Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Or Kill Me => Topic started by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 14, 2020, 10:52:12 pm

Title: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 14, 2020, 10:52:12 pm
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter. That human events follow a more or less predictable (at least in hindsight) trajectory from "primitive" to "advanced", and that it does this because of some sort of natural law that governs all kinds of progress.

This idea is pure bunk, and should be stamped out with extreme prejudice wherever you see it. It is the kernel at the center of the centrist's inaction in the face of injustice, the unfounded presupposition behind violent wars of "regime change" and "nation building", and the morally vacant justification for colonialist thinking. It is the reason we are taught that the evils of slavery and genocide are "in the past" while the forces that drive them simmer in communities around the world.

History has no arc. It is not a story about a protagonist species who learn and grow. It has never been guaranteed that tomorrow will be more just for you than today, or that the next century will bring more opportunity for your descendants than the last one had for your ancestors. This should be plain to see as we watch the entire allegedly "free" world slip farther every day into the same patterns of mistakes and collapse that have recurred time and again since anyone bothered to remember anything.

Even when disaster is averted, for all our apparent progress we have never actually made a difference in what it means to be human. Sure, we have the power to blow up the planet, the power to fling ourselves uselessly into orbit, the power to talk to each other across insurmountable distances. But so what if we can do all this, but give up the ability to feed our children, or the time to appreciate a sunset once in a while, or the courage to speak to our own neighbors? What have we gained, exactly, and why do we imagine that to be "progress"?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 14, 2020, 11:17:49 pm
Why did you post this here instead of scrawling it on tree bark with a pointy stone dipped in beetroot juice?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 14, 2020, 11:22:19 pm
Why did you post this here instead of scrawling it on tree bark with a pointy stone dipped in beetroot juice?
This forum is the current incarnation of that.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 14, 2020, 11:56:56 pm
If you don’t think life today is fundamentally different than 14th century life, you’re an idiot, Vex.

I hate saying that, but it’s fucking true.

The technology we have today has given us tools that have fundamentally changed the reality we live in. The current state of the world would be impossible in the 1970s, let alone in the 1300s. Hell, a massive part of what is fueling unrest right now is the fact that every LEO crime is documented in real time by hundreds of people, and instantly visible around the world. It’s why the BLM protests are global now: people are seeing it at home and seeing it wasn’t isolated instances either. That this is happening in towns with under 3k residents.

That possibility didn’t even exist until the smartphone with camera was the default, which wasn’t even the case until 2009, if not later.

The fact you can instantly, without even having TIME to think if you might be a dipshit, put something this stupid in front of a GLOBAL public extremely rapidly without a massive investment of money and a massive workforce at your beck and call would be impossible before at least 1996-ish. Call it the age of Geocities. Rephrased: Mortal Kombat is older than the ability for you to make an instant global fool of yourself without being rich.

The fact that someone can be identified in under an hour from only three random photos taken years apart by a random stranger in another country without anyone spending a dime would be impossible before about 2004-ish, whenever it was MySpace was big — and even then it would have been a stretch due to the lack of readily available, public, searchable, candid photographs of most people.

The fact is, you said something really fucking stupid here. What the FUCK happened to you, dude?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 12:19:12 am
Yeah, we have made lots of progress technologically, but what effect has that progress had on the average life? We can do things that our ancestors would see as magical, but is the average person in modern America more or less likely to see themselves as happy and fulfilled as the average pre-Columbian Native American? Or the average member of uncontacted tribe in the Amazon? My point isn't that we haven't made advances or that we don't have powers that we didn't always have, but that what we call "progress" is neither inevitable nor particularly helpful.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 12:25:06 am
I mean, the basis of your rebuttal only has meaning within the context of a society that values our brand of technological progress and views that as the goal. Not all societies see it that way, and in fact the ones that don't tend to be more stable and much longer lasting. In the overall course of humans' existence on Earth, the trajectory of Western Civilization is more likely to be a statistical curiosity than an inevitable march toward galactic colonization or something.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 12:29:45 am
Going to be fucking brutally honest with you here.

Happiness isn’t everything.

It’s a lot. It should be the goal. But there are a lot of things that come before, or separate from, happiness, like mental health and a caring community.

If you think people struggling for those in particular haven’t benefitted from the Internet, get the fuck off of this forum forever. (Said because that’s an easy way to point out that you’re benefitting right the fuck now from the Internet.)

Also, simple statement: I wouldn’t be alive to be happy or unhappy if it weren’t for the Internet. Several fucking times over I would be stone cold fucking dead.

Frozen to death in Montana. Frozen to death in Boston. Starved to death a hundred times over. Forced to stay in a town where my family told me they’d kill me if they saw me around. Abandoned in the woods: in Florida, in Michigan. I’m leaving SO MANY INSTANCES OUT that I don’t even know where to begin. Several, more than several, so many instances where the members of THIS FORUM or the IRC channel are the reason I’m even fucking here today.

I would have made it as far as the first time I joined and then flounced from the forum. No one would have ever seen me again after that, except maybe as a misgendering, deadnaming obit and some fucked up bones.

So fuck you.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 12:31:25 am
And for the record, no fucking one was disagreeing with the Lo5ing required to believe there’s a universal narrative. Of course the fuck there isn’t. BUT REALITY HAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED. Denying this is IDIOCY.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 12:44:04 am
Yeah of course good things come from our advances. We solve tons of problems for tons of people  and I'm super happy you've been one of them. I'm not saying anything about that. I'm saying the problems we solve are problems we created for ourselves in the first place, and in solving them we generate more problems to solve later. It isn't about whether there is or isn't a grand design, it's about whether by virtue of being Homo Sapiens, we are predestined to build societies that advance socially and technologically toward some future where we finally solve all the problems (or even all the ones we are currently aware of).

Mental health and loving communities are absolutely necessities for human life. And no, happiness isn't all there is to it, though I think you're defining that word differently than I am. But you don't need the Internet to solve those problems until you've damaged billions of people with economic and religious and industrial exploitation to begin with. Now that we HAVE created those problems, then OF COURSE we are morally obligated to solve them. But that isn't to say that we are destined to continue solving them, or that our progress will continue just because it is progress.

My original point, if you read it, isn't even that we should abandon our progress - only that we shouldn't take it for granted, shouldn't assume that (for example) racial injustice will inevitably be rectified just because it seems for now that history is aimed in that direction.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on June 15, 2020, 01:46:51 am
Sure, we have the power to blow up the planet, the power to fling ourselves uselessly into orbit, the power to talk to each other across insurmountable distances. But so what if we can do all this, but give up the ability to feed our children, or the time to appreciate a sunset once in a while, or the courage to speak to our own neighbors?
That's a false dilemma.

I'm saying the problems we solve are problems we created for ourselves in the first place,
Plumbing--access to clean water, and sanitation--is a technological solution to problems that humans haven't created for themselves (unless you consider human existence itself to be the problem).  It's an issue for a human community of any size.

You might have some interesting points to make, but as long as you mix them with claims that are trivially false, it's difficult to engage with them.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 02:03:38 am
Why did you post this here instead of scrawling it on tree bark with a pointy stone dipped in beetroot juice?

To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion.

Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 02:05:09 am
I mean, the basis of your rebuttal only has meaning within the context of a society that values our brand of technological progress and views that as the goal.

Technology is the only reason to keep humans around.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 02:08:19 am
Honest to fuck, I don't why it is somehow morally correct to die of an abcessed tooth or because the rains didn't come this year.

Fuck that Luddite shit.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 02:15:05 am
CNO, yeah I'm easily distracted and love my rabbit trails, this will probably never change

To boil my basic point down to the bones, it's only that too many people take progress (social, specifically) for granted and use that as an excuse to avoid engaging directly to make the world better. Society evolves, but there's no guarantee that it will evolve to something *better* just because it evolves. And the idea that modern Western culture is objectively superior to what we think of as "primitive" societies, just because it is the sort of thing that it is.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better. That's one of the kinds of assumption I'm talking about in the other thread of my argument. Not all societies have decided those are necessarily superior goals, and yet the people in those societies are on average no worse off *by their own subjective standards* than we are (otherwise they too would have developed that technology).

To be clear - I'm not saying we should all join some anarcho-primitivist commune, only that we should be conscious of the standards we use to measure cultural achievement because the default one we are handed that says "people in modern America are automatically more civilized than people in the deep Amazon" can be used to justify horrors.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 02:36:29 am

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.

They are.  Cities exist as a means to gather resources.  You have an objectively higher chance of living to be old if you live in a modern city.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 03:29:52 am

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.

They are.  Cities exist as a means to gather resources.  You have an objectively higher chance of living to be old if you live in a modern city.

Who says living to be old, cursing the traffic and hating your job and dodging stray cop bullets the whole time, is objectively preferable to living off the land with a few other people for a shorter time? If modern city living is objectively better, why don't all those tribes in Africa or Brazil give up and move into apartments? Why do we complain about the conquest of the American West? We brought Civilization after all, so why did the natives resist?

But more to the point, will what we have built lead inexorably to Fully Automated Gay Space Communism just because it's easier to live to 60 now than it used to be yo live to 40? And is that trajectory guaranteed by no more than the fact that "so far, so good"?

Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 04:03:38 am
Vex, you’ve taken “question everything” so far that you’ve stopped thinking with your brain and started thinking on four legs.

I follow and actively engage members of indigenous communities who are fully about “fuck the white man and everything he’s done in this world” and they absolutely fucking agree that longer lives in modern cities is better than short lives on rez lands. They just want the agency to make that decision on their terms in their tribal lands with their own authority.

You and primitivist fuckheads are literally the only people I’ve heard so much as flirt with this Luddite idiocy, and primitivist fuckheads are all drug addled middle class white kids. This is fucking damned near Lamanite level ridiculous fucking nonsense. Head out of your ass, NOW, please.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 04:05:34 am
Fuck, earlier today I had to watch a Salish acquaintance of mine have a minor breakdown on Twitter about her life expectancy being so fucking short due to how fucked up her life is by racist colonial bullshit.

