Twigs and branches

by John Quiggin on December 2, 2021

Another open thread, where you can comment on any topic. Moderation and standard rules still apply. Lengthy side discussions on other posts will be diverted here. Enjoy!

{ 10 comments }

1

nastywoman 12.02.21 at 6:24 am

I have been thinking a lot lately about a certain ‘virus’ which completely changed my life –
and the whole wide world –
and I’m just wondering if the same happened to everybody here?

2

KT2 12.02.21 at 11:51 pm

Nastywoman – this virus which completely changes my life?

“Capitalism is the Parasite; Capitalism is the Virus

By Matthew Flisfeder

“With hindsight, a few years from now, it may well appear to us that the year 2020, the beginning of the third decade of the twenty-first century, marked the dawn of a new parasitic age. We can tell this much even by looking at one of the year’s most popular films. Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite …”
“The culprit of the pandemic seems to be the virus itself, this nonhuman force of nature; but what we have been seeing is that, as another popular meme has put it, the real virus is capitalism – that is, the capitalist system that erects further barriers to our collective treatment of the virus. 

“This is a [health] system, we should add, that has become relatively starved due to decades of neoliberal austerity measures and cutbacks to social and public services, benefits, and institutions that subsidize the costs of life and living, and that provide access to needs. In this sense, capitalism is very much the real virus, indeed.(4)

Instead, we should focus our critical attention on the capitalist system, and demonstrate how capitalism is incompatible with all life. We need to move from the prism of the Anthropocene to that of the Capitalocene.

“Capitalism, rather than the people, is the real virus, the true parasite upon our thriving in the world today. What we need to learn is, not how to be post-human, but how to build and rethink a neo-humanism, in which, as Kate Soper puts it, human beings acknowledge our collective responsibility to each other, to the planet, and to other species – a humanism, that is, in which emancipation is both universal and equitably post-capitalist, and in which human agency drives action rather than the “objective” laws of the market. 

“I draw here, too, upon Andreas Malm’s critique of posthumanism in The Progress of This Storm (New York: Verso, 2018).” (13) In other words, if capitalism is the parasite, then perhaps the project of Democratic Socialism, or something like it, is the cure.”.

https://socialistproject.ca/2020/07/capitalism-is-the-parasite-capitalism-is-the-virus/

Matthew Flisfeder
“… Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communications at The University of Winnipeg, where I teach courses on Communication Theory, Popular Culture, Critical Theories of Discourse and Ideology, and Critical Studies of Social Media.

“… most recent book, Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (Northwestern UP 2021), uses the concept of social media as a metaphor for interpreting the dominant ideology and consciousness of contemporary neoliberal capitalism.
https://matthewflisfeder.com/

3

Kiwanda 12.03.21 at 12:36 am

Kiwanda, you’ve been blocked. One snarky comment too many.

4

Doug Alder 12.03.21 at 3:29 am

Reading this today Astrocolonialsm It’s outrageous and the title given here is exactly right. Private companies like Space X, Amazon and others have plans to put over 65,000 satellites in orbit to provide Internet access everywhere. Note: these satellites are not coated to absorb light instead they reflect it.

The effects of this will be to destroy the vision of the universe from Earth regardless of where you look from. Seeing the starry sky has inspired a sense of awe and tens of thousands of scientists, artists and more from our earliest times.

According to simulations from a team of Canadian astrophysicists (who specialize in research that’s currently being harmed by light pollution from big tech’s satellites), a whopping one in fifteen sources of light we see in the night sky will soon be artificial.

Will future astronomers be as excited looking at a picture, or hologram etc. of the night sky, before satellites, the same way current ones are from when they were children and looking up at the sky in awe?

This is colonialism and capitalism run amok in a 21C way.

5

nastywoman 12.03.21 at 6:53 am

@21
”In other words, if capitalism is the parasite, then perhaps the project of Democratic Socialism, or something like it, is the cure.”.

