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Gillian Anderson narrates this clip about Karl Marx's theory of alienation. And it's fabulous.

Alienation from your work was a real thing that Karl Marx identified, and I still see it happening today. Here's two minutes about that, narrated in the lovely voice of Gillian Anderson.

Gillian Anderson narrates this clip about Karl Marx's theory of alienation. And it's fabulous.

So, here's the blow-by-blow.


All images via BBC Radio 4.

Alienation

Karl Marx believed that work is what makes us human. But the alteration of that work by capitalism was responsible for many societal ills, including the concept of alienation.


Ahhh, Capitalism ...

Marx researched, studied, and witnessed that alienation in Europe — circa 1800s, where working people barely got by, pulling 12-hour shifts, or even longer — for just enough pocket change to maybe get some scraps of food before doing it all again the next day until they died, frequently much younger than they otherwise would have. There were even some cases where workers literally lived next to their machines and almost never left, and some children working in factories were actually chained to the machines. Good times.

(I'll pause while you consider that in comparison to where we are in today's working world, not just here, but in countries where many jobs have moved to. Insert some adage about things changing but remaining the same... )

Marxism Redux

That was the essence of 1800s capitalism in Europe. It's what drove Marx to write about capitalism and to do several deep dives into developing his economic and philosophic theories on communism, culminating in the writing of his book, "The Communist Manifesto."

One of Marx's most famous phrases stems from this idea of alienation. "Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!" Those chains (sometimes actual chains!) were what he thought workers would willingly throw off if they could just understand it all.

But let's let this video from BBC Radio 4 dig in a little more:

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Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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