I live in the Promised Land, except the Chosen People are all trying to get out. 

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Messages - Edward Longpork

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Re: ORC ATTACK!!
November 12, 2015, 09:40:16 PM
Quote from: The Good Reverend Roger on November 12, 2015, 09:19:34 PM
Quote from: Edward Longpork on November 12, 2015, 09:01:06 PM
An Orcish raiding party charges into your building. How do you react?

I join them.

What's your first move to prove your allegiance?
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Re: ORC ATTACK!!
November 12, 2015, 09:06:38 PM
I'm in an office with open-plan seating, and I sit by the door, so I'd be in a lot of trouble.

I think my first move would be to pick up the chair I'm sitting in and use it as a shield. If an orc is coming at me, I'd heave the chair at him and then run the other way.

My boss, who sits next to me, would definitely get kicked towards the orcs.

There is nothing at my desk I could use as a weapon. Closest thing would be some scissors. Best I could hope for would be to put out an eye and run. I would grab a box of push-pins and scatter them behind me like caltrops.

The survival plan would be to get to the stairwell, run down a few floors, and then hide in a filing cabinet or something. I wouldn't fuck with the elevator.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / ORC ATTACK!!
November 12, 2015, 09:01:06 PM
An Orcish raiding party charges into your building. How do you react?
Quote from: Cain on November 11, 2015, 06:19:43 PM
*puts on political science hat*

*takes off political science hat*

tl;dr version.  Wealth inequality is correlated with political instability.  Political instability is correlated with a worsening economy.  Wealth inequality harms economic growth and in extreme cases threatens the foundation of a stable political order.


A few of those succinctly counter the narrative that growth is driven purely by the ultra-rich. Certainly it is, to a degree, but for sustainable growth you need everybody pushing.

Thanks :)
Quote from: The Good Reverend Roger on November 10, 2015, 08:08:40 PM
Who still has more money at the end of the day? 

So is the goal to completely eliminate wealth inequality? ie To make sure everybody has the same amount of money?

My liberal heart says that we want to decrease wealth inequality, as it's worse now than it's ever been in US history. But by how much? Where should it be, really? What are we aiming at?

QuoteWhat would a flat tax that generated enough money to pay the bills do to the working class?

Don't think anybody's suggesting a flat tax?

I think Carlin's point is -- let's talk about why minimum wage is so low, or the falling median income, lack of health care, cost of education, all these issues that directly cramp lower and middle class workers. (and to be fair, these are all part of Sanders' platform) Clearly if somebody's gonna pay for this, it should come from those who aren't really paying fair taxes now. You get no disagreement from me there! But here we're talking about raising the floor, rather than lowering the ceiling. Is one possible without the other?

This is fucking Rand Paul bullshit, here.

I hold a lot of liberal beliefs and assumptions, and feel its necessary to examine them under a critical lens now and then, I'm sorry if that irritates you. I am a liberal who is skeptical and critical of liberals. I think that's healthy because politics is an irrational battlefield.
I had to go find the segment of the podcast where he's talking about this... Carlin's points: (this is all around 0h:44m in the podcast)

> The idea that you increase prosperity for the lower class by taxing the successful seems a bit punitive
> When we talk about wealth inequality, we don't really want to eliminate the wealthy, what we really want is for people at the bottom end of the scale to be doing better
> The cost of living for lower and middle class people is the real issue - and it's a systemic problem that won't be solved through taxation. Carlin thinks that wealth redistribution only addresses the problem on the surface. It's a way of telling people that you're doing something about it, without doing anything meaningful in the long term.
> If you're going to address stuff like generational poverty, you gotta focus on access to education and the ability to start a business.
> He thinks that taxing the wealthy to create prosperity needs to be proven - he is as skeptical of it as he is 'trickle down' economics.

Quote from: Cain on November 10, 2015, 07:30:19 PM
Quote from: Cain on November 10, 2015, 07:19:50 PM
Lets turn this question on its head: how would you prevent high net worth individuals from converting their wealth into political capital and gaining disproportionate control over the political system?

Or, let's put it another way: can you envisage a system which gives equal consideration to the opinions, wants and desires of people who own large parts of the media, manufacturing base, banks etc and people who own half a piece of string and eat boiled boots?  What would such a system look like?  Does that system compare with our current system?

I think repealing Citizens United would be a big step, but it clearly doesn't caulk the wagon and cross the river all by itself.

I am out of my element here, but doesnt' denmark socialize their news media? How does that work out?

What about strong unions? In the US we don't have unions for a lot of middle class careers.

just chewing on these thoughts, no conclusions here yet
Aneristic Illusions / Wealth Inequality -- a red herring?
November 10, 2015, 06:34:22 PM
In Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcast, (#297) he was talking about Bernie Sanders...

