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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. Yeah, I'm quite happy with how Obama has managed this whole Koran burning provocation. Hopefully he keeps up the example, because I think it's a good lead. I had to turn off the radio yesterday listening to another talk show pundit going on about how Obama needs to "get a backbone" and stand up to the middle east, instead of apologizing to the world, and tell them "if you attack us, we'll bring hell to your country" and blah blah blah...how absolutely freakin' disappointing. There seems to be an element of the right that just won't mature and evolve with the rest of us; stuck on national ego. It's thinking like this that can undo lessons of tactical wisdom. I teach my kids to not let people control them with anger provocation. If people can say X or Y and make you lose your cool, your mind, then they control you and can manipulate you. This immaturity I see on the right is at the very least tactically stupid. To submit to national ego is to let terrorists control us and manipulate us, since war is exactly what they want. Anyway, I hope you're right about mutual enlightenment winning the day. It sure isn't looking good so far...
  2. And now I just read that the city plans on charging the church to protect their free speech rights: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/fbi-urges-minister-to-call-off-koran-burning/article1701409/ I'm actually far more interested in the implications of this peripheral issue on charging people usage fees to protect their rights. What's next? Going to charge me more to protect my brand new truck from theft than my neighbor who has a used Volvo? I wonder how that would have set with posterity if we charged black folks more money to cover security while they spoke out and protested during the civil rights movement. Or how about women's suffrage? Did we charge them the extra bucks needed to maintain their free speech too? For the same reason it's not an indictment of all box knives, nor an accusation of evil doing on the part of box knives because it's disturbing to open a box knife manufacturing facility in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. It's emotions provoked by symbolism. It's not rational, so I'm not sure why you keep trying to apply logic here. We recently bought a car from a woman who lost her son in some kind of accident, we didn't ask. She didn't want his car, even though it appeared to be her only vehicle - again, we didn't ask. Should we have ridiculed her for it and explained how stupid it is to sell her, possibly, only transportation? Should I have pretended as if there was no valid connection to this machine and her son, and suspected her of indicting all automobiles as evil or whatnot? Not a perfect example, but it explains what I tried to get across to you and others earlier in that thread. Since we're not talking about laws here, there is no imperative to force reason down anyone's throats. I really thought some of you could identify with the lack of emotional connection to 9/11. I'm an Oklahoma native, and when the Oklahoma City bombing happened, you would have thought the media's prayers were answered. Each local news channel even had a little graphic of an explosion in bottom corner of the screen - Terror In The Heartland - in big scary letters, not even an hour after it happened. I was horrified watching the news and everyone around the event make it about them. It disgusted me to watch everyone seemingly enjoying the drama, to be a part of a tragedy, to make themselves part of it. I decided I just don't see things like other people. I'm just not connected to the rest of ya'. When my mother came to visit just this last weekend, she started crying again about 9/11 when we talked about the Mosque thing. There are other people I work with as well, that still behave as if this was a personal life tragedy. I don't feel that at all, it almost feels like Oklahoma City all over again. It doesn't feel like something that happened to me at all. I don't identify with my nation group and feel the subtending affects of sorrow over the event, and it still seems like everyone is almost enjoying the tragedy - something to cry and "care" about. It's no wonder I have no issue at all with the site. I just don't care. I can look at this purely objectively, and reasonably, and conclude it's actually a cool idea. No matter how self obsorbed I suspect people are, they connect with this event on a personal level, and it really is a somewhat traumatic event in their lives. Very similar to the aching mother that sold us her son's car almost a month after he was killed. I don't think it's genuine, noble, insightful, enlightened, reasonable - none of it - to make believe these connections are about hatred for Islam, or ignorance because of shallow minded reasoning. It's human emotion. Irrational symbolic concession, of sorts. Letting symbols rule over one's better faculties. And whether you all want to admit it or not, you do it too. You've done it too, before. You might do it again. And if you suffer another family tragedy, you're not going to be interested in anyone's rational conclusion on your emotional decisions. Like burying dead people in a comfy casket. Try explaining how ridiculous and ignorant that is, to your weeping family. It's simple. Civil Rights was about laws; changing behavior. We don't care about emotional baggage, right or wrong, when negotiating laws and rights. This Mosque is about thoughts and opinions. Behavior is already consistent with rights. This about changing the hearts and minds of people we believe are misguided and wrong. It has no impact on laws in place, governing rights. And the conservatives are quite consistent on this, oddly enough. Like I said, if we're talking about laws and rights, then I don't care how much the South didn't like it. If we're talking about hearts and minds, then I do care about what the South thinks, so I can try to change what they think. I need to find out where the source of their concern really is; what their assumptions are, that enable this logic. I don't think provoking them or ridiculing them is going to make them listen to me and be open to my ideas.
