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Author Topic:   Is The World Getting Better Or Worse?
jar
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Posts: 31484
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 46 of 717 (838856)
08-29-2018 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by 1.61803
08-29-2018 11:12 AM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
golden writes:

Officially we are at war in the seven countries mentioned according to the unclassified portions of the report that the NY Times got ahold of.

What I think is even more important is that Congress is the body that declares a State of War exists and TTBOMK Congress has not declared that a State of War exists between the US and any of those seven nations.

We have gotten far too loose with using US aggression outside the limits imposed by our Constitution.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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caffeine
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Posts: 1702
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 47 of 717 (838883)
08-29-2018 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by 1.61803
08-29-2018 11:01 AM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
There's an 'acknowledge reply' button for those circumstances when you don't know how to form a sentence without admitting error but can't bring yourself to simply ignore a post.

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1.61803
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Posts: 2920
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 48 of 717 (838893)
08-29-2018 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by caffeine
08-29-2018 1:52 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
And yet here you are not making use of it.

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2920
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 49 of 717 (838895)
08-29-2018 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by jar
08-29-2018 12:28 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
Hi jar,

The US unfortunately has expanded it's ridiculous war on terror.

PUBLIC LAW 107–243—OCT. 16, 2002
AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002
VerDate 11-

And the

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107-40, codified at 115 Stat. 224 and passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001

Here is a interesting Slate article:

https://slate.com/...at-war-in-at-least-seven-countries.html

Unless we change it the war on terror is anywhere the US says it is against anywhere the US says it is.

And yes that is really bad and need to be changed.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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 Message 46 by jar, posted 08-29-2018 12:28 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
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Posts: 18872
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 50 of 717 (839166)
09-04-2018 1:10 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by caffeine
08-28-2018 3:02 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
caffeine writes:

My comment that "we're still the violent, brutish thugs we were 200,000 years ago" was in the context of evolution. We are not improving as a species regarding qualities like kindness, generosity, peacefulness, empathy, etc. To whatever degree we as a species possessed those qualities, and their opposites, 200,000 years ago we still possess them to the same degree today. Evolution doesn't work that fast.

I'm not so sure I agree with this. 200,000 years is certainly enough time for noticeable evolutionary change.

Oh, most certainly you are correct, 200,000 years is more than enough time to produce significant evolutionary change, depending upon generation time and adaptational pressures. I didn't express myself clearly enough.

200,000 years ago is just the approximate starting point of our species where I think we can agree that long before modern societies life was "nasty, brutish and short," to quote Hobbes. But over the past 200,000 years our species has demonstrated these qualities again and again. Any observed improvements are due to society moderating their expression, not to evolution gradually eliminating them. Proof is ISIS, the Taliban, the Khmer Rouge, Serbian atrocities against Croatia, etc.

These qualities emerge again and again when societal oversight breaks down. Evolution has not eliminated these qualities, nor is there even any indication of their moderation. ISIS lined up thousands next to trenches and shot them. Serbians lined up thousands next to trenches and shot them. The Khmer Rouge lined up thousands next to trenches and shot them. The Nazis lined up thousands next to trenches and shot them. In America whites lynched blacks with impunity well up into the 20th century. Racist and/or nationalist groups are springing up world-wide. Milgram's studies of obedience are object lessons for how cruelty can be transmitted throughout a group, and our own Congress's complicity in authoritarian provocations against our way of life also shows this (racial discrimination, family separation, etc.). I see no evidence of evolutionary progress.

So with these qualities being demonstrated so recently, not only could evolution not have played a role in their moderation, there is not even any indication that they've moderated. When societies crumble then violence and chaos and cruelty quickly emerge.

It seems very unlikely to me that the degree to which we possess traits like generosity, kindness, empathy etc has remained unchanged since the Pleistocene.

If such traits have evolved meaningly over the past 10,000 years, then doesn't it seem that entire regions descending into violent cruelty reminiscent of 10,000 years ago should not happen?

My own premise is that we are as a species behaviorally little different than we were 200,000 years ago. Remove the societal veneer and "nasty, brutish" behavior soon appears.

There's a cute little Twilight Zone episode called The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street about how easily a society can descend into violence and chaos. Worth watching.

--Percy


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12996
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 51 of 717 (839167)
09-04-2018 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Percy
09-04-2018 1:10 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
I agree with you except I would modify one of your sentences.
When societies crumble then violence and chaos and cruelty quickly reemerge.

I agree that the social veneer is kept in place through improved standards of living.

Throw us in a depression globally and take away our cushy lives but give us access to the weapons of mass destruction (or the ability to vote into power someone who does) and our similarity to Nazi Germany will not only equal but exceed their barbarity. We may catch ourselves before we slip so far down, but necessity is a mother!


