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What do IR scholars do?

Eitan_Zohar
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11/28/2013 5:51:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Are there any real career paths for them other than government work, or do they just produce papers and books for academia like philosophers?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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11/28/2013 8:23:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Scholars in the field of international relations do much more than produce fodder for academia, as your OP suggested. Rather, every respected figure in the IR field has his own officially apportioned area of Saturn to which he must travel at least once in the course of his career - though the atmosphere is of a damnable nature, they use their books and research papers to physically craft their helmets. But of course only those with a PhD have knowledge of such a difficult skill.

Hope this helps :)
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Eitan_Zohar
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11/28/2013 10:06:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 8:23:06 PM, 000ike wrote:
Scholars in the field of international relations do much more than produce fodder for academia, as your OP suggested. Rather, every respected figure in the IR field has his own officially apportioned area of Saturn to which he must travel at least once in the course of his career - though the atmosphere is of a damnable nature, they use their books and research papers to physically craft their helmets. But of course only those with a PhD have knowledge of such a difficult skill.

Hope this helps :)

Google doesn't give me anything.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Eitan_Zohar
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11/28/2013 10:09:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I would play, but I don't want to encourage you right now.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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11/30/2013 10:15:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 5:51:26 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Are there any real career paths for them other than government work, or do they just produce papers and books for academia like philosophers?

They drink. They drink a lot.
Tsar of DDO
Eitan_Zohar
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11/30/2013 10:16:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 10:15:55 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/28/2013 5:51:26 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Are there any real career paths for them other than government work, or do they just produce papers and books for academia like philosophers?

They drink. They drink a lot.

Y U NO?!!?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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11/30/2013 10:32:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 10:16:48 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 10:15:55 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/28/2013 5:51:26 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Are there any real career paths for them other than government work, or do they just produce papers and books for academia like philosophers?

They drink. They drink a lot.

Y U NO?!!?

I'm getting hammered right now.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.
Tsar of DDO
Eitan_Zohar
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11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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11/30/2013 3:21:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm not sure this is the right question. There's something hidden beneath the question "what can one do with this degree", or "what kind of contribution can this person make", which is the suggestion that one must always be measuring oneself, must always be at work--improving, organizing, cultivating, self-governing, actualizing, performing, filling a role, taking a job, earning a living, growing the economy--and it seems like this kind of conception is always demanding that someone do or be something specific and predetermined as valuable. There is often a great deal of worry over isolating people from their freedom to do some specific thing--to smoke, to spend their money, to consume this or that drug, to marry someone of the same sex--but markedly less attention given to the estrangement from one's freedom not to do or be something, to conserve and nurse the potential (a problem all the more insidious for the incapacity of frameworks concerned with freedom from constraints on action to apprehend it, much less confront it). In a sense, the question "What can an IR scholar do?" really means something like "How can the IR scholar be efficient, a good contributor, an effective instrument, a productive source of work?" It seems like such a question strangles scholarship by placing economic constraints on it (it is not by accident that people are nowadays reduced, in the marketplace, to "human capital"), by making a "cash value", so to speak, its condition and justification.
Noumena
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12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Noumena
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12/1/2013 12:26:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 3:21:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I'm not sure this is the right question. There's something hidden beneath the question "what can one do with this degree", or "what kind of contribution can this person make", which is the suggestion that one must always be measuring oneself, must always be at work--improving, organizing, cultivating, self-governing, actualizing, performing, filling a role, taking a job, earning a living, growing the economy--and it seems like this kind of conception is always demanding that someone do or be something specific and predetermined as valuable. There is often a great deal of worry over isolating people from their freedom to do some specific thing--to smoke, to spend their money, to consume this or that drug, to marry someone of the same sex--but markedly less attention given to the estrangement from one's freedom not to do or be something, to conserve and nurse the potential (a problem all the more insidious for the incapacity of frameworks concerned with freedom from constraints on action to apprehend it, much less confront it). In a sense, the question "What can an IR scholar do?" really means something like "How can the IR scholar be efficient, a good contributor, an effective instrument, a productive source of work?" It seems like such a question strangles scholarship by placing economic constraints on it (it is not by accident that people are nowadays reduced, in the marketplace, to "human capital"), by making a "cash value", so to speak, its condition and justification.

The beautiful bear gets it ^
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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12/1/2013 12:40:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Irresponsible parents. It all falls back on them.
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/1/2013 12:41:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 12:40:01 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Irresponsible parents. It all falls back on them.

