luka

Well-known member
The country would run better if we just let the civil service get on with it and killed all the politicians
 

luka

Well-known member
Simon Silverdollar is a high ranking career civil servant. He's a safe pair of hands. I'd trust him with the big decisions.
 

version

Well-known member
The point-to-surface method comes from the Soviet notion of an "experimental point"; the principle is that you:
1. Determine a policy goal you would like to reach
2. Designate several "experimental points" where you'll test different tactics.
3. At each of the points, the chosen method will be carried out by local officials according to local conditions.
4. When you have results from your experiments, you lift the successful ones upwards, publicizing their successes as "model experiences," and synthesizing generalized policy guidance for a wider rollout. This is the "to surface"
5. The new guidance is implemented across the country, according to local conditions.

You can think of this, briefly, as "top down to bottom up to top down to bottom up" policymaking. The key feature of it is that it's much less dumb than trying to implement policy everywhere, all at once, without testing it at all first.

Fans of Sci-Hub will want to read Heilmann's piece on the matter: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20066378?seq=1
I'm reading a book atm which talks about Starbucks coming up with a bunch of brands called stuff like Joe's Coffee or whatever, stuff that appears local, independent etc then setting them all up a decent distance from one another and seeing which one does best before spinning it off into its own chain, but it's all really Starbucks. They know some people hate Starbucks, so they disguise themselves.

I dunno whether it's an invention of the author's, but it would probably work, if they aren't already doing it.
 

version

Well-known member
There's so much in that book (Satin Island) that relates to the stuff we talk about on here. There's some corporate guru who spouts slick aphorisms, everyone's watching catastrophes on phones and laptops and TVs, the main character lifts stuff from Deleuze, but cuts out "the revolutionary shit" and passes it off as his own in commissioned reports for various companies. There's a bit where he starts going on about how he was obsessed with Claude Lévi-Strauss then ended up working for Levi Strauss as a corporate anthropologist studying the folds in jeans. There's another where he mentions doing some sort of study of rave culture whilst being a raver himself and struggling with the two roles and which is the more authentic, whether one cancels out the other.
 
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suspended

Well-known member
I really wanna read Gibson's Pattern Recognition which seems like it touches on similar themes

BTW there is a Joe Coffee city-scale chain in NYC; it's quite popular and successful. Passes itself off as family-owned, tho.
 

version

Well-known member
There's so much in that book (Satin Island) that relates to the stuff we talk about on here. There's some corporate guru who spouts slick aphorisms everyone's watching catastrophes on phones and laptops and TVs, the main character lifts stuff from Deleuze, but cuts out "the revolutionary shit" and passes it off as his own in commissioned reports for various companies. There's a bit where he starts going on about how he was obsessed with Claude Lévi-Strauss then ended up working for Levi Strauss as a corporate anthropologist studying the folds in jeans. There's another where he mentions doing some sort of study of rave culture whilst being a raver himself and struggling with the two roles and which is the more authentic, whether one cancels out the other.
"The company's logo was a giant, crumbling tower. It was Babel, of course, the old biblical parable. It embodied one of Peyman's signature concepts. Babel's tower, he'd say, is usually taken to be symbol of man's hubris. But the myth, he'd carry on, has been misunderstood. What actually matters isn't the attempt to reach the heavens, or to speak God's language. No: what matters is what's left when that attempt has failed. This ruinous edifice (he'd say), which serves as a glaring reminder that its would-be occupants are scattered about the earth, spread horizontally rather than vertically, babbling away in all these different tongues - this tower becomes of interest only once it has flunked its allotted task. Its ruination is the precondition for all subsequent exchange, all cultural activity. And, on top of that, despite its own demise, the tower remains: you see it there in all the paintings - ruined, but still rising with its arches and its buttresses, its jagged turrets and its rusty scaffolding. What's valuable about it is its uselessness. Its uselessness sets it to work: as symbol, cipher, spur to the imagination, to productiveness. The first move for any strategy of cultural production, he'd say, must be to liberate things - objects, situations, systems - into uselessness."
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
I'm not convinced that's the next wave in ubiquitous corporate marketing. Outside of niche communities, Id say most people like that they're are shopping at these globe dominating behemoths. In the tourist town Im in, small businesses attempt to mimic the look of chains.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
Or maybe big business attempting to mimic local business has mutated into its own free standing aesthetic without any pretense of folksy posturing and that's new the standard small businesses try to match.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
There's so much in that book (Satin Island) that relates to the stuff we talk about on here. There's some corporate guru who spouts slick aphorisms everyone's watching catastrophes on phones and laptops and TVs, the main character lifts stuff from Deleuze, but cuts out "the revolutionary shit" and passes it off as his own in commissioned reports for various companies. There's a bit where he starts going on about how he was obsessed with Claude Lévi-Strauss then ended up working for Levi Strauss as a corporate anthropologist studying the folds in jeans. There's another where he mentions doing some sort of study of rave culture whilst being a raver himself and struggling with the two roles and which is the more authentic, whether one cancels out the other.
Is there any connection between Levi-Strauss and Levis the jeans brand, or is it coincidence?
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
Is there any connection between Levi-Strauss and Levis the jeans brand, or is it coincidence?
claude levi strauss was the anthropologist and levi strauss was a german guy who made jeans 100 years before, so who was the true visionary?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Or maybe big business attempting to mimic local business has mutated into its own free standing aesthetic without any pretense of folksy posturing and that's new the standard small businesses try to match.
One of my all time pet hates is the way Jack Daniels pretends to be this folksy, homespun little company where nothing has changed in 150 years, instead of this global behemoth, or how Ben & Jerry's would have you believe that the amount of pecans you get in your ice cream depends on which employee personally placed them in the tub with their own hands.

Next to that, actual small independent businesses converging on a McDonald's aesthetic would be quite refreshing.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
One of my all time pet hates is the way Jack Daniels pretends to be this folksy, homespun little company where nothing has changed in 150 years, instead of this global behemoth, or how Ben & Jerry's would have you believe that the amount of pecans you get in your ice cream depends on which employee personally placed them in the tub with their own hands.

Next to that, actual small independent businesses converging on a McDonald's aesthetic would be quite refreshing.
I was thinking about the restaurant industry, where every new local shop tries to look like a torchy's tacos, an especially detached take on the home grown aesthetic
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Or maybe big business attempting to mimic local business has mutated into its own free standing aesthetic without any pretense of folksy posturing and that's new the standard small businesses try to match.
Cool idea, sort of like a mutation. Or some accidental novelty.

But the big business dressing up as small business, much as a wolf in sheeps attire, could fall neatly into place within the larger wealthy-conservative-pretending-to-take-the-side-of-the-worker framework, should we be so generous as to consider it a framework.
 
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