Image source: Black Planet dot com
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, Climate Change, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights
Note: I had my bridge removed by a periodontist. That's not as trivial as I thought it would be, recalling me pulling my baby teeth at the age of six. My pain management regimen consisted of 600 mg of Motrin and 500 mg of Tylenol four times a day for two days, plus lots of rest. I guess losing a tooth at six is remarkably different than losing one at sixty. For the sake of public safety, I opted to telework as much as I could that week. I will have posts for Tuesday - Friday next week, taking President's Day off.
Sematech was a consortium of semiconductor industry giants on Ben White Boulevard in Austin, Texas. The taxpayers paid their land expenses through a ten-year tax abatement. Sematech promised Austin jobs. So in the spirit of fairness, Austin obviously wanted Sematech to start paying their taxes, and repaying the homeowners who footed the bill for a decade.
May 9th, 2007
Sematech leaving Austin for Albany
International Sematech will move its headquarters from Austin, Texas, to Albany, N.Y., state officials said May 9.
New York will spend $300 million to provide the buildings and infrastructure required to accommodate the headquarters of Sematech, a consortium of microchip manufacturers and semiconductor research operations, said Alain Kaloyeros, the chief administrative officer of the state University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, located at Albany NanoTech.
The money will go to the University at Albany, which now hosts Sematech's existing research operation. The deal is still being finalized, although Sematech will begin moving some personnel to Albany in July, Kaloyeros said.
I worked for Applied Materials at the IBM research facility in Fishkill, New York, from 2011 to 2017 and, ironically, with Albany Nanotech/Sematech on many occasions since my company had equipment installed there. I often passed the photo in Fishkill of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, taken in 2005 with Governor George Pataki and IBM executives. IBM promised jobs. The company needed ten years of tax abatements to grow, and they promised job nirvana. The ten-year clock was UP in 2015. Fishkill wanted their money. IBM wanted another decade-long tax abatement. There was an obvious impasse. Something had to give.
(Reuters) - IBM Corp IBM.N said it would hive off its loss-making semiconductor unit to contract-chipmaker Globalfoundries Inc to focus on cloud computing and big data analytics.
IBM will pay Globalfoundries $1.5 billion in cash over the next three years to take the chip operations off its hands, the companies said in a statement on Monday.
IBM took a related pre-tax charge of $4.7 billion in its third quarter. It also reported a 4 percent drop in revenue on Monday, hurt by weak sales in its software and services businesses.
IBM’s shares fell 8 percent to $167 in premarket trading.
IBM to pay Globalfoundries $1.5 billion to take chip unit. Abhirup Roy, Reuters, October 20, 2014
If $1.5 billion dollars paid is saving, what in Heaven's name did they OWE Fishkill, NY?
So, color me not exactly nonplussed when I read this article on CNN:
CNN Business — When Microsoft President Brad Smith announced in February 2021 that the tech giant had purchased a 90-acre plot of land in Atlanta’s westside, he laid out a bold vision: The company, he said, would invest in the community and put it “on the path toward becoming one of Microsoft’s largest hubs” in the United States.
The announcement, which was met with enthusiastic coverage in local media, promised the construction of affordable housing, programs to help public school children develop digital skills, support for historically Black colleges and universities, new funding for local nonprofits, and affordable broadband for more people in Atlanta.
“Our biggest question today is not what Atlanta can do to support Microsoft,” Smith wrote. “It’s what Microsoft can do to support Atlanta.”
Two years later, Microsoft announced a series of cost-cutting efforts, including eliminating 10,000 jobs, making changes to its hardware portfolio, and consolidating leases. As part of those moves, Microsoft put the development of its Atlanta campus on pause this month, a spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
The decision to pause plans feels like a “broken promise” that caught many residents of the predominately Black neighborhood where Microsoft planned to build the campus off-guard, according to Jasmine Hope, a local resident and chair of her neighborhood planning unit.
‘Broken promises.’ Tech industry’s real estate pullback leaves communities reeling. Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business, February 14, 2023
In the book and 2003 documentary, "The Corporation" by Professor Joel Bakan, he looked at the legal fiat during the Robber Baron era using the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which conferred birthright citizenship for formerly enslaved peoples to corporations, hence making them legal "persons."
So, Dr. Bakan asked the question, "what kind of person would this entity be?"
The chilling and provocative answer: the closest person to a corporation would be a psychopath.
