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Thread: Future Important Thread (Maybe)

  1. #8281
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    Since Wikileaks recently has released so much that discredits Clinton and therefore supports Trump, all of a sudden everyone who likes Trump now also likes Wikileaks. I suspect that this is not because Trump supporters believe in the importance of whistle-blowing for a free democracy, but because they like to read what they agree with anyway.
    Totally. More and more evidence is building that a great number of people in my country lack self-honesty. As you said, they use the evidence that supports their side, as opposed to following the evidence where it leads. Another example of this can be found in recent polls showing how Republicans have developed a more favorable view of Russia since Trump began his bid for the presidency. Traditionally Republicans prided themselves on being more hawkish on the Russians (think Reagan), but now that has been muddied simply for the desire to win politically.

    I've mostly seen this as a right-wing problem but a week ago I became concerned while reading the comment section of the NYT who reported that the CIA thought that Russian hackers supported Trump in the election. All top rated comments were about Trump being a traitor who accepted help from a hostile, foreign power and for that he should not be allowed to become president. Again, a total lack of nuance and a pre-determined opinion that is exacerbated by information which isn't really relevant in regard to it.
    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor. I'm not sure about the specific article you mentioned above, but in general when a politician puts their own power above the truth (as with CIA evidence, global warming, and a million other things in Trump's case) I think they lean more and more in the direction of betraying their country.

  2. #8282
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    Quote Originally Posted by danthechan View Post
    really got to watch that fake news. that is right up their alley of a story that will generate shares and clicks. social security numbers weren't issued before 1936.
    https://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/firstcard.html
    Wow!!! You called that one. I'm getting the feeling, though, that ITZ is just playing a practical joke on us with some of the things he's been saying.... I don't know if he's totally serious.

  3. #8283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor. I'm not sure about the specific article you mentioned above, but in general when a politician puts their own power above the truth (as with CIA evidence, global warming, and a million other things in Trump's case) I think they lean more and more in the direction of betraying their country.
    I think that most politicians who would profit from a Russian hack like Trump probably did would tilt towards downplaying or rejecting the evidence. Politicians who are damaged by the hack will tilt towards highlighting the evidence. What truly separates Trump from other politicians is that he is more extreme in this regard and that he doesn't at all hide his intentions to deny politically undesirable evidence credibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Traditionally Republicans prided themselves on being more hawkish on the Russians (think Reagan), but now that has been muddied simply for the desire to win politically.
    There are real arguments involved here, Russia and the USA (and their relitive positions) have changed since Regan's era. Regardless most of the republican foreign policy 'experts' are hawkish on Russia and are not changing their minds. The foreign policy establishment is wildly opposed to Trump changing how foreign policy is approached.

    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor.
    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?

    Both of these things worry me a bit - it worries me that countries like the USA and Russia and China could stumble mindlessly towards war in the way states often do. And it worries me that the US could tear down its political system through each side selling to itself (a little bit at a time) how absolutely intolerable it is for the other side to have power. I suppose, in a way they are the same thing...

  5. #8285
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post

    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?
    I mostly agree with this. Though, I probably differ from you in that I would actually claim that most world leaders are traitors. If the government is of the people, by the people, for the people, then most top politicians are traitors. Across the globe, they primarily serve themselves, their friends, and a tiny class of very powerful people.

    At the same time, I agree with Zef that Trump is exceptional. He fits unusually well the idea of the "traitor". He more explicitly promised to serve the people and the middle class than most mainstream politicians and up until now he has done the exact opposite. Basically, he will do what any president since the eighties has done but he will do it more consequently and in greater contrast to his promises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    I mostly agree with this. Though, I probably differ from you in that I would actually claim that most world leaders are traitors.
    No I get this argument. You have high standards, and we should have high standards for our leaders. I would support severe consequences for misuse of political power. I've probably explained how I'd see that working on here at some stage long ago.

    middle class than most mainstream politicians and up until now he has done the exact opposite. Basically, he will do what any president since the eighties has done but he will do it more consequently and in greater contrast to his promises.
    Quite likely... But you seem to be judging him for things you assume he will do before he actually had power to enact his ideas or see how they work out.

    Yes some of his cabinet picks and so forth are odd and seem to contradict his stated positions... but one could apply the same eye to Mr "Hope and not much change" Obama.
    Last edited by ScottieX; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:19 PM.

  7. #8287
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post


    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?

    Both of these things worry me a bit - it worries me that countries like the USA and Russia and China could stumble mindlessly towards war in the way states often do. And it worries me that the US could tear down its political system through each side selling to itself (a little bit at a time) how absolutely intolerable it is for the other side to have power. I suppose, in a way they are the same thing...
    Sorry for the delayed response Scottie! You have a point about using words too broadly. But that's exactly why I added the caveat of "leaning more and more" toward something intolerable. Obviously it's a matter of degrees. So not everyone is a traitor simply because they desire power or lie from time to time. But the more somebody pursues the former without much regard for either truth or what's really good for the country, I imagine it becomes more acceptable to use words akin to traitor (unless the reason is something else entirely, as with being insane or really stupid).

    In Trump's case, I would say it's at least debatable whether he's a traitor to his country----and even just that, being debatable, has to be a serious problem for a president-elect!! There shouldn't even be a question about it! Just take one example with the Russian cyber-attacks to interfere with our elections. For him to dismiss the evidence of the CIA without any real clue about it (much like with climate change), he demonstrates to anyone who is fair and objective (non-partisan) that he really cares more about himself than the U.S. Now, that's just one clue to his personality. But the more he displays this tendency to put himself above the good of the people, the more he needs to be kicked out of office...

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    Funny how this thread picked up recently. I guess that shows how current world events, from Syria to the U.S., have provoked the need for discussions.

    It's nice hearing from different perspectives, even when we disagree.

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    I'm generally one for accepting the system works. But if I was to be convinced that the system has failed terribly and elected a person to a position where they are indeed an existential threat I must also recognize that Trump took advantage of forces at play in the US that won't go away even if he does*, at best they might be set back if he is allowed to objectively screw up, at worst the US system is irreparable.

    *I don't mean racism which has been higher in US history, I mean celebrity culture, mindless partisanship, anger at the decline of US economic and political influence etc.

  10. #8290
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Funny how this thread picked up recently. I guess that shows how current world events, from Syria to the U.S., have provoked the need for discussions.

    It's nice hearing from different perspectives, even when we disagree.
    I think it was just chance for me. Ran out of podcasts/youtubes/tweets to watch/discuss and wondered what was going on here

  11. #8291
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    I think it was just chance for me. Ran out of podcasts/youtubes/tweets to watch/discuss and wondered what was going on here
    Are there any games you'd recommend? I haven't had an Xbox for a couple of years.... but right now I'm finishing a book and was thinking maybe I'd buy one of the new consoles when I'm done writing it in a few weeks. But I only want to do that if it's worth it. There were never that many games that I really liked, but the ones I did like I played over and over... like Civ Rev, BioShock (1 and 2), Dead Space (1 and 2), and only a couple of others. Any games that you've seen that are comparable????

  12. #8292
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Are there any games you'd recommend? I haven't had an Xbox for a couple of years.... but right now I'm finishing a book and was thinking maybe I'd buy one of the new consoles when I'm done writing it in a few weeks. But I only want to do that if it's worth it. There were never that many games that I really liked, but the ones I did like I played over and over... like Civ Rev, BioShock (1 and 2), Dead Space (1 and 2), and only a couple of others. Any games that you've seen that are comparable????
    I got a Xbox one and really didn't use it that much (not enough to justify it).
    I'm just holding out for Argonia (elder scrolls 6) or the faint chance that something like Civ will be created by someone). I have the Witcher 3 and its ok - but not the same addictiveness.

    I'm tempted to give up on consoles and switch to PC gaming so that I can get more mods for those games that I do really like and the other more civ like games that I dont think they have on consoles like like europa universalis.

