Are YOU a Manual or Knowledge Worker?

In the 1970s academic kids in my neighbourhood went to Viscount Bennett High School. The rest (losers 😀) went to Earnest Manning High School which had far superior TRADES training.

The internet accelerated the fortunes of knowledge workers. Relative wages of those working in trades declined.

Everyone wanted to be a white collar worker. Sitting all day at a computer manipulating electrons.

Author/mechanic Matthew Crawford argues that is wrong. And is changing.

He quit his job at a Think Tank, instead opening a Motorcycle repair shop.

Matthew’s book is titled Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Van Neistat makes an even better argument. A Spirited Man can build and fix things. Help his friends and family. A real man can do manual labour.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Me?

I’m hopeless. Not the least handyman you know, … but close.

I ride bikes but can’t fix them when they breakdown.

By comparison, my Dad and brother Rob are career Jack-of-all-Trades.

The late great buddy Rob Glaser was probably my most trusted authority for all things broken.

Needless to say, he was expert in living outdoors. Manipulated firewood with his bare hands, for example.

In the wild you want to carry only those items which can be repaired on the go. Metal, not plastic.

In 2022 it would be smart to seek work in an occupation where you can’t easily be replace by a computer. Gymnastics coach, for example. It will be a long time before Artificial Intelligence replaces human sport coaching.

Take pride in being able to physically make and repair things.

Listen to Elon

I’m often critical of Elon Musk. Turned off by his egomania.

Disappointed in his juvenile comments from the bully pulpit of Twitter. One of the richest and most powerful men in the world attacking and mocking people who are unable to fight back.

I’m disappointed that a guy who claims he doesn’t care about money is so reluctant to pay more in taxes though his businesses have received billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

That said, I admire almost everything else. His work ethic. His companies, especially Boring and Starlink.

Elon Musk does much more good for the world than bad. He’s scientific and well aware of the risks of climate change. He calls for a carbon tax. Musk endorsed Andrew Yang and expressed support for his proposed universal basic income.

Though the headlines shout that Elon is a “free speech absolutist”, Musk himself says Twitter must abide by the laws of each nation. I doubt much will change in terms of Twitter policy in Canada or the USA.

In fact, I’m guessing Twitter will be better for me with Musk as owner.

Warren had me watch this recent interview. Elon defends his life and ethics quite well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Maid – miniseries

Excellent TV. 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Original. Non-cliche. Surprising, at times.

It reminds me a bit of the film Nomadland.

Real people in America. The USA is a terrible place to be poor.

Main is inspired by Stephanie Land‘s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive.

Story focuses on a young mother who escapes an abusive relationship, subsequently struggling to provide for her daughter by getting a job cleaning houses.

Margaret Qualley plays the lead. Very compelling. Very real.

She’s a former Pete Davidson squeeze — but who isn’t? 😀.

More importantly, she’s the real daughter of Andie MacDowell, who plays her crazy artist Mom in the series.

If I had any complaint it would be pacing. Too slow. Fewer episodes would have improved the story.

Also — I have to admit that I quit after 7/10 episodes. It hurt too much to see the sincere Mom making mistakes despite her commitment to do it right.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Dan Price – Minimalist Living

Since 1990 Dan has been living off the land in Oregon.

He’s an artist. A writer. A traveller.

For the last 15 years or so he’s been living in a little Hobbit House only 8ft (2.4m) wall to wall with a roof only 4ft (1.2m) high at the entrance rising to 5ft (1.5m) at the back.

Dan has a website called moonlight chronicles where he documents his simple life.

Dan Price’s underground home, art & philosophy on $5,000/year

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Martin Luther King Jr in 2022

Would King be happy with what’s happening in the USA?

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has led to some improvements. Here’s what’s WORKING.

The phrase “defund the police” was always stupid. It should have been “reform the police“. Reallocate funding.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

WOW – Don’t Look Up

I rejoined Netflix mainly to watch Don’t Look Up.

Brilliant.

Be sure to watch the credits. There are 3 endings.

Satire that reminded me of both Swift’s A Modest Proposal and Wag the Dog.

Something between a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster and an amateur YouTube documentary. Very original editing.

You’ve never seen DiCaprio like this. He had a lot of input on the script.

The cast is great. Best is Jonah Hill who plays a Don Jr. idiot appointed by his mother as the insanely unqualified  Chief of Staff.

The Republican tribe is urged to NOT LOOK UP at the planet busting comet. And deny what they can see with their own eyes. 😀 It parallels the American idiocracy of covid denial, for example. Apathy, incompetence and self-interest.

Denial of science.

It’s certain ReTrumplicans will hate this film.

This movie came from my burgeoning terror about the climate crisis and the fact that we live in a society that tends to place it as the fourth or fifth news story, or in some cases even deny that it’s happening, and how horrifying that is, but at the same time preposterously funny.[10]— Adam McKay, writer, director, and producer of Don’t Look Up

Refugees & Asylum Seekers in 2022 😕

Trump too abruptly abandoned Syria. Biden did the same in Afghanistan.

Worldwide there are millions of people trying to flee.

I don’t understand why organizations — and billionaires — are not funding MORE and BETTER refugee camps. Only about 25% of refugees are in camps.

Syria

Life in a refugee camp should be minimal. But safe. Good security. Clean water. Decent health care. Education should be provided for kids who make up about 50% of the population.

My buddy Mike Sissons is an artist in Madrid. Some of his recent work features refugees.

Who invented the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?

Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, a married couple, are both now billionaires. 

Financial Times People of the Year for 2020.

In 2008 Özlem co-founded the biotechnology company BioNTech, which in 2020 developed the first messenger RNA-based vaccine approved for use against COVID-19.

How many lives have been saved by their vaccine? 

How much illness reduced?

They first heard of Covid on January 8th, 2020. And instantly switched from the Cancer therapy they had been researching for two decades — to Covid. 

By March 2020, they had five vaccine candidates ready to test in humans, and by November 2020, results indicated that the vaccine was more than 90% effective.

mRNA could be used for future vaccines even more quickly next time. BUT we should build manufacturing capacity NOW to be ready for the next one. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube

Should BILLIONAIRE$ pay less tax than YOU?

Someone in the American IRS leaked to Propublica:

  • Warren Buffett ~ 0.10% true tax rate
  • Jeff Bezos ~ 0.98% true tax rate
  • Michael Bloomberg ~ 01.30% true tax rate
  • Elon Musk ~ 3.27% true tax rate

What’s your true tax rate?

American politicians write complicated tax laws which result in loopholes used by the richest donors.

BUT — can it be fixed?

The best summary of the issue I’ve seen is the second podcast in this list.

How Long Will Europe Support Ukraine? The Daily

At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European leaders painted the battle in stark moral terms, imposing harsh sanctions against Russia and talking about President Volodymyr Zelensky as a hero.But as the war drags on, different conversations have taken place behind the scenes to consider what Ukraine might need to give up to achieve peace.Guest: Matina Stevis-Gridneff, the Brussels bureau chief for The New York Times.Want more from The Daily? For one big idea on the news each week from our team, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: Countries in the Group of 7 face dueling pressures: Penalizing Russia while easing the economic pain at home.Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France are expected to visit Ukraine on Thursday — but they may face a tense reception.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.
  1. How Long Will Europe Support Ukraine?
  2. An Explosive Jan. 6 Hearing
  3. The New U.S. Abortion Map
  4. Inside Four Abortion Clinics the Day Roe Ended
  5. The Sunday Read: ‘How Houston Moved 25,000 People From the Streets Into Homes of Their Own’