You can say this for capitalism. It’s a civilising influence.
Back in the day, when people wanted to demonstrate their power, they’d sack a few local villages, slaughter the menfolk, and hang the plundered booty from the ramparts.
The modern-day descendants of these megalomaniacs are calling for more market research, making the logistics budget lean, and driving a Mercedes.
It could be a lot worse. Demonstrating your power by compelling a factory-full of Germans (with compulsory superannuation and health insurance) to do eight-hour days until your new SLK is ready is not such an ill.
But as our civilisation become more civilised, our moral quandaries grow more subtle. Continue reading Rolls Royce Drivers are Baby Killers
Even though the Metcard is probably the last functional vestige of the public transport system, it is to be severed. Its replacement is a malformed, grossly over-priced, hideous new appendage.
Maybe I’m being a bit unfair. I don’t know if the new system will work or not. But I have my doubts… Continue reading Flaky Myki
Melbourne is in the midst of an epidemic of racial violence. Maybe.
In recent times, a number of Indian people have been attacked. Last week Nitin Garg, a 21-year-old Indian man was killed in Yarraville.
I’ll admit it. Australia is racist. Let’s go back to Cronulla beach and the southern cross supermen. There’s enough racism in the city and suburbs to provide for a racially motivated attack.
The circumstantial evidence is circling this event like a pack of ravenous sharks. Are we going to let the narrative of racial hatred consume this latest event? or does logic demand that we see if we can wrest it from its jaws? Continue reading Racial Violence
Bling isn’t for everyone. The Atlantic reports that University of Chicago economists found that black families spent 25 % more on BMWs, finger-rings and Yves Saint Laurent than a white family of the same demographic.
They tested this finding out in a bunch of other circumstances. They found rich white people in South Carolina spent far more on bling than those in California. A theory started to emerge.
Conspicuous consumption is stronger among people from social groups that are on average, poorer. It’s why Jay-Z video’s have Rolls Royces in them. He’s from the projects. It might explain why the Chinese are so keen to buy cars. It could even explain why, back in the day this lady’s great-great-great-grandfather thought it would be totally sweet to have a hat made of gold. Suck on that, peasants!
Continue reading # Bling-a-Ding-Ding #
Anarchy comes with a price. Lawyers, economists and political scientists believe this. This is what drives the congresses and senates and cabinets and presidents to make laws.
Continue reading The price of anarchy / The magic of roundabouts
Christmas. The time of goodwill to all is in reality a great boon for the forces of stress, unhappiness and unmet expectations.
One source expressed their yuletide sentiments thus:
Do they expect this to continue for ever? The dread, the hate, the boredom? Every year, until we die?
You could deck a lot of halls with that much ennui. Continue reading Thomas the Grinch Engine