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Blackadder 10-26-2008 10:26 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
I have heard of China's one child policy. I think it is horrible, not only from a moral point of view (forced abortions and all that) but also from a purely practical one. Over the coming decades China is probably going to pay dearly for it. (I mean, seriously, are you really arguing that the Chinese government is behind something, therefore it must be a good idea? Have you never heard of the Great Leap Forward?)

Both China's one child policy and earlier programs in India and elsewhere are detailed in the Fatal Misconception book I referenced earlier.

bjkeefe 10-26-2008 10:30 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 95380)
Some are, some aren't. Arable land has a finite limit. Available energy at sustainable cost is a complex problem whose solution doesn't obviously arise from throwing resources at it. Crowding is an issue.

And don't forget water supply. This is seen by many as already being a major problem in various regions, and not just southern Californians not being able to wash their cars. We're talking a reason to go to war here.

AemJeff 10-26-2008 10:35 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 95382)
And don't forget water supply. This is seen by many as already being a major problem in various regions, and not just southern Californians not being able to wash their cars. We're talking a reason to go to war here.

You're right, that's a primary concern. Assuming that everything is infinitely fungible makes it easy to argue that anything is doable.

BigM 10-26-2008 10:58 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing
 
I love this - liberalism as thoughtful, idealistic and intellectual opposed to conservative "yahoos" - followed by exulting over Obama "kicking McCain's ass." Can these guys hear themselves?

Ocean 10-26-2008 11:10 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Yes, please elaborate.

I think I understand the reasoning you present. However, even in an optimally functional society where wealth is produced and retained within its boundaries, I imagine you are not suggesting unlimited population growth. One can conceptualize an optimal population size, where there's enough human power for all the necessary functions of the community, but not that many that the natural resources, which are not unlimited, would start to be scarce, (as it's been pointed out by Aemjeff and bjkeefe in their comments).

So your reasoning works better to say that in a country where there are serious sociopolitical problems, a smaller population doesn't solve those problems. It doesn't mean that the opposite is true, that a larger population would solve problems.

The density of population in a given area isn't an essential issue. Of course, there's exchange between urban and rural areas, different regions, etc. The total number is what's important.

fedorovingtonboop 10-26-2008 11:18 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
no, not saying it's flawless...saying it was an attempt to help what? overpopulation!

Blackadder 10-26-2008 11:21 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
There's no fixed limit to arable land. Whether a given bit of land is arable or not is a matter of technological advancement more than anything else. Much of Europe, for example, was not arable until the invention of the plow because the soil was too thick. The amount of food capable of being produced on a given plot of land will also vary greatly based on technology. But even if you want to put an upper limit on the amount of arable land on the planet earth, it's clear that we are nowhere near that limit (for details, see Ultimate Resource 2, chapters 8 and 29).

It's the same story for energy. We could spend a long time arguing about what is sustainable and whatnot, but the truth is that even if there is some finite limit to energy resources we aren't anywhere near it now. Certainly the fact that energy is a complicated problem doesn't mean that India is overpopulated.

On crowding, Japan has a higher population density than India and the U.S. population density is higher than Africa, so I don't really see this as a major issue.

Blackadder 10-26-2008 11:27 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
For water, see chapter 10 of Ultimate Resource 2. Even absent a technological breakthrough, we can get clean drinking water via desalination at a cost that, while not cheap, is not high enough that it would be a real resource constraint given the right policies.

AemJeff 10-26-2008 11:35 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95388)
There's no fixed limit to arable land. Whether a given bit of land is arable or not is a matter of technological advancement more than anything else. Much of Europe, for example, was not arable until the invention of the plow because the soil was too thick. The amount of food capable of being produced on a given plot of land will also vary greatly based on technology. But even if you want to put an upper limit on the amount of arable land on the planet earth, it's clear that we are nowhere near that limit (for details, see Ultimate Resource 2, chapters 8 and 29).

It's the same story for energy. We could spend a long time arguing about what is sustainable and whatnot, but the truth is that even if there is some finite limit to energy resources we aren't anywhere near it now. Certainly the fact that energy is a complicated problem doesn't mean that India is overpopulated.

