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Comment Simple filtering (Score 3, Interesting) 187

I think it's simply learned filtering.
There are hundreds of things to get upset about every single day, from "is my child ever going to pick up their toys?" to "that guy cut me off in traffic" to "I hate our president"...the older people get, they start to likely recognize the secret: not much of that shit really matters. Theresa no reason to let it get to you in a way that affects your happiness.
It's pretty Zen, actually.

Comment Re:Sorry, that's freedom (Score 1) 360

It may sound trite but "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Or, as the Economist put it in 1848:
"Suffering and evil are natureâ(TM)s admonitionsâ"they cannot be got rid of; and the impatient attempts of benevolence to banish them from the world by legislation, before benevolence has learned their object and their end, have always been more productive of evil than good."

Communists have been trying to make the world better too, that's left 94 million dead in the 20th century alone. http://reason.com/blog/2013/03...

Not to Godwin this already, but by THEIR logic, Nazis were certainly trying to make the world better too. Coll with that?

And not to impose a Naturalistic fallacy but - Man, if you don't recognize the moral quagmire you step into the moment you say "I'm going to FIX things according to what I think will be better!!" you're frankly not paying enough attention to be fucking with ANYTHING.

Comment Re:Sorry, that's freedom (Score 2) 360

Then by your reasoning (which I generally agree with, btw) Mr Obama should shut the fuck up?

I mean, the internet is the PERFECT example of optimalized strife: anonymity and the lack of geographic proximity means we can be snarky bitches to each other as much as we want, WITHOUT the immediate and likely propensity for actual violence.

It's not a bug, it's a feature. For all those people vaguely uncomfortable with people saying things they don't like on the interwebs, would they really prefer they be said in person? (My point being by implication that such currents didn't begin with the internet, nor will they disappear if they are pushed from the internet....)

Comment What? (Score 1) 460

"If a rich man has a Lamborghini, that does not mean that a poor man has to walk, for the supply of cars is not fixed. By contrast, every time a rich man takes an extra wife, another poor man must remain single. If the richest and most powerful 10 percent of men have, say, four wives each, the bottom 30 percent of men cannot marry."
Sorry, but that's the dumbest comparison I've ever seen.
If anything, it disproves its case.
If you're just talking about Lamborghinis, there are only about 3500 made each year - pretty damned close to a fixed supply. If you're talking about cars generally, there are something like 60 million made every year.
In terms of people, there are something close to 70 million girls born every year - almost precisely the same "rarity' as cars.
And as far as utility, I'm going to guess that the useful reproductive life of a female human - what, 25 years now, nominally? - far exceeds the useful life of most autos.

I don't even disagree with the point of the article - that polygamy disenfranchises young angry poor men and causes social strife - just the dumb comparison.

Comment Sorry, that's freedom (Score 4, Interesting) 360

People are little more than hairless chimps: we chatter and squeal (and sometimes kill) anyone we don't recognize as part of our in-group.

We only have the intellectual capacity to identify a small number of individuals personally as part of that group; beyond that we build more ephemeral identities based on communicated reputation and shared biases to identify 'tribes' of commonality with whom we perceive a commonality of interest, at least in the categories of behavior and belief that we feel are personally important.

Outside of THAT, we simply cannot know everyone individually; we base our expectations on stereotypes. What makes those stereotypes to enduring is that they are indeed based on FACT to a greater or larger degree - there is, for example, no stereotype that Asian men have 3 heads or that Muslims breathe water: unfortunately, the building of these stereotypes is rarely today based on personal experience, but on 'shared wisdom' which is just as likely to come from CNN or Breitbart as it is from someone trustworthy.

Finally, this is coupled with a deeply-felt (but never actually proved?) faith in little-L liberal tenets of western civilization: that if we "just communicate more", if we "just understand each other better" we'll all get along better. SIMULTANEOUSLY we profess that people should be coerced as little as possible, that the ideal (in fact, the very essence of democracy) is freedom of choice for each self-aware individual.

I don't believe our ideals are reconcilable with our fundamental animal natures without large scale dictatorial reprogramming. So there's the question: do we get to be ourselves and make free choices, or shall we embark on a Great Leap Forward where a beneficent overclass tells us all how to live so we can be happy?

Frankly speaking: I think John Calhoun's experiments into mouse dystopias are far more predictive of the ultimate outcome of this experiment than some sort of idealized utopia of unicorns and rainbows where we all love each other.

Comment Re:Yes, but that's not the issue. (Score 1) 410

No, what it sounds like is that he was offering a positive wish, asked a mild question (to which a simple "no" would have been an answer) and got a complicated reply he didn't give the faintest shit about.

So no, please don't misconstrue: the offering of MERRY CHRISTMAS is polite, but rarely heartfelt. Most of us Christians that offer it (or seculars that say it) don't really give a crap what your story is.

Comment Of course we're better off (Score 0) 357

Everyone posting in this thread should state their age: I'm 50.

I'm no SJW but even to me it's immediately obvious that the only people to whom this might even faintly be a question are middle-class-and-above whites, and of them only the majority. Blacks in America (or really anywhere), most of the third world, gays everywhere...for none of them would it even conceive to be questionable.

As a hetero white male somewhere in the upper middle class, yes, life is generally better in so many ways I'm not going to begin to list them here. Yes, there are some ways it's not better, but frankly most of them are societally self inflicted, which means if it was really a problem we could deal with it ourselves.

Comment How is this news? (Score 1, Insightful) 175

I'm astonished: either the news-makers are amazingly stupid (the US has more or less openly discussed their task-specific subs capable of tapping such cables for twenty years...which means they've been able to do it for at least thirty), or this is another mendacious effort to paint the Russians as some sort of special bogeyman (they're still our primary strategic competitor, as they have been more or less for decades even after the cold war...an idea the previous president openly mocked, I'll remind everyone).

Either way this isn't news: it's either ignorant or manipulative. In neither case is it worth listening to.

Comment Is this ignorance or political crocodile tears? (Score 1) 186

Either the people asking this question failed "basic civics 101" or the idea of overturning needs more "juice" so they're asking it kind of like a strawman: they know what the answer is, but need to gin more fear.

Either way, *I* don't think I'd listen to them. They're either stupid or manipulating you.

Comment Re:I use it preferentially now. (Score 1) 54

I entirely agree with you.
It's all I've used mine for.

No, that's not quite true, I do follow a Great War twitter feed that gives "updates" from WWI daily as if they're today's news...really gives you a sense now in 2017 how things happened over time, instead of with our usual foreshortened historical perspective of this, then this, then this, then this....

But I don't even check it nearly as much as I should. Honestly, I don't really "get" twitter, but then I'm old.

Comment I use it preferentially now. (Score 4, Interesting) 54

I had an issue with a firm, and had spent an hour with customer service trying to sort it out, only to be stonewalled by an asshole manager.

Gave up, someone suggested 'complain on twitter, you will DEFINITELY get a reply'...and sure enough writing an acerbic tweet about it and...voila, within about 5 minutes, I was contacted by a 'customer service team leader' who constructively dealt with my issue and we came to a compromise solution within about a half hour.

FAR better to tweet angrily than to engage their 'customer avoidance support line'.

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