But to me that's just a petty, unimportant reality that I have to deal with for the time being.
If an alien with humanoid features were to visit planet earth and anthropologize me, he/she'd/it would ultimately see is that I merely lost my form of income generation.
At the individual level, income is only important so far as I acquire the means to eat, drink, shelter ourselves to deal with the elements and store personal conveniences, and perhaps, if I really have the time, reproduce!
If an alien were to visit planet earth and old-school anthropologize us as a society with curiosities and peculiarities, he/she'd write about income-generation as just one activity we simply engaged in to sustain ourselves:
A lot of what humans in what would be labeled "Western" popular and public society do appears to be tied not to making things, but acquiring and consuming things.
Things --- whether they be objects like food or an automobile, services like those provided by a house-maid or an engineer, or experiences like vacations at places, some of which carry greater semantic importance for others, and amusement parks.
The main way to acquire things is done via transaction.
However before a transaction can take a place, an individual needs to go through a process called income generation and accumulation. Income generation and accumulation is a process where humans offer their services in return for the means to participate in trades. After having generated enough income and accumulated enough, humans become free to consummate transactions
This society is highly built on those transactions. There is a high amount of interpersonal dependence because none of the things acquired by humans in this society can be made en masse for the masses by any single individual. However, this interpersonal dependence is rarely acknowledged because many individuals can consummate an almost innumerable amount of trades in the time of one Earthly rotation. Individuals who have low participation levels in this institutionalized acquision of things, either voluntarily or involuntarily, this individual is often labeled and stigmatized by members who can acquire things, and his/her characteristics are scrutinized and/or shunned by many members in society.
So basically, the alien would say that I just don't have an income-producing activity and that I don't have that much a chance of participating in the exchange network, and that I'd probably be ostracized in my society for that.
Link found at www.thisisultimatelypettybullshit.com
In seriousity, even though I can dismiss this dismissal and its ultimately just one ditch in the proverbial road, I will say that I loved what I did, I feel like I was completely mislead, and ultimately got my eye put out like that kid, Arshavin from Slumdog Millionaire. It was truly the biggest what-the-fuck moment of my life.
But, I don't really need sympathy 'cause there's a whole other world waiting out there and things could always be worse. I'm actually afforded a lot of luxuries mainly because I was born here so I'm greatful and I'm going to use whatever advantages I do have to leverage whatever I want to leverage.
However, turning your proverbial attention to the bigger picture, not everyone has the privilege of saying that.
America is the land of opportunity — if you have papers.
There was a very long, but highly informative article a few weeks ago in the LA Weekly about trafficked indentured servants from the Philippines working in a Sherman Oaks health care facility.
Modern-day slavery does exist, but in degrees.
She has shoulder-length black hair, dark skin, a wide, flat nose and eyes that seem perpetually tired. As a teacher in the Philippines, she made less than $100 a month. Now she makes $120 a day taking care of a retired podiatrist named Fred, who is 102 years old.
For three years, beginning in October of 2005, Agnes labors inside the confines of the house on Vernon Street with five other illegal Filipino workers.
Mary and her daughter work 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Between them they make $1,500 a month, a massive amount compared with the family’s combined wages back home.
Why does this stuff happen? Poverty is the root cause. It is the fuel that drives the engine of supply and demand. Supply: abundant cheap labor. Demand: first-world clamor for someone, anyone, to do disagreeable, menial tasks.
A tenth of the population of the Philippines live overseas, a diaspora second only to that of Mexico. The country is a major exporter of labor, the highest relative to population size20of any Southeast Asian country.
Last year, Filipino overseas foreign workers, or OFWs, sent back $14 billion in remittances. This money accounts for one-fifth of the country’s GDP. Remittances have become a pillar of the Philippine economy, and are expected to rise 10 percent next year.
One of every three Filipinos fails to meet the official, arbitrary poverty line set by the World Bank — the infamous $1 purchasing power per person per day.
There are 12 million undocumented workers in the United States according to the PEW Hispanic Center, recognized as having the most accurate figures on this subject. The largest number of these workers — 2.8 million — are in California. Of that 2.8 million, roughly one-fifth are Filipino. At any given time, there are half a million TNTs in California. Elsewhere, they are maids in Hong Kong and Dubai and Kuwait, cooks and crew on cruise ships, hotel workers, nurses and caregivers all over the U.S.
I wonder what the alien would say about trafficking.
Humans from a region called Southeast Asia appear not to be able to acquire as many things as humans from the West. Though the population can offer the same services in the same income-generating and accumulation activities, those activities are not as valued as their counterparts in the West, mainly because their exchange network does not have connections to commodities.
They do not have value because they can only offer their services only to people that they are geographically near. The geographically near individuals consequently do not have as much income or things with which to make exchanges, which means the exchange becomes tautological and ultimately self-defeating.
The only way out is to often times to offer the physical human body.
Link at www.whatsbeefthatsbeefitsalwaysyourownpeoplessometimesitsyourownpeoples.edu