Irresponsible parents reflect an irresponsible culture. Strike the root bruh.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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12/1/2013 12:43:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 12:41:57 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:40:01 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Irresponsible parents. It all falls back on them.

Irresponsible parents reflect an irresponsible culture. Strike the root bruh.

#quotefortruth
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/1/2013 12:44:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 12:43:00 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:41:57 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:40:01 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Irresponsible parents. It all falls back on them.

Irresponsible parents reflect an irresponsible culture. Strike the root bruh.

#quotefortruth

#scholar_and_a_gentleman
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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12/1/2013 5:09:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Whoopsie! Did I go too far???????

/sarcasm
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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12/1/2013 5:14:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/30/2013 3:21:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I'm not sure this is the right question. There's something hidden beneath the question "what can one do with this degree", or "what kind of contribution can this person make", which is the suggestion that one must always be measuring oneself, must always be at work--improving, organizing, cultivating, self-governing, actualizing, performing, filling a role, taking a job, earning a living, growing the economy--and it seems like this kind of conception is always demanding that someone do or be something specific and predetermined as valuable. There is often a great deal of worry over isolating people from their freedom to do some specific thing--to smoke, to spend their money, to consume this or that drug, to marry someone of the same sex--but markedly less attention given to the estrangement from one's freedom not to do or be something, to conserve and nurse the potential (a problem all the more insidious for the incapacity of frameworks concerned with freedom from constraints on action to apprehend it, much less confront it). In a sense, the question "What can an IR scholar do?" really means something like "How can the IR scholar be efficient, a good contributor, an effective instrument, a productive source of work?" It seems like such a question strangles scholarship by placing economic constraints on it (it is not by accident that people are nowadays reduced, in the marketplace, to "human capital"), by making a "cash value", so to speak, its condition and justification.

I don't think you're getting my point. I do have to do something in order to make a living. I don't intend to spend my intellectual life categorizing myself as an "IR scholar;" instead, I prefer to study everything I can (philosophy, history, sociology,etc.) and produce books or works that aren't constrained by a particular field. But if I do happen to get a degree in International Relations (which I'm considering), I'm just wondering what options are available to me.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/1/2013 9:56:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 5:14:03 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 3:21:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I'm not sure this is the right question. There's something hidden beneath the question "what can one do with this degree", or "what kind of contribution can this person make", which is the suggestion that one must always be measuring oneself, must always be at work--improving, organizing, cultivating, self-governing, actualizing, performing, filling a role, taking a job, earning a living, growing the economy--and it seems like this kind of conception is always demanding that someone do or be something specific and predetermined as valuable. There is often a great deal of worry over isolating people from their freedom to do some specific thing--to smoke, to spend their money, to consume this or that drug, to marry someone of the same sex--but markedly less attention given to the estrangement from one's freedom not to do or be something, to conserve and nurse the potential (a problem all the more insidious for the incapacity of frameworks concerned with freedom from constraints on action to apprehend it, much less confront it). In a sense, the question "What can an IR scholar do?" really means something like "How can the IR scholar be efficient, a good contributor, an effective instrument, a productive source of work?" It seems like such a question strangles scholarship by placing economic constraints on it (it is not by accident that people are nowadays reduced, in the marketplace, to "human capital"), by making a "cash value", so to speak, its condition and justification.

I don't think you're getting my point. I do have to do something in order to make a living. I don't intend to spend my intellectual life categorizing myself as an "IR scholar;" instead, I prefer to study everything I can (philosophy, history, sociology,etc.) and produce books or works that aren't constrained by a particular field. But if I do happen to get a degree in International Relations (which I'm considering), I'm just wondering what options are available to me.

hmmm...I originally had a lengthy reply to Cody that I accidentally deleted, which is unfortunate because Eitan here touches upon one point I made, that point being that we are all subject to economic constraints, and that what I deemed the "beast", i.e. societal organizations that are not fully what we would consider "cognizant" or "willful" (government, corporations, universities, etc), are the best way to test the limits of these constraints, even if association with this beast robs us of some of our autonomy.

There is also the issue that we all have material needs and that there is some justification in moralizing that we all bear individual responsibility to take care of these needs somehow. The "beast", and thus association with this beast, has so far been proven to be quite apt at satisfying these needs at minimal "cost".
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
YYW
Posts: 36,250
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12/1/2013 11:09:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 5:09:16 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Whoopsie! Did I go too far???????

