Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections | Next New Deal


Key Findings:

  • Existing data sources used for studies of campaign finance have a variety of serious flaws.
  • As a result, the degree to which major parties’ presidential candidates depend on very large donors has been underestimated and the role small donors play exaggerated.
  • The relation between the money split between the parties and the proportion of votes received by their candidates in House and Senate races appears to be quite straightforward.
  • Firms and executives in industries strongly affected by proposed regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions heavily backed Mitt Romney. So did much, but not all, of finance.
  • President Obama’s support within big business was broader than hitherto recognized. His level of support from firms in telecommunications and software was very strong indeed, sometimes equaling or exceeding Romney’s. Many firms and sectors most involved in the recent controversies over surveillance were among the President’s strongest supporters.
  • Republican candidates showed sharply different levels of contributions from small donors; President Obama’s campaign, while heavily dependent on large donors, attracted more support from small donors than did his Republican opponent.
  • Big business support for Tea Party candidates for Congress was substantial, but well below levels for more mainstream Republicans. Many of the same sectors that strongly supported Romney also backed Tea Party candidates. Backing for Tea Party candidates by Too Big To Fail banks ran above the average of business as a whole by every measure.

Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections | Next New Deal

Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections | Next New Deal


Key Findings:

  • Existing data sources used for studies of campaign finance have a variety of serious flaws.
  • As a result, the degree to which major parties’ presidential candidates depend on very large donors has been underestimated and the role small donors play exaggerated.
  • The relation between the money split between the parties and the proportion of votes received by their candidates in House and Senate races appears to be quite straightforward.
  • Firms and executives in industries strongly affected by proposed regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions heavily backed Mitt Romney. So did much, but not all, of finance.
  • President Obama’s support within big business was broader than hitherto recognized. His level of support from firms in telecommunications and software was very strong indeed, sometimes equaling or exceeding Romney’s. Many firms and sectors most involved in the recent controversies over surveillance were among the President’s strongest supporters.
  • Republican candidates showed sharply different levels of contributions from small donors; President Obama’s campaign, while heavily dependent on large donors, attracted more support from small donors than did his Republican opponent.
  • Big business support for Tea Party candidates for Congress was substantial, but well below levels for more mainstream Republicans. Many of the same sectors that strongly supported Romney also backed Tea Party candidates. Backing for Tea Party candidates by Too Big To Fail banks ran above the average of business as a whole by every measure.

Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections | Next New Deal

Can ‘geek parties’ save you money?


In our modern gadget-obsessed society, we are often more likely to wait to get a new product, rather than attempt to repair our current one when it is broken.

Restart is an international movement which aims to buck this trend. It educates people on how to do basic repairs to everyday objects, from digital cameras to kettles.

At “parties” around the world, experts gather to help people who bring along broken items.

They do the repairs themselves, while demonstrating what they are doing, to demystify the process.

LJ Rich went to a Restart party in Camden, London, to learn more.

This is wonderful. Restart Parties for all!

More details here: The Restart Project

Can ‘geek parties’ save you money?

Can ‘geek parties’ save you money?


In our modern gadget-obsessed society, we are often more likely to wait to get a new product, rather than attempt to repair our current one when it is broken.

Restart is an international movement which aims to buck this trend. It educates people on how to do basic repairs to everyday objects, from digital cameras to kettles.

At “parties” around the world, experts gather to help people who bring along broken items.

They do the repairs themselves, while demonstrating what they are doing, to demystify the process.

LJ Rich went to a Restart party in Camden, London, to learn more.

This is wonderful. Restart Parties for all!

More details here: The Restart Project

Can ‘geek parties’ save you money?

Culture of Illusion – All this Desert needs is a Fucking Massive Iceberg.


I have seen this commercial so many times that I think I may have become a little obsessed with it. I have nothing else to do but to share it with you and then you can draw your own conclusions from my commentary on the script, below:

Eager Young Surveyor: (slightly desperately) If we could supply fresh water, this really would be the perfect location for the new town.