  3. And I'm not hearing an argument against that. In fact, it's almost annoying to hear pundits prefix their positions with that disclaimer. They aren't indicting all of Islam, they are grossed out and insulted that anything Islamic be erected near the site where Islamic extremists killed people. They think it's wrong, the same as I think it's perverse to open a box knife factory next to that field in Pennsylvania where flight 93 went down. You're making connections that don't exist. Laws govern behavior, not thought. So if you're making an argument that ridicule and provocation would be a nifty idea to change the hearts and minds of southern whites in 1963, then I'd bet all of the money in the world against you. Granted, any disparagements aimed at them would make me smile, but they wouldn't change a single heart or mind in that crowd. Thanks for helping with my point. To those southern whites, this was a big issue. In fact, it was a big issue for black folks too, wasn't it?
  4. Oops, my bad, I thought this was a thread on the Bush Tax cuts. Looks like it's iNow's vanity page...or is it ego therapy? Ah well, either way, it's about rescuing his manhood from something...
  5. I have to side with North Carolina on this. I'm sorry if it costs TVA bunches of money to not poison their neighbor's air, but it's not compelling to cite hardship to trump someone's rights - or a state full of someones. It's kind of nice to see the federal government being invoked in a matter that absolutely is theirs to resolve, though.
  6. What about a box knife factory two blocks from the crater in the field where flight 93 crashed? Think Pennsylvanians will cheer for that? If you can't see their argument, then I'm not sure you're really applying critical thought. Not saying you have to agree, but you appear to be refusing to notice the elephant in the room. Islam. Murderers. Murderers murdering for Islam. Fair? Shit, no. But, gee, let's build an Islamic thing down the street and pretend no one should notice the connection? And what about the perceptions of other Islamic worshipping murderers? What if they view this mosque as a victory symbol and sign that the US is beginning to weaken to the pressures brought on by terrorism? What if they use it to spike recruitement and it dwarfs the numbers achieved by US wars in middle east? My opinion is still the same. I don't care about the above issues and the mosque, community center should be built. Tolerance should win. But to pretend like the opposition is essentially baseless southern christian bullshit that was baited by media? No, I'm not buying it when 70% of americans agree with them.
  7. So, am I correct in assuming that you believe the "Ground Zero" Mosque was purely manufactured and that the opponents of building idolatrous symbols worshipped by the 19 murderers that slayed thousands of people, were baited? Just pure manufactured nonsense that none of them would have cared until someone made them believe they should care? If so, I could make that argument about any incident in history once it was reported. When americans didn't know Pearl Harbor was bombed, I doubt they wanted to war with anyone. It wasn't until the media "manufactured" Japanese hatred by reporting the freaking news - bunch of sensationalists.... And what if some Japanese americans wanted to build a Japanese community center anywhere near that area? Would americans be all for that until the media duped them into believing they shouldn't? The Koran burning event is mostly interesting to liberals and democrats. It fits their bias confirmation models. Just like the conservatives loved to hear Phil Hare say "I don't worry about the constitution on this...". And, anyone who identifies with those groups will naturally shrug their shoulders upon defense. Are you really going to blur a moral line between putting convicted murderers to death and women who are stoned to death for adultery? Is it that important to slam the western world that we're going to make believe we're just like them? Seriously? I don't agree with the death penalty either, but even I have enough sense to see the difference here. This moral equivalency is a scam. How about we roll back our societal evolution and get women back in the kitchen? Let's take their vote away on the presumption they aren't smart enough or important enough to be heard. Let's do celebratory medical procedures to ruin sex competely for them and start owning them like sheep. Hey, let's stone them to death when they get gang raped at a party. Let's do that, and then I'll start taking these moral equivalency arguments seriously. The Western world is claiming Islam is an evil religion. I've heard it over and over. I hear it in the callers on talk radio. Terrible, elementary logic at work there, with ridiculous inconsistencies and arguments. This false impression seems to be largely based on Muslims being largely, and weirdly, quiet about terrorism. Don't misunderstand though, because I've been asking for quite some time how exactly a Muslim is supposed to call a press conference so they can be heard - in other words, I think we're not listening as much as they're not talking. And I have a hard time blaming quiet members of a group for the actions of their louder members. Remember all the creepy, lethargic behavior out of the Pope and the Catholic religion in general when they just refused to come down on child molestation the way the rest of us were? Remember how suspicious we all were about that odd hesitation to flat out condemn and fiercely punish one of the most heinous acts a human being could inflict on another? Let alone to be engaged in by priests on children, no doubt? Remember the anger directed at them for this? This is entirely consistent with Islam and terrorism. Only worse, because we're at least familiar with the Christian faith, and Catholicism by extension - it doesn't carry a lot of mystery like Islam does, with us. You take a religion that is largely a mystery to most of a particular society, and add in this insulting formula of quiet, hesitant, measured condemnation of murderous nutcases who exploit the Islam religion to commit heinous acts on other human beings, and it doesn't take long for that society to get suspicious, and for sensibilities to break down. We know this. We've experienced this. Why don't we act like we know this and have experienced this? Why do we always act like the other side has no reason to believe what they believe? We know damn well why they believe what they believe. And then factor in how folks love to give the benefit of the doubt to Islam, but not to christianity. I've watched ardent athiests and opponents of organized religion completely trash christians on this site, equating it to murder in some cases. But Islam enjoys a more sympathetic judgement. For no better reason, apparently, than that some of their countries are being persecuted by modern armies, hurting people that haven't had a chance to be "enlightened" by modern thinking. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my guess. Look at the statement in the post I quoted "After all, once a month there is a story about a woman being stoned to death somewhere in a Muslim country... the fact that America also kills people - although they use an injection - is beside the point." - here Muslims were defended by a moral equivalency argument. Would this have happened if Christians stoned women to death in the western world? Would you swoop in with this argument and defend snap moral judgements against stoning women by European Christians? You could have made your point about how the west thinks, without throwing in the moral equivalency of capital punishment - you appeared to really want to make that point. It's a combination of these things, and probably others, that contributes to the whole of western perception - at least the american region of the west. And this Koran burning story is just more timber for that fire. At least that's what it looks like in my reality tunnel.
  8. Well it's funnier and more pathetic to watch the older kids copy the younger kids. Fox is but one outlet, and here we seem to have much of the leftie media jumping on this one. That's kind of like watching a room full of 40 year olds talk like teenagers wearing saggy pants, oversized shirts and the ever original sideways ball cap. But that's ok, because if they haven't already, Fox news will come to his "rescue" and imply a lack of free speech using their "Question of the day" elusion technique...
  9. Yeah, maybe so. Something about the word really makes me smile, I love it. It's like saying you don't matter enough to be an ass, you're only relevant enough to achieve an ass's hat... I mean, if you're going to use pejoratives, they might as well be funny too.
  10. ParanoiA

    We WON!

    I call this operation "let's-get-the-f@#k-out-of-here", and yes we're winning! The whole "win" thing is just silly to me. The conservatives are on about the importance of winning, equating it to national pride and patriotism. It may be somewhat intuitive, but changing the shape of the goal posts is always disturbing to me - by redirecting our psychology from the means to the ends, like "winning and losing", we can commit astonishing atrocities trying to "win". Such an oversimplified, quaint little imperative, winning. I think the funniest part of this war is about the presidents spinning all this shit. It's hilarious. we've got GWB swooping in an calling it a success while we're still in occupation mode, crap blowing up almost everyday, and now we've got Obama calling it a success merely because we've decided to leave now, while we've still got 50,000 troops over there. I think both of these knuckleheads are creating their own reality around them. Do they even realize we watch TV and stuff? Likewise, you have to wonder why people sit around and wait for tax money to take of others they care so much about. We let homeless people die in the streets while all the attention and focus is on coercing property from the citizenry to take care of them, instead of giving up their own property, or persuading property and resources from others to share with the needy. Only those who aren't directly dependent on a bureaucracy are so proud of them. In america, ask any poor person on food stamps about the hell they had to go through to get those stamps - and how they had to starve and beg churches and other charitable solutions for immediate relief because food stamps have a lead time that doesn't respect your growling stomach. (Then ask them about "emergency food stamps" - there's a real treat of a misnomer...) State assistance is pathetic and anyone who advocates it doesn't understand much about the business end of poverty. No, I'd rather time and money go directly to the churches that open their doors and let them eat and sleep there - or open your own house to some of them. It takes on a different feel when you face these people, and hand them plates of slop from a food truck and see how many appreciate and how many don't appreciate, any of it. This is what happens to human psychology with too much invested so much statist bureacracy to government, no one can think past taxes and programs and government buildings to solve problems. They just want to be able to throw money at it while their conscience is sparred the discomforting details and ineffectual intentions. When rich people do that, it's shameful and self centered, but when society does it as a whole....it's compassionate and caring? Please... It's true, and we kind of deserve it for the same reason. We're those henpecked men in bad marriages without enough self respect to leave the situation or kick the nagging partner out on their duff. Nobody has respect for a man that paradoxically throws his hands up in subordinated frustration demanding to be told what to do. We asked for it and prefer it over being a mere equal. If we rejected the notion of world police force and didn't build military bases all over the planet and just took a casual seat in the room, so to speak, we wouldn't be treated like parents, as we are now. We have the thankless job because we insisted on the thankless job. I'm ready to quit when you guys are.
