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Messages - POFP

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1
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 16, 2022, 06:24:33 pm »
This board is literally for extensive discussion and idea interrogation, not just getting talked at by the admins in lengthy sermons and rants (I enjoy that too.). That being said, the admins have always been free to move my drivel to Randomness or the Peanut Gallery when appropriate.

There is precisely zero chance that any of this conversation is getting moved anywhere.

It is all very on topic, even if I think you're wrong.

Foiled again, but so close.

One day...  One day I'll make it to the Peanut Gallery. Then you'll see... YOU'LL ALL SEE...


MUAHAHAHAHAA

2
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 16, 2022, 03:02:48 am »
This is mostly just Straw Men, or completely missing the point/making bad assumptions about my position. I might respond to it piecemeal, later.

No need.  Your worldview is too simplistic for me to engage with, and enough noise has been added to Cain's thread already.

 :lol: Oh yeah, I can tell you have me figured out :roll:

This board is literally for extensive discussion and idea interrogation, not just getting talked at by the admins in lengthy sermons and rants (I enjoy that too.). That being said, the admins have always been free to move my drivel to Randomness or the Peanut Gallery when appropriate. I come back every other year or so to stir the pot and get people thinking about how they present their ideas, and usually they end up flipping me on one or two points, and everyone ends up learning something. However, it doesn't work if you're already committed to the mainstream, media-backed position AND have a non-malleable view of all opposition. That's the coward's way out. I can't think of anything more pathetic than someone who's right, but doesn't have the decency to direct it at the opposition and generate the friction that energizes and strengthens 'right' signal. Even more-so in a world uniformly dominated by bad signal.



@Cain - The most recent requests so far for your convenience:

*Tips Fedora* - "Ma-lady"

So a week in and I am still not sure what to make from it. I dont like getting my information off whats being shared on social platforms and if you were to go off of reddit news articles the Ukranians have decimated the Russians.

Does it hold up, has Russia taken enough of a black eye to consider withdrawing, or is the damage they have taken inconsequential for their goal of capturing Ukraine and all this is doing is delaying the inevitable?
How can Putin still have support from this back home surely at home in Russia there would be:
Those who oppose the war
Those who dont really care but intend to use it as a cudgel to remove Putin and take power for themselves?

Or is his own support base so unwavering that he still able to weather this?



If successful, Putin acting out in this way and seizing Ukraine may give him.. what.. another decade of power?

How long would he have had if he never followed through on his aging threat to invade?

3
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 15, 2022, 10:04:28 pm »
I'm really not here to argue with people who make excuses for Putin.

Whatever. I'm done trying to explain the difference between:

- Making the case for less Imperialistic motivation behind foreign policy, in favor of humanitarian/diplomatic bridge building
and
- Justifying crimes against humanity by the dictators that Imperialism feeds



Apparently that level of nuance is just impossible to comprehend after the War Machine shuffles its queue cards a few times. Another Power that the US/NATO have been xenophobically ostracizing for a century, no matter what they did, finally did something openly and globally unacceptable and consequential. So that must mean the US/NATO were right all along, and that we all need to stand behind every decision they make in response. Anything suggesting that there were/are other options at any time are clearly just Pro-Putin propaganda.

Now don't get me wrong, there's plenty of Pro-Putin bullshit floating around out there, too. I even see some Lefties who rose to fame under Trumpism just openly pushing stuff that's either inconsequentially anti-US (The arguments they were making were weak or minor in comparison to other more important arguments. This clearly demonstrates intentional pandering.), or pretty bluntly pro-Putin in the form of "Putin did nothing wrong, the US/NATO didn't give anyone a choice," which is taking my argument to a stupid extreme.

I just think it's utterly bullshit that "We had other options, we have other options, we are ignoring all options that relate to realistic diplomacy - and at the cost of increased tension and lower and middle-class suffering" gets lumped in with all of that. It's an insult to healthy dissent.


But there is no justification for US/NATO explicitly choosing the path of most escalation every time a decision needed to be made on the crisis.
That's obviously not happening.  The current refusal to implement a no-fly zone, and the US not facilitating the donation of Polish MIGs is not "the path of most escalation".

Quote
Even if the Invasion has nothing to do with Ukraine's NATO membership, for 20+ years, US/NATO have been giving Putin every bit of ammunition he could possibly want to justify an invasion.
No, they haven't given Putin "every bit of ammunition he could possibly want."  Offering immediate NATO membership, or stationing NATO troops in Ukraine would be much better than Putin's stated justification of "de-nazifying Ukraine".   Which is, frankly, pretty lame.

Quote
I consider that irresponsible, and justification for the label of "complicit".
No matter what the action movies tell you, the US is not responsible for maintaining the peace of the world.

Quote
(Which could be resolved if the US pushed and fed Leftist Organized Labor Movements in Russia and Ukraine.)
I've noticed that the people who accept the narrative that NATO is responsible for the invasion also tend to have an idealistic view of socialism or communism.  It's probably an artifact of where they go to get their news.

Quote
I know if WE were fighting a Fascist nuclear superpower on our doorstep, I wouldn't want the rest of the world to continuously escalate on every bluff that superpower made.
It's a good thing the rest of the world isn't continuously escalating, then.  (Financial sanctions aren't an escalation, they're retribution).

