#that implies it's all COMPETELY arbitrary!
can we talk about the fact that if there really was such a thing as a "sacred timeline" with a proper, predetermined flow of time nobody could deviate from as the TVA claims, the TVA wouldn't exist to constantly prune any variants in the first place? The very fact that the TVA exists is proof in itself that all choices Loki and other individuals make are their own, because if it really was all predetermined, the TVA wouldn't have to constantly police everyone and everything to make sure it all goes according to the Time-Keepers' plans. Mobius's telling Loki that he was born to cause pain and suffering and death, that that's how it is and how it always will be is neither Loki's fate nor a moral failing on his part, it's the result of a conscious, deliberate choice by the TVA to ensure Loki is allowed no other path to take.
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In truth, there are some major variations between them which you should try to understand earlier than exploring the variations in cost saving vs cost reduction. Product over-design is a fairly typical scenario in older merchandise that were designed when there was less buyer worth stress and producers could afford to have more cost of their products. It additionally occurs in new products when design engineers use the identical materials repeatedly, with out contemplating different options of supplies that could be suitable. The worth of UK offshore wind is less than a 3rd of what it was a decade in the past and is now cost competitive with new fossil fuel era. In parallel, the trade has grown and matured to a degree where corporations are competing to enter the market and pension funds are comfy in investing billions of kilos into development of offshore wind farms. Our sustainable cost reduction technique enables cross-functional groups to identify and ship more savings sustainably.
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If moving isn't a alternative, you should perceive your location costs, identify tolerable ranges, and learn to tweak the numbers in your favor. Numerous sellers supply small however expressive reductions to shoppers that pay invoices ahead of time. As long as disbursing early does not harmfully affect your cash move, it usually makes monetary sense to take action. This is particularly true in a low-interest setting, where cost of short-term lending bridging any deficit is not prone to surpass the value of the reduction. By reducing gross inventory, we're increasing turns therefore, bettering money move. Your enterprise undoubtedly pays for a lot of indispensable services – telecoms, cloud storage, possibly even legal support.
how to cut expenses
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Instead of choosing a savings target, the group begins from zero and builds the budget upward. "Rather than selecting an arbitrary share of costs to minimize back, CSPs want to begin out with a clean slate, calculating costs from a zero base," the report reads. The best time to deploy cost reduction ideas is throughout a merger or acquisition. M&A accounting forces organizations to develop reserve estimates to account for potential actual estate losses. Take realistic impairment reserves and transfer the properties rapidly.
Lease unused area to another enterprise or individual—it may be as small as an office or as big as a warehouse area. In an uncertain economy when every penny counts, even the smallest improve in revenue or reduction in bills can have an effect on firm profitability. It's usually easy, frequent sense steps that improve the bottom line, especially for a small business. If you're one of the house owners of the business, you and any additional house owners may contemplate taking a reduced salary. Reducing your salary allows you to in the reduction of on business expenses. Money that after went to paying your salary can cover other costs or go right into a savings account to cowl future enterprise bills.
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Arbitrariness, ambiguity and pan-hedonism revisited
I would argue that anti-ambiguity is written into pan-hedonism (or at least pan-hedonism as a moral realist position that’s defended by epistemic solipsism or direct experience) and not because ambiguity by it’s nature (ie. for a universally non-arbitrary reason) causes uncertainty and confusion (which I understand to be negative emotions like humiliation, boredom, anxiety, frustration etc. rather than things that cause emotional distress. Uncertainty is what we feel when we hold conflicting beliefs or desires and confusion, which is implied by uncertainty, is what we feel when we can’t effectively process or comprehend information. Both inherently lead to the experienced frustration of desire by preventing us from acting or even reacting. I can’t imagine a scenario where a theoretically possible person had a positive emotional response to the frustration of their desire, that would imply instinctively wanting to frustrate their own desire. There is apparently a lot of research to support ‘the link between uncertainty and stress’ that I was initially unaware of when I adopted my view. All of our choices are rooted in a value and a belief about what will serve that value. Uncertainty is not a lack of information, although a lack of information can cause uncertainty, and it isn’t necessarily future oriented either. I don’t know who the prime minister of India is but I don’t feel uncertain about that, uncertainty requires the realization of two or more specific mutually exclusive possibilities). There is only one reason to adopt pan-hedonism and that is our direct experience of happiness and emotional distress (strictly speaking I don’t think I can say that the nature of happiness and emotional distress gives us a reason to adopt hedonism – I think I have to say that our experience of happiness and emotional distress is what gives us a reason to adopt hedonism. The existence or non-existence of alien life does not give us a reason to believe that alien life does or does not exist. Evidence for or against the existence of alien life is what would give us a reason to believe or disbelieve in alien life. I’m not sure if that’s a meaningful distinction to make since happiness is itself an experience. Our experience of our own happiness and pain justifies viewing the happiness – suffering of every possible being as inherently good and bad because we can’t imagine a scenario where happiness and emotional distress did not feel inherently good and bad and in the same way that we can’t imagine something that is wet despite not being water we can’t imagine the existence of a thing that we would ‘perceive’ or experience as inherently good or bad despite it not being happiness or pain. I’ve said this before but every possible being has to instinctively want to experience pleasure and avoid emotional distress, pre-‘rational assessment’, because we experience these states as inherently good and bad, you can’t want a thing without assessing or considering the nature of that thing). The fact that X causes suffering does not give us a reason to oppose that thing as an end in itself or for any reason other than it causing suffering (as notable as I think it is that the perception of ambiguity, which only exists in our own minds, causes stress for a ‘non-arbitrary reason’) nor would I argue that a pre-existing grievance with ambiguity could give someone a reason to be anti-suffering (that ambiguity causes emotional distress for a ‘universally non-arbitrary reason’ is only meaningful to someone who already cares about suffering) . Only our experience of happiness and pain gives us a non- arbitrary reason to believe that everyone’s happiness and only happiness is inherently good, it’s not that I am against arbitrariness and suffering as two distinct values or one because of it’s relationship to the other but my accepting hedonism because it is the only non-arbitrary ethical position already presupposes being anti-arbitrariness.
