THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:58 pm

The USSR was a rejection of socialism. The first thing they crushed were the socialists. They were a totalitarian monster, while actual socialism is about democratic control of the means of production.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby RocRizzo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:56 pm

FrankChurch wrote:The USSR was a rejection of socialism. The first thing they crushed were the socialists. They were a totalitarian monster, while actual socialism is about democratic control of the means of production.


You are quite correct, sir!

I know that because I saw it in a Chomsky video!
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:44 pm

Trotsky's writings from just before his assasination make for heart-breaking reading. He was practically on his knees begging the workers of the world to reject Stalin - but the left wing intelligensia chose to follow Stalin instead. Tragic stuff, captured beautifully in Tariq Ali's Fear of Mirrors, one of my all time favorate books.

I don't buy this notion that people will excel only if there's financial gain involved. In my line of work, people excel every day and don't see an extra dime for it. And they wouldn't have it any other way. My faith in socialism remains unabated.

(Actually that's not quite true, but close enough)

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:26 pm

Alfie Kohn has written great stuff about rewards and how it doesn't play in how people act. When you bribe someone to do better they tend to not like what they are doing, but if they enjoy the work they will do it no matter how hard it is and how long the hours.

You see this in Hollywood where Oscars make actors less likely to do better work. Think Halle Berry, think Anthony Hopkins, think Cuba Gooding Jr. People can go for hours doing things they enjoy and they don't need merit or rewards.

Without socialism capitalism can't even work.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:24 pm

You still gonna defend Egypt Barber? hehe.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:35 pm

Steve Evil wrote:I don't buy this notion that people will excel only if there's financial gain involved. In my line of work, people excel every day and don't see an extra dime for it. And they wouldn't have it any other way. My faith in socialism remains unabated.


It may be, but that's not what I wrote above.

Barber wrote:For one thing, a socialist economy is not inherrently an efficient one. (Don't argue with this, Frank. In an ideal world with ideal humans it would be efficient, but human nature dictates that in a socialist system many people see no reason to excel.)


I added italics to emphasize my point. I think it's valid.

It's not a matter of financial reward, nor is it even a matter of external rewards in general. I agree that many members of society find a great deal of reward without it being monetary in nature. I stand by my assertion that in a socialist system people -- many, not all -- see no reason to excel because there are no reasons to do so. The inherrent difficulty in establishing a true socialism --- which is an ideal society, no question -- is that the productiveness is still driven by personal achievement of some kind. If the system is not designed to reward individuals for excelling then they will, of human nature, find a different way to spend their time. (Rewards can include any number of things, not just money or status.) Or, the society can also compensate -- as we have seen -- with less beautific methods of motivation.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of people who work very hard for very little pay -- my gardener hires people who fit this description exactly. He also gets a few who do not. Teachers are woefully undercompensated (financially). But unless you're the sort of person for whom the job itself is a reward -- which itself is not going to be the majority of jobs in a socialist economy -- there needs to be some other form of encouragement.

I would not do what I do without a good deal of money as the compensation. I find a great deal more reward for my work in photography than I do for my work in telecom -- but telecom pays the bills so I'm more than willing to accept the return on my investment as being one of less happiness for more opportunity to be happy. (As I recently noted to Cris: "Money doesn't buy happiness, but it certainly can make already-happy people a lot happier.")
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby reddragon70 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:47 pm

Whilst it may be true that in a fully socialist or communist society there is no drive to excel as everyone is equal... some people will always try to do better than average. Its just the way they are. Its also just as true that in a capitalist society many will not try to excel either, despite of the rewards inherant with said success. In the end people are complicated creatures that just dont fit into idealistic models of the universe.

For one thing I can pretty much guarantee that in a utopian society such as Iain M Banks' Culture novels there would be someone who would commit crimes. Not for gain as such as for the thrill of just doing it and hopefully getting away with it. Human nature you see. Complex and incomprehensible human nature perhaps but that is what humanity is about. Our strange diversity.