Quote
I would just want them to keep some pressure on and provide resources to extend the Defense.
That's what's happening.

Quote
The fact that Russia is currently targeting civilian structures, which they would need to expend resources to rebuild if they were intending to absorb them into an Empire, demonstrates to me that they really do consider the NATO membership aspect to be an existential threat (Their words.). They're decimating Ukraine to ensure it's no longer a threat.
Russia's slow progress in the invasion suggests that they badly underestimated Ukraine.  They thought this would be over in a few days.  That's not the kind of judgement you make of someone you consider a "threat".  Destroying Ukraine wasn't part of the original plan; rather, it's Putin's alternative to losing.  His first choice was a subdued, mostly intact client state, with his goons in control of the government.  His second choice is doing whatever it takes to hold onto power, up to and including scorched earth.  Because if he loses this war, he'll lose his presidency, if not his life.

Quote
We need to decide soon if we want to entertain other options besides further escalation, and letting them burn all of Ukraine to the ground.
"We" are already executing other options.


This is mostly just Straw Men, or completely missing the point/making bad assumptions about my position. I might respond to it piecemeal, later.

One thing I did find disturbing, although not surprising due to the fairly unified War Propaganda flowing around, is that you identified Sanctions as "retribution." If I didn't know any better, I'd consider the statement xenophobic, but these are somewhat unique times and I'll let it slide.

Unless specific assets/markets can be used to target those in Power (And they are just starting to do so successfully now, over the last few days.), Sanctions only really directly impact the general population, and are intended to slow/halt the conflict by putting general economic pressure on the country and, subsequently, its leadership. All of these companies/Blue-Checks suddenly demanding we don't do business with Russian civilian companies and organizations, etc. is honestly fucking disgusting. The Russian civilians, victims of a pretty brutal dictatorship, are now also being forced out of the global economy for Putin's actions and pushed into socioeconomic decline that will likely take decades to recover from. That's of course assuming that the sanctions are removed after the conflict. Last I checked, NATO/US don't have a really good rollback record on Sanctions, although I'll take evidence of the contrary.

Neither the Russian People, nor the global population deserve the socioeconomic pressure from massive sanctions on a highly globalized economic Power. Was it the safest way to end the conflict? I'm sure History will say so. But regardless of where you stand on that debate, sanctions like the ones implemented guarantee that millions of innocent people will suffer, and that's nothing to be proud of - Nothing worth considering to be "retribution," as if most of those affected "had it coming," or even played a role in the conflict.


When you're in the upper echelons of Global Power Structures, the lower-level consequences of your actions are generally reduced to impersonal numbers in the form of "acceptable collateral risk" to aid their compartmentalization and coping mechanisms. News Media that's closest to those Power Structures design their narratives to further depersonalize the results to make them more palatable for the rest of us. This filtering, when we don't combine it with some healthy re-evaluation and historical context, leads to recklessly positive views of our State Leadership's actions. As a result, our State Leadership rarely concedes anything in diplomacy. They ignore humanitarian requests by the World that it finds inconvenient, and brutally dominates countries who openly dissent, or supports their domination if they happen to be enemies of our allies in conflict. If our general view of US Foreign Policy wasn't always unanimous support, our leadership would have a higher chance of doing something morally acceptable to other countries. I would imagine that if that kind of pattern was more consistent, we would have less countries throughout the world in conflict, and in need of exclusive military alliances.

4
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 10, 2022, 07:43:21 pm »
Sometimes a war happens and America isn't the bad guy.

Call me crazy, but there you are.

I didn't say America was solely responsible. They didn't invade Ukraine. That's Putin's sin. I'm saying America's inaction, through either laziness or ignorance, helped build the conditions that made it a reality. They are complicit, and if they continue down this line of reasoning with Russia, we're no longer going to be alive to bitch about it. It's our responsibility to pressure our government to do better.

Giving them the out is like giving American Corporate Oligarchs an out for having lived through and been brainwashed by Capitalist Propaganda into thinking their persistent exploitation of their fellow countrymen and the environment is okay because profits are up this quarter. They chose to keep overwhelming Power. They are culpable for how they've used and abused it, regardless of whether they understand their role in the resulting dystopia.

Russia is solely responsible.  Nobody held a gun to Putin's head and told him to invade.

I'm not disagreeing with that. But there is no justification for US/NATO explicitly choosing the path of most escalation every time a decision needed to be made on the crisis. Even if the Invasion has nothing to do with Ukraine's NATO membership, for 20+ years, US/NATO have been giving Putin every bit of ammunition he could possibly want to justify an invasion. I consider that irresponsible, and justification for the label of "complicit".


Well, obviously.  Nothing bad ever usually happens if the USA isn't there to make it happen ignore the warnings of foreign policy specialists, humanitarians, and academics for years, and openly support and directly fund predatory, Imperialist murder campaigns that push every country South of the Equator, Left of George Bush, and previously/currently opposed to American Hegemony further into existential crises that prop up Populist/Fascist Dictators, or provide false hope to geo-strategically fucked countries sitting next to them.

Fixed.


5
Aneristic Illusions / Re: E-Democracy
« on: March 10, 2022, 07:27:04 pm »
I would like to say, I'm intrigued by the Proxy Voting System, not as a primary form of voting, but maybe as an extremely transient and optional feature when looking to vote in Elections, and more supported when voting on actual Legislation.