Carlin admitted that while he likes Sanders, and prefers him to Clinton, he's not 100% behind framing the issue in the US as "wealth inequality". Carlin (who is left leaning but not squarely in either camp) thinks that wealth inequality isn't itself a problem, the issue is merely that political power can be bought. If it were 1 person = 1 vote rather than $1 = 1 vote, a lot of the issues we're facing would dissolve.

I've been thinking about that a lot recently, as I've always thought wealth inequality to be the big blinking neon Satan. But I wanted to bounce that off you guys - what do you think? Is wealth inequality an issue if rich people don't have disproportionate access to the political engine?

In a perfect world where citizens united were overturned and campaign finance was reformed, would wealth inequality still be an issue?

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Theory of the Soul
November 10, 2015, 05:57:30 PM
I hate to drop an incomplete thought like this (as I don't have the book handy), but doesn't Hofstadter take the opposite position in Godel Escher Bach?

He asserts that meaning emerges from these isomorphic relationships between concepts. The notion that meaning is generated only by humans, he called biological chauvinism. He thinks formal systems generate meaning, and humans don't create it, they decode it.

Personally, I disagree with Hofstadter there, but I wanted to put that out there. Please correct me if I've mis-characterized it!

Edit to add: I think he'd point out that the 'meaning' of 1+1 isn't a human construct
There's a certain sentimentality to this which speaks to me. You can imagine this being played at a wedding as the bride comes in..
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Theory of the Soul
November 03, 2015, 08:45:47 PM
Quote from: Chelagoras The Boulder on July 08, 2015, 09:06:28 AM
so first i guess i should clarify what i feel the difference is between the soul and the mind example i gave above. The Mind, being an emergent process of the brain, would be a product of our awareness of a self, so even an animal that is aware of itself as an individual could be said to have a mind, yet these animals wouldn't be said to have a soul in the same way that humans have souls, tho some philosophers argue that different forms of life have vegetative souls or animal souls yadda yadda yadda. So then, my argument is that the soul is something far more abstract than the mind, yet is important for how we perceive and interact with others.

We're talking about the soul, so the best I can offer is to shoot another pot shot in the direction I saw you shoot. It's dark and foggy out, so it's impossible to know if we're aiming at the same target.

(This is a bit William James)

First, the soul is the self that remains after ego death - if you can shut off the procession of labels and judgments that the ego loves to bask in, what you've got left is the zen mind.

Second, that soul is just a component... Just as you describe mind as an emergent phenomenon of all these independent systems, GOD is the emergent phenomenon of all these independent souls.

Individuals are the fingers, god is the palm.
RPG Ghetto / Re: New DM and a new player
November 03, 2015, 08:08:25 PM
D&D is largely about cooperation and teamwork. If it's just 1 player and 1 DM, you're missing out on the party dynamic which gives the game a lot of its life.

That being said, I think you can run a fun 1-person RPG.. I'm not sure that I'd use D&D though. More narratively-focused games like the white wolf suite might be a bit better suited for it.
Principia Discussion / Re: Zenarchy
November 03, 2015, 08:01:57 PM
This book had a big impact on me. I've actually got it in print.

I liked Thornley's description of how naming the movement was its death.

Love the koans too:

QuoteThe Shortest Theological Debate in History

Ho Chi Zen: "What is God like?"

Tom: "Somebody. I don't care."

a few snippets of this book made it into Camden Benares (aka the Count of Fives) book "Zen without Zen Masters".. If you like Zenarchy you should check it out.
Literate Chaotic / Re: Artificial Entertainment
October 14, 2015, 08:55:00 PM
I dig it. I always hear that term "artificial difficulty" from people who look down their noses at "casual gamers" and I never really got it. Look, there are some types of challenges you enjoy, some you don't. No need to hang an honorific on one.
Quote from: ChaosAdvocate on September 08, 2015, 05:34:31 AM
Do you think Discordia/Eris played a big role in the French Revolution, its upheaval and people in it like Maximilien Robiespierre? It would have been considered "mad" in those time's standards, and it was one of the first and only societies that literally implemented "terrorism" as a policy(called the "great terror"). The "great terror" started with Robespierre and it ended with him. The French Revolution was a very violent one and was an explosion of entropy, heaps of discord and the demolition of many tradition & order.

The French Revolution gave France its protest/riot-happy and government-defying culture which I wish only my country(Australia) has, coming from one of the most discord/chaos-deprived continents in the world. We have never had a single major armed rebellion at where I live in history, and many people here are sheep. Quite depressing. They do not care what the authority does as long as they do not interrupt their daily routines of food, tv, sport and etc. No matter how much power they take for themselves.


Eris reached its perihelion (the part of its orbit which is closest to the sun) between 1698 and 1699. So its possible that Eris' proximity to Earth planted the seeds of revolution and subsequent collapse of Bureaucracy almost a century later.