🤡🤡🤡 This Isn't An Onion Article, This is Real 🤡🤡🤡 by sawboss in ClownWorld

[–]worm 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The modern world has an odd obsession with imperfection and flaws. Whereas classical artists sought to depict humanity as close to perfection as possible, the modern world finds disease, illness, and disabilities to be far more alluring.

Sage wisdom from our favorite socialist.... by howardlong75 in The_Donald

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

And I'm telling you, your assumption is grounded in neither reality nor morality.

Sage wisdom from our favorite socialist.... by howardlong75 in The_Donald

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

The idea that the business-owner is a thief is one of many odd things that people seem to believe despite that belief having little or no basis in reality. In reality, anyone who starts a business is more akin to a philanthropist than a thief.

Before any capitalist can make money, he must first spend money to reward people for their labour, whether intellectual, physical or otherwise. This labour will not necessarily bear good fruit. In fact, depending on where you live, it may bear rotten fruit more often than not, and even in the best circumstances it's not unusual for prudent, sensible business ventures to die out due to unprofitability over time. And yet in spite of that the business owner spends money to keep the people working for him fed, clothed, sheltered, and otherwise capable of maintaining what we might call expected living standards.

The people who work for a capitalist are being unfairly rewarded for labour that may or may not be producing valuable goods, yet. The capitalist is the one who pays them for essentially nothing in return, hoping that he will recoup his losses in the future.

The argument that the capitalist exploits the worker seems absurd to me. Reality points us in precisely the opposite direction: The capitalist is essentially an occasionally profitable philanthropist, someone who gives away money and is sometimes (if he is smart and lucky) rewarded for his bets.

But on a philosophical level rather than an argument about the reality of business ownership, the argument that you make of "disproportionate monetary payment" fundamentally assumes that everyone deserves equal income. That is an unqualified assumption, and once we look past that assumption the whole spiel you're spouting just falls apart.

Sage wisdom from our favorite socialist.... by howardlong75 in The_Donald

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

I have personally never found slogans to be a great way to convince anyone of anything. Especially when the slogans can at best make intuitive, narrative sense and don't really map on to reality.

Reuters now has an article about the_donald being banned from reddit. Yet no articles about the Vertias video showing google conspiring to prevent Trump's re-election. by magnora7 in MediaAnalysis

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

If there's an unedited video I've certainly not seen it. What I have seen is a video of several 10 to 15-second clips of someone talking with lots of commentary in between.

Seems more likely to me that a bunch of people obsessed with "expose" type videos have twisted a casual conversation into a political piece. We've seen it done so many times by now that you'd think most people would be immune by now, but looks like it still works very well indeed.

Reuters now has an article about the_donald being banned from reddit. Yet no articles about the Vertias video showing google conspiring to prevent Trump's re-election. by magnora7 in MediaAnalysis

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

Sounds to me like people are jumping at shadows over de-contextualized snippets of casual conversation.

I'm sure that the shadows conceal something. I'm not sure that this video really sheds any light on the shadows themselves. I'll start paying attention when they bring out real evidence of active political manoeuvres or when Veritas releases the full unedited video. Until then, I'm just taking his video as one of the many political cheap-shots flying around left right and centre.

Reuters now has an article about the_donald being banned from reddit. Yet no articles about the Vertias video showing google conspiring to prevent Trump's re-election. by magnora7 in MediaAnalysis

[–]worm 1 insightful - 3 fun1 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Probably because the Veritas video is not really newsworthy. Sure, if you squint really hard you could see some sort of political machinations in the higher echelons of Google, but on the balance of probabilities it's probably just a single person filmed using ambiguous words with unfortunate and unintentional implications in a casual setting.

Google's political bias is not exactly a secret, but that video to me didn't really seem very notable at all. Standard journalistic tactic of de-contextualizing and sensationalizing. Honestly, the removal of the video from YouTube is probably more newsworthy than the video itself ever was.

What if we stopped working for a financial system and worked for a living system instead? Imagine the sort of world we would live in then by EndlessSunflowers in WayOfTheBern

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

The financial system is a living system. Money represents the value of your work in keeping others alive and happy and it represents the value of the work others must undertake to keep you alive and happy.

"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 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 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.

Are you suffering from the embarrassing side effects of gentrification? by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

In hindsight it seems quite obvious that this sub wouldn't recognize a joke when they saw one. After all, I presume that many of you look into the mirror daily and yet continue to take yourselves seriously.

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

[–]worm 14 insightful - 2 fun14 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

In all honesty, Saidit is becoming an echo chamber not unlike Voat. The front page and the comments sections are constantly filled with bland propaganda posts about Iran, Imperialism, and critiques of capitalism mostly from people who have no idea what they're talking about. Despite the initial assurances that Saidit was a place which welcomes discussion, I find that trite one-liners and poor debaters who cannot even reach the middle of the pyramid regularly get voted as the most "informative" answers.

I'd had rather high hopes for this place when they first set up, but it's pretty clear that there's a reason why Reddit, Voat, and even this place will never become a place for intelligent discussion; the very way the voting system is set up is designed to encourage the reinforcement of worldviews.