  13. #8293
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    I got a Xbox one and really didn't use it that much (not enough to justify it).
    I'm just holding out for Argonia (elder scrolls 6) or the faint chance that something like Civ will be created by someone). I have the Witcher 3 and its ok - but not the same addictiveness.

    I'm tempted to give up on consoles and switch to PC gaming so that I can get more mods for those games that I do really like and the other more civ like games that I dont think they have on consoles like like europa universalis.
    Well, Scottie, you have me interested. I looked up EU4 and it does look good. When I finish my work this break, my college promises me a new computer. I'll download it and forget about work for a while!!!!!

  14. #8294
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    Quite likely... But you seem to be judging him for things you assume he will do before he actually had power to enact his ideas or see how they work out.

    Yes some of his cabinet picks and so forth are odd and seem to contradict his stated positions... but one could apply the same eye to Mr "Hope and not much change" Obama.
    And we should apply that to Obama and any other politician whose actual policies diverge greatly from what was promised. Sadly, this gap between stated policy and what is actually implemented is the norm rather than the exception. I doubt that Trump will be much different and so far he has done little to convince me otherwise.

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    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?
    I sense a certain moral outrage on your part, Showtek. It's interesting, because you're an epistemic skeptic. I would think that would carry over to morality as well. So correct me if I'm wrong, but you probably don't believe in some sort of absolute values, right? If you don't, then you reject the notion that we can prove that humans have intrinsic, inalienable rights. I myself most definitely reject them. But if you don't believe in them, then is it simply utility that motivates your moral view points? I would get that to a certain degree: it's plausible that we should increase happiness whenever possible (plausible, although I myself reject this thesis). And income inequality doesn't do this, right? But even if it's right, whence the moral outrage? In other words, even if we believe that there should be more happiness in the world, why does it bother some of us so much when others aren't happy? It almost seems to me that the strong passions betray a hidden, residual moral belief that humans have real intrinsic value.

  17. #8297
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    I sense a certain moral outrage on your part, Showtek. It's interesting, because you're an epistemic skeptic. I would think that would carry over to morality as well. So correct me if I'm wrong, but you probably don't believe in some sort of absolute values, right? If you don't, then you reject the notion that we can prove that humans have intrinsic, inalienable rights. I myself most definitely reject them. But if you don't believe in them, then is it simply utility that motivates your moral view points? I would get that to a certain degree: it's plausible that we should increase happiness whenever possible (plausible, although I myself reject this thesis). And income inequality doesn't do this, right? But even if it's right, whence the moral outrage? In other words, even if we believe that there should be more happiness in the world, why does it bother some of us so much when others aren't happy? It almost seems to me that the strong passions betray a hidden, residual moral belief that humans have real intrinsic value.
    No, I don't believe in intrinsic human rights. However, that doesn't mean that we cannot or should not erect some (relative) principles on which to build politics and society. Some of such principles which we have established are meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy. I happen to support all three of these principles (although, ideally and utopianly, I would prefer communism over meritocracy) and I find that they are all violated by rampant inequality.

    The differences in wealth between people within and across nations are grotesquely disproportionate to differences in contribution to society. Huge wealth gaps greatly restrict equality of opportunity and ever increasing concentration of wealth parallels concentration of political power. As rich people exert more control over politics, e.g. in the form of super PACs, what democracy we have left is slowly changing into an oligarchy.

    Civil and human rights might be limited, the welfare state abolished, society turned into a social Darwinian, Hobbes like hell hole while a small elite pulls the strings in the background. Internationalism might be abandoned in favor of a new nationalism and neo-fascism where we once again fight amongst each other and hate one another. It is my belief that the rising inequality and the leaving behind of ordinary citizens is deeply connected to all of these issues.

    Am I morally outraged? I suppose I am. If we value concepts such as meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy I think we have a moral duty to act in accordance with them. While those with great economic and political power publicly profess to support our common principles, they actually work to subvert them, consciously and unconsciously.

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