On crowding, Japan has a higher population density than India and the U.S. population density is higher than Africa, so I don't really see this as a major issue.

Explain to me how you increase arable land area over available land area. After you're done with that, please tell me why if we're nowhere near the limit of usable energy resources, why energy costs are as volatile as they are. The market is pretty strong evidence against your assertions.

Blackadder 10-26-2008 11:36 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
You cut me to the quick.

Seriously, though, it's a historical fact that as the population of various countries has grown so has the standard of living. This isn't just a lucky coincidence either. More people means more minds working to solve various human difficulties and more hands working to implement these solutions. It means more potential customers for goods and services, creating economies of scope and scale that wouldn't exist with fewer people (wouldn't bloggingheads exist if the U.S. population was a tenth its current size? Doubt it). Read the second part of Ultimate Resource 2, and then we can talk.

AemJeff 10-26-2008 11:37 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95391)
You cut me to the quick.

Seriously, though, it's a historical fact that as the population of various countries has grown so has the standard of living. This isn't just a lucky coincidence either. More people means more minds working to solve various human difficulties and more hands working to implement these solutions. It means more potential customers for goods and services, creating economies of scope and scale that wouldn't exist with fewer people (wouldn't bloggingheads exist if the U.S. population was a tenth its current size? Doubt it). Read the second part of Ultimate Resource 2, and then we can talk.

Apparently you've read a book. You might want to try one or two more.

bjkeefe 10-26-2008 11:47 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95389)
For water, see chapter 10 of Ultimate Resource 2. Even absent a technological breakthrough, we can get clean drinking water via desalination at a cost that, while not cheap, is not high enough that it would be a real resource constraint given the right policies.

That's a lot of hand-waving which fails to motivate me to read the book. As far as I understand the current state of desalination, "while not cheap" and "given the right policies" put a whole jar of Vaseline on the lens. Fundamentally, it takes a lot of energy to make seawater fresh, and that means it's always going to be expensive, especially as continued growing populations demand energy for other uses.

Evidence of this can be seen by southern California's preference for crazy schemes of importing water from other states rather than moving ahead with desalination in a big way. Look also at the Middle East -- they're swimming in money (and oil) in many desert countries, but desalination hasn't come close to addressing their water shortage problems. Granted, both regions use this technology to some extent, but it hasn't become the solution.

I'll also grant that there are doubtless additional efficiency gains to be had, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that cheap desalination is just around the corner. And even if we get close to that, this only helps people who live near an ocean. Moving water inland will continue to be expensive, especially when we realize that, unlike many of the big reservoir/aqueduct/pipeline systems we have now, which basically involve downhill flow, we'd be moving water from the coasts inland. This means we'd have to work against gravity, which means still more energy costs.

Blackadder 10-26-2008 11:50 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 95390)
Explain to me how you increase arable land area over available land area. After you're done with that, please tell me why if we're nowhere near the limit of usable energy resources, why energy costs are as volatile as they are.

Well, if you really wanted to increase arable land over available land area, there are ways you could do it (it's possible to grow crops in an indoor controlled environment, and we long ago discovered how to make buildings that are more than one story tall). But there's no need to resort to anything quite so sci-fi any time soon. It's not like all the available land is already occupied and we're growing crops on every single acre of available space. There's plenty of potentially arable land that isn't being utilized to its full capacity right now.

On energy, what you should do is use google to find a chart of oil prices adjusted for inflation for as long a period as you can (I'd provide a link, but apparently the forum doesn't allow for that). If you do so, you'll see that the price of oil has most of the time hovered at around $20 to $30 a barrel. There have been a couple of sharp spikes (e.g. in the 1970s, during the first Gulf War, and over the past couple of years) but these have proven to be temporary, just as the current spike is now proving temporary (you do realize that oil has fallen more than $80 a barrel in the last six months, right?)

Oil is dealt with in chapter 11 of Ultimate Resource 2, other energy issues in chapters 12 and 13 (the book is something of a one stop shop on matters of natural resource depletion and population growth).

Ocean 10-26-2008 11:52 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Are you the author of the book or are you getting commission?

