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TaoHorror

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« on: May 16, 2020, 11:48:49 pm »
At risk of ruining our run of uninterrupted civil discourse of all things mind, I'm becoming a bit of a stoic in my age toward politics, more interested now in how people are political than being political, myself: the effectiveness of propaganda, the source/cause of cosmology, the parallel of increased political participation with partisanship.

This is pretty cool, you're political identity from the date you were born. If you were born 1950 - 1954, you're likely Democrat now, but before and after you're likely Republican up until 1980. The coming of age for those born in early 50's was the late 60's.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/08/upshot/how-the-year-you-were-born-influences-your-politics.html
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 01:14:03 pm »
I'm gonna check this out - something I've been mulling over for a while now - but not being a scholar of Rome, it was just idle speculation, but here's a read that might back up what I've been suspecting all along, that when a society becomes so successful ( economically, at least ) with no significant foreign threats, the citizenry turns on themselves.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/lessons-decline-democracy-from-ruined-roman-republic-180970711/?fbclid=IwAR0go81fCFiB-4c7wwxVUPK_QS7J-PtNCXpm0Vl-Kpj4vgW5pgD93zZ8j88
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 01:21:28 pm »
I see some talk in Q about big tech providing shitty products, so thought I would bring that discussion here as it holds my interest.

Full disclosure: I consider myself "a Capitalist", but not a blind Libertarian type, but more of a Hamiltonian Conservative type who knows the need, indeed the desire, for a Federal Government, but one that provide torque for growth ( infrastructure spending ) over welfare programs with no mechanisms bridging people out of poverty. Self described Southern Conservative Democrat - one who values the environment and workers/middle class ( over the very poor favored by my liberal Democratic counterparts commonly found in North Eastern USA and California ).

So it appears to me our current Capitalist equation is: build a brand on providing value, then become massively successful monopoly, then cut costs eroding your product for your customers. A tangent thread to this are companies with a brand/reputation are bought by outside investors ( or not ) and then cut costs eroding their product/service into shit and then when they've lost enough customers they "we hear you" and make some changes addressing the worst/common negative reviews. Here's something you can hear: don't fuck your customers over, how's that for a marketing strategy.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sciborg2, big tech is delivering dogshit products/services. These trillion dollar companies amaze me, their code is crap. This list is a quick touch on the technological crap we're fed.
  • Facebook is a shitshow ( why the fuck doesn't text search work in the comments? wtf, most basic easy part of programming, something mastered in early 90's ).
  • eBay too, can't text search your order history ( that simple capability would drive repeat sales ) and the draconian process of conflict resolution is stupid - they've lost more business to forum private auctions simply because they haven't learned the "mall marketing" strategy, which is you WANT foot traffic. So what if some transactions are completed outside the site, you want the human fuss, you want all transactions to go through your site regardless if some are completed offsite. So stupid.
  • Google is pure dogshit - and the now-shit search algorithms is just the beginning, the archive feature in gmail is fucking stupid.

All of these companies are begging for disruptors to come along and kick the shit out of them and so they push for legislation to protect them ( crony capitalism ).

So while, yes, I support the right to property and liberty to live our lives the way we want to, but our current capitalistic reality in the USA is a race to the bottom, a perpetual cycle of cool innovation and value matures into a monopoly who can then only increase profits by perennially cutting costs in the name of "efficiency" ( read: dogshit ). So yes, I see us living in Dogshit Capitalism. Not sure what to do about it as long as we continue to support Government-business corruption, which is not a conspiracy theory, but so common a reality we simply don't see it and accept it.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2020, 08:58:05 pm »
Well politically and religiously I'm a Fundamentalist Agnostic Contextualist...but yeah Big Tech is due for a fall.

Sadly I think only the octopus and cockroach hybrid people (cocktopuses heh) who will replace us are going to acknowledge the wisdom of social media being our Great Filter...

In all seriousness though it seems the ability of software technology to enable tyranny/anarchy is going to outpace the contribution it could make to a functioning democracy.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 09:00:52 pm by sciborg2 »

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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 01:33:27 pm »
Well, by way of many companies, the impetus is not to deliver the best product possible, but rather to deliver the product that costs the least to make/run while still getting people to use it.  You'd have to be a moron to invest overly into the service itself, when you could instead use that money for executive compensation and stock buy-backs.

Although, one minor quibble, Ebay does have a text search for old orders, but seems to only show the last three years or so....
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2020, 03:55:44 am »
Not sure this is the right place but ->

Nobody Knows Anything About China: Including the Chinese government.

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We don’t know the real figures for GDP growth, for example. GDP growth has long been one of the main criteria used to judge officials’ careers — as a result, the relevant data is warped at every level, since the folk reporting it are the same ones benefitting from it being high. If you add up the GDP figures issued by the provinces, the sum is 10 percent higher than the figure ultimately issued by the national government, which in itself is tweaked to hit politicized targets. Provincial governments have increasingly admitted to this in recent years, but the fakery has been going on for decades. We don’t know the extent of bad loans, routinely concealed by banks. We don’t know the makeup of most Chinese financial assets. Sometimes we don’t know the good news of recoveries because the concealment of bad news beforehand has disguised it. We don’t know China’s real Gini coefficient, the measure of economic inequality.

