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Messages - tyrannosaurus vex

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1
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Universal Basic Income
« on: Yesterday at 01:50:04 am »
I'm definitely a supporter of UBI, but there's no limit to the number of reasons it will probably never be adopted. It's true that it's basically an expansion of basic welfare (SSI, unemployment, etc), but it also transforms not only welfare but the entire social concept of work. Most American "progressives", not to mention conservatives, are completely flabbergasted by the idea. It completely disassembles the idea that a person's social value is equivalent to the work they do. It isn't even about economics, it's about the notion that I am more important than you because I don't have to worry about where the money for rent is coming from. UBI requires that everyone, or at least most people, admit that human life is worth supporting simply because it exists. And while that sounds like an easy thing to get agreement on, it really isn't.

There's also all the work that's done by people who take jobs just to survive. Walmart cashiers, hospitality workers, shelf-stockers, food service, and tens of other jobs just wouldn't get done, because nobody would need to do them. Employers would have to raise the wages for those jobs to something more appealing, and most of these industries run on low margins as it is, which means either a sharp spike in consumer prices all over the place or entire industries crashing. For this reason, UBI won't really be viable until almost all low-wage jobs are threatened by automation. The flipside of that is that when automation threatens those jobs, which is going to happen anyway, UBI will be one of the only reasonable solutions.

UBI does simplify just about every kind government assistance program. Right now there are hundreds of programs to help the unemployed and underemployed, displaced workers, people who can't afford housing, people who can't afford food, and so on. The underlying assumption in all of these programs is a recognition that our capitalist economy doesn't work out for everyone all the time, and people deserve some help righting themselves when they slip through the cracks. But modern political trends basically deny this idea. Even if it's never stated outright, the popular philosophy now says that if you need help in a capitalist economy, it's because you're stupid or lazy or irresponsible. Before UBI can even be considered, that idea has to go away and we have to return to a more realistic understanding of economics among the general population. It doesn't have a chance while people are still talking about "welfare queens" and "group x stealing jobs from Americans".

As for subsidizing consumption, that's a valid concern. I don't think it's a show-stopper, but it would certainly be a problem while renewable resources and other green technologies were still being artificially restrained by vested interests in old-fashioned energy and production. The fact is that the way we do things now is just good enough for just enough people to keep us from moving forward. While a large enough percentage of people can be fooled into thinking everything is fine, there won't be enough political will to change things. We're sort of at an impasse right now where there is no direct line from here to there. The system we have now has to fail before it can evolve. The problem, of course, is getting the system to fail without letting it fail catastrophically. Which seems unlikely, to say the least.

Overall, UBI is a superb solution to a lot of problems, but it is so incompatible with traditional thinking and existing economic patterns that it has zero chance of even being attempted on any scale, let alone succeeding. It is both necessary and impossible.

2
Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: December 09, 2017, 04:28:56 am »
I'm being made to do online training.  About radicalisation.

I'm actually doing the test, mostly for the lolz, but I'll be damned if I'm emailing my certificate to the training coordinator, when I have an entire thesis on this topic.

this is like that time I had to take online training about how to not fall for email scams.

3
This is awesome. I'm glad to have been part of its inspiration.

A lot of variables go into making attention span evaporation a reality. As often as not, the person trying to convey a complex idea is doomed from the outset because probably more than half of the communication taking place on social media isn't intended to convey information in the first place, but to declare allegiance to or campaign for the acceptance of an established group. That's partly why the factuality of memes has practically no value -- it doesn't matter whether your information is true, it matters that you're on one side or another.

When you tear apart a factually incorrect meme, the only positive impact you can really have is to deter undecided people from being swayed by that information. But in that case, it isn't the exposition of the misinformation that has that effect, but how you look when delivering it. In the near future, everyone will assume all information is, or at least potentially is, false. If that's the case, then veracity has no bearing on "rightness", and the only measure of whether or not a particular side is "right" will be whether or not it seems like they're winning. There are already plenty of people in this state of mind and openly admitting it, even boasting about it.

