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russell jones

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About russell jones

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  1. Can I jump in here for a minute? Excuse my ignorance, but do some philosophers still hold a Hard Deterministic view, that if one knows enough information about a system and its inputs that one can predict the future? Obviously contemporary scientists do not hold that view, but rather a probabilistic view. I still think it's determinism though. Even in a probabilistic universe, free will seems to be, at best, an illusion. It seems to be an illusion that would be useful to have. Whether free will exists or not, believing that one has no free will may be impossible for one to fully accept, even if all evidence points to it. I am fairly certain that I do not believe in free will, but I cannot imagine that my thought process actually works that way. on a side note, MAR, did you lose your religion?
  2. I'm nitpicking here, but splitting hairs does make a difference. When you say that for "most of human history, children worked," you are technically correct, since "history" begins with writing. However, child labor did not happen in the human species until the Neolithic Revolution, c. 10,000-2,000 BCE. Some cultures never farmed, they are still hunter gatherers, and their children do not work. In the 19th century though, children worked not only on farms, but in factories as well. That was some pretty unregulated capitalism no? I don't consider it a bad thing that children no longer do that. I'm sympathetic to your story about the local food farmer who can't have kids work for him for pay. Regulation is always a double edge sword, child labor laws stop kids from crawling around in dirty dark places in factories, but they also deny children opportunities. I'm not saying there is a good solution for this problem, but throwing out the regulation completely doesn't seem like a good idea either. That being said, I worked at the church bingo as a child, and I was paid. The other thing you said that was quite interesting to me was that colonial times would seem like relative anarchy compared to now. I see your point, the federal or colonial government would have little influence on or power over people in 18th century America. But at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution, most people's lives, and the course of their lives, were far more prescribed than our lives today. Most people did what their parents did. The church had more control over their lives. Communities were smaller and closer, people were shamed out of bad behavior and encouraged into good behavior. We have much more freedom to choose our direction in our jobs, relationships, where we live, etc., because many social controls are modified or non-existent. Our freedom to choose a career is a double edged sword as well, since we are also free to fail. In 18th century America, the prodigal son would return and the community would pick him up. 20-21st century prodigal son may have no one or where to return to. We have welfare of course, but libertarians want to abolish it, even though its predecesor no longer exists and its successor is not apparent. To summarize, we live in a fundamentally different world than 18th century Europeans and Americans. Indeed, the opening of the 20th century was a sea change from the end of the 18th. What is freedom and what is not freedom has changed, it is never universal, and never as simple as you seem to make it out to be. I respect the consistency of the Libertarian ethos, but its inflexibility reveals its lack of historical context and present usefulness. I am not advocating throwing out the ideals of it, but it must be in a world that actually exists today.
  3. Stop calling each other names and being fucking retards! Thank you. :)
  4. I agree. Outsourcing had as much to do with irrational decisions as rational ones. Some irrational decisions are: 1. Everyone else is doing it, so it must be the best way. 2. The numbers seem to add up (without accounting for the effect on the consumer's buying power of fewer high paying jobs), so therefore we will save money. 3. We save money, and there is no monetary value to good will, except at the consumer to producer direct interaction point at the sale. 4. Environmental costs are not a direct factor. They think they are saving money, at least in the short term, but they may actually not be saving money in the long term, or when more costs are taken into account. Having worked for large companies, I can assure you that number 1 is a factor more often than not.
  5. Good point. I studied International Relations and Third World countries a little in college, and that is what I found most enlightening. Foreign aid almost always means that the money comes back to us in some way, whether it is giving money to buy weapons from US suppliers, or it is investing in infrastructure so that US businesses can operate. IMF money now functions as a loan sharking operation backed by US bonds. When I hear people complain about "all the money going overseas" it makes me laugh about how ignorant they are. Everything we do, we do because it benefits us (at least in the opinion of policy makers), not because of some sort of altruism.
  6. There is an important point all of you are missing here. Say, for the sake of argument, that there were bombs going off in the basement before the planes hit. Then why would it take an hour for the building to collapse? Wouldn't there be a huge explosion at the moment the buildings fell? If conspirators in the government had planned the attack, then setting off an explosion as the plane hit would be colossally stupid. Unless the explosion is meant to bring down the building, there is no reason for them to set them off. Case closed. Try again.
  7. I don't see what conclusions can be drawn from this. I don't believe he, you or I could draw any conclusions from what he heard. But he does. He heard explosions, that's all I get. Besides, where's the corroboration?
  8. He talks about hearing an explosion seconds before the plane hit. How he could tell this happened before the plane hit when he was inside the building I do not know. He talks about hearing explosions, he does not say he saw a bomb. As far as I can see, it's all based on his perceptions. Maybe your link he adds embellishment to the story, but none of what he says leads me to believe that he heard or saw anything that points to a bomb going off in the building. Him calling the explosions a bomb is his conclusion, not what he saw or heard. I'd rather avoid the videos. If you have his statements in writing that is quicker for me to process.