Yes, but the likelihood of supplying freshwater to what appears to be a massive fucking desert looks, at best, a fools quest. If you’re planning to do this via iceberg rather than the more traditional means of irrigation or river redirection then we’re in a whole new Arena of Lunacy. Let’s see what else this commercial has to offer.

Sea Captain: (optimistically) If we harness the power of the ocean currents we can reduce fuel consumption.

This Sea Captain is drunk. Look at his rhuemy eyes. He has no idea what he is talking about. He may as well claim that a race of giant undersea mermaids could tow his ship into port before feeding him and his crew all the succulent sweat meats that imagination can conjure up. He is on his third bottle of whiskey of the morning.

Gentleman on dock: (with glazed dead eyes) If we make this cable twice as thick, it could tow up to 7 million tons.

This man has nothing to do with the commercial. He merely leaped in front of the camera and spoke admiringly of a fictionally larger piece of cable than the one the other man is holding. Why does he have to be critical of my thick cable, the taller out of focus man is thinking. I worked really hard on this cable. This cable that I made can tow 3.5 million tons. Is that not enough for you? Who are you anyway? Get this man off my set! Cut!

VO:
Using their 3DExperience platform, Dassault Systèmes led a team of glaciologists and engineers to prove Georges Mougin‘s dream of transporting icebergs, could become reality.

Okay, so George Mougin seems to be of questionable sanity.

VO:
It takes a special kind of compass to explore the world’s future possibilities.

It also takes a special kind of lunatic to get together a group of willing participants, harness an iceberg to a boat and then attempt to transport it TO THE DESERT – TRANSPORT AN ICEBERG TO THE DESERT. Also, what is so special about this compass? Is it a magic compass? Will it help you find Hogwarts or Neverneverland? No, it will make you delusional and set into motion an insane plan that will start with you trying to pull an iceberg into the desert by boat and end with you naked, wretched, raving in the desert with only your twisted memories of childhood and the half-eaten remains of your colleagues for company.

VO/Caption:
DASSAULT SYSTÈMES. If we ask the right questions we can change the world.

The right question in this case seems to be – an iceberg in the fucking desert? You have to be fucking kidding me? You’re not. Oh. Well sign me up then.

Here ends the Cautionary Tale of the Cursed Compass.

Culture of Illusion – Smart Phone. Stupid Owner.


When I discovered that my snazzy new smart phone had a front and rear facing camera this happened in my head:

  1. I could take a picture of my genitals and then a picture of me looking at my genitals without moving my camera.
  2. I shouldn’t do this should I?
  3. No I should definitely NOT do this.
  4. But I’m curious now.
  5. Don’t do it! You’ll forget that you have taken these pictures and then lend someone your phone and then they will be bored and they will look through all your pictures and they will see your genitals. You will have given your phone to someone who should never see your adult genitals; your Grandmother or your Great Uncle.
  6. Go on. Do it.
  7. No! You’ll get drunk and decide it will be a great idea to upload the pictures to your blog as some kind of edgy art project that seeks to talk about the self-reflective techno-sexualisation that the modern world is currently failing to address.

I am currently teetering on the edge of that last point.

Stupid technology filling my head full of terrible thoughts of exciting and interesting ideas for expressing myself.

Culture of Illusion – One Day Your House Will Kill You.


Because they have nothing better to do at Microsoft these days they have designed The House of the Future:

The BBC went along to take a look. They were given a guided tour by the good people at Microsoft. I say good because I hope they are good because if they are not good then I think we’re screwed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21632855

It's a TRAY with a FUCKING BRAIN.
It’s a TRAY with a FUCKING BRAIN. [Photo credit: Shane O’Neill]
It seems that, quite by accident, I’m becoming a massive technophobe. This House of the Future seems to take the idea of the inactive life to a new extreme. I like being inactive but I appreciate that activity and interaction with real things in the real world, and taking responsibility for that interaction, is important to maintain a sense of humanity.

