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random n00b

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  1. HA! Like that would prevent the debate from spilling over to other threads.
  2. Don't confuse "more prevalent" with "more natural". Again, it's the fact that most people are raised in social environments that makes the development of social skills something common. Empathy among them. Yes, it is just another social skill. Yes, it has its uses. But so does shaving, and is the need for a good shave "natural"? The ability to produce speech is an even better example. I'm not talking about learning a language, but the adaptation that is being able to produce any kind of speech. Feral children have been known to be unable to develop this ability fully, or at all in some cases. The child didn't need it in the environment she grew in, so she didn't develop it. Again, versatility. Empathy is closely tied to morality? Where do you get this from? Empathy has been a trait present in humans for as long as we have been humans. Morality hasn't, and that's not even taking into consideration the plastic and malleable nature (heh) of morality. Nah. Morality is simply a framework that's set in place so that people can have something to operate by while living in community. It's the last line of defense against chaos. Oh yeah, I'll give you that. Unfortunately, understanding of these things isn't exactly deep or abundant. I'm no exception. Deteriorated? Mad? Not exactly. The human mind isn't "deteriorated" by lack of contact with other people. It simply adapts differently. Of course, everyone around us has a similar socialized mindset, so "feral" people are strange. That doesn't mean their minds are "deteriorated". But there's also the fact that humans pose the most complex problems for humans. Without the need to solve these problems in a constant basis, the mind loses that ability... just like astronauts can't walk on their own after a prolonged stay in space. And I don't accept that people go mad because of loneliness. It's not loneliness by itself that drives people mad. In some cases it's rejection. In others, self-loathing and a feeling of unfitness. But all have in common that they are being deprived of something their mind has grown accustomed to, essentially from birth. No, for two reasons. The first is that living in society is an inherited custom. Leaving everything behind would just be too alien. Our mind, as it's been configured, isn't prepared for that. And the second reason is that it's still more efficient for everything to live in communities than alone. Perhaps in time this will change... there was a Foundation chapter by Asimov that explored that idea. But for the time being, there is a practical reason to live with others. No. All you have is circumstantial evidence to support that. It may be easy for humans to develop the skills needed to live as social animals, but as I said before, it's also very easy to teach a dog how to fetch. That doesn't guarantee anything about "inbuilt" behaviors or anything of the sort. Yes, yes. You keep saying "X doesn't work" and "Z is false", but you never get around to explaining how or why. Arguments, please. *Ahem* Arguments, not misrepresentations or association fallacies, please.
  3. And even that is not enough. The irony is only apparent. The difference between the two postures is that one would wield power to trump individual freedoms in the name of "the greater good". The other doesn't close the door to acting for said greater good, but doesn't force people to do so. One would easily take the step from telling people how to behave to making people behave that way. The other wouldn't. And all it takes for that to happen is enough well-meaning but ill-informed people to come together. And out of the blue, you have a tyranny. /lecture
  4. Hahaha No. Enemies aren't affected by darkness though, which makes nighttime play kinda pointless. Yeah, god rays though, are only in effect during sunrise. And they don't warrant the hit in FPS. Not for me at least. The skies are some of the best textures in the game, alright. Character faces, not so good.
  5. Sounds to me like you need an urologist.
  6. "It's worth it"? If you don't mind, I'd rather make that decision by myself. Moral superiority stops being so when you step over free will.
  7. Sorry, what? Where did I say anything about all-out war? Where's the potential gain in that? And, as for not having any basis, that's pretty funny and it's something I see you do quite often ("string theory is crap, invisible hand is bs... etc"), while you refuse to explain why that is so. Human beings are not "like eagles" simply because we haven't adapted to the environment to become solitary predators. Our chances of survival are far greater if in groups, but that's that. And that's the sole reason why communities have perpetuated themselves - it's a practice that increases survivability, so it's adopted and passed on to future generations. Other than that, there aren't any apparent biological drives that make us "collective" beings, much less "hive"-like communities. Empathy may be brought up to support that, but empathy needs to be developed, trained if you will, and will not develop at all under certain circumstances. It's not any more inherent to the "nature" of mankind than a dog's ability to fetch. It's just a product of our versatility that allows us to work better in groups. That's simply the environment counterbalancing man's base instincts to some degree. It's not two opposed parts of our nature headbutting. Specify. Most "social" conducts can be explained by the simple fact that by working towards the good of others, the individual is benefitted as well. This is basic cooperation games theory. Has nothing to do with human "nature". No, that's sheepish behaviour. Under extreme stress, human beings tend to save their own skin. That's why people get trampled in fires, crushed to death in evacuations, etc. Instinct taking over, instinct overruling cultural, moral, and other superfluous (at the time) concerns.
