is it possible to get this picture printed on my stomach
the elusive chimichanga beast strikes again
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper would have been 107 today, and is being honored with a great Google Doodle. It’s quite literally impossible for us to imagine, as we sit here reading about her on the internet, but people used to use things like paper and pencils and chalk and slide rules to solve (and often not solve) complicated problems. Grace Hopper quite simply helped usher in the modern age, her impact, I think, is no less than the steam engine or the cotton gin.
Some awesome stuff she did: Grace Hopper developed first compiler, allowing computer calculations to move beyond simple arithmetic and into more complex problems. She also developed first standardized computer language, COBOL, which laid the groundwork for all the languages we use today.
One day she found a dead moth disrupting one of the electronic relays in the Mark 1 computer, and upon removing it (and fixing the computer), the term “debugging" was born. Here’s her daily log from that day, with the offending moth taped to the page:
Beyond that, she was a charming scientific communicator, and she possessed a marvelous ability to make people, and mind you this was in a time when almost no one owned their own computer, truly appreciate both the importance and the complexity of computing technology.
She famously carried around a bundle of nanoseconds in her purse for illustrative purposes. Here she is charming the socks off of David Letterman, and giving him a nanosecond of his very own (don’t miss the picosecond joke, either) :
They are all okay, and all those things could exist in the same woman. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. [x]
Fast food workers “occupying” Wall Street. #imlovinit
If you can’t fucking survive on fucking $7.25 go to fucking school and get another fucking job. Those people who run the fucking restaurants and shops who fucking give out minimum fucking wage need to make a fucking profit too. Get off your lazy fucking ass and make way for the fucking high school students and college students who fucking need that job that pays $7.25.
Funny thing: the workers who are stuck in minimum wage jobs (many of whom have degrees… and huge amounts of debt racked up getting them, because of the myth that going to school is THE path to a high-paying job) are also the biggest single customer base for these sorts of corporations, and most other ones.
You know the thing that’s really going to imperil corporate profits?
The way they pay their workers.
The news keeps saying things about “consumer confidence” being low. Supposedly, it’s low “confidence” that is depressing sales of big ticket items like homes and cars, and if the current trends continue, it’s taking bites out of things like… eating out. Going to the movies. And other things that drive the minimum wage sectors of the economy.
Funny thing: people have to have money to spend money. Right now, most revenue goes straight into the accounts of the major stakeholders in the company. What does it there? It… accrues. It… adds up. What doesn’t it do? It doesn’t circulate. It doesn’t get spent. It doesn’t do anyone any good.
If you gave everyone working at McDonald’s another dollar an hour out of the profits that are currently just being pocketed, those dollars… well, they’d be spent. Almost immediately. And in the end, they’d probably end up being stuck in some millionaire’s low risk, steady return, not-at-all entrepreneurial portfolio, which is where most money ends up.
But just by the magic passing through more hands before it comes to rest, those same dollars would each be spent several more times. MAGIC, right? Same dollar, getting spent again and again and again. And every time, someone benefits. In effect, every time, everyone benefits.
When money goes to the top, it stops moving. Money that isn’t moving isn’t really money any more. It’s as useless as the high score of a video game.
This is why the places in the world—even just in this country—with the best minimum wage and the best social safety nets also have the lowest unemployment, and why unemployment grows or stays stable the more we “tighten belts”. This is just how the world works. This is how the world has always worked. If conservatives would give up their fairy tale fantasyland logic and join the rest of us in the real world, we could have the economy on its feet in no time.
And you are living in a fantasy land. You are. What jobs? What jobs are these people supposed to get? If they had no job, you would tell them “McDonald’s is always hiring.” and act like that’s an answer. Well, they’re working at McDonald’s. And they had to beat ten applicants to get those jobs, because only in your magical fantasy land does “always hiring” mean “has enough job openings to magically accommodate everybody who applies”. Your logic literally requires magic to work.
What are you doing with your life? What are you doing that is so noble and great an endeavor that you can tell people who bust their backs to do a job you probably couldn’t do and definitely wouldn’t want to that they’re lazy for working for $7.25. Would you take $7.25 an hour to do what they do? No? Then they’re being underpaid. The invisible hand of the free market is apparently taking a vacation.
Let me tell you how things work in the real world. In the real world *everyone has to* make a living wage. Has to. If businesses aren’t paying living wages, then they should inevitably go under since no one could afford to work for them. Fortunately or unfortunately, the economy… like an ecology… is all interconnected. So instead of these businesses suffering alone for what should be a fatal decision on their part, they drag everyone else down with them in a slow death spiral that poisons the whole economy.
See, if these business owners aren’t paying their employees a living wage but they’re not going out of business, then their incompetence or greed (pick one, or both) is being subsidized by everyone else. Their incompetence or greed is being paid for by everyone who pays ABOVE a minimum wage so that their employees can afford to eat out and shop and see movies, and by everybody who pays the taxes that go to the public assistance programs that allow their employees to keep scraping by.
Of course, the employees themselves are bearing the brunt of the death spiral, because they’re trapped between an immovable object—a job that against all real-world logic expects full time employees to accept wages that won’t get them through the week—and an inexorable force—the fact that human beings have basic needs that require more money than they’re getting to meet.
Since we actually do live in the real world, it’s inevitable that a system that is unsustainable will fall apart, and this one will… it will reach a breaking point where we’ll either have to acknowledge the problem and fix it, or… well, it will just break. It would be better to fix it sooner rather than later, especially since there are actual people being literally worked to death while smug jerks like you who don’t understand how the world works and who wouldn’t be able to do what they do lecture them about how their plight is somehow their fault.
I was going to reply to the comment up above but I think you covered it.
fun prank idea: go to starbucks and tell the cashier your name is “Dad.” then when the barista starts calling “Dad??” “DAD?” “DAD” you can hide behind the crowd of people and watch as he begins to cry. why did his father leave him
Thank you for being alive today. Thank you for continuing to try. Thank you for breathing the same air I do, and I hope you have wonderful dreams when you sleep because you deserve them.
Let’s try to hit 25k by Christmas, because holy shit the holidays are so stressful for everyone ever.