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Kishi

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5 minutes ago, Teirin said:

Yes, that is quite a lot of food!

 

It's my time in food services showing through. I sure do hate for people to walk away hungry. :D

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47 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Eh. I'm not convinced that capitalist dictators are much better except at covering up their messes. Given 20 years and a competent historian, even the good guys come out looking... not.

 

That being said, let me point out that Larson's probably pretty keen on the idea that the market for superhero movies has changed somewhat. They don't have to appeal to a nerdcore audience anymore that skews heavily male. Last I'd heard, fandom was overwhelmingly female (although I can't point to a study for that, so ymmv) and she may just be bluntly recognizing a fact of the market now rather than alienating anyone.

 

Capitalism and dictatorship to me is an oxymoron. If someone is actually has power sufficient to be a true dictator, they are not actually capitalist at all. You need the power of force to be able to be a dictator and either it's the government or the government is impotent to enforce the law because no one else can penalize you and it be final. Thank God I don't have to go watch a movie if I don't want and the movie makers don't have have to care about my not going lol.

 

Had Larson stated it this way as you have, calmly and without the bitterness and hatred that was on display, we could all say "well of course it's marketable to make female superhero movies if they are also good movies, it's been that way for a while now." there could at last be peace on the subject in the kingdom. Sadly this did not happen, and so I find her very wrongheaded (and sexist) as a result. But see, it didn't even need to be said, because success sells itself as Wonder Woman and Alita have shown. 

 

47 minutes ago, Kishi said:

So no joke, I've been feeling like the sweating man in the meme with two buttons and like I'm in danger of mansplaining mansplaining. I've been working so. Hard. To not be That Guy and to not fall for that trope.

 

That being said, I'm not certain I understand the difference. The capitalists seize power and money from the proletariat by forcing them to sell their labor at a fraction of its value; they just happen to be way better at dressing it up as something to be praised than as something that keeps us in our place. You can call it seizure of power/capital if you want, and it's not inaccurate, but it's power/capital that was taken from us in the first place, so.

 

That's why it's funny, because it seems like if you put your foot just a hair wrong you're likely to set off 4 contradictory landmines one buried atop the other. You can't win because at the end of the day your debate partner can whip out [latest and greatest intersectionality trump card] and end a discussion. I will actually never do this to you because I don't play that way. I don't resent men as a gender or think they're inherently any more or less [character trait] than women by nature of their birth. 

 

See there's two fundamental disputes in this line of reasoning.

1 - who gets to make the rules about the value of goods and services? The people engaged in the transaction, the free market says. Otherwise, someone's making calls and as long as that person is a human, it's going to go bad because they can't possibly balance the needs of people as well as those people can

2 - it wasn't stolen if it was earned in the first place by hiring people, growing the company, and investing in more hires and better resources to produce a product with. I do not buy the idea that poor people are being screwed in such numbers that this is the common situation no more than it absolutely never happens.

 

The cases where Industry and Government collude--cronyism, let's call it--tends to generate scenarios where people can get around rules set up to ruin healthy competition that would create a better environment for everyone (such as their employees) and do unethical things, because nobody is going to police the law enforcement, so to speak. Giving the government more control does not make this situation better. There are absolutely dirty individuals and companies that do not care about their employees, however socializing industries is the wrong solution to the problem when you could remove incentives to treat people differently from the tax code to regulations (such as should be permitted to continue to exist in a truly free market system). If someone is being screwed, the people responsible should be hammered if they broke the law. Otherwise, another avenue of making money should be sought. No one is being forced to work for bad people with no recourse whatsoever, we put a stop to that by fighting a very costly war and a lot of people died to stop forced labor. There's social safety for temporary hard luck and charity within the community. It isn't flawless by any stretch, but just remember any system is going to be run by people with the same basic inclinations to contend with, capitalism (the real kind, not cronyism) attempts to work with the flaws of mankind rather that just willing them away and assuming you can mandate altruism and get a better outcome. 

 

47 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I can empathize with that. I think people who think we have a truly free market are kidding themselves, and that if we had a free market things would look very different. But we don't, because it's not in the interests of the core players of the market for it to be so.

 

To your broader point here, though, it seems to me that the distinction is one of who makes the decision regarding who controls us. I mean, to take China as an example: China does have a strong authoritarian streak. Their social media is big on the idea of "social credit" and is totally used as a control on its populace. And we're sketched about that, and I think we should be. At the same time, though, over here we have Amazon developing facial recognition technology which is being eyed by law enforcement for surveillance purposes and Facebook tracking our movements via our voluntary check-ins and monitoring our content. If it's not the same thing, it's damned close, and it does beg the question as to why our way is so much better. At least the Chinese people got to have a vote for their situation; reportedly, it's very popular, and that popularity doesn't appear coerced. Is it because we can buy stuff from the people who want to control us?

 

I don't think China actually gets to vote for their Communist dictator policies. They may cast a ballot, but it's a totalitarian regime so voting is a bigger joke than a Middle Eastern dictator being re-elected by 95%. I am right there with you giving the side-eye to just about everything tech is doing lately. Not that the technology itself is evil, but I don't trust any of the people involved with their hands on it, the people standing next to them, or anyone those people know. 5G developed by China is scary, because it's about 10000x worse than having an Alexa/Siri in your house, the way I understand it. Other than that quibble, I'm actually in agreement with you here. The current political situation is only motivating the current trajectory to continue and nobody who is using the tech seems to mind.

 

47 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Honestly, I wouldn't mind some slowdown to make good movies, but at the same time I do kind of feel for them. Shoot, I'm stoked for Endgame next month, so it's not like their business model doesn't work. :D

 

tl;dr only if you don't mind being friends with a budding socialist. :)

 

It mostly has worked for them so far, if they can avoid dem damn landmines.

 

You know if we only had friends who had the exact same views about everything we'd have a mirror and a sadface. I appreciate you helping to distract me from belt test nerves because OMG it has been a struggle to eat anything today.

 

6 minutes ago, Kishi said:

It's my time in food services showing through. I sure do hate for people to walk away hungry. :D

 

Okay that was hilarious.

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3 hours ago, Urgan said:

Capitalism and dictatorship to me is an oxymoron. If someone is actually has power sufficient to be a true dictator, they are not actually capitalist at all. You need the power of force to be able to be a dictator and either it's the government or the government is impotent to enforce the law because no one else can penalize you and it be final. Thank God I don't have to go watch a movie if I don't want and the movie makers don't have have to care about my not going lol.

 

Well, if that's the case, then the stock market should have tanked in the Reich as Hitler (the truest of the true dictators) commandeered the resources of the market for the state. That did not happen; in fact, the opposite happened. He was very much a friend of the capitalist classes in his day. I do have data to support this, for whatever that's worth these days. But yeah, you can totally be a dictator and work with capitalists; you just mandate that people will only deal with x company.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

Had Larson stated it this way as you have, calmly and without the bitterness and hatred that was on display, we could all say "well of course it's marketable to make female superhero movies if they are also good movies, it's been that way for a while now." there could at last be peace on the subject in the kingdom. Sadly this did not happen, and so I find her very wrongheaded (and sexist) as a result. But see, it didn't even need to be said, because success sells itself as Wonder Woman and Alita have shown.

 

Yeah, probably. But controversy sells just like everything else. I guarantee, just as she alienated a section of the market, she opened up another, and it's gonna come to a net positive, and in the worst case it'll be buoyed by the international market. Remember: you're talking to a guy who got roped into paying three times to see this thing. I've covered the cost of three people who didn't agree with Larson's politics.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

That's why it's funny, because it seems like if you put your foot just a hair wrong you're likely to set off 4 contradictory landmines one buried atop the other. You can't win because at the end of the day your debate partner can whip out [latest and greatest intersectionality trump card] and end a discussion. I will actually never do this to you because I don't play that way. I don't resent men as a gender or think they're inherently any more or less [character trait] than women by nature of their birth.

 

Right! Thanks for that. Yeah, I dislike this recent trend toward the use of appeal to authority to bolster and shut down arguments. Because that's what it is. You can't encourage empathy in others if you tell them that they can't understand.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

See there's two fundamental disputes in this line of reasoning.

1 - who gets to make the rules about the value of goods and services? The people engaged in the transaction, the free market says. Otherwise, someone's making calls and as long as that person is a human, it's going to go bad because they can't possibly balance the needs of people as well as those people can

2 - it wasn't stolen if it was earned in the first place by hiring people, growing the company, and investing in more hires and better resources to produce a product with. I do not buy the idea that poor people are being screwed in such numbers that this is the common situation no more than it absolutely never happens.

