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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Political discussion thread
    Posted: October 04 2014 at 14:58
I know I'm resurrecting a thread I rarely participate in, but one of my favourite bloggers - the philosophically curious psychiatrist Scott Alexander - recently posted a lengthy essay analyzing the very exact hows and whys of the way tribe mentality manifests itself in political discourse. What I like about his philosophical blogging is the very practically minded , perhaps because of his job involving a lot of ethical considerations, and this is no exception. His concrete examples ar a bit too US-centric for my taste, though, but I think anyone here would find it interesting.

The self-declared "insight porn" group blog Carcinisation has followed up SA's essay with one expanding upon his basic theories, most notably investigating exactly where religion fits into the equation. (which Alexander somewhat neglects in his analysis of political tribalism) To be honest I'm not sure how much I understand Carcinisation's take on things since it's very dry and somewhat heavier on the jargon of social sciences which I don't understand that well.
"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2014 at 14:24
Of course, Boots will be playing for free, so as not to exploit the workers, right?

I love the way the interviewer ignored his entire rant: "So, there'll be other bands playing also?" ROFLMAO!





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to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2014 at 13:45
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2014 at 11:30
Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2014 at 08:26


Edited by Slartibartfast - May 04 2014 at 11:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2014 at 13:46
http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/losing-benefits-isnt-prodding-unemployed-back-to-work/

I'll give it more time, like a year, but I would not be surprised at all if this ends up being the truth. 
There simply aren't enough jobs out there, and this whole "they're just lazy b*****ds" thing is bullsh*t. 
But I guess that's the dirty secret no one wants to spill, we need unemployed for our economy. But let's cut help for them, raise taxes, and as it hurts the economy even more "gaaaah looks like we have to tighten the belt even more" and so it goes Cry
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2014 at 20:44
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Cynicism guarantees that things won't change for the better...

And yet activism gets totally pooped on...


I'm not disagreeing. Just saying yall really f**ked us upLOL
Your generation helped build this current state, and it's why we hate everything. 
Then ya old b*****ds push it all on usTongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2014 at 04:21
^^^ Indeed, but it's meaning has morphed into something else over time, as far as most people are concerned. It appears that nowadays it only applies to criminal minds coming together to hatch a plot - in secret.

Broadly speaking politics is a conspiracy, as it entails people meeting to make arranegments, decisions and to hatch policy - in secret or otherwise.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 21:00
Originally posted by Blacksword Blacksword wrote:

Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

Politicians think in terms of friends vs acquaintances; politicians think on terms of will-get-me-elected/re-elected vs will-hurt-my-chances; politicians think of terms of will-make-my-company/family/donors-more-money vs will-hurt-my-company/family/donors-bottom-line. 
I don't think there is any gargantuan conspiracy though. It's just rich and wealthy and powerful people protecting their own interests and they all sail in the same direction, therefore it looks like a premeditated action run by some master of puppets. 
After all has been said and done, it IS all about classes protecting their own. One class has been told that it is illegitimate or naive or stupid to think in that way, while the other one, the one that has concocted this assumption, actually does think as a class and acts as in class warfare, though nobody would even notice. As Marxist (and therefore, discredited before even considering the point) as this sounds, it's true. 


There doesn't need to be a puppet master. It's a conspiracy by definition, because the corporate and politcal class have 'conspired' to scratch each others backs to protect their own interests. The fact that this is contrary to the well being of the rest of society may not be the intended outcome, but that's not relevant.


I am teaching my students what a "conspiracy" is this week as we study Julius Caesar.  It is interesting to me that the word should come up today in this discussion and that it's definition should be remarked upon.

