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Mainframe

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Everything posted by Mainframe

  1. Yep. This discussion could be a whole other thread. also, "Progress is a comfortable disease" - e.e. cummings
  2. Right, I agree with that, I guess I just think it's cheesy and a little naive to apply this to humanity as a whole. I don't think I believe in progress (not to be confused with change). What people define as progress, or 'good' in general, is only defined relative to what is stagnant, what is 'bad.' The peaceful existence of all humans just seems to me like an absurd idea, though, I suppose paradoxically, it might be a necessary one. /yesLSDmushroomsThizzlam
  3. ^I have done that many times, and it is great. "A subset of single speed bike is the fixed-gear bicycle. The difference is that a fixed-gear bike does not have freewheel mechanism to allow coasting." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_speed
  4. This is why you get a single speed, not a fixie. Way to hop on the bandwagon though.
  5. Do you actually believe this? Just wondering.
  6. No way Boise is gonna make it to the title game. They have a good shot at a BCS bowl though. TCU is real good, I'd love to see them or Cinci in the title game. Still really unlikely though.
  7. ^yep. Oregon is shredding USC. Good to see. Michigan was a total shit show today. Can't believe that shit.
  8. Yeah I hope Oregon State does well today. I was totally wrong about that Penn State game, Michigan stunk it up.
  9. I took a girl's v-card and she queefed consistently the whole time, I guess it was because she was so tight. Probably a grand total of 10-15 distinct separate queefs. I was drunk and didn't give a fuck but I always wondered if that drunk queef fest totally shattered her virgin ideas of what sex is like.
  10. I don't know about that. It's also because California produces more top football recruits than any other state (even Texas), and USC gets most of these players while recruiting nationally as well. That and they've been dominant for a long time and they have a really good coach. People give them the benefit of the doubt. I think they're at least among the top two or three 1-loss teams. It doesn't really matter until we see how the season pans out anyway. Notre Dame is loaded with talent, they usually get the benefit of the doubt as well but Charlie Weis has just been so garbage recently. If they win the rest of their games I bet they end up in a BCS bowl.
  11. Elaborate on how this argument supports your position. You're saying that when alcohol was legalized and brought back into the fold of a government regulated market, the situation improved. I thought you were advocating a completely unregulated market. Anyway the point was to provide a potent example of 'greed' as a driving force in an unchecked market. The murder and drugs and robbery just provide an especially juicy picture of that. What I meant to draw attention to was the way in which unregulated business can devolve into cronyism, monopoly, and all-around bullying. That is, it is influenced by a force known as 'greed.' This is beyond simple self-interest. You continue to deny the existence of 'greed' yet you still haven't provided an argument to justify this and you haven't responded to my points. I was under the impression that the value of diamonds is artificially inflated by manufacturers. People do place a high value on diamonds, but in terms of the costs of extraction and the processing of raw diamonds the price we get as consumers is very very high. Since diamond mining isn't exactly the domain of small start-up businesses, the big boys, of which there are few, can keep putting out clever ad campaigns to keep us thinking diamonds are special (not that we need much convincing, they're so shiny) while they keep the prices super high. Since there are so few players they can set these high prices without competition. That's just my understanding of the situation.
  12. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_medical_marijuana
  13. Michigan is going to beat Penn State next Saturday. I was at the last two games Penn State played at the big house, they came in ranked highly and lost. Good times. I like TCU and Cincinnati, hope they both run the table. Hopefully Cal is really back on track but I see them losing some more. Also, that Ohio State loss made my day. Pryor sucks.
  14. Well that puts what aod is trying to regurgitate in perspective. Anarcho-capitalism huh. I don't buy it based on what I've seen, it sounds like a very narrow-minded idea. Don't feel like getting into that right now. One thing came to mind as a good, modern example of unregulated, free-market business. Organized crime. I'd be interested to read an anarcho-capitalist take on that.
