Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Blood Drive FAQ

  • You save several lives. 
  • You get a short nap.
  • You get a free lunch. 
  • You learn needles aren't scary.  ---  Where is the downside? 

    • After the mandatory 15 minute R&R at the canteen (the free lunch) even first time donors are usually able to return to normal activities with no problems. Take a bottle of water and some energy food from the canteen and administer liberally. 
    • A sudden loss of blood occasionally causes a stimulation of the brain that can cause light-headedness or an endorphin high depending on the person. (I am ready to take on the nearest tiger.)  If light-headed, water and rest with head low usually solves the problem. If it lasts for more than a few minutes send for help from the donation center. 
    • People will ask about the Coban wrap on your elbow.  Tell them that you just saved a few lives and that they can too with a wave at the drive table.
    • The actual donation takes 5-10 minutes normally.   
    • Preparation and paperwork is about a half hour.  
    • Save time in the donation process by filling out the eligibility questionaire (when available) on your mobile device on the day you plan to donate.
    • The 15 minute free lunch makes an hour a good bet.  Double Red and apheresis take longer but you already know that.

    • Tattoos, acupuncture and piercings: no deferral in many states for licensed single use facilities.  One year otherwise.
    • Medically controlled diabetes and high blood pressure: generally no deferral. 
    • MSM - Men who have had sex with other men and partners: One year deferral since last contact.  NO LONGER LIFETIME!!!!  YAY!!! You are welcome.   A long hard battle by many friends. 
    • MAD COWS - Military and residents in UK late 80s and certain others in Europe at that time are still deferred.  We are working on it.  Note that blood drives always need non-donor volunteers. 

    • If you have been told by a blood collection agency or other medical professional not to donate blood, get clearance from that professional before scheduling an appointment.  Some changes in eligibility have been noted above. 

    Tuesday, December 31, 2019

    Fortune Cookies

     All time fortune cookie:
    The great pleasure in life 
    is doing what people say you cannot do.

     Fortune cookie of the week:
    A person of words and not of deeds
    is like a garden full of weeds.

     Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day. And needing a nap after lunch. Firefox.7.11.17

    The plural of anecdote is not data. :)

    Tara Goddard

    Don't tell me why it won't work.
    Tell me what you tried that didn't work.
    Carlin Black, DuPont, 1966 

    To try and fail is at least to learn; 
    to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.
     Chester Barnard

    Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized.  

    But I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning.
    Lazarus Long

    It's not the mistakes that count,
    it's what you do after them that counts.
    -Thelonious Monk

    Thanks Paige Wroble for the find.

    The weather right now in Seattle is cold and rainy.
    It will get better--about April.
    Horizon Air preflight announcement.

    If it is to be it is up to me to do it.
    John Tee-Van
     He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes;
    He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

    There are two kinds of men who never amount to much:
    Those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else
    Cyrus H.K.Curtis

     Wisdom is knowing what to do next;
    Skill is knowing how to do it;
    Virtue is doing it. 

     Learn from the mistakes of others.  
    You haven't the time to make them all yourself.

     Minds are like parachutes: 
    they function only when open.

    "Butterflies are not insects, they are self-propelled flowers."
    Captain John Sterling. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Robert A.
    Heinlein, 1985.


    Monday, December 30, 2019


     My candle burns at both its ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But, ah, my foes and oh, my friends--
    It gives a lovely light.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay 

    I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
    James Baldwin
    Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
    Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,
    the divine beauty of the universe.
    Love that, not man apart from that,
    Robinson Jeffers 

    Note to self:
    You can't control how other people recieve your energy.
    Anything you do or say gets filtered through the lens of whatever shit they are going through at the moment.
    Which is not about you.
    Just keep doing your thing with as much integrity and love as possible.
    - Nanca Hoffman
    Posted on Facebook by The Earth Tribe:
    Edit J'C

    What some call luck
    Is simply pluck
    And doing things 
    Over and over

    Perseverance and skill
    Courage and will
    Are the four leaves
    Of Luck's clover
    Anon per Google

    The Virile Mind
    One of the most striking things about the virile mind is that at the end of its thinking there is always a question mark.  The ignorant man finds it easy to convince himself that what he does not know is not worth knowing.  It is only those who are willing to go on learning, who becoome aware of how vast are the realms of to be explored beyond the farthest reach of their own understanding.
    Peter Fletcher

    "What makes my truth mythology and your mythology truth?"
    A Hopi "Cathy"
    Quoted on Facebook by friend Brian King

     “Where's your church?”

