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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: MT-AL: Rob Quist (D) vs. Greg Gianforte (R) vs. Mark Wicks (L), May 25 on: May 25, 2017, 06:05:58 am
So what exactly did the journalist say to cause this rage? If it was nothing more than a simple question the authoritarian and fascist tendencies of the GOP have been displayed yet again

unreal. More generalizations.

I see some of the deepest, seething hatred for people you disagree with on here than anywhere else.

Dude, this goes beyond politics. You think this reflects the gop? Really? Does corrine brown reflect the dems?
Please don't try and deny that President Trump shows anything but contempt towards journalists and the very idea of a free press
Yes, he didn't like a lot of liberal journalists, but he never attacked the press for being free. That's just your imagination.

"Some people will say 'freedom of speech, freedom of speech' - these are stupid people"

- Donald Trump, on why it's ok to "shut down the internet"
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: State Legislature Special Election Mega Thread on: May 24, 2017, 06:51:52 am
Kevin Landrigan‏ @KlandriganUL  24s25 seconds ago
Unofficial final: GOPer Mark McLean beats Democrat James Morin, 657-536 (55-45%) in Hills Dist. 44 special election. #nhpolitics

Interesting that there was only a little improvement here, but enough to flip the race in the other district.

If the below is true it makes perfect sense though:

[/quote]
According to Dailykos:
Quote
New Hampshire House, Carroll-6: This is an open Republican seat located in Wolfeboro, northeast of Concord. The Democratic nominee is Edie DesMarais, the former director of a child care center. The Republican nominee is Matthew Plache, an attorney. This district went 51-44 for Donald Trump in 2016 and 56-43 for Mitt Romney in 2012.

New Hampshire House, Hillsborough-44: This is an open Republican seat in Manchester. The Democratic nominee here is James Morin, who unsuccessfully ran for this seat in 2016. The Republican nominee is Mark McLean, a former one-term state representative. This seat went 52-43 for Donald Trump in 2016 and 51-48 for Mitt Romney in 2012.
[/quote]

The district that swung towards Trump was held easily by the GOP while the one that swung away from him was lost.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump: exercise is bad, people are like batteries on: May 16, 2017, 11:06:00 am

Please tell me we can at least all agree this is factually wrong.

"Look, I'm not saying I agree with Trump 100% on this, but at least he's starting a dialogue about viewpoints and possibilities that weren't being discussed before because they were deemed too 'unpopular' or 'not politically correct.' "

You won't die young because you ran an Ironman triathlon, but you might have a hip replacement by your fifties. Running is good for your heart, but awful on your joints. (I love to run but I treat it as a vice.)

This is true of a lot of extreme sports and obsessive exercise regimens, so in a sense Trump isn't wrong. It's unhealthful to be sedentary and fat, but no one should delude themselves into believing that there is no long-term downside to an activity just because it is exercise and exercise is supposed to be virtuous. Someone who walks for a few hours each day has better long-term prospects than the person who swears by their daily run.

Didn't take long!

The Ironman remark is the only specific cited in the piece and it's well known that those events are a health risk on account of injuries and long-term stresses on the body. Forgive me for posting a relevant clarification rather than indulging in yet another round of mindless guffaws.

Ok, I forgive you.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump: exercise is bad, people are like batteries on: May 16, 2017, 09:39:58 am

Please tell me we can at least all agree this is factually wrong.

"Look, I'm not saying I agree with Trump 100% on this, but at least he's starting a dialogue about viewpoints and possibilities that weren't being discussed before because they were deemed too 'unpopular' or 'not politically correct.' "

You won't die young because you ran an Ironman triathlon, but you might have a hip replacement by your fifties. Running is good for your heart, but awful on your joints. (I love to run but I treat it as a vice.)

This is true of a lot of extreme sports and obsessive exercise regimens, so in a sense Trump isn't wrong. It's unhealthful to be sedentary and fat, but no one should delude themselves into believing that there is no long-term downside to an activity just because it is exercise and exercise is supposed to be virtuous. Someone who walks for a few hours each day has better long-term prospects than the person who swears by their daily run.

Didn't take long!
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 16, 2017, 05:28:56 am
One thing I'd like some insight on - when people vote tactically to back someone else than their first choice, what are the typical flows like?

