The SFFaudio Podcast #603 – READALONG: The People’s Republic Of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #603 -Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about The People’s Republic of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

Talked about on today’s show:
The People’s Republic of Walmart: How The World’s Biggest Corporations Are Laying The Foundation For Socialism by a couple of dudes, Tantor Audio, that sounds great!, the chinese flag with the Walmart symbol, John Kenneth Galbraith’s New Industrial State, the US economy is planned, American Capitalism, countervailing power, Carnige and J.P. Morgan, only big corporations can manage it and run it, the Adam Smithian idea of the free market, farmer’s co-ops, labour unions, the state, Kaiju battling, a really funny book, this style of humour, they read some books, a lot of facts, this idea of cooperation, as many points for everybody, every player for himself, alliances only temporary, points scored in a cooperative game, Frisbee is a cooperative game, the game is ruined, not ruin your economy, ruin your life, we’re much better at fighting bears when we cooperate, anarchist tid-bits, P.J. Proudhon’s What Is Property, all labour is collective, cobblers, fish-poles, thought experiments, five people on an island, in nature animals do this institutionally, the lone wolf is the starving wolf, beaters, a man hunt, a human hunt, the whole things about humans is the ability to coordinate and plan, I can imagine two years from now, planning for the next day, a book about planning, Cybersyn the Chilean Internet 1971-1973, ARPA, what your goals are, a highly stratified society, you can have that, all a matter of planning, those are all options, massive stratification, YouTube Bad Empanada, explainers on South American countries, Argentina, how Cuba works, Cuba is a planned economy, their next door neighbour is really really mean, steaming from South Africa, if you stop in Havana…, consumer goods from outside of Cuba are highly expensive, if you look at the outcomes, behind the veil of ignorance, good healthcare, education, a house to live in, a job, Cuba has a big big problems, Venezuela’s planning problems are planning problems, Mike Tyson?, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face, no plan survives contact with the enemy, the Soviet Union was not really that well planned, authoritarian political system, authoritarianism makes bad planning, I don’t need to argue anything else, “command economy”, we’re producing tanks, more tanks!, more pig-iron, melting down their cutlery to make more pig-iron, get an A.I. in charge, a weekly poll of top concerns, no politics just moving things along, Jesse’s roommate is a planner for cargo ships, this is happening all over the world, coordinating ship loading, Walmart’s a terrible evil company but they’re a planned economy, you’re going to stock the shelves, oh yeah, of course, both companies benefit (and consumers too), how Costco works, Price Club, wholesale, retailers looking for supplies for their business, a big tub of mustard, a caterer, if there isn’t a company producing a product for the price they want they make that product, the Kirkland brand, one flavour of Mustard, only Heinz Ketchup, why are their prices so low?, they’re determined to make their profit from Membership Renewal, like gym memberships, fifty different choices, Aldi, the way Amazon does it, back to the mom and pop stores, pearl clutching, protests across america, we are recording on May 31, 2020, how much are they paying their workers?, ask me how I know, climate changer, ecology, shipping from big warehouses directly to consumers, books, let’s make Amazon a public utility, the ecological cost for Amazon, a Minneapolis based bookstores, Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s, two bookshops, natural allies, the Amazon model killed used bookstores, PaperbackSwap, Abebooks.com, Chapters (Indigo), fashion retail with a few books, mall bookstores, Waldenbooks, small towns, high speed internet in rural areas, its evil, California, private power generation, rolling brownouts, crown corporations, ICBC, the profits arent driven into the hands of a small select set of stockholders, BC Hydro, New Westminster, Nelson, when things go wrong, COVID, economies of scale, that’s the point, mom and pop generating their own electricity, NASA products, the cellphone technologies, we attribute to Samsung, LG, and Apple, public funding of basic research, the free market for innovation doesn’t pan out, David Graeber, SCRAM jets, satellites, health care, Cuba’s health outcomes, Cuba exports doctors, what we could have had, Bell Labs, corporate tax rates, incentives, pricing companies into the ground, going public, the way Netflix’s shows go, small companies that are growing, hair and nail salons probably don’t need to be crown corporations, responsive to needs vs. to desires, every grocery store deliver, right to the door, it isn’t a question of ideology at all, what John Kenneth Galbraith talked about, oligopolies set prices, input costs, what is the natural (free) labour costs, what does a worker need to have a good life, how do we achieve that?, absence of ideology, if we want to defeat the Nazis, what should we do?, my whole goal is to survive, how will I some how get through this, default modes, a William