Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
@kurt_vonnegut: “I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of reward or punishment after I’m dead.”
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery – via @WorldBikeGirl
“Infantilization Apps are probably going to make us less capable of changing the world for the better … The planet’s melting down, the economy’s stuck, the young are toast. And the Infantilization Economy is going to make it less possible for us to change it. Not just by making 80 percent of us neoservants. But also by making 20 twenty percent of us overgrown babies. Who, like all babies, cry for the Gigantic Nanny Machine when the monsters come — instead of bravely venturing into the darkness to fend them off.
The Gigantic Nanny Machine won’t save the world. We can’t call on-demand TaskRabbits to fix climate change, economic stagnation, social decay, lost generations. We can’t call an Uber to drive the globe into a better future.”
“Our current system breaks down at the intersection of two bad choices: neoliberal globalization or xenophobic populism … Work will increasingly be redefined to mean life-affirming activity (though still contributive to society), while art and creativity will have to flourish with rising spare time (witness platforms like Etsy that are replying to this fact, already here). And those who “win” will have to give more of their money to support everyone (a moral shift that also is deeply pragmatic). Perhaps we’ll end up with social support that looks like more like Norway (a country that The Economist reports China is looking closely at for lessons; China seems to understand the problem).”
“Contrary to modern assumptions, the Luddites were not opposed to technology itself. They were opposed to the particular way it was being applied. After all, stocking frames had been around for 200 years by the time the Luddites came along, and they weren’t the first to smash them up. Their protest was specifically aimed at a new class of manufacturers who were aggressively undermining wages, dismantling workers’ rights and imposing a corrosive early form of free trade. To prove it, they selectively destroyed the machines owned by factory managers who were undercutting prices, leaving the other machines intact.”
“A typical Spanish household these days is one where both parents work full-time and where there is limited access to child care facilities, meaning grandparents often step in to help. Most people now have lengthy commutes to work, making trips back home during the day impractical. Workers also spend long hours in the office — a typical Spanish working day begins at 8:30 AM, includes a one-to-two-hour lunch break beginning around 1:30 PM, and concludes around 7 PM or 8 PM. Many Spanish workers then start the long commute home. No wonder Spain is famous for dining late.”
For my fellow Canadians: Andrew Coyne thinks Canada’s electoral system is broken
“In sum, the present [electoral] system allows the minority to rule over the majority, it gives some voters many times the voting power of others, it denies many voters the right to vote for the party of their choice and wastes the vote of many others. Oh, and it nearly killed the country a couple times, besides.
Other than that, it’s a pretty good system.”