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 31484
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 52 of 717 (839168)
09-04-2018 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Thugpreacha
09-04-2018 1:43 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
Phat writes:

Throw us in a depression globally and take away our cushy lives but give us access to the weapons of mass destruction (or the ability to vote into power someone who does) and our similarity to Nazi Germany will not only equal but exceed their barbarity.

But what about a depression that is not global but just the US?


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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Percy
Member
Posts: 18872
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 53 of 717 (839169)
09-04-2018 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Thugpreacha
09-04-2018 1:43 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
Phat writes:

I agree that the social veneer is kept in place through improved standards of living.

One counterpoint that can be thrown at the idea that a society is only as kind as it can afford to be is to ask why the Depression didn't create a less compassionate country. I think the answer lies in government's approach to the problem when under the Democratic administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt it instituted social security and public works programs to improve employment. Hoover Dam, built by private companies with public funding, was a big Depression era project. I think the government's compassionate attitude toward the people had an outsize influence on the country's attitude in general.

Parenthetically, it was another Democratic administration, this time under Lyndon Johnson, that made Medicare universally available.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12996
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 54 of 717 (839170)
09-04-2018 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Percy
09-04-2018 4:06 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
The difference between now and then is the monumental national debt. Would you not agree? We couldn't simply create a social safety net out of thin air were it the US alone that suffers the next major depression, as jar seems to suggest.

The challenge for the US citizen in general, and notably the authoritarian populists specifically is to maintain our composure while the rest of the world moves on ahead of us.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

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 Message 53 by Percy, posted 09-04-2018 4:06 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 31484
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(3)
Message 55 of 717 (839183)
09-04-2018 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Thugpreacha
09-04-2018 4:14 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
Phat writes:

The challenge for the US citizen in general, and notably the authoritarian populists specifically is to maintain our composure while the rest of the world moves on ahead of us.

Nonsense. The challenge is to stop the madness that is current Conservatism and Neo-Fascism and spend our wealth on improving the general quality of life.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2324
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 7.5


Message 56 of 717 (839185)
09-04-2018 10:37 PM


A Second $Trillion American Company
I'm not sure how to judge the news that Amazon has joined Apple as companies whose stock values have topped 1 trillion dollars.

If you own stock it is good news. I have never been a fan of Apple or their products, but I've always been a book person so I was an early fan of Amazon.

Amazon Hits $1,000,000,000,000 in Value, Following Apple


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


    
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12996
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 57 of 717 (862922)
09-17-2019 6:38 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by caffeine
08-28-2018 3:02 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
Someone brought up something or other that caused me to search the EvC database for an appropriate topic...which I found. Lo and behold, I originated it! Percy seems to have framed it the best, however, so I will requote him here to get things rolling!
quote:
My comment that "we're still the violent, brutish thugs we were 200,000 years ago" was in the context of evolution. We are not improving as a species regarding qualities like kindness, generosity, peacefulness, empathy, etc. To whatever degree, we as a species possessed those qualities, and their opposites, 200,000 years ago, we still own them to the same degree today. Evolution doesn't work that fast.
Any improvements that we, as a species appear to have demonstrated are societal and cultural improvements that result from increasing wealth. The more wealthy a society, the more generous it can afford to be. When that wealth dissipates, then the positive qualities of the society and culture also drop away. We've seen this in all the hotspots around the world, from Somalia to Sudan to Gaza to the Boko Haram to ISIS to the Taliban.

As climate change and diminishing resources rob us of our wealth they will also rob us of the trappings of civilization. We see it already in the rise of right-wing influences in the western world that encourages a culture of "I've got mine, I'm keeping it, I'm not sharing it, you're not like me, you keep away." The irony is that many of the people displaying such attitudes don't actually have much. They're much more in need of a culture of sharing and mutual support and working together across our differences toward common goals than those who do support such policies. (...)The western world is to the point now where it can afford to implement a health and social safety net (more so in other parts of the western world than in the United States), but we do this not because of some enlightenment that has come upon our species but because we can afford to believe that our obligations to our fellow man include these things. In earlier times when we couldn't afford them then we didn't believe our obligations included them.

What happens should our prosperity diminish to the point where we can no longer afford these things? The answer is both obvious and inevitable: they will go away. A country cannot pay for what it cannot afford. It's already happening here in the United States. Welfare, radically transformed under Bill Clinton, is a shadow of its former self. The retirement age for Social Security has already crept up to 66 and will continue to creep up. It is already part of the law that Social Security benefits will shrink to 75% around 2034 if the trust fund becomes depleted as expected. The Trump administration wants to reduce Medicare benefits.