/sarcasm

You absolutely went too far, and be damn well admonished to behave yourself in the future.
Tsar of DDO
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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12/1/2013 1:24:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 11:09:19 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/1/2013 5:09:16 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 12/1/2013 12:26:17 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:28:27 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:27:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2013 11:23:50 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
You suck, my friend.

Well, right now I'm sucking down gin and tonics.

How about sucking my cock? Or making a rambling thread about how badly you want to get laid?

Dear god why are children given Internet access?

Whoopsie! Did I go too far???????

/sarcasm

You absolutely went too far, and be damn well admonished to behave yourself in the future.

OK, sorry.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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12/1/2013 3:26:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 9:56:47 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/1/2013 5:14:03 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
I don't think you're getting my point. I do have to do something in order to make a living. I don't intend to spend my intellectual life categorizing myself as an "IR scholar;" instead, I prefer to study everything I can (philosophy, history, sociology,etc.) and produce books or works that aren't constrained by a particular field. But if I do happen to get a degree in International Relations (which I'm considering), I'm just wondering what options are available to me.

hmmm...I originally had a lengthy reply to Cody that I accidentally deleted, which is unfortunate because Eitan here touches upon one point I made, that point being that we are all subject to economic constraints, and that what I deemed the "beast", i.e. societal organizations that are not fully what we would consider "cognizant" or "willful" (government, corporations, universities, etc), are the best way to test the limits of these constraints, even if association with this beast robs us of some of our autonomy.

There is also the issue that we all have material needs and that there is some justification in moralizing that we all bear individual responsibility to take care of these needs somehow. The "beast", and thus association with this beast, has so far been proven to be quite apt at satisfying these needs at minimal "cost".

That depends on what you mean by "cost", of which one could offer several glosses. That one must earn a living, become a "good worker", turn one's work and time into something up for sale, seems to me like a substantial cost. One comes to be compelled to sell hours of living for the sake of surviving, the countless hours of technical training, testing, measuring, and attendant anxieties notwithstanding (consider the recent impetus to submit grade school students to the pressure of applying to university, getting a "productive" degree, of obtaining a career, of being the most skillful, the one who can best compete, and who, as a consequence, is always already under the threat of being made obsolete--it is interesting in this sense that it is less a matter of what one knows, what one can do, than that in which one is certified, that for which one has been subject to tests and evaluations and therefore has an official seal of approval). To sustain something like the hospital, for instance (in which fields there is not really sufficient employment for everyone), there seems almost inevitably to follow the outgrowth of superfluous and mind-numbing industries to which people must sell themselves to subsist. Swaths of people must be cooks, waiters, attendants, manual laborers, assembly-line workers, telemarketers, clerks, bureaucrats, etc., many for ten or more hours a day (particularly if you aren't fortunate enough to live in an affluent country).

In this sense, it is not a question of using work to provide oneself, to meet one's needs, but of positioning labor itself, productivity itself, as the goal (which might explain, in part, why contemporary economics often pays so much panicked attention to whether consumers are consuming enough, whether enough money is being spent, on the question of whether they shouldn't be buying more)--of whether one is performing at maximum output (there are very few skilled jobs, and increasingly few "unskilled" jobs, in which one can only do "enough to get by", enough to meet basic needs, without likely being threatened with replacement or commanded to work harder). Even in the humanities, in the confined world of the university, one must worry about publishing for the sake of publishing, about making a career, earning recognition, etc. It is also only in this sense that one could confuse one's economic function for a social role, for something with which to identify as a member of a community.

What is crucial, I suppose, is not merely that we trade off a bit of autonomy for material sustenance--the cultural image of "making a living", "doing an honest day's work", etc., is the kind of thing which attempts to rob us, not of our freedom to do something else, but of our freedom not to do, to resist, to remain latent, to be not-an-enterprise. What therefore begins as putting one's labor to use to survive, or to master a hobby (like carpentry or brewing beer) becomes, in the last analysis, a radical inability to say, as does Melville's somber scrivener, Bartleby, that one would simply prefer not to.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/1/2013 3:45:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 3:26:09 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 12/1/2013 9:56:47 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/1/2013 5:14:03 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
I don't think you're getting my point. I do have to do something in order to make a living. I don't intend to spend my intellectual life categorizing myself as an "IR scholar;" instead, I prefer to study everything I can (philosophy, history, sociology,etc.) and produce books or works that aren't constrained by a particular field. But if I do happen to get a degree in International Relations (which I'm considering), I'm just wondering what options are available to me.

