Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Diogenes Story

Once upon a time....about 2,400 years ago....lived a Greek guy by the name of Diogenes.

It'd be best to say there Diogenes was a guy who spent a fair amount of time pondering, offering wit and criticism on occasion, and fairly well known for being cynical.  On one occasion....he was noted carrying around a lamp in the daytime....saying that he was looking for an honest man.

On various occasions, he'd get himself into trouble for a witty comment, and at some point....he was actually kicked out town (Sinope).  In today's world, he'd be classified as a hobo, and likely interviewed nightly for some observation that he made over the news of the day.

At some point....some folks felt that Diogenes had passed the point of no return....that he was now a philosopher, and some suggested that he'd invented the concept of cynicism.  This idea led some folks to forge ahead and in time....this all led to a school which was focused on one single thing....Stoicism.  Shocker, eh?

The thing you notice though is that there is not a single letter or note today....that goes back to Diogenes.  One might even go and suggest that Diogenes never wrote anything down anyway.

What does survive are simply anecdotes of folks who bumped into him, and he made some cynical comment that enriched their prospective on things, and those writings are what we are left.

I bring all of this up because there's another statue episode building up.  Naturally....years ago.....some folks got around to putting up a statue to Diogenes....in Sinop (his old town).

But Sinop today....is in Turkey.

So this alt-Islamic Turk group has stood up and said that the government of Turkey needs to take down the Diogenes statue.  It's kinda like the Confederacy episode...in that Turkey has had this anti-Greek trend for a while and the statue-talk in the US has spread out.

Naturally, the alt-crowd are wanting to let folks know that they aren't against arts and philosophy....just Greeks.

What will happen?  Unknown.  The one odd factor is that Diogenes is one of the few folks around who always favored dogs,and this is a rare statue in having a trusted dog by his side.

What would Diogenes say if he were around today and watching this unfold?  Generally, he was a guy who always looked for a free lunch when possible, and I think he'd be standing there in some stoic fashion....with a chicken-leg....sipping a ice tea, and cynically saying that you could have better spent the statue money on park benches.

Capitalism Isn't Working Proven Wrong

I sat and watched this video last night.  It's originally from 2012....May Day, and in New York apparently.

The young guy was hyped up on the statement that capitalism wasn't working, and we naturally needed to move onto socialism.

I stopped the video a couple of times....mostly to sit and observe upon the guy....his attire....and the landscape.  I admit....I am a bit drawn to NY City, and Union Square always interests me.

So you start to notice off the guy....his attire.  The hat?  Typically, this is made in some place like Mexico or China....in NY City, it'll sell for $25 (but it'll be manufactured for less than $3 in material and maybe $6 in labor-time, with $2 in shipping and distribution). Capitalism worked fine in this case.

Then you notice the designer-glasses.  Stylish type.  Upscale. You had to go and get an exam for $75.  The glasses and the prescription....probably run near $250.  Figure $325 total.  Twenty-five years ago, it would have been near $400 for the same deal.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

Then you notice the backpack....upscale type.  Probably Patagonia type. With tax, they run near $90 for the low-end type....maybe up to $140 for the nicer ones (to include taxation). Capitalism worked fine in this case.

Then you notice the camera.  Figure $650 minimum.  Add on taxes.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

The shirt and pants?  Figure maybe toward $120 total.  Add on taxes.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

The watch?  Looks like fairly nice one.....figure at least $350.  Add on taxes.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

His haircut? It's not the $9.99 type.  He probably spend $22 at some local barber.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

There early on in the video....did you notice the pink-hair gal?  The hair deal?  She might have done it at home but I'll bet she paid at least $80 at some beauty shop for the pink-color.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

The tattoos that the pink-hair lady has?  You have to stop the video at the :06 point and note that she has a minimum of two (one big one on the back).  She might have two or three others but in discreet areas which we really don't need to see.  Value?  The one on the back probably ran $400.  Capitalism worked fine in this case.

The education for intellectual-Joe and pink-hair 'Mandy'?  I would take a bold guess and say that between the two of them....roughly $240,000 was spent on their college era situation.  Where did the money come from? Either loans or dad.  In effect....capitalism worked fine.

The Starbucks coffee shop across the street?  Eventually....one might suspect that intellectual-Joe and pink-hair 'Mandy' will make their way across the street....spending near $16 (NY taxes are hefty) on two grande cups of coffee.  They might even be hungry and spend $12 on a cupcake each.  Capitalism worked fine.

How did they get to Union Station?  Well....typically, you'd run the subway.  Capitalism worked fine in getting them there.

It's a 59-second video that you might run three or four times.  In the end.....the guy proves himself to be incredibly naive.  Everything around him.....the whole city of New York....the clothing....the education....all brought by capitalism.