Sunday, September 11, 2016

Home Production, Advertising, and Insatiability

Home production is caring for elders, educating children, cooking, gardening, et cetera. I'd include physical, emotional, and spiritual self-care in home production, especially with our monetized mental health care industry.

But nowadays it's all accounted and derogated as mere "leisure," alongside less health-productive hobbies like computer gaming, car racing, and bar-hopping.

We weren't always like this. The changes started in the mid-1800s, in the Industrial Revolution:
"Early British industrialists complained that their employees would work only until they had earned their traditional weekly income and then stop until the next week. Leisure, it appeared, was more valuable to the workers than increased income. This attitude, widespread in pre-industrial, pre-consumerist societies, was incompatible with mass production and mass consumption."
(page 11)

If clothing is a big expense, and you're socially comfortable mending your trousers forever, then you can save a lot of time to spend with the family.

Nowadays, the technically advanced and extremely productive formal economy in the USA is surely Americans' shortest route to financial independence. But it wasn't yet in the early 1800s. Looking to our history, it's advertising that made and keeps us dependent on income over home production.
The multitude of advertisements that we encounter all carry their own separate messages; yet on a deeper level, they all share a common message – they are selling the joys of buying, promoting the idea that purchasing things is, in itself, a pleasurable activity.
(page 7-8)
Consumer advertising as we know it started around the 1850s. Before that, it was mostly just classified ads. 


Graphic design was puritanically boring, with one exception: fake medicines... where, the fake medicines often included drugs like morphine...


Basically, industrialists began competing with each other to advertise everything like it was snake oil laced with morphine.


We renew our financial dependence through our insatiable desire for purchases. We experience it as over-employment. It reinforces itself through our continuous scramble to service and refinance retrench debt.

Home production can't be incorporated to enrich the powerful, and it can't be taxed to fund wars. Therefore it isn't prioritized in public policy, nor is it a respected vocation in our culture. Instead, our institutions privilege advertising.

"Commercial advertising gets into our heads and keeps us dissatisfied with our income and ourselves!!"
It sounds like a cliché, like a pointless truism. But somehow this bit of historic perspective makes the cliché seem so much more relevant...

Quotes are from from a Tufts University teaching module
by Neva Goodwin, Julie A. Nelson, Frank Ackerman and Thomas Weisskopf

Main Source - a "must read"!

Backup Link:

Additional Sources:

Photo sources:

Friday, October 10, 2014


Note the contents of this post include:  

  • The Appendix to the Nov 2014 15th St MM Library Committee Report.
  • A How-To for registering on the Quaker Cloud, and receiving access to 15th St Meeting's documents that are private to members/attenders

Appendix to 2014 Library Report:

Dear Friends,

Our meeting has a website.

Imagine the website is a door, like in Harry Potter.

That door opens to an antechamber, with doors linking to many places. One of those links will lead to our meeting's Quaker Cloud. (Here is a copy of the link!)

In the cloud we will put, simply, the documentation of our meeting's governance.

From anywhere connected to the internet, we can conveniently access the latest versions, and older versions, of our key governance documents. This has many advantages.

First and most importantly, it enables our institutional memory. It is (will become) a common and always-accessible repository of our historical documents, and we can routinely back-up its new content through Swarthmore.

Second, the accessibility of the records will help us live and work as a community. It lets us leverage principles of Open Governance to help us achieve spiritual unity.

Putting documentation of our governance into the Cloud opens it to our members. A meeting cannot truly find unity where most of its members lack access to information. Poorly-informed friends cannot discern well, and are left to defer to well-informed Friends. The Spirit-Led nature of our community is sustained by our common knowledge of the issues facing us, and limited by a lack thereof.

This is already easy for the minutes of our Monthly Meeting. We have been posting them online for years,

and the newsletter has emailed out a link to a folder of the most recent years' newsletters for the past year. [EDIT: That link was replaced by this Quaker Cloud page]

It is somewhat different for private governance documents like the minutes of our Pastoral Care Committee, Ministry and Worship, Nominating, Property, etc. These committees' works include records that should not be made available to the general public. But, the Quaker Cloud is designed to support precisely this kind of combined privacy-and-convenience. How?

The solution, designed by FGC, has a feeling of simplicity. Public Meeting documents are accessible for any visitor to the Main Quaker Cloud page.

For the protected content, you can login to the cloud with your email address and a password. Without registration and vetting by the Administrator(s), there is no access.

When you login, FGC's computer server recognizes you, and remembers which committees you are on. It provides you access to the content you have permissions to see.

Each committee gets a Quaker Cloud "group," which is basically like a blog, which is a very simple webpage. Making a post to a blog (or "group") basically feels the same as sending an email. Then, instead of the content popping up in the recipient's email, it pops up as a webpage on the group-page within the Quaker Cloud website.

So then, when you log-in to the Quaker Cloud, you will see the list of only the groups you have access to. Some of the groups' content you have view-only access to, and some you can edit, depending on your current committee membership.

And that's it! And now it's time for... gratuitous Quaker dancing!

Baby Shower for Iranzi Elisa in 2011. Parents Etienne Harerimana and Damange Chantal, members of Gisenyi Evangelical Friends Church, are pictured.

Better Informed Community = Better Unity = Better Fellowship and Ministry.

-15th St Library Committee

How-To for Registering on 15th St MM's Quaker Cloud

  1. Go here:  You should see a screen that looks like this: 
  2. Continue on to "3" if you don't have an account yet. 
    • If you do already have one, click "Log in" (in the upper-right) and login to your QuakerCloud account, then return to the page linked above. 
  3. Click on the "Request Access" button to the right.
  4. Click on "Request to Join this Group".
    • If you are already logged-in to a QuakerCloud account, then you should see a page that says that your request is "pending approval". 
    • Current 15thSt Q.Cloud admins are Steven Bhardwaj and Steve Smith. They/we will see your registration request and register you within a day or two.
  5. Otherwise, you'll need to register a QuakerCloud account. The process is like registering for an email account. In this case, you'll come to a page that looks like the following. 
    1. Click on "Create One Now" to register.
  6. Once you're registered on the QuakerCloud, return to steps "1" through "4" and "Request to Join this Group". Hurrah!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crunchbang forum contribution! Kingsoft WPS

Installed (Kingsoft) WPS Office Suite on my Crunchbang Linux OS. The first time I installed something where I contributed to a forum showing how I did it.

Screenshot from WPS spreadsheets:

EDIT: I subsequently found the dialog box that enables the feature I needed in LibreOffice. So now I don't need Kingsoft WPS anymore for now.

Link to my post on the #! forums.