Admin Overheads

sufi

lala
Somebody here mentioned some time ago, i think, how we have been deluged by admin, dumped on us from every side, largely facilitated by tech



this nice LRB blog cites MF, David Graeber, Hannah Arendt, & the radio 3 program is pretty fascinating too, using cut ups and the actual human BR announcer, some sort of disgusting machine poetry spews out

For a radio programme (entitled Noise), Jon Holmes and I have interviewed scores of ordinary citizens exasperated by what Mark Fisher called ‘boring dystopia’. Consumer wormholes are a big part of it – everyone has a story about trying to fix a broken phone, switch energy supplier or trace a lost package. But the condition is pervasive: a pernicious computer-generated miasma through which we interact with the world.
(if you can get past your own middle aged curmudgeonly luddite whinging) then consider how this combines with hardware devaluation and spreadsheet ideologies to create a sticky trap for us

tell us some stories of your admin heroics, epic bureaucratic exploits and sagas of overcoming the swamp ... and what are the implications for your existence as a fleshy cyborg
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Administrative functions are something that smart contracts can automate, but at the cost of technical complexity. You can have an organization with automated, open-source administrative algorithms that anyone can audit, and which can only change by majority vote, but understanding these things requires technical expertise, IE literacy is the axis which preserves some degree of power asymmetry.

Everything you need to understand the code is available freely online, and so ultimately it boils down to time spent, as an investment in one's own knowledge. Not everyone involved in these organizations will have the time or drive to learn this stuff, but the fact that it can be out in the open, and resistant to unilateral decision-making, is ultimately a movement forward, in my mind.
 

william_kent

Well-known member
I know it's not the same as a DAO and "smart contracts", but programmers can make mistakes, and not admit to them, because they are cleverer than mere mortals, etc.,

edit: admin overheads - if you've ever administered a Linux server ( open source operating system ) then you'll be aware that fatal bugs can lurk in open source software undetected for years, i.e., openSSL, TLS, etc., which creates hours of work patching and securing potential "attack vectors"
 
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Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Yeah I'm under the impression that the integrity of a given smart contract depends largely on the aggregate cleverness of those attacking it, IE its just a matter of a hacker being clever enough. So yeah A) code can inherit bias, and B) it can house and even amplify systemic vulnerabilities.

I do think well-audited open-source smart contracts will end up being among the foremost public goods I'll be advocating, but even then I suppose its never a 100% safety guarantee.
 

sufi

lala
Administrative functions are something that smart contracts can automate, but at the cost of technical complexity. You can have an organization with automated, open-source administrative algorithms that anyone can audit, and which can only change by majority vote, but understanding these things requires technical expertise, IE literacy is the axis which preserves some degree of power asymmetry.

Everything you need to understand the code is available freely online, and so ultimately it boils down to time spent, as an investment in one's own knowledge. Not everyone involved in these organizations will have the time or drive to learn this stuff, but the fact that it can be out in the open, and resistant to unilateral decision-making, is ultimately a movement forward, in my mind.
might be a tangent but i wonder also whether the absolute fetish for being "so busy" is part of this, everything diarised, any spare moment spent curating the online, and taboo not to be spending all of your time on quantificated purposeful activity
 

sufi

lala
how do you feel as you fill in yet another grid of traffic lights or bridges - humiliated, dehumanised? all our conditioning to think of ourselves as individuals struggling under the weight of this contradiction - prove you're (a) human
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
might be a tangent but i wonder also whether the absolute fetish for being "so busy" is part of this, everything diarised, any spare moment spent curating the online, and taboo not to be spending all of your time on quantificated purposeful activity
Yeah I do think you're onto something here. Like how business is kind of a secularized virtue for western/protestant capitalist culture.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Business/productivity, where deviance in this regard is stigmatized as freeloading, welfare exploitation, etc.

As for how this related to "rule of code" (which is a term I'm presently embracing), I think the main technical drive for web3, is to establish a radically composable fabric for society, one that can be governed by code (open- and closed-source), which itself can be governed in a variety of ways, both centralized and decentralized.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
But the need to be busy/productive I don't see as particularly central to this trend, but more definitive of liberal capitalist culture at large.
 

sufi

lala
But the need to be busy/productive I don't see as particularly central to this trend, but more definitive of liberal capitalist culture at large.
It's very connected, how admin of your lifestyle expands to fit any spaces in yr calendar
 

sufi

lala
It's very connected, how admin of your lifestyle expands to fit any spaces in yr calendar
i'm getting more and more hostile to that busybusy attitude
its a bad mind thing, performative, self-indulgent, denialist anti-communitarian
predatory and viral
snap out of it
 

sufi

lala
& btw do you administer your shit or administrate it?
if the latter you are truly fucked i fear
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
i'm getting more and more hostile to that busybusy attitude
its a bad mind thing, performative, self-indulgent, denialist anti-communitarian
predatory and viral
snap out of it
Yeah this I agree with. I think the "live to work" mentality indicates a certain psychic destitution and drone modality. Working to live makes a lot more sense to me.
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
quantificated purposeful activity

Strong £ vector, the healthcare Gordian data knot on multiple levels across Britain

Nearly every facet of work, increasingly covers play, human error is systemically ignored, budgetary analysis alone or getting accurate information through vast inter-agency wormholes bane of my existence

worst for addiction services=

Client usage admission levels have to be below a certain limit for detox when transience underpins everything and mental health services are one of the main reference points. Fastidious record keeping, you’ll never see an addiction service in special measures but it takes the piss too. Overhaul would really help, NHS 2.0

Bridge to. Getting free beds. People being admitted with un-X-ray’d broken bones seeking pain relief withdrawal treatment through administration of morphine almost directly from AandE recently, safe discharge?

