Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Novalis, Feb 5, 2015.
First time dropping in on this part of the forum.., any recommendations?
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Before the Industrial Revolution, about 99% of the planet's population had income equivalent to less than 1k per annum, adjusted for inflation. And in order to "earn" that "salary," they worked seven twelve-hour days per week. This included husbands, wives and older children. Of course they didn't have to pay for health care, since there wasn't any, or education, since there wasn't any. Of course they did have to pay for government services, which were laughable in most societies, and in many societies they had to give a rather large portion of their income to the church, which in many places provided very little in the way of services.
Yes, we read about our Paleolithic ancestors working a 24-hour week, but I wonder if you'd be willing to trade lives with one of them. Without the Neolithic technologies of animal husbandry and farming, and the Bronze Age technology of metallurgy (try making a wheel of useful size with a flint blade!), there simply wasn't very much to do, but do you suppose that made for a happy life?
And by the way, the average American may have a cash income of only $30K, but look at all the services he receives, which are paid for by the taxes we more fortunate Americans contribute. Public transportation (not free but a helluva bargain), public schools (so his children will be able to earn more than $30K), public hospitals (which despite the jokes are damn good places to end up if he or his children are sick), fire departments (the majority of whose staff are unpaid VOLUNTEERS).
If you haven't got the time to argue, why should I? I'm quite satisfied with the credentials and methods of the sources I read, most of whom were still in school (or a twinkle in their mother's eye) in the 1950s. I'm not going to bother looking them up.
I’ve honestly never heard anyone praise the U.S. for it’s public transportation—this is truly an historic moment. Sure, we’ve got great transit in a handful of cities; unfortunately, this isn’t Belgium and we’ve got way more than a handful of cities. Overall, public transportation in the U.S. sucks ass. And you know as well as I do the very reasons for this, and that creating such a state was very much a concerted effort on the part of a number of wealthy and powerful “entrepreneurs.”
When I tour Europe, I get from town to town, country to country, via bus, train, and the occasional 20 dollar flight. And I don’t even bother planning ahead, as I know I can count on such being there and being timely and reliable and affordable. Also, I don’t just perform in major cities; I’ve played in many a place that can scarcely be called a “villlage.” I honestly haven’t a clue as to where my audience is even coming from. (Well, I do really, but you get my point.)
Can you imagine trying to tour the U.S. without a vehicle? You can do the Baltimore-D.C.-Philly-N.Y.-Boston corridor, but then you’re fucked. Unless you can afford to take many days off between shows.
And public schools? Seriously? My partner is a high school English teacher, and I’ve many friends who are teachers. They’re unanimous in their opinion that public schools in the U.S. are mostly lousy, and growing ever more so with every passing year. That leaves charter schools—do I even need to comment here?—and private schools for the ruling class.
How about higher education? I got degrees from “prestigious” private universities only by virtue of some ridiculously generous scholarship dough. My understanding is that such is a rarity (especially if you’re studying philosophy and what is presently called "Animal Studies," but had no such name or recognition when I was doing it), and at roughly 40-50 thousand per annum, private colleges are out of reach for most and state schools are getting there as well.
And surely you’re familiar with the Curious Case of the Disappearing Public Libraries over the last decade or so?
As far as medicine is concerned, in my experience quality medical care in the U.S. is available only to those with significant means—see my story, the very abbreviated version, on the previous page. And there is no denying that doctors push the newest, patented meds when ofttimes older drugs are far more effective. Medicine in the U.S. is run like a business (like schools and everything else these days), instead of like an essential service, leaving those without means and those more complex maladies shit-out-of-luck.
But I’ll give you fire departments. We’ve got those, and they’re mostly good. And we’ve got a delightful police force and prison system.
I’m not disputing your facts (with a few exceptions), rather your interpretations of them. Well, also some of the methodologies employed but I’ll come back to this when I’ve got more time for a considered response.
For now I’ll just say that, for obvious reasons, there is far less consensus among the social sciences. Anthropology and sociology may not be as contentious as psychology, but there’s still plenty of disagreement. For me, the most egregious instances of wrong and backward thinking occur when the methodologies employed downplay, or completely ignore, the gravity of philosophical considerations, i.e., the metaphysical underpinnings of the peoples and cultures under consideration are disregarded, or, worse yet, thought to be not unlike our own.
