Urban Geography by Micheal Pacione – Chapter 1 Notes

An urban vista.
  • The distribution of population, the organization of production, the structure of social reproduction and the allocation of power.
  • Urban geography seeks to explain the distribution of places and the socio-spatial similarities within them.
  • 19thC capitalism was “competitive capitalism”, Fordism (mass production, assembly lines, mass consumption) was “mutually beneficial”, now it’s globalized advanced/disorganized capitalism (a shift to services, esp. financial and niche markets) and each phase has changed the urban environment.
  • “the new international division of labour in which production is separated geographically from research and development and higher-level management operations”
  • The command economy created the “socialist city” of urban industrial development and large estates of public housing whereas there are capitalist tendencies to “suburbanisation and social differentiation”.
  • In the global-local nexus, global forces are held to be more powerful but cities modify and embed globalization in local context.
  • Globalization has highly uneven impacts and the unevenness is apparent at all levels (booming vs. declining regions, social polarization in one city etc.).
  • “In labour market terms globalisation is of relevance only for a small minority of workers with the skills necessary to compete in international labour markets”.
  • “Changes in the relative importance of geographic spaces/scales are reflected in changes in the distribution of power among social groups”.
  • The “hollowing out of the state thesis” contends that the nation-state has been disempowered relative to the local and supranational.
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juicy meat #1: A beauty influencer’s monologue on work, class and adventure

“juicy meat” will be an ongoing series analyzing media content. Content being the “the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind” according to Marshall McLuhan. Further context for this particular document will be provided at a later time.

“Yeah, so… to go back to just everything I’ve been talking about. Ummm… There’s a topic in the anti-work subreddit that really spoke to me and I’m showing you right here it says ‘anti-work is not a right vs. left issue, this is a top vs. bottom movement, everyone deserves to have a livable wage, every single person no exceptions. No one should have to work until death or work multiple jobs just to survive. Don’t let multi-billionaire corporations pit us against each other, this isn’t a social issue, it’s an economic issue that negatively effects all of us.’

I believe there’s a lot of social engineering happening right before our eyes that is dividing us, it’s dividing the people, the working class, where we fight against each other while those at top they get to basically just control everything and they’re engineering these false narratives that are pitting us against each other. If you think about it, the top %1, there’s very few of them compared to the rest of the world and everyone else and imagine if we put aside our differences and worked and helped each other and understood each other more. We see each other as enemies rather than brothers and sisters and we have a common enemy which is a very small percentage of people who are puppeteering everything, who own everything, and I truly believe people are waking up from this, they’re starting to see beyond the veil that’s in front of us.

I know this year was very tough for a lot of people around the world because of just.. a lot of the uncertainties with the future uhh.. inflation of course, what’s happening with money. There’s been a lot of civil unrest around the world too so… I didn’t come in this video for solutions it was really just more to have like an open dialogue and discussion with you on this because most people are not happy with their jobs, they don’t feel valued, they have meaningless work, they have soul-sucking jobs that are robbing them of their time and energy where they can allocate that to things that they enjoy, they love.

I remember growing up and going to school and being told this was how things worked and if you follow the rules and you’re a good person, you’re a good citizen, you will be rewarded. Now that I’m older and I see the world through a new lens, through the lens of someone who’s an adult, who’s in this economic system, that is so far from the truth. It’s the corrupted people who are winning and who are passing off the laws and rules and those who are decent, decent people who are taxpayers, they are the ones who are getting robbed, they are the ones who are getting blindsided by the system and [I] think people are just fed up.

I think people just want sovereignty. I think people want to be able to pursue their dreams so now we have to reevaluate what is the future going to look like… I think this is a good note that I can end on… is that in life you can make so many different plans and be prepared but there’s so many elements that are completely out of your control and being anxious about things you have no control over will only make things worse. And so, the best advice I can offer that I used myself when I was feeling anxious and I was in debt and I didn’t have a job and I had to figure my future out… was to learn. Be a self-learner, you have so much knowledge at your disposal now compared to when I first started out and you can learn so much and learn things that bring you joy, learn things that you’re good at, learn things that can help you create a better future for yourself. And in a way, yes, it is scary but it’s also exciting that means it’s a new adventure, there’s new things to be created and to be learned and… you have to ask yourself where do you want to start. Don’t be scare of the unknown, see it as an invitation to grow as a person and also it’s exciting, you never know where it’s going to take you right?”

Marshall McLuhan on why women are better suited for the modern workforce

“The electric world, because it does not favour specialism, does favour women. Men are naturally specialists compared to women. Men are very brittle and unadaptable people compared to women. Women have had through the centuries to adapt to men rather than vic versa. So, specialization, which used to be taken for granted in modern industry, has now become very very shaky and roleplaying has taken over from job holding in big business. Role playing means having several jobs simultaneously or being able to move rapidly from one job to another. A good actor can play many parts. So women’s lib is really a reply to the new electric conditions of employment in which huge information is available simultaneously to everybody. In the electric world the simultaneity of information is acoustic in the form that it comes from all directions. Role playing is a very different thing from goal seeking and in the electric time we are moving very much in that direction. The reason that most of you in this room find it difficult to imagine a goal in life is simply that you’re living in an electric world where everything happens at once. It’s hard to have a fixed point of view in a world where everything is happening simultaneously. It is hard to have an objective in a world that is changing faster than you can imagine the objective being fulfilled. Women’s lib therefore has very deep roots in the new technology and is not just a matter of votes for women. It means that the work that is being performed today can in many cases be done better by women.”

Mark Fisher on organized labour and “post-Fordist Capital”

“Both Marazzi and Sennett point out that the disintegration of stable working patterns was in part driven by the desires of workers – it was they who, quite rightly, did not wish to work in the same factory for forty years. In many ways, the left has never recovered from being wrong-footed by Capital’s mobilization and metabolization of the desire for emancipation from Fordist routine. Especially in the UK, the traditional representatives of the working class – union and labor leaders – found Fordism rather too congenial; its stability of antagonism gave them a guaranteed role. But this meant that it was easy for the advocates of post-Fordist Capital to present themselves as the opponents of the status quo, bravely resisting an inertial organized labor ‘pointlessly’ invested in fruitless ideological antagonism which served the ends of union leaders and politicians, but did little to advance the hopes of the class they purportedly represented.”