Arbitrariness is often defined as something that is baseless, not supported by anything valid, decided on inadequate grounds or ‘random’. Basically arbitrariness is the lack of an objective reason or justification. Even if I didn’t state it in that way – that pan-hedonism is the only non-arbitrary ethical position, if I’m making a claim to knowledge in saying that happiness is factually inherently good and I justify this with my own direct experience of happiness then I’m accepting my experience as an authority on the issue (I could claim that X demographic is Y based on my own personal experiences but I can’t legitimately conclude that all of them, or even most, are that way based on my observations of only some of the members of that population and if I can even imagine a coherent scenario where X and Y don’t coincide then X isn’t intrinsically Y and I have to accept the possibility of X existing without Y even if I’ve never personally experienced this), I’m claiming that there’s an objectively valid reason to adopt pan-hedonism whereas every other possible ethical theory is rooted in subjective preference or intuition. There might be other moral realist positions that claim to be non-arbitrary but if something isn’t self-evidently good or bad (experiencing happiness and pain as inherently good and bad means that they are self-evidently good and bad) then we can only project value on to it based on arbitrary and subjective criteria that has nothing to do with the directly perceived or experienced nature of that thing. We have to adopt arbitrary beliefs but only when there is no non-arbitrary alternative. Our experience of happiness and pain clarifies why pan-hedonism, as a claim about reality, is actually true.
Information is ‘ambiguous’ when it can mean multiple conflicting things. Minimizing ambiguity involves going through a process of elimination that takes multiple mutually exclusive possibilities or options and narrows them down to one and this requires a non-arbitrary option. Arbitrariness does not necessarily cause uncertainty (I don’t feel uncertain about other minds existing even though I could never know whether or not they do) but it is what allows for uncertainty, in a theoretically impossible world without arbitrariness there could be no uncertainty. It’s worth noting that X contradicting direct experience does not in itself mean that X is false, only that X can’t be true if direct experience is real. We could just as well conclude that X is true and direct experience isn’t real but there’s a non-arbitrary reason to accept direct experience as real at face value – direct experience being self-evidently real.
The search for truth requires minimizing ambiguity because, contrary to popular belief, every question has one objectively correct answer (many things can be true about something but a set of mutually exclusive claims can be boiled down to only one, if any). The very concept of ‘truth’ requires competing mutually exclusive claims about reality being objectively false. If you accept direct experience of happiness as an authority on the nature of happiness then you were already looking for a standard that goes beyond your personal preferences because a cost in accepting hedonism (for psychologically normal human beings at least) is having to sacrifice hardcore intuitions about morality and goodness (emotional states have sensory – cognitive objects that we must intuitively associate them with, after all). The epistemic reason to accept pan-hedonism is direct experience but the value in accepting pan-hedonism and epistemic solipsism as monistic theories of value and knowledge is that no other world view can as effectively or reliably help us to make sense of reality (in addition to pan-hedonism incentivizing us to value the happiness of all possible beings without consideration to competing values). I wouldn’t expect it to make a difference in practice but in theory I might assume that more uncertainty avoidant or ambiguity intolerant people would be more open to pan-hedonism.
I can relate this to the kind of ambiguous hinting and innuendo people often engage in (speaking in German while simultaneously communicating something else in American Sign Language is not ‘ambiguous’. The ambiguous communication I have in mind involves communicating information that contradicts what is explicitly or ‘officially’ stated or done). If John says that he is going to the store there is, for all intents and purposes, a non-arbitrary reason to believe that he’s communicating an intention to go to the store. It is self-explanatory in a way that’s analogous to direct experience being self-evident. Even if he’s lying or won’t follow through that’s what he’s communicating. Even if he’s an insentient philosophical zombie or a hallucination he is unambiguously acting as though that’s what he’s communicating.
If he indirectly hints at having an affair there is, strictly speaking, no non-arbitrary reason to believe he is or is not hinting at having an affair. It might be practically obvious and only technically ambiguous or the listener might genuinely feel some degree of uncertainty (if they don’t pick up on the hint at al then no ambiguous communication has occurred. If they interpret a hint that was never intended the information is still ambiguous for them). There are subjective common sense cues (largely rooted in pattern recognition) that psychologically normal humans over a certain age are universally wired to recognize that give us a reason to believe John is communicating his having had an affair but there is only an objectively non-arbitrary reason to accept what has been explicitly stated. If everyone in a linguistic community agrees on what words mean then ‘I am going to the store’ can only mean one thing, there is, for all intents and purposes, no possibility of it meaning otherwise whereas we could technically or practically be mistaken about xyz being an indirect admission of an affair.
This is why people tend to ambiguously hint at what personal, cultural and social inhibitors prevent them from stating overtly. I have never understood the idea that the nature of information is affected by how it’s communicated and this is related to a point I’ve always made about the nature of a thing being constant in all imaginable scenarios (ie. if happiness is ever inherently beneficial and good it is always so). If the information of your brother’s death is a source of grief it makes no difference whether or not it’s communicated in Japanese or kiSwahili (as far as your emotional reaction to the information itself is concerned). If you find the idea of being a child molester unflattering or damaging to your reputation it would be consistent for you to be bothered by people suspecting you are one even if they’re not sure, let alone their being absolutely confident that you are one despite technically not being able to ‘prove’ your having admitted it. It makes no sense to feel comfortable hinting at something you wouldn’t state explicitly (barring a scenario where there might be material consequences to stating something overtly that wouldn’t come with innuendo or you using code to keep someone holding you hostage in the dark or something like that but the nature of information itself is unaffected by how it’s communicated, if the information itself is pleasing or distressing to someone it being communicated indirectly won’t change that).
For all intents and purposes, one implication of the knowledge through experience view is that very little in academia is objectively gradable or something that anyone can demonstrate authority or ‘expertise’ (knowledge) in although it might be culturally meaningful and there’s an argument to be made that an ‘education’ helps to develop cognition. Beyond memorization and maybe demonstrating basic comprehension science and math and anything involving the scientific method are more or less the only subjects that anyone can demonstrate authority in (and I mean real science, not sociology or psychology). I say for all intents and purposes because ‘strictly speaking’ even the authority one can demonstrate in science and math is only justified under universal but subjective common sense assumptions (like the future more or less resembling the past) that aren’t objectively valid. Nothing is objectively ‘probable’ or ‘improbable’ and we can only know what we presently experience. Testable scientific theories are, for all intents and purposes, validated when they help us to reliably and consistently predict the behavior of observable natural phenomenon.
The flaw in academic philosophy is that theories in philosophy are rooted in subjective logic or reasoning that isn’t necessarily testable (inter-subjectively, as scientific theories are, or via introspection), no matter how impersonal or emotionally detached they are accepted intuitively because they’re subjectively plausible, not self-evidently true. All x-y-z reasoning is ultimately rooted in subjective intuition. I am completely confident in the existence of my present conscious experience and by extension the inherent positive and negative value of happiness and emotional distress (I believe I can be justifiably dogmatic about this), but this is why I accept that my judgment in general is unreliable and fallible (most of my blogs have been repeatedly edited, I don’t want to edit the ones prior to this one ever, ever again, but the one thing I can stand by is the claim that everyone’s happiness and only happiness is intrinsically good and direct experience is the epistemic justification for this, however flawed and lacking I will and already find this post).