Blackadder 10-27-2008 12:00 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Well, if you want specific figures, Simon calculates that in 1992 the added yearly cost for a typical D.C. resident of switching to all desalinated water was $500 a year. That's not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not the kind of astronomical figure that would mean we couldn't use desalination to provide all our water needs if we really had to. And keep in mind, $500 a year is an upper limit. In practice the cost would never be that high since a) we don't, in fact, have to rely only on desalinated water, and b) additional technological innovations and efficiency improvements would help to bring the cost down over time.

By the way, if you ever think that I'm being too vague or am oversimplifying a particular issue, it's probably because this kind of forum imposes severe space constraints, and I figure that anyone who is really interested can go read the sources I cite and/or other material readily available on the internet or at your local library.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 12:03 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95391)
You cut me to the quick.

And I'm tempted to repeat the link for this:

Quote:

Seriously, though, it's a historical fact that as the population of various countries has grown so has the standard of living.
This is anything but a fact for many regions in the world.

It is also certainly not causal in almost every case where the SOL has increased, either. You can think of a few cases where a locality gaining a critical mass of population does mean that things get better -- boom towns, even the whole continental US for a short while -- but these few exceptions ignore the reality that those locations had plenty of room and resources to support the growth, and they do not support your general claim.

Blackadder 10-27-2008 12:03 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
If it seems like I'm citing a single work over an over, it's because Simon's book is a good collection of data and evidence on a wide variety of these issues. If you want me to recommend other works that deal with similar subjects, I can do that.

Blackadder 10-27-2008 12:06 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Okay, I'll bite. Name the country or countries that have a lower standard of living now than they did when they had a population half its current size?

Blackadder 10-27-2008 12:11 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Neither. I just tend to be a bit compulsive about these sorts of things. As long as people aren't being rude to me, and seem at least marginally open to what I say, I feel like I can't just let their questions or challenges go unanswered (at least where I think I have a response). As quaint as it sounds, I like sharing the truth (as I understand it in my own limited way) with people. I will, however, make this my last comment of the evening, as I can sense that we're approaching that threshold, and I do have to work tomorrow.

Ocean 10-27-2008 12:20 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95403)
Neither. I just tend to be a bit compulsive about these sorts of things. As long as people aren't being rude to me, and seem at least marginally open to what I say, I feel like I can't just let their questions or challenges go unanswered (at least where I think I have a response). As quaint as it sounds, I like sharing the truth (as I understand it in my own limited way) with people. I will, however, make this my last comment of the evening, as I can sense that we're approaching that threshold, and I do have to work tomorrow.


I looked at Julian Simon's response to criticism of his book. It looks like it was quite provocative and widely criticized. Among the criticisms I saw that it's written from an economist's perspective. Biologists had a very poor opinion of the book, because it doesn't really take into account environment and biology. I just read that very quickly. Perhaps in the future you may be able to present your case for discussion again.

Thank you for sharing your views.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 12:20 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95402)
Okay, I'll bite. Name the country or countries that have a lower standard of living now than they did when they had a population half its current size?

I can't do that off the top of my head, and I am not willing to put the effort in right now to answer that precise a question (comparing to one-half the current population), but I would be amazed if this weren't true for many countries, in Africa and southern Asia, especially, and some in South and Central America.

Probably a look at this page would give plenty of examples (look for the red triangles), although I'm willing to stipulate that not every one of the countries whose SOL is going down can point to growing population as the sole cause.

cragger 10-27-2008 12:20 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Gee, the more people we have, the higher living standards get, and the more people we can support, and the richer we will all be ... what a concept. Sounds like a cure for the financial crisis if I ever heard one. Infinite population, infinite wealth, and a darn good time if we just get nekkid and get busy!

So sad that the argument is completely backward and that certain developments related to living standards, like improvements in agriculture, occasionally occur and permit us to sustain a higher population. Arguing the reverse is tantamount to noticing that it is warmer during the day than at night, and concluding warmth causes the sun to rise.

fedorovingtonboop 10-27-2008 01:06 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 95397)
Are you the author of the book or are you getting commission?

:) That's about how I feel. Thanks to you guys for taking over...this guy is incorrigible - no intention of being objective. Maybe we're talking to a robot!?

