Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby strange_person » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:34 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Perhaps, I wonder, in my more mystical, and thus arguably insane moments, perhaps that is the reason I sojourn here. To watch a species fail. It sometimes feels like that to me.
A whole species, or just the One Nation that calls itself "Under God" in blatant defiance of poetic meter and/or Communism?

Nations have died of ideologically-motivated misappropriation of resources before. There are warning signs, and escape routes. Consider:
Where does your food and fresh water come from? If something went wrong with that system, how would you find out, and where would you go as a backup?
Who do you know overseas, well enough that you could crash on their couch? Not just across the border; a border is little more than a line on a map. I'm talking about across an actual ocean, or at least a thousand miles and a major mountain range or two.
What is the least amount of equipment with which you would be able to build a fire?
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Coda » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:06 am

I'll have to agree with you on the blame issue. While we wouldn't have a lot of the freedoms we have today if not for them, we also wouldn't have a legacy of gluttony and selfishness that's brought about this current economic situation and the inevitable failure of programs like Social Security. (Not saying that Social Security was a well-thought-out scheme to begin with...)

I'm hoping that my generation -- or if not mine, my son's -- will be able to reverse this worrisome trend. It seems that though we may not have come out of the "if it feels good, do it" or "if you want something you're entitled to get it" mindsets (in some way we may actually be worse; I especially despise the irresponsibility fostered by the former) we have hope to become more aware of ourselves, more global in our outlook.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Mitsukara » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:01 pm

That blame opens a rather large can of worms. Not to say that I disagree with what you're saying, but consider; the very same media that suckles and stifles is also responsible for the many mediums of art and entertainment we love- indeed, it could be said that by having video games and scifi shows and anime, for instance, we're distracting ourselves from what is real, devoting our lives to mere fantasy in place of living.

I don't think that having fantasy itself, even in flashy mediums- especially in flashy mediums-, is at all bad, but rather that it's specific uses of the technology. Trusting the news to represent "the truth", watching things that have no real value artistically or as fantasy or as anything (I really don't understand reality shows and Jerry Springer and ilk), just for the sake of entertainment, or worse still, as sources of "genuine information" (*coughhackOPRAHcoughcoughwheez*)... crap like that is anti-beneficial.

A reversal of this problem would hopefully involve more responsible uses of the media and mediums we've devised; people seeing a clearer line between their lives and the external information they're taking in, and taking everything with the grain of salt and thinking for yourself that it often pretty nearly requires. No, not "often pretty nearly", just plain requires.

But of course, there's also the issue Coda is pointing out of automatic-gratification. In some cases I don't think this is bad, such as finding things you're looking for, but, it's clear that there's entirely too much of this at every turn; people often go through their whole lives without mastering the simple skill of just working to get something. I'm no shining example myself- check out my GED and hormone prescription and... okay, depression talk, but you get my point.

At any rate, I'm not sure it was actually being suggested, but I don't think regression is the solution or even all that easily possible; balance, proper usage of what we have- wisdom to match the power, if you will- is what's needed.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:14 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:I blame, if blame is the word, the cause of such transformation on the useless 'Boomer' generation, and on their useless children. Two generations of overly satisfied, pliant, easily manipulated people who were raised with a deep sense of entitlement and a deeper sense that mere wanting would make expectations come into being. Two generations that do not understand themselves, parenting, politics, government, finance, or the true concept of wealth, which is work.


I agree with you in so many ways on this one, that it's not even funny. It's funny as a crutch.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Coda » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:47 am

Actually, I wasn't talking about instant gratification at all. I was criticizing hedonism and the notion of entitlement. People think that something is worth doing just based on the short-term pleasure with no thought towards the long-term consequences, and they think they have a right to get whatever they want.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 am

I was also thinking about how, in these past couple generations, if you meant well, then you got celebrated (and funded), regardless of whether you actually did well. There are so many cases where the disparity is so glaring, it's amazing how many people could be so deluded (and self-deluded). Oh, it makes plenty of sense rhetorically and ideologically, but it's just not ... sensible.

The paving contractors on the road to Hell have been doing a brisk business for a while now.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:27 am

For example, the idea that CEO pay scale should be independent of the company's financial success, since that "encourages the CEO to take risks."

Why should the stockholders want someone to take risks with their money that he won't take with his own?
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby draque » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:30 am

General Opinion wrote:Generations beginning with or after my own are of less value than those that came earlier.


If you read through current opinion articles from the present day, decades past, and even centuries past, you'll find that the perception of younger generations being less able to achieve is fairly constant. I believe this is because it is very easy to judge generations that have not yet had a chance to define themselves through achievements against the established achievements of the previous generations. Certainly there are going to be social problems with any given group of people (whether grouped by age or anything else), but I believe that current and coming generations are going to do great things.

