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#41
02-11-2014
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Interesting quote.

Is there an alternative economic system that would be superior to free markets in terms of raising the living standards of the masses and also eliminate these type of relations?
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Last edited by zyphex; 02-11-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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#42
02-12-2014
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what do you think
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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
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#43
02-12-2014
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let me answer that for you-- nope, at least, not that i can see or ever possibly imagine

i'm not meaning to be mean, and i'm not being mean, but i think that question is loaded in a few ways and it looks from where i'm sitting here behind my dual screens like a kind of scaffolding resembling a defense mechanism.

you're questioning whether the quote can be validated, essentially; "show me a better practice out there and i'll consider it." well i don't know about better, coming from an anthropological background and all i'd resist that whole idea, but i do have a sense of social justness.

the present state of relations we find ourselves forced into work to structure the very structuring mechanisms (us) which (are forced to) work to reinforce that very state of relations. though this is basically the same everywhere, i.e. socialization is a real thing everywhere, here, the social member's subjugation (as worker) is intensified and forces the member to adapt to a specifically and pointedly amoral* economic system which other places don't have (unless they've already been forced to accept this system).

subjugation here is even more thoroughly downplayed through successions of not-sacred rituals such as the ones we perform in our banal everyday lives, like drinking or letting sitcoms laugh for us or what have you. to me, there's something off RE how this works on social members in our society (we have nothing resembling a culture) as a whole; much more obviously on the marked groups like our black males, etc. (their, specifically, having been made into primary raw renewable resource for the prison industry, and we joke about it as if resigning ourselves to this fact, treating it as natural fact and not as a socially produced phenomenon that could be changed only if we were to first stop laughing about it and shrugging and stepping away (i.e. only if we were to do away with that structure of feeling itself-- a structure in the sense mentioned earlier-- which causes us to act non-consciously in these ways))

the system is not actually amoral, it has its own structure of belief and so its own sense of morality. the real point is that this moral system of the free market is incompatible with the moral system of our democracy and the teachings (but not necessarily lessons of) basically every dominant religious tradition we have. really, the free market system is legitimized by these things in a weird, fragmented way; none of these moral systems are dominant in the sense that they determine the others, as we see to a greater extent in more cohesive social systems, but nevertheless they all seem to produce the very sorts of subjects that the economic system requires. as if they've been recuperated towards serving this interest.
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Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-12-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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#44
02-12-2014
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My sig is somewhat of a cheeky response to that possibly cheeky question.
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#45
02-12-2014
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For it must be cried out, at a time when some have the audacity to neo-evangelise in the name of the ideal of a liberal democracy that has finally realised itself as the ideal of human history: never have violence, inequality, exclusion, famine, and thus economic oppression affected as many human beings in the history of the earth and of humanity. Instead of singing the advent of the ideal of liberal democracy and of the capitalist market in the euphoria of the end of history, instead of celebrating the ‘end of ideologies’ and the end of the great emancipatory discourses, let us never neglect this obvious macroscopic fact, made up of innumerable singular sites of suffering: no degree of progress allows one to ignore that never before, in absolute figures, have so many men, women and children been subjugated, starved or exterminated on the earth. - Jacques Derrida
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Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem
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#46
04-28-2014
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http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2007/...ing_legal.html
Quote:
Is Taking Nothing Legal?
Provigil, a "wakefulness promoting agent," is banned at the Olympics, even though, probably, it has no effect on physical performance. Despite what the Olympics says, it isn't a stimulant.

If Provigil has any effect on a specific athlete's physical performance beyond keeping them awake, I'd argue it was placebo effect. So a drug with a placebo effect is illegal. Fine.

But what about the reverse situation: what about giving an actual placebo to an athlete, and telling them it's oh, I don't know, growth hormone? Or Ritalin?


