2010.04.02 01:00 - Now is more difficult than before

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session.


    Archmage Atlantis: Hello, Wol

    Wol Euler: hello Arch

    Archmage Atlantis: Life on this planet is difficult now

    Wol Euler raises an eyebrow.

    Wol Euler: why "now" in particular?

    Archmage Atlantis: I am not sure

    Wol Euler: (I'm not disagreeing)

    Archmage Atlantis: I am old, as you know

    Wol Euler smiles

    Archmage Atlantis: So I measure against what I have experienced

    Archmage Atlantis: And now is more difficult than before

    Wol Euler: for what it's worth, I agree. Our parents' generation had it easier, I think.

    Wol Euler: or perhaps their problems were harder for us as kids to understand, than ours are now for us as adults

    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, we did.....and didn't know it.......but it gave us a freedom to go new ways

    Archmage Atlantis: Few used that freedom

    Archmage Atlantis: I have said this before, so I apolgize if it is repetitive

    Archmage Atlantis: But my Dad was in the D-day invasion

    Wol Euler: wow

    Archmage Atlantis: My uncle served in Korea


    Archmage Atlantis: Nothing wow about it,,,,,,,they did what they had to do to preseve life

    Archmage Atlantis: This will sound odd

    Archmage Atlantis: But Koya observes, and reports to all other life on this planet

    Wol Euler: mm?

    Calvino Rabeni: Koya offers to jump

    Calvino Rabeni: How have you been Archmage?

    Archmage Atlantis: In difficult times, Cal, as have many

    Archmage Atlantis: Glad to have the web/internet/communication

    Wol Euler nods.

    Calvino Rabeni: Somehow "work" never added up to a social life

    Archmage Atlantis: Ah....a social life

    Wol Euler googles ... ah, yes, I remember that.

    Archmage Atlantis: Perhaps we are all pre-autistic

    Calvino Rabeni: You mean, evolving in that direction?

    Archmage Atlantis: No, Cal, being that at this moment

    Calvino Rabeni: In the place where you live, and if you use the thing called "TV", is there a certain advertisement that shows two clawfoot bathtubs on a beach, with a man in one and a woman in the other one?

    Wol Euler: nice image.

    Archmage Atlantis: No but I can see it in my mind from your words

    Calvino Rabeni: Some of the ramifications of this image, escaped me until recently, when I learned that people have differing interpretations of the metaphor

    Archmage Atlantis: :)

    Wol Euler: mmmm?


    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone

    Wol Euler: hello yaku

    Archmage Atlantis: Welcome to the circle Yakuzza

    Calvino Rabeni: I had interpretation A, probably based on the product being sold (a pharmaceutical); my acquaintance proposed a divergent B interpretation, which felt discommodious, and then a third itnerpretation C occurred to me that seemed truer than either.

    Calvino Rabeni: I wonder which of these would appear to one such as Koya, a non-human but natural observer

    Calvino Rabeni: And how much metaphor design goes on at the ad companies that produce these images

    Wol Euler: quite a lot, I'm sure, since they sell us lifestyle and aspiration rather than objects

    Wol Euler: (mostly)

    Wol Euler: they say "buy this soap" but they mean "your life could be like mine"

    Calvino Rabeni: If fully conscious design, it seems somewhat insidious

    Calvino Rabeni: If you look at the symbolism, it's heavy

    Calvino Rabeni: And knowing that the viewers are not schooled in such interpretation

    Calvino Rabeni: I would say they are sensitive to it on an unconscious level

    Wol Euler: I wonder if it's on youtube...

    Calvino Rabeni: Although I believe man would disagree with that.

    Calvino Rabeni: I will check

    Calvino Rabeni: Yahoo answers doesn't have a read on it

    Yakuzza Lethecus: what is the exact topic ?

    Wol Euler: hard to say :)

    Wol Euler: no pun intended

    Yakuzza Lethecus: advertisments, products, psychology

    Archmage Atlantis: Important, Yak, the exact topic

    Archmage Atlantis: Before that comes data gatherin wihout judgemt

    Calvino Rabeni: Kind of,yes that clarifies things


    Calvino Rabeni: The television ads have different styles in different parts of the world - the ones in USA are a bit tame

    Yakuzza Lethecus: /a tame or lame ?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: ah, never heard tame :)

    Calvino Rabeni: A related question - does europe have "reality TV" as a popular genre?