hmmm...I originally had a lengthy reply to Cody that I accidentally deleted, which is unfortunate because Eitan here touches upon one point I made, that point being that we are all subject to economic constraints, and that what I deemed the "beast", i.e. societal organizations that are not fully what we would consider "cognizant" or "willful" (government, corporations, universities, etc), are the best way to test the limits of these constraints, even if association with this beast robs us of some of our autonomy.

There is also the issue that we all have material needs and that there is some justification in moralizing that we all bear individual responsibility to take care of these needs somehow. The "beast", and thus association with this beast, has so far been proven to be quite apt at satisfying these needs at minimal "cost".

That depends on what you mean by "cost", of which one could offer several glosses. That one must earn a living, become a "good worker", turn one's work and time into something up for sale, seems to me like a substantial cost.

I fully agree with this, which was probably the main reason behind my advocacy of that whole welfare discussion with you in your "bear in a suit" thread.

One comes to be compelled to sell hours of living for the sake of surviving, the countless hours of technical training, testing, measuring, and attendant anxieties notwithstanding (consider the recent impetus to submit grade school students to the pressure of applying to university, getting a "productive" degree, of obtaining a career, of being the most skillful, the one who can best compete, and who, as a consequence, is always already under the threat of being made obsolete--it is interesting in this sense that it is less a matter of what one knows, what one can do, than that in which one is certified, that for which one has been subject to tests and evaluations and therefore has an official seal of approval).

Again, fully agree. For students, I consider universities to be certification organizations - it's in the student's best interests to know the material BEFORE the semester begins. For instructors, I believe the purpose is a split between being administrators of this certification process, and for gaining credibility for their ideas, which typically is a political process where those with the most money are able to fund certain research projects. Graduate students then get "sold" on various ideologies their mentors have which may be based upon nothing other than outright cash payments. Notice "teaching and learning" have nothing to do with my conception...yes, I'm just a tad cynical.

To sustain something like the hospital, for instance (in which fields there is not really sufficient employment for everyone)

I disagree with this. IMHO health care is something that can ostensibly achieve infinite employment, i.e. constant monitoring of patients' health, etc. IMHO the real obstacle to health care is doctors' associations that attempt to make accreditation in the profession extremely exclusionary and thus lucrative for the accredited. IMHO I see it as a kind of cartel. I could be wrong...regardless I have relatives who are MDs and this is the impression I get from them.

...there seems almost inevitably to follow the outgrowth of superfluous and mind-numbing industries to which people must sell themselves to subsist. Swaths of people must be cooks, waiters, attendants, manual laborers, assembly-line workers, telemarketers, clerks, bureaucrats, etc., many for ten or more hours a day (particularly if you aren't fortunate enough to live in an affluent country).

In this sense, it is not a question of using work to provide oneself, to meet one's needs, but of positioning labor itself, productivity itself, as the goal (which might explain, in part, why contemporary economics often pays so much panicked attention to whether consumers are consuming enough, whether enough money is being spent, on the question of whether they shouldn't be buying more)--of whether one is performing at maximum output (there are very few skilled jobs, and increasingly few "unskilled" jobs, in which one can only do "enough to get by", enough to meet basic needs, without likely being threatened with replacement or commanded to work harder).

You are pointing out the supply/demand dynamics of the labor market. I agree that given there is such dynamics at work, for one's livelihood to depend upon such a dynamic seems to be the epitome of Marx's critiques against capitalism, i.e. the marginalization of labor and the alienation of the worker from other workers and even from the work itself (i.e. cook who only manages the beef patties on the grill, or a bureaucrat managing only TPS reports, lol). This was another impetus for my proposal of that welfare plan.

Even in the humanities, in the confined world of the university, one must worry about publishing for the sake of publishing, about making a career, earning recognition, etc. It is also only in this sense that one could confuse one's economic function for a social role, for something with which to identify as a member of a community.