On a final note, relativists can’t have their cake and eat it too. You can’t hold on to all of your subjective intuitions about morality and give some kind of quasi realist critique of ‘murder’, rape, ‘theft’, cruelty, genocide, racism etc. You can only legitimately criticize the beliefs and values of other people if you can offer a non-arbitrary alternative.
Why public transit sucks
“Public transit” sucks not primarily (or at least solely) because it’s public but because by “public transit” people mean mass transit, which just intrinsically sucks.
The transportation problem consists in wanting to go from an arbitrary point A to an arbitrary point B. A road/sidewalk/bicycle path doesn’t accomplish this perfectly, as if there were a straight road from every A to every B, there would be nothing but road. But it does a pretty good job, as building the capacity to connect all the points relatively directly is fairly low-cost (in comparison), and you only pay the operating cost when someone actually wants to go from A to B.
Mass transit cannot get anywhere close to this, as to be profitable / economically efficient, they have to carry lots of passengers. But lots of people do not want to go from arbitrary A to arbitrary B at the same time. So they have to create a fixed route and funnel people along it, making them go far out of their way and stop at every intermediate point. And even then, to fill to reasonable capacity you must have long waits for at least the majority of the day. (At night? Haha, why would you want to go somewhere at night?)
It’s great if you have some kind of Soviet microraion mindset, where people live in an apartment block that has all the appropriate quantity of shops and entertainment facilities within walking distance, and then they all wait together for the train in the morning that will take them to the factory or office in the city center and then back home in the evening.
“But what if I don’t want to shop at the shop in my district but at the one five districts over horizontally, that doesn’t have a direct connection?” Why would you want to do that, citizen? All the shops are the same! “But what if I want to see my friend who lives five districts over?” Why would you have a friend who doesn’t live along the same transit line as you? Don’t be silly.
Now mass transit does have the advantage in some circumstances, much like the advantage of eating ramen noodles over steak, that despite being inferior it is for some a better deal for the money. That’s why mass transit was profitably provided by private industry, such as the companies who built the New York subway system (and before that, the elevated trains it replaced). At least until the 1960s, when Congress passed the Urban Mass Transit Act that paid cities to nationalize their transit systems and ruin them.
If mass transit is used only where it is profitable, great. But what we have instead is systems that run a few busy, profitable, efficient routes and a huge number of practically empty routes. They cross-subsidize the wasteful routes from the demand for the efficient routes, making the tickets cost far more than necessary — then lose absurd quantities of money anyway. It’s certainly not “environmentally friendly”, either, to run buses with 2 people in them, as I routinely saw using the buses in Berkeley (paid for with the “free” bus pass the university gave me, which was of course actually funded out of tuition and was so bad anyway it was not worth the price of $0). That’s not to get into the insanity of the “light rail” craze.
Sometimes, the idea is that if we just have “transit-oriented development” (see: Soviet microraion mindset), then it will all be great. Instead of building out supply of transportation to meet demand, we build the supply we “want” and expect the demand to match. Even if this “works”, which it typically doesn’t despite high subsidies, it is not actually a good thing to have people shape their lives to conform to their transportation system (e.g. stop hanging out with your friend who doesn’t live on the same transit line) rather than having the transportation system conform to the demands of people’s lives. If one cannot afford better, like people in the 1890s, then one may have to accept it. But technology has advanced; we have better alternatives.
One old-school alternative, hybrid form of transportation is the jitney bus. Instead of having totally fixed routes, there are congregation points, and the driver comes up and takes everyone where they want to go, provided it’s not too far out of the way. These were regulated out of existence.
But of course technology has now greatly improved our ability to use this model, as you can have apps that take ride requests from multiple people and generate optimal routes on demand, offering lower prices if they’re willing to wait longer to get a better match. And they can do the waiting inside their houses, rather than constantly having to be right by the bus stop.
This is of course the way Uber Pool and Lyft Line work, but there is absolutely no reason it can’t be done using bigger vehicles to serve more people, especially at rush hour where there is actually the demand to fill such a vehicle on many routes.
But just try doing this and see how far you can get without the government stopping you. What’s that? Your van doesn’t have a wheelchair lift? You don’t have a loicense to commercially transport people? You’re “skimming the cream” from the public transport system?
The government doesn’t have to subsidize these things, just... not undermine them. But if it thinks it would be “green” to subsidize people’s fares, it can go right ahead.
You want to build subway tunnels, to have grade-separated transportation? Instead of traditional trains, you can have autonomous electric vehicles, and the environment couldn’t be better for self-driving as the surroundings are completely predictable and all other vehicles on the road are exactly the same and indeed can coordinate as a network rather than as “atomic” individual cars. Then you can have it run 24 hours a day without making maintenance impossible and without having giant trains at 2% capacity at 4 AM. You can go from one station to any other station directly, without line transfers or stopping in between, that being what makes subways generally so slow.
We’re not living in the 19th century. We can go beyond the 19th-century state of the art.
Here’s some typical bullshit:
Empty vs. wasteful buses. Even empty buses aren't necessarily wasteful buses, as Morris implies. As Walker points out in his recent book, if a city only wanted to run full buses, it could do so quite easily by abandoning low-density routes and running the remaining lines at peak hours. But many metro areas choose to design systems that favor coverage over capacity, knowing full well that will mean running some empty buses, because suburban or low-income residents need them. What's "wasteful" to Morris is quite useful to these folks in particular, and these metros in general.
Walker explained the coverage-capacity distinction to Cities in March:
So when transit agencies do run that low-ridership service, as most do, it doesn’t mean they’re failing, as anti-transit conservatives often assume. It just means they have a goal other than ridership. Coverage goals, often expressed by a policy like “95 percent of population will be within walking distance of service” cause service to be spread out over large areas despite low ridership.
There’s nothing wrong with either goal, but they’re competing goals.
Yes, the fact that they are favoring “coverage” over capacity (or more accurately, economic efficiency) is the cause of this phenomenon. But is there a reason to favor “coverage”?
The typical reason given is something like “we’ve got to include everyone in the network; excluding anyone would be unfair” or “we’ve got to make sure the system is ‘reliable’ for taking people anywhere they want to go”.
But here’s an idea: stop running those low-ridership routes and use the money saved to buy people Uber gift cards. It would be cheaper. It would be better service. It would be more environmentally friendly. And you can even make sure the cars are electric.
Make a deal to give people a transfer discount if they come in off one of a private service, in exchange for the service giving a transfer discount the other way. And it doesn’t have to be cars. It can be those bicycles or electric scooters for rent.
City governments aren’t going to run their systems wisely like this. They’ve never given a damn about efficiency or quality before, and they’re not going to start now.
Solution: privatize the transit systems.
And I don’t mean this “contract them out” pseudo-privatization. I mean sell the buses, sell the train tracks, sell the train cars, sell the tunnels, and let people do whatever they want with them: run them, alter them, sell them for scrap.
