Thursday, July 14, 2016


Thunderstorms rolled through last night. We did get quite a nice bit of rain--not nearly what we needed but enough to mean I won't need to water today.

I wonder how often we will get sucked into this kind of Pollyanna style worship of technology. First, their notion that new high tech machines and processes always create more new jobs than they displace has been disproven in other studies--especially over the last half century. Second, we have been promised "virtually free" electricity for the last 80 years. The notion was used to push nuclear power plants. It still isn't anywhere near "virtually" free and we have seen Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima in the mean time. And I don't think 3D food and unlimited computing capacity are coming any time soon. Third, to say that the introduction of water powered (and, later, electrically driven) machinery in the textile industry didn't destroy weavers jobs but created far more jobs for weavers than before is a disingenuous comparing of apples and oranges. The textile factories didn't hire weavers; they hired machine tenders. The spinning factories didn't hire skilled spinsters; they hired children. Both new jobs required less skill and commanded less pay and respect than the old. Fourth, how widespread do you think the marvels of the new technology will be spread throughout the society? I am thinking: not all that far. Fifth, the whole argument is stacked to give the answers the author wants so any thing that detracts from it is ignored. How many, he asks, now earn a living (or supplement their earnings) by renting their houses through AirBNB? Let's also ask how many have had said houses trashed by renters. Also AirBNB is simply another version of the boarding house prevalent a hundred years ago. The only thing new is the internet platform designed to reach a lot more people. What is old has been repackaged in a shiny new tinsel so we can pretend it is new. To equate these "opportunities" to the jobs they are displacing which provided an employment package including a living wage, health care, and (often) retirement benefits is dishonest in the extreme. And ignores the fact that many turn to these "opportunities" because companies have reneged on their agreements with workers.

Another additive that may adversely affect our health and it has been approved (and used) since 1972. And it doesn't have to be indicated on the label.

I wasn't going to comment on this but I think I will. Demographics is certainly one part of the picture but I think another is a growing disgust with Christianists who think they have the right to slap everyone else in the face with their beliefs. I don't care if you don't approve of gay marriage. Simply don't enter into a homosexual relationship. My attitudes toward that is the same as toward adultery. If you believe it is a sin, don't engage in the behavior. (Though it is amazing how many who claim adultery is a sin do in fact commit it. But then hypocrisy is merely a "character flaw.") But we have all too many Christians who seem to find anyone publicly living their own religious belief, if it isn't Christian or of a variety of Christian they despise, so threatening they have to protest.

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