The Corporation likewise forces viewers to ponder key philosophical questions about the role of science and entrepreneurship and who should own knowledge and life. Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends, introduces the complexities of intellectual property by outlining the history of patenting knowledge and life forms. Here, the film pushes our sensibilities of entrepreneurship and patenting. Patenting is intended to encourage innovation by ensuring that the innovator profits from the discoveries. But indiscriminate patenting can lead to “biopiracy,” –– a recently-coined term for the activities of corporations, universities, and governments that patent the medicinal or therapeutic properties of plants or animals used in traditional and indigenous medicines. The film also discusses the ethics of genetically-modified foods, which dramatically increase food production and change farming practices. For example, “terminator technology” in rice prevents farmers from saving and re-sowing seeds because the seeds have been genetically modified to produce only one crop. Perhaps most disturbing, the film raises the specter of corporations’ owning the entire human genetic code, as well as that of all other species on the planet.
In summary, The Corporation contends that today’s ubiquitous corporations are designed to behave like psychopaths—a provocative premise likely to polarize viewers and invite debate. The film has insights for people on all points of the political spectrum. It is useful for managers who struggle with issues of ethics and corporate social responsibility and for trainers, instructors, and researchers in the fields of strategy, ethics, governance, labor-management relations, and sustainable development.
The Corporation - The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power: Movie Review
About 1.2% of U.S. adult men and 0.3% to 0.7% of U.S. adult women are considered to have clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits. Those numbers rise exponentially in prison, where 15% to 25% of inmates show these characteristics (Burton, B., & Saleh, F. M., Psychiatric Times, Vol. 37, No. 10, 2020). That said, psychopathy spans socioeconomic status, race, gender, and culture, and those who score high on psychopathy scales range from high-functioning executives to prison inmates to people whose psychopathic symptoms may reflect difficult life circumstances more than anything else.
One effort to coordinate thinking in the field is Patrick’s “triarchic model,” which posits three separable trait constructs underlying psychopathic symptoms: “disinhibition,” which includes tendencies toward impulsiveness, irresponsibility, difficulty regulating one’s emotions and behavior, and mistrust of others; “meanness,” which involves deficits in empathy, contempt toward and inability to bond with others, and predatory exploitativeness; and “boldness,” which includes dominance, social assurance, emotional resilience, and adventurousness. Each of these traits has unique developmental features and neurobiological correlates. Patrick developed the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure to assess these trait constructs (Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2009; Journal of Personality, Vol. 83, No. 6, 2015).
A broader view of psychopathy. Tori DeAngelis, the American Psychological Association
Wafer fabs are complex places in need of specific technical STEM backgrounds. Local colleges and universities can tailor curriculums so that their graduates "fit the mold" of what XYZ employer is looking for. There are often collaborative research efforts between academia and industry that are encouraged and pursued.
Not all of the jobs are technical. If you have a cafeteria on-site, you need to staff it. Janitorial services are needed for the offices and bathrooms. You need painters, masonry workers, plumbers, and electricians.
All, from the cook to the engineer, are subject to layoffs at the whims of management and shareholders who never met them or care how such a move impacts their families. It is a string of broken promises and shattered dreams.
It's a tax dodge. It's grifting. It's Silicon gaslighting.
So, let me get this straight:
The tobacco industry paid lobbyists to promote the false narrative that smoking wasn’t as bad for your health as the Surgeon General reported. Mike Pence (not a smoker) endorsed in an OpEd that resurfaced after helming the disastrous response to the Coronavirus pandemic (and he wants to run for president, presumably getting the votes from the same people who wanted to kill him on January 6, 2021). Smokers like my father were gaslighted, and paid for this lie with their lungs and lives.
The fossil fuels industry paid those same lobbyists to do their magic, promoting the false narrative that climate change wasn’t as dire as they were already aware of in the late 1970s. Instead of information we could have acted on, we were gaslighted.
A lot of American oligarchs: Bezos (Washington Post), Bloomberg (Bloomberg News), Murdoch (Wall Street Journal, Fox Propaganda), Musk (Twitter), Trump (Twitter knockoff, the Orwellian “Truth Social”), and Zuckerberg (Facebook) are heavily involved in controlling the narrative of what we believe and know as reality. The previous “off the dome” isn’t even an exhaustive list. AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Disney, Newscorp, and Viacom are the six corporations that own 90% of all the media that we consume: radio, television, print, and the Internet. Thirty-eight years ago, it was fifty. We believe what we're fed: "corporate citizens" is a term the corporations lob at us through various forms of media. We believe also from the media that billionaires/oligarchs are "blessed," "geniuses," "highly favored," not tax dodging criminals because that's what their media tell us to believe.
If corporations "are people," are the organizations clinically psychopaths?
Are their minions in lobbying firms and congress merely servile sociopaths?
But this isn’t gaslighting?