"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think that public banking is a good thing and it is possibly one of the reasons why the Spanish Empire collapsed while its competing European neighbours expanded all across the world.

Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money" comes to mind.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Let's imagine that we imposed a maximum rate as you suggest. What do you suppose would happen to the people who are too poor or unreliable or otherwise have a black mark against their records which indicate that it is unwise to lend them money at a low rate?

Such people would now be unable to obtain any legal loans at all, as it would not be a sound decision to give cheap credit to people who may not be able to repay them. An implementation of a cap on interest in fact harms the most vulnerable people and will only lead to the creation of shadow banking systems.

As I have repeatedly said, there is no reason why you should have usury laws at all. It seems to me that the only possible justification for such laws is to assume that borrowers are too foolish to understand the implications of their borrowing to begin with.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'll assume that your citation of current laws (though I have no idea which jurisdiction you are in, and thus have no idea what those laws actually look like) means that you approve of the current definition of usury in some unnamed jurisdiction. But this is a rather lazy answer, isn't it? I don't see why the fact that we have such laws should necessarily mean such laws are wise laws.

The fact of the matter is that if interest rates were not high enough to offset the risk of lending, you would find fewer willing creditors and wind up with less credit. I would argue that the abolition of usury laws would in fact free up credit to those who need it the most, those who are otherwise too risky for creditors to willingly lend to.

You seem to be of the opinion that there are two types of lending: good lending, and bad lending. Good lending is good because the interest rates are low enough that they don't infringe upon the law. Bad lending is bad because the interest rates are too high. But such a simplistic definition inherently disregards the reason why people borrow in the first place; if someone borrows money, then regardless of the interest rates, the reason they are doing so is because they would prefer to have less money now rather than more money later, and it seems to me to be a perfectly fair goal to make this an available option to as many people as possible.

Huawei Responds to Android Ban by Timmy in technology

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This will not likely amount to much. HuaWei's most loyal customers appear to be Chinese citizens, all of whom already use a de-Googled version of Android unique to Chinese devices.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

And knowing all of that, you would still support a ban on usury? For that matter, you have not given any definition on what you would consider an overly-high interest rate to begin with. Would your definition perhaps be softened now that you've actually thought about what it would entail?

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Let's think about this for a moment. What is an overly-high interest rate? In the first place, if someone is willing to borrow even at such extortionate rates, then it would seem to me that the rates were not too high at all. If the rates were truly too high, then you would not have found anyone willing to borrow. The mere fact that people are still willing to take out loans, even at rates that you deem "too high", suggests that they would prefer to live with the interest and the results of their spending than without it.

But let's go back to the question you were responding to. When I asked you whether you assumed that people are forced to take loans, you answered that housing and education demand that people take loans. Let's assume for the moment that this is true.

If you were to prevent lending at reasonable, market rates of interest, then what I foresee is a collapse of lending to all but the most reliable of creditors. In other words, only those who already have considerable money and a stable income would be able to borrow money to fund the purchases of these "necessities" you have identified.

Maybe it would be a good way to force a population to spend within its means. It might even be a good way to prevent credit bubbles, for all I know. But I doubt that these are problems you set out to solve.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I don't really see the connection between usury and debt slavery; unless you're going to argue that borrowing is compulsory, it seems to me that those who live in debt slavery have nobody but themselves to blame for the weight of their debts.

Even a 12 year old is capable of understanding compound interest and how their debt would accumulate should they take out a loan. To argue that adults who took out unwise loans should somehow blame the lender rather than their own poor decision-making seems odd to me.

CONFIRMED: Chemical Weapons Assessment Contradicting Official Syria Narrative Is Authentic by fred_red_beans in Syria

[–]worm 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I find it quite interesting that none of the major news sites or the world leaders who authorized the retaliations seem to be interested in addressing this at all.

I have yet to find any reputable news source report on this, either.

Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias - Have we found the chemical cause of racism? by worm in science

[–]worm[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If you would define all of those as cosmetic, then I'll accept your definition of cosmetic and move on; for it would seem quite clear then that the differences between different species of bears, or different breeds of dogs, horses, chickens, and other domesticated animals, are purely cosmetic as well. I would be satisfied with that term so long as we accept that the differences between different human races are comparable to the differences between subspecies of animals. True, it is entirely possible to cross-breed between subspecies to produce "mongrels" (your words, not mine), but I for one don't see why the ability to cross-breed should deny the fact that such differences clearly exist between different subspecies.

Regardless of how we define these differences, I would maintain that there are clear physical and cultural differences between people of different races. I am uncertain as to why you insist that differences are dangerous, but I'd be open to hearing your explanation on why they must be so.

I just googled "getting rich off of sick people is disgusting" check out these results by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

[–]worm 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If you have the time, take up a copy of Robert Nozick's "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" and skip straight ahead to part II, Beyond the Minimal State. A political thinker and popular philosopher, Nozick's theory of ownership remains one of the strongest critiques of redistributive justice in popular circulation.