    Calvino Rabeni: Tame means, domesticated and mild

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i tame adj. - unexciting harmlos i i tame adj. zahm

    Yakuzza Lethecus: reality tv is often in the media, yes

    Calvino Rabeni: right, the opposite of wild

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i don't watch it, i avoid news about it

    Wol Euler nods

    Calvino Rabeni: Reality TV is an entertainment category

    Calvino Rabeni: For example, Discovery Channel

    Yakuzza Lethecus: yes, i am more the kind of discovery channel fan, but shows like mythbusters are too entertaining for me

    Calvino Rabeni: The speculative question is - what accounts for the popularity of a program such as "World's Dirtiest Jobs"?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: or that

    Yakuzza Lethecus: my problem is my motivation system, i loose the focus during entertainment

    Calvino Rabeni: And a meta-question - what different interpretations would "offer"?

    Archmage Atlantis: My pet are tame......they live in my world and easp

    Calvino Rabeni: We know that the programmers are adept and sytematic at hooking into unconscious motivations that people have. Or are they?

    Wol Euler: the numbers seem to back that up, calvino.

    Calvino Rabeni: So the Dirtiest Jobs show - one interpretation is that the audience likes to see the hosts get dirty (although for unspecified reasons) - kind of like a clown or pratfall

    Wol Euler: I can't recall hearing that a "reality" program was dropped because too few people watched it

    Calvino Rabeni: This interpretation attributes a certain mild cruelty to the audience

    Wol Euler: perhaps it proves the theory that switching on a TV temporarily lowers the IQ by fifteen points

    Calvino Rabeni: Another interpretation is that people like to watch the dirty jobs get done - it reassures them that there exists someone willing ; able to take it on.

    Calvino Rabeni: Another is that it stimulates primitive survival oriented instincts.

    Calvino Rabeni: But then, that could be regarded as either health or pathological

    Calvino Rabeni: I tend to think there is conscious design on the part of the programmers, but might be surprised to find out, they go on hunches and style, and don't do anything that could be considered market research.

    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps they don't even have a theory

    Wol Euler raises an eyebrow.

    Calvino Rabeni: Which would contradict the notion of professionalism

    Calvino Rabeni: You have very expressive eyebrows Wol

    Wol Euler: :)

    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps they do the research and have theory, but keep it secret

    Wol Euler: I find it hard to believe that they would be able to sell ads on a program for which such research figures, the projected audience, didn't exist.

    Calvino Rabeni: Analytical articles even in somewhat respectable magazines seem purely speculative, which strkes me as odd, somehow

    Wol Euler: and tv is a tool for delivering eyeballs to advertisers


    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, but there is a notion about advertising, I think fairly well accepted in that industry, that it proceeds even with a general lack of knowledge of how it works and why

    Calvino Rabeni: A lot of "hunch" involved. My impresion is that until recently, the same has been true in the seemingly mundane field of product pricing

    Calvino Rabeni: In other words, there is a clash between the idea of a culture of systematic experts and formal systems, and a reality of practice that has a huge degree of just "not knowing"

    Wol Euler: interesting

    Calvino Rabeni: Another, somewhat charitable view of the "reality TV" question is that it also involves the not-knowing theme - that people are curious about how stuff works and appears in their life, and st some level, realize that they don't know

    Yakuzza Lethecus thinks about his need this morning to research in the direction of touchpad's for ebook reading since the advertisments hit me and created a need to have one of those

    Wol Euler smiles.

    Calvino Rabeni: I have a similar project regarding "netbooks"

    Calvino Rabeni: Not based on seeing an Ad, however

    Calvino Rabeni: Tablet computers that use a pen for an input device never became successful

    Calvino Rabeni: Was it a price/performance gap relative to other technologies?