Seriously go get a fucking grip.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 04:07:57 am
Fuck this noble savage “we were meant for the hunter gatherer life” LARP nonsense with a jackhammer. You want my fucking life expectancy PLEASE COME AND FUCKING HAVE IT. I want more. Everyone out here wants more. FUCK.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 15, 2020, 04:11:08 am
Final word on this shit before I go hate-shriek to shitty nu metal till the poison is gone:

The best predictor of life expectancy after early childhood is STRESS. If you live in misery you will die faster. This holds true when you control for everything else. Period.

So fuck you.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 04:19:52 am
You're not hearing me at all. I will definitely grant you that's because I'm scatterbrained as fuck these days for my own reasons and bad at organizing anything I try to say, and that's why I put this here instead of shitting it out on Facebook or something. I am too apt to go off on some diatribe about anything.

That said, I'm not seeing anything from you that counters the actual thing I'm trying to say, which is the myth of the Long Arc of History being a crutch used by too many people to excuse their lack of activism, on the grounds that progress is somehow inevitable and therefore not incumbent upon them individually to put in any effort. Obviously this does not mean you or probably anyone on this board, it means [people]. Like, in general. I am only saying that history, contrary to popular conceit, has no inherent bias toward iustice.

Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Cramulus on June 15, 2020, 02:23:08 pm
the idea that history is going somewhere, that is has an arc, is an old idea

the consequence of this idea is a view that some cultures are evolving and other cultures are devolving

that some cultures are more advanced, and therefore have more right to steer civilization

They used to say that if your nation had colleges, and rule of law, and you had art that was full of heady symbols, and you treated women with the proper respect*... then you had civilization. And if not, then your culture is still stuck in the past, and we're actually doing you a favor by colonizing and bringing in a bunch of Nabobs to set up shop.

And everybody bought into this for hundreds and hundreds of years.

After World War II, much of the world was absolutely devastated. Philosophers everywhere asked "why did this happen?" and one common conclusion was that Nazis really bought into this myth of "progress". That modernist thought distilled their version of Nationalism. Their superior national identity (clearly superior because of good breeding and art and public works) is what they thought gave them the right to do everything they did.

And in the shocked wake of the holocaust, in the desolation of europe, postmodernism was born. It was, at its core, a rejection of this "history has a grand arc" idea.

Now that all the WWII vets are gone, we're seeing these ideas return. Nationalism isn't a scary word anymore, people are openly identifying as nationalists again. It is no coincidence that these "nationalists" are the same people opposed to Black Lives Matter, the same people running the Trump government. Trump always talks about how the people sneaking into the US are coming from "shithole countries"... at his core, he really believes this, that some countries are better than others.

None of this denies that certain forms of advancement exist. Computers get faster over time, right? nobody's saying an Apple ][ is the same thing as a modern laptop. What V3x is saying is that civilizations don't advance in the same way computer technology advances. You shouldn't think of cultures (especially our own) as having a "progress meter" which naturally fills up over time.



Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Cramulus on June 15, 2020, 02:32:25 pm
I think there's a chord here with the language of natural selection versus evolution. We used to talk about "how evolved" a species might be. That there are higher species and lower species. Humans are the "evolved" version of large primates.

But any biologist will tell you that it doesn't work like that - in any given environment, certain traits give you advantages that help you breed. Mating selects for these traits, so they become better represented & developed in successive generations.

Evolution doesn't naturally produce more intelligence over time, intelligence is just OUR special tool. Maybe other species didn't need it. But the idea that we're "more evolved" has led to all sorts of terrible conclusions - it's the go-to intellectual
apology for all sorts of animal abuse and exploitation.



and hey, as an aside, I know this is "or kill me", but it really discourages me from posting topics when Vex posts something he's interested in discussing and gets a bunch of "fuck you idiot" type responses. His post isn't that controversial, it's basically the exact premise of postmodernism.. I don't think he deserved to get yelled at like this.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 15, 2020, 04:30:00 pm
Yes, and clearly, “me thinks she...”


In support of Vex’s point, something about technology lends itself to simulation and alienation; of production, labor and overall direct interaction with the world. It is a marvelous interface of power and convenience AND be that as it may, it can ALSO be misused, intentionally or not. For me the problem is how it’s so compelling that I sometimes lose touch with what matters, for example, a sunset becomes something I picture before and against simply enjoying the moment because it is the flat, abstract and infinitely reproducible representation of reality occasioned by technology that has taken the place of what it used to stand for. Because yes, the real permits a distinction that your filthy simulation does not.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 05:32:30 pm

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.

They are.  Cities exist as a means to gather resources.  You have an objectively higher chance of living to be old if you live in a modern city.

Who says living to be old, cursing the traffic and hating your job and dodging stray cop bullets the whole time, is objectively preferable to living off the land with a few other people for a shorter time? If modern city living is objectively better, why don't all those tribes in Africa or Brazil give up and move into apartments? Why do we complain about the conquest of the American West? We brought Civilization after all, so why did the natives resist?

But more to the point, will what we have built lead inexorably to Fully Automated Gay Space Communism just because it's easier to live to 60 now than it used to be yo live to 40? And is that trajectory guaranteed by no more than the fact that "so far, so good"?

The great thing is people can opt out whenever they feel like it.  They have 6 diving boards on every bridge, no waiting.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 05:34:19 pm

and hey, as an aside, I know this is "or kill me", but it really discourages me from posting topics when Vex posts something he's interested in discussing and gets a bunch of "fuck you idiot" type responses. His post isn't that controversial, it's basically the exact premise of postmodernism.. I don't think he deserved to get yelled at like this.

This has always been Or Kill Me.  Back in the day, I posted here and motherfuckers lined up down the block to give me shit.  It's part of the reason I don't post in here so often.

The other is that I'm out of rants.  Nothing I can holler is as strange as the actual world right now.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 05:40:01 pm
Fuck this noble savage “we were meant for the hunter gatherer life” LARP nonsense with a jackhammer. You want my fucking life expectancy PLEASE COME AND FUCKING HAVE IT. I want more. Everyone out here wants more. FUCK.

Very much this.

Once upon a time, there was a member of PD named Bhodi.  He was of course white, so we was allowed to hijack like that.

Anyway, he advocated going back to the hunter/gatherer nomadic lifestyle.  It was pointed out to him that 11 out of every 12 humans would have to die within a very short lifetime to make that possible, as no amount of hunting and gathering could provide for 7+ billion people.  He agreed with the numbers and said it was worth it.  He was then hounded into oblivion by the rest of the board.  That is where the "11/12ths deserved it" line came from.

Anarcho-primitivism is bollocks, and always has been.  We are a tool-using species and we will constantly build better tools.  Which we will then drop on each other's cities.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 15, 2020, 06:27:11 pm
The great thing is people can opt out whenever they feel like it.  They have 6 diving boards on every bridge, no waiting.

I wrote an angrier reply to this, then deleted it. Sorry, bad day. Here's a calmer expression of the same thing. I know you're old and I'm new and it's your rules, but I can't not say it.

I don't think it's OK to write stuff like that in a thread with a participant who has been expressing suicidal ideation today.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 06:42:49 pm
As much as I respect everyone in this thread, I'm going to cordially invite every person who feels like it's their job to put words in my mouth to go fuck themselves. At no point did I advocate for returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, nor did I ever dismiss the entire notion of technological progress as a myth or the tangible benefits to modern Western humans of modern Western civilization as a fantasy. I apologize if my implication that hunter-gatherers are not missing out on some fundamental aspect of human existence just because they don't have Skype seemed like a personal attack. It was not one.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 15, 2020, 07:12:06 pm
Yeah, sometimes bulldozers lack actual temporal parallax but, uh, they are good at moving things from here to there.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 07:38:48 pm
The great thing is people can opt out whenever they feel like it.  They have 6 diving boards on every bridge, no waiting.

I wrote an angrier reply to this, then deleted it. Sorry, bad day. Here's a calmer expression of the same thing. I know you're old and I'm new and it's your rules, but I can't not say it.

I don't think it's OK to write stuff like that in a thread with a participant who has been expressing suicidal ideation today.

This is Or Kill Me.  We specialize in unvarnished answers here.

I have one person feeling suicidal, and that's awful.  Altered is great people.  Vex isn't bad either, but I rather suspect Vex complaining about how unfair the world is because people live too long and have too much stuff is more upsetting than me suggesting that anyone who feels that they are living too long by not being reduced to trying to find carrion or roots to dig up can check out any time they please.

I mean, I have one person saying that people shouldn't have what Altered is trying to get.  Which is to say, food & shelter security.

ETA:  Altered is not a 2-dimensional, cardboard cutout.  She is perfectly capable of making these distinctions.  Altered also wants to live, but she is having to decide if that is possible, and this is everyone's fault.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 07:43:02 pm
As much as I respect everyone in this thread, I'm going to cordially invite every person who feels like it's their job to put words in my mouth to go fuck themselves. At no point did I advocate for returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, nor did I ever dismiss the entire notion of technological progress as a myth or the tangible benefits to modern Western humans of modern Western civilization as a fantasy. I apologize if my implication that hunter-gatherers are not missing out on some fundamental aspect of human existence just because they don't have Skype seemed like a personal attack. It was not one.

I am honestly sitting here trying to puzzle out what you were saying, then.

I am in Western civilization.  I have stuff.  So do people in Thailand and Japan and Africa.  Some of them don't have as much stuff, but they are feverishly trying to get that stuff.  Not because they have been brainwashed by mean old Western Civilization™, but because they are human and humans want stuff.

I imagine I should feel guilty for having stuff and wanting more stuff.  I find that to be absurd, considering that my job literally requires me to find ways to kill every living human as efficiently as possible, and I don't feel guilty about that.  Fuck the humans.  They aren't my goddamn people, and they can all SHUT UP and maybe DIE.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 08:05:34 pm
As much as I respect everyone in this thread, I'm going to cordially invite every person who feels like it's their job to put words in my mouth to go fuck themselves. At no point did I advocate for returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, nor did I ever dismiss the entire notion of technological progress as a myth or the tangible benefits to modern Western humans of modern Western civilization as a fantasy. I apologize if my implication that hunter-gatherers are not missing out on some fundamental aspect of human existence just because they don't have Skype seemed like a personal attack. It was not one.

I am honestly sitting here trying to puzzle out what you were saying, then.