A metaphor for this which you can probably appreciate: over the years I’ve been criticized by many a stranger for biking (bicycling, that is) with my dog—a physically developed (never before the age of 10-12 months) cattle dog (formerly, Parmalee, 1993-2008, R.I.P.; presently Daisy, b. 2008). Their concern: that I was making my dog run. They’re cattle dogs and they were born to run. Moreover, you can’t “make” a dog run, except through despicable coercive means.
Most of our subway systems are efficient and affordable (a few people have died in wrecks on the D.C. Metro, but its per-passenger-mile safety record is still several orders of magnitude superior to driving), but only a handful of metropolitan areas have them.
I think you're glossing over some enormous problems that have to be solved in a project of this magnitude. All three of the governments that run the D.C. Metro (and just getting them to cooperate is a major problem in its own right) have agreed to extend the tracks to Dulles Airport--a big "duh?" for all of us who live in the region. Yet there are tens of billions of dollars worth of real estate that will have to be torn down to clear the space. They'll have to haggle over every single building,
Obviously, when humans began building cities at the end of the Neolithic Era, they should have realized that some day their descendants would discover metallurgy, which would allow them to invent the wheel (you can't cut a decent wheel with a flint blade), and then one day an even more distant descendant would invent the steam engine, then the internal combustion engine. So they would thoughtfully have left some long straight paths through the cities to accommodate these future transportation technologies without having to tear down anybody's home or business.
I had a blast touring the continent on a motorcycle. Back then (1973, my 30th birthday celebration), almost everyone had ridden a motorcycle in their youth, so they actually saw us coming and made room.
My bands play clubs in the D.C. region.
When my ex came to visit and we decided to spend a few days in NYC, we actually took the Greyhound. It was cheaper than the train and almost as fast.
This is just one more example of the growing power of corporations and the plutocrats who run them--culminating in the "Citizens United" debacle. Back in the 1950s and 60s, there was a strong movement to improve education and all other public services.
My prediction about the demise of the corporate model of industry has been posted many times. Computer technology allows small enterprises to function efficiently without the overhead problem that plagued them in the past. The corporation was a fictional creature created by government, and as it becomes obsolete the government will invent something new. We need to stop fussing over the death throes of the old business model and be wary of what they're going to try to pull in the Post-Industrial Era.
Some of the plutocrats, like George Soros and Bill Gates, have a social conscience and make astounding donations to the right causes, but without a network, their influence is limited.
Nonetheless, public universities are enormously more affordable than Stanford or Princeton. You'll be able to pay off your student loan in a reasonable time.
And the private colleges are not all alike. Harvard carefully reviews the finances of the families of its applicants. If your family can't afford your tuition and other expenses, they will only take you if you're good enough to deserve a full scholarship--and they have a portfolio of scholarships to work with.
Uh, no. I haven't been in a brick-and-mortar library since the internet reached critical mass. If a guy my age can navigate the internet, I'm pretty sure anyone can.
You're exaggerating just a teeny-weeny bit. Most of my medications have been in use for decades. There are a couple of new ones that have greatly improved my life, so I have no reason to complain. Medicare and the Blue Cross secondary insurance from my retirement association generally cover everything. Having worked on an I.T. project for Medicare, I can assure you that the government and pension funds are extremely tough negotiators, so those astronomical prices get slashed.
A lot of people simply go to Thailand. Their doctors are as good as anybody's (these days, aren't all physicians and surgeons from India anyway? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! ), and even with the cost of getting there, you'll end up paying about 20% of what it would cost here.
Sure, if you're of European ancestry and over 30.
You can make dogs do things that are a little bit more than they're built for, out of loyalty. There are several herding breeds so I don't know which "cattle dog" is yours. Nonetheless, very few breeds of dogs are distance runners. If I had to make a guess from the breeds I've had personal experience with, I suppose I'd pick the Anatolian or the Saluki.
The "sight hounds." Duh?
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