I'd be interesting to hear about Scotland and about Lib Dems in various regions.

This is a complete guess, but there was between 1992-2005 a fair amount of centre left voters who would vote Liberal Democrat in the South east and South West (in seats like Bath) to keep the tories out- and I know 1997 was said to see a surge in this. However after the coalition you saw a lot of these types of voters voting for Labour (I haven't got the numbers but there was a really big amount of Lib Dems 2010-Labour 2015 voters) which swung  about 10 seats.


Right, I mean, it's obvious that say Labour voters who vote tactically in a Lib-Con marginal will go Lib. But I've seen conflicting statements on how Lib voters in Con-Lab marginals swing and it's also unclear to me how Scotland works. Is Independence or economics most salient? Would a Labour or Lib Dem voter in a Con-SNP marginal go Tory or SNP?
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Why there are so few female customers of male sex workers? on: May 16, 2017, 04:53:20 am
This thread is a bit of a trainwreck but not really more so than I would have expected. Tongue

I think it is pretty clear that the way most women and men in society approach sex is the direct explanation. A very basic thing is that women tend to be attracted to men that have status (in some vague, broad meaning of that word) and male sex workers really don't. While men tend to care less about that when it comes to just choosing someone to have sex with.

Reasons behind that are probably both biological and social to some extent.

One thing that is true in my experience (although this is anecdotal obviously) is that female sex drive is much more dependent on external stimuli (for lack of a better term). That is, many women can go for a long period of time and not particularly want sex and then want it a lot when they find someone they're attracted to. Men tend more in the direction of wanting it to a similar extent regardless of whether anyone else is around. Again, these are all generalizations that obviously don't hold true for every individual but it seems like a logical reason for different prostitution rates.

That is what an economist would call the demand-side of the sex market. If you were to look at the supply side I suspect social reasons become more important for what people think they can do and what can be expected of them.

As an aside, people mocking the idea of male entitlement to sex are being weird. I kind of struggle to imagine how unobservant one must be to not be aware of that. The same is true of female sexual repression. And having grown up in educated, liberal, urban society in Sweden I'm probably in one the most progressive environments that exist.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 16, 2017, 03:07:53 am
One thing I'd like some insight on - when people vote tactically to back someone else than their first choice, what are the typical flows like?

I'd be interesting to hear about Scotland and about Lib Dems in various regions.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 16, 2017, 02:57:36 am
Out of the 428 REM candidates there are 214 men and 214 women.  This is so typical and smacks of quota politics that I deplore.  This by itself is enough for me not to want to back REM.  If having equal number of men and women are so important then why does Macron not demand that the presidency alternates between a man and a women.  Oh yeah, if they did that it would mean they will have to all vote for Le Pen in the just finished Prez election.

You're THAT afraid of women? Geez.

It appears so.  I am also against quotas on the basis of race nationality etc etc.  I guess I am afraid of anything that represents authority other than the White Man paradigm.   

There is no meritocratic system for appointing political candidates. You seem to assume that if there is an equal number of women candidates it must somehow have been achieved unfairly but I don't really think that is true.

I'd note that I'm not for quotas myself either but I find it ridiculous to have as a litmus test for what to vote for.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 15, 2017, 09:01:11 am
Very selective data picking. I suggest you go read about the three days work week, the social decay of most British cities (captured beautifully in The Special's Ghost Town), the general feeling that things were falling apart, social unrest as unemployed youth turned football terraces into battlefields, NF running amok, and etc.

Situation was so bad that in one point some thought of overthrowing the government and placing Lord Mountbatten at the top

True, but why would any of those things be a reason to vote Tory? It's not like she reversed de-industrialisation, and her legacy was the continued decline and chronic unemployment/insecurity that may parts of the country still endure to this day.

Ghost Town was released under Thatcher by the way Tongue

I hate to say it, but the reason older people vote Tory is because they wish it was still the 1950s and Britain still had an empire.

Never underestimate the sheer weight of Little Englanderism among the inhabitants of moderately prosperous towns like Wellingborough.