    “We’re standing in it.”

    “But this is a bookstore and it’s a Friday.”

    “Yes, but you might also choose to see it as a cathedral of the human spirit-a storehouse consecrated to the full spectrum of human experience. Just about every idea we’ve ever had is in here somewhere. A place containing great thinking is a sacred space.”

     From Forrest Church’s A Chosen Faith

    Thursday, May 9, 2019

    On RePUBliC!!1

    "We don't have a democracy, we have a RePUBliC!!1"
    All democracies are republics. [Edit: this is not strictly true, what I should have said is any 'pure' democracy would be, but constitutional monarchies aren't republics]. Not all republics are democracies. These are not things that are in opposition. The only alternatives to democracy are oligarchy and monarchy(and in practice, monarchies are primarily oligarchic).
    Our sainted Founding Fathers didn't oppose democracy in order to defend oppressed minorities. They were slavers. They were rich and powerful men whose families gained their hereditary wealth and power from service to the kings of Europe, who they'd just convinced the public were illegitimate. There was a very reasonable fear that putting the systems that legitimized and enforced their wealth and power up to a vote would result in them being rescinded. So they designed the system to insulate them from the public will.
    The only minority they cared about in the slightest was the group James Madison referred to as "The Opulent Minority". Ie: themselves. The oligarchs.

    I have always liked a truly democratic voting system where every candidate gets a yea or nay vote and the candidates with the least nays win.* Candidacy by petition so backing still would count whether corporate or grass roots. All regions use the same system to elect all candidates at all levels. in other words the nay votes filter up to the highest level the candidate represents.
    *This not a misprint, the aye votes come with the petitions, so they don't count.
    More later

    Sunday, February 24, 2019

    Pete Seeger vs HUAC

    I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody. That is the only answer I can give along that line. 

    Thursday, January 31, 2019

    Making Undergraduate Neighborhoods Work

     The idea of neighborhoods might be an opportunity for Greeks to provide the seed for the social center of the neighborhood. I am assuming each neighborhood would be all classes with Frosh assigned a neighborhood at random to "grow up in". A Greek house and I still think a co-ed house is preferred, would be the social center of the neighborhood.  The hook is that the Greek house would be a three class house and freshmen from the whole campus would rush as usual and move as sophomores.  It is a axiom of Urban Planning that successful neighborhoods need placemaking. The Greek house social areas could be that placemaking center.

     The selectivity of the Greeks would provide the social contunity and traditions essential for good parties as they would select for party people, and conformance with Greek traditions.  A side benefit for freshmen is those that find themselves stuck in the wrong kind of neighborhood could opt out.  I am relatively certain that some neighborhoods will evolve into PhD tracks and others will be more well-rounded due to the Greek influence. It could be pointed out that many successful non-academic track alumni came from tight social organizations on campus like Rams Head, The Band, the Daily and Fraternities.

     Greeks that like the PhD neighborhoods can opt out of living in a Greek house as with co-ed housing not all members of the Chapters will fit.  Nevertheless the Greeks will have a place for chapter meetings etc. so that all will be included, even those living elsewhere. 

     SAEs might show the way for Ms. Cole to make her neighborhoods work.

    Carlin Black '62
    Two Year Social Chair.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2019

    Bringing Up Men Properly.

     It has been done for many decades even before Feminism introduced some of its idiocies that made it harder.  It helps if there are at least a couple of strong, competent females in the family, and the men, if any, do not preach the toxic masculinity dogma by example and word.  Note that the above combination was extremely rare prior to the 21st Century as toxic males were unable to deal with strong, competent females and therefore seldom had one as a co-parent. In the 21st century the option is generally dealing with strong competent women as partners or become an incel.  Note that the latter is still a common choice.