Some will argue that the United States is richer than ever and that this diminishment of benefits is being driven by increasing selfishness. But the truth is that the US is both richer than ever and becoming increasingly poor. These are both happening because of wealth inequality. Wealth is concentrated among a very few who are growing increasingly wealthy. The rest of the country is becoming increasingly poor and hence is becoming increasingly against redistribution programs that they see as taking their money and giving it to someone else. There is some incongruity and illogic involved in these feelings, but I won't get into that now.

While the US provides an example of the political effects of decreasing wealth, it isn't due to climate change or diminishing natural resources. The people of the US are doing it to themselves through financial and tax legislation that overly benefits the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. How did this happen? Some trace it back to the Reagan administration, and while I'm not so sure myself that's a discussion for a different thread.

The important point is that diminishing wealth causes people to adopt attitudes of a decreasing sense of obligation toward their fellow man, and climate change is going to make us poorer. It's already starting as waters creep inland along coastlines worldwide, including the US. This is from today's Washington Post:

She thought she’d sell her home for nearly $1 million. Thanks to rising sea levels, she’s tearing it down instead.

Elizabeth Boineau is one of many homeowners on the front lines of society’s confrontation with climate change, living in houses where rising sea levels have worsened flooding not just in extreme events like hurricanes, but also heavy rains and even high tides. The increase is undermining the value of coastal properties, according to three studies.

By John Tibbetts and Chris Mooney


I could take the attitude that, hey, it won't affect me, I'm 400 feet above sea level, but that would be wrong. While I won't experience the devastating loss of people along the coasts I'll still experience the loss because as my country becomes poorer then I'll become poorer, we'll all become poorer. Our crops will suffer, fishing banks will continue to diminish, the weather will become more severe, fires will become more common. Then there's diminishing natural resources. Water will become more scarce, pollution of our air and water will increase, oil and gas will become more scarce.

Will our technology save us? For climate change, it's already too late. Politically the world isn't equipped to unite to fight a scourge whose effects are gradual and whose worst consequences are decades in the future. We've frittered away too much time, so it doesn't matter what technology is able to achieve, climate change is going to happen anyway. By the end of the century average global temperature will be several degrees higher (I believe current projections of an increase of only a degree or two are low).

But will technology enable us to adapt to our transformed world? Pardon my pessimism, but given that year after year we can't even control wildfires in the west, and we'll certainly never be able to control hurricanes and tornados and droughts and floods and rising seas, I doubt it.

--Percy


jar writes:

What major conflicts are we in now?

Trade wars and ideology wars with other cultures.
jar writes:

So far those would not count as major conflicts in the real world.

Anything that affects *me* counts as a major conflict. And I predict that the Trade Wars are early opening salvos as China takes over the US spot of dominant economic global power.
There is a good video on YouTube about trade wars. Patrick Bet David has street smarts and an intuitive feel for the topic:

Tangle writes:

f we ignore wealth for the moment, I think we can accept that progress in our civilization has been made through the application of our growing knowledge which we've gained using our intelligence. That's a form of evolution, whether it's biological or not is academic.

In this new book that I am reading, Jesus Among Secular Gods which I will soon start a Book Nook topic on, has a lot to say about the philosophical clash of world views that are already happening. They don't predict a crisis but make a strong case for the world view of the Biblical Christians which the rest of us are so wary of.

Edited by Thugpreacha, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12996
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 58 of 717 (862923)
09-17-2019 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by jar
09-04-2018 3:58 PM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
jar writes:

But what about a depression that is not global but just the US?

If we keep the Populist "Christians" away from the button, we should survive. As an advocate of reformed Judaism and logic, reason, and reality, you won't like the culture war with the Biblical Christians, though. And they all have guns! Come to think of it, so do you!

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by jar, posted 09-04-2018 3:58 PM jar has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31484
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 59 of 717 (862924)
09-17-2019 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Thugpreacha
09-17-2019 6:38 AM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
Phat writes:

Anything that affects *me* counts as a major conflict.

Okay, that's nice. We'll put it on the icebox.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Thugpreacha, posted 09-17-2019 6:38 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12996
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 60 of 717 (862940)
09-17-2019 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Percy
09-04-2018 4:06 PM


A Kind Society or a Selfish one?
Percy writes:

One counterpoint that can be thrown at the idea that a society is only as kind as it can afford to be is to ask why the Depression didn't create a less compassionate country.

Quite frankly I think that people are greedier now and more materialistic, in general. I worry about "stuff"...and money...more than my parents did when they were younger. They had nearly nothing and yet were happy. Affluence ruined a generation of Americans and it reflects in our political attitudes and division.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Percy, posted 09-04-2018 4:06 PM Percy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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