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Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have posted this several times on other sites, maybe here long ago but I forget. I am always reminded of one episode of "Star Trek: DS9" where there's an alien race called the Ferengi who are hyper-capitalistic. The human characters note extreme abuses of labor by management at the bar belonging to Quark, one of the Ferengi. For example, Quark's brother Rom has just been ordered to work a 24-hour shift despite having a potentially fatal infection. One of the humans says, "Well why don't you employees band together and demand a stop to the exploitation?" Rom is horrified. "No Ferengi wants to stop the exploitation! We all want to be a part of the exploitation!" America in a nutshell.

Also this just posted on another blog I read frequently:

30% of college grads think they will be millionaires by 40

Hmmmmm, percent of college grads with expectations, 30%. Percent of those who actually achieve the goal, something like 1/3 of 1% (2007 data, cite below). It's tempting to blame this on bad math education but I really think it has nothing to do with math!

Ya think headlines like this might have something to do with it... ?

Actually that was this blog, and, well, uhh, actually...this article. :-)

Yeah, I agree it has nothing to do with math, and everything to do with a conscious program of corporate propaganda aimed at convincing people to work against their own interests. With evident (and quite impressive) success.

Forgot to say: it's funny you should mention the Ferengi, since I was watching an Obama speech a few months back and noticing those jug ears of his and I realized that the guy looks shockingly like one of them. I have to think that's a warning to us.

Damn, I was wondering why I couldn't find the original citation of that 30% article! I tend to open up a link from an article in a separate tab, and keep on reading the original article. Then I accumulate a buncha tabs and I forget where each link comes from.

I rail against stupidity a lot, but once again, never let it be said that I think I'm some kind of smart or 'nuthin.

Hey, you won't find me throwing any stones from here in my lovely glass house.

30% was the best I could find in the amount of time I was willing to devote to it, but I'm sure I saw a much higher percentage a few years ago for that survey question—like 40-60%. I remember boggling when I read it.

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