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RJMacReady

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RJMacReady

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#1  Edited By RJMacReady

I won't be voting but i am in US. Assuming i had to vote for someone it would be Ron Paul who i imagine won't get the R nomination so i would go third party. 

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#2  Edited By RJMacReady

would non-skeletal muscles tissues apply like liver? it's revolting but tremendously nutrient dense tissue.

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#3  Edited By RJMacReady

agnostic atheist.

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#4  Edited By RJMacReady

I've always preferred PC mostly because of the mouse input is just superior for shooters, 3rd and 1st and for RTS and strategy games. Also i used to play flight simulator and you really need a keyboard for that.
 
The problem with the Mouse input is it's not always optimal, It's really crappy for driving and gamepads are superior here.  Also fighting games just tend to be better on  consoles and gamepads are superior. I remember getting mortal kombat 2 for PC and they wouldn't let you map the lk button and the 2nd player had to play on a keyboard, it was a terrible port. 
 
Whatever the case with all these new inputs on the horizon we may find better and more efficient precise ways of interfacing soon and my argument will be moot.
 
Still PC's offer a tremdous spectrum of mods for games and additional content that your often locked out of in consoles. Not sure if consoles will ever permit this .

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#5  Edited By RJMacReady
@Vestigial_Man said:
I don't live in America but your if I did it would be your healthcare and higher education systems I would complain about.   
 
@ryanwho
said:  some things are rights and others are privileges Both healthcare and education fall clearly in the rights category and yet your government requires you to pay thousands of dollars for them. I am always shocked at how Americans are able to defend this system and why people argue against the very idea of free healthcare or universities.
Because positive rights are not free, they require somebody to subsidize them. Some people both poor and rich do not want to give others, poor and rich an advantage over them. There is the belief that if you take from one group and give to another group your helping that recipient group and so wealth transfer is a viable means of providing essentials. There is then the competing belief that giving people stuff with no expectation of remuneration generates moral hazard and so wealth transfer should either be done only in extraordinarily rare cases fro short durations or not at all to avoid the moral hazard or alteration of behavior that is the outcome of receiving additional freedoms at some other persons expense.
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#6  Edited By RJMacReady

Everybody lies, even to themselves.

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#7  Edited By RJMacReady

@cnlmullen said:



I've heard lots of arguments against capitalism, but it's not too often I hear someone who's really got a problem with democracy; but what your saying makes sense and it does highlight some of its problems.

 

Well my fundamental problems with democracy are the rational ignorance problem as well as its’ egalitarian assumptions and it’s somewhat socialistic nature in that we are all together and sharing the costs. I think there are epistemological assumptions about the nature of knowledge with regards to democracy; more specifically that knowledge is equally dispersed, I reject his idea. I’m not an egalitarian and I think that individuals that have accurate information cannot deploy that effectively via the democratic process to yield socially beneficial outcomes like the entrepreneurial process does. As far as cost sharing is concerned, I just don’t know these people and they don’t know me so we don’t have any real investment in each other’s welfare directly which would be different if we were talking about a tribal system or a community or family. Their ignorance or biases can hurt me.   I want insulation and defection mechanisms that operate on a continual second to second basis ideally. Having to wait years to defect is just not acceptable to me, that is I want lower, defection/exit costs. I don’t’ wish to be forced to consume the goods ans services the winner wants.

You cannot universalize this as purchases in a market will divert resources away from other endeavors resulting in your inability to shop or Circuit City and forced to go to Best Buy instead but overall markets tend to give the the ability to experience opportunity costs where democracy subjugates your preferences to the winner.

So I don’t’ have much love for democracy at a massive nationwide scale. I would prefer democracy to a dictatorship but overall I prefer a sorta scalar system where your voting power is earned via actual contributions to the society rather than being given voting power arbitrarily and tasked with selecting institutions, or rather selecting a lawyer/rheterotician who then selects institutions.

@cnlmullen said:

So I think the core of what your saying above is that there's absolutely no tangible benefit to being a educated voter. You can vote completely randomly and it will make no difference in your life... From there you say that educated people "would not necessarily make better political decisions as actively seeking to become informed itself is irrational and other activities yield greater utility"; meaning if you are really educated, you know your vote doesn't make a difference in your life so you spend the time you would otherwise spend learning about the political environment doing other things instead.

If you aware that , statistically, your vote will have a infinitesimally small probability to altering the outcome then its’ irrational to spend hours making becoming informed in the interest of making an informed selection at the voting booth, aka the paradox of voting.