  11. By private property rule structure, I was referring to the rules created to facilitate honest voluntary trade, like laws against false advertising, upholding contacts..etc. Not the rules that allow the government to take property by exception logic, like taxes or eminent domain. Only voluntary taxation is consistent with private property design. Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panthers, as offensive as he is, made a splendid observation that bothers some people: You aren't free if you have to ask permission. He's absolutely right. And that logic applies here as well. It isn't your private property if you only own it by permission. If the government, read the majority of the people, decide they want your property and can take it by force then it's in direct conflict with the philosophy of private property. It is antithetical to that entire philosophy. Of course, even without taxes and other forms of confiscated property, one could make the argument it's still a permission based design. But in that case, the honor of the social agreement is not in question. With the presence of state exceptions to confiscate your property, that honor is constantly in question. Imagine if say, eminent domain got so far out of hand that all it took was an expensive lunch, on your dime, with a congressman and he'd get you whatever real estate you wanted. At what point do people stop buying real estate - voluntary trade - and start taking congressmen out to lunch instead? That's corruption. The more exceptions you make to the private property concept, the more you invalidate the concept, which undermines the purpose of the concept. If I am to accept that taxation is not inconsistent, then we don't have private property, we have something else instead. And I guess that speaks to the myth of private property, as you opened this thread with. The part I take issue with is the notion that I should accept this as legitimate, and that it's inconsistent for me to resist more state confiscation rationalized by the citizenry - particularly when it's generally aimed at a minority. I resist it in defense of private property integrity. Instead, I believe it is dangerous to personal freedom, innovation and the competitive spirit that drives humans. Private property only works because people believe their property really is theirs and can't be taken from them, but rather must be persuaded, usually in the form of trade for other resources. And for the record, I do not believe that voluntary taxation is adequate to fund our government. As Skeptic said, we're too greedy to fund it fairly. But just like the survival pragmatics that could justify killing and eating people out of necessity, to then blur the moral line and then kill and eat people just for snack food would threaten everyone. We may confiscate property to pay for the government, but to blur the moral line created by private property threatens everyone.
