On this day in 1841, Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” first appears in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The tale is generally considered to be the first detective story.
“In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before.’”
—private detective M. Auguste Dupin from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
Are there devices one can use in improving one’s technique?
Work is the only device I know of. Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. Even Joyce, our most extreme disregarder, was a superb craftsman; he could write Ulysses because he could write Dubliners. Too many writers seem to consider the writing of short stories as a kind of finger exercise. Well, in such cases, it is certainly only their fingers they are exercising.
The inhuman thing about American TV is not so much that they hack everything up with commercials, though that’s bad enough, but in the end all programmes become commercials. Commercials for the status quo. Every image radiates the same disgusting and nauseated message. A kind of boastful contempt. Not one image leaves you in peace, they all want something from you.
Several tens of millions were made available to test the effects of a basic income among 10,000 families in Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Seattle and Denver. The pilots were the first large-scale social experiments differentiating between various test and control groups. The researchers were trying to find the answers to three questions. 1: Does a basic income make people work significantly less? 2: If so, will it make the program unaffordable? 3: And would it consequently become politically unattainable?
The answers: no, no and yes.
The decrease in working hours turned out to be limited. ‘The ‘laziness’ contention is just not supported by our findings’, the chief data analyst of the Denver experiment said. ‘There is not anywhere near the mass defection the prophets of doom predicted.’ On average, the decline in work hours amounted to 9 percent per household. Like in Dauphin, the majority of this drop was caused by young mothers and students in their twenties.
‘These declines in hours of paid work were undoubtedly compensated in part by other useful activities, such as search for better jobs or work in the home,’ an evaluative report of a Seattle project concluded. A mother who had never finished high school got a degree in psychology and went on to a career in research. Another woman took acting classes, while her husband started composing. ‘We’re now self-sufficient, income-earning artists’, they told the researchers. School results improved in all experiments: grades went up and dropout rates went down. Nutrition and health data were also positively affected – for example, the birth weight of newborn babies increased.
For a while, it seemed like the basic income would fare well in Washington.
WELFARE REFORM IS VOTED IN HOUSE, a NYT headline on April 17, 1970 read. An overwhelming majority had endorsed President Nixon’s proposal for a modest basic income. But once the proposal got to the Senate, doubts returned. ‘This bill represents the most extensive, expensive and expansive welfare legislation ever handled by the Committee on Finance,’ one of the senators said.
Then came that fatal discovery: the number of divorces in Seattle had gone up by more than 50%. This percentage made the other, positive results seem utterly uninteresting. It gave rise to the fear that a basic income would make women much too independent. For months, the law proposal was sent back and forth between the Senate and the White House, eventually ending in the dustbin of history.
Later analysis would show that the researchers had made a mistake – in reality the number of divorces had not changed.
Senate concerned about the possibility of being Cockblocked by Redistribution
What if there’s a better solution than the ones we’re currently trying, and we know it’s better, but we can’t actually make it happen? (I mean, who knows, but I am deeply skeptical of this idea being given any real chance in North America in at least the next couple of decades or so.) What do we do then? Is a partially adequate solution that we can actually enact better than a more adequate solution that will never get off the ground?
These aren’t rhetorical questions, I have no fucking clue myself.
"So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well. I just don’t understand it."
This is Skunk Bear’s 100th post! It’s only right that we celebrate with a GIF that combines Charles Darwin and an internet meme.
Thanks for following, liking and reblogging! If you’re a new follower, here’s what we’re all about.
Happy 100th post, Skunk Bear! Keep up the great work. — Lauren
If you’re not writing because you love it, or making music that you like, then there’s no point at all.
You know it’s spring when, just after sunset, the refrigerator constellation rises in the western sky.
(But seriously, remember that our perspective on the stars is at the same time wonderfully unique but not at all special, and the stellar stories that we write are products not only of our imaginations, but also our brain’s relentless desire to recognize patterns in random assortments of far away dots)