Deep Rules: Adopting Global Capital

In light of the Panama Papers release earlier this week, this probing blog by Joe Brewer poses three DEEP RULES of global capital:

  1. Economies must grow no matter what the cost
  2. All value must be measured in monetary terms
  3. Money is debt that must always be repaid with interest
  4. Rich people are morally superior to poor people

Scathing. Cathartic. Chilling. All at once.

 

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Calling for Attention

The large hand-written signs used to say I AM A MAN.

Now they say DON’T SHOOT.

If this is the message, it suggests that our humanity (our manhood, our womanhood) as Black people is no longer in doubt, but the sanctity of our lives as Black people is what is at play. The question, then, is what will it take for the state to respect the lives of Black people, and therefore all people.

There’s a reason that Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres called us the canaries in their book, The Miner’s Canary. [for more on the book visit: http://www.minerscanary.org/about.shtml]

from Ferguson, Missouri — August 2014

Common man and woman vs. corruption

Reading domestically in the LA Times, about the President’s December speech about income inequality:

Unlike unemployment, which is an acute problem today with straightforward remedies confounded by the political system.

But Obama is absolutely correct. Virtually every economic problem we have today — slow growth, high unemployment, low social mobility among the underclass — is both a manifestation and a cause of economic inequality. Income inequality produces stagnating wages for middle- and working-class employees, which suppresses overall economic growth, which creates low employment. The capital-owning class spends its income at a lower rate than the working class, which consumes most of it in the near term; that reduces overall demand in the economy, causing low growth and less employment. Slow growth also suppresses public investment in schools and social programs, which create obstacles to social mobility.

________

The on the global front, the Rise of the AAP in New Delhi, from Waging Nonviolence:

shifting its strategy to party politics has only strengthened the movement’s momentum. A few months ago, Aam Aadmi was a curiosity; now, it’s a force in India and a call for pro-democracy movements elsewhere to step up their game.

… and another perspective from the Deccan Chronicle:

That AAP would be different from the mainstream parties was known — that was its USP, its unique selling proposition that attracted a motley band of followers, from well-heeled urban professionals to starry-eyed youngsters to auto drivers, all motivated by the possibility that a revolution is in the making. So deep is the antipathy towards the bigger parties, at least in the urban areas, that anything that looks like a viable alternative becomes attractive. The old Left parties are in a state of decline — they have run out of ideas.

The Outline’s Role

Three days into NaNoWriMo yesterday, and I took a moment to see what the world wide web would provide when I asked about outlines for writing a novel. I encountered these three sites, which I have borrowed some elements of:

Today, I have learned of NaBloPoMo, shared with me by WordPress.

This is practice, by design.

Why do you …

Why do you think your organization especially matters in the year ahead?
What concerns are top of mind?
What are your big goals in the upcoming 12 months and in the grand trajectory of your organization?

Three questions lifted from Jenna’s Bond-Louden’s website, 1369space.com.

for the next generation(s)

I received the following praise earlier today:

when I see you and Basa fighting the good fight.

It immediately made me appreciate the next generation. The next generation of people, not just the people who will follow me as successors in previous jobs or children, but of many other sorts. The people who will serve on boards and as volunteers in places that I have. The person who will till this soil in future years will be influenced by what attention or neglect I show this soil that I inhabit, for this brief window of time. The home that I reside in can be better or worse depending on my actions and treatment of the people and things around me.

I was raised with the adage of leave something better than you found it. Being alive in the final 22 years of the 20th Century, I was exposed to much of what had run amok in the behaviors and habits of western civilization. Attitudes and lifestyles that were stuck in a notion of separateness from all other beings, and divorced from the earth. My hunch is that Mother Earth never sought a divorce from humankind, so it was a one-sided choice (and this is where my metaphor expires). Yet it seems to me that the earth has this unconditional love and infinite patience to embrace us, whenever we come around to recognize that ours is a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are fundamentally different when we see this instead of pretending that we, humans, are better alone.

This attention of the investment of my actions, words and choices cannot be nourished through  consumerism. When I walk into a mall or browse a webpage catalog, my actions and choices on this day will not have some impact cascading into the future. In fact, the severe limit of shopping and buying is that it will more likely have an adverse impact on future generations than be an investment in the good, the well of future generations.

This consideration of future generations is another form of mindfulness.

it’s summer 2012, so get an intern.

Summer has begun. Are you feeling swamped, overwhelmed? Is your outbox (either mentally or the 20th century one on your desk) overflowing with incomplete items?

Here’s a bit of advice: get an intern.

A breath of fresh air. Metaphors, aside, an intern is a phenomenal way to disrupt the hoarding, amassing, isolating tendencies  at work. An intern requires frontloading, which is critical (for me as a procrastinator). Frontloading introduces, acquaints and gives an intern the context to figure out what’s in store during the summer experience. The beauty of frontloading is that it then provides me with the opportunity to get out of the way.

A few steps to get an internship under way are:

  1. Pick a few projects, especially those that have sat idle for months yet are sufficiently important that you are not forgetting them.
  2. How long? — 3 months from June-Aug is a very different arrangement than just 6 weeks.
  3. How much? — can be paid for compensation either in an hourly wage, a stipend? additional perks include providing access, training and paying the way for other ways to learn, gain skills and get access in the summer of 2012.
  4. Figure out the logistics — the basics are:
    are they working virtually or in the same office/space as you? will they have access to a desk, computer with internet access?
    the next level of logistics are:
    how often will you make yourself available to sit down with them? To assign new tasks, get updates, and address questions that have arisen. I have decided to have a weekly call every Tuesday afternoon.
    what documents, history + context will be sent to them?
    what email or web access will you provide them with? 
  5. what are the framing and overarching questions that will guide their work for the internship’s duration?

All in all, an internship is a welcome pivot for an office that has not had young students around. They bring fresh perspective, different ways of learning/researching/accessing, as well as how to navigate the internet.

Go on, and get hiring — our labor markets need it.

Weaving Silos Together

I was struck by this in a curious, multi-layered article titled “Fables of Wealth” that I read this morning:

MOST important, neither entrepreneurs nor the rich have a monopoly on brains, sweat or risk. There are scientists — and artists and scholars — who are just as smart as any entrepreneur, only they are interested in different rewards.

The question that this begs to me is how to weave together entrepreneurs with artists and scholars, and weave these together with bank officers and funders? The addition of this third group who can provide the capital to actualize dreams, visions and business plans.

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additional notes:

(1) What’s your Wall Street story?
(2) “Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones.” — I would like this expanded upon, unpacked, elaborated.
(3) a simple reminder of cycles and interdependence … “First of all, if entrepreneurs are job creators, workers are wealth creators. Entrepreneurs use wealth to create jobs for workers. Workers use labor to create wealth for entrepreneurs”