  12. On the contrary, the distinction between forceable and volutary redistribution is at the heart of it, because that's point of peaceful resource distribution using a private property concept, even though government makes exceptions to his concept in the form of taxation. Taking property by force undermines the social agreement of voluntary trade. When violatons of that social agreement reach critical mass, it will break down into the game of weak and strong, right back where we started. In America, there is as much focus and attention on acquiring property through government manipulation, and thus coercion, as there is voluntary trade. Note the very lobbyists and money you pointed out above, as an example. People take notice to the power of exception and weigh the expected energy output to achieve property through exploitation of the rules verses the energy output to achieve property through cooperating with the rules, as in voluntary trade. It is the popularity of making exceptions to the voluntary design that feeds further attention to causing more exceptions. The more government is influenced to confiscate property, outside of the private property rule structure, the more it attracts others to influence government to do the same. We call it corruption. Government is a response to human imperfection. If I didn't have to worry about you kidnapping my wife, or if I could trust you to be honest about the goods we're trading, and etc, we wouldn't need government. Government is not something to be proud of, but rather something to be ashamed of. That we require an external entity of force basked in the false notion of legitimacy just to keep from robbing and killing each other speaks to our primitive shortcomings. Thus exercises of force are failures of group cooperation. Taxes are confiscation of property that clearly violate the moral concept of voluntary redistribution. If you rationalize forceable redistribution, then what is the point of morals and ethics? What is the point of developing morals and ethics if the means are irrelevant, and only the "effect" or the ends matter? The first step to any rationalized criminal behavior is to blur the lines between what is considered good and bad behavior by society. To invalidate the moral assumption; to provide room for the fantasy of unfairness, such as the haves and have nots - leading themselves to believe that wealth is finite and the rich are holding resources hostage from the rest of the world. Even though we know that one man could possess all of the tomatoes on the earth, yet the majority of us can go in our backyard and plant tomatoes and create more wealth. The rich could possess all of the couches, yet most of us could build new couches in our garage, creating more wealth. Wealth is not finite. But we lead ourselves to our own delusion, and then create the antagonists within the story, which just happen to be a minority. ( We have a rich history of abusing minorities, and we never realize it while we're doing it. We always have great "reasons" for it too. ) Your verbiage is compelling, your writing is beautiful, but your rationalization is typical. Forceable redistribution directly contradicts the reason why we invented private property philosophy. The proper government motivation for taxation, or confiscation of property acquired through work and trade, in my opinion, should be limited to funding what is necessary to maintain the shame of this external arbiter of failed social agreements. The resistance to taxation, particularly in private property models, is a resistance to the exceptions of the voluntary moral necessary for private property models to exist.
  13. Yeah, I used poor language. I hadn't thought of it as rejecting induction, but I think I understand what you mean. You're saying, essentially, that science cannot accept strong or weak induction as a substitute for confirmation. It must respect the principles of induction and not therefore make leaps of faith. I was saying, essentially, that the method is driven by the concept "that the conclusion is false even where all of the premises are true", and thus the method can never confirm things and make leaps of faith. And yeah, I concede "driven" is not the right word. I didn't mean to imply that induction is "utilized" by the method, but rather that the method respects the logic that supports induction. And because the scientific method respects the notion that a conclusion is false even where all of the premises are true, it cannot therefore confirm things. I think we're saying the same thing, but coming at it a different way. Mine being a bit sloppy I guess. You have suggested that book before, and it's on my list. Right now I have to get caught up on Covenant to get ready for the new one coming out. But it will be next...
  14. High five. I am certainly ignorant about 99% of reality, but it's not deliberate, no matter what my wife says. I've noticed the same thing. But I have to say, I've noticed a lot of antiquated ignorance out of conservatives and a lot of logical fallacies. It's partly why I think the left gets accused of being elitist. Of course, I'm talking about conservative talk radio callers as well as the yoyo's I work with. The ignorance of the left doesn't seem so obvious. So, why not come up with your own "ignorance" survey? Could be fun. I'd love to hand it to some liberal junkies here at work and see how they rate.
  15. I do not agree with this assumption. This is purely dynamic and this statement is a bit faith based. There may be no one around to find value in this wealth, but one can accumulate massive wealth under the right conditions and personal attributes. Very true. Other members of the animal kingdom contribute to an individual's wealth as well, not just humans, and they don't get any credit for it either. We only recognize other humans as owners of wealth. It should be noted that this private property concept is a peaceful substitute for pure might determining who gets what. Further, this private property concept influences the psychology of production and motivation which also benefits the rest of society. Essentially, the extent to which people help each other produce in the aggregate, is immeasurable. And since we effect each other with every decision we make, from buying a house to eating twinkies, we cannot claim these effects are one sided and not reciprocated absent government redistribution. And note the difference between coercive confiscation and voluntary trade. Civil laws covering contracts are designed to facilitate a fair trade or agreement, whereas changes in tax code cover confiscating property from the individual involuntarily. Again, this suggest no reciprocation. If your factory makes more money because the workers are more competent, then their efficiency and total wealth creation is higher, which adds to the total wealth of the community, not to mention the increase in quality of life or standard of living for the employees. Contracts are between two or more people, there is no "your favor" - it's all party's favor. As a moral or ethical statement, I disagree. I disagree with the assumptions and one sided nature of your analysis. If we ignore the motivation to redistribute property, then all is well with this logic, if not incomplete. If we distinguish the difference between forceable confiscation of property by the state and voluntary trade between free people, then this logic crumbles. We can do the same thing with murder. It is perfectly consistent to murder your neighbor since we know that armies murder too when invaded by another country. But when we distinguish the difference between national defense and personal joy killing it becomes clear that one is a moral imperative while the other is clearly immoral and unethical. Further, to confiscate property by might undermines the entire purpose of the concept of private property in a civilized society in the first place - we're right back to using might to determine who gets what. It's just more organized and looks prettier when we call it "government". Private property is a myth in that ultimately we hold property by might, though we design social systems that obscure this reality into a cooperative arrangement of law. This is better for the group as a whole since it promotes developing attributes that benefit the group. Fighting and killing to determine who gets what doesn't promote a society's evolution very well at all. Any society that uses a peaceful solution to allocate resources will likely overtake one that doesn't. And any society that can successfully design their system with the same competitive forces found in the former, while maintaining the peace and cooperation of the latter, will likely overtake them all.