     The essence of the technique is taking notice of each example of toxic masculinity and pointing out, usually satirically, how bad a particular behavior is: 
    • A couple of teens peeled away from a corner then slowed down for the attractive woman and the manchild with her to notice.  She did. "God! Am I ever impressed." dripping with satire. It should be noted that both the manchild and the showoffs got the message clearly. 

       Such behavior will not get a desired response from a strong, competent woman.  If the manchild is being socialized to admire strong competent women the lesson will be remembered for life.

     The other component of the technique is the socialization of the manchild to admire strong competent women by example and pointing out the unattractive attributes of the traditional family next door.  Not to the extent of making the family next door lesser or unworthy of respect and neighborliness but pointing out the role disequilibrium of the parents and how each compensates.  
    • A young woman was a concert quality pianist in her early teens.  Her much younger brother learned about practice, and dedication to an art by playing in the room as she practiced.  The two of them went to a major city department store where a Grand Piano was roped off for display in the lobby.  She went under the rope, and started playing drawing a crowd.  The rent-a-cop sarcastically asked her if she saw the rope, and she said it was roped off for her recital.  The rent-a-cop got the manager of the piano department, who saw the crowd and said she was right.
    • A woman activist mother took on the city to light up a major playground so children could play safely after dark long before women were allowed to be politically active.  The city said no way it was too expensive but nevertheless she persisted.  And won.  Her manchild could recite the killowats needed to just turn the lights on, and the kWhs to keep them on.   

    Wednesday, December 12, 2018

    City Park Lighting

     Lighting city parkways is critical for the people using the park; however it can be harmful to the fish, wildlife, and vegetation that make the park attractive to those users.  Modern LED lighting can be directed to specifically light certain areas and avoid spillover to other areas.  Modern auto headlights can light the lane ahead of the vehicle without spillover to an adjacent oncoming lane, and with just enough vertical spillover to illuminate overhead reflective signs.  Any lighting design for a city park should be used to control usage to public use areas of the park.  An additional virtue of this kind of lighting plan is that any person not in the lighted areas could be considered suspicious and treated accordingly.

    Friday, September 7, 2018

    Personal Principle Management.

    From Facebook:   How do you tell the difference between betraying your principles and learning new ones? 

     Principles are your guide for interactions with your chosen society which is a pretty small group.  Your monkeysphere, if you will, whose names or at least faces you know well and consider to be important influences  As your society adjusts its mores, and it does as it collectively learns to coexist with the rest of the "right thinking" people you will probably have to reexamine your principles to conform or lead your chosen society.

     As  an example suppose your principles support the "Me Too" movement, but your monkeysphere is essentially tenured academics.  Is there an exception for long term apparantly consentual relationships between academics of unequal power?  An advisor and a student, an adminstrator and a professor, or other equivalent situations?  As you reexamine your principles do you differentiate between long term apparantly consual relationships and short term adventures? Does the power relationship change anything? If so how much power difference is the red line? Does the fact that all are highly intelligent, highly socialized people matter?  Assuming your examined principles are still out of line with monkeysphere, do you adjust them to conform or try to lead the monkeysphere to the correct principles as you see them?

    Friday, August 31, 2018

    The Two Bums

    The Two Bums
    The bum on the rods is hunted down
    as an enemy of mankind
    The other is driven around to his club, 
    is feted, wined and dined
    And they who curse the bum on the rods
    as the essence of all that's bad
    Will greet the other with a willing smile
    and extend a hand so glad
    The bum on the rods is a social flea
    who gets an occassional bite
    The bum on the plush is a social leech,
    bloodsucking day and night
    The bum on the rods is a load so light
    that his weight we scarcely feel
    But it takes the labour of dozens of folks
    to furnish the other a meal
    As long as we sanction the bum on the plush
    the other will always be there
    But rid ourselves of the bum on the plush
    and the other will dissappear
    Then make an intelligent organised kick
    get rid of the weights that crush
    Dont worry about the bum on the rods
    get rid of the bum on the plush

    Monday, July 30, 2018

    On Nounig

    Sunday, July 15, 2018

    Customs Discussion: Beyond This Horizon, RAH

    To believe you can live free of your cultural matrix is one of the easiest fallacies and has some of the worst consequences. You are part of your group whether you like it or not, and you are bound by its customs.

