Humpty Dumpty? Can Intermingling Currents of Decentralization Capsize a Corporate State?
Can the dark side of innovation survive the gathering mist of decentralization?
I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution, and I didn’t consciously decide that I would make a concerted effort to self-promote, the force just suddenly took over my consciousness.
When operating a small but very complex business like Andersen Design, one learns to manage on auto. One can pour water in the casting slip without measuring and be right on the mark of the hydrometer reading 99% of the time. or one can forget about something that one is timing without a timer and remember it suddenly at just the right time and one can suddenly decide to self-promote at a moment when the forces converge in one’s favor.
When there are too many functions going on to occupy your conscious mind trust the inherent subliminal management processes because the mind is a very complex organization with many subsidiaries.
Self-promotion kicked in autonomously until the results became overwhelming and I said Stop! WHOA! slow down! it’s been great but- I need a pause.
One of the encouraging results of my foray is that I applied for a platform called Upcarta where people on the people’s list mostly seem to be founders, philosophers, and the famous who create curated lists of content.
I was most surprised when I gained a follower within half an hour after I applied before there was a chance to be accepted, let alone publish. The follower is the author of an academic paper about government intervention in the pricing practices of online platforms in Turkey which relates to the subjects that I write about.
Being so overwhelmed by the results of my sudden and unexpected foray into self-promotion, I did not notice that I have already been accepted on the platform yesterday until I searched the name in my email history today. My follower is B. Gokce (Ucar) Idiman, Head of Community @Upcarta and she wants to know if I would like to schedule a twenty-minute meeting with her and founder Alican Vergin, to which I said yes and scheduled a call for Monday and then I will find out more about what this place is and why I am there.
On many platforms, there is a list of subject matter, absent of subjects that I write about. UPcarta is a philosophical and worldly place of ideas. I like that it has tweets, academic papers, and newsletters all in the mix and it is very well organized. I think it is a place where I will spend a lot of time.
The newsletter is a social current that decentralizes and grows from all directions while academia digs deep into research and intricate thought.
In recent times, academia is in bed with industry and corporate management as is happening on the Boothbay Peninsula in Maine, a local story I am unfolding in this newsletter as it occurs.
Recently I have expressed concern that the Town boards will try to bypass public participation and a public vote on the “repealed and replaced” school charter as part of a larger scheme to repeal and replace the historical culture of this peninsula.
Below is an example typifying the way that the repeal and replacement of the school charter is being reported to the public: (deleted parts are superfluous)
The Community School District School Board voted 4-1 on Jan. 10 to support proposed changes to the school charter. …….
The two towns were eventually joined by school officials in developing a “repeal and replace” approach to updating the document’s language to match current state statutes and change from the current budget meeting format to a budget validation referendum for approving the annual school budgets. …….
Superintendent Bob Kahler reported Boothbay Harbor and Boothbay selectmen already supported the new charter language earlier this month. The proposal still needs legislative approval. If the new charter is approved, it would be the sixth revision since 1953. CSD joins Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor in supporting charter changes (emphasis by author)
Notice that there is no mention of what is in the school charter as the conversation continually reverts back to the format of the school budget approval which does not require repealing and replacing the entire school charter. None of the previous “revisions” repealed and replaced the entire school charter and so it is more accurate to say that it is the first repealing and replacing of the school charter since 1953. The titles of news stories call attention to the charter while the text diverts attention away from the content of the new school charter. The fact that this happens consistently and repeatedly is odd, inviting the bizarre thought, did they sign an NDA agreement not to disclose what is in the school charter? Nothing seems out of the realm of possibilities these days.
I made a substantive online comment and was not intending to go on about the school again here when something unusual happened. Town selectman Steve Lewis commented on my comments (here) claiming I was posting false information and Patty Minerich gave Steve Lewis an upvote.
Mr. Lewis seems intelligent but I cannot tell if he is naive, or just believes that the public is naive, or has been hypnotized by the high-rollers to whom he capitulates. The facts that I stated and he claimed were false are on the public record and that includes public selectmen records.