What is crucial, I suppose, is not merely that we trade off a bit of autonomy for material sustenance--the cultural image of "making a living", "doing an honest day's work", etc., is the kind of thing which attempts to rob us, not of our freedom to do something else, but of our freedom not to do, to resist, to remain latent, to be not-an-enterprise. What therefore begins as putting one's labor to use to survive, or to master a hobby (like carpentry or brewing beer) becomes, in the last analysis, a radical inability to say, as does Melville's somber scrivener, Bartleby, that one would simply prefer not to.

Agree.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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12/1/2013 3:54:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I suppose the counterbalance to this rather Marxist view on capitalism is that without this "beast" in place, we don't have "enough" to survive. So, we seek to maximize outcomes in order to maximize our control over the material world. Hence all of this talk about costs and cash value.

Given the inherently competitive world in which we live, the question is not "why do we compete?" but rather "how do we best compete?"
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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12/1/2013 3:55:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 3:54:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
I suppose the counterbalance to this rather Marxist [critique] on capitalism is that without this "beast" in place, we don't have "enough" to survive. So, we seek to maximize outcomes in order to maximize our control over the material world. Hence all of this talk about costs and cash value.

Given the inherently competitive world in which we live, the question is not "why do we compete?" but rather "how do we best compete?"

Corrected. Marx was from what I could tell actually quite appreciative of the benefits of capitalism, in addition to the various critiques he had of it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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12/1/2013 4:25:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 3:45:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/1/2013 3:26:09 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
One comes to be compelled to sell hours of living for the sake of surviving, the countless hours of technical training, testing, measuring, and attendant anxieties notwithstanding (consider the recent impetus to submit grade school students to the pressure of applying to university, getting a "productive" degree, of obtaining a career, of being the most skillful, the one who can best compete, and who, as a consequence, is always already under the threat of being made obsolete--it is interesting in this sense that it is less a matter of what one knows, what one can do, than that in which one is certified, that for which one has been subject to tests and evaluations and therefore has an official seal of approval).

Again, fully agree. For students, I consider universities to be certification organizations - it's in the student's best interests to know the material BEFORE the semester begins. For instructors, I believe the purpose is a split between being administrators of this certification process, and for gaining credibility for their ideas, which typically is a political process where those with the most money are able to fund certain research projects. Graduate students then get "sold" on various ideologies their mentors have which may be based upon nothing other than outright cash payments. Notice "teaching and learning" have nothing to do with my conception...yes, I'm just a tad cynical.

Well, there are a few ways to look at the relationship. In the first case, there is certainly the understanding of students as lacking or being incomplete, and therefore in need of the teacher's services (and, in this sense, "knowledge" becomes less a question of anything like learning taking place and more exclusively an economic reality, something you pay to get in the form of certification). In the other case, though, I think there's something to be said about the desire to "self-actualize", to become productive or efficient by learning some kind of technical or applied skill, to "make something of oneself", and this, as a consequence, usually manifests in less in the humanities except in the way you suggest, e.g., competing for grant funding (and, in this way, "education" really comes to signify the rhythm between endlessly consuming classes and certifications to fill a bottomless hole and surviving as a trained laborer). I think the sentiment of cynicism is, in a certain sense, not in error. I think what's in question, though, is not whether such problems exist, but whether and in what register the problem contains the seeds of its own solution. The government tends in this sphere to withdraw, to displace the "responsibility" for self-actualization onto the shoulders of individuals who must become entrepreneurs, must steward their capacity for work--most interventions nowadays are of a decidedly liberal nature, like welfare, job training, regulating "correctively" to make the market "fairer" or "more efficient", etc.--but I am convinced for precisely this reason that there remains the possibility of a reversal, of turning back on economics what it has instrumentalized.

To sustain something like the hospital, for instance (in which fields there is not really sufficient employment for everyone)

I disagree with this. IMHO health care is something that can ostensibly achieve infinite employment, i.e. constant monitoring of patients' health, etc. IMHO the real obstacle to health care is doctors' associations that attempt to make accreditation in the profession extremely exclusionary and thus lucrative for the accredited. IMHO I see it as a kind of cartel. I could be wrong...regardless I have relatives who are MDs and this is the impression I get from them.

Well, even if that kind of employment were possible, I am not sure that it would be much better (not merely for its fidelity to "having jobs", but also for the kind of medicalization of life this would probably entail--a kind of transformation from homo laborans to homo invalidus, from working man to the perpetual invalid who, even if healthy, must always be monitored, tested, treated, etc. to avert the risk of ailment or injury.

