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Rippounet

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  1. The fun fact about neo-liberalism is that most of the time you have no money to do anything useful (like hire people), and at the same time sometimes they give you money for random projects, just because it's good for the university's image. Anyway, there's this call for applications to develop Paris-Oxford partnerships. I'm considering proposing something like this: a brief description of the project and planned activities, --> I'd like to perform an on-site study of every single pub in Oxford. a rationale for the collaboration with Oxford/Paris colleagues; --> I'd like a local colleague to show me around said pubs (and take me home if I have trouble walking) an indication of the intended outcomes; --> quite a few hangovers, I assume a comment on the legacy or sustainability of the collaboration (maximum 2 pages); --> that will depend on our livers ; also, on the quality of the beer in Oxford Anyone here willing to participate? The first 50 rounds are on me.
  2. That would depend on how you define "mixed economy." Ideally, I think a considerable amount of democracy and socialism (which go hand in hand) is required to offset the negative aspects of capitalism. It's at least theoretically possible, and lots of research has been done on the topic, not to mention the fact that it worked in most Western nations for about 30 years. Thing is, I'm not certain this is desirable today, when the excesses of capitalism literally threaten human civilization as a whole, and special interests resist the smallest changes to the current socio-economic structure. I would in fact be personally inclined to simply go back to Keynesian policies, since they were largely effective (they worked for me after all). But that would only be possible if the 1% were willing to go back to the "grand bargain," and said bargain also rested on unlimited growth, which is now impossible. And time is of the essence. I don't think you negotiate with terrorists, and the people who rule us must surely now be seen as such. I can only conclude that, in order for another bargain to be struck, it will be necessary to first come up with something far more radical than a "mixed economy" in order to break both the neo-liberal ideology and the power of the 1%. Only once this is done will it be possible to develop a different kind of mixed economy, one that would of necessity be different from what you probably have in mind. Let's remember that you and I start from considerably different premises, with significant cultural and ideological divides. I no longer believe in "the market" for instance, which I view as a form of superstition deriving from the protestant ethos. Therefore I see all wealth not coming from labor as a form of theft, and entire sectors of our "economy" as being elaborate fictions that do not actually produce anything of value to our societies. I increasingly tend to think that what is desirable is freedom of enterprise rather than capitalism, the latter hurting the former. But freedom of enterprise can never again be absolute: in the future it will at least be constrained by the material limits of our world ("planetary boundaries" as some say). Some form of "capital" will always be necessary of course, but a democratic-socialist version would hardly be "capitalism" as we understand it today. What I have in mind is cooperative banking and/or democratic control of monetary creation for investment purposes using models based on the MMT, a completely decentralized system of allocation based on absolute transparency when it comes to resource management (to prevent inflation), combined with yearly democratic consultations on most public affairs. Blah... Anyway, I don't think what I have in mind qualifies as a "mixed economy" as you would define it.
  3. Ok, I caught up on the other discussion (hadn't seen it). Unfortunately, this is no longer true. As I understand it, socialism has retreated in Scandinavian countries just like it did in France. Inequality is rising there, like everyhere else. Or, to put it differently, neo-liberalism has corrupted the political sphere everywhere, and left a handful of socialist-ic programs here and there - most of which are under some form of attack by the right. We're actually moving away from mixed economies, especially in the EU. There is the idea, that I believe goes back to Galbraith, that mixed economies offered some kind of "Keynesian bargain" to the masses whereby production would benefit everyone. To quote Marvin Waterstone: Thing is, whatever the nature of this "grand bargain," it was obliterated. At some point during the 1970s, the 1% decided that they'd been too chill, and class warfare resumed in the 1980s with a vengeance. With the -timely- demise of the Soviet Union appeared something even worse than uninhibited capitalism, what we have today.
  4. It's just my assumption. But honestly, I think it's a pretty safe bet. The irony may be that T'Lyn will no longer be a maverick once she's surrounded by humans. On the Cerritos, she'll be encouraged and praised for following her "gut feelings." Which is, of course, something her captain would have known/expected. Hence why he told her she was jumping to conclusions again: it is clear that her assignment to the Cerritos will prove immensely rewarding for her.
  5. Capitalism is inherently immoral. Socialism isn't. Not sure there's that much to discuss, because it's pretty much impossible to convince people who don't already agree with you on this.