This is partly what drives social media toward ever-shorter, less informationally dense forms of communication. Since the information you could deliver in five paragraphs is secondary to the purpose of interacting, you might as well just use clever one-liners and memes instead. It increases your exposure, gaining numbers of "readers" that long-form writing never could.

Of course, there is still a lot of long-form writing around. Print journalism, magazines both online and off, blogs, and novels are still there. The biggest difference between these and social media, besides convenience, is that people are unlikely to encounter views that diverge from their own in long-form mediums. People actually do have longer attention spans when they can be relatively sure they're not going to be challenged. Maybe the strictly curtailed attention spans we see on social media is a kind of proactive defense mechanism?

Anyway thanks for your post, it gives me something to ponder about.

4
Here’s my offering to the list:

We humans lack the intelligent required for our long-term survival.
That's definitely true. All the truly intelligent species had the good sense not to evolve in the first place.

5
Now that I'm reading it instead of just formatting blindly, "those social divisions" may need to be reworded...

Agreed... but the format looks amazing!

6
Quote
8. The kinds of progressives who are currently being laughed out of global politics because of their "crazy ideas"... are not nearly progressive enough to do any good, even if they got everything they asked for. Despite half of the planet being consumed with Hollywood blockbuster entertainment about superheroes and spaceships, it turns out nobody actually has any imagination.

It's kind of worse than this. In the last 6 months I can't recall hearing a new "progressive" idea. When was the last time you heard one? The next one you're likely to hear about is equal rights for Whatever nominal fetish or sexuality you want to invent. Being progressive is no longer about advancing everyone, just your own tiny and inconsequential agenda. Seriously, hit me with an idea that's not either been talked to death a billion times over for decades. If you can pull out anything more helpful to everyone than "Equal rights for furries" I'm all ears.





I am not implying V3x or Howl are furries. I am insinuating it.

I keep hearing about basic income, far more than right for various marginalized groups.  I have my doubts about whether universal subsidization of consumption is the best idea, but it is at least an idea.

I like the idea of UBI, or at least I like the idea of solving the problem it's supposed to solve. We know from all kinds of scientific research that people are happier and more productive in their work when they don't have to worry about meeting their families' basic survival needs. UBI is supposed to guarantee everyone a basic standard of living so we don't have to worry about losing our jobs. It's a tidy solution to the problem of technological disruption and the resulting worker displacement. It would also mean simplifying the welfare system, since we wouldn't need unemployment, SSI, or disability income (except as an increase in UBI payments) anymore. And there's more than enough money to pay for it -- if we could just tax it out of the top 5-10% of earners' income.

The "problem" with UBI is that "it's punishing success" and "rewarding laziness". It's actually neither of those things, of course, but that won't stop half the people from believing it is and making the idea dead on arrival, thus forcing us all the hang by a thread that capitalism rewards employers for cutting. This is a plain example of why we are fucked. Free-market capitalism is reaching the limits of what it can do to improve living standards. We're at the point of diminishing returns. But because we have indoctrinated ourselves to believe Absolute Capitalism is basically the economic version of Jesus, we can't even allow ourselves to consider alternatives like UBI, even when something like that is absolutely necessary to cope with technological advancement as it applies to the workforce. And since, apparently, being wrong hurts more than being hungry, that's where things stand.

7
Our leaders use Fascist tactics, but they aren't really Fascists. They're Feudalists building a system where peasants pay tribute to the new nobility first on economic divisions, and to each other secondarily based on those social divisions.

I wonder if QG could Big Words that.

On it.

awesome! and thanks for the idea, LMNO. QG please feel free to alter context words or clean up as necessary.

8
:mittens:

While every word of this is true, Reason 1 explains why having this piece thrown out into the media for public consumption would simply result in "TL;DR"-type responses, or none at all.

I try pointing out shit like this (Although, not nearly as eloquently and thoroughly as you've done, here) all the time, but no one wants to read anything for longer than a few seconds at a time. It's honestly one of the most frustrating aspects of this list, in that it prevents discussion that could solve the other items in the list.

Yeah, this. It's really at the point now where the only "hope" that really exists is that maybe we'll actually have some kind of nuclear Armageddon that wipes out 95% of humanity, and maybe whoever picks up the pieces will do a better job next time around.

