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Author Topic: It's Hip to be Scared  (Read 1638 times)

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Thad

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2013, 05:26:33 AM »

Meant to add links to a couple relevant Stross articles:

A Bad Dream -- wherein he posits that the three major parties in the UK aren't actually Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat, but Left, Right, and Establishment.

Obviously there are rather a lot of important differences between the US Congress and the UK Parliament, starting with the fact that one of them is a parliament (and whose upper house is an actual, literal aristocracy), but I think his general point applies in a lot of ways.  Despite posturing to the contrary, the party leadership here -- Obama, Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell -- have more in common with each other, from an actual policy perspective, than they do with the bases of their respective parties, or with the people who elected them.

And, increasingly, we're seeing that the bases of the parties, at least under certain circumstances, have more in common with each other than they do with their leadership -- drones, surveillance, and Syria are all recent issues where there's been bipartisan support among the leadership and bipartisan opposition among the rank-and-file.


Nothing really to add to those thoughts just at the moment, so on to the next article, Spy Kids.

I intend to discuss this one more when I start blogging again, but it's very pertinent to our discussion of the generation gap.  Stross discusses an issue near and dear to my heart, the notion that company loyalty is dead because companies (public and private) no longer take care of their workers.  He argues that, regardless of your feelings on whether Snowden was right or wrong, his disclosure is the inevitable result of an independent contractor who (1) feels no loyalty to the organization he's working for and (2) has not been sufficiently vetted to evaluate as a security risk because that's a lot harder to do with an independent contractor.

It's also the inevitable result of a generation that still believes in the ideals it's been told America is supposed to represent, and routinely sees the state violating them.  Stross argues that within a generation or two the former will no longer be the case.
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Brentai

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2013, 05:52:51 AM »

There's no such thing as company loyalty anymore and there soon won't be such a thing as national loyalty but I do believe that there's still such a thing as professional loyalty.  Engineers will still hang together with other engineers, and celebrate the practice of engineering itself.  Same with actors, politicians, teachers, mail carriers, pretty much everyone down to baristas.  Who you are may no longer matter, but what you do is one of the last defining things we have in this world culture, and I don't see that going anywhere until they invent those instant-learning programs from The Matrix.

So that leads to two conclusions: First, it's more important to evaluate a security contractor's loyalty to professionalism more than any loyalty to company or state.  Duke Togo probably hates your face but you can trust him implicitly if he's on your payroll.  Second, that there are people out there - more and more people as time goes on - with no profession at all and no chance to obtain one, and they're becoming very worrisome, because it's hard to say that these people are loyal to anything, and it's certain that they're not very happy about it.
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Zaratustra

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2013, 06:13:01 AM »

man robert never came back

Mongrel

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2013, 06:16:10 AM »

The two Stross links were really nice. I really liked the comparison to Pre-1948 Europe. That's the way my thinking has been going as well, that our festering discontent needs a blow-up, something that may or may not succeed, but whose most important characteristic is that it catalyses new thinking and ideas for redrawing our current social contracts (specifically positive suggestions, as opposed to imposed redrawing of the social contract - which is already happening peacemeal now and has been for decades).

Right now there's just a massive dearth of genuinely new ideas, and we're looking at the tail end of a pretty long era without them.
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Royal☭

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2013, 06:24:26 AM »

Join me in a communist revolution. Ever notice how a constant, driving pressure from radical communists made for pretty great workplaces, then things went to shit in the 1980s when the anti-communists won?

Brentai

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2013, 06:43:08 AM »

After reading the Communist Manifesto I can't possibly take anybody who calls themselves "communist" seriously.  I do not think that word means what you think it does.

...actually, I just realized that it means exactly what my last post described.  This is the communist revolution, right here.
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Mongrel

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Re: It's Hip to be Scared
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2013, 06:51:43 AM »

I don't think workplaces were so great in the places where communists won crushing victories either.

The real trick is sustaining a heathy balance. But that's the thing about balances, they tend to be on knife edges pretty frequently.
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