I am in Western civilization.  I have stuff.  So do people in Thailand and Japan and Africa.  Some of them don't have as much stuff, but they are feverishly trying to get that stuff.  Not because they have been brainwashed by mean old Western Civilization™, but because they are human and humans want stuff.

I imagine I should feel guilty for having stuff and wanting more stuff.  I find that to be absurd, considering that my job literally requires me to find ways to kill every living human as efficiently as possible, and I don't feel guilty about that.  Fuck the humans.  They aren't my goddamn people, and they can all SHUT UP and maybe DIE.

I am not quite as cynical as that. For 20,000+ years, people who were every bit as anatomically modern and cognitively able as we are lived a whole different way in the Pre-Columbian Americas. Obviously it wasn't some idyllic Eden where everyone was happy and nobody wept and there were no problems - there were wars, andd famines, and diseases, and assholes and murders (probably). But they operated under a whole different set of basic assumptions and didn't engage in the same sort of resource hoarding and environmentally catastrophic exploitation that we take as a given today. They lacked access to anything we would recognize as basic modern amenities and infrastructure, but they had no concept of those things so they were no less satisfied with their lives than we are with ours.

I'm /not/ painting some bullshit picture about how we should give up on civilization and return to that. Im just saying that human beings are not actually hardwired to destroy themselves and their environment, and that what we think of as civilization is neither inevitable nor "superior", or even "more advanced," except by our own standards that only apply subjectively to us. And the reason I bring it up isn't to say we ought to mimick hunter gatherers, but only to be aware of our prior when we think about what is and isn't human nature and whether we are either doomed to blown ourselves up or destined to overcome: neither of those outcomes is assured merely by virtue of our human DNA.

Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 15, 2020, 08:14:58 pm
I should say North America because the Aztecs were pretty horrible. I also think societies develop around the availability of resources: jungles aren't particularly hospitable to large Human populations, but the Great Plains are. People in Kansas 5 000 years ago didn't build fortresses and strip mine tge countryside because there was generally no reason to worry about whether or not everyone would get dinner. The most violent and top-heavy cultures evolved in areas where resources are scarce and there are lots of different tribes competing for them in a relatively confined area.

As we develop technology capable of expanding access to basic necessities, then, we shouod reconsider the reasons we have for accumulating resources. That is, we are biologically able to build a world where we have both the convenience and productivity of modern industry AND the ethical community-mindedness of hunter-gatherer societies. Such a world is neither preordained by benevolent destiny nor impossible because of some innate inability to achieve it. So my point is that we each have an obligation to contribute what we can in whatever measure we can toward that - it isn't futile and it isn't going to happen without us.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 08:26:16 pm
As much as I respect everyone in this thread, I'm going to cordially invite every person who feels like it's their job to put words in my mouth to go fuck themselves. At no point did I advocate for returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, nor did I ever dismiss the entire notion of technological progress as a myth or the tangible benefits to modern Western humans of modern Western civilization as a fantasy. I apologize if my implication that hunter-gatherers are not missing out on some fundamental aspect of human existence just because they don't have Skype seemed like a personal attack. It was not one.

I am honestly sitting here trying to puzzle out what you were saying, then.

I am in Western civilization.  I have stuff.  So do people in Thailand and Japan and Africa.  Some of them don't have as much stuff, but they are feverishly trying to get that stuff.  Not because they have been brainwashed by mean old Western Civilization™, but because they are human and humans want stuff.

I imagine I should feel guilty for having stuff and wanting more stuff.  I find that to be absurd, considering that my job literally requires me to find ways to kill every living human as efficiently as possible, and I don't feel guilty about that.  Fuck the humans.  They aren't my goddamn people, and they can all SHUT UP and maybe DIE.

I am not quite as cynical as that. For 20,000+ years, people who were every bit as anatomically modern and cognitively able as we are lived a whole different way in the Pre-Columbian Americas. Obviously it wasn't some idyllic Eden where everyone was happy and nobody wept and there were no problems - there were wars, andd famines, and diseases, and assholes and murders (probably). But they operated under a whole different set of basic assumptions and didn't engage in the same sort of resource hoarding and environmentally catastrophic exploitation that we take as a given today. They lacked access to anything we would recognize as basic modern amenities and infrastructure, but they had no concept of those things so they were no less satisfied with their lives than we are with ours.

I'm /not/ painting some bullshit picture about how we should give up on civilization and return to that. Im just saying that human beings are not actually hardwired to destroy themselves and their environment, and that what we think of as civilization is neither inevitable nor "superior", or even "more advanced," except by our own standards that only apply subjectively to us. And the reason I bring it up isn't to say we ought to mimick hunter gatherers, but only to be aware of our prior when we think about what is and isn't human nature and whether we are either doomed to blown ourselves up or destined to overcome: neither of those outcomes is assured merely by virtue of our human DNA.

People were actually *smarter* than we are.  Low tech environments select for intelligence.  Urban populations select for disease resistance.

And resource hording began the moment we engaged in agriculture.  Sumer and Ur - not to mention Egypt, India, and China - all had kings and full-blown nobility 10 seconds after they figured out how seeds worked.

This isn't an environmental or societal/cultural issue.  It's a human issue.  Everyone gives "Western civilization" shit about it because they got there first with the most, but every single agricultural society does this, and it was WAY worse back in the day.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 15, 2020, 08:27:16 pm
I should say North America because the Aztecs were pretty horrible.

Again, it goes back to agriculture.

Hell, nomadic people do the same shit, but each regime only lasts until the local warlord gets old.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Bu🤠ns on June 15, 2020, 10:10:21 pm
One of the most insidious ...

Or perhaps paint the occasional fly fisher. :)


{eta: didn't read through the thread before posting this so maybe this came across as tone deaf or w/e but FTR i didn't intend that}
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 06:43:57 am
I wrote a whole thing for Vex here, but on re-reading it about half of the things I was referencing didn’t make sense and I realized I had gotten the order of events all wrong. I also made myself even more fucking angry in the process of checking this shit out to try and figure out what my brain was doing, so let me just say:

MY ANGER IS JUSTIFIED AND I WAS ADDRESSING A SPECIFIC SERIES OF SHITTY POINTS VEX MADE THAT HAVE FUCK ALL TO DO WITH THE CRITIQUE OF A NARRATIVE ARC OF HISTORY. THAT CRITIQUE IS RIDICULOUSLY UNCONTROVERSIAL AND I FIND HIS CLAIMS THAT I AM MISINTERPRETING HIM TO BE PATENTLY FUCKING OFFENSIVE.

The shit below this post was technically written before it. Coherence may vary, I’m not cut out to human any fucking more and I’ve only spent an hour typing today. Fuck this.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 06:52:32 am
Nyborj, you don’t know my story so I forgive this transgression.

For the future, understand that I have been on the streets without a proper safety net for ten years, seen shit I won’t tell my best fucking friends about under pain of death, and have such a survival instinct that I am literally confounded by the concept of suicide: I do not know how to go about it.

I am not a tender snowflake. I can deal you grievous psychic damage in text alone if you have any “nope spots”, without making shit up or telling lies. The centipede nest in the abandoned house, the black mattress in the prison, that fucking thing in my second childhood apartment building, there is a long list of stuff to draw upon, and I’m still here.

Someone mentioning that we have options for opting out of civilization is not going to hurt my feelings. It is a fact I remind myself of often, because we all need a backup plan, and I don’t have many left.

I understand you may come from different places, where sensitivity is an important part of the community culture. Not here. But it’s important to note: We don’t hurt feelings for lulz, this isn’t some “lol PC culture gone too far lol” shit. No, we do it to tear the socially acceptable mask and the rote call-response rehearsed conversational script away and see each other, monkey to monkey, and have a REAL, HONEST chat. It’s adversarial, its vulnerability in the face of hostility, it’s not for everyone, but it’s our thing.

Don’t protect me from what isn’t a threat.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 07:05:05 am
Finally, seeing as that was a good point to jump into this from...

If you really think that my response or seeing someone talking about how maybe we are more focused on long life than happiness and maybe that’s dumb when I am seeing an acquaintance in tears about her massively shortened lifespan due to racist inequality, while I’m seeing my OWN lifespan roll up toward my face at frightening speed, if you think my response to that should be civil? Get bent. I’m fucking broken. I’m lucky to be standing here, there’s hundreds of able bodied, neurotypical cishet people who would have brained themselves by now. And I fought this hard and this long, apparently, to have someone tell me that maybe massively shortened lifespans are a good trade off for happiness when it’s well the fuck known that lifespan and happiness are literally DIRECTLY correlated.

I will not be nice about it. Discordia is not nice at all to begin with, and words like that in the state I’m in are just a hair short of saying I need to suck it up and lay down and submit to irrelevance. The “hair short” part is only because I’m fairly sure that wasn’t the INTENDED reading.

If the general preference is for me to be nice and pleasant in the face of a DEEP FUCKING INSULT, at a time that any person in my situation would be losing their goddamn mind about that exact damn point being made, then you can keep it, I’ll stay the hell out of threads I don’t make in the future, because it’s all downhill from here.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 07:33:30 am
And for the record, no fucking one was disagreeing with the Lo5ing required to believe there’s a universal narrative. Of course the fuck there isn’t. BUT REALITY HAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED. Denying this is IDIOCY.

I fucking KNEW I addressed this. It’s just that it’s goddamned incoherent. Quick rephrase, hopefully in English:

“No one here is saying there is an arc to history, that idea is Lo5 and literally nothing else, we are critiquing all the stupid things being said around that point”
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 16, 2020, 07:50:24 am
Time changes, at our scale, the drop-off rate for retaining or projected prediction is negligible over the frame we have access to. I do not read vex as denying past or present improvement to life expectation particularly when dealing quantity. There is however a (ka)rate of quality in doing tao with the world that does not cotton well to technology.[size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 16, 2020, 09:40:19 am
Nyborj, you don’t know my story so I forgive this transgression.
Noted, sorry.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 05:23:20 pm
Finally, seeing as that was a good point to jump into this from...

