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The Public Ineffectual

For entertainment purposes only.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Can anyone recommend a dentist on the plateau?

Monday, April 03, 2006

What do Exlax, George Soros and Bill Gates have in common?

I see a lot of myself and the people I know in the "liberal communists'" Ten Commandments:
1. You shall give everything away free (free access, no copyright); just charge for the additional services, which will make you rich.

2. You shall change the world, not just sell things.

3. You shall be sharing, aware of social responsibility.

4. You shall be creative: focus on design, new technologies and science.

5. You shall tell all: have no secrets, endorse and practise the cult of transparency and the free flow of information; all humanity should collaborate and interact.

6. You shall not work: have no fixed 9 to 5 job, but engage in smart, dynamic, flexible communication.

7. You shall return to school: engage in permanent education.

8. You shall act as an enzyme: work not only for the market, but trigger new forms of social collaboration.

9. You shall die poor: return your wealth to those who need it, since you have more than you can ever spend.

10. You shall be the state: companies should be in partnership with the state.

This the answer to the question above that drew you in, in the first place:
There is a chocolate-flavoured laxative available on the shelves of US stores which is publicised with the paradoxical injunction: Do you have constipation? Eat more of this chocolate! – i.e. eat more of something that itself causes constipation. The structure of the chocolate laxative can be discerned throughout today’s ideological landscape; it is what makes a figure like Soros so objectionable. He stands for ruthless financial exploitation combined with its counter-agent, humanitarian worry about the catastrophic social consequences of the unbridled market economy. Soros’s daily routine is a lie embodied: half of his working time is devoted to financial speculation, the other half to ‘humanitarian’ activities (financing cultural and democratic activities in post-Communist countries, writing essays and books) which work against the effects of his own speculations. The two faces of Bill Gates are exactly like the two faces of Soros: on the one hand, a cruel businessman, destroying or buying out competitors, aiming at a virtual monopoly; on the other, the great philanthropist who makes a point of saying: ‘What does it serve to have computers if people do not have enough to eat?’

If only we could feed the world on good intentions.
Thanks Setare!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dispatch from the Desk

I'm going to Korea next week for a week to visit my Grandma for her 88th Birthday. Been thinking about the particularities of how difference is created in such a "racially pure" and "homogenous" country. This passage reminds me of how difference is sustained:
In Wilhelmine Germany there were no formal disqualifications attached to being of the Jewish faith, much less to being Jewish origins. As early as 1812 Berlin Jews had achieved citizenship (such as it was in early Prussia), and some residual limitations on the related rights had been set aside in 1848. Yet, "after centuries of official discrimination against Jews, the juridical act of emancipation could not effectively bring about their equality of entitlements in social terms. Through what has been called the 'suppression of the constitution by means of administrative practices,' Jews were still largely excluded from state offices, judicial positions, academic chairs and military careers, and remained second-class citizens through to the end of the Wilhelmine era."

-- Gianfranco Poggi on the liability of Georg Simmel's Jewish heritage in spite of his family's Protestant conversion, his baptism and avowed secularism, , Money and the Modern Mind, 1993