If rail workers do end up engaging in a wildcat or otherwise illegal strike, PLEASE remember that strikes are meant to be disruptive. If you see someone talking about the rail strike and how it's having such a huge impact, say things like "Yeah, it's crazy how much of our economy relies on them. That's why they deserve good health care."
Don't give in to anti-labour rhetoric. Combat false narratives. Solidarity Forever.
Successfully signed the open letter about the universal right to install any software https://fsfe.org/activities/upcyclingandroid/openletter.html (@fsfe)
I'm not too big on Free Software initiatives in general, but legislations like the ones proposed here are unequivocally good and worth supporting without reserve.
infosec.exchange will be hosting the official account of CISA, The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, (part of Homeland Security).
My decision to block them and to call for more to as well will likely have serious professional repercussions for myself. However, this is an ACAB account, and the community I have here is one where "spot the fed" actually means something.
No feds on the fediverse.
Something that will probably surprise few of you is that worker-owned cooperatives are, broadly speaking, more productive than their privately owned competitors:
“The largest study comparing the productivity of worker co-operatives with that of conventional businesses finds that in several industries, conventional companies would produce more with their current levels of employment and capital if they behaved like employee-owned firms.”
This makes intuitive sense, because capitalists do not play any role in production but do collect income from production, serving as dead weight on any firm.
This raises an apparent paradox: if capitalism is competitive, then shouldn’t these more-productive coops out-compete the less-productive capitalist firms?
This is where we bring in a key insight by Shimshon Nitzan and Jonathan Nitzan, author of “Capital as Power.” Capital, in their theory, is an abstract quantification of power to order and reorder society.
“To earn a profit, corporate owners must exert their power over society. And to provide the liquidity needed to price this power, they must be confident that society will continue to obey them – because if it doesn’t, future profits will falter along with prices.”
I can think of no clearer example of this than Eli Lilly’s recent loss of billions of dollars in value after someone fake-tweeted that the pharmaceutical firm would stop charging for insulin. (See the bottom of this post for an illustration of the loss.)
Eli Lilly earns huge rents by a) selling a drug critical for the daily survival of diabetics that is b) protected by a government-issued monopoly parents. The “announcement” on twitter that the firm was forgoing those rents was, in other words, a repudiation of the firm’s ability to compel obedience by both diabetics and potential competitors. The firm was worth less because it was less powerful, or was at least perceived to be.
Worker-owned coops have not replaced capitalist firms, then, because they are not as powerful as capitalist firms; they cannot compel obedience the same way capitalists can via the coercive state. They are more productive but not more *profitable* because they are less able to assert their will on society.
Capitalist competition, then, is not primarily about productivity, except perhaps at the lowest scales of small-to-medium sized enterprises, those firms too small to exercise meaningful control.
For the rest, though, competition for profits is a function of power: can the firm throw up barriers to entry into its market, like licensing requirements; can the firm afford to sway courts in its favor; can the firm secure ownership of patents and copyrights; can the firm secure subsidies from local governments by threatening to withdraw employment from their jurisdictions; can the firm secure preferential access to credit-issuing entities; can the firm hire death squads to murder labor organizers in Latin America; etc.
As @KevinCarson1 has noted, executives are often rewarded for increasing control even at the cost of lower profits:
“Costco’s stock fell in value, despite the company’s having outperformed Wal-Mart in profit, in response to adverse publicity in the business community about its above-average wages. Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Dreher snidely remarked, ‘At Costco, it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.’ Nevertheless, in the world of faith-based investment, Wal-Mart ‘remains the darling of the Street, which, like Wal-Mart and many other companies, believes that shareholders are best served if employers do all they can to hold down costs, including the cost of labor.’”
The firm’s value is lower, despite higher revenue, because it exercises less *power* over its workers in the form of lower wages.
This is why you see capitalists try to force workers back into centralized workplaces, even though working from home is often more productive, or, failing that, impose remote monitoring software on workers even though this reduces morale and incentivizes workers to inefficiently work to satisfy the software rather than actual production.
Capitalism is ultimately one in a long line of systems designed to empower the few over the many. Like Oxymandias commanding armies of laborers to build his gargantuan statues in the desert, capitalism is a system of control, of power, of obedience. Other systems might threaten you directly with violence, or compel you to labor as a religious obligation. Capitalism mediates and distributes that control through alienating systems like the market and wage labor, but it’s still control.
To all mastodon admins:
Hi! I’m Evan Phoenix, the primary author of puma, the ruby webserver that powers mastodon!
Please reply or DM me if you need tuning help! I’ve got no officiation with the mastodon, just want to see you succeed!
(Quick Tip: set WEB_CONCURRENCY to core count * 1.5 and then tune MAX_THREADS. High thread values will see diminishing returns!)
"désormais, le secteur privé coûte au contribuable bien plus cher que nombre de services publics. Car chaque année, l’Etat dépense 157 milliards d’euros en subventions, crédits d’impôts et exonérations de cotisations au profit des entreprises privées de toutes tailles et de tous secteurs. C’est deux fois le budget de l’Education nationale, et cela représente 30% du budget de l’État en 2021."
La grande subvention : Le capitalisme français sous perfusion
With a huge surge of users, and Mastodon’s increasing popularity, many have pointed out that we should be vigilant against #astroturfing, as malicious actors try to set up #disinformation and trolling networks in the growing #fediverse. First, what is astroturfing? (thread with #feditips from a total newbie; I hope you’ll indulge me)
I'm Nicklas Nygren, algorithmic music composer and game designer! Pleased to meet you all! The last game I made is called Ynglet, and is about swimming in bubbles the sky like a space jellyfish microorganism. Here's a trailer:
Major corporations REALLY love to take over technology and spaces that take control away from them.
The general attack path is:
1) Tech (such as Mastodon/ActivityPub) succeeds outside of corporate control.
2) Company sponsors, builds support for, and integrates into environment (such as building out ActivityPub support and instances)
3) Company creates turnkey, polished, and supported implementations of the technology luring people over.
4) Once enough have come over, they then switch tech or destroy the tech having succeeded in changing the behaviors of users that then abandon the original tech.
Watch for major players (FB/Meta, Google, Apple, the like) to first support Mastodon/ActivityPub, then integrate with it, then siphon people into walled gardens, then destroy it.
Further Reading: @iarna's thread for some good context and further discussion:
The vibes on Mastodon are class and mostly very wholesome, so I'm going to share this piece I wrote a few years back about the Oblivion mod Terry Pratchett worked on. It eventually became so important to him that the developers added in a function to help him continue playing even when his Alzheimer's made it difficult to do so. Theirs is a lovely, heartfelt, uplifting story - sure give it a read if you have a sec
Poto.cafe, for potos