    Calvino Rabeni: Or was it a distaste or aversion to the pen?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: they've been to small in the past, or too expensive, they never reached a critical mass of users

    Yakuzza Lethecus: today you can use ur fingers, a pen, they wight less then a kilogram or a little more depending

    Yakuzza Lethecus: are able to work as a regular x86 pc, iphoneOS, symbian

    Yakuzza Lethecus: so you might already know how they work without to learn anything new

    Yakuzza Lethecus: ipad runs more then apple told in advertisments

    Yakuzza Lethecus: more then 11hrs according to different news

    Calvino Rabeni: What has always seemed to me, an amazing thing, is the huge outpouring of energy, expense, creativity that goes into technology, creating an abundance of varieties of products, most of which are not successful.

    Wol Euler nods.


    Wol Euler: very much like nature, one might say: a tree produces thousands or millions of seeds to ensure two descendants

    Calvino Rabeni: That metaphor occured to me - but the tree produces mayh of the same kind of thing, whereas technology innovates very different species. But perhaps one would find that the relative energy expenditure is similar with nature

    Wol Euler: true, so compare perhaps to the evolution of species. How many variants die out before a dominant strain evolves?

    Calvino Rabeni: With tech, it's energy + creativity + materials

    Calvino Rabeni: Unfortunately the materials are a limited resource, and the energy will likely get more espensive

    Calvino Rabeni: The creativity - aided by information tech, will remain abundant

    Calvino Rabeni: If materials and energy had been held constant somehow,while productivity increased, over the last century, we might have a much shorter work week

    Calvino Rabeni: Driving simple cars that cost $500 or so.

    Calvino Rabeni: Living in small houses, etc.

    Calvino Rabeni: Not that I am recommending such

    Wol Euler: whereas the opposite has happened: house size worldwide has increased on average by 50% in a generation

    Calvino Rabeni: Yes

    Wol Euler: (size per person in the household, and also absolute size)

    Calvino Rabeni: One point is, that economic forecasts usually assume that consumption will always increase

    Calvino Rabeni: because it has in the past

    Wol Euler: "more" is less satisfying than "enough", but we want it nonetheless

    Calvino Rabeni: but actually, a much more efficient technological culture is feasible and sustainable - and there is a huge amount of excess "capacity" available by cutting back over-production

    Calvino Rabeni: Is it "we want it" or is it a structural feature of the system of production?

    Calvino Rabeni: I would say, that the culture crossed from having a shortage of supply to the opposite situation of having a shortage of demand, some time ago

    Wol Euler: definitely, yes.

    Calvino Rabeni: At which point the economy turned to an intense mode of stimulating artificial demand, through many means

    Yakuzza Lethecus thinks about the term "work" some ppl, do what ever they can to keep creative during their work, are able to surround themselve with creative coworkers and seem to enjoy what they are doing because it's a healty play for them, until other ppl just have to do their jobs when they are doing "practical work"

    Wol Euler: somebody still has to collect the garbage, and scrub out the sewers

    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Wol, or dig ditches and direct traffic on the "Information Highway"

    Wol Euler: to take the obvious extreme examples

    Calvino Rabeni: There


    Yakuzza Lethecus gets into blurry thoughts about the mental healtyness of environments, his avoidance of IQ factors and his believe that most of the ppl stay by far beyond their potential because of the environments they are in and forces that are trying to hold em there

    Wol Euler nods.

    Calvino Rabeni: :) Yaku

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i even thought about the issue that a cleaningwoman is supposed to earn more money then a top manager :)

    Wol Euler: I must have missed that memo.

    Calvino Rabeni: Yak was doing some typing but nothing has appeared yet

    Yakuzza Lethecus: hehe, i deleted a view pages of text yes :)

    Wol Euler: :)

    Calvino Rabeni: heh

    Calvino Rabeni: well then, I might point out another great "not knowing" which is that we are said to live in the Age of Information, and yet there is no uniform, accepted, solid definition of exactly whatever "information" might be.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: it's somewhat hard for me to think about social justice, economy and what it should be based upon our government and when we are supposed to be happy

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i have the feeling that there are ppl with less "not knowing", whom try to preserve ppl in a stage where they just accept their needs

    Yakuzza Lethecus: while needs can by dynamic and changed but it's hard to reflect the emotional states of the own needs and to change those on a cognitive level

    Wol Euler nods.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i can't understand how ethical it might be to set insentives to get ppl without money into getting loans

    Yakuzza Lethecus: to buy new cellphones,cars,fingernails what ever...