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We don’t know the true size of the Chinese population because of the reluctance to register unapproved second children or for the family planning bureau to report that they’d failed to control births. We don’t know where those people are; rural counties are incentivized to overreport population to receive more benefits from higher levels of government, while city districts report lower figures to hit population control targets. Beijing’s official population is 21.7 million; it may really be as high as 30 or 35 million. Tens — perhaps hundreds — of millions of migrants are officially in the countryside but really in the cities. (Perhaps. We don’t know the extent of the recent winter expulsions of the poor from the metropolises.) We don’t know whether these people are breathing clean air or drinking clean water because the environmental data is full of holes.

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We don’t know how good Chinese schools really are because the much-quoted statistics provided by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) that placed China first in the world were taken from the study of a small group of elite Shanghai schools. As soon as that was expanded merely to Beijing — another metropolis — and two rich provinces, the results dropped sharply. (PISA’s willingness to accept only this limited sample is typical of the gullibility and compliance of many foreign NGOs, especially in education, when dealing with China; I have seen numerous foreign educators fall victim to obvious Potemkinism, including believing that Beijing No. 4 High School — the rough equivalent of Eton — was a “typical Chinese public school.”) We don’t know the extent of the collapse of rural education. We don’t know the real literacy figures, not least because rural and urban literacy is measured by different standards — a common trick for many figures.

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We don’t know the real crime figures, especially in the cities, which may represent as little as 2.5 percent of the actual total. We don’t know the death toll for the ethnic Uighur insurgency in Xinjiang, where local officials, in the words of one government terrorism expert, “bend figures as much as during the Great Leap Forward,” nor do we know how many people are currently held in “re-education camps.” (Incidentally, we don’t know how many people died in the Great Leap Forward, piled up in village ditches or abandoned on empty grasslands: the 16.5 million once given in official tolls or the 45 million estimated by some historians.)

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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 01:08:36 pm »
So is the "problem" here, if there is one, would be to ask "do we know if China is or has problems, when we don't know exactly what is going on?"
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2020, 04:51:26 pm »
I don't know as much as I should about China - so I think the observations here are likely valid.
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2020, 05:56:42 pm »
I don't know as much as I should about China - so I think the observations here are likely valid.

Well, my question is just to ask why, exactly, it matters if "we" know China's GDP or population though?

I broadly agree that more knowledge is just generally better, as a matter of course, but then I am still left with the question of if it is a "problem" that we don't know though.  I really am not trying to advocate that it is or is not, rather I am just trying to understand why we "should" take on it as one or the other.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2020, 06:13:30 pm »
Well, China has been a fixture of American politics, something to be feared ( as was Japan in the 80's, political fervor over their economic success, followed by 2+ decades of a flat Japanese stock market - so Japanese "concern" as baseless and only served political ends ). So do we American citizens write off the China talk as only political and ignore the chat about it or do we take China seriously as a threat, et al? Knowing more about what China is can assist with how I relate to China politically.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2020, 07:21:12 pm »
I think the big issue is that China is the world's future superpower...maybe? Depends on how brittle it is internally.

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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2020, 07:47:57 pm »
Well, China has been a fixture of American politics, something to be feared ( as was Japan in the 80's, political fervor over their economic success, followed by 2+ decades of a flat Japanese stock market - so Japanese "concern" as baseless and only served political ends ). So do we American citizens write off the China talk as only political and ignore the chat about it or do we take China seriously as a threat, et al? Knowing more about what China is can assist with how I relate to China politically.

Well, this seems like an interesting question, epistemologically.  If we take your example (which, mind you, I am ignorant to the facts of, frankly) as, in fact, being the case, I guess we could question what the role of what we did knew of Japan did to lead us to the, apparently, unfounded fear?  I'd think (but not know) that we had "better" or more information from Japan, given it was not nearly as "closed" as China is.

Unless it is the case that we didn't know what we thought we knew (that is, we were mistaken in the facts), or that we did know facts but we did not understand the implications of those facts.  Or, did those fact indeed lead to action that made the initial forecast appear false?  The question then, it seems then is would precise facts about China lead to a different outcome?

So, in a sense, I'm not sure at all.  If we knew China's exact GDP or population, for example, does that mean that we have what we would need to know exactly how the future plays out?  Or, what intervention is needed or unneeded?  It's unclear to me.  I would think, just off the top of my head, that it would be more crucial to know what China is doing than precisely what state China is in.  In other words, what policies are are undertaking, what action are the taking and so on.