@cnlmullen said: 

Now, I'm not sure if I entirely agree with that second part. I think smart people are capable of seeing beyond just their own rational self interest. That's why a lot of people donate to charity, refuse to eat meat and volunteer to fight wars. Western cultures are very individualistic, but in Asian culture individual decision making based on group interests isn't so strange. Similarly, I don't think that the sole reason people should do research and make decisions ought to be to maximize their own individual benefit (although, often self interest aligns with group interest); and even today it isn't. Otherwise no one would buy anything fair-trade.

I don’t think you can draw a correlation between intelligence and altruism. We like to romanticize individuals that act selflessly because obviously perpetuating that norm can eventually benefit us. Altruism's f(x) was to facilitate cooperation in primitive social orders and is enforced by memory and repeated interactions. In the massive social structures we exist in today selflessness isn’t a viable means of facilitating cooperation due to lack of enforcement and accounting methods resulting from individual minds cognitive limits. In this case you can also look upon altruism as potentially regressive or primal with regards the size of society or atleast contextually sensitive to the dimensions and restraints the environment places on the individual actors.

For me to accept democracy would require a belief that people will act altruistically. Without the environmental factors that facilitate this, small social orders with very few people, simple non-industrial structure, very limited ability to exit the system, I simply don’t believe the inducements are there to ensure this. The fact that my mind has to account for the contributions of   1.5 hundred million voters, about half the us population, I can’t reasonably operate on the assumption each of them are putting in valiant efforts to understand and vote for optimal institutional configurations without employing faith in humanity and I don’t think game theory supports that people will operate in each others interests, even more so when we cannot directly monitor their efforts.

Social pressure itself may be used to induce people to vote but that doesn’t say anything about how effectively people are internalizing necessary information. The government may regulate a degree of knowledge but when we are dealing with economics and history there are multiple interpretations and there is a issue with circularity here in that the gov’t could just endorse a particular spectrum of education that is not in accordance with objective reality.

So I don’t trust nameless people I will never meet to operate in my interest, I don’t’ possess that faith.

As far as homogenous cultures in asia there is a potentially kin selection dynamic in operation here as acting selflessly can still benefit you via indirect fitness. Western societies are less racially homogenous (they are diverse) disrupting proclivities toward kin altruism. Also where not as isolated as Asia was historically and had a low amount of population viscosity ( people movement) reducing the opportunity to ensure future interactions between individuals making iterative games impossible and altering the economic strategy to defect an no longer cooperate for mutual benefit.

 

As far as examples you cited :

One can demonstrate selfishness in operation for all those behaviors charity might create a positive externality increase property values by removing transients from the some region. Warfare has historically granted individuals honor which itself is a form of redeemable social currency. As far as eating a diet that doesn’t have meat there can be health concerns with eating to much meat…. Well let me come to that later. I think most biological action can be explained via selfishness, even altruistic behavior.

I don’t deny that people do feel instinctive drives to act selflessly and feel compassion for organisms or individuals more helpless then them but I don’t trust that that itself is not adaptive for facilitating group cohesion. The more altruistically you can signal to other members you are the more likely you may yourself gain aid. Perceived altruism to me is just as much of a tool as greed is for driving individuals to survive. This would seem irrelevant but for the fact that individuals can engage in self-deception, they may indeed want to do something that is even good for themselves and believe they want to like give up smoking/drinking, lose weight, get good grades or help the deserving in society but that momentary desire doesn’t mean they will not abandon those intentions. Self-deception itself can be a strategy for hijacking others in society to believe you intentions are pure when you yourself don’t show outward indication of deception but are under the belief you do wish to help.

Ultimately I don’t trust altruism unless you keep the social commerce in a small localized scale where repeated interactions take place. Otherwise what is the enforcement mechanism?

 



@cnlmullen said: 

I totally agree with the second part here. The two party system in the United States is extremely restrictive... I really like the electoral system of France, where you have two rounds, the first of which you can pick who you really support and the second of which you can support the lesser of two evils (assuming who you originally picked loses). I wouldn't necessarily say this is a problem with democracy in general, but the US two-party system.

Well it’s not just a notion of the two party system, even if there was a 40 party system the winner would eventually chose regulatory agencies or ascribe law and tshi would all be consolidated to 1 purchase or 1 expenditure.

Imaging if I proposed a grocery store where instead of going inside and picking out individual items and tossing them in a basket you are presented with 15 different baskets, each containing various different items from the store. You cannot purchase items individually, you purchase baskets with a random set of items, some necessary some you'll never use. Therefore single men may end up purchasing feminine hygiene products or elderly couple may end up buying children’s toys, a person who isn’t lactose intolerant may end up buying a bottle of lactose free milk. In this sense things are packaged so your autonomy is denied relative to engaging in itemized purchasing activity.