Jamesian approach, what is true is what works, keep your back to the sea, a whole bunch of plans, the only goal is get that Chicken Dinner, SEARS story was basically like porn, Evan’s grandpa, what happened to SEARS?, applying an ideology, on Mother’s Day they had a motorbike on the cover, internal economy, libertarian ideas in economics are idiotic, why not have every single worker in a factor a free agent?, a factory has to be planned, they point to the Soviet Union, AP Economics, that’s not how it works, movies and podcasts, centrally planning podcasts, planned podcasts are pretty bad, transaction costs, if FREE TRADE is so good…, the dismal science, explainers, you’ve got this human being, getting glucose and oxygen to the right places, multicellular organism, it took billions of years for the unspoken agreements between different species to make the cooperation we see in the forest, howling puppies, coordinating and copying is basically what humans do, social ecology, liberated from many of the constraints of nature, if you’re not in favour of multicellular organisms libertarianism might be for you, not having the technology, big data, Walmart as the vanguard of the new planned economy, SEARS’ business model was broken by its directors, SEARS Catalogue, rural communities, that was their success, the model is not different, the scale and the speed, the recommendation system, early on for the web, writing reviews for IMDB.org, how was your call, giving feedback, Facebook and YouTube are exploiting their content creators, if its a public utility, making PDFs, credit in creation for the public good, MP3s and PDFs, wealth that grows, a disincentive, UBI proposal, reviewing butt plugs for Amazon to make Jeff Bezos rich, things to worry about, we should be acquiring patents as a public, Denis Diderot the encyclopedia, maybe farmers in England can learn from this, all the schematics, this is really needed, YouTube is kind of communist, millions of people uploading to help other people, to each according to their needs, helping Sergey Brin get richer, all profits are temporary, MySpace, deleting channels, archive.org, nobody thinks about this right now, the poor social historians, a new dark age for our descendants, there’s no search engine for 1998, why the Soviet System collapsed, Ronald Reagan’s spending on nuclear weapons isn’t the explanation, 15 ethnostates, The Affirmative Action Empire by Terry Martin, Stalin’s ethnic policy, beating the Nazis, the premiere space power for 30 years, disincentives caused by ideology, the consequences of failure, Twitter and YouTube videos are feedback for discontent, wearing masks in the street, remember Covid-19?, ppe products, the looting is happening on the high end, that one looter who looted a carseat and baby stuff, many people are at the end of their rope, one $1,200 cheque, $2,000 enough isn’t enough, voting for Biden is not going to solve all of these problems, funny, a shoutout for Fredric Jameson’s The Archaeology Of The Future, literary theory, a chapter on Philip K. Dick, An American Utopia: Dual Power And The Universal Army, if they don’t like it they can go back to their shit job at Walmart, conscription prevents people wanting war, Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, a Soviet book, the Soviets were ahead, based on the technology, the history of airplanes, the Wright Bros. design was ok, bicycle guys got the right size engine, James Burke’s Connections, centralized data entry, The Iron Heel by Jack London, lot of long speeches, use progress to usher in socialism, comic book stores are different, comixology, if I was in the bookstore, the same reason libraries don’t stock floppies, modern magazines, teeth whitening spas, you can’t get your car fixed through the mail, ideology is always the enemy, let’s do the reasonable thing, use best practices, government keep you hands off my medicare, we’re mad and worried about the wrong things, look at those looters, the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the universe, Reality Winner, Russian interference in the USA election, people need to know about this, the FBI transcripts, a comic tragedy, a bullshit line of argument, you have to read the actual stuff, don’t just read the news, Jonathan Chait is getting paid to tell to you lies, the violence of the everyday is not acknowledged, 40 years of Neo-liberalism is really bad for you, where you gonna fly when they come for you?, cmon man, by the time people hear this maybe Biden will have fixed everything, beautiful sight, protests, sarcasm, The Onion-style wisdom, politicians pretending to be innocent about demonstrations, the Global Times, socialism with Chinese characteristics are superior for what?, ex-pat attitudes, sucking in their own unique ways, a landmass with a legal system, let’s all federate and get on bitcoin, networks of decentralized communities, Venezuela, Iran is sending them gasoline, leaned to heavily on exports, the recent American mercenary capture, the takewaway, build more tanks, retreat to the Urals, clarifying your own thinking, my world isn’t shaken to my core if my shoes aren’t where i put them, wilful blindness, any blue will do, my country right or wrong, I will never apologize for the United States, if you don’t vote for Biden you’re not black, 20 years after The Wire, police incompetence.