  15. It's very perplexing that you can concede this and yet still view things in such black and white terms (i.e. everyone is greedy or nobody is in fact greedy, you apparently favoring the latter.) Strictly speaking, any accusation of 'greed' is indeed subjective because it depends on a value judgment; the nature of excess is essentially a moral question and is up for debate. However, this argument is of a distilled intellectual nature, and it does not fully apply to the reality of human society and economic organization. Here's an anecdote: today I was driving on the freeway in a rainstorm, and I saw an electronic sign that said "both right lanes closed ahead due to accident." I noticed many cars in the two right lanes starting to merge over into the two left lanes. However, once the two left lanes began to slow down due to the congestion ahead near the accident (a crashed semi was facing backwards and blocking two lanes, looked like dude did a 180) I noticed many cars merging back into the relatively empty right lanes so they could drive faster and get a leg up on us left-laners. Of course, all this really resulted in was much worse congestion at the bottleneck, more lane-changing and shuffling around, and a slower drive for everyone. You could say that the people who merged into the right lanes got "greedy." They were making it worse for everyone by trying to get ahead in a thoughtless, unfair, selfish manner. Cooperation would have made things much smoother. Whether you agree with it or not, our society has a general definition of greed that is, yes, tied to a collective moral consciousness. This definition perhaps fluctuates with respect to smaller (family) and larger (the entire human race) levels of human organization, but there is still something universal that can be perceived as "greed," probably by every civilized person on the planet. It has to do with a rejection of cooperation for mutual benefit in favor of independant action for personal benefit. It has to do with a degree of selfishness that, whether intentional or not, is beneficial to oneself at the expense of other members of the community (at whatever level). Obviously this is subjective, and it has do with ideas of fairness which are also subjective. But we live in a society that is held together by some degree of arbitrary consensus rules and "objective" morals and THAT is where this concept of greed comes from. Thus greed is still subject to a significant degree of interpretation but your complete denial of its existence as an aspect of human behavior and therefore an agent of economic behavior in our society seems very shaky. The idea isn't to force everyone to become equal, it's to level the playing field. Remember that we live in a society composed of individuals, but it is still an organic whole. Your argument is about banking, something I admittedly don't know much about, but it seems to hinge on a very shaky conception of human nature. If you are trying to dispute our society's definition of 'greed' you are opening a whole other can of corn. Perhaps you should eat that can before you sit down to dine on some banking beef. Examine your assumptions before you make conclusions.
  16. Well, of course your opinion is valid, strictly speaking. I'm just pointing out that the issue is hardly subjective. I can understand why someone might be skeptical, given little education on the matter. A lot of the shit floating out there in the mainstream media is indeed conflicting and misleading, and it doesn't help that Al Gore is out there being a doofus (though I still think he means well.) No worries, I can see where you're coming from. I'm coming from the perspective of a recent graduate in a field related to environmental science, and a family that is deeply involved in science. I actually took an intro course in global change that focused on human impacts, and even such a cursory experience shed light on a wealth of relevant information. Anyway the point is, I don't like to see people write off the scientific community as if it were another political entity. It's not. This is totally taking your thread on a tangent, but I guess it relates.
  17. Why do think your opinion on this is valid? Overpopulation and resource management are very important issues that are backed up by a lot of data. They are also very complex issues that are not fully captured in popular ready-to-digest news media format. Not enough people have an appreciation of the amount of research and expertise that goes into these 'claims.' Overpopulation is a reality in many parts of the planet, and resource shortages go hand in hand. Obviously these things don't affect the population of the United States in the same way at this moment in time. It's ok to be skeptical but this type of 'claim' isn't exactly up for debate in the same way that political issues are. I understand that environmental science is highly politicized these days but people need to recognize that there is still science behind it and people are shitting on the careers of thousands of hard working scientists by dismissing their evidence and consensus in one ignorant little swoop. To a degree it's like saying "I don't buy into quantum physics, personally," or "Calculus sounds nice but I don't really believe in integrals, you know?" That turned into a general rant that wasn't entirely directed at you, but I am wondering what expertise or scientific sources you have that lead you to doubt overpopulation or resource shortages are problems today.
  18. No...greed is characterized by excess. The baker is greedy not by virtue of selling goods, he is greedy IF he, for example, mixes in day old bread with the fresh bread and sells it for the same price. The candle stick maker is greedy IF he short changes every third customer on purpose. Greed implies dishonesty and excessive self interest. Greed can be subjective but your definition is very very skewed. Here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/greed Also, I hear the word "always" way too much in here. Simmer down with the absolutes, this isn't math. But there are almost ALWAYS shades of gray.