Imagine having a head full of the establishment's 'financial interests' propaganda by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I also find it absurd that the protection of "the planet", which can mean a vast array of things nowadays, should be compromised against business interests. To me, it seems natural and intuitive that business interests should triumph over such environmental concerns at almost every turn.

I continue to maintain that a man-made mass extinction means nothing to us as a species. In fact, I see no reason to oppose the mass extinction of all other species other than humans, other than for a loss of aesthetic appreciation of such species.

Perhaps there are risks of food supplies being slashed due to a loss of pollinators, but artificial pollination is not theoretically impossible. I don't see any reason why we couldn't develop artificial pollination to replace pollinators completely.

Perhaps there are also risks of there being new disease vectors due to the rise of certain species in the absence of their natural competitors, or perhaps we fear that the extinction of one species could lead to the growth of another which will in turn harm us - but such fears seem so remote or insignificant that they hardly seem worth addressing. Even supposing such species become an issue, it doesn't seem unlikely that within a few centuries we would have found a way to kill off all species which are detrimental to mankind with the advancement of new technologies.

To me, the prioritization of aesthetic pleasure received from viewing some wild animals over the very real gains of economic benefits seems to be a very odd misplacement of priorities indeed.

Noam Chomsky: "What exactly is the threat of Iran?" They refuse private central banking. They sell their oil for currencies other than the US dollar. Iran refuses to live under US puppet rule by magnora7 in WorldPolitics

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

What little I know about Chomsky seems to indicate that he's a conspiracy theorist on par with the great Alex Jones himself. Just as Jones sees some sort of great conspiracy hanging over every incidental bump and scrape in life, Chomsky sees the ghost of American authorities looming over every item of news he consumes and subsequently propagates.

Oddly enough, Jones is rightfully seen as either a jokester or a joke himself, whereas Chomsky seems to have gotten a free pass from such ridicule and continues to hold quite seriously some of his more ludicrous beliefs.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

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

I've always loved it when people take specific quotes and respond to them individually without responding to the passage as a whole. I think it frees them from the responsibility of understanding the thesis before them, and consequently from producing a counterthesis of their own.

In my opinion, singling these replies out is a surefire way to identify someone who's arguing in bad faith, having given up any hope of understanding the arguments they oppose and hoping only to "win" on some obscure internet forum that nobody else will ever read in order to satisfy their egos.

The fundamental point which I made again and again is that most users don't want Stallman's four freedoms. You could put all four freedoms before them and they wouldn't care. You could take them away and they still wouldn't care. If they're using free software, it's just because it happens to be free while possessing some characteristic they like; not because it is free software in and of itself. The exceptions to this rule are the exceptionally paranoid, government agencies or those who insist on getting a Librebooted laptop and reading through every single line of code they run, and the Stallman worshippers who refuse to use proprietary software on moral grounds. Sure, maybe it'd be possible to create free software that people like to use. But the moment something better comes along? Even if it's proprietary, people will move on to that without fail, because they don't give a shit about the 4 freedoms, because in an ideal world they'd never exercise those freedoms anyway.

The argument I'm making is really just that simple. You can bring up as many ancillary points you'd like about free software being terrible, or servers being defined as consumer goods, or trusting in FOSS vs trusting in scale, or so on - but none of these ancillary points address the central issue, which is the simple fact that most people don't care about Stallman's 4 freedoms either way, and that it is rational for them to not care. The average user is not any better off in Stallman's dreamworld than they are in the present world; in either case, their reluctance to read source code for themselves would mean that they are reliant on developer honesty, and frankly, if I had to choose between trusting Google and trusting you to make sure that my software hasn't got any weird shit in it, it wouldn't be irrational at all to prefer to trust Google.

As a final ancillary point - just because I cannot help myself sometimes - the definition of a web server as being consumer software is clearly wrong in every sense of the word. A personal website, or a portfolio for that matter, are goods produced to satisfy other consumers. In other words, the man who creates his personal website, or the artist who creates a porfolio website, is hiring a web server in order to produce a consumer good for others. The consumers who visit that ultimate product don't give a shit whether it's running Microsoft or Google or Apache technology, and I'd challenge you to find any average Joe who boycotts websites on the ground that they're on non-free web servers. For all I know, Stallman might actually do that - somehow I don't think that's too out of character - but good luck convincing the average Joe to discriminate on the basis of web servers.

Healthcare Around The World by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

He uses that because he has no answers. Tom's been more or less "debating" in the same way again and again in every single thread he's been in thus far.

I like him though, he has a tremendous talent for making everyone else seem smarter by comparison.

Shark fin soup now illegal in Nevada by dcjogger in news

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

Well, then maybe it's less useless than I thought it would be.

But still, if you think about it, isn't it still true in a way?

By imposing their values on others, they can sacrifice nothing themselves while claiming also to have taken part in their moral crusade. Enforcing morality at someone else's expense, after all, is much easier than changing your own behaviour to follow your own moral aspirations.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

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

Here he is again, Mr Slippery doing what he does best. Oiling himself up and slipping away from his own earlier words to redefine the argument in his own favour.