Unlikely. The places most likely to avoid being nuked back into the dark ages are those too unimportant to target due to never having exited the dark ages in the first place. Like the bible belt and flyover states; if you were a head of state would you waste a nuke on what is essentially an uninhabited wasteland already?
Well, yes, I would. But I'm a terrible person.

I meant to put yourself in the mind of the kind of pinhead that becomes a real head of state
I imagine they wouldn't, but what do I know about the mind of a legitimately crazy person? I doubt Nebraska makes a very tempting target on its own, but we do have missile silos and airfields all over the place. Plus the flyover states still produce a lot of food, so depending in what kind of death they have in store for us, it might make sense to irradiate them.

9
:mittens:

While every word of this is true, Reason 1 explains why having this piece thrown out into the media for public consumption would simply result in "TL;DR"-type responses, or none at all.

I try pointing out shit like this (Although, not nearly as eloquently and thoroughly as you've done, here) all the time, but no one wants to read anything for longer than a few seconds at a time. It's honestly one of the most frustrating aspects of this list, in that it prevents discussion that could solve the other items in the list.

Yeah, this. It's really at the point now where the only "hope" that really exists is that maybe we'll actually have some kind of nuclear Armageddon that wipes out 95% of humanity, and maybe whoever picks up the pieces will do a better job next time around.

Unlikely. The places most likely to avoid being nuked back into the dark ages are those too unimportant to target due to never having exited the dark ages in the first place. Like the bible belt and flyover states; if you were a head of state would you waste a nuke on what is essentially an uninhabited wasteland already?
Well, yes, I would. But I'm a terrible person.

10
Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:26:24 am »
https://theintercept.com/2017/12/04/trump-white-house-weighing-plans-for-private-spies-to-counter-deep-state-enemies/

Quote
The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency.
The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.
“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community.

Wow, I think such a plan might potentially count as treason in and of itself, irrespective of the seperate treason of having russia meddle in the election

The thing about "treason" and "obstruction of justice" is that they're only crimes if someone is willing and able to prosecute them. The only people in the country right now who can hold Trump accountable to anything is Congress, and if you think they're going to derail this gravy train over a few little high crimes and misdemeanors, you're sadly mistaken. Besides the obvious legislative benefits to having Trump in office, there's the fact that 2/3 of their base will rebel in the next election if they so much as lift a finger in that direction. Trump is here to stay until at least 2019, and then only if Democrats manage to sweep both the House and Senate, which they won't, thanks to all the gerrymandering and voter suppression. We're in this for the long haul.

11
:mittens:

While every word of this is true, Reason 1 explains why having this piece thrown out into the media for public consumption would simply result in "TL;DR"-type responses, or none at all.

I try pointing out shit like this (Although, not nearly as eloquently and thoroughly as you've done, here) all the time, but no one wants to read anything for longer than a few seconds at a time. It's honestly one of the most frustrating aspects of this list, in that it prevents discussion that could solve the other items in the list.

Yeah, this. It's really at the point now where the only "hope" that really exists is that maybe we'll actually have some kind of nuclear Armageddon that wipes out 95% of humanity, and maybe whoever picks up the pieces will do a better job next time around.

They won't, though.

And civilization hasn't been all bad. After all, it gave us Snuggies and internet forums, so at the very least, it made a few lives a little more comfortable than they might have been without it. And there were a few generations in a few places for a while that really got to live it up. That's small comfort to the billions of people who have consistently held the short end of the stick, I know, but statistically it was better than nothing. And if not, don't worry, we'll get to see how nothing compares soon enough.

12
Our leaders use Fascist tactics, but they aren't really Fascists. They're Feudalists building a system where peasants pay tribute to the new nobility first on economic divisions, and to each other secondarily based on those social divisions.

Well stated!

I became aware of this fairly recently. Unfortunately, I don’t know what those few of us who are both aware of and upset by this political movement can do to stop it. 


As for what we can do to stop it, allow me to direct your attention to the title of this thread.

13
Quote
8. The kinds of progressives who are currently being laughed out of global politics because of their "crazy ideas"... are not nearly progressive enough to do any good, even if they got everything they asked for. Despite half of the planet being consumed with Hollywood blockbuster entertainment about superheroes and spaceships, it turns out nobody actually has any imagination.