Agreed – even if I prefer to call the cure: ‘Fridays for Futures’

And about ‘the real virus is capitalism’ – and ‘We can tell this much even by looking at one of the year’s most popular films. Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite’ … and I agree with:

‘What we need to learn is, not how to be post-human, but how to build and rethink a neo-humanism, in which, as Kate Soper puts it, human beings acknowledge our collective responsibility to each other, to the planet, and to other species – a humanism, that is, in which emancipation is both universal and equitably post-capitalist, and in which human agency drives action rather than the “objective” laws of the market’.
– the ‘real virus’ –
STILL
is
‘The Virus’!

6

nastywoman 12.03.21 at 11:06 am

@– the ‘real virus’ –
STILL
is
‘The Virus’!
AS let’s NOT forget – that just yesterday – Angela Merkel – who grew up im ‘Realen Sozialismus’ wanted for her Good-by-Zapfenstreich the very ‘Kantinist’ -(if there is a word like that) Nina Hagen song:

‘Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen’

As she seems to (still) believe that y’all NEVER should forget the colour in y’alls films –
as Black and White might be faaaar too limited…

https://youtu.be/EKe9ybFDQ1A

7

KT2 12.04.21 at 1:00 am

Doug Alder said “Note: these satellites are not coated to absorb light instead they reflect it.”

Elon has kindly(!) taken the Rolling Stones advice to “Paint It Black”
… but ” A January 2021 study pinned the brightness at 31% of the original design.[262]” Wikipedia link below.

I have actually seen StarLink satellites with my own eyes, Saint or Sinner Elon’s early bersion (1,700?) white paint facing earth, Starlink satellites.

We were at a hot air balloon launch in mid NSW Australia. The balloon was inflating at dawn. Perfect day. 

We will leave aside the climate damage of LNG pollution and awe inspiring facination and stupidity of hot air balloons.

They party of 15 people started gazing upwards as the balloon overcame gravity. “Look” shouted a mystified person and directed our gaze away from the balloon to a conga line of say, double the size of Saturn and twice as bright, line of fast moving objects.

If it were 1600 we would have been shouting about God or the end of the world, as it was a vision none has seen – ever.

We twigged it was Starlink. We were suitably impressed and disgusted at once. What is the emotion for impressed and disgusted at the same time?

Earthlings may not in the future, especially below 50degrees latitudes, be able to see stars. Yet from an astronomy perspective, science and technology may overcome the problem with space based telescopes and instruments. 

I doubt we will overcome the destruction of rhe ozone layer any time soon though… “NOOKS AND CRANNIES
Q: “How much damage to the ozone layer does an average rocket or satellite do? Once in orbit and presumably having some effect on Earth’s gravity, tides and winds, what difference does a rocket/satellite make to the Earth’s weather patterns in agregate?
jill bennett, london uk
A:
“When solid-fuel rockets launch, they release chlorine gas directly into the stratosphere, where the chlorine reacts with oxygen to form ozone-destroying chlorine oxides. Increased international space launches and the potential commercial space travel boom could mean that rockets will soon emerge as the worst offenders in terms of ozone depletio. Soot and aluminum oxide in rocket oxide depletes upper-atmosphere ozone, which shields the Earth’s surface from damaging ultraviolet rays. In 1987, an international agreement limited releases of chloroflurocarbon chemicals, or CFC’s, that led to ozone depletion. Rocket launches by the year 2050 could result in more ozone destruction than was ever realized by CFCs,” says study co-author Darin Toohey of the University of Colorado, in a statement.”
Answer by GOTETI MVSR KRISHNA, TADEPALLIGUDEM INDIA
https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-203604,00.html
*

I could not find the destruction wrought by six tonnes of aluminium on the upper atmosphere, nor what ‘de-orbiting- actually means in practice. Luckily Prof Darin W. Toohey may soon inform us. SlaceX is changing to stainless steel and methane, wo add black soot and i4on into the mix as well.
*

astrocolonialism-big-tech-stealing-the-night-sky-from-humans
…”after five years of operation, which will require de-orbiting an average 25 satellites per day, about six tons of material”…