    Don't belittle customs.  It is easier to change Mendelian characteristics than to change customs.   If you try to ignore them, they bind you when you least expect it.

    Don't break them--avoid them.  Take them into your considerations, examine how they work, and make them serve you.

    Claude Morden, Beyond This Horizon, Chapter 15 147 NAL, Robert A. Heinlein.  

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

    You Asked, She Said "No," Now What?

     The first thing you need to internalize is that you are just another dick in that small majority of the population that has one.  The next thing you need to understand is that she is definitely not interested in your dick contrary to all that you have been told by your locker room buds, and most of your male mentors.  So forget the dick pics and anything else that focuses on sexuality.  She is not interested.  

      The one thing in your favor is that she is a human mammal and therefore interested in sexual activity of some sort, provided that the mating dance is conducted in a way that she finds interesting.  Your problem is that most of the traditional mating dances are no longer relevant to many women's interests, require resources that most men these days don't have, and/or stink of patriarchy which most women have learned only gets them fucked.

     The key word in the previous paragraph is "human" and by focusing on human needs for respect, good relationships, companionship, common interests, and old fashioned clean fun, you might just be able to create a mating dance that will work within your means.  It is by no means a sure thing, some women have opted to avoid the mating dance floor and found other ways to satisfy their mammalian urges, but in the worst case you have helped satisfy your own human needs for companionship, and/or good clean fun.

     The mating dances fall roughly into three categories:

     Hookups.  Not much dancing here.  Ranging from on-line hookup sites to alcohol lubricated parties with trusted groups.  The object is one time sexual gratification and negotiations generally revolve around types of sex and consent issues.  Note that the male partner's needs are irrelevant in the negotiations you might as well realize that any dick will do.  It is probably a sexist assumption but the gratification needs of the female are the only important part of the dance.  It is generally accepted that no relationship status is generated by the sexual activity even if the results were wonderful.  At best a future hookup might be negotiated. 

     Casual relationship building.  The dance here is to create a friendship that allows frequent interaction in a variety of situations up to sharing a residence.  Sexual activity is normally one of the interactions included in the mix but it is generally assumed that monogamy is not expected or even desireable.  Each partner is expected to provide a share of the common expenses, although strictly equal sharing is usually modified by unequal opportunities for women.  But the man's unequal share carries with it no special privileges. This is the most difficult dance for most men, as the paternalist ownership issues are hard to shake and are a major turn off for many women.  

     Long term commitment building usually involving shared resources and possibly reproduction.  The paternalistic variety of this dance is well known and there are women that know it well and have ways to use it to their advantage.  The non-paternalistic variety is becoming more common as men learn that it is the only way for the average man to create a household with shared long term plans and stability.  The first step in this dance is to recognise that the partner has herm own goals, capabilities, and resources that must be an integral part of the dance.  Traditional gender roles in these relationships are normally ignored in particular when the female partner has a full time job which is some cases is better paid than the male partner. Sometimes this requires recognition that the female partner must have the lead. A difficult step for many men to learn.  

      The incel phenomenon will only get worse as women indoctrinated into the patriarchal traditions discover that the Patriarchal mating dance is generally a losing proposition for women and they have many other options now that control over fertility is safe and reliable. 


    Friday, May 18, 2018

    UBI Transition Issues

     Transitioning to UBI could be as simple as transferring all welfare funding into the Social Security system along with the people administering welfare programs and providing social security benefits to all adults.  A reasonable monthly stipend could be determined, and the minimum Social Security taxes increased to cover the cost.  Employed people would pay a percentage over the minimum as now with no cap which would be placed in the trust fund for retirement benefits based on the 35 highest paid years earnings paid in addition to the UBI.