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

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The SFFaudio Podcast #508 – TOPIC: Piracy

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #508 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about PIRACY

Talked about on today’s show:
Paul as Simplicio, not just of the swashbuckling sea-kind, the music-kind, audiobook-kind, YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO THAT, stuff that the FBI Warnings on a VHS tape, forced DVD screens, forced threats, all the crimes I’m going to prison for, a deterrent, easier than ever, easier for some and harder for others, how podcasts work, subscriber only podcasts, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria podcast, the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, “please don’t share this with anyone else”, a bonus vs. a big stick, opposite of seeking profits, Econtalk, transaction costs, not monetary costs, the time it takes, easier than ever (but you have to know how it is), a torrent client, ThePirateBay proxy, “CONSUME” media, making PDFs, all about the sharing, a thread Paul was participating in (about pirated ebooks), pirate editions, a drain on the market?, losing, with academic books, the research library model, the Marxist history library, the academic model, publisher XYZ by author A, the end of author A’s career, changing names, data entry job for entry, The Hook by Donald Westlake, once you get in the system, a book about not being able to get a book published, the ratcheting effect, “I’m gonna screw the author so hard”, intent, the effect, that’s the world we live in, How Music Got Free: A Story Of Obsession And Invention by Stephen Witt, the collective nature of the theft, the RIAA targetting random individuals, history of copyright changes, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth by Alex Sayf Cummings, player pianos, machine based, sheet music, human readable, MP3s, a CD, a record, a magnetic tape, patent, loophole vs. rule, licensing any piece of music for a nominal fee, the transaction cost there is horrendous, the move to YouTube, full of piracy, YouTube ads, what percentage of creators on YouTube make a living off of YouTube, Jesse’s account was demonetized in 2018, exploiting creators, almost communism, ‘from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs’, library logic, curation, finding a massive archive of cultural history hidden from the mainstream, old television shows, never released on DVD, the actual principals, why is piracy a massively good thing? vs. massively a bad thing, the preservation of a cultural legacy, facts about The Beatles, did you know The Beatles’ had a racist version of Get Back, an anti-immigration song, racist?, how come that’s not on the official albums, the sanitized version, Apple Records, when iTunes got The Beatles, a big deal, they couldn’t make a deal with Columbia or Decca, a bootleg, fascinating, on December 17th 2013, an official bootleg release on iTunes, so they could secure their copyright, it’s about control, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, copyright is (for) kings, a printer’s license, playing cards, a license to print playing cards, copyright is a monopoly, why the White Album is called the White Album, a tribute to the bootlegging with white sleeves, a very famous Bob Dylan album GWW: Great White Wonder, under the cultural consciousness, the medium changes the way people act, most videos are 10 minutes, NETFLIX, HBO, what libraries are supposed to do, oink’s Pink Palace, the complete catalogue of music, preservation and scholarship, chat roulette, millions and millions of things in the public domain, trying to lock down everything forever, an arcane and very complicated