The conversation continues as I write and now Lewis’s tone is a little more respectful but he does not acknowledge that I supported my statements and is instructing me that I am using an incorrect forum and I should come in and talk in person, meaning not on public record. (noting that the story in which Mr. Lewis chooses to address me about comments I have made about the school and the concentrated housing zone is not about either topic) I do not know what he wants to talk about that he can’t say publicly. Instinctually I do not want to do this. I will continue on in the incorrect forum.
In an article published on January 12, 2023, titled Boothbay Harbor selectmen hold 4 executive sessions it is also stated that they are bringing the charter in line with new state statutes:
Tomko explained the new charter reflects “more modern language and brings the charter in line with current state statutes.” source.
We don’t know what the “more modern language” is in our local charter because the leaders are not telling us what is in it at all but I recently became aware of a LD1845 An Act To Amend the Education Statutes enacted last April.
The description says the act amends 35 educational statutes. Now I decided to take a look. This link connects to the bill in which one can easily see where the revisions were made since the old text is struck out and the new text is underlined. I realized that many of those 35 amended statutes involve the repealing of the word “restructure” to be replaced with the word “innovate”. This must be the “more modern language”.
A quick peruse of the Act reveals three types of changes were made.
The word “restructure” is replaced by “innovate”
The commissioner may designate a school administrative unit that engages
in education research and development as a demonstration site
Waiver of rules for local schools if the waiver is necessary to achieve the proposed innovation.
Upon reading this it struck me as consistent that I, a private citizen, am being instructed by my Town selectman as to what is the proper forum in which I can express my observations and opinions. This concept that local leadership has about their relationship to the public at large conforms with words found in another section of the educational statute:
A. The development of comprehensive educational goals establishing community
expectations for what all students should know, the skills they should possess, the
attitude toward work and learning they should hold upon completing school and the role of the school in the community [PL 1991, c. 407, §1 (NEW). PL 2021, c. 571, §1 (AMD).
Steve Lewis publicly states as his first public engagement in the ongoing conversation that “I normally just scroll over these comments for a chuckle or two but your continued misinformation is just getting old”. Nice intro, Mr. Lewis!
I have observed in the past that Town leaders have the propensity to treat mere citizens as underlings in a hierarchy as if the government no longer serves the people, it rules the people. This is seen in every aspect of our lives exemplified by the following quote by Erin Cooperrider that describes what life will be like for the inhabitants of the new housing concentration zone planned by the BRDC, also supported by the Boothbay Town selectmen:
BRDC will continue as landowner beyond the buildout and current leadership because of investment in land and infrastructure, said Cooperrider. Homes and rentals will be subject to a homeowners association which will have some control over the property and BRDC control through deed restrictions, purchase and resale oversight and other mechanisms now under investigation; apartments will be managed by a professional company, she said. Selectmen get housing development presentation
That’s called corporate control - exactly what the “workforce” is rebelling against!
Mr. Lewis refutes my observation that the BRDC plan for the concentrated housing zone is a case of corporate ownership of single-family homes. In the age of the ownership-class-working class divide, Mr. Lewis’s belief defies reason. The reason BRDC is targeting “workforce housing”, or in the old-fashioned language that Ms. Cooperrider is trying to phase out, “low-income” and “affordable housing” is for the sake of the public subsidies. The wealth divide has escalated to the point where as a general rule people in any of the classes targeted by BRDC cannot afford home ownership. So who are the private owners whom Mr.Lewis claims will pay taxes? The homeowners association? And who would that be? The BRDC? - a tax-exempt non-profit corporation. Or as Ms. Cooperrider states is the BRCD just going to own the land that the houses occupy in a high five to the Chinese model?
Because China is a socialist country, all land is either subject to government ownership or collective ownership. In principle, municipal land is subject to government ownership and land outside cities is subject to collective ownership. However, one can obtain the right to use the land. source
Whatever it is the BRDC will control the lives of the inhabitants and the transfers of property ownership. If you had a thought about buying one of these homes and moving it to a plot of land where the house can actually have a lawn, forget about it, the all-controlling BRDC will control the transfer of property that you think you own. This is how the new ownership class- the working class divided society works.
The purpose of the BRDC development is to build affordable housing for the working class that can no longer afford home ownership. The BRDC plan does not include a path to homeownership for the targeted class of inhabitants. Who then are the private owners that Mr.Lewis claims will privately own the houses on the BRDC-owned land and pay taxes to the Town? The most likely candidates are private corporations. In other words corporate-owned single-family homes.
