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jadedog




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jadedog  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Trimage (now with spoilers)

My instant reaction was, ooh, I like that.

I like how the colors blend together. It has a bit of the feel of the middle of a storm and/or a fire, but at the same time has those feathery strokes that give it a softer feel.

Just my instant reaction on it.

    So yeah, if retail does fucking die, the workers are screwed. Not only because they'll be out of a job, but because this country has almost zero fucking chance of ever letting something like Basic Universal Income happen. This country voted for Trump. This country can't get its health care together.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I have seen a couple things that make me question your predictions.

First, the state of Hawaii is already investigating universal basic income because of their dependence on service industries.

    His interest in the idea, he said, is motivated by a concern that automation will make good jobs rarer, particularly in a service industry-dependent state like Hawaii

    Lee's resolution, HCR 89, was supported by major unions and the Chamber of Commerce, and sets up a working group to study the idea of implementing a basic income. Its text cites these concerns, and positively mentions basic income as a potential means of addressing them:

Will it happen now? Maybe doubtful, but the idea that people are looking at it right now and considering legislation says to me that the trend is in that direction.

On the national level, people are too busy playing political games, but more progressives have universal basic income on their agenda.

As for single payer health insurance, Charles Krauthammer, a conservative pundit on Fox News predicts that the US will have single payer within the next 7 years. There are a lot of reasons, but if the system crashes, everyone will be affected. At the point everyone is negatively affected, people will be more inclined to do something about it. If a conservative pundit on Fox News is predicting it, that's an indication things might be moving in that direction. I've seen at least one other republican commentator say the same.

In the states, Nevada just had their medicaid for all bill vetoed by the governor (although he said it was a good idea that needed more details to be ironed out) and California's single payer bill is still in process.

    The coach companies that died, died because either they became something else or because they refused to transition, but more jobs came about.

Yes, it's true that the industrial revolution brought about a boom due to the increased need of labor. The current technological change is different because the labor is being replaced by the technology itself. The prediction is for less jobs overall because of this change.

The analogy part was just to show that as technology changes, some industries die out in the process.

    Sears and Amazon

    When Amazon came about, someone at Sears should have said "Hot tits, these guys are on to something. We have the institutional knowledge through our catalog division to follow Amazon's example and do it fucking better.

If Sears tried to become Amazon back then, it would have done what it's doing now -- closing down its retail outlets and laying off its employees. The difference between the Amazon model and the Sears model is that Amazon doesn't have the high cost of overhead from paying for retail stores and paying for employees to work in those stores. That's why Amazon was able to undercut prices. Amazon didn't have to pay for employees or retail outlets.

In some ways, Amazon got a free ride off retail outlets like Sears. People would go into retail outlets, look at the product, get all the details at the store, then order it at a lower price on Amazon. But Amazon didn't have to pay for the overhead of showing those products. Sears did. If most of the major retail outlets close down, it will be interesting to see if people will start to buy everything sight unseen.

Sears couldn't become Amazon back then. I'm not even sure Amazon could have become Amazon without retail outlets like Sears.

    Other Models

    Maybe, instead of big retail trying to fucking hire people at minimum fucking wage to push products fast, which is fucking miserable for everyone involved, they hire knowledgeable people who are passionate about what they're selling and are paid fucking well for the advice and the services they can offer.

This is the opposite model of the Amazon model. Amazon's model undercuts prices by offering no service. This model relies on being able to charge customers more for a small selection of products and quality service.

The Sears model is in the middle of these. Sears carried huge quantities of products, which it priced competitively but offered only minimal service on them. In order for this alternative model to work, Sears would only be able to offer a small selection of products or would have to dissect its workforce into experts in each product field and offer way less products in each field.

From what I've seen, retail is headed more in that direction. The number of items for each retail outlet is getting scaled way down with more experts in the field to show those products. It's more of a boutique model.

Could Sears have competed that way? I don't know, but I would be doubtful. It would have required it to have increased its prices and changed its image to a more upscale boutique place. I think it has tried and is probably trying that. As a brand though, I don't think of Sears as an upscale boutique place.

    Can you imagine if larger companies, say, Kohl's, The Gap, and JCPenny all got together and tried to form a retailer's coopertive? FUCK. Their buying power would be FUCKING SICK. Shit, that's half the reason companies try to buy each other in the first fucking place. I'd half be willing to bet, this method would be a lot less risky and a lot less controversial than trying to fucking form fucking monopolies.

I'm not seeing the difference between the conglomeration of many major retail outlets to form one big outlet as different from a monopoly. If enough major retailers got together that they were able to control distribution of some products to the point where they could command any price they chose to sell certain products, wouldn't that be monopolistic pricing?

At this point in time, the market might still be fragmented enough for consolidation to happen, but at the point where it would be advantageous to smash the competition is the point where monopolistic pricing can happen.

    Fucking Study Other Companies

I don't see the connection between those other industries and retail. Some industries doing well might not impact other industries doing well. When the computer industry was doing well, the car industry might have been doing poorly and vice versa. I'm not sure that the industries are enough alike to make any comparisons.

As a note, you've used the f word or one of its derivations 33 times in this one post. Since I haven't seen you doing that in most other notes, they stood out.

    That responsibility lies in the hands of the people running these companies and if a tag like #retailhell is any indication, they're fucking failing.

Not necessarily. Sometimes industries die out due to a change in technology. I don't think that people are pointing to a shift in consumer demands or changes in technology as a way to shift blame.

Just as a quick, hopefully illustrative example, there was a time when horse drawn carriages were really popular. The car was invented. It took a while for the car to get widespread. In that time, people who made the carriages and who made horse shoes and who changed horse shoes got fewer and fewer jobs with fewer and fewer hours. I'm sure they weren't happy about it. But at some point, the horse drawn carriage companies couldn't compete with the car companies. If twitter existed, there may have been a #carriagehell or #hooferhell.

It may not be a perfect analogy, but brick and mortar retail is dying. The fact that everyone knows what Amazon is, and most people have ordered something online shows that. Technology has changed the industry. Sears doesn't have the power to change that. It tried online retailing, but that's not their emphasis. Just like the horse drawn carriage industry shrunk and died out over time, the same is happening to the brick and mortar retail industry.

In that process, workers are displaced. There's no way around it. Giving some people more hours and great benefits means laying off others. If it was an expanding industry, and the companies were treating workers poorly, that's one thing. (I realize this is what Amazon is doing) But Sears is shutting down retail outlets. They're not doing that to mess with people while business is booming.

Some people are speculating that robotics will do that with many existing industries. The difference between this change in technology and the industrial revolution is that there was a place where workers could shift. They shifted to working in factories.

In this shift of technology, there are less productive shifts where workers can go. That's the reason that many people are arguing for universal basic income from their governments. At the point where technology displaces a majority of the paid productive work in the economy, there will need to be a solution.

As big as they are, corporations don't always have the power to innovate a solution big enough to change shifts in technology and consumer demand.

    People are getting laid off, hours are getting cut, everyone is losing their healthcare, wages are going down, stores are closing, and it's all because these companies are worried about short term profits and short term share values and they don't give two shits about the lives that get ruined over in the process.

As much as I share your dismay about how workers are getting treated, and as much as I don't like how large companies have gained so much power to treat workers so poorly, I don't think the problem is centralized with these two companies or even retail companies in general.

Some of it has to do with the shifting trends of consumers to order online instead of going into brick and mortar retail outlets. People still generally go to grocery stores to get food, but for other things, many people have shifted to online ordering. I guess you could say that's Amazon's fault since they started the trend, but if they didn't someone else would have.

On the other side, the other way to make money is to overcharge customers. That's what Whole Foods was charged with doing. Both NYC and CA brought claims of overcharging.

The co-CEOs admitted it. It wasn't much of an admission, but the same happened in CA, so it probably happened in other places.

People say that the Whole Foods model died because it was too ethical or too local focused. I don't buy it. It failed because they overcharged customers, which made it easy for other chains to undercut their prices. Whole Foods excelled when they had the monopoly on organic and vegetarian/vegan food. When other chains could bring in the same items much cheaper, Whole Foods lost a lot of their customer base.

As for the acquisition, I'll be curious to see how it goes. On the face of it, it seems like an odd matching. Whole Foods has the reputation of overpricing. Amazon has the reputation of undercutting prices. Will they try to keep the Whole Foods branding or just use the stores and create their own branding?