If it it were more supported on actual legislative issues, and you could interact as much or little as wanted - why would we need voting?


That's a fair point. I guess my main argument is that there needs to be some form of collective consent on both Legislation AND Representation, regardless of how involved everyone is. I would say the Proxy Voting System would have the same constraints as everything else I mentioned though, via Jurisdiction/Scoping rules. Whatever we'd be Proxy Voting on, it would only apply for items and groups within the Scope/Jurisdiction of that Council.

To be honest, this is more of a post-reading interpretation, as I actually forgot some of the mental context since writing this. Probably all the weed.

The main concern I have with this being used in Elections (Where votes should be Anonymous),

But why? What is the maximum size of a conspiracy? How many evil power-hungry factory owners do we imagine are going to risk jail time by coercing the hundreds/thousands of people required to make a difference in the outcome? Why shouldn't the public at large be held accountable for our dumb collective decisions? Would you check out your boss' voting record before going in for an interview?

Honestly? Most of them. When people are put into a position of Power, whether their intentions are "Collective" or "Selfish"-driven, it's within their best interest to maintain that Power ("If I'm a good guy, I should keep my Power to ensure that it doesn't get into the wrong hands." (The reverse scenario for Selfish individuals is more obvious.)). We can't make any assumptions about the percentage of people that will do things safely - We can only create a System that implements checks and balances that prevent non-safe results, or at least make them obvious and reversible by those that are affected by those results.

Re: "Why shouldn't the public at large be held accountable for our dumb collective decisions?":

Sometimes, short-circuiting/preventing known, bad actions is more important than maintaining accountability for those bad actions. We could all have a stupid moment where we vote for an idiot or piece of shit, and details about their prior actions are only identified after the election. The other side could easily make the case that everyone who voted for that turd-burglar knew of those actions, and should be held accountable. Personally, I know plenty of people that voted for Trump that wouldn't have under more humane circumstances, and if they weren't feeling exploited. Society is sometimes going to have situations where a significant portion of us make the same bad decisions at the same time. We shouldn't give a Bad Populist the ammunition they need to paint a portion of our population as "The Enemy." I would rather create a system that reduces the odds of those bad decisions being difficult to overturn, than focus on ousting the people who implemented them. Rehabilitation over Punishment, if you Will.

Not that Proxy Voting is the answer in this case - I just thought it was an interesting idea/feature for those who might not feel knowledgeable enough to vote directly. Personally, there are some topics I'd rather defer my votes to better experts for.

however, is potential bad actors saying one thing to gain Proxy Votes in order to actually direct them at the exact opposite Nominee that the Proxiers expected. Destabilization of the structure would be extremely easy in this case. Proxying should be extremely restricted or not allowed for Elections. This is not an issue when voting on Legislation, however, since Legislation Votes should be Public, just as they are now

That problem is removed when proxy-voting isn't anoymous. I can't think of a non-tedious non-gamificationable solution otherwise.

That's also fair. I suppose, the Proxy could act as a Broker, in that they could distribute votes between a set of choices, maybe in a sort of ranking, and those who had their votes proxied should be able to see where their votes actually went. But the Proxy/Broker's individual vote, that was their choice, could remain anonymous. I guess, some degree of accountability must be facilitated for Proxies/Brokers, since that comes with quite a degree of Power.

Good point here  :)

(When cast by Representatives of course - Not in the case of Direct Democracy, which I don't agree with for reasons Dok et al have already clarified.).

The difference between Direct Democracy and Proxy Voting is the difference between good dental hygiene and just chewing gum before a date.

If I recall, the Proxy Voting in my view was more of a Feature, and less the primary form of Voting. It would obviously be subject to similar flaws that the Primary/Representative Democracy has, since it would function as an extension of the existing Democracy. The Direct Democracy design tends to lead to Mob Rule, which usually just destabilizes and crashes immediately. However, I think a Direct Democracy could be implemented:

1. With proper transition protocols
2. With proper checks and balances that can overturn it when destabilization is imminent (Allowing fallback to Representational Architecture).

Personally, I think this thread has been looking at the Voting and Legislative process problems from the wrong angle (To be fair, I only read the first few pages, some pages in the middle, and the last few pages, so some of this may have been brought up here or other places already.). The problems in today's society are generally caused by Legal/Late Stage Capitalism's (Different from Free Market Capitalism, in that the State has formalized and blessed its natural failures and Monopolies.) natural support for Hierarchical, Bureaucratic Organizational Structures through:

- Overcomplication of legal and business processes

Those legal and business processes require it to maintain their continued existence though, so they have their own sentience.

Absolutely. We would need the backing of the Professional Class to really solve a lot of these problems, since they're the ones intertwined the most in these organizational structures. We need to give them an offer they can't refuse, either through force, or by convincing them that they want it even though it gives all the Power back to those under them. I've heard an argument along these lines used: "Self-Managed work-forces take all the weight and pressure off of leadership to guarantee the functioning of the lower areas of the business, allowing them to focus more on the high-level concerns of the business."

