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Old 10-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #31
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Not at all. It worked for decades with a positive savings rate. It's only in recent years that it's changed.



Because you're excluding investment for no reason?

Investment is savings. When "savings rate" is used, it's not about bank accounts, but net worth. Savings accounts are for cash flow, not real savings; I'm talking about true investment in personal and household net worth.



You're conflating investment and speculation - they're two distinctly different things (despite working through the same financial mechanisms). Investment is the growth of wealth through returns on production profits. Speculation is the growth of wealth through realized profit on perceived increases in market value.

To be simplistic - Warren Buffett invests, Gordon Gekko speculates.
No, I think Wall St confused the two and dragged the rest of us along with them ANYONE who puts money into an investment vehicle (stock, bond, etc) is speculating to some degree, hoping that they bought low and will be able to sell high. The only difference between Buffet and Gekko is timeline.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #32
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Unless Uncle Sugar pays the tab.
Then your complaint is with the service selector, rather than the service provider. In other words, not the fault of the corporation and simply bad decision-making by the government.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:51 PM   #33
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yeah, though I think you may be mistaking electronics for technology. The spring tech was well done, as well as the gene-hacking.
That's true, but those things aren't even really focuses of the novel: they are there for sure, and relevant, but more in terms of establishing the plot, rather than driving it. Unlike, say, William Gibson, where technology is a significant driver of plot/thematic exploration.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:51 PM   #34
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Se edit, sorry
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:52 PM   #35
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That's true, but those things aren't even really focuses of the novel: they are there for sure, and relevant, but more in terms of establishing the plot, rather than driving it. Unlike, say, William Gibson, where technology is a significant driver of plot/thematic exploration.
Agreed. But I tend to like that sort of thing, versus something like Idoru where the whole plot was based around the tech and its implications.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:54 PM   #36
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I think a closer look at (specifically) the Egyptian protests would say otherwise. And to some extent the Green movement in Iran. Mostly middle class folks pissed off about how their lives are being run.
Except those weren't about economics. They were/are protesting oppressive governmental regimes. Governments that restricted basic freedoms, openly used military/police power as a means of effecting policy, etc. Again, there's no parallel in the US.

As much as people want to complain about the abuses of the police or the FBI or the IRS or the FDA, government power in the US is almost universally used to benefit the people. Our police and military are apolitical. There are no fiefdoms of power that influence elections, there are no secret groups grabbing people in the night. The current protests couldn't even happen in the countries you mention (in the case of Egypt, they couldn't have for most of the last 30 years - that's why they were so surprising). There'd be curfews and dogs and soldiers on the streets.


I didn't say the middle class couldn't be the basis of a successful reform movement. I said they couldn't be the basis when the grievances are economic. The educated middle class is primed to resist an oppressive government; they may be the most suited to doing so, in fact. That fight is an ideological fight, a battle of principles.

An economic fight requires hunger, it requires desperation...the middle class is too protective of its comfort for that fight. An authoritarian government represents a true threat. Economics especially this specific situation)? Their comfort isn't truly threatened. Hell, half of them are employed by the corporations they're protesting.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #37
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Agreed. But I tend to like that sort of thing, versus something like Idoru where the whole plot was based around the tech and its implications.
It's the original deviation between the two SFs.

Science Fiction: someone writing about technology: the 'science' has to be the focus, thus resulting in a poor story.

Speculative Fiction:someone's writing involving technology.

I find it funny that most book stores have a 'Science Fiction' section, when 'Science Fiction' is a criticism, and has been used a pejorative phrase since the 1900s.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:03 PM   #38
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ANYONE who puts money into an investment vehicle (stock, bond, etc) is speculating to some degree, hoping that they bought low and will be able to sell high.
A guppy and a Great White are both fish, but I'd only try and put one in my bowl.

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The only difference between Buffet and Gekko is timeline.
Could not disagree more.

Investment (especially as Buffett frames it) is about purchasing a part of the company. It's about recognizing the value of what the company does and the value in how that company is run. It's the market mechanism of rewarding a company through a financial demonstration of trust. It's about the long term - about a well run company increasing its value and rewarding those who've joined them.

