Tag: Economy

Interesting point at the end of this opbmusic piece about the plight of Oregon’s music venues during a pandemic: when venues can re-open, there could be more emphasis on prime slots for local musicians.

It’s technically sort of advertisement for a musician-owned online music cooperative, but this Yancey Strickler post has some interesting arguments about coops and an “economy that strives for self-sufficiency rather than growth”.

That’s the crazy thing: if the value set expands to include equitable ownership, the existing players can’t compete. They’re locked into the old paradigm the same way they’ve locked us into their services. If a new social network launched with collective ownership core to its offer, Facebook’s ownership structure would prevent them from copying it. Because Facebook, Patreon, and others are wedded to the previous paradigm, their structures are fundamentally incompatible with a world where the values of ownership have changed, as Ampled cleverly lays out in this blog post.

[…]

By the end of the decade, every category will have a co-op player. Some of these will fail. Others will replace the existing “do-gooder” players in their category with a “do-better” offer. Many more will break up larger markets into smaller, more directly owned ones. After globalization is Balkanization.

Man, I get it. I really do. But this coffeeshop in Philadelphia (via John Gruber) is depressing. All that plexiglass makes it more like a security line than a coffee line. I know we have to be safe but do we not have design ideas that aren’t sterile and antiseptic?

The Oregonian has a look at challenges for the Oregon Zoo with the lack of income (“they will run out of money by September”) but even their photo gallery doesn’t show me the goats. Someone show me the damned goats; it’s been three months.

My big takeaway from The Oregonian‘s comprehensive guide to safety during reopening is that I don’t think anywhere near enough has been done to prepare people for how complicated this is going to be. There’s also not anywhere near enough in the way of the state requiring people to wear masks in different situations.

This is to say that the kind of shame suffered most sharply by proud people has been put to use to sustain this ugly economic and social configuration, too opportunistic and unstable to be called a system. It offers no vision beyond its effects. Obviously the depletions of public life, the decay of infrastructure, the erosions of standards affecting general health are not intended to make America great again. They are, in the experience of the vast majority of Americans, dispossessions, a cheapening of life.

From What Kind of Country Do We Want? by Marilynne Robinson (via MetaFilter)

One of the numerous comic conventions that have been canceled or postponed is also, unsurprisingly, the biggest in the U.S.—San Diego Comic-Con—which usually sees over 130,000 attendees. Others scheduled for the remainder of 2020, like Star Wars Celebration and New York Comic Con, are up in the air. For fans, this means missing out on panels, celebrity sightings, social events, and spending time with friends they may not otherwise see. But for professional cosplayers—some of whom make a living or at least a supportive second income from cosplay—this also means losing appearance fees, sponsorship deals, and the opportunity to sell merchandise to fans.

From Cosplay Is a Business and It Is Suffering by Beth Elderkin (via The Rec Center)

Today’s weirdest news? The new bagel place in St. Johns is becoming a hotdog place although you’ll still be able to get bagels and schmear. According to that Instagram post, the pandemic forced the closure of the owner’s brunch spot, so now St. Johns gets hotdogs for some reason.

This past weekend, reporters from Willamette Week, Eugene Weekly, and The Source Weekly teamed up to fan out across Oregon to counties that began to open back up and report on what they found.

The scenes we observed across Oregon were a preview of what Portland can expect as soon as next month. But two days before election day, they also served as an experiment in democracy. Each citizen had to weigh personal freedom against civic responsibility. They had to decide how much risk they were willing to accept for themselves and their neighbors in order to enjoy food and company.

Newberg had an interesting idea to help both residents and businesses: credit towards your municipal utilities bill when you patronize local companies.

APM Research Lab determined that African-Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a rate three times higher than whites, while African American Research Collaborative found that 80% of them favor continuing the shutdown over rushing to reopen the economy.

I think the conversation generally has been more nuanced than Jill Filipovic has it, but she’s certainly right when she says, “We did our part; the Trump Administration did not do theirs.” That said, Filipovic’s take does nicely summarize (can you “summarize at length”?) the complicated network of costs and benefits that have risked being over-simplified into “stop the virus versus open the economy”.

That said, I do think she’s right about the dangers of the weird and should-have-been-unnecessary tightrope we might be left to walk, even if I don’t completely agree that we’ve already been surrendering to it.

This is a dangerous place to be. It’s a place that has liberals playing defense, and trying to mitigate the very worst of the harm. And that often means dumbing down the conversation, or not hashing out the murky middle, because this is an emergency and we really can’t give the death cult any more ammunition.

Addenda

  1. I do also essentially agree with her analysis that “we haven’t heard a careful and transparent proposal on the left”. I imagine in part because the elected left (as opposed to the agitating or organizing left) hasn’t figured out — or, worse, believes it’s still politically impossible — how to propose addressing all the ways in which the SARS-CoV-2 exposed existing imbalances, inequalities, and inequities to public view, even though such a proposal would be full of things the public already supports, and the damage of the pandemic offers up a ready-made opportunity to fight for them.

Before I once again, already, all but shut down my blogging activity for awhile due to another bout, already, of cognitive burnout, three positive stories to pass along: a nice look at little free libraries during the pandemic, a nice look at muralists on Foster Road sprucing up the strip during the economic shutdown, and a nice look at quirky ways cities have used to encourage cooperation during social distancing.

Link Log Roundup for May 17, 2020

In this edition: Obama and leadership, Oregon aid money debate, early-opening drive-ins, and the context of history.

Link Log Roundup for May 16, 2020

In this edition: reopening America, learning to be a contact tracer, the trouble with fixating on immunity, inside Trump’s brain, and Wall Street’s death cult.