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Comment: Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (Score 1) 103

Why wouldn't it? China's been slowiy trialing with freeing up the market bit by bit. Even for a autocratic single-party system, they understand they cannot let any single organization, whether they're private or state-owned to be in complete control.

Have you heard of the Communist Party of China?

Have you studied how China actually works rather than this nightmare version that economists who haven't even been to China are scaring you with?

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

I'm an evil atheist, because I'm an atheist, but I also support the idea of being responsible and sensible. Atheists like you consider it evil to have any sort of rules for good living whatsoever. You also commit the genetic fallacy that because some ideas may be in common with religions, it is somehow tainted by those religions.

If you didn't realize, the BUDDHISTS have actual guidelines for living that are not justified by divine revelation. You can take or reject them as you like, but you cannot seriously deny that the Middle Eightfold Path (unlike the Ten Commandments) is sensible for the most part without relying on divine punishment as an enforcer.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

Why would I? The problem is exactly people like you who are prescribing the lifestyle people must have: get drunk and smoke pot.

Well no, that is such a common cop out that being sensible is not the norm anymore. Everyone must follow the crowd to appease your own personal guilt and shame. Well fuck that. You should feel guilt and shame, and even more guilt and shame for trying to rope everyone into your lifestyle because you can't bear the thought of doing it alone.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

Really? The only thing? Well, I'm glad you're hear to hand down some more 'sensibleness' like that.

Yes, the only thing. Who cares how likely someone is to get addicted to a substance? The only thing that matter is that IT CAN HAPPEN.

To continue to argue against this point is to say people should take drugs if the statistics say it's mostly harmless.

Where have I said that?

You IMPLY by continuing to argue against it. The ONLY way to achieve what you propose is for people to EXPERIMENT with drugs.

I am pointing out the fallacies that you cling to. If an activity of any sort is misunderstood, misrepresented or poorly researched then you cannot make an informed decision about it. You are poorly informed. Clearly you find me saying that offensive.

How much data do you need to make the decision to NOT DO SOMETHING?

If the decision is to NOT DO SOMETHING, then it is informed enough as is necessary. The only purpose to become "more informed" about drug use is if you want to take more of it. So by advocating become more informed about drugs is to advocate experimentation.

Driving is "ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY" and has a higher death rate, per year, than all illegal drugs combined, so clearly teaching kids to "NOT DO IT" is entirely "REASONABLE" and "DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING".

Driving is a REQUIREMENT for a lot of people to get around. It DOES COST certain people not being able to drive. Driving is in a lot of cases NECESSARY. There is NO CASE where recreational drugs are necessary. Tell me one. Go on, I'd love to hear it.

They test the materials for their tolerances. Then they build as far away from the thresholds as is physically and financially and ethically/legally possible.

So you are saying that first they thoroughly understand the materials they are working with, research the matter and then decide whether something is too risky to proceed, or whether it is safe enough? That sounds sensible. Why do you object so much when I suggest that this might be a good model for assessing drug use?

Nice try, but you miss the point of the example. The fact is we already have a good model for assessing drug use: if you don't take it, it CAN'T DO ANYTHING TO YOU. That is the most anyone needs to know without recommending experimentation, which is what you are necessarily arguing for.

I can't believe how hard it is to talk reason to someone to even recognize the fact that there is a concrete lower bound to the effects of drug use.

Friend, you drink tea. Therefore you use a recreational drug (caffeine). It has very few side effects and most people can use it sensibly and without addiction. A few do not. Clearly you have made the cost/benefit and risk/reward analysis and decided that, for you, tea is an acceptable recreational drug. In fact, you probably don't even consider it a drug because it is so socially acceptable and you are clearly incapable of objectivity (on this matter at least).

Nothing to do with it being "socially acceptable". Unlike drugs, there is not even a single case where a person has died, or suffered illness from tea abuse. So I don't need any more statistics about tea to make an informed decision.

Fearmongering is not reasonable, no matter how you capitalise it.

It's not fearmongering to say "it's not worth it". You don't need to scare children. The logic of "if you don't do it, it will have no effect" is a statement of mathematical fact.

You have chosen to blame drugs, even though most evidence shows that people who do struggle with drug addiction do so because they have deeper problems in their lives. By blaming the drug and asserting that "NOT DOING IT" "DOESN"T COST YOU ANYTHING" you get to ignore whether they are struggling with mental illnesses, whether their lives are so bleak and hollow that the temporary respite of narcotics is worth the escape, regardless of the price.

But I don't blame the drugs. I blame the people. People make the choice to use drugs. Drugs can't make that choice. EVEN people with mental illness or empty lives. They know it would make it worse, and they still choose to do it.

I'd rather them be informed about the ALTERNATIVES, rather than informing themselves on how best to take a drug and remain "safe".

That's your decision - but it's not the only 'correct' decision. Banning alcohol didn't work in the US. In fact, it caused more problems than it solved.

And I don't advocate banning it. I advocate people make the informed decision that not doing it will have no effect on them. Not doing it is the ONLY correct decision, because it is the ONLY decision with a CERTAIN outcome. I'd like to know what information you have to suggest that someone can still be a drug abuser without being a drug user.

Countries like Portugal have legalised and decriminalised a number of drugs and have seen a drop in usage as well as the associated problems of creating a black market for drugs (like crime).