If some people have strong reliance interests on routes that are suddenly canceled, take half the money saved by not running routes below operating cost (let alone capital cost!) and it will be more than enough to compensate them.
That’s a real 21st-century transit policy for you.
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On the Social Construction of Memory - Evaluating the Importance of Memory for the Interpretation of Colonial Monuments (Part II)
The Conflation of Colonial Monuments and Memory
The legacy of colonialism is manyfold and branches out into many political, economic and discursive-symbolical aspects; it determines the conditions prevalent in post-colonies, but its traces can also be seen in the streets, parks and sights of former colonial powers. Locations and objects of remembrance - such as street names or colonial monuments which commemorate the “heroes” of the colonizing nation - have been the subject of heated debates throughout the last years, and initiatives such as Deutschland Postkolonial or BERLIN POSTKOLONIAL promote both the renaming and resignification of such locations. Colonial fantasies often did not only precede the acquisition of territories by decades or even centuries - the duration of the German Colonial Empire is usually set from 1884 to 1918, with first colonial phantasies being expressed way earlier than the proclamation of the German Empire (1871), dating back to the 16th century - but also outlived them. For the con occurrences, historical sciences applies the term “koloniales Fantasiereich.” This chapter examines the conflation of colonial monuments, historic consciousness and the memory attached to it.
Colonial monuments maintain their influence and historical significance regardless of their obscurity or lack of public engagement with them. The influence of monuments is secured by their heightened degree of permanency - as opposed to films or expositions - which strengthens their function as a framework for socio-cultural discourse by extending commemorations of the imperial idea, thus enabling them to prioritize or neglect certain memories by serving as “selective aids to memory.” Furthermore, the thematic focal points of monuments are key moments of the person depicted, which then symbolize and embody the entire narrative.
With regard to the nature of monuments, Bellantani & Panico (2016) do not only emphasize the embodiment of biased knowledge in monuments, but also the influence of the spectator’s preferences for the individualized meaning of monuments. This arises from the fact that the interpretation of monuments is predicated upon the spectator’s “own opinions, beliefs, feelings and emotions,” thereby resulting in a variety of dissimilar and, possibly, irreconcilable interpretations. Furthermore, they claim that the meaning of a monument is predicated upon the “complex relations between designers, users and monuments themselves.” Due to the spectator’s engagement and subjective interpretation, monuments can evoke strong emotive power, which implies that debates about possible removal of statues are (primarily) emotionally charged. The nature of commemorative symbols is polyvocal, thereby ascribing to them an “official meaning” accompanied by “informal references […] [possibly] enforcing, neutralizing, and even counteracting the original intention.”
Considerable importance shall also be ascribed to the semiotics of space and the use of the monuments, as “the space […] inscribes the statues with meaning.” Historical sights aim at the cultural reproduction of their pasts by serving “as sites of remembrance and storytelling” and attempt “to preserve the quality of the subject” they depict by physically manifesting the arbitrariness of colonial power. While Bogart and Mayo discuss monuments as landscape, Hal Rothman discusses landscape as a monument in Preserving Different Pasts, not analyzing sites originally built as monuments, but sites that became monuments as a result of historic preservation policy. The “national monument” came into existence with the Antiquities Act of 1906 in response to development pressure and looting of archeological sites in the West. Unlike national parks, which require Congressional approval, a national monument could be declared by executive order (though the President cannot appropriate funds for development). Thus the national monument evolved as an emergency designation for sites in need of protection. Many of these sites - from the Grand Canyon in 1919 to the Alaskan lands in 1980 - ultimately became national parks as their tourism potential grew. Like the civic monuments erected in New York City, the landscapes designated national monuments in 1906 resulted from the triumph of professional expertise over popular politics. Professional archeologists and natural scientists decided what was culturally significant to preserve, and their success against western members of Congress, like the success of sculptors against the intrusions of Tammany Hall, coincided with a strong executive willingness to bypass the legislative branch in the name of the “public.”
As with public sculptures and war memorials, there remains the question of how the public interprets the sites. Rothman mentions Frank Pinkley, the “custodian” of Casa Grande National Monument, who single-handedly created the interpretive programs for national monuments in the Southwest in defiance of directives from the professionals in the Park Service's national headquarters. It would be fascinating to discover the facts he told visitors about the Native Americans, as they might have differed from the official line. Park rangers, even today, in the field function as an intermediary helping shape the audience's “interpretation” of the story told in materials developed by the central office. This function resembles the bookstore clerk in Janice Radway’s Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (1984). Bogart, Mayo, and Rothman discuss the creation of an official historical landscape at the turn of the century through monuments built and preserved. Except for early references that Mayo makes to gun shows, commercial tourist attractions, and private collectors, all three books focus primarily on the historical consciousness of professionals - artists and archeologists - and the relative power of these groups to institutionalize their version of history as the public one in the face of political pressure and competing cultural ideals. By contrast, in Time Passages George Lipsitz discusses the historical consciousness of people without the power to build public monuments or preserve the landscapes associated with their history - or even to save their neighborhoods from urban renewal. Instead, Lipsitz argues, these people encode their historical vision in music, oral tradition, and ritual. These markers of group memory not only operate locally, within these groups, but also, as appropriated by commercial mass culture, find expression to a wider audience.
Hook, whose primary subject is the statue depicting J.G. Strijdom in Pretoria, claims that monuments can project an “oppressive space” characterized by “supernatural omnipresence,” thus precipitating the social construction of memory and the fixation of its meaning. As repetition precipitates the social construction of memory and the fixation of its meaning, the semiotics of space and the use of the monuments are of crucial importance. From this condition, one can draw inferences about memorialization as an “attempted agency of legitimization of authority and social cohesion.” This also serves as evidence for the social acquisition of memory, as the extent of sustainability of remembrance is predicated upon the power of the groups they are produced by. From this perspective, one may deduce a complex interplay between historical monuments and space, which Azaryahu & Foote have shown to be applicable to many historical sites due to the “spatial configuration of history”, as “historical stories are arranged to be told in space to produce […] ‘spatial narratives’ of history.”
Osborne (2001) conceptualized a theory based on the social construction of a place to nurture identities as the representation of national narratives in monumental forms precipitates the emergence of collective memory and social cohesion. He opines that “world-building, place-making and constructive places constitute basic tools of historical imagination through multiple acts of remembering, conjecture, and speculation.” This concurs with Ladd’s analysis of the process of creating monuments, which shapes public memory and collective identity, thus inducing us to give precedence to particular memories and neglecting others.
What is clearly of interest to many contemporary urbanists and cultural geographers and historians is not just the original constructions of these innumerable commemorative sites of collective memory, but the contemporary struggles over the transformation of these old markers and their associated meanings: the rewriting of history and memory and the translations of the past. As historians of memory like to point out, memory is a profoundly unstable category of analysis, and an archaeology of memory and its physical manifestations in the landscape, can never seek to simply “show” the reflexive workings of collective memory in a given epoch. Rather, the traces of memory left in the landscape point to the political, cultural and economic forces which cohered at that moment to produce a vision of the way a (dominant) society perceived and represented itself to itself. As Hutton (1993) notes that, “Places of memory, viewed as wellsprings by the memorialists of the 19th century, are regarded by historians today as mirrors in which people once tried to see themselves.”
It’s indispensable to realize that despite their material nature as places produced by humans, monuments are also used to derive one’s identity from them when interacting or engaging with them, that is to say that we establish a perceived interrelationship between a part of our identity and activities these places are used for, the person respectively scene the monument depicts and the qualities and historical events they are associated with. Thus, they become linked to our society and can develop and exert their emotive power because of the thoughts and feelings ascribed to them based on our practice and engagement with them. As identity is “formed and continually reinforced via individual practise within culturally defined spaces,” we turn their existence into something greater and, thus, impart meaning to the monuments and places. The process of identity construction results in a reciprocal relationship between a “remembering mind and a reminding object,” which means that our identity is constructed by our reaction to places. This suggests the assumption that identity and self-image shape our perception of who we are in relation to the place respectively the person being depicted. Our interpretation, it seems, is indeed part of a repertoire of commemorative decisions and actions, and thus “embedded within and constrained by socio-spatial conditions.”
Applied to Rhodes, I presume that establishing an interrelationship between Rhodes’s legacy, the institution (UCT) and certain ‘white’ values played a pivotal role, as the Rhodes statue not only seemed to represent the white culture the institution’s structure is based upon, but also perpetuated its dominance. The effect of culture also plays an important role. Over the course of history, culture has increasingly developed into a category which is representative of one’s identity and distinction, something that is important to realize when attempting to understand the influence of the Rhodes statue and other (colonial) monuments.
Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) described itself as a “collective movement of students and staff members mobilising for direct action against the reality of institutional racism at the University of Cape Town.” It perceives the fall of the Rhodes statue as a symbolic moment in the “inevitable fall of white supremacy and privilege on campus.” Since its inception, the movement has transitioned from calling for transformation and has put its efforts into the ‘decolonization’ of the university. The rationale behind this is the perception that ‘transformation’ has been captured by the vestiges of liberalism and its ‘pacifying logic’. It is argued that transformation only amounts to meaningless surface level change, ultimately consolidating a neo-liberal status quo of structural oppression. The emphasis on decolonization identifies a subtle colonial culture of dominance as a threat to self-realization in a particular role (student) and responsible for the marginalization of black experiences and blacks as a group on campus.
Laband (2015) contends that RMF - and by extension black students - therefore seek to interrupt the normalization of colonial and apartheid symbols and practices, anchored in racism and manifest as injustice and oppression. Rhodes seems to be the archetypical subject of humanism in many aspects, namely whiteness, masculinity, able-bodiedness and European descent, whereas his heterosexuality has been called into question by scholars. Using the perspective of post-humanism and feminism, Rosi Braidotti points out that this aforementioned archetype of the ‘human’ is the yardstick against which humanism measures the worth of the ‘other.’ The defacement of the statue triggered further action, such as occupation of university buildings, as well as on-going debates and changes at UCT and other universities across South Africa and abroad (particularly Oxford University in England as well as some universities in the US).
Furthermore, the event started the #Rhodesmustfall movement led by students and supported by many black and white staff members. Maxwele’s embodied action gave a dramatic urgency to post-apartheid transformation and the decolonization of the university. Maxwele himself asserted: “As black students we are disgusted by the fact that this statue still stands here today as it is a symbol of white supremacy.” Exactly one month after the defacement, the statue, which had been installed in 1934 during a ‘second wave’ of the commemoration of Rhodes, was removed from its pedestal at UCT as a result of a process that included student demonstrations and events, protracted negotiations in the governing bodies of UCT and extensive media coverage in South Africa as well as across many other parts of the world.
The a/effect of this event has been profound and continues to ripple on, having already materialized #RhodesMustFall at Oxford and other universities as well as the #FeesMustFall movement, which led to nationwide shut down of South African universities, postponement of end of year exams, changes to the nature of employment conditions at universities (‘insourcing’ instead of ‘outsourcing’) and no increase in tuition fees for all students in 2016. In September 2015, political scientist Achille Mbembe observed the following campus climate.
The winds blowing from our campuses can be felt afar, in a different idiom, in those territories of abandonment where the violence of poverty and demoralization having become the norm, many have nothing to lose and are now more than ever willing to risk a fight. They simply can no longer wait, having waited for too long now.