I also noticed an article that Aldi's is planning on opening 900 stores in the next 5 years. I'm wondering how that will impact the market.

I just saw this video on the acquisition, so I thought I'd toss it in the mix. It's an analyst from Yahoo on CBS news talking about the acquisition.

There are now 3 of these emoluments clause lawsuits. With all the people talking about the issue, I was wondering why this was the first lawsuit to be filed on the issue.

Apparently, it wasn't.

There was one filed back in January "on behalf of an ethics watchdog and Trump’s business competitors"

Then after this one was filed, the democrats in congress filed another one. I had heard about the planning for one of these lawsuits way back in February from watching a town hall meeting by a democrat.

When this one was filed, I wondered about the reason for the timing.

    I love his answer to the question "is there a social system that redistributes wealth fairly and promotes social cohesion?" He said, "Yea, it's called paying your taxes. And corporations and rich people aren't doing it."

I feel like I'm missing something here. I apologize if I'm walking in in the middle of a bigger discussion.

I cursorily watched the video. I felt like I wasted my time when he did the mic drop at the end.

It seems a bit obvious that we're screwed. It has seemed obvious for a while now. But giving the problem in such a long, drawn out fashion without a solution seems a bit fruitless.

The wealth distribution problem has been the main platform for Bernie Sanders for a while now. And places like r/latestagecapitalism on reddit has the wealth distribution problem as their main issue.

It's more about what can be done about it now that the problem has become so clear.

Again, sorry if I'm missing something obvious here.

    To clarify, I hate moral quandries when people expect me to have some kind of answer to the quandrie and the stubbornness to stick to it to instead of the flexibility to change my mind or appreciate the fact that there's no easy answer.

A moral quandry is uncertain by definition. They don't have definite answers. People expecting you to have answers are not understanding what a moral quandry is.

    So, I'm having fun, but not in the way some people would want me to have fun I think.

Glad you're having fun.

Maybe these people who are supervising your method of fun can be given a different role in your life? Unless you're hurting someone, you get to enjoy what you enjoy.

I'm pretty sure there are entire forums where people analyze and criticize the inconsistencies in the Star Trek shows by episode, by series and across series.

    Everyone knows what Quark wants and what he's gonna do, so it's all about how they navigate around him.

As the series goes on, Quark gets a bit more 3 dimensional with a bit of back history. A few of the other characters have some interesting back history as well.

I apologize for assuming that you missed the part about Sisko being complicit. I thought that your conclusion would have been different had you taken that into account. I shouldn't have assumed that.

    I really hate moral quandries

Maybe this series isn't your cup of tea? Since I like moral quandries, the writing seems fine to me. In fact, for me, it's better than most since most series don't even try to contain any moral ambiguity.

    I don't think the whole DS9 crew would be willing to take that risk.

I do think the whole crew would be willing to take that risk. I base that on other episodes where the whole crew go on a mission, risking everyone's lives for one person's project or experiment or even their mistake.

I pondered whether that was realistic or not while I was watching it. I think there are a couple factors that make it more believable, after thinking about it. This group of people are self-selected to be interested in exploration. They're willing to risk their lives for what they find. Banding together to protect everyone equally is also a survival technique. They're more powerful as a group than individually. If that means defending a bone-headed mistake of one crew member, it's still the guiding principle. Also, while life is still fragile, medical technology is so advanced that dying is less likely. That makes risk-taking slightly less risky.

An episode from TNG had me thinking about the mindset of the crew a lot. In that episode, the crew found several people in cryogenic stasis. One person revived them through one of those bone-headed errors by a crew member, then the rest of the crew had to deal with it. After the doctor fixed all their medical maladies, she said something about them that stayed with me.

"Too afraid to live, too scared to die." or words to that effect.

To me, it meant that the people on the starship had decided what they were willing to die for. It gave them purpose and meaning. They were willing to risk their lives for what they believed in, and that included each other.