If you really think that my response or seeing someone talking about how maybe we are more focused on long life than happiness and maybe that’s dumb when I am seeing an acquaintance in tears about her massively shortened lifespan due to racist inequality, while I’m seeing my OWN lifespan roll up toward my face at frightening speed, if you think my response to that should be civil? Get bent. I’m fucking broken. I’m lucky to be standing here, there’s hundreds of able bodied, neurotypical cishet people who would have brained themselves by now. And I fought this hard and this long, apparently, to have someone tell me that maybe massively shortened lifespans are a good trade off for happiness when it’s well the fuck known that lifespan and happiness are literally DIRECTLY correlated.

Alternatively you could realize you're not the target audience and move on as if, wonder of wonders, not everything is meant to be taken or applied by you personally or even aimed in your general direction. At no point did I include you in the title or in an address at the header of this stupid spiel. You will note a conspicuous lack of a sentence that goes anything like "Here's what I think Altered should do", or, in fact, any sort "here's what I think we or literally anyone 'should do'", for that matter.

At no point did I present primitivism as a viable or preferable alternative to anything. Literally all I did was note that so-called "primitive" cultures are no less valid and no less human than ours, and that ours isn't an inevitable evolution of theirs and there's no reason to extrapolate from our present condition into assumptions that we will necessarily be better off in the future. There's nothing revolutionary here, and there's nothing about telling you personally to do absolutely anything.

Quote
I will not be nice about it. Discordia is not nice at all to begin with, and words like that in the state I’m in are just a hair short of saying I need to suck it up and lay down and submit to irrelevance. The “hair short” part is only because I’m fairly sure that wasn’t the INTENDED reading.

If the general preference is for me to be nice and pleasant in the face of a DEEP FUCKING INSULT, at a time that any person in my situation would be losing their goddamn mind about that exact damn point being made, then you can keep it, I’ll stay the hell out of threads I don’t make in the future, because it’s all downhill from here.

I'm sorry you're in the state you're in, I'm sorry you've experienced horrors and misery beyond what I myself may have been able to endure in your position. I'm not being facetious or sarcastic here. I'm genuinely angry that we live in a world where people can be so casually abused, neglected, and discarded. I'm sorry you lack the vital community and social infrastructure that we all need in order to thrive and be healthy. And I don't expect you to be "nice" about anything you perceive as an insult.

But, yeah, when you take something that is really just a run of the mill reminder that Modernism is bullshit and decide that means I am somehow telling you to give up what few lifelines you may have, you're the one who decided I said that.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 16, 2020, 06:08:34 pm
V3x you're being an ass
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 07:21:22 pm
V3x you're being an ass

I apologize. Western technological civilization really is the best we can do as a species and I take back everything I said about other cultures retaining their humanity.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 07:35:49 pm

Alternatively you could realize you're not the target audience and move on as if, wonder of wonders, not everything is meant to be taken or applied by you personally or even aimed in your general direction.

By nature, I would think that this had a target audience of "all humans."

Either we have a drive for tech or we do not.  The Native Americans - in most of North America - did not have any drive for tech, because they had a low population base with an effectively unlimited supply of resources.  Same thing with the Australian aborigines, who remained almost unchanged for 60,000 years.

However, that's it.  Everyone else has/had resource shortages, and the only way to deal with resource shortages is technology.  Or you can die.

So history is in fact an arrow.  It has been for 8000 years.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 07:36:51 pm
Nyborj, you don’t know my story so I forgive this transgression.
Noted, sorry.

Altered is a survivor.  Most people in her position would be dead by now, either by their own hand, or by simply not knowing how to acquire resources without a stable income.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 07:41:46 pm
V3x you're being an ass

I apologize. Western technological civilization really is the best we can do as a species and I take back everything I said about other cultures retaining their humanity.

Other cultures are just like us.  Some are even worse (ask an "untouchable" how their day went), but all have the exact same set of drives. The only actual difference between cultures is access to resources, and the ability to store enough resources to support an educated class.

There are no inherently noble cultures or classes.  All humans are assholes by default, although the occasional freak may rise above that.  Even our gestures at "noble purposes" are a statement of wealth.  "I can afford to worry about <insert cause>, because I will not starve to death by the end of the week."

The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 16, 2020, 07:56:06 pm
Quote
The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.


That’s what I took altered to be saying when she mentioned something to the effect of “all meat on the bones is racist” back in the ‘so about these riots’ thread, IIRC. The fact that some are using that privilege to address systemic oppression and abuse is in itself a thing of wonder, given that it COULD undermine the vantage that permits that expression. The moral ground wins over the ethical in this case, I think, there's BEAUTY and TRUTH in that.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 08:02:39 pm
Quote
The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.


That’s what I took altered to be saying when she mentioned something to the effect of “all meat on the bones is racist” back in the ‘so about these riots’ thread, IIRC. The fact that some are using that privilege to address systemic oppression and abuse is in itself a thing of wonder, given that it COULD undermine the vantage that permits that expression. The moral ground wins over the ethical in this case, I think, there's BEAUTY and TRUTH in that.

Yeah, the thing about the arrow of history is that the rising tide may not lift all boats, but it lifts more and more boats.

It sucks if you're on a short anchor chain, though.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 08:08:54 pm
Vex, I don’t agree with most of Howl’s response here, and I genuinely think there could be a better way of life than what we got, and I think there is not arrow of history (because all it takes is an autocratic Luddite taking control and suddenly it’s feudal Europe again), but he’s kind of right about the target audience part here. It’s everyone. Because it APPLIES to everyone, or to no one. What’s good for the goose and all that.

No matter who the target audience is, Mein Kampf is an abhorrent text with abhorrent conclusions.

And yeah, I did just compare the shit you’re saying in defense of a viewpoint I agree with you on to Mein Kampf because the end result of both of them is a lot of people being fucking miserable and/or dead.

Sit with that and keep reading.

Do some soul searching while I call you a moron again, because you’re letting the facts that you are not very fucking smart right now and that your supporting arguments for your core point are DETESTABLE become an attack on your moral fiber.

But these things are only truly an attack on your moral fiber if you let them be, in the sense that while any human being could think this horrid shit up and most could rationalize it into sounding like a good idea, only a monster would refuse to engage critically with it when told that they’re being an asshole.

Stop being defensive and seriously think why the fuck I would say this. Why a lot of people, practically the whole forum short of the resident peacekeeper Cramulus would say this.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 08:11:12 pm
Vex, I don’t agree with most of Howl’s response here,

I just like technology more than I like people.  :crankey:
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 08:13:05 pm
V3x you're being an ass

I apologize. Western technological civilization really is the best we can do as a species and I take back everything I said about other cultures retaining their humanity.

Other cultures are just like us.  Some are even worse (ask an "untouchable" how their day went), but all have the exact same set of drives. The only actual difference between cultures is access to resources, and the ability to store enough resources to support an educated class.

There are no inherently noble cultures or classes.  All humans are assholes by default, although the occasional freak may rise above that.  Even our gestures at "noble purposes" are a statement of wealth.  "I can afford to worry about <insert cause>, because I will not starve to death by the end of the week."

The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.

Ok but I never said anyone was better (or more noble, or whatever) than anyone else. It is true that no culture is more noble than ours, but by the same token ours is no more noble than theirs. We are different - full stop, no value judgment necessary. I said the way we do things isn't the only way to do them and the way we think about ourselves and the world isn't the only way to think, but mostly I said that we aren't going to get better just because we get older and the fact that we are "older" in our own terms than native people all over the world doesn't mean we are better than them, or that we have achieved some state of humanity that is qualitatively superior to theirs, either. I appreciate everyone's deeply abiding need to find an axe to grind and all, but please stop putting words in my mouth.

Quote
The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.


That’s what I took altered to be saying when she mentioned something to the effect of “all meat on the bones is racist” back in the ‘so about these riots’ thread, IIRC. The fact that some are using that privilege to address systemic oppression and abuse is in itself a thing of wonder, given that it COULD undermine the vantage that permits that expression. The moral ground wins over the ethical in this case, I think, there's BEAUTY and TRUTH in that.

Yeah, the thing about the arrow of history is that the rising tide may not lift all boats, but it lifts more and more boats.

It sucks if you're on a short anchor chain, though.

History evolves, but it doesn't necessarily evolve for the better, nor does the evolution of one people's history make them - even in net terms - better than another people. In all places and at all times, there have been people who succeed and people who fail, people who rule and people who are oppressed, people who live and people who die. For all our historical evolution, we have not made an appreciable difference in that fundamental dynamic of human culture. We may feed more people, but we kill more people doing it. We may listen to more people, but we ignore more people in the process. We may include more people, but we exclude as many more. We have achieved great things but our evolution is one of scale, not of kind.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 08:19:36 pm
Vex, I don’t agree with most of Howl’s response here, and I genuinely think there could be a better way of life than what we got, and I think there is not arrow of history (because all it takes is an autocratic Luddite taking control and suddenly it’s feudal Europe again), but he’s kind of right about the target audience part here. It’s everyone. Because it APPLIES to everyone, or to no one. What’s good for the goose and all that.

No matter who the target audience is, Mein Kampf is an abhorrent text with abhorrent conclusions.

And yeah, I did just compare the shit you’re saying in defense of a viewpoint I agree with you on to Mein Kampf because the end result of both of them is a lot of people being fucking miserable and/or dead.

Sit with that and keep reading.

Maybe you read Mein Kampf, but I wrote, idk, See Spot Run, at best. Literally, standard-issue postmodernism. I am not responsible for the conclusions you draw from an overly defensive reading of my text.

Quote
Do some soul searching while I call you a moron again, because you’re letting the facts that you are not very fucking smart right now and that your supporting arguments for your core point are DETESTABLE become an attack on your moral fiber.

But these things are only truly an attack on your moral fiber if you let them be, in the sense that while any human being could think this horrid shit up and most could rationalize it into sounding like a good idea, only a monster would refuse to engage critically with it when told that they’re being an asshole.

Stop being defensive and seriously think why the fuck I would say this. Why a lot of people, practically the whole forum short of the resident peacekeeper Cramulus would say this.