Speculation is about the short term. It's gambling, but instead of horses it's financial vehicles. The desire is not to build wealth, the desire is to extract wealth.


One creates economic growth, the other creates economic booms (and there is no boom without a bust).
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #39
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'Science Fiction' is a criticism, and has been used a pejorative phrase since the 1900s.
By whom?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #40
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wrote too much good stuff
Disagree- Egypt in particular was pushed by a youth and middle class protesting government repression AND corruption. They wondered why all this natural gas wealth was going to a hand picked few amongst Mubaraks cronies, and not benefiting society as a whole, through improved education, health care, infrastructure, etc. Then when they tried to complain, or elect some one new, they got repressed. You cannot separate economics and politics.

re: no parallel- Interesting article about a massive donation to the NYPD by JP Morgan Chase. Sure this was months ago, but it does "give the appearance of evil" to paraphrase the good book. Linky (Also freely admitting it's hardly an unbiased source, but the donation DID occur)

re: investing: Like I said, timeline- both want to make money, and speculate that they will. Now I will say Buffet follows a different ETHICAL tack in his speculation, but both essentially want the same thing.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:13 PM   #41
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It's the original deviation between the two SFs.
Yup. Even my handle should give you an idea which I prefer


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I find it funny that most book stores have a 'Science Fiction' section, when 'Science Fiction' is a criticism, and has been used a pejorative phrase since the 1900s.
Also looking for a reference I have never heard it used pejoratively.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #42
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By whom?
Some critics off the top of my head/with my resources withing 5 minutes of double checking.

Martin Amis, several times (before he went totally crazy) specifically in discussing Jurassic Park, IIRC. Adam Roberts wrote a good piece called 'defining Science Fiction' that outlines some of the more contentious contemporary problems. Writing that Science Fiction is 'nothing more than a marketing phrase' and that 'a body of literature built on so narrow a base of premises becomes repetitive and crude' (when discussing common SF tropes).

Gywenth Jones is another, who argued Science Fiction was about a writer 'setting up equipment in a laboratory of the mind' and made a distinction between logical/objective/rational approaches (science fiction) as inferior to artistic exploration, that explored realms of science's possibilities.

Damien Broderick has been hyper critical (even delightfully critical) of Science Fiction's language, often lampooning writings and blurbs. He's part of a "larger critical unease about SF as a genre, that it does not provide readers with many of the things that serious literature does." He went on to say there are, of course, exceptions to that, but most SF novels fall pathetically short.

Speculative/Imaginative fiction, however, has no such stigma/critical unease/uptight wankery.

Note: these distinctions are critiques usually only come up in definitional contexts. (shoots self)
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #43
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Oh! I found a great quote from the Adam Roberts article mentioned above:

"Science Fiction's tendency to fetishise technology, particularly military technology, and its reliance on stock character and plot that are flat and caricaturing limits its engagement with any meaningful comprehension."
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:28 PM   #44
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Also looking for a reference I have never heard it used pejoratively.
Unless you're reading Literary criticism of genres I really wouldn't think you would!
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #45
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Unless you're reading Literary criticism of genres I really wouldn't think you would!
Um yeah, not so much

Then again, don't "literary critics" by definition have a beef with Sci Fi?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #46
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Note: these distinctions are critiques usually only come up in definitional contexts. (shoots self)
That's what I figured.

It's akin to people arguing over whether a band belongs to a certain genre or not, as if the distinction has any meaning in regards to the music.

I can see the value in distinguishing between the substance of the two definitions, but given popular usage, there's as much point in arguing about it as there is arguing that Nirvana and Pearl Jam weren't "alternative" since they sold millions of records and were on the radio all the time...