Contributing Editor Toti O’Brien Sheer Matter: The Art of Marina Moevs Angelino art lovers have a fair chance of being familiar with Marina Moevs’ artwork. Since the eighties, her oil paintings have been often exhibited in group and solo shows, and they certainly leave a mark upon the viewer. Moevs’ pieces are immediately recognizable for various reasons, one of which is format. They only come in what the artist calls “door” and “window size”— two versions of the pleasant, harmonious golden rectangle. With no exception they are vertical—the orientation traditionally associated with portrait. With no exception they are landscapes. The unconventional choice is, of course, deliberate; and it communicates the artist’s intent. The skies, trees, hills and vales we are watching are metaphorical portraits, Moevs says, of humanity in its whole. Therefore people never appear. “They would be redundant.” Fauna isn’t present either. Nothing animal inhabits the scenery throughout Moevs’ abundant production. There is flora, but nothing that moves on its own, which surely contributes to the overall calmness. Yet humanity is referenced by traces of built environment. At first sight, the protagonists of Moevs’ art are nature and human artifacts, juxtaposed in various proportions, engaged in an array of dialectic relationships. Nature always wins, while human constructs (essentially houses) tend to migrate towards the margins, to bend, tilt, fall, collapse or else be submerged. Nature quietly and inexorably expands, consistently claiming the majority of the canvas,. Did I say how beautiful these paintings are? Moevs is a master of light, shadow and reflection. In an interview she gave on the occasion of an exhibit at Our Lady of the Angels, she explained how she applies layer after layer of paint with her hands, only switching to brushes when dealing with fine details. These last are exquisitely rendered. Her palette of colors is wide, soft and delicate, an effect of complexity and elaboration, a result of each square inch, each particle soaking into light—a sort of chemical process, a break down of matter, a slow distillation. Composition is also savvily mastered. As her subjects are mostly invented, Moevs says, she prepares them through a series of careful sketches and drawings. She, as we said, not only works with the golden rectangle, a geometric figure of perfect proportions and related to infinity, she also places the horizon line at eye-level, as it happens whenever one is outdoors looking at the landscape. Such a device creates a natural ease, a sense of proximity; and in spite of a preference for offset, asymmetrical elements, the scene always conveys a feeling of harmony. It’s the beauty attracting us in the first place. A calm fascination. Slowly though, we become aware of an eeriness. Paradoxically this might be induced by the peacefulness, by that kind of “too quiet” that makes us run to the nursery to find out what the children are possibly plotting. Such a rigorous absence of people evokes the obvious question: “Where did everyone go?” Absence is so invasive, so powerful, it becomes its own haunting presence. We are drawn into a narrative made of subtraction, more compelling as it only provides us with clues, spare fragments of an incomplete puzzle. Let us look at the titles. They are obvious, says the artist, on purpose. They often label what clearly is the featured subject. Ocean. Woods. River. Fog. Sometimes though, they point at a danger or tragedy we wouldn’t have caught otherwise. There are floods looking like tranquil, innocent bodies of water. There are tornado clouds that could be just… clouds. There are impending fires we could take for pretty sunsets. There are ruins of houses laid down with such properness, the orderly spread of boards could have been freshly unloaded, waiting for a carpenter. But the titles are mumbling a catastrophe is about to occur or else is just over. We are witnessing the lull, endowed with ominous stillness, before or after the storm. Flood. Fire. Drought. Why didn’t we figure it earlier, on our own? Obviously, the majority of Moevs’ work deals with natural disasters, seen as proof of our planet’s degradation and rapid decline. In a lecture she gave in 2014, the artist clarifies the inspirations for and meanings of her paintings. Motivations and process are made crystalline through her fluid, competent, yet direct lucid reasoning. Science has had an enormous impact over Moevs’ practice, which explores climate change and its causes. “Why,” she has asked herself for decades, “have we gotten ourselves to this point?” Roots of the plight presently affecting our habitat, threatening our survival as species, can be found in our way of seeing reality and ourselves—core concepts underlying our behaviors. Recent science has illuminated such beliefs, showing their fragility and failures. In particular, Moevs’ work meditates between our notions of individuality and our ideas of matter, challenging their solidity, conclusiveness, impenetrability. What and who is an individual, after all? What’s a body? Is it a sort of property, a fortress, or is it a colony of cells, an assembly of bacterial intelligence homogenously linked with all other forms of life? And is matter anything but energy bundled up at different degrees of density, motioning at various speeds? Damages humans have inflicted upon nature, Moevs concludes, spring out of an arbitrary divide between dominant, monolithic ‘self’ and subdued, neglected, abused ‘otherness.’ But another way exists of seeing the universe—present since ancient times in all cultures. It’s the vision that perceives reality as interconnected, the ‘I’ not split and crystallized in a plethora of egos, but an unified essence, unbound. Moevs’ art then reflects upon individual dissolution, dematerialization of matter, and the quality of sight that instead of defining boundaries causes them to diffuse. Thus the peacefulness and calm delivered by her paintings express a philosophy seeking unity and connection, thriving for harmonious coexistence. “My paintings,” she says, “are personal meditation pieces. That’s the function they have in my life. I like to think they can function as meditation pieces for others, too.” Still, we shouldn’t dismiss the unease Moevs’ work also conveys, and the paradox of those opposite, simultaneous effects. Let us not forget she repeatedly explores natural catastrophes, which indeed are sad and tragic realities implying loss of wealth, effort, labor, and human life. We’d be tempted to react accordingly because all the resonances in her scenes resound in a mourning register; but we can’t because no hint of anguish or pathos accompanies the imminent disaster or the one just past. This feature of her work brings to mind early crucifixion scenes, where the triple murder in the foreground coexists with—or is rather denied by—the infectious serenity of the surroundings— pristine villages and farms, luscious meadows, fragrant orchards in bloom — a distracting and yet such a pleasurable, welcome source of relief. Something here is similar to what happens in our dreams when frightening or dramatic sequences are accompanied illogically by feelings of serenity and comfort. Such discrepancy is frequent in our oneiric experience, and in fact, a dream quality we recognize permeates Moevs’ art, both in its halo of surreality and in its evident symbolism. We explain to ourselves the simultaneous presence of awful narratives and pleasant emotions by the metaphorical idiom of dreams— that imageries of death, illness, destruction or loss are not literal. They are figures of psychic tension or transformation. They foreshadow the changes in the dreamer. We assume, if we accept Moevs’ vision, that her catastrophes are representations of change, and for Moevs all change is inherently positive. Moevs explicitly says her art is a metaphor, more precisely a metaphorical portrait of humanity in the shape of landscape; moreover she also specifies her paintings address transmutation, notably the transition from a binary concept implying conflict and exploitation to a state of unity and openness. The two can’t coexist; therefore, the second one can only be achieved by destroying the first. Or should we say by letting it collapse? By letting it be consumed? By letting it be submerged? The house is a common symbol for the self, and it definitely assumes such a role in Moevs’ paintings. Her houses in particular—usually tiny cottages—quintessentially express the ideal of secluded independence. They are not pretentious or pompous. They are quite simple, almost toy-like. We could take them for maquettes or doll-houses. They are small islands of loneliness and in Moevs’ paintings they are regularly sacrificed— either uprooted by wind or swallowed by water, charred by fire, swept away by ocean waves. Yet, as we see, removal occurs without fuss as if room were needed for something else, something better. A recurrent theme is the destroyed seafront house, exemplary because of the very attitude its location suggests. Both realtors and buyers are aware such properties are inherently at-risk. They always were and they increasingly are because of global warming causing oceans to rise. Their frequent collapse implies high insurance costs ultimately underwritten by taxpayers. Most of these homes are meant for vacations, kept because of their charm, for vanity’s sake. Common sense should restrain us from building on unstable shores. Although repeatedly damaged, such places are endlessly reconstructed, demonstrating our reluctance to abandon obsolete customs and behaviors, a mindset become increasingly dangerous. A few pieces painted between 2006 and 2009—a series https://ojalart.com/contributing-editor-toti-obrienart-artists-of-los-angelessheer-matter-the-art-of-marina-moevs/?utm_source=tumblr&utm_medium=tumblr&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost
Issues related to the development of identity and self-esteem are some of the most important in modern psychology of the personality, because the problem of self-identity in the research process of self-awareness plays a key role. Self-esteem of the individual can be called the unifying principle and the core of the development of self-consciousness of the individual. Only with the formation of a certain self-esteem, a person finds his own personality. If an individual's self-esteem is formed correctly, then it involves not just knowing oneself, and not only as a set of any characteristics and qualities. Self-esteem is, first of all, a certain attitude to oneself, implying the awareness of one's personality by an individual as a certain stable personal education. It makes it possible to maintain the stability of the individual in a variety of situations, allows a person to remain himself. In addition, self-esteem is the central link of arbitrary self-regulation, which determines the level and direction of a person's activity, his attitude to others and to himself.