If I am defensive it's because someone decided to cram a bunch of words into my mouth that I never said and then shout a bunch of profanity and insults at me like I'm the one who said the things they invented. :shrug:
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 08:21:40 pm

Ok but I never said anyone was better (or more noble, or whatever) than anyone else. It is true that no culture is more noble than ours, but by the same token ours is no more noble than theirs. We are different - full stop, no value judgment necessary. I said the way we do things isn't the only way to do them and the way we think about ourselves and the world isn't the only way to think, but mostly I said that we aren't going to get better just because we get older and the fact that we are "older" in our own terms than native people all over the world doesn't mean we are better than them, or that we have achieved some state of humanity that is qualitatively superior to theirs, either. I appreciate everyone's deeply abiding need to find an axe to grind and all, but please stop putting words in my mouth.

History evolves, but it doesn't necessarily evolve for the better, nor does the evolution of one people's history make them - even in net terms - better than another people. In all places and at all times, there have been people who succeed and people who fail, people who rule and people who are oppressed, people who live and people who die. For all our historical evolution, we have not made an appreciable difference in that fundamental dynamic of human culture. We may feed more people, but we kill more people doing it. We may listen to more people, but we ignore more people in the process. We may include more people, but we exclude as many more. We have achieved great things but our evolution is one of scale, not of kind.

1.  Once global communication is achieved, all cultures start to merge into one monolithic bloc.  There are almost no places on Earth where you can't buy a Big Mac or get that airbender thing on the teevee.  It doesn't matter who is "better" or that anyone IS better, just who writes the best commercials.  That is all anyone needs to know about intercultural friction.

2.  If all of history was an uninterrupted series of improvements, the world would have been perfect 140 years ago, at the very latest.  Improvements are set back by assholes - sometimes the very same assholes that created the improvement, and you have to eventually do rotten things to them to get back on track.  And yeah, people still get shit on.  People still get ignored.  No matter how far we get, that's going to happen.  Why do you think there have been a total of 2 scenes in Star Trek that show the everyday life of people in the federation?  Great, everyone has enough to eat, but they're still bags of shit who act like total dickheads at each other.  This is what happens, has always happened, and WILL always happen, so long as there are weaponized apes.  The solution here is obvious.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 08:22:41 pm
Vex, I don’t agree with most of Howl’s response here, and I genuinely think there could be a better way of life than what we got, and I think there is not arrow of history (because all it takes is an autocratic Luddite taking control and suddenly it’s feudal Europe again), but he’s kind of right about the target audience part here. It’s everyone. Because it APPLIES to everyone, or to no one. What’s good for the goose and all that.

No matter who the target audience is, Mein Kampf is an abhorrent text with abhorrent conclusions.

And yeah, I did just compare the shit you’re saying in defense of a viewpoint I agree with you on to Mein Kampf because the end result of both of them is a lot of people being fucking miserable and/or dead.

Sit with that and keep reading.

Maybe you read Mein Kampf, but I wrote, idk, See Spot Run, at best. Literally, standard-issue postmodernism. I am not responsible for the conclusions you draw from an overly defensive reading of my text.

Quote
Do some soul searching while I call you a moron again, because you’re letting the facts that you are not very fucking smart right now and that your supporting arguments for your core point are DETESTABLE become an attack on your moral fiber.

But these things are only truly an attack on your moral fiber if you let them be, in the sense that while any human being could think this horrid shit up and most could rationalize it into sounding like a good idea, only a monster would refuse to engage critically with it when told that they’re being an asshole.

Stop being defensive and seriously think why the fuck I would say this. Why a lot of people, practically the whole forum short of the resident peacekeeper Cramulus would say this.

If I am defensive it's because someone decided to cram a bunch of words into my mouth that I never said and then shout a bunch of profanity and insults at me like I'm the one who said the things they invented. :shrug:

It's worth mentioning that everyone here read you wrong, which may imply the cause of the breakdown in communications.   I went back and read it, and I got the same thing I read the first time.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 08:34:01 pm
Funny how I told him that maybe the whole forum is reacting to something that is actually there and his response was to say I misread him

Again

There’s another group of people who get away with loudly and publicly talking heinous shit because they deny all culpability in interpreting it as heinous and say it’s your fault for reading too deep into it

I’m not saying Vex is like the GOP though, not at all. Any reading that comes up that way clearly misread me, I was just starting a Funny Fact (copyright Get Fucked LLC, 2020)
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 08:47:01 pm
how to know what i meant, with the power of reading comprehension:

Quote from: me
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter. That human events follow a more or less predictable (at least in hindsight) trajectory from "primitive" to "advanced", and that it does this because of some sort of natural law that governs all kinds of progress.

stating the assumptions I wish to question:

1 - that life as we know it in the 21st century is meaningfully superior to life as some schuck in the 14th century knew his life (note: not how we would think of living in the 14th century, because that's preposterous, but how they thought of it.)

2 - that human history invariably follows the path that we describe as "this history of western civilization". the fact that we have to supply the qualifier "of western civilization" should already tend to cast doubt on this presumption, but here we are.

3 - that the aforementioned progress happens regardless of our personal contribution toward or against it. that it is a natural law.

Quote
This idea is pure bunk, and should be stamped out with extreme prejudice wherever you see it. It is the kernel at the center of the centrist's inaction in the face of injustice, the unfounded presupposition behind violent wars of "regime change" and "nation building", and the morally vacant justification for colonialist thinking. It is the reason we are taught that the evils of slavery and genocide are "in the past" while the forces that drive them simmer in communities around the world.

initial refutation:

1 - fairly typical call for the avoidance of the ideas noted above.

2 - a list of cases where the idea of unstoppable and inevitable "social progress" is routinely used to excuse bad behavior (note: this is more or less a standard postmodernist rebuke of modernism and similar lines can be found in literally every single place everywhere you might find words about how we fucked up the 20th century with our big ideas about the inevitable march of progress)

Quote
History has no arc. It is not a story about a protagonist species who learn and grow. It has never been guaranteed that tomorrow will be more just for you than today, or that the next century will bring more opportunity for your descendants than the last one had for your ancestors. This should be plain to see as we watch the entire allegedly "free" world slip farther every day into the same patterns of mistakes and collapse that have recurred time and again since anyone bothered to remember anything.

additional words on the subject:

1 - "history has no arc. it is not a story about a protagonist species who learn and grow" > basically indistinguishable from 99.5% of anything Roger has ever said about human beings, and

2 - Repetition for effect: nothing guarantees tomorrow will be better than today or that today is better than yesterday. I mean, I'm pretty sure they teach this in preschool.

Quote
Even when disaster is averted, for all our apparent progress we have never actually made a difference in what it means to be human. Sure, we have the power to blow up the planet, the power to fling ourselves uselessly into orbit, the power to talk to each other across insurmountable distances. But so what if we can do all this, but give up the ability to feed our children, or the time to appreciate a sunset once in a while, or the courage to speak to our own neighbors? What have we gained, exactly, and why do we imagine that to be "progress"?

Closing paragraph:

1. please note the phrase "a difference in what it means to be human" and how it differs from, for example, "a difference in what it means to own a refrigerator or drive a car."

2. a list of our fancy-pance accomplishments and claims to fame juxtaposed with common-as-actual-goddamn-dirt complaints about the side effects of modern society.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.

Notice how in none of these lines were any of the following suggestions posed:

- "everything sucks! let's move back to the forest!"

- "modern medicine is garbage! let's get typhoid like grandma and grandpa used to get!"

- "Technology has not helped anyone ever in any context!"

If you found yourself imagining these suggestions were in fact there, you can see how this assumption arose from your own brain, and not from the text.

Anyway, thanks for playing.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 08:56:41 pm
“Technology is useless” was implied by “life is fundamentally the same as it was in the 1300s.” Because that’s a damnable lie.

The rest isn’t in the first post, sure: it came from your responses to being called on that really dumb statement about life being fundamentally the same as it was ~700 years ago.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on June 16, 2020, 09:06:41 pm
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 09:11:25 pm
“Technology is useless” was implied by “life is fundamentally the same as it was in the 1300s.” Because that’s a damnable lie.

The rest isn’t in the first post, sure: it came from your responses to being called on that really dumb statement about life being fundamentally the same as it was ~700 years ago.

This is because you think I'm inviting you to imagine yourself magically transported back 700 years. Obviously life is better for you in 2020 than it would be for you, a person from 2020 in the 1300s. Maybe I should have said the same sorts of pressures that people in the 14th century had to deal with (do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?) are still faced by us today, only that we have the 21st century versions of those things. I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on June 16, 2020, 09:17:59 pm
(do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?)
Those concerns also apply, more or less, to the denizens of an ant colony.

Quote
I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
So, what, in your opinion, would qualify as a fundamental difference?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 09:20:28 pm
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 09:20:51 pm
Except the ANSWERS to those questions have fundamentally changed.

Moreover, there are NEW pressures. Do I have to worry about being identified by cameras even with a mask on? Will I be identified as the enemy, as an ally, or uninvolved? Is there something I can do to make one more likely than the other?

Do I have to worry about my homeland becoming a nuclear test site? Not even just being burned down by the enemy — my own king rendering my home uninhabitable for the sake of greater weapons against the enemy.

Am I being eavesdropped on on my phone? Is it even possible to communicate securely at a distance? Will the act of secure communication be suspicious in and of itself?

These aren’t even possible to fully reconcile in 1300s terms. The camera thing is special because cameras are everywhere and you literally never know if you’re in the field of view of one or who it might report to or if it has the resolution to identify you at the distance you’re at. Nuclear weapons testing is a uniquely 21st century worry. Personal surveillance wasn’t possible in the 1300s, there wasn’t even a way to verify a given identity EXISTED, no matter what resources you had.

You are WRONG.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 09:25:28 pm
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.

And THIS FUCKING ANSWER IS INSANE IDIOTIC DANGEROUS HORSESHIT.

Sanitation wasn’t the lone fucking driver of increased human lifespan, it was also the reduction of UNRELATED infections, better care of NON-DISEASE HEALTH PROBLEMS, the introduction of DENTISTRY and a billion other things that INCREASED quality of living and DECREASED stress. IF YOU WANT A SHORTER LIFESPAN IT WILL BE MORE FUCKING PAINFUL YOU ABSOLUTE DIPSHIT.

Go look it the fuck up. YOU DIE IN CHILDHOOD, OR YOUR LIFESPAN CORRELATES TO YOUR STRESS LEVELS.