This is of course, hilarious, because Self-Managed work-forces immediately induce "Bullshitization" of almost all upper-management positions, and this would be immediately clear to the Self-Managed budgeting team. Assuming upper management were dumb enough to let such a thing to exist.


- Hoarding/Gatekeeping of knowledge of these processes within highly specialized Domains of the Private Sector

It's a boys club mostly, though more and more non-men are learning to play the same game each year - yay progress!

What's more, it's often been a white boys club, and no White Guy in the Professional world likes talking about it. We need legislation that inhibits the hoarding of Intellectual Property by Limited Liability Companies. The idea that a company that can be funded by people with minimal financial risk can hoard knowledge and technological design patterns is absolutely disgusting to me. There's no accountability. We need to set the bar higher for limited liability, or eradicate it entirely. On top of that, we need to restrict the applicability of Intellectual Property Rights on technology and knowledge that relates to Human Wellbeing. You wanna keep the Copyright on your new fart-fueled flash light that doubles as a George Foreman-like Panini-maker Grill? Sure. But if you're hoarding knowledge about life-saving drugs, you should be tried for Crimes Against Humanity.

On the flip side, those who come up with life-saving technologies should be well compensated, even if through Public funds. We need incentives to promote innovation beyond general human curiosity.

If we solve those general problems, and ensure that new knowledge is automatically incorporated into the Public School curriculum, the Gender and Racial gaps will likely disappear. I specifically see this problem as an existential crisis. If Humans don't start making serious strides in non-consumerist innovation soon, we'll be stuck in Zuck-based Hyperreality.

We solve these problems by enforcing simplification of Legislation through standardization of its
language,  and through the use of Encapsulation (Often used in Programming and other linguistics
fields to establish intuitive Abstraction Layers within written Instruction that allow you to reference
groups of smaller instructions with simpler high-level instructions.).

That might be too big to fit on a billboard - how do we gain mass support for this concept?

The Population is already feeling disempowered and unrepresented. We can sell it as anti-establishment - A system that puts YOU in control over your region's legislation. Eliminate that shitty middleman who sold out to the Wealthy Elites on day one. Represent and be Represented, regardless of your background or life story.


Why treat legislation like Software? Because Legislation is a formal, syntactically specific form of instruction, and because States all over are already starting to do this (kind of) as they've begun transcribing legislation and legal codes into websites. Recursive linking is already implemented through the Article, Section, etc. Structure. This should be extrapolated out into the fundamental syntax of legal language. The establishment of a structured syntax standard that specializes in Object/Domain Orientation and Encapsulation would make it easier for the Layman to understand the Legislation being voted on without requiring a Law Degree or special training. It also increases re-usability of Legislation Components in the same way it makes Software Modules reusable. It would facilitate the average Citizen's ability to drag and drop high-level Legislative snippets and ideas into a proposed bill as high-level components (That still contain all the low-level, expanded legalese that make up those components) and submit the full proposals in almost no time at all, even using popular/preferres components from existing and successful pieces of Legislation. If done properly, it should be possible for someone in the Electorate to identify a problem and submit fully functional, repeatable Legislation in a day that can be quickly assessed and amended by the Legislature before going to a vote.

I see what you mean, totally - the fact that the public can't do this right now means that skill is not being developed.

Exactly. This stuff, including the nature of Power Structures, and how they relate to Politics and how Power is derived, stolen, and distributed in Systemic fashion needs to be mandatory education in Public Schools. If it were, our problems would be solved in one generation. If I were president, I would declassify all CIA documentation regarding how Power Structures are designed, and even torn down, and distribute that to the Public at large, along with methodologies for using basic Power Distribution concepts that allow one to rebuild that which was broken.

Funny enough, the election of Trump on a similar anti-establishment position is actually hope enough that we can achieve those kinds of goals. The problem is convincing the Left and Right Wings that they both want the same thing, and that they mainly differ on methodology and targeted demographics due to Propaganda from both sides.

I recommend a modified form of Participatory Politics, where Democratic Hierarchies in all branches of government are formed as needed from the ground up through Community organization around Governing Domains (Hierarchies of Categorization of Legislation topics, as well as governing jurisdiction by population density and location.). My primary concern with it's suggested implementation on Wikipedia is that everyone is required to participate as a council member at the bottom rung, at least. I think we could easily replace the structure of the current State's major components with something that resembles their proposed "Parpolity" structure without replacing it entirely with a system where every single person is directly involved, since a significant number of people won't care to be involved in government and their involvement will likely impede those who do care. Besides, I think the assumption in their proposed implementation was that anyone who wasn't involved was simply ignored by the system, either defaulting non-participants to Anarchism or surrounding State Rule, which is hilariously unrealistic. As long as the Electoral and Legislative Proposal processes are open to all citizens that fall under corresponding Jurisdictions, Agencies, Legislatures, and Courts, I think we're okay with actual Council participation being optional, but immediately accessible by the individual, if preferred. It's also important not to lose the current Organizations and Infrastructure that currently exist by rebuilding each Agency/Legislature/Court from the ground up again. It's possible to transition existing Organizations to the new Structure and re-adjust the scale afterwards as needed using the new system's predefined processes.

Yeah, I think there may be more than one way it could be implemented though - the hard part is selling something that the public doesn't want because they don't understand why they would want it.