Green energy production in both practice and theory is jumping ahead in leaps and bounds in ways that it never has before. We're looking to solve the energy crisis. That's not insignificant. Technology and computational power is accelerating at a pace that hasn't slowed since the old guard has begun handing work off. Cutting edge medical science is becoming both frighteningly advanced and older medical practices are becoming streamlined and cheapened, opening up the path to increased medical availability in poor countries and areas.

The world isn't perfect and there are new troubles in addition to everything else, but I think that this and future generations will prove to be more or less the same as previous ones. Members of humanity will both keep finding new and wonderful things and killing each other. ^^
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Shackler » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:57 pm

strange_person wrote:Nations have died of ideologically-motivated misappropriation of resources before. There are warning signs, and escape routes. Consider:
Where does your food and fresh water come from? If something went wrong with that system, how would you find out, and where would you go as a backup?
Who do you know overseas, well enough that you could crash on their couch? Not just across the border; a border is little more than a line on a map. I'm talking about across an actual ocean, or at least a thousand miles and a major mountain range or two.
What is the least amount of equipment with which you would be able to build a fire?


Don't be a loon.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:48 pm

Shackler wrote:
strange_person wrote:Nations have died of ideologically-motivated misappropriation of resources before. There are warning signs, and escape routes. Consider:
Where does your food and fresh water come from? If something went wrong with that system, how would you find out, and where would you go as a backup?
Who do you know overseas, well enough that you could crash on their couch? Not just across the border; a border is little more than a line on a map. I'm talking about across an actual ocean, or at least a thousand miles and a major mountain range or two.
What is the least amount of equipment with which you would be able to build a fire?


Don't be a loon.
Don't irrationally reject something just because it's beyond your experience. I'm not assigning a particularly high probability to the collapse of civilization in North America, in fact I consider the possibility quite remote.

However, it's just plausible enough, and serious enough if it did happen, that it warrants at least a few moment's consideration. Furthermore, generalized preparations for a global collapse tend to also be helpful in the event of a local collapse: residents of the greater New Orleans area would have been well-served to think about such topics before Katrina hit.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:43 pm

draque wrote:Green energy production in both practice and theory is jumping ahead in leaps and bounds in ways that it never has before. We're looking to solve the energy crisis. That's not insignificant. Technology and computational power is accelerating at a pace that hasn't slowed since the old guard has begun handing work off. Cutting edge medical science is becoming both frighteningly advanced and older medical practices are becoming streamlined and cheapened, opening up the path to increased medical availability in poor countries and areas.


Green energy is really just more of the same thinking "something for nothing" basically. Solar energy is easily destructive to the environment, just not the same kind as say a nuclear power plant. As for our leaders, who you may hate but control funding and funding = ability to do things.

WASHINGTON -- The fate of the leading proposal to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions is in the hands of Rep. Collin Peterson, a Marlboro-smoking free spirit who scoffs at warnings about climate change and says the Environmental Protection Agency is "in bed with" corporations opposed to the ethanol industry.


As Congress moves ahead with climate-change legislation touching almost every corner of the energy industry, a number of lawmakers shaping the debate have investments in companies that would be affected by the results.

According to congressional financial-disclosure forms released last week, more than a quarter of the 48 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee spearheading climate-change legislation had investments in energy, oil and natural-gas companies at the end of 2008, the most recent information disclosed.


WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said Tuesday that Farm Belt lawmakers are in "a big revolt" over the leading congressional proposal to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) said he and Farm Belt colleagues want the measure overhauled to soften the impact on areas of the country, such as the Midwest, that rely heavily on cheap, coal-burning power plants. He also challenged the White House's latest climate warnings, saying farmers in his district would welcome warmer temperatures after a recent cold spell.

"It looks to us they made a deal on the two coasts with the big guys and didn't think about us...the farms, the Midwest," Mr. Peterson said, referring to the bill's leading authors, Reps. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and Edward Markey (D., Mass.).
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Shackler » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:23 am

strange_person wrote:Don't irrationally reject something just because it's beyond your experience. I'm not assigning a particularly high probability to the collapse of civilization in North America, in fact I consider the possibility quite remote.

However, it's just plausible enough, and serious enough if it did happen, that it warrants at least a few moment's consideration. Furthermore, generalized preparations for a global collapse tend to also be helpful in the event of a local collapse: residents of the greater New Orleans area would have been well-served to think about such topics before Katrina hit.


I've lived in California enough to be wary of earthquakes and the like, and take preparations for such a collapse. Preparing for local collapses is reasonable. Preparing for the collapse of civilization is not.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby draque » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:57 am

Wizard CaT wrote:Green energy is really just more of the same thinking "something for nothing" basically. Solar energy is easily destructive to the environment, just not the same kind as say a nuclear power plant. As for our leaders, who you may hate but control funding and funding = ability to do things.


