Ideas of What Is or Isn’t ‘Earned’ Will Define This Era of Politics


As the old saying goes, ‘A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’, and this was the idea which underpinned how we all thought about wages, work and social progression. You get what you deserve, what you earn, and that’s how you get along in life. However, in today’s Britain, in this economy, these ideas have been skewed and subverted, and the fight to resurrect the principle of something being ‘earned’ is being fought across all sorts of political battlefields.


Take one issue: welfare spending. By rights, it shouldn’t be a major issue, because benefit spending largely goes to pensioners, not the unemployed. Yet people across Britain are positively apoplectic about their ‘hard-earned’ money going to ‘scroungers’. What gets people going is the idea that those on benefits haven’t earned what they are getting. No matter what you say to them about the underlying social contract, giving others a chance, or any other arguments for social security spending, this point of principle still continues to fuel the argument.

We see it too in debates over sky-high salaries in elite industries. Bankers get millions in bonuses, footballers earn thousands every week: we all know the clichés. The market says this is what they are worth, but the general public don’t really believe that. Do they earn this money, really? Can anyone do a job that genuinely, demonstrably, should produce that kind of reward? And what does it say about our society that the highest earners do so in industries that are often corrupt, exploitative or lacking in what we might consider ‘value’?

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Bible. Gospels. Selections. Latin. Gospel readings for Holy Week : manuscript, [ca. 1510-ca. 1515].
MS Typ 252
Houghton Library, Harvard University

Bible. Gospels. Selections. Latin. Gospel readings for Holy Week : manuscript, [ca. 1510-ca. 1515].

MS Typ 252

Houghton Library, Harvard University

Dramatic change is coming to Cerro Armazones, however – for in a few weeks, the 10,000ft mountain is going to have its top knocked off. “We are going to blast it with dynamite and then carry off the rubble,” says engineer Gird Hudepohl. “We will take about 80ft off the top of the mountain to create a plateau – and when we have done that, we will build the world’s biggest telescope there.” (via The telescope big enough to spot signs of alien life on other planets | Science | The Observer)

Dramatic change is coming to Cerro Armazones, however – for in a few weeks, the 10,000ft mountain is going to have its top knocked off. “We are going to blast it with dynamite and then carry off the rubble,” says engineer Gird Hudepohl. “We will take about 80ft off the top of the mountain to create a plateau – and when we have done that, we will build the world’s biggest telescope there.” (via The telescope big enough to spot signs of alien life on other planets | Science | The Observer)

Poop With 10 Million Times More Iron Nicols’ team analyzed 27 fecal samples from four species of baleen whales, . “He found that on average whale faeces had 10 million times as much iron as Antarctic seawater.” Basically, that’s iron concentrate. And strategically emitted — which would have to be up near the ocean surface, where the sun shines — that extra iron would create blooms of phytoplankton, which would then be eaten by krill, leading to a boost in the krill population, leading to … yes … bigger whale dinners! (via The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR)

Poop With 10 Million Times More Iron Nicols’ team analyzed 27 fecal samples from four species of baleen whales, . “He found that on average whale faeces had 10 million times as much iron as Antarctic seawater.” Basically, that’s iron concentrate. And strategically emitted — which would have to be up near the ocean surface, where the sun shines — that extra iron would create blooms of phytoplankton, which would then be eaten by krill, leading to a boost in the krill population, leading to … yes … bigger whale dinners! (via The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR)

Being a geek is all about your own personal level of enthusiasm, not how your level of enthusiasm measures up to others. If you like something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp, if hearing a stranger fondly mention your favorite book or game is instant grounds for friendship, if you have ever found yourself bouncing out of your chair because something you learned blew your mind so hard that you physically could not contain yourself — you are a geek

The Mary Sue defines what it means to be a geek, a beautiful definition that falls (un)surprisingly close to what it means to find purpose and do what you love.

( It’s Okay To Be Smart)

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THE HUMAN MEMORY The human brain, one of the most complex living structures in the universe, is the seat of memory The human brain, one of the most complex living structures in the universe, is the seat of memory Since time immemorial, humans have tried to understand what memory is, how it works and why it goes wrong. It is an important part of what makes us truly human, and yet it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes. The popular image of memory is as a kind of tiny filing cabinet full of individual memory folders in which information is stored away, or perhaps as a neural super-computer of huge capacity and speed. However, in the light of modern biological and psychological knowledge, these metaphors may not be entirely useful and, today, experts believe that memory is in fact far more complex and subtle than that (via The Human Memory - what it is, how it works and how it can go wrong)

THE HUMAN MEMORY The human brain, one of the most complex living structures in the universe, is the seat of memory The human brain, one of the most complex living structures in the universe, is the seat of memory Since time immemorial, humans have tried to understand what memory is, how it works and why it goes wrong. It is an important part of what makes us truly human, and yet it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes. The popular image of memory is as a kind of tiny filing cabinet full of individual memory folders in which information is stored away, or perhaps as a neural super-computer of huge capacity and speed. However, in the light of modern biological and psychological knowledge, these metaphors may not be entirely useful and, today, experts believe that memory is in fact far more complex and subtle than that (via The Human Memory - what it is, how it works and how it can go wrong)

architectural-review:

Moji - Aldo Rossi, 1994 

Professor Sabbioni, whom I particularly admired, discouraged me from making architecture, saying that my drawings looked like those of a bricklayer or a rural contractor who threw a stone to indicate approximately where a window was to be placed. This observation filled me with joy, and today I try to recover that felicity of drawing which was confused with inexperience and stupidity, and which has subsequently characterized my work
A .Rossi

architectural-review:

Moji - Aldo Rossi, 1994 

Professor Sabbioni, whom I particularly admired, discouraged me from making architecture, saying that my drawings looked like those of a bricklayer or a rural contractor who threw a stone to indicate approximately where a window was to be placed. This observation filled me with joy, and today I try to recover that felicity of drawing which was confused with inexperience and stupidity, and which has subsequently characterized my work

A .Rossi

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