10.08.2010

Back by popular quest, copious photo sets from extraterritorial exploration. I haven't taken my camera much lately, but now--my goodness--Hello world!

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2>1,2->1,2≠1, et al.

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lórien

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mass-void

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bump

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namesake

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set the controls for the heart of the 1/60sun (masses), i mean jupiter.

before that, saw david harvey lecture on his recent book which i was able to read these past couple weeks. you should watch this video, which sums it up rather quickly. terrifying is his connection between the problem of surplus absorption and its solution in urbanization as the cyclical generator of crises since the one in 1972. highly recommend the read--did i say this video is completely worth your 10 minutes?. this very one!

don't forget!
¡no te olvides!

8 comments:

adammmm said...

yes. did you actually ride that bump? I kinda dared you didn't I?

adammmm said...

ok, so I'm left wondering after that video, in what direction do I change my mode of thinking?

erik said...

dare me indeed on that little stream, and i set up the camera with an interval timer to try to document it. The apples held fine against the slick rock, until the wet contact patch made for extra slippage. i was about to try to hop up to the next platform out of the stream, from that photo. i made it up, but then no further.

Change our mode of thinking, I don't have a good answer. At this point, for me it's just important to have the discussion about what is actually driving these crises and recessions. Alternatives have a lot to do with community building and working against the tendencies toward individualization and alienation in our society, at this point, for me. Some stuff I'm thinking about; reclaiming commons for people in the streets, trying to direct urbanization projects toward ends contrary to the goals of capital that have sustainable long term effects (bicycle/ped, maybe transit work in certain cases).

It's a good question, and one that was asked at the lecture too. Harvey pointed out that it was likely much more a question of what people in places like China, and to some extent the urbanizing global south, do over the next century in their response... In other words, the heyday of America as driver of global capitalism is fading fast, our ability to drive constant accumulation has really peaked--we responded to these contradictions of continuous growth in a way that resulted in increased abstraction, but it's unclear how we can go any further. The future will be much more a question of how the Chinese people deal with the coming crises brought out of these contradictions, and what new ways of social organization they come up with (if any, and let us hope, because war is one way other than urbanization to absorb all that money we need to keep making as a planet).

it's good to go meta, once and a while. it's good to keep living, maybe doing some gardening and chickening and bicycle riding and people loving, too! I think it really comes done to living in different ways, and trying to find meaning outside of traditional repressive social traditions.

Much love!

Phil said...

I think Greenspan had a good point in reference to human nature. In a relativley free or unregulated capitalist economy crisis will occur periodically even in cycles. Government regulation should serve as a check to protect the majority from the brunt of a crisis. This hasn't happened most recently in the West. However, I don't think a systemic change is a possibility. Capitalism needs capitalists and socialism needs socialists. How many people can claim to have not benefitted from the former ??? Capitalism may not be fair to all but economic socialism is a fools errand.

Thanks for the link and pics. Please consider sharing more about your transportation activism. I am interested to hear more.

erik said...

i'm not sure what "economic socialism" vs. plain old socialism is, but it's very fair to say that no meaningful alternative to capitalist economics has been undertaken by any society--whether they flew the a socialist flag or not. the social form of labor has not been challenged.

so, again, i wouldn't sit here and tell you socialism is the answer -- it's not. but, however, the crises you speak of are inherent to capitalism, will continue to occur, and the gap between the powerful capitalist class and normal folks will continue to widen. it's time to think about how that might be changed, if we take seriously our ability to survive as a society into the future.

cheers.

Phil said...

Survival is the right word to use. And talking of socialism v capitalism and class maybe a little redundant at this stage. You are definitely right about crisis.

Consider this next HUGE looming crisis (no hyperbole intended): the US may ring its own death bell. The US FED issues Bonds on the free market. A great deal of them ($2.3 trillion) have been bought by China. These are essentially loans made by China to the US, and are used by the US, among other things, to close the 4 trillion dollar deficit and fund US spending on the War, health care...you name it. I might add a deficit created by both the Bush and Obama admins. In this sense it is apolitical. We as a nation spend far more than we make. So the US have passed the cost of being the US today onto the shoulders of our children and China is enabling it. We sort of need each other. (we also have a mutual love fest with the oil producers, but thats another story)China does this as it has a great deal of cash. Profit from exports purchased by the US. China would like to get a return on this cash and so buys US Bonds. At some point the value of the dollar will fall as the debt widens and China will no longer buy our bonds becasue the 3% return will be offset by the fall in the $....and then what? The US will be insolvent. No one else will finance our debt and spending. See Greece and CA...yikes. This maybe the next crisis created by capitalism and will put the mortgage crisis to shame. If we want to close the gap between the powerful capitalists and the normal folks just give the US FED enough rope, sit back and watch it happen.

Cheers to you too.

erik said...

Your China example is a direct example of how the surplus accumulation problem, engendered out of the system of capitalism which mandates compound growth, leads to crisis. Money had to be borrowed such that capital could be invested to drive the system--the state-finance nexus, which harvey speaks about, is a key player in driving the latest rounds of crisis.

So, yes! And, again, this isn't a debate between capitalism and any historical faux-alternatives like socialism.

BIKES!

Phil said...

Indeed, thanks.