As a blurb, Nozick's theory of ownership operates in opposition to the Rawlsian ideas of just redistribution. According to Nozick, theories of redistribution inherently ignore the historical sources of inequality as they focus upon justifiable patterns of distribution rather than historical entitlement.

For instance, Hayek's views of distribution according to value contributed looks only at a snapshot in time and redistributes wealth according to a pattern of "the one who contributes most gets more wealth" (paraphrasing and oversimplifying, but you get the point about patterns). The same problem would apply even for a socialist perspective as suggested by Rawls, which redistributes income such that the worst-off member of a society is doing as well as he could.

In a statement against redistributive justice, Nozick argues that distribution should be seen as a process rather than an end-goal. Distribution of wealth constantly occurs and re-occurs as people engage in trade, employment, and other such gainful acts. As such, rather than focusing on a just amount of wealth each man may have in a frozen moment in time, Nozick argues that just redistribution requires a just process by which the dynamic process of redistribution may occur.

To simplify, it is no issue that a man has great wealth provided that the means by which he obtained that wealth is done via a just process of distribution, and Nozick's view is that the most just process is one which respects individual property rights first and foremost.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Forgive me for saying so, but if all debt was forgiven at once I suspect that financial markets may break down overnight; which might bring much more stress than it would relieve.

Jokes aside, I don't see what you mean by usury being the cause of debt slavery - whatever you mean by both terms. Is there any way you could lay out the reasoning behind that for me?

The Soph Shut Down | 1791 by send_nasty_stuff in altrightwebm

[–]worm 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That Bernstein fellow (the one who wrote the article on Soph) is quite an interesting character himself.

I believe he was the first one to accuse Sam Hyde and Million Dollar Extreme of racism and membership of the alt-right, and managed to get the show pulled from Adult Swim for political content. This was back in 2016.

From about September 2018, he began to focus his attention on Pewdiepie, and wrote several articles accusing him of being racist for trying to get more subscribers than an Indian channel and for laughing in a VR game when a player called Shekels was unexpectedly killed off mid-sentence. Bernstein was not particularly successful at proving either claim, but it seems he has since given up on attacking the big fish and has been looking for smaller fry like his latest target, Soph.

In my opinion, this Bernstein fellow seems to have based his entire career on calling people out for suspected or imagined political incorrectness.

"If banks can borrow money from the federal reserve at 3%, why cant we? Why do we have to go through a money changer to get access to capital? In all honesty for profit banking should be outlawed like for profit hospitals were before Nixon. Usury is the problem in our society. Not capitalism." by Orangutan in politics

[–]worm 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Probably for the same reason that the German 10Y bond sits at a negative yield, while the Argentinan 10Y bonds sit at something like 20-25% yields.

Commercial lending and retail lending are completely different markets. It's one thing to lend money to a wealthy and well-known corporation, and another thing entirely to lend to any old John Doe. Even without examining the entirely different sets of laws, rules, and expectations which lie behind each kind of lending, the difference in risk is immediately obvious on matters of size and reputation alone.

I'm not saying that central banking is necessarily a good idea, because I'm not convinced by central banking either. What I am sure of, however, is that a central bank wouldn't find it easy to open up a retail banking business, and I don't think it should even try.

Edited for capitalisation issues.

"They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. Fuck that." by EndlessSunflowers in quotes

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the status quo; I simply can't bring myself to care about it one way or another, and I'm having some difficulty thinking of why anyone would get riled up about advertising either way.

"They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. Fuck that." by EndlessSunflowers in quotes

[–]worm 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Is there a transcript of this somewhere? This is honestly pretty hard to read, but from what I can tell seems to be some sort of rant against advertising because it's intrusive and ugly.

Maybe the sheer pettiness of that anger is the joke, but oddly enough some of you like /u/entropick seem to be taking it quite seriously. Can someone explain why they hate advertising so much?

Saidit is worse than reddit with censorship. by Troll in SaidIt

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

My disappointment is much less to do with this site than it has to do with your hypocrisy. I'm still on various Reddit-clones despite knowing them for what they are, and I'm probably still going to stick around here in much the same way. The real problem I have though? Isn't with this site. It's with you.

Despite claiming to stand for the pyramid, you yourself appear to have no intention of sticking to it. When this is pointed out to you, you lash out in frustration and ask people to leave - as though frustrated that you cannot ban dissentment outright. You claim to have taken action against Voat-like behaviour, and cite as an example the very thread in which you partake in that sort of behaviour.

It would have been preferable if you'd simply admitted that you never intended to make a place for reasonable discussion in the first place.

Saidit is worse than reddit with censorship. by Troll in SaidIt

[–]worm 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

What else do you expect me to do?