*Update* I looked at "Ultimate Resource 2" also...all I can do is recommend Gary Zukov's "Dancing Wu Li Masters" as a follow up;) Totally hardcore stuff, man! <--that's supposed to be a joke.

Ocean 10-27-2008 01:37 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop (Post 95408)
:) Totally hardcore stuff, man! <--that's supposed to be a joke.

Thank you for the courtesy. I'm starting to get used to gender 'confusion'.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 02:18 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop (Post 95408)
...all I can do is recommend Gary Zukov's "Dancing Wu Li Masters" as a follow up;)

Nice.

Ocean 10-27-2008 02:39 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 95411)
Nice.

Perhaps fedorovingtonboop and you can comment on the book first, since you both seem to be so enthusiastic about it.

SkepticDoc 10-27-2008 09:03 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95381)
I have heard of China's one child policy. I think it is horrible, not only from a moral point of view (forced abortions and all that) but also from a purely practical one. Over the coming decades China is probably going to pay dearly for it. (I mean, seriously, are you really arguing that the Chinese government is behind something, therefore it must be a good idea? Have you never heard of the Great Leap Forward?)

Both China's one child policy and earlier programs in India and elsewhere are detailed in the Fatal Misconception book I referenced earlier.

Reality check?

When will the Chinese "pay" for their "mistake", when the US defaults on the loans?

Blackadder 10-27-2008 09:30 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SkepticDoc (Post 95419)
Reality check?

When will the Chinese "pay" for their "mistake", when the US defaults on the loans?

They'll pay for it in a couple of ways. First, as we've seen in places like Japan and Europe, and as we're going to see in the U.S., there are huge costs that arise when you have a lot more old people in a country than young people. Rich countries will probably be able to handle this transition, albeit with difficulty, because they have the resources to do so. Because of the one Child policy, however, China is likely to have to face some of these challenges before most of its population has reached a western standard of living.

However, the real problem (in my opinion) is likely to be the gender imbalance the one child policy has created. When you have a lot of young men running around unable to find a woman, things are liable to get ugly.

Blackadder 10-27-2008 10:43 AM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
bjkeefe,

I don't blame you for not wanting to spend your time looking at demographic data for South Asia, etc. If you did, however, I guarantee that you would be amazed. For example, I took a peak at the "Demographics of Cambodia" page at Wikipedia, thinking that since Pol Pot killed a quarter of the population in the 1970s and the country has only recently recovered that would be the most obvious counter-example to my claim. Amazingly, the population of Cambodia has roughly doubled since 1975 (when the Khmer Rouge took over), from 7.3 million to 14.2 million. In 1970, life expectancy in Cambodia was around 45 years. Today it is 61.7 years.

ChrisCatanese 10-27-2008 01:32 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing
 
Rational behavior dictates that:

If children are likely to die before reaching maturity
-and-
Children are the classical form of social security

Then over reproduction is correct

Me&theboys 10-27-2008 02:31 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Interesting discussion. Fascinating topic. The Ultimate Resource argument has been made by others as well and has some compelling aspects to it. There is a lot of data out there on this subject, much of which contradicts the received wisdom about population and demography, and all of which is highly worthwhile reading if population and demography figure into one's political thinking. Thinking broadly and openmindedly about the implications of the data is also a worthwhile exercise. Some implications are quite counterintuitive, which explains some of the widely divergent opinions on this thread.

Saturday NYTimes had an op-ed about the social and economic implications of Russia's declining population. It was titled "Rising Ambitions, Sinking Population". Worth reading. Another book worth reading: Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Excess Male Population (recommended on a previous BHTV session about muslim women and head scarves). Confirms BlackAdder's point (also made by Bob Wright and others) that a world with too many unmarried males as in China can be VERY unstable and problematic.

Blackadder - I'd love some recommended reading on the topic, in addition to Fatal Misconceptions and Ultimate Resource 2.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 02:54 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95422)
bjkeefe,

I don't blame you for not wanting to spend your time looking at demographic data for South Asia, etc. If you did, however, I guarantee that you would be amazed. For example, I took a peak at the "Demographics of Cambodia" page at Wikipedia, thinking that since Pol Pot killed a quarter of the population in the 1970s and the country has only recently recovered that would be the most obvious counter-example to my claim. Amazingly, the population of Cambodia has roughly doubled since 1975 (when the Khmer Rouge took over), from 7.3 million to 14.2 million. In 1970, life expectancy in Cambodia was around 45 years. Today it is 61.7 years.

