Tag Archives: Television

Thought Provoking Post::Stumbling and Mumbling: The state and equality

Sam Seaborn
Image via Wikipedia

I’m a big West Wing Fan, and in someways it has shaped how I view things. I still remember a scene where Sam Seaborn‘s  declarations, I pay a lot of taxes and I love it! I may have an unhealthy regard for my abilities but I have no doubt that in the crucial ways I am me because i was fortunated enough to be born to my parents. I was lucky, this was no fault/act of mine. Taxation is a transfer, I love paying taxes, just hope there was more ways to ensure that the transfer is not a transfer to the swiss bank acounts of government officials! .read the whole thing!

But of course, these are only a part of the link between the state and inequality. Tawneyite socialists claim that spending on (say) health and education are forces for equality.

But are they? Julian Le Grand famously argued in a book in 1982 that the rich actually got more than the poor from these services – a claim supported more recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

In the case of healthcare, the claim is also supported by this paper (pdf). One reason for this is that the poor under-estimate their ill-health and so are less likely to make claims on the health system. Another reason is that the rich live longer (pdf) than the poor, and the bulk of health spending on most individuals comes late in life.

via Stumbling and Mumbling: The state and equality.

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What’s Playing: Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles

Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn’t matter much to me.

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low.
That is you can’t you know tune in but it’s all right.
That is I think it’s not too bad.

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Always no sometimes think it’s me, but you know I know when it’s a dream.
I think, er No, I mean, er Yes but it’s all wrong.
That is I think I disagree.

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.

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The Office’s Pam and Jim And John Mayer’s Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

I just love The Office. It’s just one of those things that hehehe, Let’s just say I know I am irritating a few of my friends when I say you have to watch The Office. I’ll post something longish about what what I like about The Office!

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There Is But One Race…So Say We All-

There Is But One Race…So Say We All–

I don’t know why but I feel I am in a precarious emotional state right now, so take these words with a grain of salt,

I loved this video!

Edward James Olmos, on his authority as Admiral of the Battlestar Galactica, tells the assembled crowd at the United Nations there is no race but the human race (so say we all).

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Things To Ponder: Reclaiming The Space :Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Realtime kills real space

My friend
Image by Scarleth White via Flickr

Call me a Luddite but I think its time to fight back!

Not by isolating ourselves and not using the web and all its gifts but by trying to one up the web and making our real world interactions better. Trying to find the kinds of interactions that would flow naturally from using the web and living a connected life.

This is a new category , “Reclaiming Space”. trying to find the ways that would help make the web a complement , and not a substitute to real connections!

A government survey conducted last year concluded that eighty-two per cent of those between the ages of ten and twenty-nine use cell phones, and it is hard to overstate the utter absorption of the populace in the intimate portable worlds that these phones represent. A generation is growing up using their phones to shop, surf, play video games, and watch live TV, on Web sites specially designed for the mobile phone. “It used to be you would get on the train with junior-high-school girls and it would be noisy as hell with all their chatting,” Yumiko Sugiura, a journalist who writes about Japanese youth culture, told me. “Now it’s very quiet—just the little tapping of thumbs.”

Realtime, you see, doesn’t just change the nature of time, obliterating past and future. It annihilates real space. It removes us from three-dimensional space and places us in the two-dimensional space of the screen – the “intimate portable world” that increasingly encloses us. Depth is the lost dimension.

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Realtime kills real space.

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rePost:Finding Your Thing:Stumbling and Mumbling: Consumption deskilling & utility

Petite Tricia
Image by madaboutasia via Flickr

I am proud to say that i see this in a few of my friends, where other people might ask why? they just do!

Why is this? Based on my all too biased personal experience I find that the majority of people I know are like this, consumption maximisers and probably all that I can blame is probably environment. TV is the national obssession.

I remember a local rock legend ranting about how the kids nowadays just buy off the rack punks wear, etc. Things like this are akin to exercise , you need to get to form a habit of doing, creating and when you are you probably just can’t stop.

But how?

-Find what you enjoy by doing a multitude of things and try to do it till you feel at least two levels of pay-offs, so you can evaluate if something is “your thing!” Why two levels? Well most experiences either have different pay-offs and different level of pay-off per skill level, you may not get to evaluate how much you would value something if you quit to quickly!

-Just like the previous post try to incorporate it to your life/habit. Remember how Randy Paush, when he is thinking always had a football in his hands, you could do this with guitar playing whilst watching tv play the guitar, or while walking think of poems if you’re into poetry, think of blogposts while waiting for your train, you have the time, you are just not using it wisely.

-Find a friend to help you with your hobbies. Remember its always fun to do something with someone.

-When something is beginning to define you step back and think if this is really something you want to be defined by.

-Evaluate the effort you put in to your thing. You must always strive to improve because you might end up just with another reflex action.

-Evaluate you thing. Sometimes doing your thing would hold you back on some important parts of life, Like how my Internet addiction is slowly making me more socially inept than I already am.

Read the whole post its packed with information.

I suspect something else is going on. That something is the spread of purely instrumental rationality – the idea that utility maximization consists solely in maximizing consumption for minimal expenditure of time and money. Many of us take it for granted that it’s rational to spend as little time cooking as possible, and that music should only be a consumption good.

What this ignores is that many things are worth doing for their own sake. I’ll never play the guitar as well as Martin Simpson, or cook as well as Gordon Ramsey, or grow enough vegetables to be self-sufficient. But I play the guitar, cook and grow my own because these things are worth doing for their own sake.

Labour is not just a cost, to minimized. It is – or can be – a form of satisfaction in itself – a way of asserting who we are.

Stumbling and Mumbling: Consumption deskilling & utility.

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