The need for security and paranoia (as if you could forget) was in fact brought up by you, when you argued that RMS and his 4 freedoms aren't the only reason to use FOSS. You argued that intelligence agencies use FOSS too! And I note then, as I note now, that this still means that only the paranoid and the Stallman clones would logically use FOSS over technically superior proprietary software. Hardly a large audience, isn't it?

Additionally, given that you're literally citing RMS' 4 freedoms as the only justification for FOSS for the masses, forgive me for being a little bit doubtful of your earlier claim that RMS does not speak for FOSS. Funnily enough, in all the slipping and sliding you're doing you've actually managed to slip all around in a full circle, right back to the point where I started about why FOSS doesn't appeal to most users.

As I've said from the very beginning: the problem comes down to the fact that the average Joe doesn't care at all about the option to check out the source and tweaking the source. As far as he is concerned, if you have to look at the source code to change something so that it works the way you want it to work, that means the programmer didn't do the job properly.

Instead of having to write and understand and repair and maintain his own program, he wants the exact opposite, which is to let the developer do it for him so he can just use a pretty-looking program to write letters or watch porn. That's it.

None of these people are interested in the gig-economy you describe in which you can hire a programmer to rewrite a program to fit your needs, because even if they could hire a programmer they wouldn't want to proofread their work to make sure the programmer didn't put in something awful. On a rational level, normal people realize that they simply wouldn't benefit from FOSS that much, and that is why normal people making rational decisions won't push for FOSS. It simply doesn't matter to them.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry if I sound exasperated with you, but I am. You've been slipping round and round in circles, playing with definitions, dragging in unrelated software (defining web servers as consumer products? Seriously?) and now, contradicting and denying your own statements. I'm just not getting any signs of thought from your replies at all.

Shark fin soup now illegal in Nevada by dcjogger in news

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

I have a theory about why people like moral legislation like the one above. Such legislation gets pushed through because people like to do the right thing at other people's expense.

Moral legislation, much like the wealth programmes for the poor, allows citizens of a jurisdiction to pretend to have made a moral stand without actually changing any of their own bad habits at all.

In the present case, suppose there existed a hypothetical Nevadan man who tosses a dozen bottlecaps into the ocean per year, but has never had and never intends to have shark fin soup. Having passed through this legislation, he can pat himself on the back and assure himself that he has taken part in a moral crusade to save the sharks, without any change in his behaviour at all.

In other words, he has done a moral deed at somebody else's expense, without any need to rectify his own behaviour.

I think this is why moral legislation is so popular. Or maybe I'm wrong.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

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

/u/mnemonic, your argument about FOSS being mainstream is the same as /u/JasonCarswell 's argument about Linux being mainstream, and with respect to both of you, it's a stupid argument about definitions rather than a real argument about the end-results.

To argue that "FOSS is mainstream because big companies base their tech on it", is more or less the same argument as, "Linux is mainstream because Android is Linux and servers run Linux". It makes two slippery definitions at once: First, it changes the definition of "mainstream" from "being widely used by users" to "being widely used by developers to offer their own end-products"; and secondly, it changes the definition of FOSS / Linux itself to encompass items which are partially made out of or based on FOSS / Linux instead of items which are actually FOSS / Linux.

If you're going to keep moving the goalposts like that, then there really isn't any point to this argument. I can continue to point out all the ways in which "FOSS" is not going to become "mainstream", and you could then point at my examples and go, "yes, but by my esoteric definition of mainstream and FOSS they are already mainstream." It won't even amount to a disagreement, and would be no different from three drunks rambling.

The fundamental point I make has always been the same. FOSS will never be adopted by the vast majority of people because the vast majority of people don't give a shit about reading source code. The only reason anyone might have to use FOSS would have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that it is FOSS, and will only be because the FOSS option happens to be the better product, which is rarely the case.

Instead of responding to this point, /u/mnemonic blames the system. "The overall public is only a problem for the F(L)OSS community because they get doused with Windows/Mac adverts even in local news," he claimed.

There is a very common misconception amongst Linux and FOSS fanatics. Once they buy into their ideology enough, they begin to argue that their software is not only morally superior to that of the mainstream systems, but is also technically superior too.

I'm not even going to bother to respond to this point, because /u/Mnemonic will clearly never concede that FOSS programmes simply lack the polish to appeal to the vast majority of computer users on the planet until I positively compare every single programme he wants to pull up and debate the pros and cons of each one in comparison to its proprietary counterpart. And even then, as shown in the LibreOffice comparison, he will contend that his chosen program is "more powerful" or is better in one department or the other, and argue that the mass consumer is blinded by advertising rather than making a rational decision to use the simpler and more polished product.

I will not respond to his argument since it's a hopeless one, but also because it's a pointless point. The fundamental point is that regardless of why the vast majority of the world decides not to use free software, it's a simple fact that the vast majority of the world simply doesn't care about reading source code and would probably not give a shit about whether the software is proprietary or not.