  8. I agree with that. On the other hand, we are social animals by need. Well. Distancing oneself from a group takes more than just saying so. If the so-called "third way" adherents still hold fast to certain socialist principles of management... how are they not socialists? Granted, there's shades of gray in everything, and I want to avoid making any sort of value judgement of one group or another. But... that's what they are.
  9. Ah. So, since it's a well-known phenomenon and it has a technical name, it's of course a sound and sensible practice - take lobotomy, for instance! But the next bit is the most interesting. You say that doesn't affect you, since you aren't subscribed to that kind of DRM-using services. And then you take that premise, and apply it to justify people who ARE subscribed NOT paying attention to official notices sent to them by their service provider. I'm not sure if that's circular logic... or simply nonsense. Further, I have been subscribed to online services and made purchases online and I have yet to receive advertising mail that I couldn't choose not to receive. The bottom line is you subscribe to a service, you establish a business relationship with a company. Disregard the notices they send you at your own risk. edit: I suck.
  10. As much respect as I have for Mr. Sarkozy... he's just another politician. And in that intervention in particular he's doing what politicians do best, lay blame without taking any and appealing to the masses. Exactly what does it mean to "inject morality into capitalism"? And how is he (are we) going to "reinvent" it? Don't fall for that load of hogwash. As some Klingon foreman put it, "our ships run on dilithium, not talk!" You got me wrong. I'm talking about the "third way" (which I suspect is just a trendy name for good ol' social democracy), not the Internet. Military power is usually strongly related to the strength of an economy. And in the case of superpowers, this is ALWAYS so.
  11. Frankly, that's pretty stupid. You subscribe to a service and then categorise all mail coming from the provider of that service as spam and junk mail? And then, when you fail to heed an important notice with regards to the service you have subscribed to and the consequences take you by surprise... it's somehow THEIR fault? Wow. Er, yeah. Customer's always right, eh buddy?
  12. 3:10 to Yuma - a solid 7/10. Kept me interested all the way through, which is enough. Bale's character is interesting and enigmatic, as opposed to Crowe's, which comes across somewhat corny... I think they tried too hard to make him neat. Equilibrium. I rate this one a lol/10. ...lol.
  13. You mean just like how you ignored this thread?
  14. For some reason, I didn't see your post before. You must be moderated, or I'm especially dense today. Yeah, but Australia isn't a superpower, nor aims to become one, right? I mean, it hasn't had to go against the biggest fish in the pond. That's what I meant by coming on top. You can be aligned in some way or another and practice different variations of a model. But can that model become THE standard? Is it capable of generating more wealth than the others, because ultimately that's what matters? If the "third way" is practiced just in a few places here and there, is it really a solution for everyone? I'm skeptical with regards to that. As taks pointed out, the impressive economic growth in China is merely the expansion of free market where there was none before, and once they have reached the level of market saturation of modern economies, the growth will decrease. Not to mention the immense poverty and social inequality problems - problems it shares with India. Brazil is a different story though, but poverty and corruption aren't negligible there either. And also, the US may have crashed, but I'd say they aren't burning yet. I'm sure it's a very marketable idea. After all, everyone likes the state giving them stuff and taking "from the rich". A popular idea is not necessarily a good idea, though.
  15. Thank you. It may not have looked that way from the way I worded my first post, but I wasn't attempting to establish a lack of merit in the criticisms of regulation from your lack of formal support of the alternatives. I was taking each on separately. Now, with that out of the way, why do you believe that a free market will come to equilibrium on its own? That's what I'm interested in the most. That's still focusing on tangential issues - true or not, they aren't relevant to the discussion. Wouldn't it be easier if you simply disregarded that and focused on explaining your thoughts? I'm not sure I agree with the analysis that regulation does not work, a rather categorical statement considering that true financial model collapse has only been witnessed in the case of the USSR - the rest have ups and downs. I do agree that an excess in regulation and intervention decreases the "dynamism" and adaptive capability of the system, bogging it down. The point where this starts is up for debate. The problem with a system which may or may not achieve equilibrium if left to its own devices is that the risk of catastrophic failure is present... just like in the present model. And since it cannot be proven that a truly free market system is exempt from this risk (as per your own admission), only morality is left as support for it.
