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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Universal Basic Income, Regeneration and the Arts...
Old 09-07-2017   #1
Roger Hicks
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Universal Basic Income, Regeneration and the Arts...

...including photography, though you'll need to read to the end of quite a long piece (over 2000 words) to see how photography comes in to it. Does the idea put you in mind of any villages, towns or cities that you know?

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R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #2
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I won't get into the UBI part as you know how I feel about that. But I have to agree with you on the depopulation of 'villages.' California is perceived to be paved with gold, and you would think that if you came to my 'village' of about 60,000. Still, you don't have to drive very far (in California terms) to get to small farming towns where the same depopulation has occurred as a result of mechanized farming. This has been very greatly exacerbated by very poor political decisions on water management. These new poor mostly of Mexican descent or illegals are really suffering. They could benefit from some form of trickle down economics as most will not become artists.
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Old 09-07-2017   #3
Bob Michaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
............. Does the idea put you in mind of any villages, towns or cities that you know?
Roger: this sounds just like Cuba to me. They have what is the equivalent of a UBI with the social programs plus they have a very high artistic / cultural element to their society. The economic standard is low although the satisfaction with life and society is high. There are many opportunities to move to towns with more housing than people ans essentially get an almost free house. Too bad all the foreigners do not get out of the resorts and touristic parts of Havana to see what the country is really all about. I do admit to being biased having lived part time in a small town with a Cubana who is a director in the Ministry of Culture. A few observations may be notable.

There are a significant number of Cubans who would like to leave the country, having been wooed by the better economic prospects elsewhere. Very few foreigners are interested in moving full time to Cuba. Now the Cuban government does take great strides to prevent foreigners to moving there simply to retire on the government benefits provided citizens.

There is a substantial push among the citizens towards capitalism and consumerism. The government resists such but simply cannot hold the demand back. To be fair, many of these remain unwilling to give up the advantages of their socialist / communist structure as they do not realize you can't have your cake and eat it too.
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Old 09-07-2017   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
Roger: this sounds just like Cuba to me. They have what is the equivalent of a UBI with the social programs plus they have a very high artistic / cultural element to their society. The economic standard is low although the satisfaction with life and society is high. There are many opportunities to move to towns with more housing than people ans essentially get an almost free house. Too bad all the foreigners do not get out of the resorts and touristic parts of Havana to see what the country is really all about. I do admit to being biased having lived part time in a small town with a Cubana who is a director in the Ministry of Culture. A few observations may be notable.

There are a significant number of Cubans who would like to leave the country, having been wooed by the better economic prospects elsewhere. Very few foreigners are interested in moving full time to Cuba. Now the Cuban government does take great strides to prevent foreigners to moving there simply to retire on the government benefits provided citizens.

There is a substantial push among the citizens towards capitalism and consumerism. The government resists such but simply cannot hold the demand back. To be fair, many of these remain unwilling to give up the advantages of their socialist / communist structure as they do not realize you can't have your cake and eat it too.
Thanks Bob. I always enjoy reading your stuff on (and seeing your photos) Cuba.
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Old 09-07-2017   #5
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A universal basic income would soon be inflated away: money is really only worth the work that is put into earning it. UBI would destroy savings, make it impossible for people to get on the property ladder and destroy nursing homes. It will enforce government dependency for the vast majority and result in the Soviet system where "We pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay us"
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Old 09-07-2017   #6
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Could we limit our discussion here on RFF to photography, in this case what the benefits of UBI may be for photography?
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Old 09-07-2017   #7
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A universal basic income would soon be inflated away: money is really only worth the work that is put into earning it. UBI would destroy savings, make it impossible for people to get on the property ladder and destroy nursing homes. It will enforce government dependency for the vast majority and result in the Soviet system where "We pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay us"
I live on the closest thing to a UBI, in my country. It's called New Zealand Superannuation, and everyone over 65 (and some younger) is entitled to it. It isn't means or income tested, and pays a married couple $NZ600 a week. It was introduced in 1979, and so far hasn't been inflated away (it's tied to the average wage), destroyed nursing homes, or turned us into Soviet Russia.....
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Old 09-07-2017   #8
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And to answer ptpdprinter, it means I can take my ancient film cameras out every day, if I so desire.
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Old 09-07-2017   #9
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I live on the closest thing to a UBI, in my country. It's called New Zealand Superannuation, and everyone over 65 (and some younger) is entitled to it. It isn't means or income tested, and pays a married couple $NZ600 a week. It was introduced in 1979, and so far hasn't been inflated away (it's tied to the average wage), destroyed nursing homes, or turned us into Soviet Russia.....
Dear John,

You and your damn' facts, and logic, and personal experience...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #10
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
Roger: this sounds just like Cuba to me. They have what is the equivalent of a UBI with the social programs plus they have a very high artistic / cultural element to their society. The economic standard is low although the satisfaction with life and society is high. There are many opportunities to move to towns with more housing than people ans essentially get an almost free house. Too bad all the foreigners do not get out of the resorts and touristic parts of Havana to see what the country is really all about. I do admit to being biased having lived part time in a small town with a Cubana who is a director in the Ministry of Culture. A few observations may be notable.

