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November 18, 2017, 12:46:14 pm
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News: Election 2018 predictions for US Senate are now open!.

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I'm new on: November 06, 2017, 09:28:54 pm
"Last but not least, I have zero problems being controversial, actually I love it..."

2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Donna Brazile: How the Clinton campaign ran the DNC on: November 02, 2017, 08:47:11 am
Fun exercise: Compare the sums of money discussed in this - in other words, the budget for one a major political party in the US - to the amounts that Obama will be pulling in for his palatial tomb presidential library.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Unpopular/Bad Opinions on: November 01, 2017, 02:34:32 pm
I have found that people don't want to hear that the public political civility they grew up with is not the normal state of affairs. The implication is that if my sense of cause is correct, returning to civility may be much harder than people want to believe.

It baffles me that older Americans can look back over the past several decades and convince themselves that they lived through a time when our politics were more civil.

From WWII through the early nineties, we are talking about an era when political violence was more common than it is now. Domestic terror incidents and political assassinations were more frequent. More people were killed in riots and protests, and more property was destroyed.

I am not a political optimist. But does it make sense to say that we are more callous just because our Congressional representatives are playing fewer golf games together? I guess I would place less weight on shouting and more weight on shooting when it comes to assessing public civility.

Most of what they have lost is a comforting illusion, one that was packaged by a mass media that has now fragmented, compounded by nostalgia.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Unpopular/Bad Opinions on: November 01, 2017, 11:56:26 am
My unpopular opinion is that coarseness in public discourse is the norm in American politics, with the mid 20th century being the exception. Coarseness comes in part from a fragmented news media which allows people to stay within an information bubble. This was the condition both before radio and since the rise of cable and then the web.

Is the unpopular part of this the opinion that "coarseness" once was as common as it is today, or the opinion that the politics of the mid-twentieth century were unusually civil?
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of "SOCIALLY LIBERAL FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE" heros on: November 01, 2017, 06:53:49 am
"Socially liberal, fiscally conservative" is a rarely a helpful descriptor outside of political compass-induced fever dreams.

For example, Beet's point only makes sense if you take the reductionism of the compass literally and treat opinion as if it really were a matter of two orthogonal political dimensions.

Moreover, anyone with enough political interest to have more than a handful of posts on a site like this should realize that each of the four quadrants include people who fall there for varying reasons.

All of this fits into the more common fallacy of conflating preferred policies in the narrowest sense with the moral foundations that shape those preferences.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Unpopular/Bad Opinions on: November 01, 2017, 06:36:10 am
The effect of this past election and the Trump administration will be to re-make the Democratic Party along the lines of the Republican Party.

That is, Democrats are moving away from being the kind of party that represents a coalition of interest groups and moving toward being the party of a well-connected, self-enriching, rent-seeking elite enabled by a mass base of deluded ideologues.

They are marrying the worst tendencies of the left with the worst tendencies of Hillary Clinton. The end state will be a party that uses giveaways, utopian promises, and the vilification of large groups of people as a shield for its venality, cronyism, and condescension.

A few cases in point:

  • What good is free college if underlying costs continue to rise while graduates are culturally illiterate, civically ignorant, and incapable of taking care of themselves?
  • What good is free healthcare if underlying costs continue to rise while people die earlier, have more chronic diseases, and have worse health outcomes?
  • What good is infrastructure development if underlying transportation and utility costs continue to rise while people spend more time in traffic, a larger share of their incomes on getting around, and remain unable to afford decent housing within a reasonable distance of work and urban amenities?
  • What good is electoral reform if underlying civic engagement and social connectedness continue to decline? Does anyone really believe that getting more people to vote will produce better outcomes if those people don't know who their neighbors are, don't know basic civics, and lack meaningful sources of information on local and statewide elections?
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Upstate New York on: October 31, 2017, 05:08:51 pm
HRC won "Upstate NY" only if you include Westchester. In other words, she did not.
Or if you exclude everything from Poughkeepsie (the furthest suburb of NYC south.)

Poughkeepsie may have a convenient Metro North station, but that doesn't make it a suburb of the city.

Anyway, you should check your math: Based on Leip's figures, I get a Clinton deficit of 67,000 votes for the state excluding Westchester, Long Island, and New York City, and this remains basically unchanged at 69,000 votes when Rockland, Putnam, and Dutchess counties are added.

There's plenty of room to debate "what is Upstate," but there's no way to draw the line that gives you a Clinton victory.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Upstate New York on: October 31, 2017, 03:15:47 pm
Didn't someone made a poll about the definition of Upstate New York? The only disputed county was Rockland. Unfortunately, I can't find it anymore.

There's no end to that debate, as far as the arguably-metro-NYC counties north of Westchester go.