Now Mr. Lewis can try to portray me as presenting false information, so let me say clearly now, I am merely speculating about what may be in the secret negotiations that we the public are not allowed to know anything about.
The new educational rule is that the rules that most are expected to obey can be waived for those schools designated as “innovators”. It occurs to me that what is not being said is that the new rules about waiving the rules are being written because the authors already know what rules they want to break and it has to do with the designated research centers, and that is what the 100 million dollar school advanced by anonymous donors on the Peninsuala, is aiming to become.
The picture painted herein is of the corporate State taking over our public education system for its own business objectives. The new designated “research center/schools” can make up their own rules, hinting at what is happening behind the scenes. Is this why the public is not told what is in our school charter?
By using an “incorrect forum” I have gotten Mr. Lewis to publicly acknowledge the idea that the Maine Constitution ought to be taught in our public school system, even if it was only to say in an accusing tone that I had brought this idea up several times as if it is inappropriate to repeat an idea that one is advocating, still, in so doing Mr. Lewis reaffirmed the Maine Constitution as part of the conversation about the school charter. Score! and he also publicly stated that there will be a public vote on the school charter in both towns. Score! It will be hard to back down from that now. That is two wins for the incorrect platform!
I should explain to Mr. Lewis that for me the rules about correct forums are waived because I am an innovator.
Actually, his rules do not apply to me or any private citizen because he does not have authority over our freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, on UPcarta I am reading a paper that is humorous at the same time it makes an intellectual argument about how to define the female gender, considering all females, including robots, aliens, and women from fantasy genres. Can this be correct?!!! The tone seems more like the content-provider world than the academic world. The title of the paper is Trans Women, Cis Women, Alien Women, and Robot Women Are Women: They Are All (Simply) Adults Gendered Female. The author Marcus Arvan is Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Tampa and he owns, moderates, and blogs at The Philosophers’ Cocoon: A safe and supportive forum for early-career philosophers.
I like that the paper stretches boundaries and challenges the paradigms by which we formulate definitions. Is it evidence that the content provider world is infiltrating the academic arena like a mist that rolls in unnoticed and infiltrates imperceptively until it has filled the whole space? We are the grassroots and the branches of the tallest trees, the independents. It’s enticing others to become a part of a new decentralization movement.
Julian de Medeiros is an engaging young philosopher I came across on Upcarta
Julian de Medeiros talks about Zizek & Lacan in this video, with whom I am unfamiliar but I like the ideas that Merdeios introduces using Zizek and Lacan as a jumping board. Medeiros dissects and reconstructs the subject matter attributing Zizeks idea of “the sublime object of ideology” as rooted in Lacan, who says the goal of desire is merely a temporary goal but the aim of the desire is to keep on desiring. While Bob Dylan singing “He not busy being born is busy dying” is running through my head, Medeiros interprets the goals of desire through the medium of consumerism attributing to Zizek the concept of linking Lacan’s sublime object of ideology to consumerism and capitalism, which is what put Zizek on the map. Yes, I can see why. Such a theory creates an application within the corporate culture but If “keeping on desiring” means “desiring to live” as supported by Mederios saying that when we stop desiring the sense of self disintegrates, It is not consumer products that are desired but to always be discovering and growing, or to keep on being born. I understand this as a process. Andersen Design creates products classifiable as consumer objects. I do not wish to devalue the objects in our lives that contribute to our experience, but it is the working process that fulfills the aim of desire in the Lacanian sense according to Mederios. It is the working process that keeps us busy being born, or not. For the working classes, it is the work process that fills our moments.
Mederios then goes into a discussion of consumerism and capitalism asking if we can change what we collectively want, and at that point, I feel the adaptation to the corporate world order. Although we collectively create our world, I don’t feel that we can collectively decide what we want but that what we want comes from within. According to the esoteric philosophers, where the collective and individual merge is the Christ center. That center goes by many other names, including “no name”.
Another important result of my sudden foray is that I made a very encouraging connection related to my projects published on The Field, and now I must organize my thoughts around that.
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