Stumping for a static definition of a term outside a technical context is always a waste of time.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #47
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Disagree- Egypt in particular was pushed by a youth and middle class protesting government repression AND corruption. They wondered why all this natural gas wealth was going to a hand picked few amongst Mubaraks cronies, and not benefiting society as a whole, through improved education, health care, infrastructure, etc. Then when they tried to complain, or elect some one new, they got repressed. You cannot separate economics and politics.
You can as to the driving force behind the popular movement. Why didn't the Egyptian middle class move a decade ago, or two decades ago? Why did the middle class "all of a sudden" reject the rule of the Ayatollahs? The repression became a threat to them...

In the US, the economic situation isn't a threat to the people who are actually protesting. They're not threatened, they're "somewhat put out".

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re: investing: Like I said, timeline- both want to make money, and speculate that they will. Now I will say Buffet follows a different ETHICAL tack in his speculation, but both essentially want the same thing.
Again, cannot disagree more.

You're reducing it down to "they both want to make money in a financial market" as if that's a sufficient definition to describe dozens of different markets, vehicles, and approaches. To my mind, that reduction strips all substantive meaning.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:50 PM   #48
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re: Egypt- Because a decade ago, they were both A. doing better (lack of competition from other low cost manufacturers) and B. Content to buy into the "It's all Israel's fault" storyline. Similar thing in Iran- they see "everyone else" doing well, but prices are rising, subsidies are going away, and businesses are closing due to the new economic realities of globalization. Things change. If you go back to Tunisia, the initial protest that started the whole thing was a young guy who couldn't get a job (due to political/economic stagnation), and couldn't afford to pay off the corrupt officials to license his fruit cart (corruption and repression caused by economics). So after getting shaken down by the cops, he lit himself on fire. Factor in the Wikileaks revelations (rather confirmations) of ruling power malfeasance, and it became a revolution.

re: investing- see, I find it lends clarity Why do you invest? To make more money. Now you can be a hostile take over corporate raiding douche or you can take a long view of trying to fund companies that provide value, but int he end, you are betting your money on the idea that you can make more, whether through steady growth or dismemberment.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:51 PM   #49
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Um yeah, not so much

Then again, don't "literary critics" by definition have a beef with Sci Fi?
Not necessarily. Only the ones who are pompous dickheads.

Take something like Dracula, or the Shining, enjoyable, great books, but deeply flawed. A lot of critics love both, but also point out their flaws. Just like a lot of critics really enjoy SF, but can't help noticing the issues the genre/specific texts have.

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Stumping for a static definition of a term outside a technical context is always a waste of time.
What's history ?
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #50
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I'm currently at Red Lobster (all you can eat shrimp and cheesy biscuits) and I'm at the bar. I'm sitting next to one of the stupidest people in history. If you've seen family guy and know the character Gillian, that's what this woman sounds like. She's here with a guy who has to be 350 lbs. Minimum. That crazy 'red lobster money' must be keeping her happy.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:19 PM   #51
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mmm.... cheesy biscuits..... We do agree on some things
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:44 PM   #52
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re: Egypt- Because a decade ago, they were both A. doing better (lack of competition from other low cost manufacturers) and B. Content to buy into the "It's all Israel's fault" storyline. Similar thing in Iran- they see "everyone else" doing well, but prices are rising, subsidies are going away, and businesses are closing due to the new economic realities of globalization.
Right. It wasn't a threat before, now it is. The vast majority of people protesting on Wall Street aren't threatened in the slightest. As I said, the people who are truly desperate are out looking for jobs...once enough folks believe there is no point in looking for a job, then it'll be an issue; but we're far away from that.

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re: investing- see, I find it lends clarity Why do you invest? To make more money. Now you can be a hostile take over corporate raiding douche or you can take a long view of trying to fund companies that provide value, but int he end, you are betting your money on the idea that you can make more, whether through steady growth or dismemberment.
Again, to me that seems like a gross simplification that ignores any number of substantive differences (especially when the whole issue is the creation of booms and bubbles and only one of them does that).