In fact, there is very little of "self" in self-esteem, because in any case, this is a certain assessment of society. People look at themselves through the prism of social recognition, because initially a person is born satisfied with himself and does not know what will be required of him. For some, this self-satisfaction persists, because they were expected into this world and loved, they were engaged in it, they were taught, they were listened to, and so on. But someone's self-esteem becomes low for one reason or another.
I believe that at the very beginning of life, in childhood, our self-esteem was formed by our parents and mainly by our mother. If you were disliked, not watched over, not given proper attention, and as a result you came out as a complexed teenager with low self-esteem, then you should not blame your parents for this. Perhaps they themselves did not expect such a responsibility for such a tiny baby. It is also possible that they were also disliked, not instilled in love, and they took their own parents as an example. Your parents themselves may suffer from low self-esteem, which can be projected on their child – on you or on your siblings.
But do not think that only the complexed suffer from low self-esteem. And here it is not. The arrogant and upstart people who meddle in your life, behave tactlessly, also have low self-esteem. From this, the conclusion is that self-esteem is either low or adequate.
The question of adequate self-esteem of some people and low self-esteem of others is the moment of how well the frontal lobes of a person are pumped. Almost like a force of will. These days, many people are under constant stress, sleep poorly, get sick, eat junk food, have a lot of addictions, experience a lack of hormones of joy, self-confidence, and a plus to everything is low self-esteem. Hence so many mentally unstable people who do not accept themselves and go to extreme measures.
Logically, the question is: how to increase it? Well, the best thing you can do for your beloved self is to seek psychological help from a competent specialist. I must say that the result is cumulative and will be visible in a year or two of therapy. Without psychological help, of course, it will be more difficult, but you can also increase your self-esteem. You need to grow up, study hard, develop, play sports, learn languages, travel, communicate with pleasant and educated people, learn not to take the negative to heart.
To sum up, I can only give words of parting words: don't expect everything to be wonderful in a miraculous way. No one will do the work on you, only YOU!
hey. i was strolling through your dean studies tag and had to close it bc i was going INSANE but it also got me thinking of something. i've never taken a gender studies class and sometimes tbh i feel like i can't keep up with yall's discussions, i'm just a simple she/they biologist, but i thought i'd give my two cents from my field bc i can't stop thinking about this (in a submission bc it got long, sorry. idek if this makes sense).
there’s this book by Matt Ridley called “The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature" that goes into sexual selection, the mechanism through which females choose the males they mate with (usually) in the animal kingdom, which is tied to natural selection, and how that has carried onto humans. and it mentions male peacocks’ tails as an example of a very curious thing (this is gonna make sense).
flashy and exuberant tails are favoured by females and there are two theories for this, literally called the sexy-son and the good-sense. sexy-son says females want sons what will attract more females (ouroboros), good-sense says flashy tails denote health. but the thing is the flashier the tail the more susceptible to predators they are. and one male can mate with several females but each female can only mate with one male. so the need to mate necessarily subjects males to violence, either at the hands of predators or amongst themselves in competition, and it’s a vicious cycle. the need to mate leads to violence and participating in the violence leads to better chances of mating. and the book argues that this is stil true in humans and our minds are the equivalent to the peacock’s tail
and i can’t stop thinking about that in terms of gender and specifically in terms of dean. he hyperperforms masculinity to the point where other men notice he’s compensating, making himself more vulnerable in an attempt to increase his chances. masculinity the way dean sees it necessarily implies violence against the world, either through aggression or projection, and subjecting himself to that violence too, and he keeps doing it, he keeps making his tail flashier, [denoting] his presence in ways where it would in theory be better for him not to be seen, because he has to keep doing it.
he overperforms bc if he doesn’t his tail won’t be flashy enough to compete with his peers (heterosexual men he needs to convince) or get him the attention of women, but because he overperforms his tail is too flashy and he gives himself away to predators (heterosexual men who see through his bluff). predator and peer are the same and dean ultimately fails his performance bc it consists of copying them, but which one is he copying? does it even matter if they’re the same?
first off even though i know it’s like a scientific term you putting dean winchester and the sexy son hypothesis in the same sentence is SENDING MEEEEEE so thank u for that
but yeah also it really is like he necessarily subjects himself to and resigns himself to violence. because the violence is not just some arbitrary result or cost of performing his masculinity, but a necessary mechanism through which masculinity is recognised realised and produced. it’s ALL about the peers
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Whither RERA? Three years on, rough edges need ironing out
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) was brought in to crack the whip on dodgy builders taking unsuspecting homebuyers for a ride. The results are mixed
In March, 2016, Parliament voted into law the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act—RERA—a legislation that held out the promise of placing consumers at the center of a new rules-based framework for India’s property market.
RERA, midwifed by two governments—UPA II and the NDA II—between 2009 and the 2016, was necessitated by the growing misery of tens of thousands of harried homebuyers.
Unsuspecting individual customers often complained about getting the short end of the stick, as many builders, some dodgy and some reputed, exploited regulatory gaps by not delivering promised apartments on time or reneging on size and quality, or sometimes, simply vanishing after collecting funds.
RERA’s primary purpose, apart from defining rules, was to build trust among buyers and builders in a market where opaque deals thriving in grey payment systems operating outside the legitimate financial system had become commonplace.
For instance, customers would often find that the actual size of an apartment would be about 30% smaller than what was originally promised. The reason: “super built up area”, an arbitrary concept that builders used to charge customers for shared spaces such as common passage area, stairs and other areas.
Fund diversion had become a rampant practice in the realty sector. Many builders, large and small, would collect money from consumers for apartments, a part of which would then be channeled to buy land for another project. The net effect: never-ending project delays. This was going on without any checks and balances, and builders had developed the `consumers- be-damned’ attitude. For the banking sector too lending to realty projects became a risky proposition, as project delays resulted in mounting loan defaults.
RERA was brought in to address these. Three years later, experts reckon, the results, at best, are mixed.
Under RERA, builders are required to disclose details of “carpet area”, which is the actual apartment’s size, design, structure, layout, time of completion and other project specifications well in advance.
The rules make it mandatory for any project exceeding 500 square metres with eight or more apartments to register with a state’s real estate regulatory authority (RERA) before launching or even advertising a housing scheme.
Also read: Where’s my house? NCR’s Notorious Construction Record
Registration of real estate agents or brokers have also been made mandatory with clear responsibilities and functions. The punitive provisions include de-registration of the project. If the builder defaults on promises made at the time of the launch, the buyer can approach consumer fora in case of disputes with real estate developers. The penal measures were aimed at serving as a deterrent for builders to short change customers and ensure timely project delivery.