 

The free market does say that, but we don't have a free market and haven't really had one since the first days when people made enough money off of it to start buying one another off and manipulating what's available. As for (2), it ultimately does work out to being theft. Think about it: let's say a company hires you for $50K a year. Why are they paying you that? It's not because that's the worth of your labor. They pay you $50K because they've determined that this is the minimum they can pay you to get the maximum amount of value from your work in that position. You may make $50K, but your value is easily more than that. You earn what you've been taught to settle for; it's not taught to us that we're being deprived of the fullness of the value that we make.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

The cases where Industry and Government collude--cronyism, let's call it--tends to generate scenarios where people can get around rules set up to ruin healthy competition that would create a better environment for everyone (such as their employees) and do unethical things, because nobody is going to police the law enforcement, so to speak. Giving the government more control does not make this situation better. There are absolutely dirty individuals and companies that do not care about their employees, however socializing industries is the wrong solution to the problem when you could remove incentives to treat people differently from the tax code to regulations (such as should be permitted to continue to exist in a truly free market system). If someone is being screwed, the people responsible should be hammered if they broke the law. Otherwise, another avenue of making money should be sought. No one is being forced to work for bad people with no recourse whatsoever, we put a stop to that by fighting a very costly war and a lot of people died to stop forced labor. There's social safety for temporary hard luck and charity within the community. It isn't flawless by any stretch, but just remember any system is going to be run by people with the same basic inclinations to contend with, capitalism (the real kind, not cronyism) attempts to work with the flaws of mankind rather that just willing them away and assuming you can mandate altruism and get a better outcome.

 

Pardon my ignorance but I fail to see the difference between cronyism and capitalism. What you call people doing "unethical things to get around the rules of healthy competition," I call "rational self interest." Because the goal of a business isn't to compete fairly with others. It's to generate as much profit as it possibly can, and if it can crush its competitors, all the better.

 

I do agree that giving our government more control doesn't make this situation any better, because our government is bought by the capitalists, and giving the capitalists more control is absolutely not the answer. Putting more power into the hands of a very very few who do not have our interests at heart is not a good idea.

 

As for your notion of choice of employment, bear in mind that the free market without regulation did in fact commodify human life. Even after this, it had to be pushed to the idea that people should be paid enough to have access to food, clothing, and shelter as a fair exchange for generating profit. Except that even that's been stymied to a bare pittance. And if I'm busting my tail to work a minimum wage job as my only means to access food, clothing, and shelter, how much do you think I'm willing to stomach in terms of abuse from customers, management, and corporate standards? Indeed, how much freedom does anyone have in this system, if its ultimate aim is to generate profit via the divorce of our labor from its value, rather than to promote human well-being?

 

I mean. FWIW, I'm not some kind of utopian. I don't believe in pie in the sky, or in an end to struggle. I completely understand that I'm acting in my own self interest. The difference between me and a capitalist is, I know that at the end of the day, my flourishing - my physical/mental/spiritual health - is not something that happens in a vacuum. It happens in the context of the flourishing of others. I want to take care of those others, just as much as I know that I need to be taken care of. I don't think that the way things are now permits that, or else that it requires a price that it frankly shouldn't, and that the reason it does so is because of the greed of a very few acting in a way that rewards them for being so.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

I don't think China actually gets to vote for their Communist dictator policies. They may cast a ballot, but it's a totalitarian regime so voting is a bigger joke than a Middle Eastern dictator being re-elected by 95%. I am right there with you giving the side-eye to just about everything tech is doing lately. Not that the technology itself is evil, but I don't trust any of the people involved with their hands on it, the people standing next to them, or anyone those people know. 5G developed by China is scary, because it's about 10000x worse than having an Alexa/Siri in your house, the way I understand it. Other than that quibble, I'm actually in agreement with you here. The current political situation is only motivating the current trajectory to continue and nobody who is using the tech seems to mind.

 

Exactly. We point out the specks in the eyes of others while we don't notice the log that we've bought and paid for in our own.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

It mostly has worked for them so far, if they can avoid dem damn landmines.

 

You know if we only had friends who had the exact same views about everything we'd have a mirror and a sadface. I appreciate you helping to distract me from belt test nerves because OMG it has been a struggle to eat anything today.

 

See? This is what happens when people take care of each other. :D:D:D

 

2 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm not friends with your views, I'm friends with YOU. Us agreeing politically is not needed.

 

Boy am I glad. One of the things that I'm scared of/sad about is the need for ideological purity. It's holding us back, man.

 

But yeah, Padre, you're awesome too.

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, Kishi said:

Well, in that case, it kind of proves my earlier point about her being a Sue, then, right? I did take it as being representative of the real experiences of women, but if you assign that as a plot point rather than a character flaw, then what does she have? Danvers is essentially a snarky blank slate who we're told disobeys orders and then proceeds to do whatever she's told because she's told to. She's very good at her job and while she's wrong sometimes, it's never in a way that forces her to change and adapt and grow as a person. Which was a conscious decision on the writer's part. Because they cared about Danvers as a propaganda piece rather than Danvers as a person.

 

To be clear, that's a perfectly good way to reflect the reality that women have experienced. But that's not equivalent with good character work.

 

Spoiler

Fair points. But...didn't she kind of grow as a person though? Even a little bit? I mean, Danvers herself doesn't explicitly say it, but it's in her initial interactions with the humans when she lands on Earth--she is Kree and therefore "better". She was taught in her time on Hala to believe this (like you said, Minn-Erva calls Earth a shithole), and that being Kree is noble and good etc. She calls the Kree "noble warrior heroes". And yet by the end she learns that this isn't the case, and that she was on the wrong side the entire time. At the end (and I'm sorry if I'm spoiling it for those who haven't seen it yet, I don't know how to hide this) the Supreme Intelligence tells her that without the Kree blood, she can't be powerful. That as a human, she's weak. But in her fight against the Supreme Intelligence, she finally realizes that there's strength in humanity (and that she has all this power and survived absorbing it because she's human) and she accepts that and embraces it. Do I think she could have learned this sooner in the film and that the writers could have spent a little more time on it? Sure. But that does seem to imply that she's not quite a Mary Sue and that she does have room to learn and grow.

 

 

On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, Kishi said:

Let me paint a different picture: Danvers goes to the Supreme Intelligence, a cultivated Kree superweapon, grateful for what she's been given and hungry to prove her worth after 6 years of molding and shaping. She's told of the Skrull threat - the Skrulls are attempting to infiltrate and groom the leadership of a free planet not under Kree control in preparation for subjugation. That planet is C-53.

 

Spoiler

She definitely didn't seem interested in proving her worth and seemed to be arrogant and smug in the knowledge that her world is exactly as it should be (weird dream memories aside) and doesn't really question the world she lives in until it's turned on it's head. Like you said, she has been indoctrinated and believes in the Kree propaganda. She does learn from this by the end of the movie.

 

On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, Kishi said:

I agree, and that's my point. The main focus of the story was not Danvers as a person, it was Danvers as a prop for a message.

 

Well, if you want to get technical, all stories are vehicles to drive a message, so.... :D 

 

On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, Kishi said:

Not dating is not the flaw. The flaw is his single-minded devotion to his sense of duty. It drives him toward something and drives people away from him, and he himself admits as much. When he and Peg are chatting in the car on the way to the infusion she points out that he has no clue how to talk to women. He admits as much because he couldn't find the right partner. Because he couldn't find someone who shared his ideals or his dedication to them. It's cost him something in terms of his ability to connect to people.

 

It comes up as a problem for him constantly. It's a wedge between he and Tony in the first Avengers film and by Civil War it drives them apart because of his refusal to sign on to the registration act, as his sense of duty has shifted from "My nation, right or wrong," to "Justice," albeit as he sees it.

 

I mean you said so yourself. He does have a few good friends, but you notice that he only really makes them in the context of the mission. He makes friends with the Avengers and with Thor, Nat, Hawkeye, and Falcon in particular because they've been caught up with him on the mission. We get a glimpse of his off-the-job relationships in Winter Soldier, but even then he can't really cultivate them. "What's the matter? Too scared, too nervous?" "Too busy."

 

Oh, I definitely agree with you there, I was more asking for clarification on your point than anything else. 

 

On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 11:45 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I finally read through all the Captian Marvel stuff after finally seeing it yesterday. I enjoyed the heck out of that movie. It was a lot of fun. I thought it was well done and I enjoyed Larson's Danvers. I thought she was well written and portrayed. The overcoming sexism bit was in there, but to me it was a movie about a person learning that falling doesn't make you weak, and getting up every time you fall is what makes you strong. I thought that was a far stronger message. The movie did address that Danvers and Rambeau faced and were not defeated by sexism. The cockpit joke was a bit much but having lived through the 90's I know there were plenty of self-absorbed men who would certainly have made that kind of joke.

 

Yes, this right here. :) You explained it better than I could. 