It all goes back to Anti-Establishment rhetoric. It's sexy right now. It got Trump elected, which means it can be leveraged to steal some of the Right Wing Vote (Although we'll need to concede on things like Gun Rights, and some non-Evangelical positions. We're not giving up on Minority Rights, LGBTQ, etc. But many of the Trump Camp are already uncaring about that stuff anyways. Plenty of Gays I know who voted for Trump because muh freedumz and muh marketz.).

It's also suggested that Parecon (Participatory Economics) is paired with this to ensure similar Democratization of the Means of Production, but I have the same concerns with this structure that I had with the other. I think we've seen enough Democratic Workplace structures succeed (Like Co-Ops, and similar structures.) that we can come up with a mix that enforces Socialization of the Means of Production without resulting in a planned economy like they suggest. Market Socialism is probably ideal, and I think it would be best implemented using concepts from Parecon - Not the whole thing. Mostly just the decentralized organization of Democratic Labor, but with Personal and Shared Ownership of Property giving way to a fully featured Market that is less likely to leave its constituents starving or dependent on Slave Labor or Planetary destruction to survive.

Happy to talk specifics, either in this thread, or in another. This was a very high-level overview.

Looked into Sociocracy a little last year.. happy to see more and more worker co-ops coming into existence.

Same! I'm playing "Company/Management Kiss-ass" at my company until they put me in charge of something (They've promoted me 3 times in the last couple years already, and are about to promote me again. It won't be long now.). As soon as they do, I'm de facto democratizing my department and letting its unbounded, pressure-less success turn everyone under the Board of Directors Rich-Hungry Socialists.

6
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 09, 2022, 06:21:09 pm »
Sometimes a war happens and America isn't the bad guy.

Call me crazy, but there you are.

I didn't say America was solely responsible. They didn't invade Ukraine. That's Putin's sin. I'm saying America's inaction, through either laziness or ignorance, helped build the conditions that made it a reality. They are complicit, and if they continue down this line of reasoning with Russia, we're no longer going to be alive to bitch about it. It's our responsibility to pressure our government to do better.

Giving them the out is like giving American Corporate Oligarchs an out for having lived through and been brainwashed by Capitalist Propaganda into thinking their persistent exploitation of their fellow countrymen and the environment is okay because profits are up this quarter. They chose to keep overwhelming Power. They are culpable for how they've used and abused it, regardless of whether they understand their role in the resulting dystopia.

Russia is solely responsible.  Nobody held a gun to Putin's head and told him to invade.

I'm not disagreeing with that. But there is no justification for US/NATO explicitly choosing the path of most escalation every time a decision needed to be made on the crisis. Even if the Invasion has nothing to do with Ukraine's NATO membership, for 20+ years, US/NATO have been giving Putin every bit of ammunition he could possibly want to justify an invasion. I consider that irresponsible, and justification for the label of "complicit".

I understand fully WHY they made those choices. Zelenskyy and Ukrainians in general feel that they'd rather risk it all for freedom from Russia's grip. They're clearly the ones telling the US/NATO not to back down on their NATO membership message on principle, fully acknowledging that it would lead to continued military conflict, and I commend that courage. I'm sure we'd feel the same way if we were fighting against a Fascist superpower on our doorstep. But we have to ask ourselves:

Is Ukraine's temporary, de facto lack of sovereignty (Which could be resolved if the US pushed and fed Leftist Organized Labor Movements in Russia and Ukraine.) a problem that we're willing to risk Humanity's existence on to solve with a Proxy War?

I know if WE were fighting a Fascist nuclear superpower on our doorstep, I wouldn't want the rest of the world to continuously escalate on every bluff that superpower made. I would just want them to keep some pressure on and provide resources to extend the Defense.


The fact that Russia is currently targeting civilian structures, which they would need to expend resources to rebuild if they were intending to absorb them into an Empire, demonstrates to me that they really do consider the NATO membership aspect to be an existential threat (Their words.). They're decimating Ukraine to ensure it's no longer a threat. They will continue until Ukraine is a pile of ashes. We need to decide soon if we want to entertain other options besides further escalation, and letting them burn all of Ukraine to the ground.

7
Or Kill Me / Re: Compromise
« on: March 04, 2022, 05:59:16 pm »
Let it be known that humans are cabbages sometimes
And greyfaces are jokesters sometimes
That bipeds sometimes drop to all fours
And sheeple are sometimes woke

Let it be known that enlightenment is not a destination
But a way that people sometimes are
And sometimes are not
And this is not a flaw, but a feature

Let us not shit on people for being on a downswing
Or prevent them from moving back
Towards the kind of person
We'd like to hang out with

Let us not place blame except where it is due
Or where its funny

 :mittens:

LOVE this. I needed this.

8
Literate Chaotic / Humanity's Last Folly
« on: March 04, 2022, 05:57:17 pm »
If, by the dawn, my homeland and I have been laid to fiery waste
by a madman pursuing False Glories, post-haste,

my only hope is that my homeland's chief
has done the impossible despite what's to come - an unsalvageable grief.

