“I guess my favorite thing in the world is when I look at a piece of art, or read a story, or watch a movie where I walk away feeling like “Oh my god — I have to do something, I have to make something or talk to someone — things are not the same anymore” — and so I try to make work where you come away with that feeling. It’s like, yeah, you’re thinking about what you just saw, but even more than that — you feel able, you feel like, kind of propelled.”—Miranda July, “Don’t give up:” 20 lessons for creatives from Miranda July. (via somethingchanged)
“The second [ie, digital] economy will certainly be the engine of growth and the provider of prosperity for the rest of this century and beyond, but it may not provide jobs, so there may be prosperity without full access for many. This suggests to me that the main challenge of the economy is shifting from producing prosperity to distributing prosperity. The second economy will produce wealth no matter what we do; distributing that wealth has become the main problem. For centuries, wealth has traditionally been apportioned in the West through jobs, and jobs have always been forthcoming. When farm jobs disappeared, we still had manufacturing jobs, and when these disappeared we migrated to service jobs. With this digital transformation, this last repository of jobs is shrinking—fewer of us in the future may have white-collar business process jobs—and we face a problem.”—The second economy McKinsey Quarterly (worth registering for.)
“If I were back in high school and someone asked about my plans, I’d say that my first priority was to learn what the options were. You don’t need to be in a rush to choose your life’s work.”—Paul Graham
“I got Nasa to loan me a moon rock, carbon-dated 3.6 billion years old. I put it on the table in the Oval Office and when people started the crazy stuff, I’d say, ‘Wait a minute guys. See that rock, it’s 3.6 billion years old. We’re all just passing through, take a deep breath, calm down, let’s see what makes sense.’ It had an incredible calming effect!”—How Bill Clinton “defused the madness” as President | FT.com (via somethingchanged)
Cobbled together from around the internet in the last month are ten separate pieces of writing that all point to a big shift that seems to be happening in America. What’s going on?
American doctor Jay Parkinson graduated from medical school in 2002 with over $270,000 worth of educational loans. A month ago, he blogged:
It’s a damn fine day. After four years of trying to consolidate my medical school loans, I just received my approval in the mail […] I’ve been stuck in a ten year repayment plan and my monthly bill was over $5,000. Obviously, that puts a strain on almost anyone. Due to federal policies and other details, I’ve been stuck in that plan. Magically, it seems, I’m no longer stuck. My monthly bill is now only $822.67 for the next 30 years. I’ll have paid them off when I’m 65.
Commenters were shocked at these huge sums, but Dr Parkinson considered this a good result, ending his blog entry optimistically, “Cheers everyone! It really is a lovely day!”
Last week, blogger Kate Miss wrote,
…my boyfriend Will was diagnosed with testicular cancer recently and he is thousands of dollars in debt due to the surgery he had to remove a tumor, tests, doctors visits and all that fun stuff that he was forced to put on his credit card (the hospital refused to bill him). Will is currently unemployed and unable to work because of his condition and is without health insurance until we can get help from the state which will hopefully pay for his chemo.
Swamped with offers of support when she first posted about “the c word,” Kate is running a fundraiser selling her prints. “The fact that people have to stress about how to pay for treatment when they’re stressing about just surviving? Disgusting,” she says.
JD Samson (musician, DJ and one third of Le Tigre) writes that, with several jobs within the music industry, she is “so lucky that I have been able to create art and music and fulfill my passions through my job for the past 11 years.”
But, all these jobs have unstable incomes. I don’t get a salary; I don’t know how much money I will make next month, next year or five years from now. I don’t have health insurance. And I live with the stress of not knowing, not planning and not understanding whether or not I will ever be able to reach my goals of having a family and feeling safe financially.
She says, “I have to ask myself: where did I go wrong?”
Some Americans have recovered, or at least stabilized, from the Great Recession. Corporate profits are at record levels, and it’s not just oil companies who are flush. For many computer programmers, corporate executives who oversee social media, and some others who fit the definition of the “creative class” […] things are good… But for those who deal with ideas, culture and creativity at street level — the working- or middle-classes within the creative class — things are less cheery. Book editors, journalists, video store clerks, musicians, novelists without tenure — they’re among the many groups struggling through the dreary combination of economic slump and Internet reset. The creative class is melting, and the story is largely untold.
The Wall Street Journal identifies a new trend. The “forever frugal”: people who cut back on purchases and traded down to cheaper products during the recession have yet to return to their old shopping patterns.
Occupy Wall Street is a loose collection of protestors participating in a rolling series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park. Their concerns are diverse but range from economic inequality to corporate greed. This is their manifesto. In this video, it’s read out by Keith Olbermann. Protests continue now.
The 1 percent are “the banks, the mortgage industry, the insurance industry. They are the important ones. They need help and get bailed out and are praised as job creators. We need help and get nothing and are called entitled. We live in a society made for them, not for us. It’s their world, not ours.” On this Tumblr, the other 99% of Americans tell their story: We are the 99 percent.
… at a time when one in six Americans live in poverty and virtually all of our social indicators are worse than at any time since the Great Depression, the political system is locked in partisan paralysis. They are not being heard, so increasingly they will make themselves seen. And given unemployment rates, millions of Americans have nothing better to do with their time.
The Metamovement is a movement of movements. Not all these movements are similar; no two are exactly like; each can be readily distinguished from the next. The Arab Spring is part of the Metamovement; the London Riots were part of the Metamovement; protests spreading across America, under the banner of Occupy Wall St, are all part of the Metamovement.
Haque doesn’t know where #occupywallstreet is headed, but says: “Not every revolt ends in revolution—but every revolution begins in revolt.”