copyright system (with ever extending terms), orphaned works, the 1968 and 1968 Marvel comics, this issue of Daredevil matches exactly the Netflix, when Foggy Nelson was running for D.A. (50 years ago), cultural value vs. monetary value, people forget everything, the importance of preservation, the proof is in the song, you can hear how they said it, you really need to have good access to everything if you want to understand the world, wanting to control the message and control the history, VPNs, moving to America, they don’t know what’s there, Youku (aka Chinese YouTube), making a mistake as a human species, a show with Wayne June, a Wayne June Patreon, the voice of Lovecraft, “do you happen to have…”, its all about preservation, the music industry is about screwing artists out of royalties, bootlegging vs. piracy, why people bought bootleg albums, Paul makes a confession, the way Paul rationalizes it to himself, especially with the Poul Anderson(s), now Karen is deceased, at some point it has to fall into the public domain, review copies of books, please do not sell, what are people doing?, smuggling out of CDs, the majority of piracy, “camming”, live concert recording, breaking the encryption, they’re doing it because they love it, a sense of accomplishment, 5,200 PDFs, its not about money, I love movies, Disney’s The Song Of The South, Brer Rabbit, white black folklore, Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus, delightful stories, the perception is that they’re racist, a black main character, “problematic”, Archive.org, they can’t officially release it anymore, Taylor Swift’s Picture To Burn has been sanitized, a very Soviet thing to do, Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, the lefty version, sharp social critique, oh my god this is so valuable, Jesse is happy to admit, Halmani a propaganda film about treating newcomers as human beings, excised from reality, Worldcat, pure goodness, that will be gone if I don’t preserve it, emulating what Napster did, RNS, from the invention of MP3 to how torrents work, a history story, Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, profits from the mechanism, the survival of American slavery due to the cotton gin, what a bastard!, the law of unintended consequences, predicting the automobile but not the traffic jam, another story from history, Doctor Who (classic), private collectors recording off of television, recording audio, to reconstruct episodes of a TV show that was absolutely beloved, KVOS in Bellingham, Washington, that activity of being a fan, cheating the BBC out of its massive profits, preservation of the good, Carl Sagan’s cosmos, Babylon 5 is a better radio drama than it is TV drama, The Prisoner, all 17 episodes, you evil pirate! you monster!, where Paul draws the line, Evan Lampe’s Philip K. Dick And The World We Live In, after Evan updates it we’ll find a narrator, the audiobook-man, lister Mike, review it in essence, give it, torrent site, the wrongness, would Paul have done something wrong, you’re hurting Evan by not following your better instinct Paul, libraries are pirates, don’t they hope 100s of people read it?, the YouTube model, you don’t put the genie back in the model, Justin Beiber was a YouTube star, making money from touring, “merch” is like totems, a totemic purchase, to acknowledge this artist has done great work, people wanna hear Philip K. Dick stuff, Mr Jim Moon’s Patreon, Luke Burrage just started a Patreon, his 2009 International Juggler video, a higher rez version, an amazing video to watch, Paul envies Luke a lot, Skyrim, Fallout, Origin and Steam, says the PUBG fan, Fallout ’76, Battlefield 1, a lot of it has to do with money, 2 floppy disc drives and a friend with a box of floppy discs, the low