     The gig economy will ease the transition for all including the elderly who didn't earn enough to provide for non-essentials, and the UBI would eliminate most of the exploitation currently associated with gig work since gig work would truly be optional and employers would have to make working conditions and compensation good enough to clear the market needs.  

    Dealing With "Isms"

    It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group.  A racial group.  Or a language.  Or anything, as long as it isn't the whole population.  Friday Baldwin in Friday. Robert A. Heinlein. 1982.

    One of the unfortunate features of social media is that people are sorted out into groups based on one "ism" or another, usually on the basis of what they are against rather that what they are for.  Feminism for example has a package of male behaviors that they rebel against, Paternalism, privilege, Bro networks, sexism, (as defined by feminists) and others.   Many of these are justified, but men are judged by gender rather than whether they actually exhibit any of these behaviors. 

     Once an "ism" gains traction it generally fractionates into groups with agendas that are more important than the overall ideals of the nominally fundamental "ism."  In a few cases a charismatic leader can unify the groups under a larger tent and become a political or socially potent movement.  Charasmatic leaders generally are short lived, frequently literally, and their movement fractures once again into narrow interest groups.

     The most important way of dealing with isms is not to get sucked up into one.  The customs of your ism become a part of your cultural matrix.  
    To believe you can live free of your cultural matrix is one of the easiest fallacies and has some of the worst consequences. You are part of your group whether you like it or not, and you are bound by its customs.

    Don't belittle customs.  It is easier to change Mendelian characteristics than to change customs.   If you try to ignore them, they bind you when you least expect it.

    Don't break them--avoid them.  Take them into your considerations, examine how they work, and make them serve you.

    Claude Morden, Beyond This Horizon, Chapter 15, p 147 NAL, Robert A. Heinlein.  

     While I am an ally and active supporter of many isms, I am very selective in how I do so, and am very careful to avoid making the cultural matrix of the ism part of my thinking and behavior.  

     I was brought up by strong, independent women to believe that women were just as capable as men at anything they chose to do, and therefore chose to consider only such women as possible mates.  One would think that Feminism would therefore be a natural cultural matrix for me, but none of the strong, independent women I knew would have anything to do with Feminism as they were too involved in their own ventures to have any interest. I chose to do all that I could to support their ventures, at a high cost due to the cultural matrix of the Paternalistic culture I was part of as a child, and opposition from the cultural matrix of the feminists.  I expected the Paternalist opposition, and knew how to deal with it, the Feminists were a surprise.

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Jung, MBTI, Astrology and other Pseudoscience.

     Most of the innovations in science come from studying the tails of the “normal population” curves.  It can be easily proven that almost all inferences of innovators in psychology, including by the way astrologers, do not work generally with the 68% of the population in the two sigma area of the population curve.  The average person cannot easily be sorted out into the usual categories based on questionnaires, birth date, and clinical manifestations of disease paradigms. People in general are too complex to fit themselves into little ticky-tacky boxes, although the ticky-tacky boxes they choose tells more about them to the sophisticated and generally unscientific researcher than they would like to think. 

     I say unscientific investigator since science by and large is a belief system not a neutral investigation into the basics of human behavior.  Or natural behavior but that is a different essay.  For most "scientists" Science is a belief system just like religion or politics. They search out and find published data that reinforce their confirmation biases and go back to the lab and run experiments based on those beliefs until they get a few that are statistically significant to publish. Then they are "outstanding in their field" and have published data to prove it.

      Psychology that begins and ends with controlled studies and no clinical observation is at best useless and probably dangerous.  You can learn more about the psychology of the general population from the tails of the psych curves, than from the academic studies of the general population 5% of which are statistically certainly wrong, and given the 3 sigma publication bias, I have seen estimates as high as 25% wrong, not counting fraud. Personally I rely more on good clinical psychologists and LCSWs than academics both for the general population and symptomatic subjects.  Most keep up with the academic publications, I won't comment on their opinions of them. 

      Intuitive data selection is fairly reliable, particularly in minds categorized as thinking and perceiving whether by MBTI or observation. 

