TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Showing posts with label Property Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Property Rights. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Housing Crash by Any Other Name


The Roscommon house eviction in Ireland is going viral on the Internet. *FOOTAGE* OVER 1000 PEOPLE PROTEST ROSCOMMON EVICTION (17 December 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Several reports and experts are predicting a huge meltdown of stocks, real estate, and bonds by 2019 or 2020. While we wait for global collapse and, as Kim Dotcom said, "buy crypto and gold," the question of how else to prepare for, and deal with, a huge crash becomes one of adjusting perspective.

More scary tweets from Kim Dotcom, who has been predicting an economic crash all year.

It starts with eroding property rights, headlined by a recent incident in Falsk, outside Strokestown, County Roscommon, Ireland on 16 December 2018. When Belgian KBC Bank hired Northern Irish security guards to evict a small family from a foreclosed farmhouse on Tuesday, 11 December, an armed gang of some twenty men assembled by the Sunday after the family had departed. Just after 5 o'clock in the morning, they attacked the bank's eight guards who had taken possession of the house with baseball bats. They burned out the security guards' four cars, injured their attack dog so badly it had to be put down, and left three guards in the hospital. It looks like the owners of the foreclosed house may shortly be reinstalled in their home.

This vigilantism was obviously the product of local and social media buzz building between last Tuesday and last Saturday. The townsfolk felt that the foreclosure was unnecessarily brutal and they also disliked the fact that the eviction was scheduled right before Christmas. It was inhumane. From The Irish Examiner:
"One man said: 'I felt sorry for the family because I knew them for years, I grew up beside them and I suppose like every family they did try their best. They should have been given time and there should be more people out at that gate.'

A woman said: 'It is shocking. You wouldn't throw an animal outside the door, they were treated like animals.' ...
Independent Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice claims up to 40 to 50 people are walking away from their homes because they are afraid of going through the court system. ... 'A lot of people are losing their home or a piece of land. We are dealing with too many cases, we’re trying to deal with the banks and the vulture funds,' he said."
The bank's hiring of Northern Irish mercenaries was the final straw. One Youtuber remarked: "this is a joke we need to have some balls like the French and yellow vest these orange bastards." Another commented:
"Eviction has a particular connotation, in Ireland, since famine times, and before. There is a visceral reaction to the concept, in the gut of every Irish person over a certain age. A horror of eviction is buried deep in our [psyche], and in our cultural memory. KBC bank clearly has no grasp of the cultural sensitivities in the matter, or cares less. I can't comment on the case details, because I don't know enough to do so. But there is always a right, and a wrong way, to approach every issue."

The aftermath of the Roscommon attack on the security guards who were hired by the KBC Bank to repossess a family's house. Anti Irish Bankster terror gang burnt out after stealing pensioner's home (16 December 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Roscommon Eviction Interview (16 December 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday and the Aesthetics of Fascism


Window-mounted cat beds, Amazon review: "It's been nine months and Tucker still loves this bed ten times more than anything else I've bought him." Image Source: Buzzfeed.

In North America, Thanksgiving weekend is the cornerstone of consumption-based capitalism. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November, this year on November 22nd, followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have become pre-Christmas discounted shopping bonanzas. Stores are selling everything you could imagine, down to the window-mounted cat bed. This weekend is lucrative enough to tempt merchants in other countries to use the same gimmick to boost their fourth quarter sales.

Kohler Pedestal Sink. These sinks retail at Home Depot in the USA for USD $600-$800. Image Source: Miley Photos.

Essex Metal 24" Console Bathroom Sink with Overflow by Cheviot. Regular priced at Wayfair for CAD $830.25, on sale on Black Friday for CAD $584.99. Image Source: Cheviot.

Waldorf Ceramic 24" Wall Mount Bathroom Sink with Overflow by WS Bath Collections. Regular priced at Wayfair for CAD $1109.99, on sale on Black Friday for CAD $849.99. Image Source: homeclick.

This week, I saw some Black Friday examples which reminded me of an earlier commentary, Fascism at a Hairpin Turn. In a series of posts on this blog, I am considering how 1940s' fascism became a part of modern global culture in ways which are poorly understood. Above, are sinks by Kohler, Cheviot and WS Bath Collections. Kohler Co. was founded in Wisconsin in 1873 by Austrian Americans; it employs a sharp German aesthetic in its high end lavatory designs.

I was struck by the aesthetic similarity between today's sinks and 1940s' institutional sinks. Below, are sinks in an autopsy room and in another room from the French concentration camp near Strasbourg, Natzweiler-Struthof, where human experiments were conducted.


Sinks at Natzweiler-Struthof. Images Source: La Vie est Bonne.

Of course, sinks made outside fascist Europe in the 1940s would also resemble today's designs and their modernist style could be pre-World War II, derived from interwar Bauhaus. When I mentioned this similarity between past and present, my friend, C., said,
"The fascist aesthetic ... merged what ... [the fascists] wanted of [the] modern aesthetic (some aspects of architecture and NO aspect of the fine arts) and aspects of the neoclassic as well as empire styles, both of which were adopted as official styles by Napoleon's ... régime. ... Makes one think that everything that happened[,] including sinks, New York skyscrapers, and concentration camps were all a part of leaving the feudal system."
The Nazis definitely took that white porcelain neoclassical look and made it theirs. Going forward from 1945, there is no way a designer could be ignorant of that aesthetic reference when creating a consumer product in that style. This is why it was startling to see Nazi-esque sinks on sale on this Black Friday at Home Depot. I can't say that the example of the sinks proves anything in terms of demonstrable historical aesthetic lineage because I have not researched that. But it made me ask why and how that aesthetic has been absorbed into mainstream North American culture and values.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Flights of the Immortals