I myself am looking in my work at a promotion. I dont apply for the money. The harsh reality is that if I get the job I will lower my earings potential. But I will be more successfull. A higher grade. A manager no less. Yet for the first year the rate of pay is just £600 more. I get more than that if I work my rostered sunday shifts. If I was really greatly avaricious I could earn a whole hell of a lot more. But money means little to me apart from a way to pay my morgage and keep my family. Any extra I earn is a nice little boost. Nothing more. I just want to do better than I have been doing for the past 12 years. And I want to achieve some personal goals I guess. To me that is the greater reward.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:53 pm

FrankChurch wrote:You still gonna defend Egypt Barber? hehe.


I'm encouraged by the fact that so far the government hasn't struck back at the protestors. The military and the police have deployed, but as of yet have taken very few hardline positions including not -- as yet -- preventing the protestors from gathering even after the curfew. I hope they restrain themselves, and I am not nearly so beholden to Mubarrak to back him during a revolt of this kind. The protestors have legitimate beefs. I would -- BTW -- feel precisely the same if it were Chavez or Castro.

Of a rather stunning nature is the shutdown of the internet and mobile services. While the latter is simply an order to mobile providers, shutting down the internet is a breathtaking step -- the requirements for achieving this are startling from a technical standpoint, but even moreso from a business and financial one. In shutting down the net to prevent protestors from communication, they have effectively stopped their economy dead in its tracks.

What will be interesting to see is how the rest of the Egyptian populace and the outside business community respond. So far this has been a youth movement, but will the sudden financial disaster cause them to lose popular support? Will Mubarak blink? Significantly, will the military support him?

Remember, the Egyptian army has considerable public support -- they are seen as a strong defense against Israeli military might. Watch to see how the military flows and you can predict Mubarak's future.

I agree that any sort of extra-Constitutional crackdown should be condemned and will lose all legitimacy for his regime.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Grayson » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:40 pm

^ It appears some fundamentalist Islamic movements have now gotten involved.

RE: the military. From what I've seen they haven't really cracked down hard. In fact they have been asked to join the movement. Right now it seems everything is in a state of flux. Crazy shit, though.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:15 pm

So how do you shut off a whole nation's internet?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41320309/ns ... d_gadgets/

That interesting. If you had socialism and the government ran the ISP on "behalf" of the people, then what Egypt is doing becomes possible. But if the economy remains in private hands and ownership is decentralized then what Egypt is doing becomes impossible. Hmmmm... Makes you think doesn't it? :wink:
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:12 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:So how do you shut off a whole nation's internet?


Why do you think those of us who work in the industry are all kinda Keanu Reeves "whoa!" about it?
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:00 am

Barber wrote:
Ezra Lb. wrote:So how do you shut off a whole nation's internet?
Why do you think those of us who work in the industry are all kinda Keanu Reeves "whoa!" about it?
i give up, why ?

do "those of us who work in the industry " see this as a red/blue pill, reality is not what it seems type deal? :shock:
:roll: it's not a runaway explosive bus.
nor a drugged out narc. :|
a live memory chip?
a Klaatu reference?
an Excellent Adventure, or a Bogus Journey ? :D
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:15 am

:? well... runaway train/bus(exploding variety)... a stretched analogy ...but possible.

but definitely not a drugged out narc, right? :D
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:11 am

Wikileaks showed that Egyptian police regularly torture people.

The real violence happens in private, trust me.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby RocRizzo » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:13 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:So how do you shut off a whole nation's internet?


Gimme a break. This isn't the US where there are about a quintillion ISPs, it's freakin' TURKEY. There are only about 15, count 'em, FIFTEEN ISPs (http://www.ostamyy.com/ISPs/Turkey.htm). A simple phone call from the powers that be would suffice to turn them off, or just send some military goons to the offices and shut them down.
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