Although I'm quite a bit more optimistic than yourself regarding the potential for more environmentally friendly sources of energy (wind and the next generations of solar energy), my primary point in posting was that I don't believe there is a general downward trend in the overall worth of younger generations. Opinions that global society is in its last days due to young hooligins not gittin' off my lawn have been around as long as there have been people to voice them.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Skatche » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:20 pm

Shackler wrote:I've lived in California enough to be wary of earthquakes and the like, and take preparations for such a collapse. Preparing for local collapses is reasonable. Preparing for the collapse of civilization is not.


How do you determine what's reasonable here? You going for empiricism? Let's look at our data points: how many civilizations have collapsed? How many have not collapsed? What's the mean lifetime of a civilization, and how long has ours been around? We can use that to develop a rough estimate of the probability of collapse, then apply cost-benefit analysis. How much does it cost - in time, money, and mood* - to prepare for total collapse? How much does it cost you if civilization does collapse and you're not prepared (hint: a lot)? Keep in mind, moreover, that a temporary collapse (like what most people faced during the Great Depression) is just as deadly as a permanent one, and a partial but global collapse (again, like the Great Depression) just as bad as a total one.

I think what you'll end up with is something a lot like Pascal's wager, albeit with the difference that it'll actually be a sound argument.

* For my part I find it pretty enjoyable to learn survival skills, so the last of these might be a negative cost.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Shackler » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:23 pm

Skatche wrote:
Shackler wrote:I've lived in California enough to be wary of earthquakes and the like, and take preparations for such a collapse. Preparing for local collapses is reasonable. Preparing for the collapse of civilization is not.


How do you determine what's reasonable here? You going for empiricism? Let's look at our data points: how many civilizations have collapsed? How many have not collapsed? What's the mean lifetime of a civilization, and how long has ours been around? We can use that to develop a rough estimate of the probability of collapse, then apply cost-benefit analysis. How much does it cost - in time, money, and mood* - to prepare for total collapse? How much does it cost you if civilization does collapse and you're not prepared (hint: a lot)? Keep in mind, moreover, that a temporary collapse (like what most people faced during the Great Depression) is just as deadly as a permanent one, and a partial but global collapse (again, like the Great Depression) just as bad as a total one.

I think what you'll end up with is something a lot like Pascal's wager, albeit with the difference that it'll actually be a sound argument.

* For my part I find it pretty enjoyable to learn survival skills, so the last of these might be a negative cost.


I can survive on my supplies and so on for about a month, assuming that I'm not attacked. That should be enough time to allow for rescuers to arrive if there's a local collapse. If civilization itself collapses, I expect either to adopt a militaristic life or to die. I have neither the interest nor the funds to supply myself beyond the month or so that I'm currently prepared for, nor do I think that the collapse of civilization could really be prepared for in a conventional sense. In my view, my money, time, and effort is better spent ensuring that civilization doesn't collapse in the first place.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Coda » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:27 pm

Then it certainly sounds like you've already run the scenarios and at least at some level estimated probabilities and relative costs and found an equilibrium that you're comfortable with. The failure comes when you don't do THAT -- when you don't even TRY to think about what the possible consequences could be.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:41 pm

Number of civilizations throughout history: unknown, definitely hundreds, arguably thousands (depending on definition of civilization)

Percentage of past civilizations that have collapsed: 100%

Primary historical reason for collapse of civilization: Financial/resource mismanagement

Current primary issue of all modern civilizations: Financial/resource mismanagement

Prognosis: ? ? ?
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:51 pm

The actual collapse, in progress:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0%2C8599%2C1904936%2C00.html?imw=Y

Watch what happens after July 2nd.

Remember: I called it. Have been, for the last year or two.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Coda » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:00 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Watch what happens after July 2nd.


What happens July 2nd? Forgive me if I missed something.
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Re: "Indefinite Preventive Detention"

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:15 pm

Coda wrote:
Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Watch what happens after July 2nd.


What happens July 2nd? Forgive me if I missed something.


As mentioned in the Time magazine article I linked to, that is when California, as an entity, runs entirely out of money.

No money for services, education, police, medicine, power -anything. No money. At all.

As the article states, the Governator openly intends to shut down everything, leaving California in roughly the same condition as a Third World nation. Even the prisons will be emptied of all but the most violent offenders. Schools will be closed, state parks closed off, and nobody gets paid who works for the state. End of line.

Sound too incredible to be true? Read the damn Time magazine article. Or any other from any other paper or magazine in the world. There are thousands to choose from.

When California falls, as the article -and all others- point out, it could be the start of a domino effect that will spread even to other countries, so large is the impact of the California economy.

See you on the way down.
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