Perhaps though this is not pragmatic for some reason I can't think of at the moment.  Still, it seems much more feasible to be able to "see" that, rather than thinking we (or even China itself) could know just how many people are in the country.  Or maybe I am just being overly skeptical for no reason.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

themerchant

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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2020, 12:12:08 am »
I don't even know what to label myself. I'm extremely anti-war anti-materialism type dude, but i just might be anti-material cause i dont have a lot of money, if i did i might buy lots of cool shit, who knows.

sciborg2

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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2020, 07:18:49 am »
The ungoverned globe

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Both the radical democrats and the nationalists would create a situation in which the nation-state cannot meaningfully be blamed for the consequences of the liberal order. The nationalists accomplish this by blaming the order, performing subversion while continuing to obey. The radical democrats accomplish this by creating new institutions that make the people themselves feel responsible for their own situations. They attempt to ‘responsibilise’ ordinary voters. The nationalist strategy’s weakness is that it maintains the liberal order by condemning it, undermining the very thing it maintains. The radical democrats completely divert attention from the order by making politics about the local level – about you. You become the one responsible for the order, for the flows, and for any instability those flows bring to your community.

These local institutions, however, cannot actually alter the flows. This responsibility is built on lies and misdirection. It functions as an elaborate way of forcing the citizens to internalise the political system’s failures as their own. Radical democrats would give citizens the appearance of direct power without the fact of it, obscuring where the real power lies – with the liberal order. That would suit the order just fine. But radical democracy wouldn’t deal with the substance of the grievances that have led so many voters to grow frustrated. It would enable the order to continue disappointing people by convincing them that they are the ones disappointing themselves.

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Opponents of the liberal order have substantive grievances. Rapid, ungoverned flows of capital and labour destabilise their lives. The nation-state cannot take back control of the flows, and radical democracy provides only an illusion of control. To truly govern the flows, the liberal order itself must be made directly responsible to the people whose lives it affects. As long as the liberal order is organised through global and regional institutions that have no direct links to voting populations, it will be mediated through networks of nation-states. As economic integration increases, those nation-states lose the ability to meaningfully represent their populations in the order’s institutions. The more economic power the liberal order has, the more vestigial the nation-states become. The nation-states attempt to obscure this reality with nationalism and radical democratic reforms, and in doing so they enable themselves and the order to go on, but at a cost of completely stripping the public of any meaningful say. The nation-state continues, but only as a shell of itself, unable to represent anything. The liberal order continues, but with no legitimacy, at best surviving by pitting individuals and groups against each other in local fights with no practical stakes.

Alternatively, we could decide that the only way to govern a global economy is to have global political institutions. The radical democrats scale down, situating politics far beneath the level where the crucial decisions are taken. The nationalists pretend politics still exists at the level of the nation-state, cathartically denying a reality that they themselves implicitly recognise. The other option is to scale up and make a genuine effort to build some kind of global polity.

The trouble is that there are few people who want to do this. Part of what makes both nationalism and radical democracy appealing is that these strategies emphasise our national, individual or group distinctiveness. Global political institutions collapse distinctions, making singular decisions for the whole world. We don’t want a one-size-fits-all model. But unfortunately for us, the liberal order has already given us one. In the liberal order’s one-size-fits-all model, we must all accept ungoverned flows of capital and labour and, if we try to resist those flows, economic devastation is visited upon us. We have no say in the model, because the nation-states that are meant to represent us are increasingly moribund.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2020, 04:36:37 pm »
The ungoverned globe

I read this entire article and I need some more time to digest it, but I'm ending up in a different "end game" than the writer does, which is interesting because I think they explained the road we're on very well ( i.e. the nationalists and radicals ). Assuming we're accurately dissecting political speech from policy, the "Liberal Order" is in better shape than it's ever been with international conflicts simmering down quite a bit ( USA is even trying to get out of Afghanistan ). So I find the article's finer points to be interesting and maybe accurate, but the meaning/ramifications of this I'm not sold on. Life in the UK is not remarkable different though politically it's gone through the wringer. Same in the USA, the political expression is out sizing the problems. The question is will the tail wag the dog, will politics bring us under whereas the economic malaise the article discusses wouldn't otherwise. Hell, the USA economy took a serious hit from the pandemic and yet, most of life is still going ( for now ) - I'm here typing this shit, not losing my home/job, etc. Not saying it's all coming up roses, USA may well fall off a cliff if the 30 million unemployed can't get back to work pronto, but for now the tensile strength of the liberal order appears impressive, it's taking some serious blows and yet still goes.

In short, my point is, the world economy is growing with technological proliferation/saturation ( everyone has a cell phone, rich and poor alike ), so problems will appear bigger like the USA national debt, but the numbers are just getting bigger and it may not be a big deal. As the article mentions, Brexit turned out to be a nothing burger. The USA 2020 election will be where the rubber meets the road, if the election is contested and the Supreme Court behaves differently than it did in 2000 ( i.e. did nothing and declared the winner from the first vote count ) or the President doesn't leave office in spite of a clear loss, then the concerns of the article will prove true. If Trump wins or if Biden wins and is able to transition into office without much fanfare, then the article's conclusions is incorrect - and simply put, countries have problems, liberal order or not. The economic prosperity outweighs the loss of representation in my opinion - nation states probably shouldn't have larger voices than they do with trade outcomes as that would lead to bigger problems. The fact that nation-states have to accept net economic results is a good thing, driving improvement and change so they can be competitive. There's natural balancing that takes place anyways, if you have a trade deficit, your money devalues making your exports more attractive and so on.

We have problems, big ones. But what having problems is a liberal order problem is not clear.
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