A conspiracy need not be a secretive arrangement.  The word "conspire" literally means "breathing together."  Con ("with")  + Spiare ("to breathe").
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 11:35
Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

Politicians think in terms of friends vs acquaintances; politicians think on terms of will-get-me-elected/re-elected vs will-hurt-my-chances; politicians think of terms of will-make-my-company/family/donors-more-money vs will-hurt-my-company/family/donors-bottom-line. 
I don't think there is any gargantuan conspiracy though. It's just rich and wealthy and powerful people protecting their own interests and they all sail in the same direction, therefore it looks like a premeditated action run by some master of puppets. 
After all has been said and done, it IS all about classes protecting their own. One class has been told that it is illegitimate or naive or stupid to think in that way, while the other one, the one that has concocted this assumption, actually does think as a class and acts as in class warfare, though nobody would even notice. As Marxist (and therefore, discredited before even considering the point) as this sounds, it's true. 


There doesn't need to be a puppet master. It's a conspiracy by definition, because the corporate and politcal class have 'conspired' to scratch each others backs to protect their own interests. The fact that this is contrary to the well being of the rest of society may not be the intended outcome, but that's not relevant.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 10:14
Politicians think in terms of friends vs acquaintances; politicians think on terms of will-get-me-elected/re-elected vs will-hurt-my-chances; politicians think of terms of will-make-my-company/family/donors-more-money vs will-hurt-my-company/family/donors-bottom-line. 

I don't think there is any gargantuan conspiracy though. It's just rich and wealthy and powerful people protecting their own interests and they all sail in the same direction, therefore it looks like a premeditated action run by some master of puppets. 

After all has been said and done, it IS all about classes protecting their own. One class has been told that it is illegitimate or naive or stupid to think in that way, while the other one, the one that has concocted this assumption, actually does think as a class and acts as in class warfare, though nobody would even notice. As Marxist (and therefore, discredited before even considering the point) as this sounds, it's true. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 07:59
Nobody took away my education, my music, or my art.  -1983

Originally posted by Blacksword Blacksword wrote:

Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Cynicism guarantees that things won't change for the better...

And yet activism gets totally pooped on...


Information is the key to bringing about change imo. Activism is a noble pursuit in principle but it does need to be backed up with a basic understanding of how things work. Merely demanding more money doesn't cut the mustard. One would need to understand why wealth is distributed so unfairly in the first place, who the key players are in ensuring that happens, how they connect with each other, why they do it and then going to the centre of that and publically and very vocally challenging it from an intellectual perspective. I don't know anyone who can join all the dots, do you?

We would be talking about a complete taking down and re-assembling of the current system of economics and there are too many powerful people and interests who benefit from the current system to allow that to happen. They connect with government and it is in government interest to keep the that symbiotic relationship intact. I'm afraid it is a gargantuan conspiracy that goes beyond party politic and has been evolving over the decades to where it is now; a melding of government and corporate power that has got bigger than the sum of all the key players within it. It's out of control.

This goes beyond liberals vs conservatives or any illusionary partisan divisions. Politicians don't think in terms of left vs right. WE think is those terms because thats how we categorise party policy and allign ourselves to the party of our choice, as we allign ourselves to a football team. Different colours. Same game.



Very well said.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 07:54
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Cynicism guarantees that things won't change for the better...

And yet activism gets totally pooped on...


Information is the key to bringing about change imo. Activism is a noble pursuit in principle but it does need to be backed up with a basic understanding of how things work. Merely demanding more money doesn't cut the mustard. One would need to understand why wealth is distributed so unfairly in the first place, who the key players are in ensuring that happens, how they connect with each other, why they do it and then going to the centre of that and publically and very vocally challenging it from an intellectual perspective. I don't know anyone who can join all the dots, do you?

We would be talking about a complete taking down and re-assembling of the current system of economics and there are too many powerful people and interests who benefit from the current system to allow that to happen. They connect with government and it is in government interest to keep the that symbiotic relationship intact. I'm afraid it is a gargantuan conspiracy that goes beyond party politic and has been evolving over the decades to where it is now; a melding of government and corporate power that has got bigger than the sum of all the key players within it. It's out of control.

This goes beyond liberals vs conservatives or any illusionary partisan divisions. Politicians don't think in terms of left vs right. WE think is those terms because thats how we categorise party policy and allign ourselves to the party of our choice, as we allign ourselves to a football team. Different colours. Same game.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 04:59
Cynicism guarantees that things won't change for the better...