It is also now mandatory for builders to park 70% of funds collected from buyers in an escrow account, implying that these funds can only be withdrawn for the specific project for which these were collected.
Under the central law, each state was required to set up its own RERA that can draw upon central rules applicable in union territories.
Maharashtra was the first off the block with MahaRera in May 2017, with other states soon following suit with their own institutions.
MORE THAN A REGISTERING BODY
RERA’s role is not limited to just as a registering agency for realty projects, but was designed to evolve into a body empowered to even complete stuck projects or even allow buyers’ groups to take over unfinished projects.
Three years later, experts say, RERA’s record on this front remains below par. The RERA Act’s Section 8 empowers the authority, buyers’ association or an appropriate government organisation to execute unfinished projects, but arranging funds and buyers’ cooperation remain a critical challenge.
The Amrapali Group, which has unfinished projects peppered across Noida and Greater Noida, is a case in point. The Supreme Court, which which is hearing a batch of pleas of 42,000 home buyers against the embattled group for failing to give the possession of flats, had asked the Noida and Greater Noida Authorities whether they will be able to complete the projects. The authorities responded that they did not have the capability to handle projects of such big scale, but suggested that perhaps UP RERA could take these up.
“While it (UP RERA) certainly cannot complete projects by itself, it can find appropriate solutions by approaching competent authorities or even appoint a project management consultant to finish these,” said Kumar Mihir, lawyer, representing Amrapali homebuyers.
Sound as it may appear on paper, in practice, however, too many instances of leaks in builders’ escrow accounts have come to light.
“The problem in most cases has arisen not because of shortage of funds but because monies collected from homebuyers have been siphoned off. This is because builders have exploited gaps in RERA rules of some states. For instance, the Uttar Pradesh RERA rules do not mandate parking funds in an escrow account for projects that started before May 1, 2017. Had it applied to all ongoing projects before May 1, 2017 the funding for most of the incomplete RERA projects would have been sorted,” said a lawyer who did not wish to be identified.
The RERA rules framed for the union territories had categorically stated that promoters of ongoing projects are required to set aside 70% of funds collected for specific project in a separate escrow account.
Some states such as Uttarakhand, Orissa and Bihar have adopted the central RERA rules. Maharashtra and Gujarat rules stipulate that only 70 percent of funds collected in the future, after May 01, 2017, have to be kept aside in an escrow account. The Uttar Pradesh RERA rules are silent, which builders have taken advantage of to siphon off funds.
BUYERS AS BUILDERS
Exasperated buyers are now beginning to come forward to turn builders themselves. RERA rules allow this and the few cases, if successfully tested, can well serve as the proof of concept for this model.
The Maharashtra real estate regulator has already come with a standard operating procedure (SOP) that allowed homebuyers to remove a developer in case the project is not completed on time.
The SOP allows a homebuyers’ association that enjoys the backing of at least 51 percent of its members to remove the developer from a much-delayed project. It even empowers the association to even cancel the developer’s registration under the MahaRERA Act.
Last year, the UP RERA decided to consider a proposal by defrauded homebuyers to take over and complete a project in Noida that had been delayed by several years.
“Prima facie, this appears to be an excellent move and will also set a very good precedent. But, it is also very important to know (a) how the project will be funded and (b) if the builder has taken more money than what work has been done by him and how RERA plans to recover the excess money from him,” said Abhay Upadhyay, President, Forum For People's Collective Efforts.
Experts, however, sounded a caveat. Authorities taking over incomplete projects should be an exception, rather than a norm because under RERA a builder should adhere to the rules, with strict penalties for violation. Also, it may be difficult for RERA to undertake a project from scratch.
“Doing something from scratch is very difficult. We will not advise it. It all depends on the size of the project and should be taken up on a case-to-case basis. It is not something that can be applied across the board,” said a lawyer who did not wish to be identified.
CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE
RERA’s institutionalisation was predicated upon customer centricity. The state bodies were expected to play the role of a strict referee that would instill the fear of law among deceitful builders.
Three years later, customers say, the job remains half done. The two main issues that homebuyers face today are to do with lack of confidence about execution of RERA orders by realty companies, and multiple forums for grievance redressal.
A mere RERA registration does not guarantee that a project will be delivered on time. An under-construction project, therefore, continues to remain a risky bet despite RERA.
“This is because RERA authorities are not taking proactive steps to ensure that all provisions are being complied with by the builder, nor are they monitoring the progress of the projects. They should ensure that projects are granted extension only under exceptional circumstances”, said Upadhyay, president of Fight for RERA, an umbrella body of homebuyers.
There are also instances where realty companies have given different timelines to homebuyers and the authority. “A builder cannot change timelines. At best, he can only ask for a one year extension from the regulatory authority. If the builder changes timelines he is liabile to pay penalty. Authorities should be on their toes to address the issue,” said lawyer quoted earlier.
What is needed are speedier clearances and cutting down of bureaucratic red tape.
“The government should expedite a single window clearance mechanism for the real estate sector. The clearance and approval process for residential real estate projects has been an impediment for a long time. After RERA was launched, it became all the more important to facilitate smooth clearances and approvals so that there are no execution delays due to procedural hindrances,” said Amit Ruparel, managing director, Ruparel Realty.
Most contracts with homebuyers were changed after RERA came into effect from May 1, 2017. This has complicated timeline commitments.
“For most projects those timelines are almost ending. It is for RERA authorities to now start mapping those projects to see if there are delays and to start sending out show cause notices to developers. RERA’s job is not merely to register a project but also to map the projects and ensure that their timelines are being met,” said the lawyer who did not wish to be identified.
That said, the process is evolving in the right direction, albeit slowly, expert said.
“Things are changing for the better. Generally, players are far more accountable and cannot easily get away with breaking the RERA rules. While the redressal of complaints is not satisfactory for many, consumers are coming forward in large numbers to register complaints across states. The Wild West days of Indian real estate are definitely over”, says Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants.
Project and real estate agent registrations have been rising steadily. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh as many as 307 projects were registered under RERA as on date, a five-fold increase from 61 in November 2018.
Maharashtra is currently the most active state having the highest project registrations with more than 20,718 projects under MahaRERA so far, and nearly 19,699 RERA-registered real estate agents.
Project registration in Karnataka currently stands at 2530 projects and 1342 RERA-registered real estate agents, says data shared by ANAROCK.
Gujarat has 5,317 RERA-registered projects and 899 registered agents and agencies.
“RERA, accompanied by reduced GST rates, has helped in bringing back consumer confidence and the trust factor which the industry lacked,” said Rahul Grover, president, Sales and Operations at Sai Estate Consultants.
This article was originally published in English www.moneycontrol.com
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