a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
kleinbl00  ·  898 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The free market and small gov't aren't really going too swell, huh

The Trump administration is an argument for decentralization.

Orson Scott Card is an asshole who is well past his prime. However, back before he was the asshole right-wing opinionator of the Internet he was a sci fi writer and one of his best books is called Songmaster.

Songmaster is basically this really weird sadomasochistic gay romance in an extremely bizarre Mormon way but buried in there are a number of insights about power. The most formidable, the one that really hooked 12-year-old me, was the observation that the Romans didn't invent nothing they invented bureaucracy such that vestiges of the Roman Empire continued to run Europe into the 1850s despite the fact that Vespasian was almost two millennia dead. The argument is that if you decentralize everything, and give everyone a tiny little piece of government, you have to destroy all the tiny pieces of government before you have no government. Kill the king and you have a revolution; kill the king when you have a dozen ministers, four dozen footmen, three hundred barons, eleven thousand mayors and twenty thousand magistrates and all you have is a state funeral.

I made it through Season 4. It was a trial. The way that show is arranged now is you get one principal on set at any given time so that only one principal gets paid for any episode and you spread out the episodes so that nobody has a lot of actual screen time so that you keep your guild commitments to a minimum. Having one Bluth on screen for the whole episode costs half as much as one Bluth tallking face-to-face to another Bluth for two words. Having one Bluth on screen for the whole episode costs 10% as much as having ten Bluths in a room shouting "Surprise!" and then leaving immediately. Meanwhile everyone working on it is getting their union hours so their health insurance continues, but your rate is now 20% of what it was when you were shooting for fox because Netflix is "new media." Been there, done that, seen the paystubs for Arrested Development.

Hollywood should die.