I thought Little Englanders were those who did NOT want an empire?
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 11, 2017, 11:07:06 am
Out of the 428 REM candidates there are 214 men and 214 women.  This is so typical and smacks of quota politics that I deplore.  This by itself is enough for me not to want to back REM.  If having equal number of men and women are so important then why does Macron not demand that the presidency alternates between a man and a women.  Oh yeah, if they did that it would mean they will have to all vote for Le Pen in the just finished Prez election.

You're THAT afraid of women? Geez.
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Virginia Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of High-Quality Posts on: May 11, 2017, 07:25:16 am
Have you noticed that other economically literate posters frequently express the same ideas as you with more clarity and are better at engaging with posters who have different ones? You usually seem less frustrated by ignorance than by anyone who insists on the validity of other perspectives - e.g. your insistence that Nathan wasn't even asking an interesting question.

And o/c what could be more tendentious than insisting, "No, really, it's not me, it's literally everyone else!"?

I'm not comparing myself to or competing with other posters on who has the most clarity. Perhaps other people are more pedagogical than me though, I'm happy to accept that.

I'm not sure how you measure my frustration levels. Tongue In fact, if I weren't interested in other perspectives I wouldn't ask about them. Nor was I insisting that Nathan wasn't asking an interesting question. Not sure where you get that idea. I did suggest it was rhetorical which I think was correct. And I tried to get an idea of what his proposed metric actually was by asking about it.

Your last sentence I'm afraid lacks clarity for me. Tendentious, by my understanding, is when someone claiming to be an objective observer is actually running a biased agenda. Tendentious reporting and so on. I don't really think I ever claimed to not have an opinion that I believed in, nor do I think I'm more convinced of my beliefs on this issue than say Antonio. And I don't know where I said "it's everyone else" or why if I did it'd be tendentious.

I know you hold some weird grudge against me so I don't expect your answer to be anything other than tendentious though. Tongue
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Virginia Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of High-Quality Posts on: May 11, 2017, 05:36:12 am
Reposted from the old thread:

Entirely leaving aside the fact that a great many people are simply slightly but noticeably less intelligent than average and that these people deserve to have safe and meaningful lives too, I've become increasingly curious as to how many computer programmers and IT people folks think society actually needs or can support.

It's important to note that the tech industry has a wide range of jobs, and the improvement of integrated development environments make basic programming much easier by automating low-level systems programming tasks like memory management and pointer handling, so overall ability needed to program is decreasing as time goes on, so accessibility may not be as big of an issue as it might seem for the profession.

It's absolutely fascinating how neoliberals these days don't even have to preach on the glorious virtues of The Market anymore, because they have been so thoroughly immersed in their creed that they can't even comprehend why anyone would not view it as the only possible mechanism for making social decisions. Truly a textbook case in the study of ideologies.

Already you should start thinking about splitting potential labour supply of programmers into two groups: those who have no training and need training to reach competency, and those who have the ability to attain competency, but are really investing in their signal so they get the best programming job.

When the OP's talking points get raised, it's almost always considered by the latter category - college majors or adult professionals who, to keep up with their income expectations, can't just learn how to code but need to do it well. But, even if this ends up being most of the potential programmer supply, it's still a small chunk of the US labor force.

The irony though is that plenty of people think they're really aiming the talking point at the former category, those who need training to reach competency.

Let's get real - you can talk about "accessibility" of programming all you want, but for someone who couldn't get past Algebra II more than a decade ago, on the margin programming training is not a good choice. And it's a scar on the U.S. that there are plenty of people like who I described there.

If I were actually trying to give good job advice to people in the former category, I would say very little which they or the market doesn't already know - the fastest growing industry in the U.S. if not the developed world is nursing.

Personal Care Assistants alone account for more employees than all programmers and software developers in the US combined, according to the BLS. This one group excludes all the other nurses and caretakers employed in hospitals, jails, clinics, etc.

I've already written why I think coding can be of value to students who want to learn it, but I remember when I was in grade two or three in 1977 or 1978 and we had a substitute teacher and there were, for some reason, a bunch of punch cards strewn about part of the school grounds (I believe around the bike racks) and one of the students took one of the punch cards in with them asked the teacher what they were, and the teacher replied "they're punch cards for computers.  We should be teaching you about them and how to use them with computers because you'll be using them when you grow up."

Let me frame the question by analogy. In particular let me ask this question in 1945: How many auto mechanics does society actually need?