As long as this remains the case, then FOSS will only ever reach the mainstream when it is far technically superior to its proprietary counterparts; funnily enough, by the very nature of being completely free, this also means that this could never happen, as proprietary counterparts could simply build on top of their developments and soon regain any lost market share in any consumer division.

As long as FOSS remains true to its core ideology of making software freely available (in the liberal sense of the word), a rational member of the public would have no reason to use FOSS over proprietary software. Of course, there might be FOSS running under the proprietary shell that he uses - but he neither cares, nor does he have a reason to care. You may argue that this is already a sufficient triumph for the FOSS community, and you are welcome to that triumph if that is what you wish to establish.

If, however, your point of contention is that free software will someday be used by consumers instead of proprietary software, then it's very clear for the reasons already outlined that it will never happen. Reasonable people have no reason to buy into the ideology that source code needs to be readable, because reasonable people would rather not read it. Only the supremely paranoid, the Stallman clones, and the developers would ever care about that; and as long as the FOSS movement cannot provide a pressing need for normal people to have access to source code, this will never change.

Can someone verify if Brian Sims actually tweeted these things? A Newsweek Article claims that the State Representative harassed praying Christians in front of a Planned Parenthood Clinic, then tried to dox them, before calling them 'bigots, sexists, and misogynists, Old, fake, White, wrong!' by worm in politics

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

The thing about this is that I'm not entirely convinced that this happened. Aside from this one Newsweek Article that's been paraded over The_Donald, there doesn't really seem to be a source for this. Never heard of Newsweek anyway, and the tone of the article reads a lot like satire towards the end. Sounds like a parody of what a devout Christian imagines a degenerate sodomite would sound like.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

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

Great job of deflecting from the main point. You hit the nail on the head when you said "the average Joe [...] calls MacOS the 'fancy windows'," but somehow manage to lose track of your own thoughts not even a sentence later when you talk about how FOSS is everywhere because all systems have some sort of basis in a FOSS program.

In the first place, the argument was about whether or not FOSS would ever be mainstream. The contention I'm making is that no, it won't be mainstream because the fundamental ideology of FOSS is just wrong. Most people don't find it appealing to know that they can read source code for someone's shitty program if they want to. In fact, for the general public, if you need to read the source code to use a program then the programmer's dun goofed. As long as FOSS remains true to its roots, it will never be marketable, because most people who aren't paranoid, Stallman clones, or government agencies, or developers themselves simply don't give a shit about reading source code.

To answer this claim, you simply argued that FOSS is totally everywhere, because look at intelligence agencies, look at the back-ends of all these proprietary programs, look at all of these people I've chosen to look at who use FOSS!

Yeah, sure, you've found a few people who use FOSS. Good luck getting the man on the street to read the source code for the core of Amazon, Google, or Facebook's programs. The man on the street really doesn't give a fuck about reading it, and why should he? As long as FLOSS developers cannot answer this question, the man on the street will continue to stare at them in mild exasperation. And I'm of the opinion that there is no really compelling answer to this question at all.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

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

The simple reason people don't use FOSS software is because most FOSS software is simply a crappier version of proprietary software. Libre Office is a worse version of Microsoft Office. GIMP is a worse version of Photoshop. Signal is a worse version of Whatsapp. And so on, and so forth.

The reason FOSS fails is simple. It's not because of some vast corporate conspiracy to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. It's because most members of the public looked at the choices before them and went for the most convenient and functional options, which tend to be proprietary programmes.

As long as FOSS programmes continue to suck ass, FOSS will never be more than a fringe movement for the extremely paranoid or the Stallman clones. The average Joe simply doesn't have a compelling reason to look through source code for knock-offs of proprietary software.

Healthcare Around The World by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

Why are you forced to buy health insurance? Can't you simply say you'd prefer to be self-insured and pay for your treatment as needed?

Also, why are the drug prices inflated?

Healthcare Around The World by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I see nothing whatsoever that's corporatist (whatever you think that means) about my question at all. Is it not natural that the user should pay for whatever he uses? To me, it seems self-evidently unjust to force an unaffiliated third party to pay for the user's use of any product, though I cannot explain why it should seem unjust. This stems from a fundamental intuition about right and wrong, a moral compass if you will, and has nothing whatsoever to do with corporatism as far as I can see. If you see a connection between morality and corporations, then I'd appreciate it if you'd point it out.

As to whether I support robbing from the poor to give to the rich - it depends on your definition of robbing, poor, and rich.

If you would argue that an employer inherently robs from his employees by taking the fruits of their labour, and you want to stop all employment - then yeah, I'd definitely stand in your way and "rob from the poor and give to the rich". Sorry, but I'd rather not have the entire job economy collapse around me.

We Need to Save What Made Linux and FOSS Possible by Mnemonic in FLOSS

[–]worm 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The fundamental problem of FOSS / FLOSS or whatever you want to call it isn't that it's locked in some eternal struggle with proprietary programmes or Javascript or what-have-you.