The Economist describes a study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which repeated precompetition doses of morphine were then replaced by placebo on the day of competition; the placebo, like real morphine, helped them endure pain during the competition. In fact, the placebo had an opioid- mediated analgesic effect (the effect was prevented by the opioid antagonist naloxone)-- it may as well have been actual morphine. So now what? Ban placebo?

Well, you say, the simple solution is to ban substances not just in competition, but during training as well; say, 2 years before a competition. Except you can't ethically ban pain killers during training-- can you?

It should be mentioned that the World Anti-Doping Code bans any "substance or method [that] has the potential to enhance..." so I suppose placebo-doping is a technical violation, though it's hard to see how anyone could catch it. Perhaps the solution is to monitor the amount of morphine used pre-competition as a clue to the "method" (unreasonable amounts of morphine daily might suggest...) Perhaps, but in this study the placebo effect was seen even after only two morphine doses, separated by a week.

I bring this up not because I'm worried about "placebo effect conditioning" (hasn't really caught on (I think...)), but because the idea here speaks to several social questions. Do we care about what causes something, or what was caused? Do we ban the specific substance morphine, but leave open the pathways of analgesia, or do we ban opioid-mediated techniques, e.g. anything that promotes analgesia?

Sports are fun, I'll admit, but let's take this exact study and alter it by a word. Replace "competition" by-- murder. I don't think it's hard to imagine morphine "facilitating" a murder. (Forget about whether it actually does or not; just accept with me that it's not totally preposterous.) So? Two doses, separated by a week, with a placebo response on the day of murder?

You say: come on, that's pushing credulity. Ok. Replace competition/murder with-- car accident. And the issue can be used by both sides: DA: "Your honor, I know he didn't actually take any morphine that day, but he thought it was morphine, so his intent was to DUI, and, in fact, technically it was a DUI." Or, defense: "he wasn't fully responsible for the accident-- he was drugged by placebo."

This extends to discussions on the impact of psychiatric disorders on behavior. Ready? Oh, you're not ready. Ready?

I've discussed how labeling a person as a psychiatric patient earns them certain privileges not afforded to regular people. The malingering guy in the ER, who does not actually have a psychiatric illness, who then shoots the psych nurse, gets to argue that he is a patient by virtue of the fact that he is in the ER. I'm not saying he'll win, just that he gets to argue it. Well, imagine this: a psychiatrist erroneously diagnoses someone with bipolar disorder. Does the knowledge of "having" bipolar disorder change the person's behavior? I don't simply mean that he begins to act "bipolar;" I mean does he become bipolar, physiologically, in a placebo effect fashion? (If it helps, imagine you erroneously diagnose someone with diabetes, and this causes a reflexive hyperglycemia.)

If you say, "but that doesn't actually happen" then you are missing the point. The point is that any interpretation of behavior or identity as context specific is always artificial, and always inadequate. Saying someone did something because they were bipolar puts a primacy on the bipolar that is completely arbitrary. You may as well say astrology was involved. Oh, silly? But 1500 years ago it would have been silly to blame bipolar over God and the stars. If you want to put behavior in the context of bipolar, then you have to put the bipolar in the context of 2007, which has to be put in the context of the Nazis not winning WWII, which has to...

To even fantasize that you have some ability to quantify the contributions of an infinity of forces on an otherwise "volitional" action is to assume not that God doesn't exist, but that you are God. That you know what counts and what doesn't when in talking about a behavior. That you see through the Matrix.