And yet activism gets totally pooped on...
Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2014 at 14:58
I'm pretty much smack in the middle of the 80-95 period.
 
At least that puts the blame on previous generations, not like most things I read which basically boil down to: let's just blame the upcoming youth. They're not the ones who bought all these houses, and they're saddled with mountains of debt and a fairly dismal economic future but yeah, let's just push it off on themCry
It's a little sensationalized for me, (I thought people have been worrying about all those things since the 50s?) but the point is valid...
 
We're increasingly fed up and cynical, at both "the system" and government (sorry Slart)  which unfortunately doesn't bold well for reform... apathy usually wins out, and anger is a good temporary feeling but never works long run. But I'll try to do my part.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2014 at 12:13


I was born in 1965, which I think puts me out of the range of the boomers.  Who here are from the 1980-1995 crowd?


Edited by Slartibartfast - March 23 2014 at 12:14
Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 07:01
Ever more proof our whole mess was not a "surprise" and that it not only should have been expected, but could've been dealt with. 




William Black was a regulator out in CA during the 80s when he first witnessed "control fraud" (a person in charge of an institution using it a means of mass fraud) and how it creates a toxic environment...
He helped stem it back then, but they found ways around it and it still ended up crashing in the S&L crisis. 
Point being: Our crisis should not be shocking. It goes back not to 2001, or the late 90s but the mid 80s. Deregulation of finance leads to problems, and a central bank should have the authority to regulate banks...and the US one did have such power, but was ignored thanks to de regulation mindset. 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 06:30
Originally posted by JJLehto JJLehto wrote:

This is the 5th time I've seen a person involved with finance, speak about their sector of the economy with disdain, others being Michael Hudson, Barry Ritholtz,  Warren Mosler and Marshall Auerback. 
Not enough time for now, but all have spoken about negative impacts of the financial sector on the economy, this guy may be the most scathing yet!



For ya lazy b*****ds Wink basically, finance exists to manage existing resources. It does not create (many of us have said this since the recession, but now finance guys are saying!) just manage, so the larger the financial sector, by nature, there is less left for the "real" economy. 
Finance is necessary, and isn't the problem per se, but a financial sector that is large and unrestrained, is disastrous. 

Again, echoing the sentiments of "progressive" economists that finance must be restrained and regulated for a healthy economy. I can't say liberal, because most of those guys are apologists for the status quo and suckle the teat as much as any. 



Please explain what you mean by unrestrained, and do you envisage that an unrestrained financial sector would be tantamount to a free market? I'm speaking on behalf of lazy b*****ds everywhere who seem to find your breast feeding analogies strangely stimulating.. (My mail box is full)


Edited by ExittheLemming - March 14 2014 at 06:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2014 at 14:43
Originally posted by JJLehto JJLehto wrote:

This is the 5th time I've seen a person involved with finance, speak about their sector of the economy with disdain, others being Michael Hudson, Barry Ritholtz,  Warren Mosler and Marshall Auerback. 
Not enough time for now, but all have spoken about negative impacts of the financial sector on the economy, this guy may be the most scathing yet!



For ya lazy b*****ds Wink basically, finance exists to manage existing resources. It does not create (many of us have said this since the recession, but now finance guys are saying!) just manage, so the larger the financial sector, by nature, there is less left for the "real" economy. 
Finance is necessary, and isn't the problem per se, but a financial sector that is large and unrestrained, is disastrous. 

Again, echoing the sentiments of "progressive" economists that finance must be restrained and regulated for a healthy economy. I can't say liberal, because most of those guys are apologists for the status quo and suckle the teat as much as any. 



Not to disagree with the overall point, but that's a bit like saying that natural gas companies don't create anything anything because they just take something that already exists and move it around.

Time, location, accessibility, and really just about any property that an object has is a part of the product itself. 
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2014 at 13:38
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

Preaching to the choir brother.
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