 

20 hours ago, Kishi said:

But yeah, man. Like I've been saying. I thought it was a good movie. It's serviceable in the canon and certainly not the worst film. But that doesn't make it a great film, and it certainly doesn't place it beyond critique. I'm not against the portrayal of sexism (and I thought the cockpit joke was actually pretty spot on as a thing that she would have dealt with), and I'm not against an empowering message about falling down 7 times to stand up 8.

 

At the same time, I really don't like it when a movie decides that its message is so important that it can sub in a sermon instead of a story. And I think that's what happened here. They executed the formula and dressed the film up in enough 90s nostalgia to cover for it, but they sacrificed story and character to get their point across, and that's lazy storytelling.

 

Let me offer some food for thought: just because something is propaganda, it doesn't follow that 1) it's bad, or 2) it's untrue. I just think that they could have said more true things if they'd executed better on story and character. That's all. I like movies, not marching orders.

 

I'm not sure it was aiming for great, though. And pretty much all the Marvel movies in some form or another promote a particular message, whether it's a message against oppression, sexism, war, etc. And isn't that the definition of propaganda LOL? Propaganda: "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view". Calling the movie propaganda would then imply that there is something untrue and/or misleading about the message, though if there was something there, I didn't see it. I didn't really see the movie as, "You need to believe in this or else," but more of an, "It's my turn at the batting plate," as it were. All my opinion, though. 

 

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14 hours ago, Kishi said:

Well, if that's the case, then the stock market should have tanked in the Reich as Hitler (the truest of the true dictators) commandeered the resources of the market for the state. That did not happen; in fact, the opposite happened. He was very much a friend of the capitalist classes in his day. I do have data to support this, for whatever that's worth these days. But yeah, you can totally be a dictator and work with capitalists; you just mandate that people will only deal with x company.

 

Hitler was a National Socialist. Not a capitalist. Not even close, as you admit he seized everything for the state, including lots of human beings and iconography (replaced with pictures of him). Capitalists did work with him, they helped design the Nazi uniforms and the gas chambers along with other tech, and we also benefit today from the horrible things the Nazis did to Jewish prisoners as science experiments. Do we wholesale condemn capitalism and science now and throw out the experiences of the modern Western world and specifically the WWII generation? No, we condemn the parties involved as individuals who made grievous errors in judgment, perhaps even in the face of knowing what was happening at the time. 

  

Mandating you only deal with one company is a monopoly, which is what socialism gives you. Capitalism in the absence of collusion (government and a company getting together to put competition out of business to subvert the free market for an exchange of money and power is cronyism) will never give you a monopoly because there will always be at least one small, nimble business able to serve the needs of a niche market ignored by a Goliath company.

 

14 hours ago, Kishi said:

Right! Thanks for that. Yeah, I dislike this recent trend toward the use of appeal to authority to bolster and shut down arguments. Because that's what it is. You can't encourage empathy in others if you tell them that they can't understand.

 

If you only have insults or victim-hood to do your debating for you, you've lost the debate. You've lost the other person's heart. You can shout them down, but they will never, ever agree or see things your way. 

 

14 hours ago, Kishi said:

The free market does say that, but we don't have a free market and haven't really had one since the first days when people made enough money off of it to start buying one another off and manipulating what's available. As for (2), it ultimately does work out to being theft. Think about it: let's say a company hires you for $50K a year. Why are they paying you that? It's not because that's the worth of your labor. They pay you $50K because they've determined that this is the minimum they can pay you to get the maximum amount of value from your work in that position. You may make $50K, but your value is easily more than that. You earn what you've been taught to settle for; it's not taught to us that we're being deprived of the fullness of the value that we make.

 

This first bit sounds like, well the bathwater is dirty so the baby must be thrown out, too. I agree we don't have a free market. We should.

 

The second bit reveals I have assumed way too much about mutual understanding of human nature and economics. If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax and regulate it. The value of an individual in an industry is determined by myriad factors--time, location, the individual's skillset, inflation, etc. There IS no universal value for a job, no monolithic standard a third party can impose on the transaction between two entities (people or organizations) that will take into account all the complexity of the world around that one relationship. When government comes in and puts its thumb down on the scale and declares a job is worth X, it is screwing both the employee AND the employer.

What if the government decides the value of your job is LESS than what you are currently paid (perhaps because you come with more knowledge and skill than the average person doing the same type of job)? Well obviously you lose money or the company won't be able to keep your expertise because that job is no longer able to pay your bills.

What if the government decides your job is worth MORE than what you are currently paid? You lose.

 

How can this be? The company isn't Scrooge McDuck and it won't turn over the couch cushions and discover a stash of cash it was withholding from the People. If the cost of employing staff goes up a bit, it will slow down and/or stop hiring and expanding the business (which makes the lives of the current employees harder), cut down on hours, and decrease benefits in an effort to retain current staff. If it goes up a LOT then hours are cut, people are let go. You can't make it behave otherwise, it's as inevitable as gravity. Keep bending the back of the business and it will eventually close its doors. Now you have true equality. Everyone is equally unemployed. 

 

Socialism doesn't appreciate low-paying work. It's beneath human dignity! No one can live on minimum wage!

Capitalism says of course not, it's an arbitrary dollar value assigned by a third party with no knowledge of or stake in the relationship between employer and employee and it's not meant to be a final destination, it's just a rung on the ladder of the industry in which the person works.

Socialism chops the bottom rungs off the employment ladder through wage/price controls and pronounces these people's lives so much better now. 

 

You climb the "ladder" or change ladders. It's hard, it's really hard--even unfair-seeming sometimes, but there is so much opportunity available even hampered as we are now. Countries where a third party comes in and regulate all industry turn into a burned-out shell of death and starvation, it doesn't have any other result. 

 

14 hours ago, Kishi said:

Pardon my ignorance but I fail to see the difference between cronyism and capitalism. What you call people doing "unethical things to get around the rules of healthy competition," I call "rational self interest." Because the goal of a business isn't to compete fairly with others. It's to generate as much profit as it possibly can, and if it can crush its competitors, all the better.

 

I do agree that giving our government more control doesn't make this situation any better, because our government is bought by the capitalists, and giving the capitalists more control is absolutely not the answer. Putting more power into the hands of a very very few who do not have our interests at heart is not a good idea.

 

As for your notion of choice of employment, bear in mind that the free market without regulation did in fact commodify human life. Even after this, it had to be pushed to the idea that people should be paid enough to have access to food, clothing, and shelter as a fair exchange for generating profit. Except that even that's been stymied to a bare pittance. And if I'm busting my tail to work a minimum wage job as my only means to access food, clothing, and shelter, how much do you think I'm willing to stomach in terms of abuse from customers, management, and corporate standards? Indeed, how much freedom does anyone have in this system, if its ultimate aim is to generate profit via the divorce of our labor from its value, rather than to promote human well-being?

 

What I haven't addressed in the prior section boils down to the unavoidable truth that there are bad humans. That there is no perfect system. Capitalism with free markets is the best opportunity we have to improve our lot in life. You start with someone who is willing to take chance on you and employ you, a tabula rasa out of high school or college. It's probably not for a lot of money as a result. You gain skills and experience and move on to a better-paying job with better incentives to stay. You've done this. I've done this. A lot of people with a lot less going for them have done this. It sucked at first, but now it's better--not instantly amazing, but better each step you take. As opposed to it sucking all the time and there's nowhere to go, because the same entity controls it all. 

 

You may be surprised to hear this, but socialism puts a value on human life as the very foundation of its mandate of free stuff for all. The state has to fund your existence, thus you have a dollar value attached to your life that you cost the state. So you had best be able to justify them continuing to subsidize your existence. Also you won't get the best or even the great, you will get what the state decides you get. A uniform, muddled grey like the Mesopotamian underworld with no motivation to improve yourself beyond the point of being allowed to continue to have what you have now because further effort is not only not rewarded it is seized and given to someone who couldn't or wouldn't earn it. Also you're going to have to kill a lot of people to get to that point, the people the state is supposed to help. Socialism does that in the end when it collapses and turns into Communism, it crushes its own people. Finland's government just collapsed under the weight of socialized medicine a week ago. At some point you run out of money and you have to make decisions that end lives actively or through neglect.

 

14 hours ago, Kishi said:

I mean. FWIW, I'm not some kind of utopian. I don't believe in pie in the sky, or in an end to struggle. I completely understand that I'm acting in my own self interest. The difference between me and a capitalist is, I know that at the end of the day, my flourishing - my physical/mental/spiritual health - is not something that happens in a vacuum. It happens in the context of the flourishing of others. I want to take care of those others, just as much as I know that I need to be taken care of. I don't think that the way things are now permits that, or else that it requires a price that it frankly shouldn't, and that the reason it does so is because of the greed of a very few acting in a way that rewards them for being so.