cost of Netflix, more television than you could ever watch, when they start deleting things from the Netflix Originals, is there a DVD version of Netflix’s Marvel shows, all about preservation, keeping the cultural history, not getting yourself photoshopped out of history, the Obama inauguration, Aaron Schwartz, JSTOR, transaction costs again, there’s no research done anywhere by professors that isn’t publicly funded, Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, The House On The Borderlands by William Hope Hodgson, control and power and knowledge, information is power, its not wrong in general, wouldn’t socialism just solve this, The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, that’s scary to a lot of people, charity, liberatory for an artist, the insurance companies are sucking off profits, there is no access to the stuff that you want, the alcohol bootlegging, a digital copy cannot be consumed, we are in a post-scarcity environment, this is what kings did, the Michelangelos and the Donatellos, or the church, the common good, Civilizations, an R-L thing, the complete works of Mozart, chamber music, religious music, court operas, on the dole of the king of Austria, catering to popular tastes, Japan, art for the masses, Monet, we don’t have Mozart’s stuff otherwise, everybody gets to be a king, I’m poorer than everybody, I’m helping, oh so sad somebody’s grandchild isn’t going to, a fucking waste of time, the Eli Whitney education fund, invention, the steam donkey, the whole patent system, a desire to maximize, a turbo charger on invention, patents are still relatively short, the most free-copyright state in the world, Dickens was mad about his losses, William Hope Hodgson, securing an American copyright, the great grandchildren of Robert E. Howard don’t exist, rent-seeking, who has the copyrights, Robert E. Howard holdings (Conan Properties International), Conan™ trademark, Red Sonja™, Marvel is reviving Conan in 2019, missing Philip K. Dick stories, a story published (maybe) in a Rogue 1963 issue, patents, in a conceptual bubble, a bottom up order, insisting, Lesson is the author of The Invisible Hook, working class people, collectors, invention and art, building off the collective knowledge of humanity, the ethics of this, science is a collective act, that’s the Royal Society’s whole shtick, what made it not alchemy, math is not science, Halley and Newton, science in action: two guys fighting about who is right, Newton and Leibniz, Euclid, remixing and adding, David Hume, basically we can only remix and reorganize, does the same thing apply artist, Everything Is A Remix, the wrinkles of observed phenomenon, new and better tools, people are in dialogue, Robert A. Heinlein leads back to Jerome K. Jerome and Rudyard Kipling, this is all public domain (morally), its all collective, the moral case for it, a value added tax that goes to a creator, pressures thanks to NAFTA renegotiation, you’re great great grandpa wrote something as a kid and now you get to reap the rewards (but you probably don’t), James Burke’s Connections, so fast, Avatar is actually a Poul Anderson story and also a couple other things, The Terminator, a Harlan Ellison, Alien, A.E. van Vogt, there’s nothing new under the sun (just stuff you don’t know about), Dan O’Bannon, its like sex, the critique of Malthus, what the copyright “industry”, trademark, patents, rentseeking, a quote from Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, beware of he who deny you access to information, why Alex Jones should not be pulled down from anything, what you start locking down what people can say then you’re on the path to tyranny, the killer nail in the coffin for me: the Tolkien Library, the pirate edition of The Lord Of The Rings:

