Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sure it's culture. It's on the internet.

You ask for more posts, this is what you get.

David Harvey is a leading Marxist geographer who writes about economics. He's been lecturing about the crisis since before it started, and counts as one of the genuine canary-in-the-coal-mine figures out there, who saw everything coming years ago. This is one of his recent lectures, but someone decided to animate it. It's been making the academic rounds this week.

Two things here: all university lectures should be animated. Departments should hire full time animators to stand at the front of the room and draw. Second, I think Harvey's the only guy making sense of what's happening out there right now. The transfer of crisis from the financial sphere (2007-09) to a national economies (2010- )is where we're at, now that the banks have been bailed out and are making money again. And it's a big problem that isn't going away. Welcome to the double dip.


  1. You've made me a very happy person today, Evan.

  2. I've been thinking about this a fair bit over the last day. Especially what he says about Real Estate.

    I've been very scared by the Real Estate market in Vancouver for a number of years. It just defies logic. When somebody with a decent job and plenty of savings can't afford a 1 bedroom condo, or to buy a house, live in the basement and rent it out, something is wrong. It costs maybe 2500 to rent a decent house on the east side. It will cost you 4000-5000 to carry the mortgage. It makes no sense! Who is buying this stuff? I've heard people claim that it's all driven by "the Chinese and the drug dealers", who are the only people that can afford that stuff. This doesn't really sound like a large enough group of people to sustain what is going on. Couple all this with much cheaper real estate in the rest of Canada and much cheaper Real Estate down the coast of the US and it's all just kind of crazy.

    So, I find it very interesting where he talks about how much cultural importance we as North Americans place on home ownership vs. the rest of the world. We just moved into a new place. Whenever I mention this to people, their faces light up and they say "Did you buy a place?" and then look slightly disappointed when you tell them that you didn't. It's strange. It's all very strange.

  3. I totally had the same thought about Real Estate. It's a trap.

  4. It's a historically recent thing, this compulsive owning of property. People used to rent for life. Or, better, be in co-ops:

  5. I stumbled upon the site for these RSA Animation dealios. There are many more of them, but I have not watched yet.