I didn’t fucking misinterpret you one fucking bit and your REPEATED ASSERTIONS I HAVE are almost as offensive as this repeated brainless DOUBLING DOWN ON SOMETHING FACTUALLY FUCKING WRONG AND PERSONALLY INSULTING.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 09:29:13 pm
And if you want to know the whole “noble savage larping” statement’s source, it’s this exact nonsense. Because the entire idea of the “noble savage” is that “they have found a better way of life in their ignorance and low quality of living, we ALL should so aspire to be so enlightened”. LARPing because you want to actually live that way, unlike even the most ardent anti-Western indigenous folks I’ve met.

So fuck you for saying I misread you when you’re saying exactly what I thought you said.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 16, 2020, 09:30:05 pm
(do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?)
Those concerns also apply, more or less, to the denizens of an ant colony.

Quote
I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
So, what, in your opinion, would qualify as a fundamental difference?

1. yes, ants are also alive. is this ... a revolutionary concept?

2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress - one of which can easily be learned from other cultures that we routinely regard as having nothing to show us because they don't live like we do, and the other which can be learned from each other simply by listening. merging what we have learned through science and technology with what others have learned through long experience and direct human contact might produce such a fundamental change.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 16, 2020, 09:35:22 pm
Productivity is NOT directly connected to technological progress. We fucking need technological progress to not all die of climate change in the next hundred years. Productivity is a capitalist ideal, not a technological one.

And social progress will not fundamentally change anything either, cause if people on the internet helping other disadvantaged people doesn’t fucking count then the government doing so shouldn’t either. The Internet is more accessible than living in a particular set of nation states.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on June 16, 2020, 09:36:55 pm

Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.

No, we're not arguing the same point, since I don't assume that "coming to grips with who and what I am", or "feeling at peace and accepted by my peers" are necessarily a goal to strive for.  However, if you are striving for that goal, then have a longer life would give you more time to accomplish it.

Further, you're still stuck on a false bifurcation.  If you're constantly in fear for your survival, you aren't going to have a longer life.  Stress kills.  I expect that the length of someone's life and their perception of the quality of that life are highly correlated.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 16, 2020, 09:47:44 pm
Quote
The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.


That’s what I took altered to be saying when she mentioned something to the effect of “all meat on the bones is racist” back in the ‘so about these riots’ thread, IIRC. The fact that some are using that privilege to address systemic oppression and abuse is in itself a thing of wonder, given that it COULD undermine the vantage that permits that expression. The moral ground wins over the ethical in this case, I think, there's BEAUTY and TRUTH in that.

Yeah, the thing about the arrow of history is that the rising tide may not lift all boats, but it lifts more and more boats.

It sucks if you're on a short anchor chain, though.


As long as I stay in my hermetically sealed cabin tho, master says I don’t have to wear a leash  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on June 16, 2020, 09:58:40 pm
1. yes, ants are also alive. is this ... a revolutionary concept?
You listed certain aspects of the human experience, as an example of things that haven't changed fundamentally in 600 years.  But since those aspects are shared by ants, one could read that as implying that the human experience is fundamentally no different than the ant experience.

Quote
2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -
I don't consider that a fundamental difference.  There have been revolutions throughout history which had social progress as an aim, and it's not as if we have entire populations dedicated to technological progress now.

Quote
one of which can easily be learned from other cultures that we routinely regard as having nothing to show us because they don't live like we do, and the other which can be learned from each other simply by listening. merging what we have learned through science and technology with what others have learned through long experience and direct human contact might produce such a fundamental change.
Technology is an artifact of long experience (spread out over several lifetimes), and we couldn't have reached the current state of modern science without a hell of a lot of collaboration (human contact).
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 16, 2020, 10:50:08 pm
So this one time, I was trying to find the party. I had crossed the borders of several nation states already, all without a passport or the slightest wave of any ID. Finally, at a record store down by the banks of the Vltava, I was told which station and train to catch. When it was time, I got into the cabin. Slowly, the others filtered in. Soon, they were everywhere; occupying every square inch of that train, even laying down two-deep on the overhead compartments. Conductor literally could not check ticks. That is what is meant when they say “until everyone is aboard”
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 16, 2020, 11:11:09 pm


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.

Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 19, 2020, 03:41:12 am


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.
Necessary to support (ab)users of what kind of system?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 05:48:44 am


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.
Necessary to support (ab)users of what kind of system?

Early agriculture?

Horses and oxen without a horse collar can do the work of 3 men on 7 quarts of wheat.
A man requires one quart of wheat.

Horses or oxen WITH horse collars can do the work of 11 men on 7 quarts of wheat.


So without the horse collar, you had to have humans pulling a plow, because horse and oxen used more grain that could be managed for the amount of work done.

After the horse collar, humans could generate enough excess food to support artisans.  Which is a hell of a lot better than literally hauling a plow.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 19, 2020, 10:35:57 am
Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.

I'm not seeing this. So many humans can produce so much food in so many days, with or without horse collars (or combine harvesters or crop spraying planes, etc.) How they split the labour and the food isn't a matter of technology.

If a small percentage of them are "enslaving" the rest, i.e. doing no work and eating more than their share of the food, why and for whom is that a necessity?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Junkenstein on June 19, 2020, 11:53:58 am
For those not doing the work, there is nothing more important.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: The Johnny on June 19, 2020, 12:29:06 pm
Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.

I'm not seeing this. So many humans can produce so much food in so many days, with or without horse collars (or combine harvesters or crop spraying planes, etc.) How they split the labour and the food isn't a matter of technology.

If a small percentage of them are "enslaving" the rest, i.e. doing no work and eating more than their share of the food, why and for whom is that a necessity?

You should join Freeky's farm, I'm sure you could "produce so much food in so many days".
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 19, 2020, 02:13:43 pm
You should join Freeky's farm, I'm sure you could "produce so much food in so many days".

I think you've misunderstood me, I'm not sure if "so many" is a local dialect thing. It means a fixed amount, not a large amount. I'll rephrase.

X number of people can produce Y amount of food in Z days. If you don't have any technology, Y is small, but I don't see how it gets any better if there's an X+1th person enslaving all the rest.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 03:02:57 pm
You should join Freeky's farm, I'm sure you could "produce so much food in so many days".

I think you've misunderstood me, I'm not sure if "so many" is a local dialect thing. It means a fixed amount, not a large amount. I'll rephrase.

X number of people can produce Y amount of food in Z days. If you don't have any technology, Y is small, but I don't see how it gets any better if there's an X+1th person enslaving all the rest.

If you are supporting the farmers themselves, nothing is necessary.

Only there's those nomad bastards up in the hills, just waiting for harvest, so they can come get some.  So you have to have some guards.  Those guards need metal weapons.  Someone has to dig up that metal, and someone has to smelt it, and someone has to forge it.  Also, someone has to run the granaries, etc.

So you have two options:  Either use some of those bastard nomads you caught as surplus labor, or put all of your people in the fields, so those nomad bastards can have a nice meal come September.

Then someone comes along and makes horses and oxen suddenly economical.  Now you don't have to put nomad bastards in the fields, if you have better things to do with them.  Such as trade them back for captured villagers, or just teach them a lesson they're never gonna forget.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 19, 2020, 03:39:51 pm
So you have two options:  Either use some of those bastard nomads you caught as surplus labor

But now you've got to feed them as well. The ratio of "people available to work" to "people who need to eat" hasn't changed.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 03:47:32 pm
So you have two options:  Either use some of those bastard nomads you caught as surplus labor

But now you've got to feed them as well. The ratio of "people available to work" to "people who need to eat" hasn't changed.

Assuming of course that one person generates enough food for precisely one person.

But you're right, of course, the observable data supports that we are still 300 dirt farmers along the Tigris River.

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to unng you now.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 19, 2020, 03:57:33 pm
So you have two options:  Either use some of those bastard nomads you caught as surplus labor

But now you've got to feed them as well. The ratio of "people available to work" to "people who need to eat" hasn't changed.

Assuming of course that one person generates enough food for precisely one person.

I haven't assumed that at all. The ratio of food produced to people who need to eat hasn't really changed either. You're the one saying there was no surplus in the first place.

(Ok, maybe it has a little because now a higher proportion of the population is farming. But you could have set that proportion among your own people in the first place.)

Quote
But you're right, of course, the observable data supports that we are still 300 dirt farmers along the Tigris River.

Dude, if I wanted to see someone burning strawmen I'd go hang out in the desert with 70,000 stoners.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 04:13:36 pm
UNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN NG
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 04:14:31 pm
You're the one saying there was no surplus in the first place.


Please quote me on that one.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 04:14:58 pm

Dude, if I wanted to see someone burning strawmen I'd go hang out in the desert with 70,000 stoners.

Okay, I think we're done here.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 19, 2020, 04:17:33 pm
Thank fuck for that.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 19, 2020, 04:17:57 pm
Thank fuck for that.

Kiss my ass until it blisters.   :)
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: The Johnny on June 19, 2020, 09:48:32 pm

Look Nyborj, im by no means the greetings committee on the forum nor i can speak for anyone else, but your schtick of being the "feelings police"... that job is already taken by Cramulus, and he's way better at it due to him knowing all parties involved here with the plus of not being condescending in a passive aggressive manner, nor doing some performative virtue signaling.

And the fault in communication is not about "not understanding what youre saying". Its not fucking quantum physics, we all can read well beyond 3rd grader levels of complexity. The point is not about how production and distribution of labour CAN work, but how it HISTORICALLY has worked.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 19, 2020, 10:13:01 pm


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.
Necessary to support (ab)users of what kind of system?

Early agriculture?

Horses and oxen without a horse collar can do the work of 3 men on 7 quarts of wheat.
A man requires one quart of wheat.

Horses or oxen WITH horse collars can do the work of 11 men on 7 quarts of wheat.


So without the horse collar, you had to have humans pulling a plow, because horse and oxen used more grain that could be managed for the amount of work done.

After the horse collar, humans could generate enough excess food to support artisans.  Which is a hell of a lot better than literally hauling a plow.
:um:


money shot distributes load well. +10 points
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 19, 2020, 10:17:02 pm
Excuse me, I do feelings police too, Johnny, don’t you dare take my job title away from me and give all the credit to that two-bit hack  with a fake mustache (there, I said it, it’s fucking fake! He takes it off to shit!) and no toenails on his left foot.

AHEM.