 

Good, because it's no utopia what is described by Marx. 

 

In light of all of the above, do you? Who decides the cost of taking care of our fellow man? Who? Where are the all-knowing angels who can consider all the hugely complex possibilities of interlocking relationships across a country with no incentive to exert their will upon people in a system where they have total leeway to do so? You won't find an answer in Marx that doesn't merrily ignore a human nature that cannot be erased, not even with a bullet. Sounds dramatic, I know, but that is where this road takes you if you follow it to its logical conclusion.

 

There will always be poor people and there will always be suffering to some degree, it is sadly a part of the human condition and until that changes at the end of time, here we are contending with its limitations trying to maintain the opportunity of people to lift themselves up from their baseline generation over generation. 

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So, hey, @Jupiter, if you go back and read your post, you'll notice that I've "spoiler'd" your sections. When you're posting, if you look at the formatting options you should see an eye on the right-hand side. You click that and it hides text behind a "spoiler" tag, so people can read or not at their discretion.

 

I solemnly swear that I haven't deleted anything you said; you can check it for yourself. But now you know.

 

11 hours ago, Jupiter said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Spoiler

Those are fair points too. I guess where I split with you then is that the cited flaw is tied to her circumstances rather than her self. I mean, even if we say that she isn't a Sue (which, ha, turns out there's not really a good solid definition for the term, so I could have been wrong) the fact that she doesn't really learn anything except that she has room to learn and grow... that's kind of a weak flaw. Or at least, it wasn't presented very strongly.

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Spoiler

Yeah, that's a fair point. So, yeah, I guess my problem is presentation then.

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Well, if you want to get technical, all stories are vehicles to drive a message, so.... :D

 

I mean, yes? But that doesn't mean they all drive well. :P

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Oh, I definitely agree with you there, I was more asking for clarification on your point than anything else.

 

Ok cool! I do apologize if I come down with a heavy hand. I've got some toxicity in me when it comes to argument and analysis, and what I tend to see as being thorough in explanation can come across as being too much, especially if I don't present it right.

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

I'm not sure it was aiming for great, though. And pretty much all the Marvel movies in some form or another promote a particular message, whether it's a message against oppression, sexism, war, etc. And isn't that the definition of propaganda LOL? Propaganda: "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view". Calling the movie propaganda would then imply that there is something untrue and/or misleading about the message, though if there was something there, I didn't see it. I didn't really see the movie as, "You need to believe in this or else," but more of an, "It's my turn at the batting plate," as it were. All my opinion, though.

 

Biased or misleading. And everyone has a bias. Even me. Especially me.

 

But yeah, I dunno. Maybe I'm just too idealistic. Like, I look back at the past Marvel films which, even if they weren't great, certainly worked more or got more out of their characters in sharing their message. Iron Man is totally an anti-war film in which a billionaire defense contractor experiences the consequences of his beliefs and is faced with his complicity in those things. Black Panther is about a super rich super advanced isolationist who has to accept that the isolation of his country has aided in the perpetuation of certain broken systems. Or to break out of the Marvel universe, Wonder Woman is about a naïve warrior who almost has to accept that war happens as a result of the collision and breakdown of a bunch of complex systems that no one person has the ability to solve (but they had to have that final battle, so they couldn't stick the landing -_-).

 

Please understand, I do not under any circumstances object to propaganda saying that women deserve a turn at the batting plate. I do believe it, and anything that spreads that message is fine by me. But that doesn't make it less propaganda for being true, it just makes it biased toward that point of view with the idea of promoting it.

 

That doesn't make it wrong. That doesn't make it bad. I don't object to the substance. I object to the style.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

Hitler was a National Socialist. Not a capitalist. Not even close, as you admit he seized everything for the state, including lots of human beings and iconography (replaced with pictures of him). Capitalists did work with him, they helped design the Nazi uniforms and the gas chambers along with other tech, and we also benefit today from the horrible things the Nazis did to Jewish prisoners as science experiments. Do we wholesale condemn capitalism and science now and throw out the experiences of the modern Western world and specifically the WWII generation? No, we condemn the parties involved as individuals who made grievous errors in judgment, perhaps even in the face of knowing what was happening at the time.

 

This is factually incorrect. Socialism is concerned with class struggle; Hitler ultimately tried to make an appealing mishmash of philosophies of which socialism's ideas of struggle were only a part. If he'd been an actual socialist, he would have nationalized all industry before turning it over to the workers, and he didn't do that. Class structures persisted in the Reich. As you say, his seizure involved paying capitalists to design tech and uniforms; the ultimate form of this seizure was a capitalist economy dictated by the state. It's worth pointing out that when the concentration camps first opened, he threw socialists and communists in along with the Jews. Just like Marx would have wanted!

 

And look, I'm not saying we should wholesale condemn capitalism. Far from it. Capitalism does a lot of things really well; in particular, no other mode of production has managed to produce more stuff or more variety of the same. That's really impressive.

 

But in order to be fair to it, we have to consider the costs of such things. If we want to include "the experiences of the modern Western world and specifically the WWII generation," then we have to remember that that generation grew up in the wake of the Great Depression, which was ultimately caused by capitalists, and a little over half the armed forces who served in the war voted for a president whose policies would be taken as socialist today.

 

Meanwhile, the Soviet system ultimately resulted a military and society that was able to grind the Nazis to a halt for years and may arguably have been responsible for ending the war. Surely we can "condemn the parties involved as individuals who made grievous errors in judgment" without wholesale condemning socialism.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

Mandating you only deal with one company is a monopoly, which is what socialism gives you. Capitalism in the absence of collusion (government and a company getting together to put competition out of business to subvert the free market for an exchange of money and power is cronyism) will never give you a monopoly because there will always be at least one small, nimble business able to serve the needs of a niche market ignored by a Goliath company.

 

None of that matters if all those companies are owned by one company. Or four, as the case may be. And even then, monopoly is easily seen as a natural result of the driving motivations of a business. I think the difference between us then is that you see such a thing as the deserved reward for outcompeting the competition, whereas I see it as the inevitable outcome of the concentration of economic power in a place that the masses don't directly control.

 

5 hours ago, Urgan said:

This first bit sounds like, well the bathwater is dirty so the baby must be thrown out, too. I agree we don't have a free market. We should.

 

Believe it or not, though it may sound disingenuous, I'm not opposed to the idea of a free market. I just figure that if a free market exists, its primary end shouldn't be about making profit as an end unto itself, but that this profit should be harnessed for the good of the masses. That may not be free enough for you, but it certainly seems reasonable to me.

 

5 hours ago, Urgan said:

The second bit reveals I have assumed way too much about mutual understanding of human nature and economics. If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax and regulate it. The value of an individual in an industry is determined by myriad factors--time, location, the individual's skillset, inflation, etc. There IS no universal value for a job, no monolithic standard a third party can impose on the transaction between two entities (people or organizations) that will take into account all the complexity of the world around that one relationship. When government comes in and puts its thumb down on the scale and declares a job is worth X, it is screwing both the employee AND the employer.

What if the government decides the value of your job is LESS than what you are currently paid (perhaps because you come with more knowledge and skill than the average person doing the same type of job)? Well obviously you lose money or the company won't be able to keep your expertise because that job is no longer able to pay your bills.

What if the government decides your job is worth MORE than what you are currently paid? You lose.

 

How can this be? The company isn't Scrooge McDuck and it won't turn over the couch cushions and discover a stash of cash it was withholding from the People. If the cost of employing staff goes up a bit, it will slow down and/or stop hiring and expanding the business (which makes the lives of the current employees harder), cut down on hours, and decrease benefits in an effort to retain current staff. If it goes up a LOT then hours are cut, people are let go. You can't make it behave otherwise, it's as inevitable as gravity. Keep bending the back of the business and it will eventually close its doors. Now you have true equality. Everyone is equally unemployed.

 

I agree. The value of an individual in an industry is determined by myriad factors. What I'm saying is, those myriad factors are tied together by an underlying principle - profit. Company X might pay you more than Company Y for the same job due to those factors, but the reason it does so is that Company X calculated the sale price of your labor off those myriad factors and determined that the profit margin was acceptable.

 

And respectfully, I don't need to address your hypotheticals when history shows that a company would pay less if it could and will terminate your employment if they decide that the cost of your labor negates their profit to a sufficient degree. It's on display now. Where do you think the rise of automation comes from? It's certainly not from a reflex on the part of the companies to generate profit for its employees. And I don't think it's a stretch to argue that with the rice of automation, the cost of employing staff will become the easiest cut to make, and now everyone is equally unemployed while we live off whatever UBI the rich decide we can have so that we can inject back into their economy to generate profit for them.