The infamous Ace Books “pirated edition” from 1965. The opening salvo of the “War over Middle- Earth”.
A very nice Near Fine matched set of this notorious edition.

This is the only paperback ‘Lord of the Rings’ to be printed based on later printings of the 1st Edition.
All others were based on the revised editions.

Houghton Mifflin, seemed to have been in technical violation of the law by having imported too many copies printed by Allen & Unwin.
Ace Books took notice of the sales and overseas production of the books, (which are marked, ‘Printed in Great Britain’), determined that LotR’s had fallen into the public domain in the United States, and launched their own edition in spring 1965. {Hammond and Anderson, pg 104} So to secure their American copyright, Tolkien was asked to submit new material to create a new Edition, and so secure their copyright beyond question.

Tolkien wouldn’t allow paperback editions, the reason Tolkien became popular in the 1960s, “I want you to read this story to me daddy.”, you could go to the library and lug around the hardcover around on the bus, a U.S. service edition (WWII pocket paperbacks), Arkham House put out a Lovecraft, sitting in the Ardennes waiting for the Battle Of The Bulge to begin, why Lovecraft is the name he is today, what makes something culturally relevant, why piracy is always a good thing, there are many schemes to help artists, you can’t sell this book in a used bookstore, Dan Carlin tells me all the time “you own this forever” you don’t own any of your Audible audiobooks, until we accept that fact we’re never going to agree, traditional pirates, navy’s were really mean, impress you, hazing, abuse, rape, bad pay, Herman Melville, William Hope Hodgson, should your son join the Merchant Marine, HELL NO!, the navy was pretty hellish, how democratic and egalitarian pirates were, he comes at it from a cultural bubble, rational actors who are self-interested, having the best sex, the individuals were not rational but the things that happened were, the quartermaster and captain were elected positions, Marcus Rediker, The Devil In The Deep Blue Sea, The Many Headed Hydra, the Chicago school influence, a pun on The Invisible Hand, music bootleggers, fans, obsessive collecting, gotta catch ’em all, where the rational part comes in, motivated by revenge, FUCK YOU ESTATE!, they had done copyfraud, literally whole sheets of fraud, photocopies of the hand written submissions, bring that truth out, if you became a pirate you were dead in two years, 2 years free as a pirate or 10 years a slave, anarchism is bottom up order, a revolution against your master, decades before the U.S. constitutions, Fred Heimbach’s pirate nation in The Devil’s Dictum, Edgar Allan Poe needed a Patreon, Charles Dickens had his own magazine called Once A Week, Madonna started her own label, you become the industry, Robert J. Sawyer, The Quintaglio Ascension, tidally locked, a retelling of Galileo and Copernicus, Wake, Watch, Wonder, neanderthal ones, one of these copyright maximalist guys, old material and new material to his patrons, like Greg Bear, extracting value from the old system, pulled down off of Gutenberg, the first half was not copyright renewed, writing books that aren’t for me Quantico, chasing after a different market, the bigger money, Tom Clancy name is a rubber stamp, that old system is going away, the original pirates were still in a scarcity economy, monopolies all over these stories, in Canada almost all the lands were controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company, sugar and other commodities, mercantilism, exclusivity, they misunderstood what profits were, if anyone else benefits then it hurts me, the same kind of thinking, Spain’s wine and Scotland’s sheep, those sunny hills of Spain and Italy, reducing scarcity so everybody benefits, attention is the new scarcity, the wherewithal, Patreon seems easy compare to that, trying to make money from my awesome website, supermodel asses and cryptocurrency, 19th century poetry is not super-interesting for most people, being employed outside your job as an artist, what academia, a basic income show, a Mack Reynolds novel about guaranteed universal income and the problem is not enough satisfying work, we need stuff to do, the 8 hour work day, what we will, two weeks of holiday, no vacation since childhood, They Live (1988), marry and reproduce, two groups of people, the straight up bums and hobos, the Italians who go to work at 10 and go home at 2, what am I gonna do if I’m not working?, the end of work is not so worrisome, tracking hours spent with daughter-time, the DINS, no sex, where we’re all headed, rolling coal, The Quiet Earth (1985), Paul has read the book, we can lose our focus if we have nothing to do, salaries or points, in this capitalist world if we get a paycheck for it’s valuable, Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play by James C. Scott, the Hmong people, the Doukhobors, protesting by becoming nude, everybody flees to the west, a non-violent way of showing abasement, a way for Christians to preserve a simple stateless existence, nudism as a tool, The Year Of The Jackpot by Robert A. Heinlein, the world is so big wide and varied, they’re all around us these people, you can’t flee from Japans culture by staying in it, they’re cultural strength is hurting them as a population, Korea recently committed to massive English learning, advice for Taiwan, learn English legalize gay marriage and let in immigrants, making English an official language, the Great Wall covers hundreds of thousands of bodies, regular industrial imperialists, the Great Firewall, deep down they’re really Chinese, a fun theory about why so many Anglican ministers are atheists, this is how you do it, labor protests in the south, worker power, what communists have been saying for a century,

Moral Pirates

Pirates' Planet from CAPTAIN FUTURE, Winter 1942

M. Humpfris illustration for A Ladybird Book About Pirates (1970)

Posted by Jesse Willis