It's not a large enough population or skewed enough victory to make a difference. It's not as if we're talking about a razor-thin margin for the remainder of Upstate. Unless the incomplete data from Redraw the States is badly off, it's on the order of magnitude of 100,000 votes.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does the Cave ban too many posters or too few? on: October 31, 2017, 03:06:24 pm
Too many, but I also think that most of the site is unreadable on account of low-quality posting.

It would be helpful if there were  better features to follow the best posters and mute the negative marginal utility cases.

You mean the Cave's acting quickly to mute these "marginal utility cases", or having an improved "ignore" function, without showing quoted posts?

I read it as suggesting something like a newsfeed, so you can find threads where your favorite posters are posting.  I mean, you can individually scroll through posters' recent posting history, but if there was one place to find all of the most recent posts from posters that you're "following", that would be an interesting feature.  I doubt the forum software can handle it though.

EDIT: Wait, maybe I misread what he was suggesting.  But I do think the newsfeed idea would be a good one.  It'll never happen though...

No, that's exactly what I was suggesting. There are a few posters who are responsible for much of the site's best content, and I wish that I had a way of reading only their posts when I don't feel up to mucking around looking for them.

I also wouldn't mind having a larger ignore list and something closer to a block function for certain posters, but not missing the best stuff is a higher priority.

A helpful suggestion? I doubt it. But there's a lot on this site that I like, and I've been using it less simply because it's increasingly difficult to find those things. Maybe some day these sentiments will percolate around this community enough to make a difference.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Upstate New York on: October 31, 2017, 01:36:31 pm
HRC won "Upstate NY" only if you include Westchester. In other words, she did not.

Many of Upstate's counties saw some of the strongest swings against the Democrats in the country. That's especially notable for a candidate who represented the state in the Senate, and even more when you recall that she was popular in Upstate New York through 2008, especially compared to other Democrats.

How to interpret this? My preferred explanation is that Clinton's under-performance had as much to do with structural problems in the Democratic Party as with her weaknesses as a candidate. I don't think that there's much of a future for Democrats outside of major cities as long as we see so much political polarization along core-periphery lines.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: New Register Thread on: October 31, 2017, 01:31:21 pm
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I need to clean my ignore list, tell me who is banned on this list on: October 31, 2017, 12:52:18 pm
If you read through old threads, you'll regret having those posters off of your list. There really shouldn't be a cap, but site administration isn't interested in addressing functionality issues so I suppose that we're stuck with it.

"Why would we use the ignore feature?" What a silly question. I'm not interested in reading many of the posts here and the ignore function makes it easier to skip over posters who reliably waste my time, that's why. Virtually every form of online communication allows you to block users, and for good reason.

I'm sorry to say this but the signal-to-noise ratio here is not so good. There is enough quality content here to make it worth my while to browse regularly, but particularly since the past election cycle sorting through the chaff has been a slog.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does the Cave ban too many posters or too few? on: October 27, 2017, 09:58:27 pm
Too many, but I also think that most of the site is unreadable on account of low-quality posting.

It would be helpful if there were  better features to follow the best posters and mute the negative marginal utility cases.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: KALWEJT'S BOOK THREAD on: October 24, 2017, 06:09:51 pm
I have an idea for the sequel. Maybe Jefferson Dent is a vampire?
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How old were you when your parents got married? on: October 23, 2017, 07:41:08 pm
One year from birth when they were married, +25 when they divorced.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Millennials Flock to the Mainstream Media on: October 22, 2017, 09:39:50 pm
When I saw the thread title, I immediately knew two things about this article:

1. Its content would not support its headline.
2. Frodo was sharing it.

Oh boy, Times subscriptions are up 10% among an age group in which fewer than one in six read any newspaper. Holy smokes, a few thousand young people are subscribing to a magazine for would-be sophisticates with a total worldwide circulation of barely 1.5M.

The publications that have experienced extremely moderate improvements in their fortunes among younger subscribers are niche products with a national audience. They cater to the educated, the politically activated, and the affluent. Local media, and a true mass audience, are totally forgotten. Passing this off as a generation "flocking back" to the stalwart publications of decades past is nonsense.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: October 2017 Federal Election on: October 22, 2017, 06:08:44 pm

[ 4 ] fhtagn/PiT (the Physicist)
Federalist Party

[ 3 ] Harry S Truman/Ascott
Labor Party

[ 2 ] LongLiveRock/MikeWells12
Peace Party

[ 1 ] LumineVonReuental/rpryor03

[  ] Write-in:______________________________

[  ] None of the above


[ 4 ] Governor Illiniwek of Illinois
Labor Party

[  ] Haslam2020 of Tennessee
Federalist Party

[  ] JGibson of Illinois
Labor Party

[  ] LouisvilleThunder of Indiana
Federalist Party

[  ] North Carolina Yankee of North Carolina
Federalist Party

[  ] Peebs of North Carolina
Labor Party

[  ] Pessimistic Antineutrino of New Jersey
Federalist Party

[ 1 ] RFayette of California
Federalist Party

[ 2 ] thumb21 of England

[ 3 ] vivaportugalhabs of Kansas
Labor Party

[  ] Write-in:______________________________

[  ] None of the above
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Fremont Voting Booth : October 2017 elections on: October 20, 2017, 09:30:19 am

[1] Siren
[2] Wolf Rick


19  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Concert of Europe: Gameplay Thread on: October 19, 2017, 08:58:20 pm
Ottoman Empire Update

I. Cessation of Trade with the Barbary States

Effective immediately, all trade with the piratical Barbary States is ceased.