 

6 hours ago, Urgan said:

Socialism doesn't appreciate low-paying work. It's beneath human dignity! No one can live on minimum wage!

Capitalism says of course not, it's an arbitrary dollar value assigned by a third party with no knowledge of or stake in the relationship between employer and employee and it's not meant to be a final destination, it's just a rung on the ladder of the industry in which the person works.

Socialism chops the bottom rungs off the employment ladder through wage/price controls and pronounces these people's lives so much better now. 

 

You climb the "ladder" or change ladders. It's hard, it's really hard--even unfair-seeming sometimes, but there is so much opportunity available even hampered as we are now. Countries where a third party comes in and regulate all industry turn into a burned-out shell of death and starvation, it doesn't have any other result.

 

No work is beneath human dignity. Whether or not you like a job, it has to be done. It doesn't matter if we were all Hawkings and Steinbecks and DaVincis - someone would still have to take your order at McDonald's, ring you up in the store, clean up your garbage. Someone still have to do that bottom rung work, and it's not like a given company is going to go out of its way to advance you if they don't see a way to generate greater profit off your labor value.

 

Of course, now with the rise of robots in manufacturing, warehouse work, retail, and most recently textiles, it's looking more like capitalism itself is going to not only cut off the bottom rungs, but then haul the ladder up after it. I fail to see how the situation of the masses has improved.

 

Oh, and you might want to tell the survivors of the burnt out shell of death and starvation that was the GDR about their suffering. They'd probably want to know about it.

 

6 hours ago, Urgan said:

What I haven't addressed in the prior section boils down to the unavoidable truth that there are bad humans. That there is no perfect system. Capitalism with free markets is the best opportunity we have to improve our lot in life. You start with someone who is willing to take chance on you and employ you, a tabula rasa out of high school or college. It's probably not for a lot of money as a result. You gain skills and experience and move on to a better-paying job with better incentives to stay. You've done this. I've done this. A lot of people with a lot less going for them have done this. It sucked at first, but now it's better--not instantly amazing, but better each step you take. As opposed to it sucking all the time and there's nowhere to go, because the same entity controls it all.

 

You may be surprised to hear this, but socialism puts a value on human life as the very foundation of its mandate of free stuff for all. The state has to fund your existence, thus you have a dollar value attached to your life that you cost the state. So you had best be able to justify them continuing to subsidize your existence. Also you won't get the best or even the great, you will get what the state decides you get. A uniform, muddled grey like the Mesopotamian underworld with no motivation to improve yourself beyond the point of being allowed to continue to have what you have now because further effort is not only not rewarded it is seized and given to someone who couldn't or wouldn't earn it. Also you're going to have to kill a lot of people to get to that point, the people the state is supposed to help. Socialism does that in the end when it collapses and turns into Communism, it crushes its own people. Finland's government just collapsed under the weight of socialized medicine a week ago. At some point you run out of money and you have to make decisions that end lives actively or through neglect.

 

I'm not looking for a perfect system. I'm looking for a system that doesn't cut people off from subsistence in the name of profitability.

 

Because, I mean. Capitalism puts a value on human life as the very foundation of its mandate for life itself. The company has to fund your existence, thus you have a dollar value attached to your life that you cost the company. So you had best be able to justify them continuing to subsidize your existence.

 

And you won't get the best or even the great. You'll get what a capitalist decides you get. Spare me the empty glitz and glamor of consumer culture, these opiates that we consume to mask the pain and alienation of the divorce of our labor from our value. At the end of the day, more color and sound does not a better world make.

 

And as for Finland, according to Bloomberg, the government collapsed due its failure at healthcare reform. What was key to their reform? A plan that "involved a drastic re-organization of the way health care is administered at local level, as well as a greater role for the private sector." Because we know that we have a monetary value attached to our lives, and a capitalist isn't any better-equipped to determine that value than a socialist is.

 

7 hours ago, Urgan said:

In light of all of the above, do you? Who decides the cost of taking care of our fellow man? Who? Where are the all-knowing angels who can consider all the hugely complex possibilities of interlocking relationships across a country with no incentive to exert their will upon people in a system where they have total leeway to do so? You won't find an answer in Marx that doesn't merrily ignore a human nature that cannot be erased, not even with a bullet. Sounds dramatic, I know, but that is where this road takes you if you follow it to its logical conclusion.

 

I dunno who decides that. Lord knows I don't want that job. And I must admit, that's one of Marx's limitations. He considers revolt and redistribution to be inevitable, but as far as getting good people to do that is concerned, he comes up pretty short.

 

Kierkegaard, I think, is wise when he says that even if society is composed of systems, those systems are comprised of people freely choosing to participate in those systems.

 

I think where I fall on that whole thing is to say that people freely choose, but their circumstances and the systems which manufacture those circumstances ultimately make certain choices easier. But if those systems are comprised of people, then they can be changed.

 

Because we're the human freaking race. Every time something comes along and says it's impossible, we say, "Hold our beer" and do it anyway. Why would I ever want to erase something like that? I have hope for us. We can do this.

 

7 hours ago, Urgan said:

There will always be poor people and there will always be suffering to some degree, it is sadly a part of the human condition and until that changes at the end of time, here we are contending with its limitations trying to maintain the opportunity of people to lift themselves up from their baseline generation over generation.

 

This I do agree with. If you take nothing else from all this, then please take this.

 

6 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Wow, it seems I have been missing a very interesting discussion here.

 

Shyeah, f'real. One throwaway comment about rich people making money and now here we are.

 

This is also the perfect place for the "Are You Not Entertained?" gif but the work computer won't let me do it, so.

 

*

 

Bah. Wound up miscalculating in terms of how late I had to be up last night to get food made in such a way that it won't interfere with getting down early tonight. When the gears shift, it's the training that suffers.

 

Still, hit the CC progression for push ups last night, which was pretty cool. I'm a bit weaker than I was a while ago, but that tracks with what I figure's been happening.

 

Too late for any kind of martial arts tonight, but I think this is the last time it's going to happen. Test run tomorrow should confirm it. Short term loss for long term gainz.

 

Deloaded handstand and katas tonight. I'll see about skipping rope and bagwork as well. Just a general all purpose kind of thing.

 

Also, hey: Happy Pie Day, everyone! I'mma go out and get me some. Measurements didn't go anywhere like what I wanted them to, but I'm not afraid of it as the training in the long run is going to result in an even-ing out of things.

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19 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Shyeah, f'real. One throwaway comment about rich people making money and now here we are.

 

This is also the perfect place for the "Are You Not Entertained?" gif but the work computer won't let me do it, so.

 

giphy.gif

 

I've got you covered.

 

Yeah we ain't going to agree because we see the situation through fundamentally different lenses, but if you do find the blueprint for making a country more free and wildly successful than the US as founded.....otherwise I stand behind my points 100%. 

 

28 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Bah. Wound up miscalculating in terms of how late I had to be up last night to get food made in such a way that it won't interfere with getting down early tonight. When the gears shift, it's the training that suffers.

 

Something has to give when bedtime gets pushed back. The original fitness problem.

 

34 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Also, hey: Happy Pie Day, everyone! I'mma go out and get me some. Measurements didn't go anywhere like what I wanted them to, but I'm not afraid of it as the training in the long run is going to result in an even-ing out of things.

 

Aren't you glad I forbid you from taking RP's leftover junk food?

 

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1 hour ago, Urgan said:

but if you do find the blueprint for making a country more free and wildly successful than the the US as founded....

 

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

 

Let's not romanticize the free market solutions of the US as founded, huh? Even in the 18th century, that particular blueprint raised eyebrows with regard to how it treated freedom. That wild success was, North and South, based on one of the most morally egregious valuations of human life and freedom possible. The free market, without controls to place non-monetary value on human well-being, is something this country has first-hand experience of, and more recently than most other developed nations. We're the last country that needs to be told that unregulated capitalism is not necessarily compatible with freedom and competition. Our founders, for all their brilliant decisions (and many of them were), also proved those things weren't synonymous in the most literal and fundamental way.

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

 

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

 

Let's not romanticize the free market solutions of the US as founded, huh? Even in the 18th century, that particular blueprint raised eyebrows with regard to how it treated freedom. That wild success was, North and South, based on one of the most morally egregious valuations of human life and freedom possible. The free market, without controls to place non-monetary value on human well-being, is something this country has first-hand experience of, and more recently than most other developed nations. We're the last country that needs to be told that unregulated capitalism is not necessarily compatible with freedom and competition. Our founders, for all their brilliant decisions (and many of them were), also proved those things weren't synonymous in the most literal and fundamental way.