I beg, that in spite of what's left of my People: their pain and their loathing,
my chief, in casting aside all notions of an apocalyptic foreboding,

has mustered an unfathomable courage
that will weigh on them beyond reason - a Holy baggage,

and has chosen not to fire back a world-ending volley,
because they know in their Heart: Today's War should not be Humanity's Last Folly



~ [Attribute to 'Anonymous']

9
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 02, 2022, 12:39:26 pm »
It doesn't even matter at this point. NATO all but just collectively agreed to shoot down Russian planes in their air space. Because backing a solipsistic nut job with Nuclear Launch Codes, who's just humiliated himself in front of the entire World, even further into a corner is sure to work out well for everyone.

I mean, seriously? Is no one else getting "Don't Look Up" vibes right now? What in the actual fuck is going on?

"All but agreed?"

Quote from: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO is not going to send the troops into Ukraine or move planes into Ukrainian airspace.

Quote from: President of Poland Andrzej Duda
Gentlemen, as Secretary General has now said, we are not sending any jets to Ukraine because that would open a military interference in the Ukrainian conflict. We are not joining that conflict. NATO is not a party to that conflict. However as I said, we are supporting Ukrainians with humanity aid. However, we are not going to send any jets to the Ukrainian airspace.

"Their" was in reference to NATO, not Ukraine. I know US/NATO aren't that stupid. Some would argue NATO airspace doesn't matter in terms of escalation, but I disagree.

And yeah, obviously Ukraine wasn't going to be joining NATO. That's why US/NATO's position is so irredeemably stupid. We openly invited them after their request to join, and then even after a direct military response from Russia, guaranteeing the clause you just quoted would take effect, WE DUG OUR HEELS IN ON THE IDEA OF THEM JOINING. Why not just focus on de-escalation, and have Ukraine/Georgia join later after Putin croaks? Why put us all at further risk over some legal bullshit we can ignore after everyone who cares about it is dead? Not that the US actually follows International Law unconditionally anyways.

We're spending too much time trying to justify escalation, and not enough time de-escalating. It's as simple as that. Conceding anything to Putin would be painful and heartbreaking, but it would either de-escalate the situation, or prove he was lying with no further risk.

NATO: "Okay, Ukraine can't join NATO and you can have de facto control over their foreign policy via Minsk 2"

Russia: "Oh, well actually that's not gonna work anymore."

World: *Facepalm*


Literally, the only way I can see our current trajectory making sense is if someone secretly replaced all of Russia's Nuclear Arsenal with cartoonishly big flags that say "Boom!" on them.

10
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 02, 2022, 03:20:45 am »
It doesn't even matter at this point. NATO all but just collectively agreed to shoot down Russian planes in their air space. Because backing a solipsistic nut job with Nuclear Launch Codes, who's just humiliated himself in front of the entire World, even further into a corner is sure to work out well for everyone.

I mean, seriously? Is no one else getting "Don't Look Up" vibes right now? What in the actual fuck is going on?

11
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 02, 2022, 02:29:38 am »
Sometimes a war happens and America isn't the bad guy.

Call me crazy, but there you are.

I didn't say America was solely responsible. They didn't invade Ukraine. That's Putin's sin. I'm saying America's inaction, through either laziness or ignorance, helped build the conditions that made it a reality. They are complicit, and if they continue down this line of reasoning with Russia, we're no longer going to be alive to bitch about it. It's our responsibility to pressure our government to do better.

Giving them the out is like giving American Corporate Oligarchs an out for having lived through and been brainwashed by Capitalist Propaganda into thinking their persistent exploitation of their fellow countrymen and the environment is okay because profits are up this quarter. They chose to keep overwhelming Power. They are culpable for how they've used and abused it, regardless of whether they understand their role in the resulting dystopia.

12
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: March 02, 2022, 02:04:47 am »

The thing is, if Russia's going to threaten to invade if Ukraine's part of NATO or not, then they might as well join, since the opportunity cost is exactly the same. "Neutrality" isn't really an option here, even that will be taken as trying to remove themselves from Russia's sphere of influence. That's what is so damning about the whole thing, the Minsk agreement would have effectively made them neutral, but that apparently wasn't acceptable enough to Putin's people.


If Ukraine is a part of NATO, doesn't that obligate the US and NATO to do a lot more than send them weapons when attacked? Theoretically pushing us closer to direct conflict and subsequent Nuclear Annihilation? Based on a lot of talk going around by World Leaders, Military Strategists, and every-day idiots on my Facebook feed, I no longer buy the assumption that everyone believes in MAD. And that should have been pretty predictable, considering it's merely an extrapolation of the concept of "Chicken" to Global proportions. I can find article after article of that game ending in countless dead idiots on the freeway. For that reason, we shouldn't consider direct conflict and invocation of MAD as an option. It might have been a pretty concept when even the Nuclear Arsenals of two countries couldn't turn our planet into a soot-covered, radioactive icy hellscape, but we're past that now.

Putin couldn't have been completely unaware of how much Ukraine has been building its Defenses since 2014. I refuse to believe that even a frustrated Putin would consider a direct Military Conflict to be cheaper than the de facto conditions of the Minsk 2 Agreement (Culture Wars and Intelligence/Espionage operations to establish Hegemony over Ukraine with the help of Political Factions from the Donbas and Crimean Peninsula.). If the US and NATO were willing to do the bare minimum, like talk Ukraine off the ledge Re: NATO membership (Which literally no one wanted anyways.) and actually moving forward with the Minsk 2 despite its disagreement on the interpretation, and overall cared more about preventing escalating conflict even when inconvenient, I think Russia would have avoided a full invasion and countless lives could have been saved.

