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keifermiller's profile

A unionized laborer with a really bitchin' bicycle.

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I am keifer on the freenode, hubski, and OFTC irc networks.

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member for: 1972 days
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So, coming back to this, I've found a few barriers to entry on my attempt:

1) It is an older work. His writing style takes a lot of getting used to. The Moore translation compounds this.

2) His writing styles take a lot of getting used to. He flips around from playful prose to long winded and exacting accounts of commodity exchanges.

3) You can tell you're reading a translation. Neither the Moore or Fowkes translations are bad, but there are areas where you can tell they had... difficulties. Fowkes' version has the original words in brackets when you get to bits he felt couldn't fully be rendered in English.

4) Marx wrote for an audience that would have brought knowledge of ideas/thinkers that he was manipulating to the book. Meanwhile, world has iterated and moved on.

5) Material dialectics is fucking weird at the outset. I should probably follow bfv's advice and read Hegel.

6) When Penguin converted the work to an ebook, I'm guessing they didn't actually look at the resulting files.

From the preview on the google Play store:

    Use-values are only realized [ verwirklicht ] in use of in considered here they are also the material bearers [ Träger ] of… exchange-value.

The hard copy passage?

    Use-values are only realized [ verwirklicht ] in use or in consumption. They constitute the material content of wealth, whatever its social form may be. In the form of society to be considered here they are also the material bearers [ Träger ] of ... exchange-value.

The book is difficult enough without farther obfuscation.

Chore is a good word for it. Parts of it are fun and come easily, others... not so much.

keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

My wife is getting to the point where she can keep it going. The best I've managed is 4 throws and 3 catches. I've only been at it a week, but I'm already ready for it to be warm enough that I can take practice to the park and stop having to hover over the sofa to avoid annoying the lady downstairs.


keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

I've become a fan of Thorogood for welted workboots. The suede they use to reinforce where the back of your heel contacts doesn't hold up, but otherwise mine are doing surprisingly well after having a year's worth of boxes and crates dropped on 'em. I have the soles with the foam since I'm standing/hopping on hard surfaces all day, those can get a bit slippy. If you wait it out on Amazon, they sometimes get caught up in their seasonal fashion sales. If you're not a union member, that's probably the way to get 'em. If you are union, it's pretty easy to find them for additional discounts online.

'Course, construction and package handling probably tax boots in different ways.

keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

- We're all moved and settled in to the new place: living in a building that has ADA floor plans is amazing for lugging bicycles about. My inlaws bought us a washer and drier, which was super nice of them.

- In light of the fact that this place is 2x as big as the one we came from, I'm pretty sure I can squeeze in a hammock-stand (looking at a turtle dog design) in here somewhere. I've thrown together the plans I'm going off of in blender to get a rough idea of the space I need, now I just need to see which room it'll fit in to. I'm waffling between buying a cheap hammock from the local hiking store, or trying to sew up my own. I know I could do a simple one sewing my own, but if I try it I'd probably want to add in a bugnet too since there is a free walk-in public use area with in biking distance of here.

- I'm learning to juggle!

The Fucks i Didn't Give: The Flagamuffin Story

Brought to market by Whatcha Readin' Press, an imprint of Hubski Publishing.

keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 28, 2016

A couple more weeks of shipping people's returns and then work should be more or less back to normal. Quicker than that for me. I have a strategically placed vacation coming up. I've never moved during a time when vacations are able to be scheduled, this should make things so much easier.

I think I'm going to buy some new bags for my bike. I've hit the upper limits of what I can carry enough times now to recognize I need more volume. I'm at ~37 liters right now, but the setup I'm looking at would be 60 to 72 liters-ish. I kind miss using kitty litter buckets, but they're also a pain to carry up stairs. They're also a pain if you need to fit something that requires removing the entire lid.

I'm also considering picking up a messenger bag instead of using a backpack, but I'm not too sure how practical that would be to use with a hydration bladder.



I've also been kicking around the idea of checking out the IWW. Ironically enough, the local branch is in the place I'm moving away from, but the only presence I've seen of them is where I am moving to.

I'm wearing a shirt that says "Union until I die" right now. It's less sweet than those, but still rad.