 

And abolitionists wanted them to not count at all because the counting a slave as a full person for purposes of determining House representation would secure the balance of power for slave states for a long time. The US would never have been a union in the first place without the compromise. We since have addressed the matter quite decisively. Unfortunately slavery was and continues to exist regardless, here and abroad. And we're back to failure of the human condition. 

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8 hours ago, Kishi said:

One throwaway comment about rich people making money and now here we are.

Discussions about capitalism/socialism/communism are always interesting to me.  I am a Capitalist by profession (international financier) and a Communist by residence (Beijing).  Ideologically I just don't see the world in terms of any of those concepts, because I find the reality of any given model is too divergent from the theoretical structures to be an accurate (or even meaningful) description.

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15 hours ago, Urgan said:

 

giphy.gif

 

I've got you covered.

 

Yeah we ain't going to agree because we see the situation through fundamentally different lenses, but if you do find the blueprint for making a country more free and wildly successful than the US as founded.....otherwise I stand behind my points 100%. 

 

Sweet! Thanks!

 

Anyway, if I find a way to help us build something better, I'll definitely crow about it from the rooftops before I get razzed by ideologues pulling in the opposite direction. But it won't stop me from trying. :D

 

16 hours ago, Urgan said:

Aren't you glad I forbid you from taking RP's leftover junk food?

 

I mean... no?

 

14 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

 

Let's not romanticize the free market solutions of the US as founded, huh? Even in the 18th century, that particular blueprint raised eyebrows with regard to how it treated freedom. That wild success was, North and South, based on one of the most morally egregious valuations of human life and freedom possible. The free market, without controls to place non-monetary value on human well-being, is something this country has first-hand experience of, and more recently than most other developed nations. We're the last country that needs to be told that unregulated capitalism is not necessarily compatible with freedom and competition. Our founders, for all their brilliant decisions (and many of them were), also proved those things weren't synonymous in the most literal and fundamental way.

 

13 hours ago, Urgan said:

 

And abolitionists wanted them to not count at all because the counting a slave as a full person for purposes of determining House representation would secure the balance of power for slave states for a long time. The US would never have been a union in the first place without the compromise. We since have addressed the matter quite decisively. Unfortunately slavery was and continues to exist regardless, here and abroad. And we're back to failure of the human condition. 

 

Mm, I think you're both right. With that being said, it's worth pointing out that the depersonalization of human beings - their reduction to chattel property - did happen on the free market's watch. This compromise, then, was a profit calculation: the Slave states, in addition to a free labor force, also wanted to exploit their numbers for political gain. The Abolitionists may have wanted to end the practice, but felt that the cost to their own power was too great a price to pay. In the end, this compromise can reasonably be considered a calculation that benefited the already rich and powerful; it certainly didn't do any favors for those people who weren't legally so.

 

Also, given the power of brands and companies which make use of wage slaves and the school-to-prison pipeline ensuring free labor for the states, I think it's disingenuous to consider the matter dealt with. This is capitalism's great sin: it puts a monetary value on things that shouldn't necessarily have it, and encourages us to get the most of it.

 

7 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Discussions about capitalism/socialism/communism are always interesting to me.  I am a Capitalist by profession (international financier) and a Communist by residence (Beijing).  Ideologically I just don't see the world in terms of any of those concepts, because I find the reality of any given model is too divergent from the theoretical structures to be an accurate (or even meaningful) description.

 

That's fair. I remember reading Harari's Homo Sapiens, which is this very broad overview of human history, and one of the things that he points out is that people are reactive in a way that can't really be predicted. Make a prediction about something related to a person and that person stands a very real chance of reacting in such a way as to negate that prediction.

 

I pointed this out to my old teacher, prior to us splitting. Marx's revolutions didn't take off because he was wrong, per se; they failed because the capitalists could read, and they could change the situation based on what they knew.

 

Anyway, I hope I don't come across as some kind of raving lunatic. I try to be very responsible with my lunacy, TYVM. :D

 

*

 

So, last night happened. It was very a thing.

 

Not much to talk about, though. Handstand practice, katas, shadowstabbed, skipped rope. Spent some time on the bag; trying to figure out how to bring power from on high to down low. And I'm using my tripods and headstands to warm up and I can just kick into those positions now; they feel way more intuitive than they did months ago which is undeniably satisfying.

 

But yeah. That's the thing about things going according to plan. They don't make for interesting stories.

 

Ate some pie and junk food last night and fasting today until post-training meal to make up for it. There's a fight night at the dojo tonight, and since I've not been called to do anything else, there's no reason not to take part, I think. Should be fun.

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55 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Ate some pie and junk food last night and fasting today until post-training meal to make up for it. There's a fight night at the dojo tonight, and since I've not been called to do anything else, there's no reason not to take part, I think. Should be fun.

 

giphy.gif

 

giphy.gif

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20 hours ago, Kishi said:

That's fair. I remember reading Harari's Homo Sapiens, which is this very broad overview of human history, and one of the things that he points out is that people are reactive in a way that can't really be predicted. Make a prediction about something related to a person and that person stands a very real chance of reacting in such a way as to negate that prediction.

 

I pointed this out to my old teacher, prior to us splitting. Marx's revolutions didn't take off because he was wrong, per se; they failed because the capitalists could read, and they could change the situation based on what they knew.

Acting in a way that is unpredictable is one important aspect.  What I think is probably as much, or more, of a factor is that people with seemingly homogeneous ideals will respond to events in different ways.  That makes a lot of the basic assumptions underlying a lot of economic theories vary from actual observed behavior.  For example, the theory may be that business owners will always act in the interest of generating a profit, but the reality is that most business owners are not psychopaths (despite that one survey) and actually care about their employees.  On the other end of the spectrum, the theory may be that if workers are underpaid they will find other jobs that pay them according to the value they bring to the employer, the reality is that changing jobs at the individual level is not as simple as the macro data would make it seem.    Because people are really very diverse, macro economic models are unable to build in the diversity and rely on assumptions that people will generally act in a homogeneous way.  Casual observation reveals that these assumptions do not accurately reflect reality.  

 

20 hours ago, Kishi said:

Anyway, I hope I don't come across as some kind of raving lunatic

Haha, we all have our own brand of insanity :D 

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On 3/15/2019 at 1:22 PM, Kishi said:

one of the things that he points out is that people are reactive in a way that can't really be predicted. 

 

This reminds me of the following article on TOR about why humans head up the Federation in Star Trek. Apparently there is some anthropological basis to this theory!

 

https://www.tor.com/2016/10/17/the-answer-to-why-humans-are-so-central-in-star-trek/

 

My favorite excerpt:

A192EED3-C67C-4741-8411-9FF1A9022509.jpeg.2d85f8c6627a360b2a4bc332d909570b.jpeg

 

Oh humans....

 

#TeamHoldMyBeer

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On 3/14/2019 at 3:58 PM, Kishi said:

So, hey, @Jupiter, if you go back and read your post, you'll notice that I've "spoiler'd" your sections. When you're posting, if you look at the formatting options you should see an eye on the right-hand side. You click that and it hides text behind a "spoiler" tag, so people can read or not at their discretion.

 

I solemnly swear that I haven't deleted anything you said; you can check it for yourself. But now you know.

 

Oh, okay, cool. Thank you. :) 

 

Spoiler


On 3/14/2019 at 3:58 PM, Kishi said:

the fact that she doesn't really learn anything except that she has room to learn and grow... that's kind of a weak flaw. Or at least, it wasn't presented very strongly.

 

Eh, I'd say she learned more than that, but that's totally my opinion. 

 

 

Spoiler


On 3/14/2019 at 3:58 PM, Kishi said:

Biased or misleading. And everyone has a bias. Even me. Especially me.

 

But yeah, I dunno. Maybe I'm just too idealistic. Like, I look back at the past Marvel films which, even if they weren't great, certainly worked more or got more out of their characters in sharing their message. Iron Man is totally an anti-war film in which a billionaire defense contractor experiences the consequences of his beliefs and is faced with his complicity in those things. Black Panther is about a super rich super advanced isolationist who has to accept that the isolation of his country has aided in the perpetuation of certain broken systems. Or to break out of the Marvel universe, Wonder Woman is about a naïve warrior who almost has to accept that war happens as a result of the collision and breakdown of a bunch of complex systems that no one person has the ability to solve (but they had to have that final battle, so they couldn't stick the landing -_-).

 

Please understand, I do not under any circumstances object to propaganda saying that women deserve a turn at the batting plate. I do believe it, and anything that spreads that message is fine by me. But that doesn't make it less propaganda for being true, it just makes it biased toward that point of view with the idea of promoting it.

 

That doesn't make it wrong. That doesn't make it bad. I don't object to the substance. I object to the style.