The fundamental problem is much simpler: It's simply a fact that most people don't give a shit about whether their software is free or not. They just want their machines to work, and be intuitive, and show them pretty animations while doing what they want them to do. In the average man's ideal computing paradise, nobody needs to read source code, because nobody wants to read source code: In the first place, if you actually have to look up lines of code to figure out what a programme is doing, as far as most of the world is concerned that means that the programmer dun goofed. Nobody has the time for that.

Free Software isn't dying out in spite of its high-minded ideals. It's dying out precisely because the ideals of RMS and the other FSF-advocates are exactly the opposite of what damn near everybody else on the planet wants. And as long as software developers don't realize that, FOSS will never be more than just a fringe resistance movement that will be at best regarded as eccentric and pointless.

Healthcare Around The World by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

[–]worm 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

As a non-American, I honestly don't see anything wrong with the American model. It seems to make much more sense to me from an intuitive standpoint that the sick must pay for their own healthcare.

Perhaps I am just misinformed, but if someone can give me a rundown on why the American system is so bad then I'd be willing to listen. Most of the time, all I seem to hear about is a complaint about how expensive everything is - but it seems quite intuitive to me that life-saving treatment ought to be expensive. Complaints about waiting-times, poor equipment, overworked doctors, or uncaring staff apply universally, regardless of whether you have a public healthcare system or not - so again, I don't see why the American system is somehow worse than others.

I'm not trying to start a fight. I'm just asking Americans to tell me exactly what they think is wrong with their system and how they want to fix it.

And then, one day... by worm in funny

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

Carlin's a lost gem, that's for sure.

And then, one day... by worm in funny

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

Here's something else I learned from watching comedians: don't ever tell a joke that challenges your own or other people's assumptions.

The key to a good joke in the modern world is smugness and groupthink. A good joke is not measured by the ability to challenge people and make them think, it is measured by its ability to reassure a group that they are right and their detractors are wrong.

By the modern metric, I think my joke is a success. It's unfortunate that you'd use a different metric, but ultimately it's just a joke.

Fake Capitalism Is A Bigger Threat Than Socialism by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

Well, I'm sorry for causing the misunderstanding by using that label. As far as I am concerned, this author isn't interested in economics and is purely interested in furthering his socialist political agenda by disassociating himself from that distasteful political label. He avoids using the word socialism or socialist to describe his policies, yet clearly advocates for policies which most people would regard as socialist.

More to the point: If you knew that this article contained no such theory, why on earth did you post this here? Post it to politics or somewhere else.

Fake Capitalism Is A Bigger Threat Than Socialism by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

Truth be told, I don't care for the article's conclusions or what sort of label you would prefer that I use for it. His proposals to "clean up capitalism", combined with his rather lacking and uninspired criticism of monopolies, smacks of interventionist and socialist rhetoric to me. If you would like to call it anything else, then let it be so - I would be willing to call it under any label you would ascribe to it, so long as you accept the fundamental point that this article bears little economic theory at all.

I have continually stated that this writer is either too ignorant or too lazy to argue about economic theory, and indeed have invited you repeatedly to propound on why you thought this was perhaps economic rather than political in nature. Instead of defending his argument or raising issues with mine, you have instead ignored the entirety of the theory and simply decided to attack the label I ascribe to his purely political proposals.

And then, one day... by worm in funny

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

You could quibble about it, but I'd say that being voted into a legislative chamber - even if you govern it in coalition - is pretty clearly being voted into power. Hell, being voted into any sort of government position at all, even if it's a local position, is technically being voted into power.

But ultimately, it's a joke. If late night talk show hosts have taught me anything, it's that historical and political accuracy should never get in the way of a good joke.

Fake Capitalism Is A Bigger Threat Than Socialism by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

"If you fear socialism, the best way to stop it is to clean up capitalism," proclaims the article at its conclusion.

I think it is fairly clear that this whole article was an exercise in preconcluded reasoning, whereby one finds issues which aren't there and proposes solutions which are not necessary. The whole issue of monopolies, as he describes it, is not economic theory at all.

I certainly didn't find any economic theory in this article. If you have found some, I'd be glad if you'd point out what's so illuminating about it.

Fake Capitalism Is A Bigger Threat Than Socialism by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

What do you think is my assumption?

I think this article clearly assumes that monopolies are not natural under capitalism. It also assumes that monopolies are bad for the economy. It is upon these assumptions that it asserts a need for "socialism", whatever that entails.

If you have read that article and come to a different interpretation of it, I'd like to hear your interpretation. From what I can see, the article appears to be written by a man with little interest in economic theory and amounts to little more than political point-scoring.

Fake Capitalism Is A Bigger Threat Than Socialism by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

I would again suggest that this article was flawed from the very beginning? The man who wrote this needs to familiarize himself with a certain Joseph Schumpeter, and either adopt his points or refute them before stating his own grand theories about where the economy is going.

The article argues that since there are barriers to entry, capitalism doesn't work and we need "socialism".

To get to this argument, it takes a very simplistic model of perfect competition from classical economics, the sort which was proposed initially by Smith and Ricardo, and tries to point out how modern America does not have perfect competition due to barriers to entry by the virtue of scale - in other words, "moats", as Warren Buffet might call them.

The problem, of course, is that we know that economic models are not static as Smith and Ricardo assumed. Schumpeter's analysis of economics demonstrated that the economy is constantly changing: real competition is not only between prices, but also between competing methods of production. It is the drive to find better methods of producing the same goods which leads us to the "gales of creative destruction" which will inevitably tear down any monopoly which does not improve its products over time.

Hence, in Schumpeter's view, there is nothing inherently wrong with a monopoly as long as the gales of creative destruction are active. A monopolist who does not innovate will find his monopolistic advantage lost in time as newer and better methods of production destroy his "moat", and the constant shoring up of such moats by research and development into new technologies is what keeps capitalism (as Schumpeter calls it) effective.

I'm not claiming that Schumpeter's arguments about dynamic capitalism is necessarily an unassailable argument - there are probably academics and theorists out there who disagree. The point I'm making is that the man who wrote this article is either too lazy or too misinformed to even address the obvious answer to his presumptions.

Economists Are Obsessed with “Job Creation.” How About Less Work? by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

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

If I might say so, you seem to have missed the larger picture entirely and focused entirely on a single, hypothetical working man and his choices, instead of why those choices exist in the first place.

If you take a look behind the mechanisms for your hypothetical working man, you will discover that the working man is offered 40 hour work weeks because the employer believes that the 40 hour work week will be profitable for him. The employer in turn believes that it would be profitable for him because he believes that there is a sufficient demand for the products he can create, such that he would extract a maximum amount of benefits from the employee should the employee work for 40 hours for him. The demand which drives his confidence is the reason why the employee is able to work 40 hour weeks and is not on part-time work; and the demand, for the most part, is for goods which previous generations would have considered alien luxuries.

If we as a society stop buying all but basic necessities, it would be entirely possible that the luxuries market would grind to a halt and employers would consequently start employing less people on fewer hours to produce such luxuries.

Economists Are Obsessed with “Job Creation.” How About Less Work? by Mnemonic in EconomicsTheory

[–]worm 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

May I suggest that the article's reasoning is fundamentally flawed?

The whole basis of the article is that as we have figured out ways to produce as much with less labour, and that this frees us up to have more free time. It argues that the reason we still labour so much is because we are all engaging in unproductive work.

Where this analysis falls down is on the simple fact that where human productive capacity increases twofold, human greed increases tenfold. As our ability to supply ourselves increased, we began to demand more and more things which our ancestors would have considered frivolous luxuries, and even came to regard such luxuries as being inalienable parts of our life - so much so that they are practically necessities.

The reason we continue to work normal hours is not because of some sort of shambolic work ethic which forces us to put in more hours at work despite producing nothing of value; the reason we continue to work is because our "play ethic" (as the article calls it) demands more work from others to fulfill our ever-increasing demands for goods.

10% of the Venezuelan population left the country in the last 3 years, this is where they went. by magnora7 in maps

[–]worm 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

On the contrary, I think that it was Chavez who created the scenario we see today, with Maduro being nothing more than a clueless dolt who exacerbated an already-volatile situation.

By failing to diversity sources of income while simultaneously spending far beyond the means of his government, Chavez ensured that an inevitable fall in oil prices would devastate Venezuela. By the time of his death, the cracks were already showing in the facade of Venezuelan wealth, and only a profoundly stupid man would have taken up the leadership afterwards to face the impending doom.

Certainly, Maduro has not resolved the financial crisis of his country, but by the time he came into power an economic crisis was already all but inevitable.

Is Capitalism Humane? by worm in LateStageCapitalism

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

He was truly a great man. I sincerely believe that most people would benefit if they would watch reruns of his lectures / TV programmes instead of those late night comedy shows.

Good News In The U.S. by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I am against the senseless punishment of children just as much as the next fellow. However, I believe your characterisation of child labour as a form of punishment is flawed.

Fundamentally, I do not think that labour of any sort, by any person - even child labour - is a senseless punishment inflicted on man by the exigencies of capitalism. If labour is indeed a punishment, it is inflicted upon man not by any artificial system of social organisation, but is instead a punishment inflicted upon us by nature itself.

People often argue that children deserve an education, or children deserve not to work. What they really mean is not that the natural state of a child does not involve working, or that children left to the whims of nature will automatically be granted an education by some natural state of affairs. What they mean is that they believe our society has sufficient resources to afford to have others labour on the behalf of children so that they do not have to labour for their own survival.

The provision that children need not work is not a natural state of affairs at all. It is a privileged state of affairs afforded by our great wealth today, as compared to the relative poverty of our not-so-distant ancestors.

To sentence a child to work is not to punish them for their parents' poverty; punishment implies the use of active intervention to reverse a natural state of affairs, which is clearly not what is taking place here. It is, in fact, the opposite which is taking place: It is the wealth of the parent which allows them to reward their undeserving children with formative years free from the demands of work.