We reject the premise that legitimate trade can involve bandits. Therefore, all trade with bandits amounts to banditry.

Any merchant in violation of this order is guilty of crimes against the state and subject to impalement.

II. Moratorium on the Importation of Slaves

Recognizing the difficulty involved in constricting Barbary trade, both direct and indirect, we are suspending the importation of slaves into Ottoman territory.

III. Call for Solidarity with North African Muslims

The Ottoman Empire is prepared to come to the defense of North Africa from European imperialists. We have not turned our backs on our fellow Muslims.

However, we will not assist their current rulers, who through their behavior forced us to renounce these territories. With our protection come obligations; and as those obligations were not met, we had no choice but to withdraw our protection.

We call on the people of Tunis, Algiers, Tripoli, and every other city in North Africa to overthrow their lawless despots and invite them to petition for admission to the Empire under direct rule. We cannot save you from enslavement without your help.

IV. On the Rebellion in Moldova and Wallachia

The Army of the Danube will march on Bessarabia, occupy its urban centers, and destroy all republican forces in the region. We will not pursue our opposition into the mountains, except to intercept any raids that occur on lowlands, the cities, and our trade routes. Our goal is to secure the Bessarabian littoral. We are prepared to tolerate self-rule in the mountains, for the time being, so long as our forces remain unmolested.

A portion of the Ottoman Navy will sail into the Black Sea in support of these efforts.

V. Regarding the Georgian Question

We trust our Georgian allies to determine their military priorities and yield to their judgment on the kingdom's interests in the vicinity of Persia. We do not intend to involve ourselves in this conflict unless Georgia's territory is violated.

VI. Declaration of War on Russia

The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
20  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Concert of Europe: Gameplay Thread on: October 17, 2017, 07:06:22 pm
An Announcement from Ottoman Sultan Osman III Osmanoğlu

In this time of change and conflict, trade has suffered. We in the Ottoman Empire will not abide a declining economy.  Therefore, we invite merchants of all nationalities to trade through our expanded port and road facilities at Damietta. Merchants from all nations will be welcome in this port, and will sail under the full protection of the Ottoman Navy.

We believe that, in time, the volume of trade traveling through this port will come to rival even that of Istanbul.

We will also begin construction on a grand canal across the Isthmus of Suez, one that will better connect the peoples of our Empire and bind the West and the East as close as they have ever been in history. The spice must flow!
21  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Concert of Europe: Gameplay Thread on: October 15, 2017, 07:24:47 pm
Ottoman updates

The Ottoman Empire will aid the Khan of Crimea with all available resources and its best field commanders.

The Ottoman Empire renounces the vassalage of the Barbary pirates and condemns their criminal attacks on Venetian traders. The Ottoman fleet will attack any armed vessels from the piratical states on sight.

Dialogue, not reprisal, will be our response to renewed ethnic uprisings. The Sublime Porte's priorities are peace and commerce. We will not tolerate violence and terrorism, but requests for political representation and local control will receive a fair hearing. There will be no crackdown.
22  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Concert of Europe: Rules and General Discussion Thread on: October 11, 2017, 03:21:29 pm
Windjammer was kind enough to message me on AAD about this game. I'd be glad to jump in as the Ottomans if you need another player.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Experts confirm gender identity is biological on: October 02, 2017, 06:48:01 pm
... The medical test is asking people how they feel. Depression has a biological basis, but there is no clinical test to tell objectively if someone has depression or not.

There are consistent biological differences between populations with depression and those without depression, on average, but there is not an objective test that determines whether an individual is depressed.

In this respect, at least, it seems like a reasonable comparison. That said, depression is, at its root, a mental health diagnosis, and not simply a preference or a different way of being. Of course it is also worth stating that "depression" is as much a socially constructed category as gender.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How did you land your current job? on: October 02, 2017, 05:57:36 pm
...and experts wonder why geographic mobility has reached a modern low.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Experts confirm gender identity is biological on: October 02, 2017, 05:55:26 pm
So they have a medical test that can tell people what their gender identity is?

No, except in the sense that you would expect from any headline on a contested issue that begins with "Science Confirms that [X]," where X could be anything from "Coffee Cures Cancer" to "People With Cancer Hate Coffee" to "Coffee Prevents Cancer."
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