And look at the basket case their economy has become. You do realize China fought TWO Opium Wars right? The British forced Opium to be legal in China and it sunk the whole Chinese civilization. There is nothing to be informed about other than the fact that not doing opium was the only way for China to recover from its pending collapse.

By seeing drug abuse (not drug use - you continue to conflate the two)

I'm not conflating the two. I'm pointing out the obvious logical point that drug abuse CANNOT happen WITHOUT drug use. And you can't even agree on that. Instead you recommend people be "informed" about when drug use tips over to become drug abuse. When the effects of drugs is different for everyone, to suggest there is a safe level of drug use that people can be informed about is irresponsible.

You refuse to accept the possibility that you may be wrong on a topic that you continue to demonstrate you have next to no experience in or with, and yet cling to your ignorance as a defence against having to consider that life might not be so black and white as you'd like.

I have the experience of NOT USING recreational drugs. And my experience is that life is pretty fucking bearable without the use of drugs. Therefore, I don't need to be informed about drugs, because I am informed about the alternative.

Other people have tried to tell you how smug, self-congratulatory and unsympathetic that sounds. I'll go further. Your position is childish, selfish and ill-educated. Grow up. Seriously.

Apparently advocating not doing recreational drugs is childish. The "adult" thing is to experiment.

I'm glad I'm childish and not an adult then, because you adults seem fucking stupid.

provide profound new insights (like hallucinogens)

Now THAT is an urban myth. I have yet to encounter any insight from people who took hallucinogens that is actually so profound that people couldn't have arrived by it normally. This is just a bedtime story drug users tell themselves, but it's not true. It's even less factually true than the fact that people can ruin their lives with drugs.

Some will cause dependence if used to frequently. These are all risks that can be managed and minimised by people who are well informed and acting reasonably.

Some people get addicted the first time they try it, or the first few times. That is a risk that CANNOT be managed and minimized. To advocate people get informed to find their level of drug tolerance is precisely what you denied doing in the beginning. Face it.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

Not all drug users end up with ruined lives. Not all ruined lives are caused by drugs. Not all drug users are addicts. Not all addicts use drugs. You keep conflating these and refusing to accept that you are doing so based on faulty reasoning.

You're still not approaching it from the RISK MITIGATION angle, which is the only thing that matters in this discussion.

Taking recreational drugs is a completely voluntary thing and takes ZERO EFFORT to NOT DO. The statistics don't matter because you empirically cannot be affected by drugs if you DON'T TAKE THEM. You do not need to know the statistics in order to avoid the risk BY NOT DOING IT.

To continue to argue against this point is to say people should take drugs if the statistics say it's mostly harmless. That is complete BULLSHIT reasoning. When engineers build things, they don't build things that closely approaches the maximum tolerances of the materials they build with. They don't wait for the statistics of how many failures and deaths are statistically associated with building close to the thresholds. They test the materials for their tolerances. Then they build as far away from the thresholds as is physically and financially and ethically/legally possible. In the case of recreational drugs, NOT DOING IT is a completely REASONABLE decision regardless of the statistics because it DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING. And teaching kids to not do something is a completely reasonable thing to teach.

This isn't like chemotherapy where you either take the drugs and suffer pain or you die from cancer. You don't die if you don't take recreational drugs.

Science does not rely on evidence alone. It also relies on REASON, and your reasoning is complete nonsense in risk mitigation. Fucking hell drug users have the most inane justifications for their failures.

Teachers have a responsibility to educate. Ideally that includes the ability to reason, which is what I really hope you mean when you say 'impart sensibleness'. To the extent that they are imparting incorrect (by way of being incomplete) information they are failing as educators.

Teaching kids to not do something that is ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY is not "incomplete" or "incorrect". Teaching kids that it's okay to do drugs if only 10% of users ruin their lives is irresponsible, and that is in effect what you're arguing for.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

Not at all. I am challenging your assertion that teachers should demonise marijuana because "most" of those who use it do "nothing with their lives ...".

Teachers have a responsibility to impart sensibleness to their students. It shouldn't even matter about the actual statistics. As long a sizeable percentage of drug users ruin their lives, it is the only sensible position for teachers to take.

Now imagine if driving were forbidden. Illegal. Unreported. If the newspapers only every reported on the sordid death of another person in a road fatality. Would you be as able to properly assess the personal risk of driving under such (ridiculous, I know, but I'm trying to make a point) circumstances?

Yes, because there is a physical reality that is true regardless of the statistics. Driving involves small humans and huge metal machines. Anyone with a sensible ability to use logic and reason about physics should be able to make a safe decision. To use another example, even if the statistics about text driving were not as bad as they are, it should ONLY take logic and reason to conclude that driving distracted is still not a good idea.

This is the same for drugs. It shouldn't take statistics to reason that messing about with your brain chemistry is not a good thing to do. If nothing else, the profound waste of money should already be putting sensible people off the idea of drugs.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 506

I live with that fear a lot, so I don't need you to remind me. But I choose not to medicate myself out of that fear, but live in it.

You would do well to remember that this is an article about drug addiction, not the fleetingness of socio-economic status. I have a great deal of empathy and compassion for those who are hit by hard times. I vote left on most social issues because I want there to be a safety net. But I will not be emotionally manipulated to feel sorry for those who choose to put themselves in that position that takes absolutely zero effort to avoid.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.