You might as well be saying "Tigers and Great White Sharks are both predatory animals, the only difference is that one is a fish and the other isn't"

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What's history ?
Bunk.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:28 AM   #53
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Disagree vehemently. "Of the people, by the people, for the people." Again, I respect the legitimate right of companies to lobby for their interests, I just think the pendulum has swung too far in their favor. In so many ways I think the modern Labor movement is an abject failure BUT I also think they managed to keep at least some "working mans" issues on the front burners. Their decline has left a void.
Who is "they"?
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:08 AM   #54
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Those demands are hysterical. The kind of thing that would be really easy to logically rebut, except that the people that wrote them are immune to logic.


I'm sure I'll get to hear all about these great demands come family Christmas.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #55
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This is going to be a good day because I fucking said so.

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Those demands are hysterical. The kind of thing that would be really easy to logically rebut, except that the people that wrote them are immune to logic.


I'm sure I'll get to hear all about these great demands come family Christmas.
As was pointed out, they're not an actual official list of demands. Even the people supposedly in charge of this thing recognize that as a complete clusterfuck and don't want anything to do with it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:59 AM   #56
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Concerning Occupy Wall Street, I am in agreement that the people on Wall Street are abusers and manipulators of a system not originally designed to serve them, and it's sucking up our resources for some captain of the financial industry's pocket. I guess. As far as the rest of the thing there, the issue isn't well-focused with this 'how fair or unfair things are generally' idea. Life is not inherently fair, and the notion of "rights" is an ungainly one at best. You don't have "rights", we rule ourselves by what we perceive as "ethics", that venerable county in England that lies north of "Thuthex" ("Sussex"...).

Things get out of hand given a chance. Unfortunately I don't have time to study it really, I have to go to work. I have kids to pay attention to, lessons to pay for, a wife who wants to talk to me, etc. So there we go- the majority of people who can decipher the issue are probably doing the same thing as I am...

And I have to find our Canon digital camera so my elder kid can be a part of the school journalism program.

I wish this kind of issue would be dealt with properly, because I could really get on the front lines of the right agenda.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:07 AM   #57
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So I've been looking at my financial situation in light of all this 99% stuff.

I was unemployed for 13 months (March 2009-April 2010). I was unemployed because I stupidly stuck with a job that I knew wasn't sustainable until they laid me off.

As of this morning, the sum total of all my debts (student loan, credit accounts, a medical collection, and vehicle) are just under $12K at present. Most of the credit card debt happened while I was unemployed. I've made some mistakes and bad decisions but I accept them and am not expecting anyone else to cover for them.

When I started this job, I was making $35K, not horribly out of line with what some of "the 99%" say isn't livable. I was able to pay bills, buy down debt, put some cash in savings, AND enjoy my life. I also live in one of the more expensive suburban areas of Indianapolis. My salary wouldn't allow me to live comfortably in New York, DC, or Chicago but that's why I don't live there. After busting my ass to be the best at what I do, I got a promotion and a substantial raise.

By the end of the year, two credit accounts and the collection will be paid. By the end of next year, the only thing I should have left is a balance on one credit card that I closed because they started charging fees. I have two open credit cards, one with a $1000 emergency limit and the other exclusively for work. That's it.

I'll drive my truck until it dies, doing the maintenance tasks myself.
I'll never pay to upgrade a cell phone.
My personal laptop is right about 5 years old and still serves my purposes.
My TV is a 4 year old 32" LCD that also serves my purposes.
My one "extravagance" is high quality food which is a big part of why I'm healthy.

According to their definitions, I suppose I'm part of "the 99%". I'm not financially independent but I'm not living paycheck to paycheck either, at least not always. When I am, it's because I decided to throw an extra chunk of cash toward a debt.

All of this leads me to wonder: can I opt out of being part of "the 99%"?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #58
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well,
the initial idea is something akin to earth meets dead meadow meets mono.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:27 AM   #59
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All of this leads me to wonder: can I opt out of being part of "the 99%"?
I believe it's like being an organ donor. By default your out, and you have to opt in.

I could be wrong.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #60
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I believe it's like being an organ donor. By default your out, and you have to opt in.

I could be wrong.
That's not the way these people are making it seem. They're including everyone who isn't part of that top 1%. A number I don't even really understand, truthfully.
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