Also, there was a dude on this forum who said or quoted I’m not sure who it was or which it was but it was a phrase that was along the lines of “miscommunication is the fault of the sender, not the recipient”. You have a responsibility to make your statements clear and unambiguous if you want people to act like they actually are clear and unambiguous. Therefore, the only time you can blame someone for misinterpretation is if it’s obviously willful and purposeful, or if you presume them to not understand the words being used.

Unfortunately, there is a willful misinterpretation here, and it’s yours, Nyborj. You failed to interpret Howl’s post on a basic level.

If an unyoked horse can do three men’s work on 7 quarts of wheat, but a man only requires one quart, all we can say is that the man is more efficient because at no point is the amount of wheat PRODUCED fucking qualified. Hell, even if a man produces two quarts of wheat, it’s far better to have three men than one horse.

And if you’re ONLY talking about a surplus, you are assuming all members of the society in which this is happening were able to work the fields. This was not true even BEFORE agriculture was developed, because we have 40000 year old Neanderthal skeletons showing that an old man was kept alive despite having TB and given a loving burial only after it killed him. Scarring on the rib cage showed he had had serious, “lay your ass out flat on the ground” TB for at least ten years, IIRC. Scarring on the RIBCAGE. BONE SCARS. FROM TB.

So any defense you might have had for ignoring what Howl said in favor of what you wanted him to say? At best, they tell me you aren’t qualified for this sort of discussion. At worst, they tell me you were explicitly looking to start some shit, and you did the literally every single stupid newbie thing of picking on the Terrible Old Yeti In The Room.

Shut your hole and take your loss. You’re the fuckhead here.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 19, 2020, 10:32:04 pm
You know who really had has a heart? Robocop.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 20, 2020, 01:48:41 am


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.
Necessary to support (ab)users of what kind of system?

Early agriculture?

Horses and oxen without a horse collar can do the work of 3 men on 7 quarts of wheat.
A man requires one quart of wheat.

Horses or oxen WITH horse collars can do the work of 11 men on 7 quarts of wheat.


So without the horse collar, you had to have humans pulling a plow, because horse and oxen used more grain that could be managed for the amount of work done.

After the horse collar, humans could generate enough excess food to support artisans.  Which is a hell of a lot better than literally hauling a plow.
:um:


money shot distributes load well. +10 points

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 20, 2020, 03:55:11 am
It was a smutty joke. Something about all that load being evenly distributed over Nyborj’s face. Please advise if I got distracted and missed something, I’ve been all over the place today.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 20, 2020, 05:11:38 am
It was a smutty joke. Something about all that load being evenly distributed over Nyborj’s face. Please advise if I got distracted and missed something, I’ve been all over the place today.

I noticed.  In any case, that is acceptable.  More than acceptable.

I don't particularly care for people that attempt to dictate how I shall feel or how I will speak, so it would have been acceptable regardless.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 20, 2020, 05:25:50 am

Also, there was a dude on this forum who said or quoted I’m not sure who it was or which it was but it was a phrase that was along the lines of “miscommunication is the fault of the sender, not the recipient”. You have a responsibility to make your statements clear and unambiguous if you want people to act like they actually are clear and unambiguous. Therefore, the only time you can blame someone for misinterpretation is if it’s obviously willful and purposeful, or if you presume them to not understand the words being used.

It's in horrorology, under communications.

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Unfortunately, there is a willful misinterpretation here, and it’s yours, Nyborj. You failed to interpret Howl’s post on a basic level.

I apparently failed to respond with the ritualistic, unthinking jabber that is required.  What else could he do?  I'm a criminal.

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If an unyoked horse can do three men’s work on 7 quarts of wheat, but a man only requires one quart, all we can say is that the man is more efficient because at no point is the amount of wheat PRODUCED fucking qualified. Hell, even if a man produces two quarts of wheat, it’s far better to have three men than one horse.

Well, I can only blame myself, here.  I failed to break it down to an algebraic statement.

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And if you’re ONLY talking about a surplus, you are assuming all members of the society in which this is happening were able to work the fields. This was not true even BEFORE agriculture was developed, because we have 40000 year old Neanderthal skeletons showing that an old man was kept alive despite having TB and given a loving burial only after it killed him. Scarring on the rib cage showed he had had serious, “lay your ass out flat on the ground” TB for at least ten years, IIRC. Scarring on the RIBCAGE. BONE SCARS. FROM TB.

I KNOW THAT GUY.  So do you.  He's the one croaking out "fuck youuuuu wheeze hork cough spit" and all his great grandchildren are like "Isn't he GREAT, FOLKS?  GIVE HIM A BIG HAND."  And all he can do is lay there loathing them while they grin behind their hands.

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So any defense you might have had for ignoring what Howl said in favor of what you wanted him to say? At best, they tell me you aren’t qualified for this sort of discussion. At worst, they tell me you were explicitly looking to start some shit, and you did the literally every single stupid newbie thing of picking on the Terrible Old Yeti In The Room.

It was making me nostalgic, really.

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Shut your hole and take your loss. You’re the fuckhead here.

The sad thing here is that there is a greater than even chance that he will fuck off somewhere else, where his utterings will be more in line with the group.  Then, of course, when said group has eliminated any actual disagreement (aside, of course, from the usual coterie of alt-right concern trolls that nobody can be arsed to bother), they will begin feeding on themselves.  Then people will split off, deciding that the politics are toxic and boring, leaving said alt-right concern freaks in place.

This happens all the fucking time.  It's the actual strategy of the current decentralized alt-right.  But what can you do about it?  The orthodox left will not deal with the concern trolls because they hate each other more than they hate the right.

After The Great Seriousness of 2015, this is precisely why I can't be arsed being anyone's ally, unless I am friends with any given person in the first place.  Allies are by DEFINITION performative, and it's all really just a gigantic validation wank.

I could be wrong.  He could have the intestinal fortitude to examine his own motivations.  I have no reason to think he lacks the guts.

But that's not how you bet.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on June 20, 2020, 06:37:57 am
He has done good work here. I want him to take his loss and own it, not to leave. Being wrong is how you grow.

But I’m not going to give him a way to save face like I might in some other community. That’s not how we do here. You sit down, you stare at your plate of fail, and you eat it. The whole thing. We all did it, many a time, and we were better people afterwards. It’s deserved and it betters you.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Nyborj the Priest on June 20, 2020, 01:00:33 pm
I'm sorry I fucked up. Ill advised defensive response follows; maybe best to just skip it.


The sad thing here is that there is a greater than even chance that he will fuck off somewhere else, where his utterings will be more in line with the group.  Then, of course, when said group has eliminated any actual disagreement (aside, of course, from the usual coterie of alt-right concern trolls that nobody can be arsed to bother), they will begin feeding on themselves.

This is a bit rich considering the shitshow I inadvertently started here by disagreeing with Dok.

He has done good work here. I want him to take his loss and own it, not to leave. Being wrong is how you grow.

This is nice to read and I'd like to keep making the things I've made that have been received positively here. I'm trying to figure it out.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Cramulus on June 20, 2020, 03:39:47 pm
Look Nyborj, im by no means the greetings committee on the forum nor i can speak for anyone else, but your schtick of being the "feelings police"... that job is already taken by Cramulus, and he's way better at it due to him knowing all parties involved here with the plus of not being condescending in a passive aggressive manner, nor doing some performative virtue signaling.

I'm flattered and all, but it saddens me

cause at some point in this forum's history, we had this vibe where people could dump out a tricky discussion topic, we could all sink our teeth into it and talk through it, and it didn't automatically descend into monkey screeching and ad hominems. We could talk about the idea and not circle into a judgment dogpile around poster. That's what made it fun and worthwhile to explore ideas here.

Now some people may claim that I'm romanticizing PD, that the "Or Kill Me" subforum has always been nasty, and nastiness here is just part of this forums' charm--but I think it's one of the toxic parts of this place. If I wanted that, I could get that literally anywhere else. There are dozens of places I've unfollowed or abandoned becuase they are just gnar gnar gnar and everybody's got a call-out cocked and an itchy trigger finger.

I think the OP is an interesting topic, one I enjoy discussing, but this thread is wayyyy too emotional and judgmental for me to participate. I suspect Vex feels the same way. It's just not fun.

The fact that being FREAKIN DONE with that is seen as, apparently, just this role I play on the forum, "feelings police", and others are chided when they comment on this shit ... I just find it really disheartening. That's all.  I've said my piece and I'm not gonna get into it any further.


Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: The Johnny on June 20, 2020, 04:47:16 pm
Look Nyborj, im by no means the greetings committee on the forum nor i can speak for anyone else, but your schtick of being the "feelings police"... that job is already taken by Cramulus, and he's way better at it due to him knowing all parties involved here with the plus of not being condescending in a passive aggressive manner, nor doing some performative virtue signaling.

I'm flattered and all, but it saddens me

cause at some point in this forum's history, we had this vibe where people could dump out a tricky discussion topic, we could all sink our teeth into it and talk through it, and it didn't automatically descend into monkey screeching and ad hominems. We could talk about the idea and not circle into a judgment dogpile around poster. That's what made it fun and worthwhile to explore ideas here.

Now some people may claim that I'm romanticizing PD, that the "Or Kill Me" subforum has always been nasty, and nastiness here is just part of this forums' charm--but I think it's one of the toxic parts of this place. If I wanted that, I could get that literally anywhere else. There are dozens of places I've unfollowed or abandoned becuase they are just gnar gnar gnar and everybody's got a call-out cocked and an itchy trigger finger.

I think the OP is an interesting topic, one I enjoy discussing, but this thread is wayyyy too emotional and judgmental for me to participate. I suspect Vex feels the same way. It's just not fun.

The fact that being FREAKIN DONE with that is seen as, apparently, just this role I play on the forum, "feelings police", and others are chided when they comment on this shit ... I just find it really disheartening. That's all.  I've said my piece and I'm not gonna get into it any further.

If it makes you feel any better Cram, I dont think you being more positive vibe, spiritual, thoughtful of others feelings and the charming side of Discordia is bad... that's just not my discordia, and that is ok, discordia is an ecosystem in a sense and you provide balance. It's not that you "just do this one thing" and are unidimensional.