That's why, ultimately, a man has to be judged on his actions, not on his identity. Anyone can be anyone they want to be. But no one can do what they don't want to do.
Hope the relevant parties can see how this is relevant and how we can talk about it in context.
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#47
04-28-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davobrosia View Post
http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2007/...ing_legal.html

Hope the relevant parties can see how this is relevant and how we can talk about it in context.
Interesting piece, i'd be willing to talk about it. Any points you want to hit? (Do you want to talk about the specific question of whether "taking nothing is legal" or are you looking to discuss the concluding points at the end;....my post asks questions about the end part)

Quote:
To even fantasize that you have some ability to quantify the contributions of an infinity of forces on an otherwise "volitional" action is to assume not that God doesn't exist, but that you are God. That you know what counts and what doesn't when in talking about a behavior. That you see through the Matrix.
How does experimental psychology square with this statement, if true? If he speaks of "quantify," does he mean we can't put a precise magnitude on the different things that influence behavior, or does he even mean that we cannot, with certainty, even say whether a factor's "quantity of contribution" to behavior is zero or nonzero? Does this bring into question the entire validity of statistical studies and regression analysis, which invariably rely on certain assumptions which may or may not be true?

Quote:
That's why, ultimately, a man has to be judged on his actions, not on his identity. Anyone can be anyone they want to be. But no one can do what they don't want to do.
The general tone of this is agreeable to me in some sense, but digging deeper I don't know how far the author means to extend this. Should a 7 year old who murders an adult be treated/punished the same way as an adult who commits a likewise offense? (How broad is the definition of identity?...Is it broad enough that a person who kills in self-defense ought not be judged any differently than a cold-blooded killer?)

Quote:
Hope the relevant parties can see how this is relevant and how we can talk about it in context.
I may have failed this. Anyway, I asked the questions to get a better grip of what he is substantively saying so we can discuss further. If I'm too off the mark or taking the article out of its context as you see it, let me know and take the discussion in a well-defined area so I can follow.
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#48
04-28-2014
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Nah I think you got the gist of it. I don't take it so much as something intended to apply to children or even really to draw full practical conclusions from but rather a mental exercise to get us to consider that even our best attempts to bracket away subjectivity ultimately fail because, to channel Derrida, there's no outside to the text/there's no(thing) outside (con)text.

I think the overall sentiment is to, as a culture, focus less on static, present, fixed identity and more on existence as becoming, as action. I realize this is getting a bit "out there" at this point, so I'll try to rein it in. Because we can either admit context or not, many of our institutions--medicine, law, government, school--rely on a willful self-deception to function currently.* So if we're honest with ourselves, drawing hard lines is useful to the status quo but not necessarily coherent. In terms of economic policy conversations in mass media, we are fed pretty much a steady stream of talking in terms of identity, us vs. them, them vs. you, red vs. blue, etc; but these are all just useful metaphors and cognitive kill-switches in service of the System.

Deferring at this point because it's about quittin' time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://partialobjects.com/2013/03/lean-in-dissent/
I realize that “the system” is a nebulous term relying on an even more nebulous “unconscious”, lacking clear definition, so I’m going to try and define it. First, start with a single individual, and eliminate value words like “purpose” and “unintended consequences.” If a guy cheats on his girlfriend in a way that likely could get him caught, one might say, “he wants to get caught.”

Now add a few more individuals. I want an ipad, but I can’t afford the $10000 it would cost to make it in America AND generate to Apple the same nominal profit of $300/ipad, so then the ipad has to be made in China with cheaper labor. So while one can say, “the consumer wants an ipad,” and “Apple wants $300 in profit per ipad” the sum of those wants is “the system”: “The system wants cheap Chinese labor.” The system doesn’t want it because it’s awesome, it wants it because it added up the wants.





*Especially in psychiatry, the author (a real practicing psychiatrist) sees a glut of overdiagnosis and treating symptoms as disorders (i.e. assigning ontological import to vague groupings of symptoms given a signifier that signifies nothing useful other than creating a useless categorization and filling space in the DSM).
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#49
04-28-2014
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I'm not sold on the usefulness of "the system" concept in the quoted area of your post.