In any case, what I mean is that there will, in the economic world, always be those who need to sell themselves--even in the realm of the hospital, there must be clerks, receptionists, food workers, accountants, janitors, etc. There must also be people in the power plant (which must be constructed, which requires laborers and raw materials, which require more laborers, transportation, which requires its own resources, etc.), people to put together the equipment, salespersons to facilitate competition between vendors, and so on. The sheer depth of the unseen, of the signatures inscribed on everything we use, is what I suppose I mean.

In this sense, it is not a question of using work to provide oneself, to meet one's needs, but of positioning labor itself, productivity itself, as the goal (which might explain, in part, why contemporary economics often pays so much panicked attention to whether consumers are consuming enough, whether enough money is being spent, on the question of whether they shouldn't be buying more)--of whether one is performing at maximum output (there are very few skilled jobs, and increasingly few "unskilled" jobs, in which one can only do "enough to get by", enough to meet basic needs, without likely being threatened with replacement or commanded to work harder).

You are pointing out the supply/demand dynamics of the labor market. I agree that given there is such dynamics at work, for one's livelihood to depend upon such a dynamic seems to be the epitome of Marx's critiques against capitalism, i.e. the marginalization of labor and the alienation of the worker from other workers and even from the work itself (i.e. cook who only manages the beef patties on the grill, or a bureaucrat managing only TPS reports, lol). This was another impetus for my proposal of that welfare plan.

Speaking of, did you get the memo about the new covers we're putting on all the TPS reports now?

Even in the humanities, in the confined world of the university, one must worry about publishing for the sake of publishing, about making a career, earning recognition, etc. It is also only in this sense that one could confuse one's economic function for a social role, for something with which to identify as a member of a community.

What is crucial, I suppose, is not merely that we trade off a bit of autonomy for material sustenance--the cultural image of "making a living", "doing an honest day's work", etc., is the kind of thing which attempts to rob us, not of our freedom to do something else, but of our freedom not to do, to resist, to remain latent, to be not-an-enterprise. What therefore begins as putting one's labor to use to survive, or to master a hobby (like carpentry or brewing beer) becomes, in the last analysis, a radical inability to say, as does Melville's somber scrivener, Bartleby, that one would simply prefer not to.

Agree.

This is why it's always difficult to respond when people ask me something like "What do you want to do with your life?", or "What's your ideal job?", or criticize me for not having a "strong work ethic", as if it's an awful crime for which I should be contrite or, weirdly, do some kind of penance.
Cody_Franklin
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12/1/2013 4:28:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 3:54:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
I suppose the counterbalance to this rather Marxist view on capitalism is that without this "beast" in place, we don't have "enough" to survive. So, we seek to maximize outcomes in order to maximize our control over the material world. Hence all of this talk about costs and cash value.

Given the inherently competitive world in which we live, the question is not "why do we compete?" but rather "how do we best compete?"

The question I concern myself with is how to avoid competing, trying to master nature, trying to "maximize"--this is why, to use a Biblical analogy, I find the Sabbath far preferable to the working week.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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12/1/2013 4:43:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 4:28:32 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 12/1/2013 3:54:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
I suppose the counterbalance to this rather Marxist view on capitalism is that without this "beast" in place, we don't have "enough" to survive. So, we seek to maximize outcomes in order to maximize our control over the material world. Hence all of this talk about costs and cash value.

Given the inherently competitive world in which we live, the question is not "why do we compete?" but rather "how do we best compete?"

The question I concern myself with is how to avoid competing, trying to master nature, trying to "maximize"--this is why, to use a Biblical analogy, I find the Sabbath far preferable to the working week.

Perhaps you merely diverge in what you think ought to be 'maximized'.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/1/2013 4:54:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 4:43:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/1/2013 4:28:32 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 12/1/2013 3:54:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
I suppose the counterbalance to this rather Marxist view on capitalism is that without this "beast" in place, we don't have "enough" to survive. So, we seek to maximize outcomes in order to maximize our control over the material world. Hence all of this talk about costs and cash value.

Given the inherently competitive world in which we live, the question is not "why do we compete?" but rather "how do we best compete?"

The question I concern myself with is how to avoid competing, trying to master nature, trying to "maximize"--this is why, to use a Biblical analogy, I find the Sabbath far preferable to the working week.

Perhaps you merely diverge in what you think ought to be 'maximized'.

Refer to the post above the one you quoted.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.