Of course, you and I would both agree that it is extremely desirable that children do not have to work. Where we disagree is merely on the definition of child labour: whether it is a punishment, or whether it is the natural state of affairs which we keep at bay by the force of our collective wealth. I believe it is clearly the latter.

Good News In The U.S. by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I'd support this unironically.

The fundamental failing of the public school system is that it doesn't equip kids for a job. If you're a poor kid who's in a poor district with shit schools, and you have to stay in a shit school learning nothing for 16 years, then that doesn't really set you up for a good life.

Until the standards of education are such that no kid would ever be better off working than staying in school, I don't support a blanket ban on child labour.

The Essence of Capitalism by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

It seems to me that he's not against capitalism so much as he is against intelligent life in general.

It is natural for many animals to "turn nature into commodities". The simple act of eating, common to almost all animal life that I can think of, is itself an act of turning nature into a commodity, used to sustain the eater's life. The act of creating a den, burrow, or any form of shelter which the great apes, beavers, burrowing rodents and various insects do is again to commodify nature, turning the natural into artifice and benefitting from it. To claim that all such creatures perform these tasks because of capitalism would be ludicrous, and if Parenti cannot even see this then he should be treated as the clown that he appears to be.

Good News In The U.S. by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

This argument against capitalism - the idea that it is somehow capitalism and capitalism alone which forces people to labour - never really made sense to me. In this world, labour is a prerequisite for survival and for escaping mankind's natural state of poverty. No matter what sort of economic system you live under, you cannot escape the fundamental problem that poverty is the natural state of being, kept at bay only by the constant vigilance of society as a whole.

It seems to me that most people who opposes capitalism do not seem to oppose any system of distribution of resources so much as they oppose the fact that resources are required for survival - which is all well and good to oppose, but is an issue you should take up with nature, or with the laws of physics, or with God Himself if you're a religious man; to blame this on capitalism just never made any sense to me.

I'm not saying that there aren't intelligent people who argue for a better system of distribution - there are some - but I am saying that the vast majority of people who are "anti capitalism" seem to be taking issue with another problem entirely.

Vultures Are Circling by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I'll begin with a nitpick that's not really important to the point you're making: I think most people tend to greatly overestimate the power that humans as a species exert on the planet. We may be a dominant species, but we are certainly (for now) incapable of "destroying the planet". Nuclear weapons are probably capable of wiping ourselves out, but our weapons are laughable in comparison to the forces of nature.

As to the fundamental point you are making: You're accusing capitalism of destroying the planet, by saying that the profit motive is the root cause for our excess consumption, which of course is in turn what drives us to extract resources beyond what we should be extracting. I hope this summarizes your argument - correct me if I was wrong. If this was the argument being made, I think it's one that I disagree with.

I'm of the opinion that this argument vastly overstates the importance of social organisation amongst human society. In my view, capitalism is a process tacked-on to the end of the equation, rather than the fundamental driving force of our consumption.

No matter what sort of socio-economic model humans adopt, consumption will always be a part of human life. Survival, even on an individual level, cannot be divorced from the consumption of limited resources which have to be extracted from our surroundings. This is a truism which extends from the largest of animals to the smallest of microorganisms.

It's possible that human consumption will be limited to our means under a planned economy rather than a capitalistic one, but that leads to more questions: what level of consumption would be considered "excess", and who is to decide on what level of consumption is permissible? Would a planned economy even manage to limit consumption, if it seeks to maintain certain living standards? Fundamentally, could there be any model of social organisation which would allow humans to live and consume without impacting the environment around them? It seems to me that no matter the social model you impose upon our civilization, the consumption of resources (and the continual increase in the consumption thereof) will inevitably increase as the human population increases. If anything, capitalism has perhaps limited the increase in consumption by making use of the monetary system to ration consumption and to encourage efficient extraction of limited resources.

But returning to the broader point: the fact that humans must consume regardless of what form of social organisation we adopt. This is what I mean when I say that capitalism is merely "the means by which humans divide resources". Models of social organisation such as capitalism, state planning, or even if you're really far out, anarcho-primitivism all simply change the way we divide scarce resources amongst ourselves. There is no model which fundamentally frees mankind from its physical needs. If we adopted a state-led economy, it would be the demands of the state rather than the demands of the market which then force us to extract resources from our surroundings.

From my perspective, it is the association of capitalism with (for the lack of a better word) evil which perplexes me. The evils you describe are fundamentally part of our world regardless of whether capitalism operates or not.

Vultures Are Circling by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I think your argument oversimplifies a very complicated issue into "money bad, nature good". I'm not interested in explaining why that argument is bad - I think it's blatantly obvious to anyone who cares why it is so - but what I do hope to convince you of is the importance of facts and details if we wish to make any intelligent contribution to politics.

Your post goes on at length about the abstract harms done by mining to hypothetical people who live near that hypothetical mining site, but the problem is laid out entirely in the abstract. Now, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with abstraction - abstraction makes it easier to see the big picture and to see patterns emerge over time - but to focus entirely on the abstract can blind us to the details and the facts of the matter.