RTA and Volocopter operate Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) in Dubai (19 June 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Flying cars have arrived, so the future is officially here. The new socio-economic divide will be evident to those still stuck in ground traffic, as they gaze high above their heads. A BBC World News television interviewee stated this week that the aim for these "future mobility ecosystems" was to,
"ease us into this before we go completely pilotless."
In the United States, regulators are currently opening up lower air space to drones and air taxis. The past few years have seen American property rights activists battling for citizens to retain some control over the airspace around and above them as an extension of private property they own - and of their own individual autonomy. After all, how low is 'lower airspace' when it comes to an unmanned aircraft system that is an ultra-tiny drone smaller than a gnat? Two inches above your head? Inside your ear canal? But really, like all the rest of hyper-accelerated technology, humankind seems helpless to resist the inevitable.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

North Korean Monopoly: Progress and Poverty


Image Source: hajo via NRC.

VICE recently reported (below) that North Korea is making billions of dollars by sending its forced labour pool to work in Poland and other European countries. If you follow VICE, you know that North Korea is one of Shane Smith's favourite subjects. I have previously blogged about his coverage, here. VICE's report drew from earlier articles in the Dutch media, NRC (11 February 2016), and Reuters (26 April 2016). I was struck by the North Korean Monopoly illustration that appears in the VICE video, reproduced from the NRC report, and the implication that North Korea's totalitarian family dictatorship and weird communists are exporting forced labour around the world as a capitalist commodity. Reuters maintained that the money earned by North Korean forced labour in the seemingly humanitarian European Union was funding the North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programme:
"[T]here is arguably a strong link between North Korean human rights infringements and something that is happening in the EU today. Preliminary research shows that several hundred, possibly thousands, of North Korean workers are hired with legal work permits, but under often illegal circumstances, in EU member states. These states include Poland, Malta and others. The companies hiring North Koreans include those involved in shipyards, construction, manufacturing and agriculture. Details about these companies will be included in a forthcoming report later this year. Once workers are issued these permits, it is not clear what happens after they arrive in the EU.

Funds earned by North Korean laborers working in the EU under what appear to be conditions of forced labor a[re] sent to Pyongyang enable the missile-launching posturing we are now witnessing. Effectively, this means that action to address North Korea’s dire human rights situation could be intimately connected to efforts to fight its threat to regional security."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In Millennial Eyes 3: Abandoned Buildings, Left to Rot

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Abandoned federal gold exchange bank, Part 1 (29 June 2015). Video Source: Youtube.

This post is the first of three - respectively on the economy, politics, and war - which describe how a negative Millennial history is emerging from disconnections between perception and reality. For today, see urbex explorer Josh wander through an abandoned bank, somewhere in America. It appears that this bank closed in the 1980s. To protect properties from vandals, Josh does not reveal names or locations of many of the places he visits. He does not remove anything from the sites, he only films and photographs them. You can see Josh and his friends explore dozens of abandoned sites in the USA and abroadhere.

Urban explorers are now poking through the wreckage of a transformed economy. That transformation depended on the 'virtualization' of property. Before 2007-2008, the economic value of property lay more in its assessed worth as a tangible historical object. During and after the Great Recession, the temporal perception of property changed to become a fleeting and mutable virtual investment, divorced from its actual physical condition and connection to society. The process started before that, but the recession was the hard turning point. In order to understand this change in terms of its long term consequences, it is important to separate the official story of the recession from the post-recession reality which urban explorers have uncovered.

Abandoned federal gold exchange bank, Part 2. Video Source: Youtube.

Although urbex is the new Millennium's historical pastime, the perspective is based on experience, unmediated by historical knowledge, except for a Google search or two. Information on abandoned properties is suppressed on the Internet to discourage vandals and scavengers. Urban explorers seek history out, independently of the way it has been presented to them in the system. Josh thanks all his viewers, "even the haters," who jeer at his lack of knowledge. While urban explorers may not always know the historical context through which they move, they discover many things their viewers do not yet know.

Urban exploration reveals how rapidly the present is becoming the past. For some, the late 20th century and early 21st century are too recent to be considered historical. Urbex videos indicate how time is accelerating in everyday life, and why the past is being discarded at an alarming rate. It is not a pretty picture. Urban explorers document a secret history of incredible losses, shameful waste, and a throwaway culture which appeared over the past thirty years. Abandoned buildings and infrastructure are monuments to materialism, property bubbles, recessions and bankruptcies. The economic shocks are one thing. But the wreckage also confirms a deeper anti-historical malaise. Urbex confirms the need to revitalize historical awareness.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How Many Books have been Written Through Human History?

Le Libraire. By Andre Martins de Barros.

A Google blog, Inside Google Books, reported on August 5 that Google is busy mashing together the libraries of the world and in so doing has come up with a number of algorithms to crunch out how many books there are in the world: 129,864,880Time has a report here. Of course, they're less clear about how far they go back historically, whether they include archival bound documents that are listed in databases, and how many langugages, countries and libraries they cover.  This is one of many grey areas in Post-Postmodern reality - we have a definite number - of something.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From Swords to Ploughshares

Martin Marietta Corporation artist's concept: rocket-propelled missile accelerating toward collision in outer space w. its target, nuclear-tipped ICBM. Time/Life/Getty 1985.

Ever wondered what happens to decommissioned intercontinental ballistic missiles?  According to this June 28 report at The Space Review, some of them enter a twilight world of congressional red tape, sometimes for decades, where it is decided whether or not rockets and other ICBM parts can be broken down for the purposes of the space program. This is decades-old news, except for long-term legal implications that are now blossoming. Like much of where space exploration is headed, this is a bizarre story of the no man's land between the world of public and private property, public and private research, public and private intelligence.  Who governs the area where the two spheres overlap?