  9. I looked at what William Rodriguez said about the day of the attacks. I do not see anything in his testimony that contradicts the "official" story. His conclusions are different, but I don't see how he is qualified to make those assessments. Besides, he testified that he saw one of the terrorists scoping out the building. I guess I'm missing something. The preponderance of evidence seems to support the official explanation. Finding problems with the official evidence that may or may not be valid does not outweigh the evidence for the official explanation. Until that evidence is available, why assume that the official story is wrong?
  10. With all due respect, and for your own benefit, I would like to give you some advice. Amongst intelligent company, the "I know someone on the inside" argument does not look good, because the information is unverifiable, therefore, nearly useless. To be more honest, many people I have seen make this argument in a crowd get rolled eyes and lose respect. Just some advice. :) I'm not saying your guy isn't right, I'm just letting you know how this style of argument does not work on certain audiences. May be helpful in the future!
  11. I think there is an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing toward terrorists begin responsible for the attack. I may have missed evidence out of ignorance, but I do not ignore evidence simply based on the source. That being said, eyewitness testimony is inherently unreliable, and I tend to give little weight to non-expert interpretations of material evidence. Needless to say at this point, I believe MIHOP is the least likely scenario to be true. LIHOP may have some merit, but I couldn't see too many people knowing about the actual plan and date without that getting out. Instead, a plausible LIHOP scenario would work like this: 1. Various intelligence agencies are competitive and do not share information well. 2. Encourage competition while discouraging communication. This could be done by just a few people at the top in hierarchal organization 3. Give some protections, subtly but not overtly, to people most likely to successfully carry out a terrorist attack and arrest those who are unlikely to do it. This is basically what the CIA did in LA with crack dealers. 4. Sit back and wait for the inevitable. Something like this could be done by less than a dozen people at the top of intelligence organizations, and the results would look like poor organization rather than intentional obfuscation. In other words, deniability and lack of an evidence trail. But as the CIA example shows, even in a very tight organization, secrets tend to get out, so even this plan may involve too much risk.
  12. This is more speculation. Where's the evidence? Also, if a plane hit a building at 350 mph that I was inside of, I would imagine that would feel like a bomb, since essentially, if that is what happened, that is what it was. My overall point in arguing against the plausibility of the conspiracy theories is not because I would not believe that people in government and in the military would be callous enough to do such a thing, I would guess they would if they could. I am saying that it would be more difficult to pull this off than conspiracy theorists might imagine. What one would like to do is different than what one can accomplish without getting caught. Besides, faking what happened on 9/11 would be far more difficult, involve far more risks of getting caught than just waiting for the next terrorist attack, which was pretty much inevitable. Considering how incompetently the Bush administration dealt with the aftermath of 9/11, the lead up to Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, I hardly think they could plan and execute such a complex operation as 9/11 without leaving behind any physical evidence. I am sympathetic to the possibilities here, but I don't see the hard evidence to support any of the conspiracy theories.
  13. ahh... Your point? That the planes could have been intercepted (assuming that is possible)? It seems to me, that if one was planning a conspiracy, in which one was going to be faking much of the evidence, that one would provide evidence that supports one's story unambiguously. It is a contradiction to believe that: A. A plane did not hit the Pentagon B. The faked evidence from the flight data recorder shows that a plane did not hit the Pentagon I'm not saying that either proposition is true in itself, but it is difficult to believe the second if one believes the first. Real evidence sometimes can be interpreted in many ways, fake evidence that is being used to cover up a conspiracy should be as unambiguous as possible wouldn't you think? Besides this, you are still left with providing evidence or explaining: 1. Plane parts at the Pentagon crash site, how were they planted without anyone noticing? 2. Where did the plane go? How were the aircraft controllers and tracking devices fooled? 3. Did any witness see a rocket hit the Pentagon? 4. How did they dispose of the bodies of everyone on the plane and the plane itself? You have speculated on the answers to some of these questions, but you cannot provide actual hard evidence to support any of these claims. There seems to be more holes in the conspiracy theory than the standard theory, but maybe I'm crazy and am missing something.
  14. obviously there's some disagreement in the pilot as truther community about this maneuver. Some think it's possible, some don't. You didn't answer the most important question, which was: If this move is impossible, then why use it as the cover up? Also, why not provide flight recorder information that supports your case?
  15. That is a poor analogy. Go ahead and name a secret of this magnitude that had been kept for more than a decade and I will believe you. Also, think of chances of the secret being revealed, the consequences of the secret being revealed, and what that would mean for the people planning the operation. Then imagine if the planners could conceivably take that risk. If agreeing with Noam Chomsky means I'm feeble minded, I'll take it. :)
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