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Politics 20/20 now with extra hindsight!


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1 hour ago, Guard Dog said:

LOL true it’s not for everyone. But the fortresses are easy to live in peace with. Don’t tell them what to do, don’t try and take their stuff, and basically just leave them be. 

Paranoia is a drug (Deus Ex quotes come so easily!), but it's easy to fall into the sense that everyone else is an enemy and spiral out from there, I think.

 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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20 minutes ago, Malcador said:

Paranoia is a drug (Deus Ex quotes come so easily!), but it's easy to fall into the sense that everyone else is an enemy and spiral out from there, I think.

Not to mention that the lifestyle makes one a free rider in the social contract.

Edited by Achilles
clarifying arguement

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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41 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

That's only for one thing on the ballot though. Most of the stuff we vote for is evenly weighed.

People make way too much out of the Presidential election. Democracy at the local level is where its at!

Exactly right. If you call your state representatives office there’s a pretty good chance the representative themselves will answer the phone. If you call your congressional representative they might get back with you in a day or two. Your US senator will never even hear that you called. Forget trying to get in touch with the president. You don’t even exist as far as they are concerned. Now out of all those people who do you want having the most power over you and yours?

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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17 minutes ago, Achilles said:

Not to mention that the lifestyle makes one a free rider in the social contract.

Do you know what the social contract is? A vague notion to which no one has explicitly agreed to enter that supposedly allows a certain class of people to kill, steal, and imprison in order to advance some “greater good” that only they get to define. 
 

Does not sound like anything I would sign up for.

Edited by Guard Dog

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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16 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Do you know what the social contract is? A vague notion to which no one has explicitly agreed to enter that supposedly allows a certain class of people to kill, steal, and imprison in order to advance some “greater good” that only they get to define. 
 

Does not sound like anything I would sign up for.

But isn't that what signing up for military service is? I mean that as a serious question, I am not poking fun.

Also, thank you for your service GD. :)

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8 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

But isn't that what signing up for military service is? I mean that as a serious question, I am not poking fun.

Also, thank you for your service GD. :)

Sure. A lot more than that actually. It’s also something you have to choose to do. We don’t have a draft. They can’t come up to you and say you’re going in the military and you don’t have any say so in it. Not the same thing. I knew what I was getting into and I volunteered to do it. But I also knew it wasn’t forever. And I could leave at the completion of my time if I chose to do so.

Edited by Guard Dog
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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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28 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Do you know what the social contract is? A vague notion to which no one has explicitly agreed to enter that supposedly allows a certain class of people to kill, steal, and imprison in order to advance some “greater good” that only they get to define. 
Does not sound like anything I would sign up for.

There are things to agree with and disagree with here, but the overarching point is that, regardless of specifics, there is a social contract. And so long as "they" = "the people voters elect to represent them" and some people opt out of their end of the bargain by not voting, I think it fair to label those people as free riders. "In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve"

3 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Sure. A lot more than that actually. It’s also something you have to choose to do. We don’t have a draft. They can’t come up to you and say you’re going in the military and you don’t have any say so in it. Not the same thing. I knew what I was getting into and I volunteered to do it. But I also knew it wasn’t forever. And I could leave at the completion of my time if I chose to do so.

Oh, so I didn't have to remind my son to register with Selective Service on his 18th birthday or risk legal/financial consequences?

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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1 minute ago, Achilles said:

 

Oh, so I didn't have to remind my son to register with Selective Service on his 18th birthday or risk legal/financial consequences?

Off-topic you know I’m surprised selective service is still a thing. If there is anything the Vietnam war taught us its that a conscript army is far less effective than a voluntary force. Personally I hope the draft never becomes a thing again for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which it’s the worst thing you could possibly do to the military. It’s not an easy life sometimes. You have to want to do it.

 

Back on topic, you seem like an educated guy to me. Have you ever read Thomas Hobbs? He would have us believe that a society ruled by the cruelest  most heavy-handed autocrat It’s still better off the one where there are no gods and no masters. I could not disagree more. Getting to choose the people who will wield power over you is not freedom. Freedom comes from severely limiting what those people are actually able to do. We as a country have been heading in the wrong direction for a long time on that count. If the office of the president retained only those  powers enumerated to it in article 2 of the constitution it would not be so terrible to have a man like Donald Trump. Or Obama, or any of them.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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6 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Off-topic you know I’m surprised selective service is still a thing.

Fair enough. Re: the other points, I completely agree.

Quote

Back on topic, you seem like an educated guy to me. Have you ever read Thomas Hobbs? He would have us believe that a society ruled by the cruelest  most heavy-handed autocrat It’s still better off the one where there are no gods and no masters. I could not disagree more. Getting to choose the people who will wield power over you is not freedom. Freedom comes from severely limiting what those people are actually able to do. We as a country have been heading in the wrong direction for a long time on that count. If the office of the president retained only those  powers enumerated to it in article 2 of the constitution it would not be so terrible to have a man like Donald Trump. Or Obama, or any of them.

Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau (didn't finish), Paine, Alexis de Tocqueville, and list goes on.

Hobbes would have us believe that individuals cannot be trusted to be reasoned, dispassionate, impartial executors of justice and that society is better off when we give authority to arbitrate such matters over to "the state". I could not agree more. Such realizations rank up there with things like "don't s**t where you eat".

"Freedom" is a vague notion that most people cannot clearly define and that some people are happy to operationally define in ways that further their argument. Suffice it to say, like every other vague concept that we refer to as a "right", it isn't an absolute. I'm not "free" to drive on the wrong side of the road without consequence, or walk around in public without pants on, or set fire to the property of others if I feel like it. "Freedom" has constraints. We live in a just society when those constraints are reasonable. We live in an unjust society when they are not.

So, my argument is "freedom" has a lot more nuance than how it's described in the quote above, and the expectation that any of us get to live in a society in which no constraint exists above us isn't realistic. We can either be active, engaged participants or we can be passive, disengaged critics. Furthermore, the former is the only hope we have of creating or maintaining a just society, whereas the latter almost assuredly leads to an unjust society.

Since I know you're also a voracious reader, I'd like to pass along the following recommendations:

The Empathy Gap (J.D. Trout)

Justice (Michael Sandel)

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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31 minutes ago, Achilles said:

Fair enough. Re: the other points, I completely agree.

Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau (didn't finish), Paine, Alexis de Tocqueville, and list goes on.

Hobbes would have us believe that individuals cannot be trusted to be reasoned, dispassionate, impartial executors of justice and that society is better off when we give authority to arbitrate such matters over to "the state". I could not agree more. Such realizations rank up there with things like "don't s**t where you eat".

"Freedom" is a vague notion that most people cannot clearly define and that some people are happy to operationally define in ways that further their argument. Suffice it to say, like every other vague concept that we refer to as a "right", it isn't an absolute. I'm not "free" to drive on the wrong side of the road without consequence, or walk around in public without pants on, or set fire to the property of others if I feel like it. "Freedom" has constraints. We live in a just society when those constraints are reasonable. We live in an unjust society when they are not.

So, my argument is "freedom" has a lot more nuance than how it's described in the quote above, and the expectation that any of us get to live in a society in which no constraint exists above us isn't realistic. We can either be active, engaged participants or we can be passive, disengaged critics. Furthermore, the former is the only hope we have of creating or maintaining a just society, whereas the latter almost assuredly leads to an unjust society.

Since I know you're also a voracious reader, I'd like to pass along the following recommendations:

The Empathy Gap (J.D. Trout)

Justice (Michael Sandel)

The problem with the "state" is that it is made up of individuals. The very people that can't be trusted to be reasoned, dispassionate, impartial executors of justice. How does it serve me to appoint such a flawed creature to such authority to dispose of me and mine? Should I entrust my family's welfare to people whose only qualification was that they managed to convince enough voters on a certain day they were the least bad option? Being elected does not make them wise.  Or tempered. Although good luck convincing any politician of that. When the "State" wants something you have your rights mean s--t all. Who took Suzette Kelo's house away from her? It wasn't Pfizer. We do not live in a just society now. 

Of course this discussion really is academic. Constraints on behaviour are required. Better they were voluntary clear cut and apply eaqually to all. Not what we have now but we're in the ballpark. Government is but a necassary evil in it's best state. Hopefully it can be kept from becoming an intolerable one as Paine put it. But it is not something that can be dispensed with. 

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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36 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

The problem with the "state" is that it is made up of individuals. The very people that can't be trusted to be reasoned, dispassionate, impartial executors of justice. How does it serve me to appoint such a flawed creature to such authority to dispose of me and mine? Should I entrust my family's welfare to people whose only qualification was that they managed to convince enough voters on a certain day they were the least bad option? Being elected does not make them wise. 

A lot to unpack here, but I'm hoping that I can address most of it with two observations:

1. You're assuming that elections will always be a race between "least bad options". While this is often the case now, I will continue to argue that this is a function of "the feedback mechanism being broken" (i.e. people don't pay attention or vote so only s**theads make it). If the feedback mechanism worked, then the incentive structure would be different and we would have better candidates. Again, "In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve".

2. You're assuming that the state will always be compromised of poorly qualified people. We can debate what "qualified" should mean, but the whole idea of leaving things up to a group of individuals is that they will, collectively, produce better outcomes than individuals acting alone. If I have bad intentions and unfettered access to the levers of power, then yeah, you're absolutely at my mercy. If I have bad intentions, but only have shared access to the levers of power, then there are obstacles to me imposing my will on you.

Quote

We do not live in a just society now.

Agreed. My argument is that "not participating" a) doesn't make that better and b) definitely makes it worse.

Quote

Of course this discussion really is academic. Constraints on behaviour are required. Better they were voluntary clear cut and apply eaqually to all. Not what we have now but we're in the ballpark. Government is but a necassary evil in it's best state. Hopefully it can be kept from becoming an intolerable one as Paine put it. But it is not something that can be dispensed with. 