@cnlmullen said: 

Well, I think you made some good points, but at the end of the day I agree with Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Even though it may have its issues, I can't think of anything else that would be better than a democracy to replace one with.

Well I’m not denying that democracy is better than a dictatorship, it is. It is a step away from elitism and toward more deliberation in how institutions should operate. It approximates markets more than dictatorship or a theocracy informed by superstition. However the true beneficiaries of gov’t are those that forgo the democratic process and engage in direct market relations with the state, lobbying or rent seeking.

In this sense democracy actually serves to emasculate the public as it gives them the impression they have control of their institutions.

 

 

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#8  Edited By RJMacReady
@cnlmullen:

Capitalism is a lot like democracy... good outcomes depend on an electorate that makes good decisions:

  • If everybody bought the best products and ignored advertising, products would be better and there'd be less advertising.
  • If people made buying decisions with a company's ethical behavior in mind, companies would behave more ethically.
  • If people stopped paying attention to sensationalist journalism, there'd be better news.

If there's a solution to the issues of the system today, it's to create a more educated and intellectually engaged culture.

Comparative institutional analysis elucidates tremendous structural problems with large scale democracies efficacy for creating positive social outcomes.  Specifically the rational ignorance problem demonstrates that the benefits of spending hours studying policy, reading political theory, and closely following particular platforms does not yield utility like it does for engaging in market research on a new car or property. You may spend hours on end but when the final transfer occurs( political capital/vote in teh case of democracy or money in teh case of a market place) the probability that all your time expenditures will have any substantial impact on the utility that you gain from policy outcomes as a result of your input is tremendously, infinitesimally small. There is a price for ignorance but that price is ridiculously small because the cost of making uninformed decisions is microscopic. In a market place when you make bad decisions you don’t eat the marginal costs of your errors you eat a substantial cost of your errors inducing you to make more informed decisions; that is markets do not spread costs, they isolate them on the actors more often. Democratic decision making spreads costs of failure which shouldn't need any demonstration as to why it's a bad thing. Markets are more effective then democracies at punishing those that make errors and serve to isolate teh failure in the system more effectively.

A more education populace would not necessarily make better political decisions as actively seeking to become informed itself is irrational and other activities yield greater utility. Unless you derive enjoyment out of watching the news or studying politics there is no real inducement to understanding politics with regards to employing that knowledge to obtain benefits from actually using the democratic process. 
 
Democracy fails to yield accurate information about waht a public really wants also for other reasons as it denies society teh ability to experience political opportunity costs. You cannot know exactly what you passed up on for your initial highest ordinal preference because that outcome simply does not come into existence, this creates the illusion that the Condorcet winner in a democracy is the optimal policy outcome.
 
In addition political outcomes are "Packaged" in such a way that fidelity is lost to individual preferences. Is voter A voting republican because he/she desires more stringent regulation of individuals over their bodies (stem-cells/abortion restriction) or are tehy voting R because they want to reduce regulation and lower taxes? No real signal emerges as to not just the binary preference on these issues(yes no) but the magnitude or vectorial component, the how much political capital are you willing to sacrifice to obtain this individual thing. 
 
If you ask me Democracy itself is extraordinarily destructive for individuals autonomy. It might seem to make sense at an instinctual level, each person has a choice, but when you consider the scope of how it's packaged the the frequency at which you can exercise your expenditures it really seems emasculating in the sense its' practiced. 
 
Whatever the case, i've not made peace with the system, i've become more hostile to it. Particularly the forced transfer sytems like the welfare state and corporations with their limited liability. Property regimes seem a necessity becaseu fo the tragedy of the commons so i'm okay with that but the legal institutions are not adaptive i think and serve the interests of elite.
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#9  Edited By RJMacReady

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/7337
 
online petition. "convicted london rioters should lose all state benefits"
 
Any persons convicted of criminal acts during the current London riots should have all financial benefits removed. No tax payer should have to contribute to those who have destroyed property, stolen from their community and shown a disregard for the country that provides for them.
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#10  Edited By RJMacReady

@TheDudeOfGaming said:
@PrivateIronTFU: Dude, if you think stem cell research is cool, then we may as well take the dead bodies of all soldiers and use them to experiment and research the effects of drugs, or curing of diseases.
Are you suggesting it's wrong to use human cadavers to further not just scientific knowledge but practical knowledge for training medical proffesionals?
IF this is what you believe then your not alone, but those that share your opinions died out about 100 years ago in western society. To think your probability of survival is enhanced but cadaver dissection.