  16. Fair enough, then. I've misrepresented you there. You haven't said that an unregulated market will achieve balance on its own. But you say that we should leave it alone all the same. So, the implications are that the market will somehow balance itself or that you don't care whether or not it achieves equilibrium. Am I missing something? No, I didn't say you are wrong. I say you are purposefully avoiding criticism of your own ideas. You are doing it even now by diverting the attention towards how you are misrepresented and approaching the discussion from both a moralistic perspective, and the "auditorial" posture, both of which allow you to lay out your arguments without actually backing them up. Nice try, but no: (1) is a logical leap which doesn't necessarily follow from its premises, non sequitur. You are making the claim that a change to a model you believe is superior is warranted in light of the success (or lack thereof) of the tried alternatives. This is not just "commenting about what doesn't work". It's advocating a different approach, for which you lack any form of support other than "the alternative doesn't work", which is fallacious in itself because: (2) Isn't strictly true either, as we haven't yet witnessed the complete collapse of all the alternatives to a truly free market. edit: I suck at phrasal verbs
  17. Um, no. That's why I said you're misinterpreting. I'm not saying you're wrong. All I'm saying is that you haven't satisfactorily supported the alternative you propose. The whole strawman thing is based on a mistaken assumption on your part. Let me be perfectly clear: I only want you to put your own ideas under the same kind of rigorous scrutiny you subject the ideas of others to.
  18. I'm going to take your "auditing things that are implemented" posture now as well, and ask you if those are all the possibilities that can exist, as opposed to simply a few combinations that achieved different levels of success. That me or you can't think of different possibilites doesn't mean they don't exist or that we should stop trying. Thus, down goes your argument that regulation cannot work. I'm being as unconstructive as you. You believe in "inalienable rights" - how is that NOT being an idealist, in a world in which rights are only as good as the prevalent idiosincrasy agrees with them? In the end it's just a clash of ideals, and the different hierarchies of "rights" people come up with. Individual rights vs social rights, the one vs the many, etc. If you steer the conversation into the muddy waters of morality, you must concede that there is no such thing as a superior solution, as it all depends on opinion. And you still haven't explained how unfettered capitalism is "the best" solution, nor why do you believe this is so, which is even more interesting since you admit that it's never been tried.
  19. That sure is a comfy stance from which to take your shots, eh taks? Regardless, we don't know that intervention does not work on any level, because it hasn't been tried at all possible levels and we lack a complete, irrefutable working model of economics from which to derive such conclusions reliably. You accuse others of being idealists, but you are one yourself, with your unshakable faith in the belief that the market is somehow a closed system that can balance itself without help. All I'm asking for is an explanation, preferably based on logic and evidence, of why you are so convinced that this is so. I'm sure that with your extensive scientific background, this shouldn't be too much to ask?
  20. I think you misinterpret. I'm not saying government intervention IS the way to go. But what you posted does not, in effect, prove that no intervention entails no problems. You don't like interventionism, but there's nothing to suggest that the complete opposite is more desirable.
  21. Well, taks. For all the shots you take at the problems that arise from governmental interventionism, you still have to provide convincing arguments that a fully unregulated market is a perfectly self-balancing system and is preferable to the alternatives. Just sayin'.
  22. That's not just the financial and political systems. It's the way nature itself works. Why does it feel so much better to win than to lose? It's not a rational response, it's something far more visceral. It's always been the fittest, strongest, smartest and boldest that survive, thrive and live to pass on their genes to the next generation. Trying to shed millions of years of evolutionary ruthlessness on willpower and nice words alone is wishful thinking. I don't know man. Can we, really? I mean, it sure sounds nice (vagueness of definition notwithstanding), but is it really a philosophy, a way of things that can come on top when faced with others? I'm not even talking about whether it's a better way of doing things, but, can it even become a prevalent ideology?
  23. There'll be things you wont understand before you've played F1, they're not important except for the feel but then again feel is quite important for the Fallout games. I don't see why you would play 2 and not 1 since there are very few graphical and gameplay improvements between 1 and 2 and as such little reason not to play 1. F1 is even free on Gametap if you can handle its DRM. I played 2 first, and I liked it so much I just had to try the first. You definitely don't need to play one to fully appreciate the other, as the connections between the two aren't that strong to begin with, and the engine and UI are virtually unchanged. The games are set 80 years apart from each other, too. But seeing how F1 is free on GT, it's probably the best choice.
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