One datum does not a theory support. I will grant that it's possible to find instances where population increase and SOL increase are correlated. I am not quite as much of a doomsayer as some over-population worriers; i.e., I am not saying that every time population increases in some locality, everything immediately gets worse.

(I'll remark as an aside that the life expectancy increase in Cambodia between the 1960s and today probably had at least a little something to do with the end of the Vietnam War; i.e., for you to imply that the increased population caused the improved SOL seems more than a little bit of a reach.)

At any rate, I remain convinced that between pollution (including climate change) and the constant military tension in response to competition over scarce and dwindling resources, adding a lot more people to the planet, particularly in specific regions, is a recipe for severe unhappiness. If you hope to change my mind about this, you'll have to explain all those red-triangled countries on that Wikipedia page I linked to above.

There's another problem, too. As many have noted, especially those who see nothing to worry about concerning population increase, the problem is not, at first cut, the total amount of resources, but the disparity in distribution. There is nothing in human history to suggest that we will solve this problem any time soon. So, while I don't think global civilization will crash all at once, I do think increasing population will make already tense regions worse, and that the ripple effects from those will continue to worsen long-term prospects for everybody else.

I think we're at the point now where we've both had our say, so if you'd like the last word, please feel free.

ChrisCatanese 10-27-2008 02:54 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing
 
look george we live in a center right country, and radicaly changing that is not a feature of national elections

If you want to complain that obama isn't doing enough to advance liberal perceptions do it while he's in office

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 02:58 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 95414)
Perhaps fedorovingtonboop and you can comment on the book first, since you both seem to be so enthusiastic about it.

It's been a long time since I read The DWLM, but as I remember it, it was an early pinnacle of the Woo relating quantum mechanics and things like free will.

Ocean 10-27-2008 03:10 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 95435)
It's been a long time since I read The DWLM, but as I remember it, it was an early pinnacle of the Woo relating quantum mechanics and things like free will.

So, do you recommend it?

Me&theboys 10-27-2008 03:48 PM

Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin (Post 95253)
I wish John hadn't then followed Haidt in confusing liberal tolerance with moral relativism. Tolerance is NOT NOT NOT the view that every view is right!!!!! It is the view that evidence and argument should be the main means of "suppressing" wrong views, and that force can be used against such views or rather the practical application of such views) in only very limited circumstances -- where there is strong evidence that a non-consenting party will be harmed. There is NO CONTRADICTION -- NO WAY, NO HOW -- between saying that and saying that liberalism really is the correct moral view.
LIberalism does not compel the liberal to believe that theocrats are equally right. Nor does it compel the liberal state to do nothing to prevent the theocrats from taking power. It can't prevent theocratic views from being expressed (except where they would be an incitement to riot), and it's true that the theocrats wouldn't reciprocate if they were in power. But if the theocrats (or other illiberal types) are attempting to use force to compel others to accept their beliefs, then the liberal can COMPLETELY CONSISTENTLY use state power to interfere with such a violation of the rights of others.
Liberal toleration simply demands that beliefs should be exposed to a (fair) marketplace of ideas, and I see no reason why it should have to except itself from that. Liberals have always felt (I think rightly) that liberalism survives very well in the marketplace of ideas. So what is the supposed inconsistency of liberalism? How is tolerance supposed to undermine itself again?

