Regional vexillology 

Maryland’s flag is so gross already, this bumper sticker is low-key a power move. It’s like Marylanders saying, “Yeah, our flag is ugly. So what? We’ll make it even uglier. What are you gonna do about it, punk?”

In light of the sad news that the guy who does those cute alien comics is anti-abortion, may I make a proposal?

Cute, wholesome, pro-abortion alien comics.

Inkscape, unpopular opinion 

Inkscape is terrible because whenever someone points out Inkscape is terrible all of Inkscape’s terrible fans rush out and shout at them for saying Inkscape is terrible instead of fixing Inkscape’s terrible problems.

Chill electronic music:

Alan Watts: “Our existence, that which differentiates us from the void, the chaos... all is a dream! That is the power of the ancient wisdom, to see ourselves not outside of, but interminably suspended in the flow of nature. Consider the child—”

I must be in some kind of know-it-all mood because I’ve been imagining a curriculum to teach functional programming and socialist labor organization to working class grade schoolers

Hey I remembered that one animation I did five years ago, good times I should animate again:

I don’t know if anything in this thread was worth anything. Just a nascent thought. May be totally wrong-headed.

I’m gonna leave it there.

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Thinking about the gig economy and material dialectics 

Organizing useful productive activity is not the business of Uber or Lyft or Postmates or any of them. Their business is wealth extraction.

And what do they do with all that surplus wealth? How do they grow it?

Lobbying is a big way. A lot of money goes into investing in changing laws to bring in more money.

That doesn’t improve the service. It doesn’t make workers lives better. It doesn’t improve the world. It just accumulates power.

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Thinking about the gig economy and material dialectics 

Industrial capitalism benefits from some capital accumulation: you can expand operations, invest in R&D, purchase new equipment, etc. All that is expensive, even under socialism. It becomes part of the cost of production.

But temp work doesn’t have that. There’s a certain amount of overhead just to organize, but there’s an upward limit to how much you can invest in organizing surplus time.

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Thinking about the gig economy and material dialectics 

Anyway: GDP values exploitation and extraction more than it values efficient production.

Finally brings me up to what I was thinking about in the first place, the gig economy.

Controversial opinion, I think that the gig economy is potentially a really good thing. At its best, gig work is flexible, on demand, and voluntary. The necessary organizational overhead should be very low.

Except, you know, exploitation.

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Thinking about the gig economy and material dialectics 

Here’s a systemic issue: GDP as a measure does not value low prices. A company which produces a product at a minimum sustainable cost adds less to GDP than a company which adds a markup.

In the capitalist context, it makes sense to attribute higher value to a company which is more efficient at accumulating capital: a larger reserve of capital affords more organizational leverage. Consequently, capital implies more productive capacity.

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Thinking about the gig economy and material dialectics 

Started out thinking about the limitation of GDP. It was designed with industrial capitalism in mind, and in that context it was a useful way to measure productive capacity.

But you know the problem with metrics: once you have a metric, it’s easier to optimize the metric instead of the underlying value it was intended to measure.

GDP has a peculiar bias toward capitalism and tends to devalue other types of productive activity...

“Weird” is a slur. 

That sounds like a hot take, but I hold that opinion with conviction.

To be more precise: I think “weird” is a good word to express hard-to-articulate feelings. You can feel weird, that’s normal and valid. But it is a horrible word to describe another person. “Weird” could describe a sexual predator, or it could describe autism, disability, or foreignness.

Never say “don’t be weird”. Articulate the problem if you can. Explain your feelings. But don’t call people weird.

Personal hard truths 

I guess to my credit, I eventually broke out of the cycle. The grownups who punished me for acting different never did. Most of the children who bullied me probably didn’t either.

How could I have broken out of the cycle sooner? How about my abusers? What can I do now about bullying, to protect the victims and also correct the bullies? Who can be saved?

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Personal hard truths 

Why didn’t anyone stop me?

People tried, I guess. Sometimes I was punished, but punishment didn’t teach me anything. It made me even more angry and confused: I would be punished for acting different from my abusers, and I would be punished for acting the same as my abusers. It’s no wonder I felt like the victim.

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