Darin W. Toohey
PROFESSOR ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC SCIENCES

Watch: Understanding Climate Change and the Redistribution of Heat, Winds, Water, and Worries (U.S. Center, Doha Conference, November 2012)  
Watch: The Canary in the Coal Mine: Why the Stratosphere is Still Relevant (U.S. Dept. of State, April 2012)
Read: The Coming Surge of Rocket Emissions (EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, September 24, 2019)
Watch: Elon Musk: CO2 Saint or Sinner? (Financial Times, News in Depth, June 18, 2021)
https://atoc.colorado.edu/~toohey/
*

“Starlink satellites might soon be involved in 90% of close encounters between two spacecraft in low Earth orbit.”
https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-collision-alerts-on-the-rise
*

All the usual hyper rich megalomaniacs, + Samsung and others to come;

“Starlink;
“On 15 October 2019, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) submitted filings to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on SpaceX’s behalf to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites to supplement the 12,000 Starlink satellites already approved by the FCC.[10] By 2021, SpaceX had entered into agreements with Google Cloud Platformand Microsoft Azure to provide on-ground compute and networking services for Starlink.[11]

“Astronomers have raised concerns about the constellations’ effect on ground-based astronomy and how the satellites will add to an already jammed orbital environment.[12][13]

“SpaceX has attempted to mitigate these concerns by implementing several upgrades to Starlink satellites aimed at reducing their brightness during operation.[14] The satellites are equipped with krypton-fueled Hall thrusters which allow them to de-orbit at the end of their life. Additionally, the satellites are designed to autonomously avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data.[15]

Competition and market effects
[JQ – care to comment please.]

“On 27 April 2020, Musk announced that the company would introduce a new sunshade designed to reduce the brightness of Starlink satellites.[121] As of 15 October 2020, over 200 Starlink satellites have a sunshade. An October 2020 analysis found them to be only marginally fainter than DarkSat.[261] A January 2021 study pinned the brightness at 31% of the original design.[262]”

“Space debris
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink
*

Q: How do I –  positively – inform my teenager about this please.

I suggest a group post/s by the crookedtimber crew. I liked watching the Space Lab, I loathe seeing Starlink.

And Paint it Black as the theme song for for the first global public campaign and first global class action when StarLink out Rusians the Rusians stupidity, due to “The Kessler syndrome (also called theKessler effect,[1][2] collisional cascading, orablation cascade), proposed by NASAscientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) due to space pollution is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade in which each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome
*
Smile, your on StarLink data!

8

nastywoman 12.05.21 at 7:48 am

and it’s a bit… strange – as everywhere in the world the war between THE Vaccinated and THE Un-Vaccinated is waging –
and in Germany even the Variant of ‘Querficker’ for ‘Querdenker’ was trending –
that of all places a Crooked Timber has tp say so little about –
‘THE real Virus’?

How come guys?

Y’all can’t be… be… ‘bothered’?
(philosophically?)

9

nastywoman 12.05.21 at 10:09 am

AND if they would have read my mind –
this Sunday –
On the 5th od December
The German ‘World on Sunday’
had
‘Den Riß’ –
on it’s front page –
and how the (real) Virus is tearing (even) Germany apart –
OR
better said – the fight about the vaccination –
and somewhere I heard that der Riß goes even through my homeland America – and family members have become ‘deadly enemies’ –
and all of it because of the unbelievable stupidity of the… the… ‘Querficker’?

Right?
(Wingy-Winky?)

10

nastywoman 12.06.21 at 9:33 am

On the other hand –
‘The New York Times: U.S. Covid Deaths Get Even Redder
The brief version: The gap in Covid’s death toll between red and blue America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point. In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened. Some conservative writers have tried to claim that the gap may stem from regional differences in weather or age, but those arguments fall apart under scrutiny. (If weather or age were a major reason, the pattern would have begun to appear last year.) The true explanation is straightforward: The vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe Covid, and almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults. (Leonhardt, 11/8)’

Comments on this entry are closed.