 

Well, from a story perspective, they had to have Wonder Woman beat the bad guy otherwise it wouldn't have been a very satisfying ending (if I'm understanding your meaning?). In this case it wasn't that Diana beat war so there were no more wars, it was beating Aries, who exacerbated those violent tendencies in humans which created wars (or at least the war in the movie). She didn't stop the war, just one person who helped to create and exacerbate the problems of that time, if I'm understanding your point correctly.

 

Oh no, I totally get it, and that makes sense. I guess I've just always heard "propaganda" used in a negative context so it doesn't really jive with me LOL. Thank you for the clarification and the discussion. :) 

 

 

 

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Hey guys!

 

Sorry I've been gone. Life took a turn for the busy and I've been focused on it like a frickin' laserbeam. Work in particular is grinding pretty hard right now; we have a new supervisor who's going through some growing pains with us and among other things doesn't seem terribly concerned with helping us get our cases out. Or at least, not with helping me.

 

Writing's going well. A lot of the time I would have used here at work got used on writing instead. I don't feel like this is a poor trade.

 

Training's going well. The use of lighter work on off days is good; it's helping me in exactly the ways I thought it would. I got a stripe in BJJ. And, I'm going off to fight in a Karate tournament on Saturday which is pretty much the nerdiest thing I can think to do.

 

No lie, I'm a little nervous. I'll be fighting in an open weight class with a bunch of angry white belts with something to prove. Aggression is a technique no matter what anyone says, and if they're so gung ho that they charge in through what you set up and don't care about the damage, well. That can be a problem. I've been talking to my Boxing coach (who has a Krav background and also bounces on the side) about how to be aggressive and he's given me some drills, so I've been doing those. I think they're working; even when I'm air punching, if I'm doing so with the proposed mindset, I feel my heart rate jack up and when it's over it feels like I've got an adrenaline dump. That or I'm just nervous. Both? But if I'm willing to use that energy to be a problem for people, well, I can live with that.

 

And it does make me punch harder.

 

Anyway, I don't know if I'mma get back to all of you today, but if I miss anyone, know that I think you're great and will respond ASAP.

 

On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 7:53 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I think you're a very cogent, composed lunatic.

 

:D Thanks, man.

 

On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Acting in a way that is unpredictable is one important aspect.  What I think is probably as much, or more, of a factor is that people with seemingly homogeneous ideals will respond to events in different ways.  That makes a lot of the basic assumptions underlying a lot of economic theories vary from actual observed behavior.  For example, the theory may be that business owners will always act in the interest of generating a profit, but the reality is that most business owners are not psychopaths (despite that one survey) and actually care about their employees.  On the other end of the spectrum, the theory may be that if workers are underpaid they will find other jobs that pay them according to the value they bring to the employer, the reality is that changing jobs at the individual level is not as simple as the macro data would make it seem.    Because people are really very diverse, macro economic models are unable to build in the diversity and rely on assumptions that people will generally act in a homogeneous way.  Casual observation reveals that these assumptions do not accurately reflect reality.  

 

True, that. I remember observing this back in my more conventionally religious days. Two people could receive a sermon with a bunch of true things and each come away with a totally different response to it. It seems reasonable to say that the unpredictability and the differing responses to a homogenous idea probably are interconnected. I wouldn't want to say which is more important because, at least for me as a casual observer, it's hard for me to sort out the first cause.

 

FWIW, I do sympathize with business owners more than it might sound like. I've met enough good ones to be confident that they want to do well by people and that they feel that sense of responsibility. That doesn't change, however, that if they want to stay in business, they have to generate a profit. There's a macro-systemic pressure that makes it so. A subjective value of a given employee is a sort of luxury for a manager or a president or a CEO, which has to be weighed against the objective value that the employee generates. Eventually, if the objective outweighs the subjective, the manager has to obey, because they're pressured and incentivized to do so. This is something I've lived out, and while "the plural of anecdotes is not data," I've heard enough stories from enough people in similar circumstances to think that surely something must be there.

 

But overall, I do agree. Macro models don't really reflect micro reality. Systems exist, but people choose the degree to which they participate, in as much as they can.

 

On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Haha, we all have our own brand of insanity :D 

 

Right! :D I'm just leery at the idea of trying to be an ideologue, and also being the asshole who lectures a financier on economics when I've read like 1.5 chapters of Marx and lots and lots of propaganda. The only thing I can do is be honest about my limitations and try to level up to everyone else. :)

 

On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:28 PM, ReturnOfTheDad said:

 

This reminds me of the following article on TOR about why humans head up the Federation in Star Trek. Apparently there is some anthropological basis to this theory!

 

https://www.tor.com/2016/10/17/the-answer-to-why-humans-are-so-central-in-star-trek/

 

My favorite excerpt:

A192EED3-C67C-4741-8411-9FF1A9022509.jpeg.2d85f8c6627a360b2a4bc332d909570b.jpeg

 

Oh humans....

 

#TeamHoldMyBeer

 

I like my team. :)

 

On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 10:04 PM, Jupiter said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Spoiler

See, I totally disagree. The Ares fight at the end is a huge tonal shift that jars the whole story in the final act. Up until that point it's this very human exploration of the causes and costs of war. Diana's thesis is that people are essentially good at heart but that they're driven to badness by Ares. She spends the movie not finding him, and over the course of the film has to accept that there aren't really good guys or bad guys but just people trying to outlive each other. Steve, in the end, doesn't have the answer, but he has to go off and fight anyway. And right at that moment, just as it seems we're going to get a hard but true answer, Ares shows up. Because they had to follow the formula, see. Making its final thesis that "Really, wars are caused by David Thewlis, and you can solve war by punching David Thewlis in the face." There was real room for a Terry Pratchett style "There is no justice, there's just us" kind of ending but no.

Anyway, yeah. Glad I could clarify, hope I didn't step on toes in doing. :)

 

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On ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 4:27 PM, Mistr said:

Fascinating discussions on your thread. :D 

 

You and @Urgan might both appreciate the message at Unbreaking America.

  

I do! I thought it was fascinating, actually, and it seems to mirror some observations I've made regarding the rise of certain interesting figures. It's encouraging to think that bottom-up change is possible. :)

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*crawls out of the hole*  So I am going to catch up on all your old posts...which will take me a little time, so for now here's this.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Sorry I've been gone. Life took a turn for the busy and I've been focused on it like a frickin' laserbeam. Work in particular is grinding pretty hard right now; we have a new supervisor who's going through some growing pains with us and among other things doesn't seem terribly concerned with helping us get our cases out. Or at least, not with helping me.

I don't know what exactly is you do, but with cases I get the sense yo are doing a lot of great work for people in need, with limited resources.  You are as always to be commended for the good work that you do.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Writing's going well. A lot of the time I would have used here at work got used on writing instead. I don't feel like this is a poor trade.

I believe it was a wise guild leader of mine who said something about getting the challenge done being more important than posting about it.  Perhaps that applies here?  I am so glad you're writing and that it's going well; after reading about your previous challenges with growing pains, I'm so glad to see a blurb about consistency in an area that was previously troublesome for you.  I really like that change. 

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

Training's going well. The use of lighter work on off days is good; it's helping me in exactly the ways I thought it would. I got a stripe in BJJ. And, I'm going off to fight in a Karate tournament on Saturday which is pretty much the nerdiest thing I can think to do.

STRIPES!! also you are the nerdiest badass I know, so there.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

No lie, I'm a little nervous. I'll be fighting in an open weight class with a bunch of angry white belts with something to prove. Aggression is a technique no matter what anyone says, and if they're so gung ho that they charge in through what you set up and don't care about the damage, well. That can be a problem. I've been talking to my Boxing coach (who has a Krav background and also bounces on the side) about how to be aggressive and he's given me some drills, so I've been doing those. I think they're working; even when I'm air punching, if I'm doing so with the proposed mindset, I feel my heart rate jack up and when it's over it feels like I've got an adrenaline dump. That or I'm just nervous. Both? But if I'm willing to use that energy to be a problem for people, well, I can live with that.

 

And it does make me punch harder.

Hey, I believe in you wholeheartedly.  You are better trained, and as much as aggression is a technique, you're a thoughtful, calculated fighter--at least from what I can glean from what you write about.  Your technique seems very solid, and something you've worked hard to develop.  

and hey, if you can punch harder BUT still also keep your other regular?  fighting style, more power to you.  Literally.  Bowl them over.  Make then realize you are a juggernaught.  I believe in you.  

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18 hours ago, Kishi said:

A subjective value of a given employee is a sort of luxury for a manager or a president or a CEO, which has to be weighed against the objective value that the employee generates. Eventually, if the objective outweighs the subjective, the manager has to obey, because they're pressured and incentivized to do so.

This is true at the macro level, but you would be very surprised to learn just how much variation there is in compensation for people at the same level.  I have been on the hiring end of this these discussions for employees at all levels there is almost always some kind of variance which is driven by a few factors:

  • Some labor is essentially a commodity.  The lower the amount of skill involved in doing a given job, the easier it is to find people to do the job and so the amount of compensation that the worker is given will generally (ceteris paribus) be at or slightly below the value of the labor provided.  
  • Some jobs require other traits that makes matching workers with jobs somewhat more difficult.  This could be Charisma things like interpersonal, appearance or personality which are generally an advantage for customer (internal or external) facing positions.  Other things such as attitude and flexibility could also influence the compensation for a given position.   
  • When trying to determine the value an employee generates for a company, they need to also includes things like replacement costs and opportunity costs.  In a tight labor market, it may be a lot more costly to find and retain employees and therefore this needs to be taken into account.  Two people hired for the exact same position and with the same skills and background could have vastly different compensation arrangements depending on the kind of market they were hired in
  • A lot of managers have no idea how to determine the value an employee generates and often has to guess at what the current market is.  Prospective employees do not know what a given employer is willing to pay so a lot of times the salary is negotiated based on where the initial offer comes in.  
  • Some managers have favorite employees (for whatever reason) and are willing to give them more just to keep them happy.  The opposite can be true for employees the manager doesn't like.

I could go on for a long time talking about all of the things that factor into compensation decisions, but the takeaway is that the relationship between objective and subjective factors is much more complex than macro data would make it look.  

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I'm glad that you are doing a lot of writing and training. Sounds like both the BJJ and Karate are progressing well.

 

Think of the tournament as a chance to field test the things you've been working on. Some moves will work, others maybe not. It will be a great way to find things you need to work on. Winning and losing is totally immaterial. You know you are going to keep training either way.

 

I sympathize with your concern that some of your opponents may be too wired to notice that they are taking damage. That is something we discuss all the time in aikido. Some of the standard techniques include joint lock. We always tell our students to rely on physics instead of pain for control. It is common for people in fights to feel no pain. Physics works all the time. :P 

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22 hours ago, Treva said:

I don't know what exactly is you do, but with cases I get the sense yo are doing a lot of great work for people in need, with limited resources.  You are as always to be commended for the good work that you do.

 

Thank you! So to clarify: I work for DHHS on the state level for disability determination services. My job is to go over disability cases, gather evidence of claimant functionality, and make a determination for whether or not their impairments meet our definitions of disability. If they do, we declare them disabled; if they don't, we don't.

 

So my job is basically to make a lot of hard choices for a lot of people who are not living their best lives. It's bitter work, but it's necessary.

 

22 hours ago, Treva said:

I believe it was a wise guild leader of mine who said something about getting the challenge done being more important than posting about it.  Perhaps that applies here?  I am so glad you're writing and that it's going well; after reading about your previous challenges with growing pains, I'm so glad to see a blurb about consistency in an area that was previously troublesome for you.  I really like that change. 

 

Wow, whoever they were, they were wise. :D I just feel bad about leaving people hanging when we were so invested in heavy conversation. It's a bad look, I think; not to mention that I'm responsible to y'all in the Monastery too. Which, speaking of, need to get back to that. At some point.

 

22 hours ago, Treva said:

STRIPES!! also you are the nerdiest badass I know, so there.

 

Yup! 3 more and I get to trade in for a blue belt. That'll be exciting, although I'm trying to not be in a hurry to get there. BJJ is just a lot of fun, and as a result I'm happy to go.

 

22 hours ago, Treva said:

Hey, I believe in you wholeheartedly.  You are better trained, and as much as aggression is a technique, you're a thoughtful, calculated fighter--at least from what I can glean from what you write about.  Your technique seems very solid, and something you've worked hard to develop.  

and hey, if you can punch harder BUT still also keep your other regular?  fighting style, more power to you.  Literally.  Bowl them over.  Make then realize you are a juggernaught.  I believe in you.

 

Thanks. <3 I've gotta learn how to throw clean while amped. I throw my straights well, but my hook leaves something to be desired. Still, as it is, I've startled people with how much power I can generate, and I've been holding back on people I've been training with. So. I guess I'll just have to bowl them over.

 

But only 'cuz you said to. :D

 

7 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

This is true at the macro level, but you would be very surprised to learn just how much variation there is in compensation for people at the same level.  I have been on the hiring end of this these discussions for employees at all levels there is almost always some kind of variance which is driven by a few factors:

  • Some labor is essentially a commodity.  The lower the amount of skill involved in doing a given job, the easier it is to find people to do the job and so the amount of compensation that the worker is given will generally (ceteris paribus) be at or slightly below the value of the labor provided.  
  • Some jobs require other traits that makes matching workers with jobs somewhat more difficult.  This could be Charisma things like interpersonal, appearance or personality which are generally an advantage for customer (internal or external) facing positions.  Other things such as attitude and flexibility could also influence the compensation for a given position.   
  • When trying to determine the value an employee generates for a company, they need to also includes things like replacement costs and opportunity costs.  In a tight labor market, it may be a lot more costly to find and retain employees and therefore this needs to be taken into account.  Two people hired for the exact same position and with the same skills and background could have vastly different compensation arrangements depending on the kind of market they were hired in
  • A lot of managers have no idea how to determine the value an employee generates and often has to guess at what the current market is.  Prospective employees do not know what a given employer is willing to pay so a lot of times the salary is negotiated based on where the initial offer comes in.  
  • Some managers have favorite employees (for whatever reason) and are willing to give them more just to keep them happy.  The opposite can be true for employees the manager doesn't like.

I could go on for a long time talking about all of the things that factor into compensation decisions, but the takeaway is that the relationship between objective and subjective factors is much more complex than macro data would make it look.  

 

I see! Huh. So, these are some of the myriad factors that were discussed earlier, and it sounds like they do offer a wide range of variability on a case by case basis.

 

All the same, it does sound to me like these are ultimately additional factors in the calculation of the bottom line, which is to generate profit. I guess I don't understand how the subjective calculation of value - which is admittedly fuzzy - necessarily changes the objective of getting as much value from the workers as a company possibly can. All the numbers have to put the company sufficiently in the black, right? I mean, even if it's something so subjective as a boss liking some employees more and compensating them more, isn't that necessarily balanced by paying some employees less?

 

And for that matter, is it right that a worker's wages - the means by which they access food, clothing, and shelter - should be decided so capriciously?

 

I mean. I dunno, man. What have you seen?

 

1 hour ago, Mistr said:

Think of the tournament as a chance to field test the things you've been working on. Some moves will work, others maybe not. It will be a great way to find things you need to work on. Winning and losing is totally immaterial. You know you are going to keep training either way.

 

This is true. But who wants to lose? I was one rank below Shodan before I was cast out; the last thing I want is to throw down with some 10th-5th kyu and just get rocked with nothing to show for it.

 

Also, I got smoked the last time I went to any kind of tourney and I'm spoiling for a chance to avenge myself.

 

1 hour ago, Mistr said:

I sympathize with your concern that some of your opponents may be too wired to notice that they are taking damage. That is something we discuss all the time in aikido. Some of the standard techniques include joint lock. We always tell our students to rely on physics instead of pain for control. It is common for people in fights to feel no pain. Physics works all the time. :P 

 

Well, fortunately, the mental training has worked; I'm honestly less concerned whether they notice or not. I'm not happy at the idea, but I'm more confident that I could. I'm more concerned with getting swarmed and locked up, and not getting the chance to throw anything at all.

 

*

 

Welp. Signed my name on the dotted line. I'm in the tournament now. Only doing the fighting. I don't really know what time it's going to be, except that apparently there's kata and such first. Which is annoying; I have friends and even my brother saying they'd like to root me on, but nobody wants to commit to a full day.

 

It kind of makes me sad, but. Oh well. That's life, I guess. Besides, who knows? Maybe people will show up anyway. That'd be nice.

 

I went to class, which was a sparring class. Went hard and well with the upper ranks. They really, really didn't like me throwing my hand down for roundhouse, which led me to dissect the technique and discover that I really don't need to throw my hand all the way down to get my hip to turn and generate power. It's ultimately a reciprocal thing between the shoulder and the hip, and I don't necessarily need to throw my hand away to make it work. It does cause my hand to lower some, but everyone else does the exact same thing, so I'm not gonna sweat it much.

 

It needs lots more practice, but I've got something here that I think I can adjust.

 

Anyway, went off to gym next and did some deloaded S&S. Went hard on the bag. The guy who helped me figure some stuff out about my roundhouse watched me on the bag afterward and commented that I was throwing with some serious power, which is a damned good sign.

 

Tonight, some Convict Conditioning-style high-rep work on Wall Push Ups and High Rows. Should be grand.

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