I speak as someone who knows their own signaling couldn't possibly affect a foreign country. Nothing I say or do is going to affect Putin's decision-making. But if I kick up enough shit about my own country's actions/inaction, I have a higher, even if negligible chance of making someone in Washington attribute more value to human life and do better.

We're able to properly condemn the actions of people within a country/society using the Justice System. When their actions put the Liberty of others in Jeopardy, we quite literally have the ability to, with a seemingly external overwhelming force, put them in their place and maybe even rehabilitate them when we're feeling humane. When we're talking about the scale of World Super-Powers with the ability to end organized Human Life as we know it in less than an hour, there is no external overwhelming force that can come to the rescue. We actually have to take into account the concerns of absolute pieces of shit, and concede when it means living to find another way to beat them. I don't think we can continue treating War on the World Stage like some Moral pissing contest between opposing views on "Nation Sovereignty", as if the US Government or NATO ever gave a shit about that anyways. Countries do not exist in a vacuum - Sovereignty does not mean "Can act without consequences". There are ways of organizing against Autocrats that don't involve putting us all at risk, even if those methods might require us to admit that our own forms of Human Organization are inherently violent and wrong. I'm done pretending like the World Leaders should get a free pass to play ignorant every time another country starts a very predictable and preventable catastrophe.

/rant

Not directed at anyone here. Just completely disgusted by our general views of conflict as a species right now.

13
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: February 27, 2022, 08:00:29 pm »
On second thought, I'm back to thinking this War shouldn't have been considered an option by any party, and that any inaction or provocative action that contributed to it by any of the world powers, be it the Ukrainian, US, or Russian governments or otherwise, is unacceptable. I think the fact that we keep accepting Imperialist strategies in National Security discourse is part of what's contributing to their popularity, beyond their general effectiveness in securing Coercive Control (Not that you were or anything - I just mean about supporting things like NATO or other systems that contrute to conflict-for-profit.). I would rather concede money and resources to Dictators in exchange for other concessions in Power or expansion, and encourage healthy dissent in their populations through Discordian propaganda.

14
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: February 26, 2022, 03:31:47 pm »
I think you're giving too much credit to the US here and too little agency to the Russians.

Let's be very clear here: Russia had a choice. I thought up until about a week ago that this was simply then playing hardball on the Minsk agreement - a framework agreed upon by Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine that in theory would have resolved Russia's concerns about NATO on their borders without dismembering Ukraine entirely. The essence of it would have been that the separatist regions of Ukraine would have been recognised as having a special regional status and greater freedoms to institute their own laws but in return would get a veto over future national security arrangements. This would have allowed for Russia to covertly control them from behind the scenes and use them to keep them out of the NATO framework. Again, this was agreed to by the US, though Ukraine was dragging it's feet on implementing it.

However, we can now clearly see that was not the case. Indeed, Russia was engaging in duplicitous diplomacy with France and Germany right up until the point the invasion started precisely to convince them that this was their aim.

Furthermore, the Ukraine of today is not the Ukraine of ten years ago. Despite not being a member of NATO, it's armed forces have been considerably hardened by US and EU aid, most notably advanced Stingers and MANPADs were unlocked for sale a couple of months back - in conjunction with everything else they've been given over the past eight years, they have the means to turn Ukraine into a hellish insurgent landscape. The kind of urban fighting that commanders hate and irregular fighters love - that's what awaits the Russians currently in Kiev and Odessa, and they are going to be bloodied night and day until they leave. Bombs on the street, rat poison and glass in their food...it's never going to end and they'll be looking over their backs every moment they're there.

Finally, Russia's economy cannot afford a protracted conflict, and nor can their military. They are trying to run a superpower on an economy the size of Texas. Three-quarters of their available manpower is now concentrated on Ukraine or the borders around it. That means they are weaker everywhere else - and the longer this goes on, the weaker they will get. NATO won't take direct advantage of this, because no-one wants two nuclear powers fighting - but you can bet Russia's partners in the Middle East, the Caucasians and in Central Asia will feel their absence.

In short, there were a lot of reasons to believe that Russia would not invade, because invading is about the dumbest thing Putin could do. But he did. Putin chose to wage a war of aggression, when he had other options available, and the reasons for that are complicated but essentially there is a revanchist, nationalistic movement within the Russian "mainstream" that wishes to rectify the "mistakes" of history, such as the dissolution of the Russian Empire and it's successor state in the Soviet Union.

This movement views countries like Ukraine and even Belarus as illegitimate creations of the Soviet state that should have returned to a Russian status at the end of the Cold War. It's this movement which managed to get a vote through the Russian Parliament that those Ukrainian regions be recognised as independent - and certainly it can be argued that such a proposal never would have made it through without being agreed on from higher up. But Russia is not a straightforward dictatorship where a single man rules - there are factions and key constituencies who need to be listened to and supported, and there is negotiation back and forth between these groups and various power centres in the Russian state, which includes oligarchs who stand to profit not only from a conflict in Ukraine but the establishment of new markets where sanctions are not applied to them. These power centres, for their various reasons, decided a Ukrainian invasion was the way to go, and so allowed the vote to go ahead.

