they’d be working on the great socialist space stations of the early 21st century.

    That shut me up.

    That said, when we were looking around at dives for a flat, I joked about how if we lived in a proper communist country we'd be allocated a house with lots of books and pictures to look at, told to go for it.

    Oh how he, his wife, and his sister laughed at me. Oh how they laughed.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi,

    Another story, about white-bread Dunedin

    Blueskin Bay is named after the old guy who lived there alone when the Pakeha settled there.

    There is a marae on the end of the peninsula. I once flatted with a woman making sculpture out of flax. She was very miffed when her overtures to come learn flax-weaving techniques were sniffily rebuffed. She refused to realise she went about it entirely the wrong way.

    I also once flatted with a woman who was entitled to a mutton-bird in season. Ye gods below, the smell of it cooking. It lingers for days. I stupidly didn’t try any, cos I’m vego.

    There’s another old saying:

    Grab a chance, and you won’t be sorry for a might-have-been!

    Things don’t have any inherent moral value. It’s how they’re used that gives them value. Our use, our values, our responsibility.

    I also remember once driving down the main street of Dunedin with, among others, a young, drunk, outraged Maori guy who grew up down there, an extremely good drummer. He wound down the window and shouted at the passers-by repeatedly 'Where are all the brown faces eh!?!'

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    Things don’t have any inherent moral value. It’s how they’re used that gives them value.

    Torture?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Steady State is based upon the premise that the Earth is a closed system. What if we wish to leave, go to Mars or Venus or Jupiter?

    Given the immediacy of some of the issues we are facing I'm going to go out on a limb and discount mass interplanetary colonisation as an option, for now.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Sacha,

    Things don’t have any inherent moral value. It’s how they’re used that gives them value.

    (Oops, missed quoting the highly relevant ‘Torture?’!)

    Exactly. Can’t be used in any way possible that is compatible with any reasonable definition of ‘good’.

    No matter what American legal experts might get paid to say. And it's a stupid tool to use anyway. It doesn't work as intended. Can't in fact work as intended.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    Can't be used in any way possible

    *Inherent*, you mean?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Sacha,

    *Inherent*, you mean?

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using knives and heat etc to cut up and sear flesh. It’s how we cook food.

    However, when you use those techniques on a living person, for whatever ends, that is morally wrong.

    Except I’ve totally forgotten about the use of torture-related techniques in BDSM-style sex play. I’m told that’s quite trendy now. Nothing wrong with that.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    I think you may be hearing the word "torture" differently. To me, it has a moral dimension rather different than cooking does.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Sacha,

    I think you may be hearing the word “torture” differently. To me, it has a moral dimension rather different than cooking does.

    Oh ok, I thought you were referring to the use of physical torture techniques. Butcher's techniques.

    (And this is not getting my glazing done.)

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Matt Taibbi suggests 5 key demands OWS could be making.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi,

    And now for something completely different. (Will this work?, I wonder.)

    Kind of.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Anyone posted this yet? Occupy Wall Street as a work of art

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    just paste the whole link (including the http) but without any of those square brackets, and it will embed automagically, thus..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    Blueskin Bay is named after the old guy who lived there alone when the Pakeha settled there.

    He was my greatgreatgreat-grandfather, and his name was Kahuti/a. He was a rakatira, had become a bit estranged from his daughter Motoitoi (she cohabited with Richard Driver, pilot for Otepoti harbour, and produced 3 children thereby, one of whom was my great grandmother)and his wife was long dead.

    "Blueskin" because he was heavily tattoo'd, face & body, as befitted his rank.

    Or so the whanau korero is-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    I also once flatted with a woman who was entitled to a mutton-bird in season. Ye gods below, the smell of it cooking

    I suggest rather more than one bird, if she was a beneficiary...my mother is our whanau beneficiary (Kaimohu is our titi-island) and we were brought up on the seasonal foods. To me, the aroma of cooking titi is the smell of winter, the smell of home - but I understand that some folk dont appreciate it like that.

    If you like the taste of titi- but not the smell - simply cook them in an oven bag!
    Still delicious!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    'Where are all the brown faces eh!?!'

    If he was Kai Tahu he should've known...we started interbreeding with takata-pora in the late 18th century. Pale mongrels from wayback ( except my uncle Bill was very brown - and my mother is very pale (and green-eyed & redhaired when young. What we call an urukehu...))

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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