I was presenting you as an example of how "being concerned about others and being decent to them" is done right in contrast to whatever the hell this random new guy thinks he's doing... all this, i dont know if its the appropriate term, "bleeding heart liberal" schtick is just so fucking cringe and condescending, and I even tried to ignore it, but it just keeps coming up again and again, privileged white boy saviour syndrome is so disgusting.

And I can't apologize for contributing to derailing the thread - we've all done it and it's been done to all of us, for good and bad reasons, and its not the first time nor will be the last time.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 20, 2020, 04:47:49 pm


This is a bit rich considering the shitshow I inadvertently started here by disagreeing with Dok.


Well, there's these two words.  "Here" and "Dok".

If Discordianism was the human body and Discordians were the organs/parts in that body, I would be the tailbone.  Mostly ass and existing only to cause agony.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 20, 2020, 04:52:45 pm
Look Nyborj, im by no means the greetings committee on the forum nor i can speak for anyone else, but your schtick of being the "feelings police"... that job is already taken by Cramulus, and he's way better at it due to him knowing all parties involved here with the plus of not being condescending in a passive aggressive manner, nor doing some performative virtue signaling.

I'm flattered and all, but it saddens me

cause at some point in this forum's history, we had this vibe where people could dump out a tricky discussion topic, we could all sink our teeth into it and talk through it, and it didn't automatically descend into monkey screeching and ad hominems. We could talk about the idea and not circle into a judgment dogpile around poster. That's what made it fun and worthwhile to explore ideas here.

Now some people may claim that I'm romanticizing PD, that the "Or Kill Me" subforum has always been nasty, and nastiness here is just part of this forums' charm--but I think it's one of the toxic parts of this place. If I wanted that, I could get that literally anywhere else. There are dozens of places I've unfollowed or abandoned becuase they are just gnar gnar gnar and everybody's got a call-out cocked and an itchy trigger finger.

I think the OP is an interesting topic, one I enjoy discussing, but this thread is wayyyy too emotional and judgmental for me to participate. I suspect Vex feels the same way. It's just not fun.

The fact that being FREAKIN DONE with that is seen as, apparently, just this role I play on the forum, "feelings police", and others are chided when they comment on this shit ... I just find it really disheartening. That's all.  I've said my piece and I'm not gonna get into it any further.

I tend to think of you as the voice of decency.  I can hear you, but it makes no sense.

Sort of like having Mr Rogers try to talk Paul Tibbets from dropping the nuke on Hiroshima.  Every single one of Mr Rogers' arguments are compassionate and based on logic but that's Japan over there and this is Paul Tibbets over here and if compassion and logic worked all the time, everyone would do it.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: The Johnny on June 20, 2020, 04:55:10 pm
And for the record, regarding the OP.

Inequality and injustice have been the eternal trend of human history, i can agree with that, but at least we can say we didn't get eaten alive in our crib by a sabertooth, nor did we die from being overworked and famined at 6 years of age due to working 20 daily hours, 7 days a week in a carbon mine.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on June 20, 2020, 06:43:36 pm
I think Nyborj should be flattered cause he got jumped real early and not even for that long.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on July 08, 2020, 03:12:41 pm
So, I’ve been thinking about this and specifically Cram’s assertion that we (and probably me in particular) are being too hard on Vex here. Too aggressive and vicious. And I have a response.

When what Vex is saying isn’t a potential rationalization for the real harm of real people, he will be worth responding to kindly. So long as his ideas are actively dangerous to real people, he deserves to be jumped on with the big boots.

He’s not a Nazi, but he’s laying some of the rhetorical groundwork for fascists, authoritarians, and shitty neoliberals.

Sound far fetched?

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to imagine either Joe Biden or DJT saying “we aren’t going to gentrify Native lands, we will preserve their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life,” the implication being that they won’t work to help eliminate the poverty and food deserts that Indigenous people live in.

It doesn’t matter that the chances of a powerful figure seeing Vex’s forum posts are basically nil. It doesn’t matter that Vex may not think these things through that far. They’re legitimately dangerous and deserve to be stepped on as much as AND in the same manner and degree as if someone had independently reinvented Fascism and wanted to talk to us about their cool new idea.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: LMNO on July 08, 2020, 04:18:09 pm
Ok, I'm gonna weigh in here, as inadvisable as it may be.  I've redacted some of the rhetoric in the OP and highlighted other bits, to look at what I thought his main point was.

One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that... human events follow a more or less predictable... trajectory from "primitive" to "advanced", and that it does this because of some sort of natural law that governs all kinds of progress.
So, that does speak to a fallacy, or a flaw, in a lot of people's thinking.  There isn't an "inevitable" push towards any kind of future.  There is no guiding hand pushing us towards the best possible world.  In the end, it is the work of the people to move a society forward, they can't just wait around for it to happen, because...
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It is the reason we are taught that the evils of slavery and genocide are "in the past" while the forces that drive them simmer in communities around the world.

History has no arc. It is not a story about a protagonist species who learn and grow. It has never been guaranteed that tomorrow will be more just for you than today, or that the next century will bring more opportunity for your descendants than the last one had for your ancestors.
In a way, this is an Absurdist view of history.  The world is random and chaotic and doesn't have a consciousness or a moral vision -- it's the people who have to have the consciousness and moral vision, and then act on it.
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...This should be plain to see as we watch the entire allegedly "free" world slip farther every day into the same patterns of mistakes and collapse that have recurred time and again since anyone bothered to remember anything.




The last bit I think got off point a little, and seems to be going in another direction.  It appears to try and parse the meaning of "progress" or "better", and then compare technological advances with human social experiences.  I don't think this part works terribly well, and kind of derails the first part of the post. So I'm just going to ignore it.

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Even when disaster is averted, for all our apparent progress we have never actually made a difference in what it means to be human. Sure, we have the power to blow up the planet, the power to fling ourselves uselessly into orbit, the power to talk to each other across insurmountable distances. But so what if we can do all this, but give up the ability to feed our children, or the time to appreciate a sunset once in a while, or the courage to speak to our own neighbors? What have we gained, exactly, and why do we imagine that to be "progress"?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on July 08, 2020, 05:31:10 pm
As I said multiple times, I do not disagree and I think Howl is the only one who does with the concept of there not being a historical narrative arc. There’s no far flung utopia on the far side of the path of progress. If there is a path of progress at all, it’s a multi lane highway more twisty than Boston and handbrake U-turns are totally legal.

My issue was with something specific that aims a dagger at something important (that there is any fundamental change at all), and all the increasingly alarming rationalization he applied to it.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 08, 2020, 08:51:15 pm
As I said multiple times, I do not disagree and I think Howl is the only one who does with the concept of there not being a historical narrative arc. There’s no far flung utopia on the far side of the path of progress. If there is a path of progress at all, it’s a multi lane highway more twisty than Boston and handbrake U-turns are totally legal.

My issue was with something specific that aims a dagger at something important (that there is any fundamental change at all), and all the increasingly alarming rationalization he applied to it.

I just feel that progress is measured by killer robots.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: altered on July 08, 2020, 08:57:16 pm
Unfortunately, you weren’t there for the Egyptian 3F8A-TEP dynasty, when androids running on papyrus and the necromantic energies of tomb-robbed pharaohs briefly took control of Upper Egypt and sealed a bunch of thieves in the very tombs they once robbed, the better to use their spirits to power more robots.

We still haven’t reached again those lofty heights, when self-propelled murderbots ran the streets.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: minuspace on July 08, 2020, 09:21:26 pm
Quote
“One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction”

I get what you are saying here, particularly when viewed from a large scale, it seems naive to say there there is any “god given” telos, direction or evolution. Except for the adaptations necessary to keep-up with other chance “advancements” in the environment, it mostly looks like the direction is, if anything, centripetal.

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“History has no arc.”§
See above

*dons dunce cap*

Except for the fact that history, that utterly temporal gesture, can be articulated in three separate “parts.” Like the spiral path of interpretation, it has a beginning, middle and end. Those three centers of narrative gravity DO NOT hold absolute positions (ask Einstein); they are not privileged like the access we believe ourselves to have w.r.t. them. However, to say that because of that humans cannot improve themselves and accrue value over time, well, that’s just silly

§ also nope, just ask Noah.
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: picoli on August 01, 2020, 09:52:47 pm
I don't get what this is about?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 03, 2020, 03:30:50 pm
I don't get what this is about?

You just sit there and thank whatever gods you have that you don't know what this is all about.

You aren't being black-bagged.
You aren't being shelled alongside your family in Yemen.
You aren't the guy who has to hose the spray tan crusties out of the folds in Donald Trump's flabby person.

It can always get worse, and looking won't help at all so, why traumatize yourself?
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: discordia22 on December 08, 2020, 10:05:23 am
I understand both views...
I personally think, that you should live life to your fullest. I'm not sure if the people back then did, because nowadays also many people don't.
Everbody be living inside their own bubble and thinkung life is about them. On the one hand that's right, on the other hand, it's more that that. There's life out there, you have no clue about.
We'Re just tiny little beings in this enormous universe. Sometimes you feel like crap because you think, I'm not worthy...
Truth is, you should stop giving a f..k about what others think, because you do only live once, and nobody will remmeber you... at least not in the way you think they would. So do that crazy thing, call your crush, go to that party, kiss that person, just do it!
Live your life, before it's too late.
You only regret the things you haven't done...
Title: Re: Push the button already
Post by: Doktor Howl on December 08, 2020, 02:59:41 pm

So, that does speak to a fallacy, or a flaw, in a lot of people's thinking.  There isn't an "inevitable" push towards any kind of future.  There is no guiding hand pushing us towards the best possible world.  In the end, it is the work of the people to move a society forward, they can't just wait around for it to happen, because...
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It is the reason we are taught that the evils of slavery and genocide are "in the past" while the forces that drive them simmer in communities around the world.


But that's not true.

The initial push upward for humans was the horse collar.  We just had to decide to accept that push, which took about 800 years.  Loads of pushes every ten seconds now, and you have three possible responses:

1.  YAY!
2.  THE OLD WAYS ARE THE BEST!  DAMN KIDS!
and
3.  THE WORLD IS FUCKED AND IF YOU TRY TO FIX IT OR EVEN SLOW THE DAMAGE DOWN, YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM.