Monday, February 19, 2018

The Third Industrial Revolution: A radically new sharing economy

New video. The blurb:

The global economy is in crisis. The exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and steep inequality, forces us to rethink our economic models. Where do we go from here? In this feature-length documentary, social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system.

A Third Industrial Revolution is unfolding with the convergence of three pivotal technologies: an ultra-fast 5G communication internet, a renewable energy internet, and a driverless mobility internet, all connected to the Internet of Things embedded across society and the environment.

This 21st century smart digital infrastructure is giving rise to a radical new sharing economy that is transforming the way we manage, power and move economic life. But with climate change now ravaging the planet, it needs to happen fast. Change of this magnitude requires political will and a profound ideological shift.

The meaning of America on President's Day

A powerful, profound statement by Robert Reich, copied below, on what America once was, what it has become, and hopefully what it can be yet again. Amen brother Reich.

"When Trump and his followers refer to “America,” what do they mean? Some see a country of white English-speaking Christians.Others want a land inhabited by self-seeking individuals free to accumulate as much money and power as possible, who pay taxes only to protect their assets from criminals and foreign aggressors. Others think mainly about flags, national anthems, pledges of allegiance, military parades, and secure borders.

Trump encourages a combination of all three – tribalism, libertarianism, and loyalty. But the core of our national identity has not been any of this. It has been found in the ideals we share – political equality, equal opportunity, freedom of speech and of the press, a dedication to open inquiry and truth, and to democracy and the rule of law.

We are not a race. We are not a creed. We are a conviction – that all people are created equal, that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, and that government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Political scientist Carl Friedrich, comparing Americans to Gallic people, noted that “to be an American is an ideal, while to be a Frenchman is a fact.” That idealism led Lincoln to proclaim that America might yet be the “last best hope” for humankind. It prompted Emma Lazarus, some two decades later, to welcome to American the world’s “tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It inspired the poems of Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes, and the songs of Woody Guthrie. All turned their love for America into demands that we live up to our ideals. “This land is your land, this land is my land,” sang Guthrie. “Let America be America again,” pleaded Hughes: “The land that never has been yet – /And yet must be – the land where every man is free. / The land that’s mind – the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME –.”

That idealism sought to preserve and protect our democracy – not inundate it with big money, or allow one party or candidate to suppress votes from rivals, or permit a foreign power to intrude on our elections. It spawned a patriotism that once required all of us take on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going – paying taxes in full rather than seeking loopholes or squirreling money away in foreign tax shelters, serving in the armed forces or volunteering in our communities rather than relying on others to do the work.

How fake news helped elect Dump

In Rosenstein's announcement about the Russian indictments he said: "There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election" (5:28). Just because the indictment didn't address the issue doesn't mean it had no effect. This recent study indeed shows that the very conduct outlined in the indictment likely did exactly that. "Our study concludes that fake news most likely did have a substantial impact on the voting decisions of a strategically important set of voters." The study was focused on former Obama voters who voted for Dump. "Our survey data show that 10 percent of these former Obama voters cast ballots for Trump in 2016, 4 percent switched to minor parties and 8 percent did not vote." The fake news stories that flipped these voters were the following:

Fact Check: The Russian indictments show clear support for Dump

See the article here. It quotes the indictment: "By early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ('Trump Campaign') and disparaging Hillary Clinton” (p. 4). See the article and indictment for the timeline and the details.

CabFair ethical alternative to Uber

82% of Londoners would use an Uber alternative that had better rights for drivers, and 54% would pay more for that ethical alternative. So reports the New Economics Foundation, which is also working on that alternative called CabFair that would be owned by the drivers.

Dump budget eliminates funding for low-income home heating

It's right there in his budget. And this after giving $6 trillion in the tax scam to the 1%. How caring and compassionate our Presidunce is. To the rich, that is. The rest of us can literally freeze to death. Keep in mind the Repugnantans are complicit in this and get out and vote this year.

Dump budget cuts 16% from national gun background check

And why haven't we heard about this on corporate media? That's a $12 million cut.

The Making of Our Cartoon President

An ad about the new show from Executive Producer Stephen Colbert.


This applies equally to ultimate reality. Claims to the certainty of knowing it inevitably lead to spiritual totalitarianism.

The case of empathy

Subtitle above of an interview with de Waal and Thompson titled: Primates, monks and the mind. Therein they discuss the development of empathy from primates to monks. While the former provides a foundation for the latter, the latter adds on empathic capacities not in the former. (I'm also reminded of Rifkin's stages of empathy.)

Thompson: " The most basic, in a way the foundational or ground floor one, is a coupling or pairing between one’s bodily being and the being of another. This can take various forms. There are various kinds of affective and motor resonances. [...] Without it it’s hard to see how the more developed forms of empathy could arise. A second, more developed aspect, could be described as involving some kind of imaginative transposition or movement to the place of another, so that you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, imaginatively speaking. And then, third, this perspective-taking can become more complex in the sense that you don’t simply put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, but you put yourself in somebody else’s shoes such that you comprehend how they see you. Here there’s a kind of reiteration of empathy, so that you have an empathetic experience of someone else’s empathetic experience of you.