It sounds like we're mostly in agreement on a majority of the points here. The biggest differences being how we got here and what to do about it.

Edited by Achilles

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Man, lots of chaos just a few kilometers away. Some sort of terrorist attack that apparently started near or at the headquarters of the Jewish Community of Vienna. Luckily "only" one confirmed dead and several wounded so far. Could have been far worse considering there were automatic weapons involved and a LOT of people were on the streets, a warm night one day before the nightly corona curfew begins and all bars and restaurants have to close.

edit:

Well, there are two confirmed dead people, but one of them is one of the terrorists, so that doesn't really count. Guy was wearing a suicide vest that didn't go off (or remained unused, who knows).

Edited by majestic

Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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I find it strange/sad that some areas are prepping for possible rioting or violence or whatever if election results aren't what people want. 

The USA is still a relatively youthful nation and it feels like a new growing pains period of trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, what's acceptable, what's not, what's democracy, what's not etc.  At least, I hope that's all it is. Sometimes, now, I'm actually glad I'm on the older side vs. just starting out. 

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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27 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

What are the odds they are wrong twice?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/

Enough that Trump winning reelection is a likely occurrence, by which I mean something reasonably within the realm of possibility as opposed to favored statistically. I don't know their methodology, but you also have to factor in voter suppression, throwing out ballots, or legal tomfoolery when considering the outcome as that will overwhelmingly favor Trump.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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1 hour ago, Hurlshot said:

What are the odds they are wrong twice?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/

Good news is that the model accounts for education, which it didn't in 2016. Bad news is that there might come other measure that the model doesn't account for in 2020, but smart pollsters will be sure to include in 2024 (because thanks hindsight).

But as @KaineParker pointed out, polling models and vote counts aren't the same thing.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/what-are-the-chances-well-know-the-next-president-on-election-night/

Edited by Achilles

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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2 hours ago, Hurlshot said:

What are the odds they are wrong twice?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/

I don't understand your question: what would they be wrong about? 538 claims to be a statistical model estimating the chances of certain outcomes happening based on past outcomes in similar circumstances (or at least situation they *think* are similar), not any kind of magical predictor saying that one thing will happen or another won't. The chances of rolling a 1 on a ten-sided die is 1/10, which is to say not particularly likely, but certainly within the realm of reason. You roll that die, and maybe it's a 1...or maybe it's a 10. Either way, you're not wrong for calculating the chances. Statistics, not magical prediction.

Edited by Bartimaeus

Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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3 hours ago, LadyCrimson said:

I find it strange/sad that some areas are prepping for possible rioting or violence or whatever if election results aren't what people want. 

Who are they afraid of? Trump supporters or Biden supporters? Honest answer to that question should tell everything about who people should vote for.

166215__front.jpg.45518d58bdab611f0e3a026d3b8c6489.jpg

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If your choices are 2020 model Biden or Donald Trump disappointment of one sort or another is pretty much inevitable.

New Zealand and Australia have travel advisories out for the US for election related violence. I suspect there may be some passive aggressiveness at play there though, since the US issued covid related advisories for both of us despite the rates here being magnitudanally lower than those in the states.

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4 hours ago, Hurlshot said:

What are the odds they are wrong twice?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/

They are right in both cases as they are just estimating probabilities of Biden or Trump winning. So as long as they don't say either candidate has 0% change winning they can say their model was correct even if the less probable thing happens 😋 

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6 hours ago, LadyCrimson said:

 

The USA is still a relatively youthful nation and it feels like a new growing pains period of trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, what's acceptable, what's not, what's democracy, what's not etc.  

no Constitutional republic has been around longer than the USA.

anywho, for those who is tense 'bout the election and the almost inevitable post election fallout to follow...

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Whatever happens today, no one should feel any stress over it. No outcome of this election will appreciably change this country. The ship of state will continue to tack pretty near the center of the channel. The reason is it take a long time to change the direction of the country and our electoral system is almost designed so no one political party gets to hold the tiller for long. 

As it stands there are five possible outcomes. 

  • Biden wins, Dems hold the House, Republicans hold the Senate. This will keep things pretty much status quo. Probably the best possible outcome.
  • Biden Wins Dems hold the House AND Senate. This will be the least desirable outcome. They will almost certainly overplay their hand and Congress will change hands in 2022. But a lot of damage can be done in two years of near absolute power. 
  • Biden wins, Republicans hold both House and Senate. Seems really, really unlikely. But this would be ok.
  •  Trump wins, Dems hold the House, Republicans hold the Senate. This will be two more years of what we've had in the last two years. Heated rhetoric, twitter wars, nothing changes. This is an acceptable if not great outcome.
  •  Trump wins, Dems hold both House Senate. This would be the most interesting outcome. If they choose to impeach his he will likely get removed. Hard to even predict how this goes down. 
  • Trump wins, Republicans hold both House & Senate. Yeah... this is not going to happen. Thank God.  

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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