I don't expect you to do anything, because I genuinely don't think you can do anything. Once you set up a voting system and allow people to vote for the content they want to see up top, they will vote for the content that chimes with their biases. Unless you're capable of changing human behaviour entirely, you're powerless to do anything. An acknowledgement that the voting system is inherently bad for discussion would be very amusing for me, but that's about it.

If you're asking for experimental ideas about how we can ensure posts are quality? I'd suggest that you implement pseudo-academic standards on posts and top comments. Require citations, require a standard length in characters or words, and allow free discussion within that framework. I'd be happy to discuss it further, but I know you wouldn't care; like everyone else on this site, all you care about is owning your opponent in as few words as possible. So why should I care, if you don't even care about your own site?

Regarding the matter of Voat, or what makes a Voat

You know, the way you're writing just made me realize - you and I fundamentally disagree on what makes a Voat. You seem to be much more concerned about substance of opinions than the methods in which opinions are expressed.

As far as I'm concerned, Voat's opinions aren't the problem. I'd be happy to sit down with a white supremacist, a communist, a Nazi, or even an anarchist as long as they're willing to entertain counterarguments politely and rationally. The problem with Voat - and a growing problem on this site as well - lies in the way they treat dissenting opinions. Arguments which are well-made but disagree with one's opinions are punished, while cheap jabs at the "wrong opinions" are rewarded by the hugbox.

As far as I'm concerned, that is exactly where Saidit is headed. True, the users on Saidit in a few months' time may hold different political opinions when compared to Voat. But does the opinion really matter when the methodology is the same?

Consider this very thread. Numerous insults are hurled at the person who made the thread, not necessarily because of the lowbrow methods with which he expresses his opinion, but simply because the opinion itself is seen as being wrong.

I could scroll through this thread and find any number of people simply making insults, jokes, and other comments that would fit right in on any old Reddit or Voat thread being labelled as informative simply for insulting someone they disagree with. Observe the comment by anorganicbear or EndlessSunflowers, for instance.

It reeks of concern trolling rather than actual concern

Good one. I think I've just stopped being concerned about this site by now. I'm just disappointed that I was stupid enough to entertain your delusions of what this site would be. Anyone who's been on Reddit or its clones should have seen this coming the moment a voting system was implemented.

Saidit is worse than reddit with censorship. by Troll in SaidIt

[–]worm 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

You seem to have taken this rather personally - is that a tone response I spy, and are you dodging the point to boot? I'm sure we all aspire to reach the top of the pyramid, don't we Maggie?

To answer your question, I am on this site, on Reddit, and on Voat to argue with myself. I've given up on convincing anyone of anything with words, but maybe if I keep shouting into the void long enough I'll be able to clarify my thoughts to myself. And there is no better void than the circlejerk you find on here and in Reddit.

You've tried to make this site different, I'll give you that. But I'm looking at the way things are going, and I'm seeing a Voat down the pipelines once the userbase gets big enough. Maybe you're not seeing it because you're emotionally invested in your brainchild, or maybe you're not seeing it because you generally agree with the things that get put on here like Troll has suggested. I don't really care why you don't see it - I'm just going to tell you what I see, and you're free to disagree if you want.

After all, we do like our pyramids, don't we?

Saidit is worse than reddit with censorship. by Troll in SaidIt

[–]worm 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I would disagree with you on Saidit being a good place for discussion. I don't find this to be a better place than reddit for discussion at all.

Take for instance this thread itself. My earlier comment which you replied to is exactly the sort of vapid, uninformative comment it complains about - funny how these things turn out - and it was voted to the second-most informative comment in the thread. This is despite offering no arguments or new information beyond what everyone already agrees with.

If in the light of the current front page and the threads on it, you would continue to insist that this place is somehow more welcoming of intelligent disagreement than Reddit, I would invite you to consider one more thing. Is this tolerance of disagreement something born out of the way the system is set up? Or is it merely something to do with having a smaller community, which has yet to hit the critical mass where the circlejerking becomes perpetual?

Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias - Have we found the chemical cause of racism? by worm in science

[–]worm[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

An oft-repeated claim is that there are more similarities between polar bears and grizzly bears than between distinct human races. Consider the "cosmestic" differences between a Pacific Islander and a Tibetan Highlander; I find it absurd to allege that such differences are merely cosmetic.

Even at a cursory physical examination, we find different adaptations to their local environment; there are Pacific Islanders who can control pupil dilation to see further underwater, and the highland races have more efficient cardiovascular systems compared to sea-level peoples. Those who live in the United States are familiar with the different health risks faced by people of different races, and all of this is merely a consideration of the physical differences. When one considers the differences in diets, cultures, lifestyles, and so on, which were also vastly divergent prior to the onslaught of globalization - and many would argue that even now such differences still persist - the comparison with the bears seems much less absurd than one might think.

While the bears are an amusing example, the point of the matter is that races do have clear differences beyond cosmetic ones. The true argument lies in whether these general differences justify treating individuals from different races differently, and whether we might medicate people into doing so.