     Innovators in science and most other creative fields, tend to focus on fringe effects and see if they can push them back into the mainstream. On the fringes MBTI is highly predictive of behavior.  Pushing it back into the mainstream population takes trained observers who have learned what to look for among the populations where there is no question of type.  

     The various questionnaires out on the web are almost useless and are the reason the MBTI is characterized as pseudoscience.  The questions are necesssarily ambiguous.  For the average person most can be truthfully answered as true for any choice depending on current mood and challenges. For those clearly one type or another the questionnaires are essentially redundant.  They can look at the definitions of the type indicators and assign a type quite reliably.  Note that the one word basis of the index is essentially arbitrary and must be accepted as is.

    Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I).

    Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

    Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

    Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

    Sunday, May 6, 2018

    Post office banking

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    Social Group Dynamics

     It is important to  treat all people as individuals with the dignity and respect they have earned as a human being regardless of any group they may have been born into, chosen, or indoctrinated into at some point in their lives. Humans come with a lot of baggage some of which may not be functional in a modern society, but what the individual has unpacked from that baggage is important, not the baggage itself.  Many men and women from religious and social indoctrination carry a heavy load of baggage of xenophobia, paternalism and misogyny, but to the extent that they have or have not left some of it behind the response must be to recognize the progress and not resent the remaining baggage.

     The real skill in dealing with others is using behavioral cues rather than assumptions about the baggage that the person appears to be carrying in deciding how to deal with the encounter.  This is not to say that awareness of the baggage is unimportant in interpreting behavioral cues, but it is the cue properly interpreted rather than the baggage that should dictate the response.

     In dealing with a member of a discriminated against class one must be sensitive to any justified resentment, but accepts it as a reasonable reaction and tries to find commonalities to build a  relationship on.  Always with the recognition that triggers exist, and can be inadvertently used.  Accepting responsibility for not avoiding triggers is an important part of defusing them.   As an example if I am caught holding a door for a feminist, and she objects that she can do it herself* I simply apologize for being in her way.  I have stimulated conversations with more than one feminist non-acquaintance that way.
      Unpacking religious and social baggage is a difficult and frequently impossible human task.  Castigating all those who have not done so because of their baggage is just not functional.  Those who have managed to unpack and leave behind some of the more dysfunctional bags need all the respect and help from others they can get, and not be thrown under the baggage bus.  For those on the baggage bus education and ostracism are about the only options for effecting change but these options are generational in impact, and those individuals on the bus that have unpacked a bit are critical to the education role, and deserve all the dignity and respect they can find.

     Members of an identifiable group must also be aware of the baggage that they carry as a member of the group, even though they have done their best to unpack and discard the worst of it.  As an example I am a member of the white, male, privileged, MBA, financially secure group.  In other words the assholes that run the businesses that run the government and oppress the working class and the disadvantaged.  I have diligently tried to avoid the social disabilities that come with the class of privileged white males.

    • Sexism/misogyny. 
    • Patriarchal assumptions. 
    • Being a winner rather than a loser. 
    • Refusing to cooperate or collaborate as an equal.
    • Rejection of active parenting. That is marrying a woman to do the job and accepting the costs of child support as freedom to change my mind. Or simply fucking someone to "carry a seed" and not really caring about whether that seed grows properly or not as long as it is born.
    • Using material success a measure of worth. "He* who dies with the most toys wins." 
    •  Hiring, bribing, or intimidating others to cover one's ass in all of the above. 
    I have also consciously used my privilege to help disadvantaged people rise above the disadvantage and at least move out of the disadvantaged group into a semblance of  "normality" if not true success.  This carries a high cost in status as one of the privileged class. We are expected to exploit those "inferior" to us to maintain the privilege of the group. 

     *Gender reference intentional.

    Monday, July 24, 2017

    Collection Post for Basic Income and Living Wages

    This post is a working collection of blue road thinking on UBI and LW.  It is subject to additions, editing and other annoyances.  A more readable version an be found at which is also a work in progress but updated as comments and careful thinking refine the blue road thinking here.

