||[Apr. 30th, 2018|07:39 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Today was frustrating. I got called up for jury duty, showed up, and they kept me until almost noon before deciding they didn't need me. Someone on the other side in Ingress retired so now he's spending time doing stuff nobody had time to do earlier, like hiking 8 km in to a portal I've owned for almost a year and being really irritating with its possession, so on the way up to work I figured I'd ride up and recapture it for our team. I zoomed up there like I was drinking rocket fuel... and my phone wouldn't work. So I didn't get to capture it and be annoying, and instead, was annoyed. I went to work and spent the day pushing pixels around, which is increasingly annoying my sense of mortality, and just at the end of the day, my manager came in, infuriated at the software package I know better than anyone else, with a very specific problem that I couldn't rapidly answer, so I stayed late trying to figure out.|
I'm looking at new(er) phones on ebay right now. Maybe one that's only five years old, rather than seven.
The subject of basic income has been coming up a lot. Alaska's version has been running for 40 years and is wildly popular, probably because it's not called universal basic income. As gfish points out in his recent post, using "UBI will simplify welfare and increase its efficiency!" can be code for "now we only have one target in our quest to kill economic support networks."
I have an economics question. If we give everyone $x, why won't the price of non-negotiable items like rent and food tend to rise proportionally to that?
But that kind of segues into the observation that all wealth transfers favor capitalists, if all you look at is money, not value.
After seeing a couple of articles about how the Department of Homeland Security is looking for contractors to help compile lists of journalists and bloggers "for security purposes" I started thinking that 'homeland security' wasn't really a very good name for what they're doing now, and that maybe 'stasi' would fit better, which got me to reading about the Stasi. One of the things they innovated was realizing that arresting people and torturing them was bad press, so instead they went to epic lengths to gaslight dissidents and people they even thought might be trouble: interfering with their work environments, having things ordered, delivered, and billed to the people that they didn't order, entering their houses and moving things around or substituting items with similar items, just to mess with their heads and make them doubt themselves.
This was 50 years ago. I bet security organizations have figured out even better ways to discredit opponents invisibly in the intervening time.
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