In 1903 the Ford Motor Company was founded and in 1908 they released the mass produced Model-T. 40 years later, after WWII, the automobile exploded in use creating the suburban culture of the late 20th century. Auto mechanics was a standard high school class by the 1960's, and even if one wasn't going to be a professional, a large fraction of the population understood how to perform a number of basic auto mechanical tasks.

In 1975 Microsoft was founded and in 1981 they released MS-DOS for widespread use in the new IBM-PC. Almost 40 years later, computer use has exploded and defines culture in the early 21st century. Computer science courses are becoming common in high school as states work to define what that curriculum should mean. Extending the analogy then, I would expect that like auto mechanics a generation after WWII, in the 2030's and 40's we will see a large fraction of the population knowing how to perform basic coding tasks, even if they aren't at the level of a professional.

If you look at the actual market for higher education, you would see that people looking to be retrained from the bottom up don't listen to any of the persuasion. [...] More people want to get a Masters in Education than all the aspiring engineers and programmers combined, despite the attack on teachers' unions and the average-below average hourly wage including overtime.

I also repeat my claim in the previous post that everybody has learned through market signals that nursing is the highest-growing industry, and are training appropriately.

The point here is that the market for higher education adjusts far more quickly than the discourse surrounding higher education. If anything, the question of "making honest choices about what society must orient around" seems better left to the market than to academia or punditry, both of which are rigidly hierarchical.

That doesn't mean the current market for higher education is perfect by any means. What I'm saying is just that, of the problems facing higher education, whether the system is churning out enough programmers is not a major concern in my opinion. A much better question would be: "if we're making honest choices about which industries should grow in the U.S., should we be allowing all these new realtors?"

To expand on that, programmer fetishism isn't a new feature of US education policy: I would trace the tradition of politicians throwing money to make technological education go the way they want to all the way back to Sputnik. Instead of trying to achieve education goals by lobbying and flattering these politicians' sensibilities, you should let philanthropy keep a few private schools alive or create a regulated private student loan market.

I guess the plus side of people shilling for ~coding lessons~ as a panacea for Middle America's labor market woes is that people can, in principle, do coding anywhere that has internet access, so one doesn't, in principle, have to desperately scramble to make it into one of a few hip-'n'-happening metropoles the way one does with certain other "new economy" jobs.

Selections from Nathan's "How many computer programmers does society actually need?" thread on the Economics board. It's one of my favorite forum conversations from the past several years, although it becomes an extremely frustrating read at points. Antonio's comment is best read as a chaser after plowing through Gustaf's tendentiousness.

Is it no longer frowned upon to post yourself into these threads? Tongue

I always think it's amusing when the attack is something like being "tendentious" - as if I am more of that than anyone else in that thread.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Hi, I'm BRTD's girlfriend. on: May 11, 2017, 05:29:58 am
Do you know about Opebo?
I don't know a lot about him, but apparently he wasn't a great poster?

No, as a poster he was great. It was him personally and his morals that were so failing.

Wait, you no longer think it's cool and badass to exploit underage prostitutes in Southeast Asia? Where did the real BRTD go? Shocked
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: South Korean (early) presidential election (9 May 2017) on: May 10, 2017, 07:53:53 am
For once, a landslide victory by a candidate who's actually worth supporting.

And the rapist "only" got a quarter of the vote!
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2017: Results Thread on: May 07, 2017, 02:14:26 pm
They really have nothing to lose by it though, a lot of them probably support LePen in some way and if they don't vote and she wins/loses their ok. But it's a clear option for Melenchon voters, either you support Marcon or you run the risk of a fascist winning. Very easy choice to make which makes it much more bizarre.

So it's OK to vote for a fascist if you're one of the people who do well under fascism? Gotcha.

I don't think the point is that it's "ok". But it's hard to mock a fascist for voting their side. What else are they gonna be doing? It's more offensive to have people betray their team due to pettiness or purity issues.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2017: Results Thread on: May 07, 2017, 02:02:31 pm
2nd round vote by 1st round voters:



Not surprising, large chunk of the left throwing a tantrum there. "Marcon and LePen are the sames!!1!1!1".