    It seemed odd to me for two reasons. One, O’Brien is a military man. The military has a chain of command and its instilled in its members that the chain of command shouldn’t be broken for a whole slew of reasons

You missed a piece in this. When O'Brien went in for his dressing down with Sisko, O'Brien wondered out loud why the transporter wasn't shut down and isolated to O'Brien's com badge location when Sisko realized that O'Brien and his com badge weren't in the same place. O'Brien could not have carried out his plan without assistance from Sisko. Sisko gave a blustery non-answer.

O'Brien wasn't a rogue player here. They all held the same values but were constrained by the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive was the rule that they didn't interfere with other cultures. The Prime Directive is a metaphor of people who go into other cultures and change their cultures for the worse, as was blamed on the Christians in the case of some native cultures.

If Sisko knew about and could stop O'Brien in a second but allowed his actions, was Sisko complicit in the crime?

I don't think it's very unrealistic

If Flynn (a military man) committed an illegal action, and Trump knew about it but allowed it anyway, was Trump complicit in the illegal action? Those are some of the questions the US is now asking.

I think those scenarios get played out in a lot of ways.

In DS9, there's a recurring theme of exploring the point at which inaction or blindly following orders becomes immoral in itself. Picard struggled with it and so did Sisko. They both took actions or inactions they felt were more moral than blindly following orders.

[Edit: removed a possible spoiler] I'll just say here that your questions about what happens when military orders aren't followed is explored a lot.

About the hunters, I just saw a post on reddit yesterday about a hunter who was killed when the elephant he killed fell on him. The hunter and anti-hunter discussion turned so vitriolic that the thread had to be shut down due to death threats. It doesn't seem like the hunter question is very settled. There's not much more to explore.

    Those are a ton of questions. Those questions are deep as fuck. Yet none of them were adequately addressed let alone resolved. Tosk went free. For them, the hunt continued. For me, I’m sitting here with philosophical blue balls.

I've read that when a piece of fiction stays with you, it's a great piece of fiction. This piece made you think and question. I rarely see that when people watch things. I think that's a great achievement for a piece of fiction.

    Their introduction and the whole explanation for the mystery brings about what could be some very interesting moral dilemmas that never get explored. Finally, we have the episode's protagonist act irrationally and against his own self interest to help his new alien friend, everything works out in the end, with the exception of the moral dilemmas being completely ignored.

What would you like them to explore?

Disclaimer: I'm a big Star Trek fan, and my favorite series is DS9 because of the moral ambiguity.

To me, that episode was about hunting and the moral dilemmas of hunting animals. But it could be about any situation where the prey has accepted their fate, even in a human context because of social acceptance.

That episode first gave the perspective of the hunted, their actions and motivations. It opens the question. How would you behave if you were in a class that was hunted? Tosk was skittish, distrustful, secretive and non-assertive except when the Tosk thought it might get in more trouble. Those are probably traits many would adopt if they were hunted.

Then it gets revealed why the Tosk was behaving that way. Another class of the aliens was hunting Tosk.

That custom was foreign to the crew of DS9 because class and species differences were supposedly eliminated by that time.

It's still common in our time though. People hunt animals and marginalize other people.

It didn't seem at all odd to me that O'Brien acted against his interest to help Tosk. People sacrifice their self-interest to help animals all the time. They sacrifice even more if the hunted class are people, like the Jewish people in the time of the Holocaust. O'Brien saw Tosk as another person, not a dispensable creature because he wasn't in a culture that saw hunting as socially acceptable.

The ethical line that gets drawn when people see other beings as animals or beings like themselves is also an ethical question.

It's an interesting thought experiment to wonder why more people didn't hide Jewish people during the Holocaust.

It has implications for what happens today. If people can see other people as enough different from themselves, they can care less about them. People of different religions or races can be marginalized or treated differently.

The writers of DS9 couldn't explore those moral ambiguities explicitly because once a real life context was given, not in the form of a metaphor, the viewer is likely to revert to their view of the socially accepted view of the moment and not explore the possibility that there might be other ways of looking at things.

jadedog  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: So this is a thing that happened

You might be interested in this story about leaks in the white house.

    When asked Tuesday night for an update on the unfolding situation, one top White House aide simply texted a reporter two fireworks emoji.
jadedog  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: So this is a thing that happened

More congress (Adam Schiff) getting involved, asking for tapes of the dinner meeting.

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