the future of work – the missing middle, farm field poppies wallpaper, paint it black

There have been a few articles over the last year or so claiming that high unemployment is here to stay. Corporate profits and bonuses are higher than ever. If business can make profits with fewer employees they will. This article is another entry in that wave of thinking, Successful businesses will be those that optimize the mix of humans, robots, and algorithms.

Some economists believe automation may explain why U.S. economic output has grown since 2007 while the number of jobs has fallen. That kind of dislocation is unusual. The U.S. economy has evolved from agriculture to manufacturing to service industries. Each time jobs were destroyed in one sector, they were replaced elsewhere. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide some clues to what the next economy will look like. Among the 10 fastest-growing new job categories between 2009 and 2011, seven have the word “computer” or “software” in them, according to an analysis by Matt Beane, a doctoral student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

An obnoxious troll here uses this to make the claim this proves that capital does not come from labor. One assumes he thinks computers. automated picking devices like Amazons and the software that runs these machines arose from the ether, fully formed. The economy needs people at the high-end – very specialized technical skills and at the low-end, making sandwiches, changing sheets, selling travel club memberships over the phone. The middle is gone. The middle is what many Americans think of as the reasonably attainable dream. Enough in wages to afford decent housing, food, transportation and a reasonable amount of consumer goods to make life comfortable and enjoyable. That middle may never come back. Those jobs are in Asia. Sadly they are not in Asia because most of those manufactured or assembled goods cannot be made here and still provide a reasonable profit. U.S. business likes it this way. They have rendered labor – organized or not – relatively powerless. Conservatives are like rabid beavers constantly chewing away the political power of the lowest wage earners by way of voter ID laws. A powerless middle and working poor means a country finally run by the elite, the dream of the plantation owners of the Antebellum south finally comes true.

 A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

Right. What’s the impact for these people again?

Back in 2008 I saw a couple on TV that had similar hardships. They were forced to sell off their $12 million dollar mansion and move into a run down shack they bought for $4 million. With such a rough and tumble life no wonder they support a guy who thinks the middle-class and working poor should pay for the Wall Street meltdown of 2007 until 2040 or however long it takes.

farm field poppies wallpaper

There is some disagreement on whether it is 6 or 14, but anyway – After 14 Years, Furby Has Returned

After 14 years and a lengthy hibernation, Hasbro is reviving one of its most famous toys for this fall, with new technology, a hefty price tag ($60) and an app connection. This Furby is more huggable, with soft fur that hides touch sensors, and more expressive, with rubbery ears that twitch and a pair of backlit LCD eyes with mechanical eyelids that blink, look around or respond to the sounds picked up by Furby’s onboard microphone.

According to Don Cameron, a Hasbro engineer, novelty is an essential part of Furby’s appeal. “You never know what Furby might do or say.” For example, Furby can differentiate between the tone of your spoken language, the sound of another Furby or the rhythm of a song for dancing. Furby can understand high frequency audio codes to “talk” with your iPad or another Furby.

Apparently it is also capable of some learning – to eventually respond to different words and their tone.

1928 London Museum poster.

Facebook Use Does Not Lead to Depression, According to New Study. No, but thinking of all the time people waste on Facebook causes depression.


what will we tell the children part deux, red record wallpaper, love’s awkward letters

Eons ago, the 1990s through 2008 there was a certain block of the general populace that write a multitude, yes a multitude of editorials, pointing to the power of the Clenis (see#2). Every aspect of the Clenis was studied, extensive notes taken, and thoughts or notions were processed. How were parents ever going to explain the Clenis to the children of America. The repercussions seemed ominous. Bad behavior, abet personal, from public officials was added to the national list of existential threats.  We soon learned, or the children soon learned that public revelations about s*x could be retold, pumped up to the size of WW II air ships, sold for a profit and careers built on flogging what had evolved into modern Canterbury Tales. Not so with fibs about WMD, selling arms to Iran, being a career alcoholic whose daddy bought a governorship and a presidency. Sex bad, but death by lie, corruption, crushing democracy, cronyism, shadowy national surveillance, buying elections and Swiss bank accounts – the kids just love that stuff and in no way sets a bad example that must be explained away in hushed tones. So it goes that no one will have to explain or apologize for Florida Governor Rick Scott and conservatives in the state legislature – Florida’s drive to slash government led it to shut down its top TB hospital as the disease was breaking out. The children understand the governor’s office has either ignored or suppressed news of the outbreak of tuberculosis. If Scott were to be held criminally liable for the deaths he has caused what kind of message would that send the children of America. Kids might learn to take responsibility for their decisions, learn compassion or some other liberal nonsense. And oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light the rantings of a lunatic whose every word the media establishment hangs, Drudge Pushes Conspiracy That President Obama Was Secret CIA Agent In Pakistan. I plan on writing a screenplay covering the “missing” Obama years and have been taking copious notes from the people who have cornered the market on values and managed their investment as well as Wall Street managed the life savings of the middle-class. It seems that a young Kenyan Muslim Marxist Anti-Christ was recruited by the CIA. It sounds good. Like the rusted out muffler of a 1972 Ford Pinto or Rush Limbaugh picking his anal cyst. It practically sings. As the children listen to this perversity of good citizenship by the raging fireplace, stockings hung with care and tip sheets on how to steal millions with a spread sheet, they’ll dream of the day they too can live a life unencumbered by even the lowest standards of ethics.Despite recent in which we had near weekly examples of a pretend cowboy from Connecticut tell lies so often and with so little effort that it seemed like a surreal film about either a sociopath or Republican Faust, much of the U.S. public finds it hard to believe that Paul Ryan (R-WI) or Mitt Romney would gut their Medicare. Who would do such a thing. “They refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

Robert Draper describes the results of focus groups done a few months ago by Democratic groups attempting to define Mitt Romney:

Burton and his colleagues spent the early months of 2012 trying out the pitch that Romney was the most far-right presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It fell flat. The public did not view Romney as an extremist. For example, when Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed “ending Medicare as we know it” — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.

That’s really how bad the Ryan budget is: voters don’t believe that real politicians would actually do such a thing. The plan to gut Medicare in order to make room for tax cuts for the rich is egregious and embarrassing that groups like Politifact have to go out of their way to cover for them.

Focus groups? Are they the reason we have four apples on a cardboard tray wrapped in plastic or stuff that looks like food in boxes that only require water and a few minutes on the stove to have a dinner the whole family can enjoy. Focus groups are the people who did not beleive in global warming until about three weeks ago. Focus groups are must be the same people who keep voting in the same hustlers with the same con, thinking they won’t get screwed over this time. The people at those tea bagger rallies with the signs that said keep the government’s hands off my Medicare. The people who think crap wrapped in red, white and blue always smells sweet.

turntable red record wallpaper

Vita Sackville-West’s Love Letter to Virginia Woolf 1927:

…I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don’t really resent it.

This video is probably not safe for work. It is a story of a woman’s revenge in the style of a discount David Lynch. So over the top and selfconsciously hip it succeeds while also being a send-up of itself. MIKHAEL PASKALEV | Jive Babe

MIKHAEL PASKALEV | Jive Babe [Official Video] from Jack Whiteley on Vimeo.