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wcaseym (43.26)

April 2012



State of The Union - Conservative View

April 20, 2012 – Comments (2)

Long read. Totally worth it, ... try reading it but strip it off the China issue.  Consider The Union on its very own, state of it vis-a-vis itself.  Just one suggestion, ...

The rise of China surely ranks among the most important world developments of the last 100 years. With America still trapped in its fifth year of economic hardship, and the Chinese economy poised to surpass our own before the end of this decade, China looms very large on the horizon. We are living in the early years of what journalists once dubbed “The Pacific Century,” yet there are worrisome signs it may instead become known as “The Chinese Century.” ...

China’s Rise, America’s Fall  [more]




April 19, 2012 – Comments (0)

 ...Imagine becoming ill and simply accessing care because you are a citizen, a valued part of the whole. That’s the dignity that other nations bestow upon their masses. They don’t have that fear of becoming destitute simply by accessing healthcare, as did 62% of American bankruptcy filers in 2007 (all of those from medical bills- and 78% had insurance of some type).

The most common utterance from those who are against a universal coverage (that is, those without a profit motive) is that they do not wish to pay for the existence of others. They view the world as a hostile, winner-take-all battlefield. ....

...There’s a common phrase in medicine, “acute on chronic”. Just as it sounds, it reflects when a patient has a violent flare-up of an existing debilitating condition. Sadly our nation is suffering from many acute on chronic ailments, including greed and ignorance. It’s a dangerous time when the patient has a flare up of an acute nature because with that underlying chronic can be the kiss of death. ....

Universal Coverage-No, Universal Greed-Yes

C.  [more]



Commodity Trading

April 14, 2012 – Comments (0)

 ...We doubled over, weeping with laughter. The children screamed with excitement ...

The egg-toss provided pure, exhilarating fun: a taste of the good life. It energized us, and made us feel connected, happy, and alive. It also created a vivid memory that provided an experiential snapshot of the family reunion: this is what it was, this is what we did, this is who we are as a family. But, by very virtue of how much fun it was, it also raised unsettling questions: what made that simple game so transcendent, and why do most of us seem to experience such joyful, visceral fun so rarely?

The answer to these questions involves a journey into the nature of fun and a recognition that something that seems so much a part of life, so inalienable to human experience, has changed profoundly. Fun has become commodified. It’s as if a human birthright has been quietly embezzled, only to be sold back to us in diminished form. And this loss is hurting us because it turns out that fun does matter, both personally and socially. ....

Fun’s movement from something we once understood as experiential and embedded in daily life to something descriptive of products and services is the essence of its commodification. While commodification can mean different things depending on whether you are talking to an economist, anthropologist or philosopher, I am thinking of it in two related ways here. The first is that commodification occurs when we assign economic value to something that we previously did not think of in economic terms. ....

A second relevant aspect of commodification is the idea that one can parse out and sell individual elements of a thing formerly understood to be whole and inalienable from its original context. ....

Marketers have fostered the commodification of fun by doing essentially three things. First ... they’ve claimed fun as a brand attribute, either by making explicit promises to deliver it, or by signalling it through playful brand icons or an irreverent tone of voice. Second, they’re increasingly trying to sell us fun experiences. ....

The third way in which marketers have brought about a commoditization of fun lies not in what brands promise or create, but in the way they have intruded into our culture’s existing collective forms of engagement and fun. .... 

Who stole fun?

C.  [more]




April 09, 2012 – Comments (0)


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