53% of Mélenchon voters supported FBM, but only 48% of Fillon's did, but of course a right-winger like you only takes issue with the former. Roll Eyes

Generally the right always turns out, the left doesn't. It goes for far stricter purity tests so they'd prefer LePen winning than holding their nose and making sure it doesn't happen. White privilege at it's finest!

"Vote for our awful candidate who violates your values and convictions or else we'll invoke the White Privilege card against you!!!"

I'd say there is a big difference - you can imagine some people voting Fillon would actually consider themselves more aligned with Le Pen than with Macron.

Melenchon voters on the other hand are just being silly when not backing Macron. Tongue

Why? What did Macron offer that would be attractive to Melenchon voters? And don't mention Le Pen in your response; I don't want to hear how Macron was better as a reason.

If you're left you should prefer a liberal to a fascist. If you're a conservative it's plausible you might prefer a fascist. Also, my answer was quite literally tongue-in-cheek. Wink

Sorry about that, it's a common argument made and the internet is a notoriously difficult place to detect sarcasm. But yes, in general a liberal is preferable to a fascist. I don't deny being very happy to see Le Pen routed like this. Unfortunately, it also means Macron, with his awful economic agenda, will become President. Time for the French left to turnout for the parliamentary elections.

I understand that people who are leftwing can take issue with Macron's economic policies. But if you're committed to socialism it just seems a bit bizarre to be indifferent between normal bourgeois policy and fascism. Fringey conservatives falling for fascism has always been a thing but that's more because they have bad values to begin with.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2017: Results Thread on: May 07, 2017, 01:48:41 pm
2nd round vote by 1st round voters:



Not surprising, large chunk of the left throwing a tantrum there. "Marcon and LePen are the sames!!1!1!1".

53% of Mélenchon voters supported FBM, but only 48% of Fillon's did, but of course a right-winger like you only takes issue with the former. Roll Eyes

Generally the right always turns out, the left doesn't. It goes for far stricter purity tests so they'd prefer LePen winning than holding their nose and making sure it doesn't happen. White privilege at it's finest!

"Vote for our awful candidate who violates your values and convictions or else we'll invoke the White Privilege card against you!!!"

I'd say there is a big difference - you can imagine some people voting Fillon would actually consider themselves more aligned with Le Pen than with Macron.

Melenchon voters on the other hand are just being silly when not backing Macron. Tongue

Why? What did Macron offer that would be attractive to Melenchon voters? And don't mention Le Pen in your response; I don't want to hear how Macron was better as a reason.

If you're left you should prefer a liberal to a fascist. If you're a conservative it's plausible you might prefer a fascist. Also, my answer was quite literally tongue-in-cheek. Wink
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2017: Results Thread on: May 07, 2017, 01:43:35 pm
2nd round vote by 1st round voters:



Not surprising, large chunk of the left throwing a tantrum there. "Marcon and LePen are the sames!!1!1!1".

53% of Mélenchon voters supported FBM, but only 48% of Fillon's did, but of course a right-winger like you only takes issue with the former. Roll Eyes

Generally the right always turns out, the left doesn't. It goes for far stricter purity tests so they'd prefer LePen winning than holding their nose and making sure it doesn't happen. White privilege at it's finest!

"Vote for our awful candidate who violates your values and convictions or else we'll invoke the White Privilege card against you!!!"

I'd say there is a big difference - you can imagine some people voting Fillon would actually consider themselves more aligned with Le Pen than with Macron.

Melenchon voters on the other hand are just being silly when not backing Macron. Tongue
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Things you like about President Trump on: May 07, 2017, 09:15:58 am
I can't really name anything. Sure, there are negatives like "he is NOT a raging homophobe", "he has NOT started WW3", "NOT every appointee is a disaster".

Of course there exist and I can imagine worse people in the world. He's not a serial killer. But there is nothing particular about him that is likeable. His political views are awful, his personality is awful, his habits are awful. A man who eats steaks well-done and doesn't drink can't be trusted.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many relationships have you been in? on: May 06, 2017, 08:02:32 am
I get the feeling that a lot of people here use long-term relationship to refer to an online relationship?

I think I'd say 10+ though most of those were more ongoing hookup things rather than a serious  monogamous relationship.
21  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Young Earth Creationism on: May 06, 2017, 06:10:22 am
Why was my post deleted?  I tried removing a duplicate and now both are gone.