This House of the Future is a lazy persons wet dream:

  • Unable to readjust your desk? Simply lurch towards it and it will reshape itself for your needs.
  • Want to do some crafts? Don’t like pottery but want to do pottery? Why not take a premade piece of art and then scan it into your computer. After you’ve done that you can stand, alone in your room as, hands stretched out, you stroke the air reshaping a pot that you just scanned into your computer for no fucking reason at all. Doing real pottery is hard. Doing fake pottery is fun. Fake Pottery fun. Must eat.
  • Don’t know what to have for dinner? Can’t remember recipes? Don’t have a recipe book? Forgotten how to speak? Simply hold food up to the screen and make ape like noises of sadness and hunger. Don’t worry dear creature, the computer recognises the food in your clenched paw and it will give you a list of recipes and then instructions on how to combine the foods together. It will watch impassively, recording every move you make, as you proceed to ruin the perfect recipe it set out for you. It will plot your destruction slowly, each human mistake you make adding fuel to its fire.

The next stage will have the robot spoon feeding you a mashed up slurry because by now all you will need is fuel to keep you going so that you can go to work and get enough money to get the loan that pays for the credit card that allows you to pretend that you own all this shit. You will have forgotten how to speak. You will have to be wiped and cleaned by the robot house, like a helpless baby, before it guides you into the travel tube that takes you directly to the cubicle that you rot in for the duration of your working day.

Clearly none of these people have watched Demonseed:

Why does my Doom Sensor feel like it’s on the verge of exploding? I always thought the Future was going to be better, but living in it now, I’m not so sure.

Must get some fresh air. You can buy that in cans now can’t you?

Fuck.

Culture of Illusion – Anti-Social Engineering.


There is not one adult who looks at this thing and doesn’t wish there was an adult sized one so that adults could sit and shit and piss and swipe Angry Birds, check stock options and browse porn.

Or is that just me?

Of course not, I have no stock options to check.

PAD POTTY END OF DAYS EDITION.

 

 

In years to come I imagine an exchange between Mother and Son:

– Go out and play!

– No I am shitting, Mother! I am shitting on the commode and I am checking my stock options on my iPad.

– Can you at least not do it in front of guests in the living room on your 21st birthday?

– You did this to me, Mother! You made me this way!

 

And so yet another child will blame a parent for their own willful behaviour and the cycle will continue. Is it not possible for a child to have but a brief respite from technology? Must they be driven to have contact with the touchscreen even in that most private anal moment? Will these companies not leave us be? Can we not be anti-social? Why is social good all the time? Why do we need to connect all the time?

SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY TO HAVE A FUCKING BREAK.

But first, one more post…

Culture of Illusion – In our scabby underwear, lit with neon glow, we shamble from crib to fridge to grave.


This new google glasses promo is full of beautiful people doing beautiful things. When these skillfully designed spectacles enter the marketplace to be grabbed by our grubby prole hands we will not be hang-gliding, ballet dancing or ice-sculpting.

We* will be:

– in our underwear.
– masturbating.
– being fired.
– getting lost.
– dropping them in the toilet.
– leaving them on the metro.
– being spurned by a lover.
– going to the toilet.
– dying.

It’s a brilliant idea although we should hold out for the day when google inject an implant into our frontal lobe and jolt us with addictive electricity every time we have a unique thought; that they get to own and market until the End of Time. Mmmmm sweet neural nectar.

*By “we” I mean “I”. I will be doing these things. All of these things. At the same time.

It is glorious to be living in the future.

Culture of Illusion – McRobot Overlords.


Robot The Bruce. I love this pun. It is my favourite pun ever.
Robot the Bruce. I will never get tired of this pun that I just believe I made up. And no, it is not okay to fuck him in his mouth. Whatever you, as a man or a lady with a strap-on appendage, may be thinking.

This story makes it look like robots have taken over Scotland and the only people who are left are those who have to make sure that their Robot Overlords still function. I am sure that this is not the case, but a lot can happen in four months, so I can’t back up that statement 100%. Oh yes, click on the picture above or the word story at the beginning of this paragraph for the story. Also that story. And that one.