The nil nisi stuff refers, of course, to the recently departed. Once a modicum of polite time has passed they're open, again, to critique. Which brings us to David Graeber. His thing about bullshit jobs was, well bullshit. Because he misunderstood the Keynes essay that was his starting point.
In The Times:
He argued that the working population should have more free time, pointing out that as far back as 1930 the economist John Maynard Keynes had said that by 2000 most people would be working a 15-hour week because of technological advances. What went wrong? “Technological unemployment, as he called it, did happen,” explained Graeber. “People have been talking about the rise of the robots, saying it’s nonsense — people have been saying that for years. But actually it did happen; it’s just that we made up jobs for people to seem to be working.”
Well, no. And as it happens I have, Blue Peter style, one I made earlier pointing out why:
I have to admit to being rather amused by David Graeber. He's an anthropologist who teaches at my own Alma Mater, the London School of Economics. For all I know he may be a very good anthropologist. It's not a subject I know much about so it would be difficult for me to judge. However, Graeber does so want to tell us all about economic matters, and there I can judge at least some of this claims. And if we're honest about it usually he would have been better...
The European Union - or the law it imposes at least, it's not certain that they grasp what they've done - has decided that Facebook's business model is not to be allowed here. OK. Facebook, in return, has said well, that's our business model. Don't like it we'll not operate here. And we do, oh so much, really, oooooh, so much, hope that Facebook carries through on this.
Facebook has threatened to pull its social media platforms from Europe if it is forced to stop transferring users’ data to the US.
The technology company warned that more than 410m people may lose access to its services, after the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) suggested it would enforce a European Court of Justice decision that such transfers of data break EU law.
The DPC issued a preliminary order earlier this month
“In the event that the applicant were subject to a complete suspension...
The Financial Conduct Authority has a bad case of the screaming abdabs here. They're insisting that there should be no introductory offers on insurance contracts.
That's not quite how they're putting it of course, instead they seem to think that it's naughty that new customers pay a lower price than those who simply roll over their contract with the one insurer over the years. Their claim is that this will save people lots on their insurance. Of course, it'll make no difference in aggregate at all. It's just change the mix of marketing costs.
Anyone renewing their home or motor insurance should pay no more than they would as a new customer, under a proposed shake-up of the sector.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the "radical" reforms would save consumers £3.7bn over 10 years.
If adopted, the plans would see customers, old and new, buying on the same channel getting the...
This is a losing argument:
The climate crisis will sweep away my country if the world doesn't keep its promises
Now is a time for courage. It will take sacrifices from everyone for us all to survive, the president of the Marshall Islands writes
Just for the avoidance of doubt let's stipulate that climate change really is going to sink the islands. Sure, there are causes to doubt it. Pacific sea levels don't seem to have changed much. Coral atolls do in fact grow, the height of the coral tends to be regulated by the sea level. But leave all that aside. We'll take the statement of the being washed away by car fumes as being correct.
The thing we need to know is what sacrifices?
Say it costs a dollar, $1, to change our ways so that the Marshall Islands survive. Well, yes, OK, why the hell not? Say it costs...
Orwell made the one big mistake in 1984 - insisting that language could indeed be changed so that bad thoughts literally couldn't be thought. It's an excellent literary device of course but it gets language the wrong way around. We create it in order to be able to communicate. Thus, if a language doesn't contain the concept we wish to communicate then we invent the words to do so. Equally, if a concept does exist then a manner of communicating it will.
Which is where Nesrine Malik is going wrong here:
The terms have been subject to a successful rebranding exercise that started on the right, but then leapfrogged into the mainstream. As notions that began as efforts to redress imbalances in society, challenge embedded power structures, and organise effectively against them, the terminology of equality has since been savaged. “Woke”, a call to stay alert to injustices in society, is...