  19. I don't deal with absolutes. Didn't you learn anything from Star Wars?
  20. I was just giving some context to that little clip. Obama did not call for the creation of a gestapo-like civilian police force. This is very clear. End of that discussion. I don't know all the details but he was talking about expanding the peace corps, americorps, and other sorts of volunteer networks. That speech was made a while ago so I'm not sure what, if anything, he's put forth to actually put these changes in motion. Funding would certainly be an issue, but again I don't know if any concrete proposals have been made. The general point he was making, though, was that Americans should work to improve our image abroad with peaceful, humanitarian means rather than military. A bit of wishful rhetoric, perhaps, but it seems to me like a harmless, even admirable notion. Military presence is not equivalent to the presence of humanitarian aid organizations. So are you saying foreigners hate us because of the peace corps? Back that claim up. Your thoughts might actually be in agreement with what Obama was saying in that clip. The election of Obama did a great deal to improve our image abroad. As far as I can tell, his actions thus far have continued to help our image abroad, or perhaps I should say his words. The picture I get is that he speaks eloquently and foreign powers like the respect Obama gives them, but many leaders are waiting for concrete actions. Expanding the police state? No, that's not what this is about at all.
  21. ^That's totally out of context. He's talking about the peace corps, NOT a new armed civilian force.
  22. This article is relevant, and it mentions Holdren. I think some people on this forum would do well to take the general message here to heart. That is, opposing top scientists on ideological/political grounds without any relevant scientific expertise yourself is pretty stupid. Edit: The article is from Newsweek. Daniel Lyons An SOS for Science Clean energy should trump politics. Two weeks ago I spent time with some of the top scientists in the field of alternative energy, including John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, a.k.a. our national "science czar." We were attending a conference in Washington, D.C., that drew CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, as well as entrepreneurs and investors. I came away convinced that the United States, which for decades has been the world leader in science and technology, will soon be eclipsed by China and other countries. Alternative energy is the next tidal wave in tech innovation. If we miss it, we will not only weaken our economy and harm our national security—we will turn ourselves into a second-rate nation. And as I sat there listening to the experts speak, all I could think was, we're doomed. (Click here to follow Daniel Lyons) It's not because our scientists aren't brilliant. They are. But look at what they're up against: a noisy babble of morons and Luddites, the "Drill, baby, drill" crowd, the birthers, and tea-party kooks who have done their best to derail health-care reform and will do the same to any kind of energy policy. Holdren has an undergraduate degree from MIT and a Ph.D. from Stanford; he has won countless awards for his work on nuclear proliferation, climate change, alternative energy, and population growth. But now he must sell his ideas to people who couldn't pass high-school algebra—and who believe they know more than he does. In Holdren's case the attacks began after TV madman Glenn Beck claimed Holdren advocates controlling population growth by putting sterilants in drinking water and forcing women to have abortions. No matter that the claims are not true, and that Beck is a clown who cares only about boosting ratings for his show. The dopes howled for Holdren to resign. Holdren told me the controversy was no big deal, "just a blip." But this kind of idiocy makes scientists and policymakers timid. I moderated a panel that included Holdren and asked him whether we ought to put a tax on gasoline. This would reduce CO2 emissions, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and spur investments in wind and solar. Holdren ducked the question, saying tax policy wasn't his area of expertise. I'm told that a gas tax is a political nonstarter. But it shouldn't be. Also, if our nation's top scientist can't freely speak his mind, what does that say about us? At the same conference in Washington—the National Energy Summit, hosted by the Council on Competitiveness, with NEWSWEEK as a media partner—Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, spoke during lunch and explained, with a straight face, a bill she has proposed that would exempt power plants and manufacturing companies from having to comply with EPA standards about CO2 emissions. Her reason: we don't want to hurt the economy. Murkowski's bill is an example of a tactic that people in the computer industry call FUD—fear, uncertainty, and doubt. IBM used to spread FUD to stymie new companies that came along with cheaper, better computers. The gist was, "Sure, the new stuff is better, but it's risky. And it will be painful to switch. Why not play it safe and stick with what you've got?" That's what Murkowski and her allies would have us believe about energy technology. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is racing past us. In solar energy, the leaders are Japan, Germany, and China. In wind, it's Germany, Spain, and Denmark. In nuclear, it's France. "You can go up and down the list—in some cases we're players, but we're no longer leading," says Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. The current administration has boosted spending on energy research. But to really catch up, Cicerone says we'll need "a sustained commitment the likes of which are hard to see in American history." Do we really have the stomach for that? I doubt it. A half century ago we had our "sputnik moment," when, spurred by fear of falling behind the Soviets, we made big investments in science, technology, and education. But we're a different people now. Cosseted by 50 years of prosperity, we are fearful of change and unwilling to make short-term sacrifice for long-term gain. Alternative energy is going to be an enormous market, one that will give birth to the next Google and Microsoft. Will those future tech giants be based in the United States? Only if we support our scientists instead of throwing up obstacles.
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