It's kind of worse than this. In the last 6 months I can't recall hearing a new "progressive" idea. When was the last time you heard one? The next one you're likely to hear about is equal rights for Whatever nominal fetish or sexuality you want to invent. Being progressive is no longer about advancing everyone, just your own tiny and inconsequential agenda. Seriously, hit me with an idea that's not either been talked to death a billion times over for decades. If you can pull out anything more helpful to everyone than "Equal rights for furries" I'm all ears.





I am not implying V3x or Howl are furries. I am insinuating it.
No, you're right. Identity politics and equality are important of course, but people act like that's all there is left to fix. And everyone sees the world through the prism of whichever persecution most directly affects them. I can't speak to the urgency of these things because I don't encounter much outright persecution. It's possible I am doing the same thing by seeing everything  through the prism of economics, but it really seems that the systematic financial repression of "commoners" reinforces every other kind of oppression. But if you talk about economic liberation, you're pinned as someone who doesn't care about identity politics. Everyone thinks we have to choose one or the other, and that's fine for individuals but not when it gets to the point of actively tearing down any movement that isn't *your* movement.

The elite in this country are still straight white "Christian" males, and yes, they do work to keep it that way. But I think they use ethnic, racial, religious, and gender divisions as tools rather than as ends in and of themselves. Our leaders use Fascist tactics, but they aren't really Fascists. They're Feudalists building a system where peasants pay tribute to the new nobility first on economic divisions, and to each other secondarily based on those social divisions.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


14
9.  Humans who do attempt to fix anything are, historically-speaking, murdered or driven off by the other humans.

And even if they manage to succeed somehow, they become the next problem.

15
The list is getting pretty long, so I am going to start writing it down.

1. The problems society faces are complicated, nuanced, and typically have no obvious or satisfying solution that benefits everyone. Unfortunately, our ability to compromise is basically dead, and everything about modern communication centers around bite-sized ideas. We are at a rare point in human development where the tools we have developed are exactly the opposite of what we need to solve our problems.

2. Speaking of our tools, we have designed the Internet: a miraculous platform for communication that transcends all historical barriers to the flow of information and ideas. We have then done the eminently Human thing and used this platform to segregate ourselves morally, philosophically, and along every other fault line we can think of, creating new barriers to the flow of ideas. Now we find ourselves in disposable communities, surrounded by people we suspect of not belonging. It's not exactly a recipe for the unity required to take on large systems of oppression or violence.

3. We refuse to face real problems, because we're too busy being righter and louder than everyone else, and being honest about our problems introduces the risk that we might not be as correct as we think we are. We're subconsciously aware that we're full of shit, but are scared of admitting it.

4. The systems we have built to automate society have grown bigger and more powerful than us. They're more complex than our mental models of them, and they are just efficient enough to fool us into thinking we don't need to maintain them. They also rot from the inside out, so by the time we notice a problem, it's way too late to fix it.

5. The lies we used to tell our children about what made civilization work are now the fables grown-ass adults tell themselves they must abide by in order to keep it working. This is ... not advised.

6. We have convinced ourselves that the way things are is the way things must be. We are incapable of dreaming or thinking big about the things we need to change in order to survive as a species. It is absolutely outside the scope of most people's universes to even consider, for example, post-scarcity economics. This is despite the fact that we actually have the technology to make it work, or the fact that we need to make it work if we're to have any hope.

7. Everyone seems to have a collective sense of impending doom. This is not mass delusion, it's a finely-tuned evolutionary mechanism. The alarms are ringing, but we are just monkeys, so our solution is to screech louder than the alarms until they shut up. This is also a finely-tuned evolutionary mechanism. Nobody said natural selection had any particular preference for intelligence.

8. The kinds of progressives who are currently being laughed out of global politics because of their "crazy ideas"... are not nearly progressive enough to do any good, even if they got everything they asked for. Despite half of the planet being consumed with Hollywood blockbuster entertainment about superheroes and spaceships, it turns out nobody actually has any imagination.

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