A few thoughts: The use of the words ‘tolerance” and “suppressing” and “wrong” in the same (almost) sentence just doesn’t SOUND tolerant. Would you accept the same statement if the word “countering” replaced “suppressing” and if the phrase “views one believes to be wrong” replaced the word “wrong”? “Suppressing” and “wrong” just leave little room for the possibility of recognizing that one is mistaken, and it seems to me that a strong reason for being tolerant is the recognition that humans (including one’s self) have been known to be mistaken. Also, the idea of suppression seems to contradict the idea that “liberal tolerance demands that beliefs should be exposed to a fair marketplace of ideas”. Suppressed ideas don’t get exposed to ANY marketplace, and ideas labeled in advance as wrong are less likely to get exposed to a FAIR marketplace. Subconscious biases pretty much preclude the possibility of ideas getting exposed to a truly fair marketplace of ideas. Witness the anger expressed on this board and elsewhere in the world to data (not opinions) that contradict one’s world view. It is the rare person indeed who spends as much time looking for the fallibility of their own arguments as they do looking for the fallibility of opposing arguments.
Also, liberalism and iliberalism are two points on a continuum, and any individual’s specific views may occupy different points on the continuum depending on the issue at hand. Given this, I’d be interested in how you would revise your above description about tolerance to describe tolerance on an individual level versus a “state” level. It is far easier to divide states into liberal versus iliberal than to apply the same division to people and specific behaviors or ideas. In my experience, tolerance becomes more difficult for people to maintain at greater levels of specificity and lower levels of abstraction.
Lastly, can you clarify the meaning of the term “harmed” in your first paragraph and are you tolerant of differing views of what constitutes harm and thus the use of force? Again, I am talking about harm at the level of the individual, rather than the state or abstract level. The liberal state versus the theocratic state is too stark and abstract a contrast to be a useful in exploring the idea of tolerance as I understand Haidt to use the term.

Me&theboys 10-27-2008 04:14 PM

John Gray versus Bob Wright
 
How about a diavlog between John Gray and Bob Wright on the concept of non zero sumness and the direction of human destiny?

TwinSwords 10-27-2008 04:33 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackadder (Post 95395)
(I'd provide a link, but apparently the forum doesn't allow for that)

No, the forum does allow links. You can just paste a URL into your post, if you want, and the forum software will convert it to a clickable URL. Or you can use the little "Insert Link" icon on the toolbar directly above the window where you type your posts.

The insert link icon looks like this: http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images...createlink.gif

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 05:21 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 95437)
So, do you recommend it?

Only if you want to read something that's howlingly ludicrous. Or, more politely, entertaining in the way dorm room philosophical discussions can be, post-bongathon.

The beginning, IIRC, was not the worst "physics for poets" introduction to basic quantum theory that I've ever read, but even that part is probably not worth your time at this point, being that it was written nearly thirty years ago.

Ocean 10-27-2008 06:03 PM

Re: Bad News: The Stork Didn't Bring You
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 95451)
Only if you want to read something that's howlingly ludicrous. Or, more politely, entertaining in the way dorm room philosophical discussions can be, post-bongathon.

The beginning, IIRC, was not the worst "physics for poets" introduction to basic quantum theory that I've ever read, but even that part is probably not worth your time at this point, being that it was written nearly thirty years ago.

Thank you, Brendan.

The level of sarcasm, inside talk, deliberate confusion and hostility in this forum escapes my understanding. I joined this group as an active participant with the hope of exchanging ideas intelligently with others, learn, and explore a group where I could find my 'peers'. In my everyday life I don't come across people with whom to discuss a wide variety of topics with some depth.

I've had the opportunity to learn, both from diavloggers and commenters. I have started to understand debating in a format that is very 'alien' to me. I have found people that are ideologically very similar with whom I enjoy interacting and confirming my own thoughts and ideas. I have been challenged by what on surface appears to be an opposite view and after discussion and some processing, ending up finding unexpectedly valid points or similarities in essential ideas.

I also have had the opportunity to test my own reactions to aggression in a context that, again, is very strange to me. I've tried different ways of dealing with that.

I am still learning to translate from communication in real life to written communication. Being 'blind' to non verbal language, and being unable to communicate non-verbally has presented another level of challenge.

I am certainly determined to continue watching diavlogs and perhaps reading some of the comments in the forum. But I believe that my active participation as a commenter has to stop, at least for some time. I find this forum confusing and hostile. I question seriously the honesty of other commenters. It is very likely that some people are showing up with more than one identity. The overall picture, the gestalt of the commentary has degraded to the point that I'm finding my contributions less and less meaningful.

Whatever the party is, I'm not part of it, so it seems more reasonable to stop commenting for now. I don't want to keep interrupting others' conversations. It is to no one's benefit.


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