There are a significant number of Cubans who would like to leave the country, having been wooed by the better economic prospects elsewhere. Very few foreigners are interested in moving full time to Cuba. Now the Cuban government does take great strides to prevent foreigners to moving there simply to retire on the government benefits provided citizens.

There is a substantial push among the citizens towards capitalism and consumerism. The government resists such but simply cannot hold the demand back. To be fair, many of these remain unwilling to give up the advantages of their socialist / communist structure as they do not realize you can't have your cake and eat it too.
Dear Bob,

Yeah, but we don't need no steenkin' culture, nor medical care, nor satisfaction with our lives...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #11
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Could we limit our discussion here on RFF to photography, in this case what the benefits of UBI may be for photography?
Have you tried reading the article to the end? It is made reasonably clear there.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #12
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Quote:
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Have you tried reading the article to the end? It is made reasonably clear there.
I read the article to the end to see how you had tangentially tied one of your off-topic polemics to photography. Out of two thousand words, "photography" and its variants appear exactly three times. Basically, you could have substituted the word "knitting" for "photography" and the import of the article would have been the same. None of the responsive comments thus far have touched on how UBI might serve to benefit photography, which is what I was encouraging, to keep things photographically related, in the spirit of RFF.
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Old 09-07-2017   #13
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Just over this weekend we have talk with my Ukrainian neighbor about his father (he lost him this spring). His father was old to remember and actually lived in the time then USSR villagers were slaves to socialists.
So, back then in Ukrainian villages the only item they were able purchasing from the state run shops (nothing else was available to purchase from, just like in Cuba) was the nails. The rest was made locally. Clothes, furniture, skates and so on. And because it was made this way it is now looks like art. Because it is unique and people did it not only because they were needed.
While this was happening, Soviet Art and Photography was booming in big cities. But nobody could barely remember it now. Those who are still remembered where educated and followed before socialism principals. Like current Russia hymn, which is old Soviet hymn. It is based on church music...

UBI is socialist utopia, some will do arts and photography, but some will be converted to slaves to pay for it.
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Old 09-07-2017   #14
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Just over this weekend we have talk with my Ukrainian neighbor about his father (he lost him this spring). His father was old to remember and actually lived in the time then USSR villagers were slaves to socialists.
So, back then in Ukrainian villages the only item they were able purchasing from the state run shops (nothing else was available to purchase from, just like in Cuba) was the nails. The rest was made locally. Clothes, furniture, skates and so on. And because it was made this way it is now looks like art. Because it is unique and people did it not only because they were needed.
While this was happening, Soviet Art and Photography was booming in big cities. But nobody could barely remember it now. Those who are still remembered where educated and followed before socialism principals. Like current Russia hymn, which is old Soviet hymn. It is based on church music...

UBI is socialist utopia, some will do arts and photography, but some will be converted to slaves to pay for it.
Why and how?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #15
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................ which is what I was encouraging, to keep things photographically related, in the spirit of RFF.
Let's not get too strict in our definitions as most posts here relate to cameras, not photography. Remember that cameras have the same relationship to photography as having your pants off does to sex. That is only a necessity but a very small slice of the overall experience.
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Old 09-07-2017   #16
Roger Hicks
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Let's not get too strict in our definitions as most posts here relate to cameras, not photography. Remember that cameras have the same relationship to photography as having your pants off does to sex. That is only a necessity but a very small slice of the overall experience.
Dear Bob,

Beautifully phrased. Do you mind if I steal it?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #17
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Roger,
Thank you for posting this article. It provides a well reasoned approach to UBI and its possible effects on the arts. It is clear throughout history that many artists were prepared to accept a lower material standard of living to pursue their artistic activities. That good art is only produced by those who, as you noted, had that supreme good luck to be noticed and promoted, is a false proposition. UBI provides some comfort to those who will be automated out of their jobs. It also provides a means for those persons to buy these now robot-produced goods and services. After all, robots are notoriously poor consumers. I am now a recipient of Canada’s UBI for the elderly. It helps me to continue to be a consumer. Will recipients turn to artistic (broadly construed) activities? I do not know. They may have to, if the ability to find a meaningful life through paid conventional ‘work’ disappears. I would like to think that some artistically inclined person might make use of my treasured film cameras, and perhaps just perhaps produce something that someone, somewhere will consider art. Its got to be better than being a slave to an assembly line.
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Old 09-07-2017   #18
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Originally Posted by Bob Michaels
............ Remember that cameras have the same relationship to photography as having your pants off does to sex. That is only a necessity but a very small slice of the overall experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Beautifully phrased. Do you mind if I steal it?
Roger, I would be honored.
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Old 12-07-2017   #19
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UBI discussed in a short-ish video. Their sources are in the description.

https://youtu.be/kl39KHS07Xc


Rob
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Old 12-07-2017   #20
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Let's not get too strict in our definitions as most posts here relate to cameras, not photography. Remember that cameras have the same relationship to photography as having your pants off does to sex. That is only a necessity but a very small slice of the overall experience.

And like most sex, cameras only requires a fraction of a second to complete the task and achieve gratification......Boom! Boom!
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