  16. Are you sure that it's irrelevant to know what nation states border Iraq and who the US might have to work with in order to launch a war? Are you sure that you really don't need to know how big or small the nation is to gauge what kind of war we might be fighting? Is it really worthless to know the geography of a world in which a handful of countries would like to wipe you off the map with nuclear weapons with limited range? Not curious who's closest to reaching you, even? I think prioritizing what you need to know is important and maybe geography makes it further down the list than understanding your government. But I think it helps to understand the world's people and their cultures and how it changes from region to region when you consider them geographically. And that kind of knowledge will impact the way you analyze international politics and how we interface with the world.
  17. The forum has helped me in all the ways mentioned above, as well as realizing just how batshit crazy people really are. I used to think that unsubstantiated beliefs, exception rationalization, inconsistent ideology, fear mongering, and etc were limited to one kind of psychology and traditional or antiquated philosophy. Then, to my horror, I have discovered it in everyone, no matter what ideology or philosophical foundation they were impressed with, while they all point fingers at each other for doing it. If I wasn't part of the human race, I would laugh about it. I came here to discuss and debate with logical thinkers. Scientists, no matter their persuasion, are just damned interesting people. They're less inclined to appeal to ridicule, to use cheap argumentative tricks and etc, they're more predisposed to proving their logic genuinely. And because of that, they've changed my mind on a number of things and caused me to think far deeper than I ever had before. I had to strip my beliefs down to the foundation and admit or reject assumptions and then rebuild. I'm much happier, and more confident in what I believe because of this process, all made possible by the people on this site. There's probably more. But that's what comes to mind...
  18. I know they held it, but was it just down the street, or did they merely share the same town? Either way, I wouldn't blame the public for finding it tasteless. Charlton Heston either missed the same emotional connection by appealing to intellect, or there's more to that story. I don't believe this is about Islamaphobia, though that exists as well. The connection is obvious, and it's insulting to intellectualize it into bigotry. I think it's quite simply about irrational emotions around a mass murder of thousands by crazy dudes claiming Islamic holy war in the name of Allah. So yeah, it's not surprising that people would find it weird and tasteless to have anything Islamic nearby.
  19. Oops, there for a minute I thought you read my post. You might give it a quick read and note the point on symbolism and how "blaming all Muslims for 9/11..." is a strawman. And yes, I think a gun convention across the street or even a couple blocks from Columbine would have been a bad idea. And even though it wasn't intimate geographically like this Community Center, I still think it a bit heartless to go through with it. For anyone who is interested, this is a nice no-spin read on the facts related to the "Ground Zero" Mosque. Though this is a largely emotional issue, some facts are still valuable. Is there a point to this statement? Did someone in here make believe that all terrorism is "an Islamic thing"? I didn't read that anywhere, but I suppose I could have missed it. I do know that the 9/11 terrorists were Islamic extremists, and that this issue is about perceived respect for the survivors and victims of 9/11 and that there's an obvious symbolic connection there that rubs people the wrong way. But all terrorism? That would be crazy.