An equally interesting story is comparing the US and Canada. Similar economies, similar rates of unionization at the middle of the last century, but very different legal structures and outcomes.

I'm on page 308 of the Fowkes translation, although I've read considerably more pages than that if you count the ones I've reread. :)

I definitely understand the feeling that it is going right over. I already know I'm going to end up rereading this fucker at some point. I've read a couple of different discourses / texts on dialectics from Marxists at this point, but to be honest, I don't really feel like they've helped me. A lot of the time I find I realize I've lost the contradictions he was working with and end up having to go back.

keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

To be honest, I'd be OK with that being at least part of the reason.

That said, I'm not so sure if that's what it is.

    During the presidential race, Trump has spoken favorably of right-wing “right-to-work” laws, which weaken the best job security protections workers have—a union contract—by preventing employers and employees from negotiating an agreement that requires all workers who receive the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement to pay their share of the costs of representing them.

Lots of people are worried about National Right To Work, but we've already got that here at the state level. Many part-time workers opt out of paying dues, but the people who draw in big bucks are pretty unified in paying. National Right to Work will hurt an already wounded labor movement, but the local here is already dealing with it on the Kansas side of the state line. It feels less pressing because we've already had a taste of it, and most of us haven't experienced the alternative.

    Pence has been an opponent of minimum wage increases, prevailing wages and even the right of local governments to offer more generous wages or benefits than those provided by the state.

Odds are good that The Company is gonna hafta raise their starting wages significantly next contract, regardless of minimum. They've already started giving new hires 'bonuses' for showing up every day of their probation period in my building. Amazon and others are pressuring them into it. Here in KC, Amazon is opening up two facilities that will provide 2000 full time jobs (we are just part time) at a higher starting wage.

I wouldn't touch non-union warehouse work with a 10ft pole if I had a choice, but if you are needing to make ends meet and don't care about unions Amazon and loads of others look pretty compelling. Good benefits are only good if you can make rent.

The fear of ACA being repealed is also probably muted: the biggest change people remember from recent history is when the insurance switched from The Company managing the plan to the Union running it (and thus Atena to BlueCross). Not when the ACA went into affect. We've had amazing insurance for a really long time, and while there is fear that the union will mismanage it, there isn't fear that the union will use a repeal of the ACA as a reason to drop it.

Which isn't to say that some of my coworkers haven't been complaining about Trump. Just not from that view point. People that have been talking about Trump are doing it about the general/racial/military aspects of why he sucks.

Should we be worried? God, yes. Even if the union was iron clad, we should be worried out of solidarity with the rest of the country. I just think we are feeling too insulated at the moment to actually do so.

Caveat: this following bit assumes people are voting in our elections (i.e. probably not relevant to part-timers and thus my coworkers)

Most of the stuff that has happened to hit close to home recently has been blamed on the union leadership (split raises, pension fund in financial trouble, slightly worse health insurance w/ new provider) being too cozy with the company. Politically, I think that those who are awake and worried about the health of the union are looking inwards, not outwards. Hoffa's slate just lost the election in my region, but he stays in charge because he just barely squeaked ahead internationally. He'll probably keep catching that anger until Trump gets in office and actually does something worse.

European Stability Mechanism

    The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is an intergovernmental organization located in Luxembourg City, which operates under public international law for all eurozone Member States having ratified a special ESM intergovernmental treaty. It was established on 27 September 2012 as a permanent firewall for the eurozone, to safeguard and provide instant access to financial assistance programmes for member states of the eurozone in financial difficulty, with a maximum lending capacity of €500 billion.


Sorry for being terse, 'bout to leave for work.

keifermiller  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

I will probably give it a shot at some point. I don't feel like I'm calm enough under pressure to do that job right now, though. When I need a steward that'll get shit done I look for the ones that I know will get angry about the situation, but can still remain measured in their reaction. Right now, I just get angry.

I honestly do believe in the union, and I respect the people who are stewards. It isn't that I think that they don't take their jobs seriously, I just think that the culture is shit. Part of the reason I think the culture is shit is because the rank and file is apathetic. 25% of members voted in this past IBT election. Which means local is even more depressed.

My interim plan is to try and agitate.

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