Suppose we could find the actual bill that was signed on this captioned picture; could we comb through the bill to find offending provisions which would harm any specific town or village? If so, we could help them launch a judicial review claim over that provision and prevent damage from being done. We could write to our representatives to tell them about that specific provision which we object to, and give more concrete reasons than vague-sounding soundbites about how we oppose "the rape of the Earth" or "dirty corporations".

Fundamentally, the point I am making is that captioned images and abstract memetics which you cite sound good only if you don't think about it too much. I want this forum to be centered around informative discussion rather than the brutish, simple repetition of a "capitalism bad" narrative.

In a rich mans house there is no place to spit but his face. -Diogenese by Tom_Bombadil in Philosophy

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

Diogenes was an interesting character in general. I like to think of him as the prototype on which all the later "wise fools" such as Buhlil the Madman or Nasreddin Effendi were based upon - I think he's probably the first mad philosopher in recorded history, but I might be wrong on that.

Vultures Are Circling by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

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

I think it is important that we understand why people make political decisions. It's very easy to simply dismiss all decisions we don't like as "moneygrubbing" or "corporate evil" (whatever that might actually mean) but I think there's a lot more going on behind these decisions than "fuck nature, gibs monie" which latestagecapitalism is reluctant to acknowledge.

Anyone who fails to comprehend the arguments arrayed against his views will look ill-informed, and his arguments will become unconvincing simply due to the association with ignorance. If you wish to convince people that you are right, the easiest way to do it is to first convince people that you have first considered every other alternative before deciding that yours was the most correct of all the possible arguments.

Also, a minor nitpick: I just don't agree with the "rape of nature" narrative. Every single living creature on this planet, including us, is a part of nature. The idea that just because we've dominated the planet for a couple thousand years we can somehow consider ourselves above the fracas of survival is just wrong.

What humans do is fundamentally the same as what any animal species is doing - extracting resources from our surroundings. There only difference between human mining and ant foraging is that humans happen to do it at a larger scale. The profits which are made are an irrelevant consideration regarding the exploitation of nature - money, profits, and such are simply means by which a colony of humans divides resources within the colony, and constitutes interhuman relations rather than the relationship between mankind and the world.

Vultures Are Circling by EndlessSunflowers in LateStageCapitalism

[–]worm 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I honestly think that captioned images are terrible for any sort of detailed discussion about government policies. They don't link to the questionable policy in general, they don't explain the debates which led up to that decision, they don't even provide a good summary because humour rather than information is the intent of the poster.

A news article describing what they were signing would have been very useful

What is the worst Linux Distro? ~ Bryan Lunduke by JasonCarswell in Linux

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

I'd agree that Lunduke seems like he thinks too highly of himself (if you've seen his self-aggrandising tales of his role at Microsoft you'll see what I mean), but I disagree with regards to the "Linux Sucks" videos.

Those videos don't really complain about Linux. The whole premise of that series is that he'll rubbish Linux for 30 minutes and then spend the next 30 minutes explaining why those deficiencies are actually great. It's a good premise, but most of the criticisms are quite shallow - it's mostly stand-up comedy rather than an informative show.

Reddit is now blocking Tor users by happysmash27 in MeanwhileOnReddit

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

I'm not that into technology, so this is only a guess: but I'd bet it has something to do with the way you configured Waterfox rather than Tor users being blocked off entirely.

Try using the Tor Browser Bundle from the official Tor Project site (https://www.torproject.org), never had any issues accessing Saidit or Reddit with that before.

I'm so done with Reddit blaming PewDiePie for the NZ shooting and calling him alt-right and a Nazi. by PaigeAP in MeanwhileOnReddit

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

I mean, I guess I feel bad that the poor chap's been dragged into this, but that outrage will run out of steam in about a week, and probably become good publicity as well. After all, he's been handling the coverage quite well.

Eventually, everyone who's spouted those opinions will have to take a good, long look at themselves and realize what absolute morons they are. And I'll enjoy bringing it up to them again and again, in every conversation.

In the meantime, I am having a good laugh at their expense.

What's your first experience with Linux? by Vulphere in Linux

[–]worm 2 insightful - 4 fun2 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

Newfag here.

First experience with Linux was installing running live USB of Linux Mint just a year ago. Moved on from there to Fedora, hoping to eventually move on to Debian once I have the time to figure out how to get the WiFi to work.

KDE Connect removed from Google Play for violating their SMS rules. by ikidd in Linux

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

I doubt it. Google's userbase is hardly going to shrink simply because one particular application is no longer available on the platform.

Google's userbase will only be in danger of decreasing by one whenever a user no longer has any reason to update and maintain their applications via Google Store; this in itself is already unlikely to happen.

But in addition, the user must also deem it worth the time and effort to de-Google an Android phone, which for the average user would simply not be worth the time and effort. And if by any chance you were one of those people who did think it worth the time and effort to do so, you are more than likely already off the platform anyway; or at the very least you would not be using an Android phone.