  6. I also found Better Call Saul easier to get into. I think for me it was because most of the characters are likable and relatable, which wasn't the case in Breaking Bad. I started watching the first episodes of Only murders in the building on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from the trailer, and it works. I also watched the second season of Motherland. I have no idea why I watched the first season, as I found it terrible. Anyway, season 2 has a completely different feel to it, and holy shit it got dark fast. First season alternated a very slow plot with long, painful times of romance and sould-searching. The writers seem to have decided that they wanted to do something else after all, and built on everything they'd thrown around in season 1 to develop a plot with horrifying twists and turns, including a torture scene that just won't end. In the end I can't tell whether I liked it or not, but it sure surprised me.
  7. The thing about Discovery (as well as Picard I guess) is that it takes itself so damn seriously, while offering plots that lack the depth that we'd expect of a Trek show. That trailer embodies everything that doesn't work for me. Spectacular images but a plot that depends on high stakes and action, while focusing on a single character. There'll probably be a bit more to the season than that, but the trailer is awful at selling it imho, and looks like it was made for a 2h movie. The reason I like Lower Decks is precisely because it never tried to pretend it would offer much depth. Or much anything. It was, and still is, the show that's not meant to be good in the first place, so it's all the more exciting when it pulls off the sweet balance between plot and charaterization, the right pace, and at least a few jokes that land. It helps that it has two main characters (Boimler and Mariner), but also takes the time to develop many others. Episode 9 was dope btw. It had a lot of great moments and great jokes for a 20-minute episode. And it creates an actual story and abtly introduces two new characters, one of which has serious comic potential.
  8. Wrong word though. Is it? I wouldn't have thought so*. As to the op, I have a totally uninformed take on the question, but I think it could go both ways. Sure, some stuff might be hard to digest, but surely a reasonable time traveler would know how to avoid anything looking truly dangerous. I understand regulations in the food industry are rather lax, and not uniformly enforced - though maybe that's a French thing, we do like to eat rotten cheese after all . Anyway, assuming a strong healthy body for our time traveler, a modicum of common sense should allow one to avoid death (I would think we all know that when in doubt, it's best to eat ell-cooked meat). Whether one's body would adapt before digestive troubles weakened them is probably not guaranteed though, so best to have a quick exit plan. No one wants to get explosive diarrhea in the 14th century. But, come on... We all know that time trips must be short, that we shouldn't eat or drink anything fishy, and that one should absolutely avoid doing anything that can seriously damage the timeline. Like fucking your mom. Or your grandmother. Or yourself. In fact, best not to fuck anyone or anything. *I genuinely dont know .
  9. I don't know about my driving habits, but I have an intense hatred for people who are speeding in the left lane and start flashing their headlights and tailgating you if you are overtaking someone else (say, a truck) while respecting the speed limit. The code here is very clear on the fact that speeding is forbidden in all lanes.
  10. Yeah, same here. I distinctly remember thinking that it was a poor copy of the beginning of Lord of the Rings. Of course, the main character doesn't get power(s) thanks to a ring, there's a female Gandalf, the party is made of teenagers and not hobbits... etc, but the whole thing nevertheless seemed to be shooting for the same atmosphere. I think I started really getting into it around book 3 or 4.
  11. Ah, I see what this is. We're getting into semantics here. You write as if capitalism entailed free enterprise. I believe this is a common mistake (it does not). I personally use a simple and relatively narrow definition of capitalism: "capitalism" comes from "capital", i.e. money as investment. This is different from free enterprise (which can be associated with the "free market" ideology) according to which anyone can create or invest in an enterprise/corporation. Because I make a distinction between the two, I would say (for instance) that China is now a capitalist country in which freedom of enterprise is controled and/or limited by the State and the Communist (ha ha) Party. This is why, from where I sit, authoritarian regimes do love capitalism, as long as the "capital" in capitalism is their own, that of their family, or friends, or associates. In other words, authoritarian regimes want to choose who gets to be a capitalist. To drive the point home, there are some fascinating writings by heterodox (heretical!) economists arguinh that capitalism and freedom of enterprise are actually antithetical. The argument is rather easy to understand. Capitalism mechanically entails a certain concentration of money (capital): the most successful corporation will generate more profit that can be invested than others, thus ensuring that its dominant position is not threatened by the emergence of competitors. My brother-in-law, who worked for the French ministry of finances, once told me that it's even worse than that, because the largest corporations all have ties to the financial sector, thus ensuring that potential competitors can't get loans and emerge to threaten them. Hence why the 'free market" is an illusion. Not that it could be anything more imho (see Polanyi for a longer explanation on the topic).
  12. You're overestimating the size of the bribes. There are famous counter-examples, but as a rule the people collecting the bribes don't get wealthier than the ones doing the bribing.
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