Quote:
I realize that “the system” is a nebulous term relying on an even more nebulous “unconscious”, lacking clear definition, so I’m going to try and define it. First, start with a single individual, and eliminate value words like “purpose” and “unintended consequences.” If a guy cheats on his girlfriend in a way that likely could get him caught, one might say, “he wants to get caught.”
I mean, one might say that, but why don't we try to be technical and correct and say "he expects the benefits of cheating to outweigh the costs of cheating." "He wants to get caught" is most likely incorrect and projects values onto the actor, whereas as saying that the actor expects the benefits (whatever they may be) to outweigh the costs (whatever they may be) seems to get the idea of preference down without imputing specific values to the actor.

Quote:
Now add a few more individuals. I want an ipad, but I can’t afford the $10000 it would cost to make it in America AND generate to Apple the same nominal profit of $300/ipad, so then the ipad has to be made in China with cheaper labor. So while one can say, “the consumer wants an ipad,” and “Apple wants $300 in profit per ipad” the sum of those wants is “the system”: “The system wants cheap Chinese labor.” The system doesn’t want it because it’s awesome, it wants it because it added up the wants.
Absolutely against the personification of things like "the system" and "capital." Things and institutions don't want; individuals want. Perhaps this methodological individualism seems unnecessary, but I'd argue it is correct and avoids many misleading pitfalls that lead to less technical reasoning and more storytelling.

"The system wants cheap labor."
Are not the Chinese workers part of "the system?" Does their working not indicate that they prefer their job at Apple to any other feasible alternatives (assuming they aren't threatened with violence)? Don't they want people to value those Apple products so they can be better off (would they prefer Americans "buy American")? If people stopped buying Ipads from China, would these Chinese workers be better off?
"The system wants cheap labor" is meaningless. Who wants cheap labor? It is likely managers at Apple want cheap labor to minimize their costs since it is likely that consumers want cheaper products. It is also likely that those Chinese workers want their jobs at Apple given their feasible alternatives.
Saying that the system wants cheap labor and the system wants better jobs doesn't add anything valuable to the study, only needless and potentially harmful obscurity.

Adding up wants (the hell does that mean) to form a totally different want, and leaving the Chinese workers wants out of it doesn't seem useful to me. Rather, it seems absolutely damaging. Let's just get it straight; only individuals want/prefer/value. Abstractions and collectives do not value; only individuals within institutions value.
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#50
04-28-2014
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The cheating example is kind of a psychiatric unconscious compulsion description of the behavior, so if you take issue there/with the idea of an unconscious then the rest of the metaphor is going to fall apart. It does bring up the question of whether the things we do reflect the things we want, imo. Like if you know the highly probable consequences of an action and you do the action I am alright with ascribing some degree intentionality toward the consequences. It may not be conscious but it is nonetheless a useful conceptual schema in e.g. many (most?) forms of therapy. Of course narcissistic injury (like 9/11 if we are talking about the System) relies on not always being cognizant of the unconscious motivations and desires (return of the repressed, like an event that forces us to admit that, say, third world countries are full of humans that are real and exist with actual internal worlds and desires and are every bit as people as us and that our actions, our "System," affect them and can cause blowback on our collective identity as a culture. Now this is not admitting the validity or correctness of that culture or system and in fact suggests a movement in the other direction.

At the gym so I can't reply at much more length, but it should be conceivable that a group of dynamic systems (people) interacting can give rise to emergent phenomena that can't be reduced to any one subset of the group (cf. Durkheim).

I'd say the Chinese aren't part of the system insofar as the system is the collective narcissistic impulse of those in America, i.e. he is describing it from the pov of the West because that's the social order he is criticizing. It is a stand-in term for the ideological dynamics of Murica. The System is the emergent narcissistic big-I/we. Deleuze on how Capital decodes all flows might help us agree here, but I can't look it up from my phone.

Adding up the wants can = follow the money. If prices can have a relationship to demand (I am being vague here because I don't know economic jargon well enough not to be), e.g. we obviously want iPads but how much more would we really pay to improve conditions for workers overseas?


Apologies that this is disjointed. I'll check on this later and clarify, elaborate, and try to clean this mess of a post up.
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