Liaising with mental health services where staff are quitting

Liaising with pain management services who don’t accept cannabis as proven in managing eg fibromyalgia, cancer-related nausea, ptsd, endometriosis but will prescribe fentanyl patches and buckets of benzos

The bleak world of PIP/Personal Independence Payment - labyrinthine, dead ends, traps, deliberately cunty and paperwork? Degrading, tethered to ill-fortune, no focus on independent living, transport needs or living in quiet, calm housing

Employment Support Allowance/ESA (Support Group status) - you need 15 points (possibly wrong) on a scale which both slides and fixes arbitrarily and the vulnerable don’t “present” as such because an abuse history isn’t the same as stepping on an I.e.d

Over the pandemic I saw more people overdose than ever and work visits to Scotland continue to stagger my sanity. The death rate is monumental and you’re not even counting Covid. Legalisation is the only answer and one area where good old evidence continues to be ignored. We can all access drugs, so legalisation may well be irrelevant but fentanyl has changed the framework. Why aren’t we going after wholesalers when they’re usually clumsy at some point? I know, absurd question, see history of control etc

Is Control controlled by its need to control? - Yes
 
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WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
I’m not saying to get on Sturgeon while she has Covid either but wtf wee hen, this is beyond

Some of you blockchain crew could make a fortune tidying up NHS bed flow distribution bottlenecks. Free beds = free ambulance staff/first responders, more people returning to gp services @rishi would love such merging to distract from inflation

Bridge to. Streamline higher education training in line with current and medium-term demand for fixed services, too many Tristrams clogging up 16+ education sector doing fuck all
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
It's very connected, how admin of your lifestyle expands to fit any spaces in yr calendar

I feel like a lot of this has to do with the drive to optimize everything, both for individuals and for businesses.

So for individuals, the internet has brought us to a place where everything you do and every decision you take can be broken down and researched and fretted over. Historically you'd go to a shop or a travel agent or a bank and ask them what they've got and then pick what suits you, job done, an hour tops. Now you spend evening after evening reading reviews and watching youtube videos and noting down specs and prices in a Google doc and then you buy something online that's no doubt cheaper and better suited to your needs than the thing that you would have got if you'd just sorted it in a bricks-and-mortar shop on a Saturday afternoon, but has also eaten a week's worth of evenings to get there. FWIW I'd also be suspicious that the drive to smart contract and NFT everything is going to make this worse and not better - it feels like an impulse to make things more efficient and more bespoke by making them finer-grained and requiring you to administer them in finer detail.

For businesses, I think we're seeing the results of a drive to optimise for headline price, probably driven by everyone using comparison websites and "sort by price ascending" and that sort of stuff, which means that every other cost has to be minimized. So any sort of customer service has to be handled by someone with minimal training handling stuff as quickly as possible (the software I work on is ultimately intended to support people who are trying to do this, so mea culpa to some extent I guess) with as much work as possible pushed back onto the user, and any sort of value that you might get back from them has to be as hard to get at as possible.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
For businesses, I think we're seeing the results of a drive to optimise for headline price, probably driven by everyone using comparison websites and "sort by price ascending" and that sort of stuff, which means that every other cost has to be minimized. So any sort of customer service has to be handled by someone with minimal training handling stuff as quickly as possible (the software I work on is ultimately intended to support people who are trying to do this, so mea culpa to some extent I guess) with as much work as possible pushed back onto the user, and any sort of value that you might get back from them has to be as hard to get at as possible.

there's probably loads of examples of this, but the one i run into most frequently is planes. the whole thing is so focused on the low headline price now that it's becoming a more and more budget-style thing when you're actually on there. apart from the carbon thing i think it's overall basically good that there's been a race to the bottom though, was definitely exactly what i wanted for a long time (though not so much now to be fair), just get me somewhere as cheaply as possible. the democratisation of air travel, or more accurately, the fact that flying all the time is still an elite occupation but nonetheless a whole lot of people still do it every now and then coz they are basically flying buses now rather than fancy pants things where someone gives you a hot towel, feels like a major thread that's changing human beings over the past 15 years or so in particular. i kind of wish english trains took the same approach, like those fancy first great western ones that cost a million pounds to go anywhere but have comfortable seats, just give me a piece of shit that's uncomfortable but cheap
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
was at a cocktail bar the other day, not my choice, it was because my friend Ieo (a different one) impulsively wanted to go there when we were walking past, it wasn't great, the drink I had was in a massive wooden cup with a massive naked african man on, I thought well, maybe this is a racist drink, but it was already in my hand. to get the drink I had to look at the menu on Instagram, it was the only option available, and to get on Instagram I had to connect to the bar's wifi, and on Instagram I had to go to the bar's page, into thier stories, and each cocktail had its own individual page, which you could only look at for five seconds or so before it automatically went to the next one. it made me think of this thread.
 
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