    Yakuzza Lethecus: my sister in law had 4 cellphones last year


    Yakuzza Lethecus: sold none of em and a netbook which broke after a month but haven't claimed the warranty yet

    Yakuzza Lethecus: haven't sold

    Calvino Rabeni: Yaku, why not just say - it is unethical?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: is it, we are rational adults

    Wol Euler: well ... :)

    Yakuzza Lethecus: we are "rational human beings"

    Calvino Rabeni: Not really, I see that as part of the rationale

    Calvino Rabeni: The big "as if"

    Calvino Rabeni: "As IF" there were informed consent

    Calvino Rabeni: "AS IF" people were rational agents

    Wol Euler: the fiction of economics

    Calvino Rabeni: This structures a great way to avoid ethical scruples

    Wol Euler: "people know what their true interests are and will not act against them". Bzzzzzzzzttt! wrong.

    Calvino Rabeni: and do predatory lending and selling

    Calvino Rabeni: It's like mugging someone and then saying they were asking for it

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i can't universalize my behavior right now, i don't consume enough i wouldn't keep the economy alive in my behavior

    Calvino Rabeni: Well the market is supposed to adjust for all things :)

    Wol Euler: why do schools not teach Basic Money in the same way they teach basic language skills?

    Wol Euler: is it because doing so would reduce the profits of some people?

    Wol Euler: sorry, too cynical. strike that last bit

    Wol Euler: but the question stands.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: they are teaching basic money, for me the thing is that i have problems with the codependent arising

    Calvino Rabeni: There's no metaphysical, scientific, religious, or ethical basis for that notion of the Rational Economic Agent - it persists mainly because of its use as a rationalizing factor for the economics of consumption

    Yakuzza Lethecus: after elementary school we are split into 3 different types of schools

    Calvino Rabeni: Again, a slight exaggeration perhaps

    Calvino Rabeni: But it deserves serious questioning

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i remember we talked negative about those in "gymnasium or hauptschule"

    Yakuzza Lethecus: since i was in realschule

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i thought i know what i need

    Yakuzza Lethecus: today i feel i tricked myself and our environment is always tricking us and still the biggest trick is that nothing is needed to be happy

    Wol Euler nods.

    Wol Euler: true, and true.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: be who you are <- never existed

    Yakuzza Lethecus: be who we are

    Wol Euler: society needs many of us to be who someone else thinks we are.

    Wol Euler: the garbage collectors, to return to my favourite example.

    Wol Euler: imagine a society consisting entirely of poets and painters. How many days would it last before the blood dripped from the ceilings, and/or they all died of cholera or hunger?

    Calvino Rabeni: Well I imagine working poets, like have existed from time to time

    Wol Euler: true.


    Calvino Rabeni: Industrial culture separates, specializes, and mechanizes

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i think separation is the problem

    Yakuzza Lethecus: while the ppl from the gymnasium in the past were kind of evil ppl in "pupil's talk"

    Calvino Rabeni: What are the effects of the splitting into 3 separate groups?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: doctors and alike where kind of "gods"

    Yakuzza Lethecus: somehow mentally, ot total jerks for others

    Yakuzza Lethecus: anyway there was no exposure to those social circles

    Wol Euler nods.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: that's a facinating aspect of second life, and even makes me thinking about 3rd world development

    Yakuzza Lethecus: we send money and doctors and professionalized help

    Yakuzza Lethecus: what happens is the "educated ppl there" work for us

    Calvino Rabeni: yes, and it doesn't end up helping very effectively

    Yakuzza Lethecus: and they want to get out of their own countries

    Yakuzza Lethecus: brain drain happens

    Calvino Rabeni: although some organizations are a little more strategic and also sensitive to not destroy the culture they are trying to "help"

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i can't put my thoughts in words

    Calvino Rabeni: It seemed to take a while to get the discussion rolling at the start of this session. Now that it has some momentum, unfortunately, I will have to head for the bed

    Wol Euler: awwww :)

    Wol Euler: such is life.

    Calvino Rabeni: Yep

    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye you both :)

    Calvino Rabeni: Life is tuff :)

    Wol Euler: bye cal, bye yaku, enjoy the holiday

    Calvino Rabeni: Bye, CU

    Yakuzza Lethecus: you too wol

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