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Comment Re:Geometry is hard, as is geography (Score 1) 319

Yes, I was taught in 1970's HS that all maps are a compromise in geometry and that Mercator's projection (and cylindrical projections in general) are popular because they have the useful navigational property that a straight line represents a true bearing. If you don't want to compromise, you want a globe, not a map.
The most common map in western schools is a variation on Mercantor (the axis of the cylinder is different), it has the added feature that the "Land Hemisphere" (where most of the land and people are) is "magnified", so you can fit in more detail. Sure there is less detail in the "Water Hemisphere" but it is 90+% water. Water doesn't really have any details of interest to someone reading a map.

The notion that it was drawn/chosen for political/propaganda purposes is "historical revisionism" from people with an axe to grind. They, not Mercantor are the ones engaging in (not so subtle) political propaganda.

Comment Re:Why is Holocaust Denial Such a Huge Deal? (Score 1) 429

Aspiration cannot be freely rewarded in an economy unless it is growth-oriented; if the amount of money in the economy never changes (which I presume is what was intended by 'sustainable'), then rewarding wealth production merely results in a slower and less predictable form of deflation and is not stable. Off the top of my head, a sensible compromise might be awarding bonuses for exemplary work, on top of a fixed UBI, that must be spent within a certain timespan, but personally I'm of the opinion that any economy that isn't totally post-money is flawed at best.

Comment Re:Why is Holocaust Denial Such a Huge Deal? (Score 1) 429

I agree with you wholeheartedly; my reservations—how the hell did we get onto this subject?—are entirely about ensuring that all the members of the economy are able to continue participating. Without that, social instability will inevitably destabilize any attempt at an adiabatic balance.

Comment Re: Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

...I don't understand why you're asking me this, or why you didn't even bother looking it up on Wikipedia. The records were burned and it took more than one analysis to determine the correct figures. As far as I can tell, the plaques still say 1.5 million. If there is a plaque that says 'thousands', it's probably in reference to a more specific part of the camp.

Comment Re:Why is Holocaust Denial Such a Huge Deal? (Score 1) 429

I find it highly unlikely that automation will improve any economy, given that it essentially cuts the lower classes out of the economy entirely. A system of universal basic income would be necessary to offset the inevitable sequestration, as such a situation is severely non-ergodic. This is a classic problem with the pursuit of wealth; if you don't put it back somehow, eventually no one else has anything left to spend.

Comment Re: Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

Meanwhile we're expected to believe that those 11.5 million people were gassed in shower rooms with wooden doors with insecticide used to get rid of the lice that cause typhus.

This is erroneous; considering just Jews, Eichmann's estimate is that about 4 million of the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust died in concentration camps (from all possible causes), and that the remaining two million were killed under other circumstances. Gas chambers with Zyklon B were used to kill an estimated one million people, and it definitely did work, given that the main ingredient was hydrogen cyanide. Surely you've seen this? Further reading: this and this.

I'll grant that "emotional blackmail" on "various stances on issues unrelated to Jews" sounds unethical from how you've summarized it, but de-legitimizing the Holocaust won't allow you to get back at your teachers.

Comment Re: Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

The Israelis—who are definitely not the entirety of the world's population of Jews—view themselves as defending their own existence. The situation in Palestine (which, by all accounts, is awful) has as much to do with thousands of years of tribal conflict between groups that have frequently been hellbent on destroying each other, which is nothing alien to that geographic region or cultures from it. To condemn such unexceptional behavior is to condemn everywhere from the Balkans to central Africa (and further). It's quite a bit different when a supposedly civilized Westerner decides he feels like taking over Europe and drags his country back to that stage of development by identifying a scapegoat that was provably incapable of accomplishing the misdeeds attributed to it. Despite its ambitions, Israel is not yet quite mature enough as a social democracy to be held to the same standards of behavior.

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Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce