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Author Topic: The Virginia Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of High-Quality Posts  (Read 1223 times)
En Marche Forcée
Antonio V
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« on: March 21, 2017, 07:47:33 pm »
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By popular demand.

Here's the latest contribution from our new Dear Leader:

The idea of "spam posting" isn't just posting a lot, it's posting low quality content, insults and generally derailing threads. EHarding had a way of doing that to threads - probably because he posted so much that it was impossible to be ignored, given that even if eharding is on an ignore list they will probably still see a ton of quoted posts by him. In fact, I'd say there is a good chance that when eharding comes off his ban he'll pop into this thread, fire off about a thousand posts and make himself the center of the universe again.

It's probably hard to see when it is only a handful of people doing it, but imagine if a quarter or more of this site's active posters were eharding spam poster types? I have little doubt that many of the actual decent posters here would eventually stop posting because every thread turns into or starts out as low quality garbage. It's easy to dismiss him and say "just ignore," but the fact is is that those types of posters are toxic for a forum like this, and waiting until the problem reaches critical mass seems foolish. That he seems to have a history of getting banned from other places for similar reasons I feel backs up my point at least somewhat here.

I think eharding's views are divorced from reality and in some cases disgusting, but that's not really why I think he deserved action. His problem is his delivery (spam/etc) of his views, not the views themselves. ApatheticAustrian may post a lot (though not as much), but he doesn't fit any of this criteria at all, imo.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 01:58:45 am by AMA IL TUO PRESIDENTE! »Logged

Our numbers are dwindling. Our words are confused.
Some of them have been twisted by the enemy
until they can no longer be recognized.

Now what is wrong, or false, in what we have said?
Just some parts, or everything?
On whom can we still rely? Are we survivors, cast
away by the current? Will we be left behind,
no longer understanding anyone and being understood by no one?
Must we rely on luck?

This is what you ask. Expect
no answer but your own.


Bertolt Brecht
Senator Scott
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 04:25:47 am »
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Cheats on his current wife-We don't know about his relationship with his wife. That's their business in my opinion.

I think you're missing my point about the family values stuff.

Treats his kids as a financial obligation-His kids I think like him.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/24/trump-act-like-wife/

Quote
"I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park,” Trump said in a 2005 interview with Howard Stern. "Marla used to say, ‘I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street,’ you know in a carriage. Right, I’m gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn’t work.”

He just doesn't care. On top of all that, he looks and talks about his daughter like a piece of meat.

My point is that for deeply religious people, or people who say they value what Jesus taught and everything that is in the Bible, to reconcile that with such deep support for Trump is practically impossible. Somewhere in that little arrangement is a weakness/misrepresentation of where one stands, whether or not they want to admit it. Trump is objectively a bad person and morally bankrupt, and personally, preaching of family values and such from a Trump supporter is suspect at best. None of them were forced to support him, and there were many other options in the primaries, yet here we are, with religious "leaders" such as Falwell having gone to bat for such a disgusting man who goes against almost everything they say they believe in, and in Falwell's case, even before he became the nominee. Falwell is a joke. A complete and utter joke.
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 07:19:40 am »
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Cheats on his current wife-We don't know about his relationship with his wife. That's their business in my opinion.

I think you're missing my point about the family values stuff.

Treats his kids as a financial obligation-His kids I think like him.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/24/trump-act-like-wife/

Quote
"I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park,” Trump said in a 2005 interview with Howard Stern. "Marla used to say, ‘I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street,’ you know in a carriage. Right, I’m gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn’t work.”

He just doesn't care. On top of all that, he looks and talks about his daughter like a piece of meat.

My point is that for deeply religious people, or people who say they value what Jesus taught and everything that is in the Bible, to reconcile that with such deep support for Trump is practically impossible. Somewhere in that little arrangement is a weakness/misrepresentation of where one stands, whether or not they want to admit it. Trump is objectively a bad person and morally bankrupt, and personally, preaching of family values and such from a Trump supporter is suspect at best. None of them were forced to support him, and there were many other options in the primaries, yet here we are, with religious "leaders" such as Falwell having gone to bat for such a disgusting man who goes against almost everything they say they believe in, and in Falwell's case, even before he became the nominee. Falwell is a joke. A complete and utter joke.

No. Life ain't that simple. For these people, the Supreme Court is more important than some stupid things Trump has said in the past. He's not even that different from a generic Republican, unfortunately.

I could just as well say that all Clinton supporters aren't honest and trustworthy. It'd be just as hackish.
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 09:01:02 am »
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Cheats on his current wife-We don't know about his relationship with his wife. That's their business in my opinion.

I think you're missing my point about the family values stuff.

Treats his kids as a financial obligation-His kids I think like him.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/24/trump-act-like-wife/

Quote
"I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park,” Trump said in a 2005 interview with Howard Stern. "Marla used to say, ‘I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street,’ you know in a carriage. Right, I’m gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn’t work.”

He just doesn't care. On top of all that, he looks and talks about his daughter like a piece of meat.

My point is that for deeply religious people, or people who say they value what Jesus taught and everything that is in the Bible, to reconcile that with such deep support for Trump is practically impossible. Somewhere in that little arrangement is a weakness/misrepresentation of where one stands, whether or not they want to admit it. Trump is objectively a bad person and morally bankrupt, and personally, preaching of family values and such from a Trump supporter is suspect at best. None of them were forced to support him, and there were many other options in the primaries, yet here we are, with religious "leaders" such as Falwell having gone to bat for such a disgusting man who goes against almost everything they say they believe in, and in Falwell's case, even before he became the nominee. Falwell is a joke. A complete and utter joke.

No. Life ain't that simple. For these people, the Supreme Court is more important than some stupid things Trump has said in the past. He's not even that different from a generic Republican, unfortunately.

I could just as well say that all Clinton supporters aren't honest and trustworthy. It'd be just as hackish.

This isn't about how certain conservatives vote on the Supreme Court issue.  The issue is that Trump was propped up by the Christian Right as a pious, God-fearing, evangelical rockstar when in reality he's lived all his adult life doing the opposite of what Christ taught.  If Trump ran as a Democrat, he would've immediately been portrayed by the social conservatives as an elitist Manhattan-bred snob who embodies all the moral corruption of the 'other side' of the culture war: where image and wealth and power and celebrity influence trump family values and creating a moral society.  Where adultery and remarriage are a-okay.  Where bragging about grabbing a woman's genitals is a mere slip of the tongue.  (Now, mind you, Romney was guilty of none of these things yet Trump received far better treatment from these folks than Mitt ever did... because he was *gasp* a Mormon.)

But no.  These churchy folks were sucking on Trump's teat well before and during the primary season, when they had sixteen or so alternatives to choose from.  Now look at the primary map and tell me who won almost every Bible Belt state.  None other than Donald "New York values" Trump.

The SBC, though such was not always the case, can better be described as a right-wing thinktank with a prayer room; "the Republican Party at prayer," as Nathan referenced.  Now we know the emperor has no clothes.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 09:11:21 am by Senator Scott »Logged



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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 10:01:59 am »
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But no.  These churchy folks were sucking on Trump's teat well before and during the primary season, when they had sixteen or so alternatives to choose from.  Now look at the primary map and tell me who won almost every Bible Belt state.  None other than Donald "New York values" Trump.

I don't think that's quite correct.  IIRC, Cruz won among Evangelicals who actually go to church.  Trump won among Evangelicals who don't actually go to church.  E.g., here's a poll from last March:



This recent column by Peter Beinart is worth reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/breaking-faith/517785/

He argues that Trump's nomination became possible precisely *because* the GOP electorate is less "churchy" than it used to be.  There are more now in rural America who aren't really religious anymore, but still identify as "Christian" or even "Evangelical" but aren't religiously observant in any meaningful way, and that's Trump's real base.
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 10:18:18 am »
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I could just as well say that all Clinton supporters aren't honest and trustworthy. It'd be just as hackish.

I don't know - I expect politicians to lie about things. I don't like it, but let's be real here. For Christians who say family values/morals are important to them, whether they go to church regularly or not, I kind of expect them to act that way, especially considering a lot of it ties into what they believe to be the word of God. You can say its all about that supreme court justice - I actually specifically mentioned that in one of those 2 posts as the typical excuse, but it doesn't excuse the fact that they traded a lot with that vote for that slice of power. And that is even assuming abortion is the defining reason. IIRC, Trump got even higher support among evangelicals than Bush43 and McCain, no? Surely it can't all be abortion, otherwise they'd probably never vote for most Democratic presidential candidates.

And again, they had choices other than Trump. I consider 31%+ way too high for a man like him. The way he treats people, the bullying, the harassment, the constant lying - he should have been nothing more than a marginal candidate if these people held the values they talk about more closely. Especially given how obvious and brazen Trump was about such behavior.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 10:21:59 am by Virginia »Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 10:30:47 am »
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The desire for Christian morality is just an extension of the desire for authoritarianism manifesting itself in a slightly different tone so obviously they couldn't resist the man with no greater desire than to govern like a dictator in ways that would benefit their causes. It's literally the perfect marriage.

No other Republican (except perhaps for the always beautiful Chris Christie) was a more respectable option. Huckabee became a non-serious, wimpy sell-out since his first bid; Carson was a mouse; Graham is obviously fabulous but Donald took out this obvious threat first. The others were just bad jokes with no business being on the national political stage (except for Jeb. Jeb was a good joke).


Even beyond abortion, Hillary was the worst Democratic candidate for these people yet.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 10:33:25 am by Sprouts Farmers Market ✘ »Logged

20:58   Santander   ýour inside is almost as beautiful as barron trump's outside
20:41   Classic   I think we need to abort any babies with autism so we won't end up with more people like smilo in our society.

#TrushnerTrash

Junk poll - they forgot to include Trump. He's inevitable.


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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 06:34:41 pm »
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I could just as well say that all Clinton supporters aren't honest and trustworthy. It'd be just as hackish.

I don't know - I expect politicians to lie about things. I don't like it, but let's be real here. For Christians who say family values/morals are important to them, whether they go to church regularly or not, I kind of expect them to act that way, especially considering a lot of it ties into what they believe to be the word of God. You can say its all about that supreme court justice - I actually specifically mentioned that in one of those 2 posts as the typical excuse, but it doesn't excuse the fact that they traded a lot with that vote for that slice of power. And that is even assuming abortion is the defining reason. IIRC, Trump got even higher support among evangelicals than Bush43 and McCain, no? Surely it can't all be abortion, otherwise they'd probably never vote for most Democratic presidential candidates.

And again, they had choices other than Trump. I consider 31%+ way too high for a man like him. The way he treats people, the bullying, the harassment, the constant lying - he should have been nothing more than a marginal candidate if these people held the values they talk about more closely. Especially given how obvious and brazen Trump was about such behavior.

While Evangelicals clearly have a Trump problem, and while it's a shame that Evangelicals ultimately didn't flock to third party candidates, it's unfair to blame the voters for not opting out of the two major parties in a system so heavily favouring said parties.

A rough comparison can be made between white Evangelicals/Trump, and blacks with corrupt Democratic congressmen. Obviously there's a problem with corrupt congressmen, and far too many voters stick with the corrupt guy not matter what. However, what are their other options? A third party they barely know, which might be opposed to their interests (e.g. Libertarian), and a major party which they perceive to be actively antagonistic towards them.

In both cases, it's too bad when they vote for the corrupt jerk, but I understand their reasons and I'm certainly not going to condemn them for being insufficiently informed about fringe parties.

Lastly, this sort of attitude indicates a failure to take Evangelical concerns around abortion and religious liberty issues seriously. Even if you think our positions our wrong, try to see things from our point of view. If the Candidate A, wants to fund baby killers, and make you betray your conscience to be in the wedding business, you'll be willing to accept a lot of crap from Candidate B, and criticism about "family values" from Candidate A's supporters will ring hollow.
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 08:56:53 pm »
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Lastly, this sort of attitude indicates a failure to take Evangelical concerns around abortion and religious liberty issues seriously. Even if you think our positions our wrong, try to see things from our point of view. If the Candidate A, wants to fund baby killers, and make you betray your conscience to be in the wedding business, you'll be willing to accept a lot of crap from Candidate B, and criticism about "family values" from Candidate A's supporters will ring hollow.

I wish there was a way for Democrats to reach pro-life voters, but from a pro-choice perspective I really don't get how that is to be done without neglecting pro-choice voters. This particular issue really seems to be one or the other, unless you count simply not pushing abortion policy at all a choice, which I find hard because pro-life groups are constantly pushing the GOP to restrict abortion in extremely novel ways 365 days a year, which demands pushback from liberals.

I should state that I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I'm just saying that for someone who prides themselves in Christian values, their principles, and so on, to support Trump - let alone support him so deeply like many do, means you are sacrificing a part of your convictions. There is no way you can have both with Trump. Like I said, he is so objectively awul in almost every way that there is just no way to reconcile the two. I can get how people would choose him to get pro-life judges for instance, but it doesn't change anything else. They know who Trump is, what he's done and what he says on a daily basis, so it's just one of those choices people have to make and they have to live with that.

* edit: by "you" i don't literally mean you specifically
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 09:02:53 pm by Virginia »Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 08:59:16 pm »
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Lastly, this sort of attitude indicates a failure to take Evangelical concerns around abortion and religious liberty issues seriously. Even if you think our positions our wrong, try to see things from our point of view. If the Candidate A, wants to fund baby killers, and make you betray your conscience to be in the wedding business, you'll be willing to accept a lot of crap from Candidate B, and criticism about "family values" from Candidate A's supporters will ring hollow.

I wish there was a way for Democrats to reach pro-life voters, but from a pro-choice perspective I really don't get how that is to be done without neglecting pro-choice voters. This particular issue really seems to be one or the other, unless you count simply not pushing abortion policy at all a choice, which I find hard because pro-life groups are constantly pushing the GOP to restrict abortion in extremely novel ways 365 days a year, which demands pushback from liberals.

I should state that I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I'm just saying that for someone who prides themselves in Christian values, their principles, and so on, to support Trump - let alone support him so deeply like many do, means you are sacrificing a part of your convictions. There is no way you can have both with Trump. Like I said, he is so objectively awul in almost every way that there is just no way to reconcile the two. I can get how people would choose him to get pro-life judges for instance, but it doesn't change anything else. They know who Trump is, what he's done and what he says on a daily basis, so it's just one of those choices people have to make and they have to live with that.

How about the Democrats instead push for defederalizing the issue? Just wondering how that would work.
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 09:13:04 pm »
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How about the Democrats instead push for defederalizing the issue? Just wondering how that would work.

That would be tantamount to banning it in whatever states Republicans control (which is, I believe, a majority of the country) at least the legislature, where I'm sure they would move quickly to refer amendments to the state constitutions and make the issue largely untouchable for some time. Given how much power Republicans currently have at the state level, and will likely maintain for decades to come in certain regions (like the South), making this a states' right issue is a no go.

The closest I think I can theoretically see Democrats going is a ban after x weeks or something. Basically policy that still leaves the right to have an abortion mostly intact but attempts to mitigate it in certain instances or maybe push women towards things like adoption/etc.
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 02:25:31 pm »
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I will say i am unsettled by the demands by American liberals to make abortion legal at any time for any reason. It's just weird - it's not like there is a huge horde of psycho women that declare they want abortion at 8 and a half months for fun - third trimester abortions are only for medical reasons so there is really no reason to even leave the potential for non-viable late abortions open.

Basically the pro choice side don't focus enough on a universal  and cheap access to early abortions (ignoring that many rural areas now have no clinics at all). That's the most important issue - if the left was forced to swallow waiting restrictions AND mandatory counselling AND a twenty week ban AND ultrasounds I'd consider it a worthy deal if you managed to get the GOP to agree that a first trimester abortion is a right.
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Our numbers are dwindling. Our words are confused.
Some of them have been twisted by the enemy
until they can no longer be recognized.

Now what is wrong, or false, in what we have said?
Just some parts, or everything?
On whom can we still rely? Are we survivors, cast
away by the current? Will we be left behind,
no longer understanding anyone and being understood by no one?
Must we rely on luck?

This is what you ask. Expect
no answer but your own.


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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 11:51:10 am »
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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.
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Our numbers are dwindling. Our words are confused.
Some of them have been twisted by the enemy
until they can no longer be recognized.

Now what is wrong, or false, in what we have said?
Just some parts, or everything?
On whom can we still rely? Are we survivors, cast
away by the current? Will we be left behind,
no longer understanding anyone and being understood by no one?
Must we rely on luck?

This is what you ask. Expect
no answer but your own.


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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2017, 10:15:37 pm »
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The fear of an SNP effectively puppeteering a Labour government to get an "unfair advantage" for Scotland was one of the key reasons for Labour's defeat in 2015 - there's a reasons the Tories used the message constantly; because it was a fantastic scare message that diffused down to even low-info voters. Not that the SNP would care - why would they, when they had kept their ideal bogeymen in Westminster to rail against? Which is why I dislike the movement so much - my idea of a left is a group of broad people of different backgrounds that are united for the betterment of all its constituent parts. The SNP tosses that strategy out of the window by creating artificial divisions and resentment between peoplein the service of creating yet another 19th century abstraction (a nation-state) in a time when global unity is needed more than ever.

And the worst part of it is that it all comes steeped in tremendous hypocrisy. Not just the oh so leftist utopia that in its most likely form would be a corporate haven petrostate on a race to the bottom. Not just the desperate attempts to have their cake and eat it to in regards to American style flag-waving (an activity that sadly is becoming ever more popular in British life all over, more evidence to my theory that the PTB  view Northern Ireland as an ideal model for the rest of us to follow) by the vague "civic nationalism" descriptor. Not even the "Austria-as-first-victim"-esque narrative it spins, in which Scotland was some sort of disenfranchised, underprivileged colony rather than being a willing partner in the crimes of the British Empire. NO, what really gets me is the pointlessness of it all. Like Brexit, it merely serves as a distraction from the tangible in the service of chasing symbols and inflaming sectarian division.
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Our numbers are dwindling. Our words are confused.
Some of them have been twisted by the enemy
until they can no longer be recognized.

Now what is wrong, or false, in what we have said?
Just some parts, or everything?
On whom can we still rely? Are we survivors, cast
away by the current? Will we be left behind,
no longer understanding anyone and being understood by no one?
Must we rely on luck?

This is what you ask. Expect
no answer but your own.


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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2017, 07:34:00 pm »
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Nationalism.

I would have shocked myself by answering this way as recently as a couple of years ago, but in 2017 I'll vote for the smaller unit down to villages and neighborhoods. The past couple of decades have shown that globalization as we know it isn't all that democratic or egalitarian a process. Its leading institutions - the UN, the EU, the World Bank, major corporations, etc. - are corrupt, opaque, plutocratic, and removed from the concerns of too many people. Until someone can offer a better form of globalization, one that is fairer and less disempowering, you can count me out.

And please spare me the global poverty routine. Cost-benefit analysis humanitarianism is just not convincing anymore. It's all exceptionally noble in theory, but as long as the places that I know are socially dysfunctional, economically devastated, physically crumbling, and literally dying off, my moral circle will not and cannot go far enough to take solace in some worldwide utilitarian calculus.

Besides, if your only consolation is some feel-good abstraction, religious fundamentalism and ethnic chauvinism will do the job much better than that for most people stuck on the losing end.
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2017, 11:11:00 pm »
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Do you understand muon2's question?  If you do explain it to me.  Tongue

There's a total solar eclipse cutting across the country in August! I don't live quite at the spot where the sun will go entirely behind the moon but I'll be close - here is a map of travel times to the optimum viewing range!

Would you like me to help Grumps with a simple analogy?

By all means! Tongue


Partial eclipses are pretty cool and happen about twice a year somewhere on earth. But if you aren't watching for them (with special filters) you might not know they are there. Here's a picture I took in 2014 when there was about a 25% eclipse as seen from my house. Think of getting a base on balls to take first.


On Aug 21 the sun will be about 84% covered as seen in da Burgh, kind of like the picture below. People may notice the light dim just like if clouds came across the sun, but you still need a filter to stand the direct light in your eyes. This is still exciting but still relatively common, kind of like stealing second base.


In BK's area the sun will be reduced to a sliver and only put out about 100th of its normal light. It will feel eerie like when a tornadic storm is in the area. People will likely stop what they are doing to take a look, though even at 1% of the light staring will hurt your eyes. This is getting rare, like stealing third base.

But the total eclipse is some else entirely. The Sun is completely blocked and stars are visible in the dark sky. Civilizations though the end was near when they saw it. I was in Wrigley to see Javier Baez steal home in game 1 against the Dodgers in the NLCS. Stealing home to score - that's the total eclipse. And yes Grumps, if you were thinking of my analogy in terms of Paradise by the Dashboard Light, that was my intent. Smiley



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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 05:36:12 am »
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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.
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 07:04:11 am »
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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!"?
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 07:25:16 am »
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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
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2017, 01:46:38 am »
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Is it no longer frowned upon to post yourself into these threads? Tongue

That wasn't the purpose. The purpose was to get this thread going and finally bury the old thread that keeps coming back from the dead.

Anyway, my apologies.
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away by the current? Will we be left behind,
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Must we rely on luck?

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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 10:15:37 pm »
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Not really. The populist wave that's been taking place has still been within the bounds of liberal democracy, apart from countries that weren't really sold on liberal democracy in the first place (Russia, Turkey, etc.). It's not like 2016 has been filled with coups overthrowing elected governments.

There are a couple serious threats still that may lead to existential crises in the future if continue. The first is that peoples' faith in "the system" is dependent on the perception that the system is actually defending their interests, jobs, security, families, values, etc. If, whether due to social change, economic transition, or some other sort of unsettling factor, people no longer see "the system" as working for them but as being asked to work for "the system", then confidence in "the system" will be shaken from top to bottom.

The second is that those who view themselves as liberal democracy's most fervent defenders forget its premises in the silencing of their enemies. When decisions begin being made by mobs instead of at ballot boxes, countries can start a spiral toward mutual escalation. When "fascism" is simply whatever collection of views the beholder disagrees with, a loss of civility follows. People would prefer finding their concerns met by acceptable options, but if their concerns are washed out from the acceptable options, they will ultimately find other options who are willing to listen.
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2017, 02:30:03 pm »
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It will bother me.  It will be more evidence that this place is biased against conservatives, and that political leanings are taken into account when banning posters.

Are you saying conservative mods and a conservative Modadmin are voting to ban other conservatives to purposefully persecute conservative users?

What conservative mods?  Blue Avatar doesn't equal conservative.

I'm saying the recent bans have traditionally been one way - banning conservative voices from this site.  There are plenty of users here with red avatars that are far more abusive and abrasive than Krazen or even Eharding, but they rarely get banned.  And, no, I'm not going to name names - as I think banning anyone should be exceedingly rare, regardless of their political views.

This may shock you, but on the thread where the Cave muses about the Atlasian problem children, red avatars in the dock are well represented. We also give out warnings privately that are not publicly disclosed. Finally, even more shocking, sometimes red avatar Mods go after red avatar problem children, and blue avatar Mods go after blue avatar problem children. The Cave is a complicated place I guess. Or maybe, it is more about trying to have a judicial temperament, and applying the TOS fairly and even handedly, Heck anything is possible.

I can readily attest as a longtime former denizen that ideology is the last thing anyone in the cave considers in possible bans (temp or otherwise). The possible exception is the occasional Stormfront or neo-Nazi troll who wanders along.

However, Krazen is an out and out troll, not a conservative. Cynic, no one has ever ever ever mentioned one word about banning you or 90% of conservatives (like 90% of liberals) in the cave. It's just chronically disruptive a$$holes like Krazen who love to create $hitstorms who hit the block.

That said, his conduct hasn't improved one iota since his oh-so-effective temp ban. If anything it's gotten worse. The only change is he doesn't post as often, but when he does he almost never even tries making a cogent (to him) point. It's like he's daring the mods to ban him, and enjoying crossing the line without consequence.

He is literally the posting equivalent of a gorilla throwing its poop at participants in a debate tournament.  Just because he consistently picks one side of the debate to throw his feces at doesn't mean "it's just a legitimate alternative point of view". No. It's poop. He knows it's poop. And revels in the fact he throws his poop while getting away with it. 

Torie and Muon, even if you won't admit it to yourselves, many here believe the only reason Krazen won't finally get the well-deserved ax is you'll have one less playmate on the redistricting threads. Which is a crying shame considering if his pre-tempban conduct warranted a tempban, his conduct since returning has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he's simply an irredeemable nuisance.

Mods, please do your jobs here.
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2017, 10:39:59 pm »
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A rare sensible post on an issue where both sides tend to sound ridiculous.

My thoughts is that as black women's natural hair is unfairly stigmatised by Eurocentric dress codes, one would think it would be helpful for the cause to have Afro-style hairstyles adopted by other races; thereby forcing employers hands (like how the gluten-free trend helped the genuinely gluten intolerant by increasing the range of gluten-free products)? I can appreciate why many blacks may roll their eyes at the racial equivalent of slumming it; but at the end of the day I find it hard to get really riled up about the issue - and  worse it becomes a self-defeating tool, in that it trivialises the rest of the sj agenda by its oddness.

There is a very disturbingly ethnonationliast undercurrent to a lot of this debate, in both its proponents and its opponents. Sad how the elite plays us off each other so easily.
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Some of them have been twisted by the enemy
until they can no longer be recognized.

Now what is wrong, or false, in what we have said?
Just some parts, or everything?
On whom can we still rely? Are we survivors, cast
away by the current? Will we be left behind,
no longer understanding anyone and being understood by no one?
Must we rely on luck?

This is what you ask. Expect
no answer but your own.


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« Reply #23 on: Today at 04:45:54 pm »
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^odd definition of "high quality" there.
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« Reply #24 on: Today at 04:55:06 pm »
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^odd definition of "high quality" there.
This is Tony we're talking about.
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