For the record, both those duplicate posts were reported but had not been acted upon. I suspect you somehow managed to delete them yourself. I was going to edit out the bit about eradicating human beings though. Tongue
22  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to unban evergreen on: May 03, 2017, 06:37:35 am
Lol, I feel whenever I'm away from Atlas for a few days some crazy sh*t is here to greet my return. If overreaction had a face and that face was a thread on a forum it'd be this.
23  General Politics / Economics / Re: How many computer programmers does society actually need? on: April 28, 2017, 07:16:09 am
It's absolutely fascinating how neoliberals these days don't even have to preach on the glorious virtues of The Market anymore, because they have been so thoroughly immersed in their creed that they can't even comprehend why anyone would not view it as the only possible mechanism for making social decisions. Truly a textbook case in the study of ideologies.

Why do you assume that someone else's position must be due to blind dogma? I have put a lot of thought into my position and I'd be inclined to think you're the one who is too "immersed in a creed" to understand the alternative viewpoint here. Tongue

Nathan, I'm a little disappointed that you refuse to engage with my criticism but I obviously can't force you to.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: April 26, 2017, 08:26:44 am
YouGov poll of Wales:

CON 40 (21 seats)
LAB 30 (15 seats)
PC 13 (3 seats)
LD 8 (1 seat)
UKIP 6
GRN 2

I think this poll is an outlier, where will the Tory gains come from ?
I find it hard to believe the Tories will make inroads in tribal labour areas in the valleys and south of Wales,
The Tories may gain few seats in the north, tho I'm skeptical of them gaining Wrexham. 

Last election Tories' margin over Labour in Wales was about 15% worse than the national average. Current polling has Tories ahead of Labour nationally by around 20-25%. It'd take quite a bit of resilience in Wales for them to not lead there right now, and this seems in line with a uniform swing.

I don't know much about Welsh politics to gauge how elastic it should be, but it doesn't seem crazy to me.

Whether the Tories can actually get this sort of landslide on election day is a different question, obviously.

To those who know more than me, is there any chance of a flow towards PC from Labour? In a situation where traditional Labour voters hate Corbyn but also the Tories I'd have guessed the existence of a credible alternative would hurt Labour more but maybe PC is unappealing to a lot of those people?
25  General Politics / Economics / Re: How many computer programmers does society actually need? on: April 26, 2017, 07:57:41 am
The idea that x number of computer programmers (or much of any other "new economy" occupation, really) are as immediately indispensable to the people who use their services as x number of psychologists isn't the sort of insinuation that I think I (I personally) am capable of discussing objectively, so I don't really see any point in continuing this argument, except to say that believing that there should be standards for value to society other than "what people can be convinced to pay for" doesn't mean ipso facto that I don't care about other people's opinions. Also that (in my experience, at least) it's possible to discuss rhetorical questions on their own terms and to derive usable lines of discussion from them, otherwise they wouldn't be called "rhetorical".

I guess the plus side of people shilling for ~coding lessons~ as a panacea for Middle America's labor market woes is that people can, in principle, do coding anywhere that has internet access, so one doesn't, in principle, have to desperately scramble to make it into one of a few hip-'n'-happening metropoles the way one does with certain other "new economy" jobs.

Right, you think it'd be unreasonable for someone else to dictate to you whether you need a psychologist or not.

If I understand your model, your problem with the market is that it allows minorities to buy things the majority doesn't think they need, so the solution is to allow majority override of minority preferences.

I mean, to be clear, I agree with you that most apps are dumb. I think lots of stuff is dumb. Most contemporary music, reality shows, fashion. I hate olives. My solution is simply not to consume any of these things. I will sometimes in conversation try to convince other people that my subjective taste is correct. But if they want to spend the money they earned on things they like, I'm ultimately fine with it. I'll spend mine on the things I want. It's one thing to be elitist and look down on other peoples' pleasures but I think framing that in terms of societal needs is a bit dubious. I think it's fine to grant individuals autonomy over deciding their own needs, whether I understand or can relate to those needs or not. Using my understanding or agreement as the yardstick to determine the legitimacy of someone's want I think is both unnecessary and not particularly agreeable.
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