  20. So, the notorious "Steakhouse" killer murders an entire neighborhood after his T-bone steak tells him to do it and promises juicy fillets for eternity in the afterlife and the survivors erect a memorial for the neighborhood victims. Shortly after, Ryan's Steakhouse wants to build a restaraunt across the street from the infamous memorial. Bad taste? ( get it?...ok, that was stupid). But seriously. I believe it would be the same kind of insensitivity and the same kind of opposition. Scale it up to a national event and it's a controversy. It's not that anyone believes Ryan's Steakhouse is evil, or had something to do with the neighborhood slaughter, or that eating steak is wrong or any such nonsense - it's the obvious symbolic connection. Sorry, but humans make these connections and as irrational as it may be to oppose a silly restaurant, I believe they would. To pretend as if there's no symbolic, poetic connection to 9/11 and Islam is just as ridiculous as assuming Islam is an evil religion that caused 9/11. Both extremes serve both agendas. One does not have to oppose Islam in any way to oppose the insensitivity of forcing the issue. With the freedom to build this center will come the freedom to accept the consequences of a society that was dismissed. Also, those that oppose the center must accept the consequences as well - the sentiment won't be forgotten. In an odd way, I think the builders are actually taking it too personally. The symbol of the terrorist's belief system is being rejected, not the people of Islamic faith. Feels very much the same, I understand, but it's more complicated than the overly simplified presentation we've been getting.
  21. Uh...where to hunt and gather, for the best resources is useless information? No, I think the useless info bit is following celebrity asshats on twitter. Have you witnessed primtetime TV lately? The business of the country, too much fast food, communications with overpriced gadgets and etc is at least useful for survival - but enabling someone named Snookie to get rich being tan and stupid is where the real waste of brain space is happening.
  22. Most americans, through religion and our culture, are taught from a very young age exactly how to believe in things without any evidence. We prime their psychology to romanticize dogmatic adherence to unsubstantiated beliefs; we reward blind faith with honor and purity. It's no wonder it's so easy to fool us, we've been trained for it right out of the womb.
  23. It's the inherent problem with democracies. The politicians pander to the constituency so profoundly that they eventually confirm their whims as reason enough for law. They allow the society to be engineered through the governing mechanism because that's where their voices are counted and force applied. Persuading society through the free market of ideas is too arduous and leaves central control unmanned, essentially. Humans are quite uncomfortable without a central control mechanism for any system. Laws against holocaust denial are built from the same wood as Germany's laws to create the holocaust in the first place. Liberal states delude themselves into believing they're liberating people from a great harm as their rights are abridged to accomodate it. France removes a woman's right to wear a Burqa, claiming it liberates them from having to wear a Burqa. This kind of twisted interpretation of liberation is the new affront on freedom that I believe has been, and is, spreading everywhere. Holocaust denial laws fit perfectly. It will all happen in America too. America has no backbone to write its own destiny without reconciling itself with the world's image of it. We used to be proud to be different, now we're ashamed. We will adopt these kinds of laws very soon. I see hate speech as the initial movement, to pry the vault open. Hopefully I'll be dead by then.
  24. Well probably never for a utilitarian perspective. Neither would Pearl Harbor justify the spending in WWII, or even retaliating and doing any kind of war. Would have been cheaper to say sorry, and lift the embargo. I think it's absolutely worth it to kill humans who kill humans. I would always spend more money to chase down and kill humans that kill less than non-humans that kill humans. You can effect the psychology of would-be human killers of other humans before they begin killing. But you can't threaten water, or dissuade water from drowning people by killing other water as an example. So, one may be able to argue that spending lots of money to kill humans could pay off slowly over time as other humans take notice and refrain from it. The main difference being that drowning is an internal failure by a subject, murder is an external violation by another subject. We can't change the nature of objects of reality, like water, but we can change the nature of subjects of reality, like humans. Of course, none of this speaks of ethics.
  25. But his 'miracles are horseshit' comment was to Severian, not needimprovement. Severian didn't crap on this thread, nor this site, and is quite the respectable thinker in my opinion, not to mention, an actual scientist. And so what? If we're doing a comparison on asshats, or if asshatting was a sport, then I could understand your need to choose a side. We already know needimprovement has no respect for the scientific method, this site, or even passionless reason and evidence. There is a worn out revolving door of his model day after day. The folks at this site are more than a little experienced at dealing with that. There is also a model of scientist that forgets to appreciate just how much they don't know about the universe, and the assumptions that the scientific method makes. Personally, I revere science over anything else. I also admit that it's an act of faith to believe that science can and will explain everything - or at least everything that I notice. Not unsupported faith, because we have evidence to support that it's very possible.
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