That's not to say that the US and NATO do not share some blame - they certainly could have done more, both historically and in the present to try and assure Russia of it's security aims. At the same time, given what has already been provided, it's hard to say what would have actually convinced the Russians to back off, without a complete change in NATO policy going back to the early 1990s or similar. A democratic Ukraine was always going to be on contentious ground with an autocratic Russia - and would naturally seek allies and frameworks agreed on with them to try and blunt any Russian aggression. The lack of natural barriers - barring the Dnieper - in the region mean security is always going to be fraught and hard to obtain in any concrete way except through these alliances and agreements, and short of telling Ukraine to fend for itself and leaving it to the Russians to absorb, I think any degree of assistance was always going to be looked upon by a suspicious Kremlin as the first step in a NATO agreement. In short, Russia views Ukraine in a simple binary position of either it is with them, or it is against them. Clearly it is not with them for now, so the only thing to do is secure a regime change to ensure that is not the case in the future.

Thank you for this, Cain. This details exactly the nuances and finer history I was missing.

I guess the perspective I was coming from was that the US's role in the history of the tension, especially in Bush's open backing of Ukraine's entry into NATO in 2008, combined with the US's undeniable influence and influential capabilities involving the current situation, made them responsible to some degree. The old addage "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility" and so on. In my view, Ukraine asking to join NATO and the US openly inviting them (Even after that request to join) look very different from the perspective of a country who's worried about Western aggression and their security. And I feel like if that were the case, the State/Defense Departments knew that and were still okay with it anyways.

But also, as an American who's sick of seeing its leaders use other Countries as Chess Pawns for financial gain, I couldn't help but feel like many of these scenarios were already accounted for by US Defense/State Departments, and that steps were taken to ensure only one or two scenarios were possible - Neither of them involving peace.

At the very least, the US's stance in most cases is "How can this situation be used to benefit me the most?", and I would argue that that starting point skews almost every single International discussion on conflict in a dangerous long term direction.

That being said, I'm not suggesting that the US is solely responsible. We know the Russian Oligarchs are a bunch of cunts, and what you've said about Ukraine's new defenses and tactics has given me a much brighter outlook on the results of the conflict, and put me in the mood of "Fuck it, let's send in as much support to Ukraine as possible and make Russian Oligarchs go 'On second thought, let's not go [further West]. T'is a [scary] place.'"

Gangster-ass Ukraine, understanding fully the dangers of joining NATO being a Russian neighbor, still wants to join. If anyone deserved to join, it'd be them. So I guess let's give Russia Hell.

15
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« on: February 25, 2022, 08:35:36 pm »
(Assuming this is about Picking Cain's Brains in general, and not just about Middle East conflict. Please let me know if this should go somewhere else.)

I'm familiar with the history of NATO's expansion and Russia's realistic geostrategic concerns surrounding Ukraine joining NATO. What I can't wrap my head around is why we left the table of Diplomacy for this and guaranteed an invasion of Ukraine? Russia openly bolstered their Economic Security for years to ensure that sanctions would no longer be very effective (Except for oil, but my reading tells me this has a massive impact on other NATO countries like Germany, and otherwise backs Russia into an even more precarious corner that might make conflict less predictable.), and the State Department/President knew this, so obviously their plan wasn't to Sanction Russia out of conflict again. The only conclusion I can come to is that we generally saw this coming a mile away, and pretty bluntly did nothing about it because the path of least resistance from a Cost-Benefit scenario was to:

1. Let Russia invade Ukraine
2. Send Ukraine weapons/support that would barely constitute a drop from our military budget to maintain the appearance of caring about their sovereignty

Did we actually do this? Did we push these tensions by expanding NATO just so Russia could take Ukraine? It technically removes the conflict, as there would then be no nation to have join NATO, and therefore nothing to fight with Russia over for now.

I feel like I have to be missing something pretty big and obvious. Even a Capitalist/Imperialist country like the US couldn't be so apathetic that they saw the easiest solution to the crisis being the absorption of Ukraine into Russia via all-out war. Also, wouldn't this embolden Russia to push the envelope further once they realized they could get away with it? Wouldn't they wanna push to expand further? I feel like this is just an attempt to create the conditions that make the "New Russian Sphere of Influence" argument a material justification for further demonization of Russia.

After some further reading, it appears the main goal of this tactic was to ensure Russia had more work to do in order to expand and undo NATO, while simultaneously preventing direct conflict between NATO and Russia in the short term. If we let Russia invade Ukraine but ensure Ukraine's defenses are bolstered with modern NATO Defense systems, Russia has to expend more effort and resources to go beyond Ukraine. Combined with Sanctions that extricate Russia from the Global Economy, it appears the general goal is to bleed them out before they can pick up Westward momentum.

But this just begs the question, considering Russia's efforts to defend against Sanctions: Isn't this just kicking the can down the road? Or worse, backing them into a more desperate corner?

And isn't the easiest way out of this situation to back off NATO expansion and talk Ukraine and any other Russian neighbors "off the [NATO Membership] ledge"? I mean, what good is a military-based Peace Alliance like NATO if membership increase feeds conflict? Russians have made it clear that further expansion Eastward is fatal.

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