    Once again a guest post to start things off.  

    July 19, 2015 at 4:43am

    The biggest reason I support UBI (Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.

    The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions (see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:


    So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them (us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen (those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.

    Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.

    GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
    Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off. The multiplier effect of the basic income or entry wage dollar is nearly 3 times. That is, the burger flipper who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income on local goods and services, creating more local demand for those goods and services.   Also some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production, a local service like a band or restaurant or performance venue.  Some will succeed and generate more local income. 

    Eliminating corporate welfare in the form of support for inadequate wages for minimum wage workers would be the first step to a more equitable distribution of the GDP.  Instead of welfare to supplement inadequate earned income each adult citizen or green card holder would be provided with one half the income necessary for housing, medical care, education,  and local transportation for a family if married, less if single.  This assumes that a two parent household is preferred for raising children.  Single mothers would be encouraged to partner up with an interested co-parent of any gender to form a family unit enabling the larger per person payment. 

    Eliminating welfare with all its administrative costs would more than pay for the BI for those unable to work or have better things to do with their time than unskilled minimum wage labor. Those with better things to do will probably provide taxes and purchase goods and services which will cover their BI. Everybody wants to start a restaurant, or write a graphic novel, or sing a song. Some of them would actually succeed if they didn't have to worry about feeding the family first.

    It wouldn't take much transfer of wealth from the hoarders to have a profound effect on the GDP. If the corporate welfare queens had to compete for unskilled labor with a UBI minimum wage laws would be anachronistic. Market wages and working conditions for unskilled labor in a competitive market for those willing to work at those jobs would move even unskilled laborers into the low middle class.

    The economic argument for a UBI is that it is outside money to low income people who spend locally for necessities provided by mainly other low income people. The bodega proprietor, (there would be food trucks on every corner) and other neighborhood business would thrive and economic benefits would trickle UP to landlords, food truck lessors, food truck builders, etc. They might even buy a solar food truck with a Powerwall 2 from Tesla if they are really successful.

    Another opportunity for recipients of UBI would be intermittent garage sales of art, crafts, artisnal foods, etc.  Advertising would be social media to regular customers who would avoid the gallery markup and have the same choices.

     About those "worthless idlers" living off the UBI as couch potatoes.

     People work. Even if it is only knitting at a boring meeting, and some of it will rise to saleable art. I am caregiver and supporter for a disabled person who assumes household chores and does them well even though hesh does not need to and does not get paid explicitly for them. Unpaid volunteer workers now could choose to be idle but work anyway. Why would that not become a way of life for those with no saleable skills? Also most people I know in the class of comfortable retired people are still working hard at something paid or otherwise. Only the trust funders are sailing and golfing their lives away.

    Some work will be more useful economically than other work and it will be paid. Many "unskilled" jobs which need human attention will be filled inexpensively (to the employer) since they will be optional and provide incremental income for a slightly better life style. Those that do it well will necessarily be paid more as the market will be competitive. 

     The UBI will solve the problem of automation moving the rewards of productivity to the owners of the production lines.  A few mass produced items will survive in the UBI economy but most of the economy will be based on the exchange in custom made items and home produced food. Productivity will no longer be a driving force for specialty food items, although the basics like flour and soy products and cultured meat will probably still be produced in automated factory establishments, the tacos and pizzas will be made and sold by the neighbors as well as more elaborate meals. When a food entrepreneur does not need to survive on herm gross income, hesh can spend the time to provide a special meal service that herm neighbors will pay for, and the best will make a nice (taxable) supplemental wage for their efforts.  

     Similarly artisans and artists can pursue their muse without having to worry about the necessities of living, and the best of them will be rewarded for their talent.  Those with lesser talent will at worst provide amusement for themselves and perhaps a few of their neighbors.  I would expect that the piano will once again be feature of most homes and impromptu chamber groups will provide amusement for many.  Again a sorting will occur and the best chamber groups will find paid performance venues to supplement their UBI. 
     The few couch potatoes living off the stipend are probably just as well off the streets and not making trouble to survive. They still are consumers that drive the economy. They still eat, buy couches, TVs, and pay rent. If we make the "idle" comfortable enough to live a decent, if not easy, life what they do with their life is of no consequence to society.

    Work for income or medical insurance is almost by definition meaningless, whether it is on an assembly line, coding for a rich guy, or flipping burgers. What the progressive left (no relationship to the Neolib democratic party) wants is optional work, where basic income, medical care and education as far as they qualify are rights and any work for supplemental income (taxed) is chosen in a competitive market where skills are rewarded and "Take this Job and shove it"--thanks Nyah Wynne--is a given for meaningless work. 

     If basic needs are covered people will work at something meaningful to them whether it is needlework, carving, artisans of all kinds, even coders and inventors. If the work is saleable they get extra income to support the local economy and the Government. If not they can try harder or learn to do something else but in any event they subsist and don't die and will work at something saleable or not. 

    Those who want to work will have plenty of opportunities under UBI. There are many jobs that require human input. But a job, which is working for someone else will be only one option, and an option at that. Employers will have to compete on working conditions as well as pay to attract those who wish to work for others if basic needs are covered by UBI. If a restaurant owner or retailer needs people, hesh will have to make the job more attractive than opening a lunchroom or storefront shop. 

    Job availability will exceed demand, given the "Be your own boss" drive most people have. If a tradesperson with a truck can supplement UBI working for herm neighbors the job premium would have to be very attractive to drag herm across town instead. Keep in mind that any income above UBI is disposable income in the economic sense.

     A note on what basic income would cover. UBI would be based on the needs of a family of whatever size is considered optimal by the goverment split between 2 adult citizens independent of relationship status or child care choices.   Basic housing, basic food, a local bus pass, HMO premiums and public education costs would be included. Infrastructure, and government costs would be absorbed by the government.

     See Maslow needs pyramid. Once physiological and safety needs are met (UBI and Medicare for all) and you find a friend or two, prestige and accomplishment become critical human psychological needs. Or why Grandma Moses learned to paint and why rednecks whittle.

    Assuming UBI and Medicare for All, now dead rural towns and suburbs will become vibrant villages of local commerce and art most of which will generate excess funds for local amenities. UBI is an external source of resources for the community which will be subject to the economic multiplier by those providing services to the UBI recipients.  Assuming an income tax the multiplier will be reduced a bit from a pure subsistence economy, but if the tax rate is progressive the reduction in the multiplier should be minimal for in community services as these services will be provided on narrow margins as the providers will be recipients of UBI as well.   

    Social Security and Medicare for ALL.
    Social Security at $1200/Mo Grandfathers Grandfathered in at current rate. No Cap on Social Security Taxes and Medicaid payments. Work optional till dead. All income taxed. Self employment income taxed once.  

    Merge Federal SSA, state Welfare, Unemployment, and let employees sort themselves out. 


    J'Carlin said...
    Why it is worth the daily slog through facebook.
    J'Carlin said...
    I learned about the TTJASI from a mentor at Pan Am. His advice: As soon as you save up enough "Fuck You Money" you can begin to do your job right. In a sense privilege, and/or another livable income in the family gives the same work freedom as FYM which is after all a relative term, but UBI puts a safety net under all who wish to "do their job right."
    J'Carlin said...
    Nyah Wynne Yes! Definitely. That's probably my number 2 top reason, in part because it's talked about very little. There are huge numbers of activities that people can engage in that are of real meaningful value to society that don't translate well into market value. Experimenting with art is a major one. Art sometimes pays off, sometimes doesn't, but all too often ends up either compromising itself in order to sell better or having to be fit into someone's spare time while they work some non-career, low end, dead-end job to survive. Other things include many sort of research, as finding grants can be as troublesome as trying to fund art. Care of children and the elderly sometimes pays but only if the ones being cared for can pay. In fact any sort of general service to the community tends to be deeply undervalued. The market values service to people according to their ability to pay, so serving the needs of 100 poor people is worth less than serving the whims of 1 wealthy person. There are all manner of truly valuable activities one can engage in that the market deems worthless.