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 The Political Compass

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Raiden
Tim Heskett
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:32 am

Also, Tobe's response brings up a good point. I'll outright steal something from that Freakanomics book that Micah let me read at his house one day and show what it should say to gauge me correctly ...

Government should intervene in the economy
[ ] I agree strongly
[ ] I agree
[ ] I am neutral
[ ] I disagree
[ ] I disagree strongly
[X] Fuck You
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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:00 am

I think Kalon nailed it when he said his opinion doesn't matter because he isn't an economist. Even then I have heard really well educated economists say that everything would fix itself had there been no bail-outs and companies and banks were allowed to fail, and on the flip I have heard people say that the world would have ground to a halt Atlas Shrugged style (except presumably no one is doing this on purpose to teach us things).

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Tippindeg
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:33 am

The problem with the "my opinion doesn't matter because I'm not a Ph.D." argument is that, taken to it's logical conclusion, we should forfeit democracy in favor of an absolute technocracy. You can be informed without 12 years of formal higher education. I'm pretty sure the sky is blue because light from the sun refracts through water molecules in the atmosphere, but I'm not a chemist or a physicist, so I can't really be absolutely sure. However, chemists and physicists have told me this is true, so I have two options: believe what they say or not. If I disbelieve them, I can do enough rudimentary research to confirm or negate what they say.

The same applies to economics (or anything else, for that matter). To relate more directly to what you said Mike, I'm no economist, but I know that the school of economics that people advocating a hands-off approach to the financial crisis belong to is founded on absolutely ludicrous assumptions on human behavior: we all behave rationally, we all make perfectly informed decisions, we prefer more to less, etc. These assumptions prima facie don't appear to have any relation to the economic crisis, but these are things every orthodox economist merely assumes to be true when constructing their models. Thus, my point is that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure some things out, merely someone who is willing to do some research (however little it may be) on their own. Appeals to "common sense" certainly aren't enough, but if you're literate and can read and comprehend a few words, you can be informed enough to formulate at least somewhat thoughtful opinions and act accordingly.

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circa1015
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:33 pm

Tippen, that's very true, there are varying degrees of educated opinions, and although the experts in any given field should be the ones that are ultimately listened to, that doesn't mean that other people who have invested time in educating themselves on a subject can't contribute because there are still more educated people above them.

Unfortunately we live in a culture where this is lost on most people, and the rampant individualism has lead to this "why should a scientist's opinion on global warming matter more than mine?" kind of mentality. This is propogated by anti-intellectual groups who look to only confuse issues by painting them as political issues that you can have either a conservative or liberal opinion on when, in fact, there is a right and wrong answer. Think about it, on national news networks we have political pundits debating things like global warming, evolution, economics, health care, etc., when these people are educated on little more than their talking points. And if there is a correct answer, we can never reach that conclusion, because everything has to be fair, and each opinion deserves equal time and consideration.

So yes, if we were to only listen to the definitive experts for advice, we would have a technocracy, but there is really no threat of that happening here, but we do have a problem with the experts being ignored in the name of "equality". This really has nothing to do with what I originally said anymore, and has more or less turned into a diatribe about one of the many problems I have with this country, but it is true nonetheless.
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Tippindeg
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:16 pm

You're absolutely right Kalon, the persistent attitude of "everyone has a right to their own opinion" is really distressing, especially in regard to issues like global warming. Somewhat negating what I said earlier, it's a lot more difficult for laypeople to go out and do objective research on their own now with the advent of new forms of media (ie, the internet) that easily allows people to find "research" that merely supports their preexisting opinion.

Something going on right now in political science literature (and I'm sure in other social sciences as well) is research on the effects of the internet and various other new media on knowledge acquisition, and my claim that people only look for what suits them in the way of news and knowledge online is empirically substantiated. Such a finding is terribly upsetting, and the research suggests that this trend is strengthening, partly as a result of what appears to be an ideological fracturing of even old-style media. While newspapers and networks have always had "slants," such things were relegated chiefly to editorial pages, etc. Fox News broke the mold by essentially becoming the first truly ideological news outlet, and it appears that MSNBC, particularly since the primary season began last year, has adopted the same philosophy (I can't really say anything about CNN, I don't watch it enough). But even previously respected media outlets like the AP are increasingly "editorializing" their supposedly objective news pieces, and one doesn't have to merely look at the opinion page of the Oklahoman to know it's run by right-wing evangelical fanatics.

By the way, I wasn't necessarily railing against technocracy. I merely assume any American I speak with is an unequivocal supporter of democracy. I have my doubts, but I'm not necessarily lost on yet.

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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:19 pm

I like democracy as much as the next guy who has voted in every federal election since he became eligible. Economics isn't as clear cut as biology or environmental science. People say they don't believe in evolution and I call them retarded. People say they don't believe humans contributed to climate change and I call them retarded. Someone says that straight capitalism is good for everyone and I can discuss that because, while I don't agree, there isn't a set of facts that really back up either my position or his as pertaining to this country at this point in history (obviously).

Furthermore: I spend the vast majority of my research time, both school related and otherwise, on the humanities. I don't have much mathematical aptitude, and politically I am really an idealist. Tippin and I probably have similar ideas about government regulation in the economy with the difference being that Tippin probably knows a lot more about the nuances than I do. When I voted for Obama and Democratic Congressmen I was assuming that they would favor some regulation as well. I also was assuming that they would research these topics more thoroughly than I do, or at lest listen to advisers, what with that being their job and all. Wasn't that why the country elected the intellectual and not the shoot from the him maverick?

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Tippindeg
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:53 pm

I was almost finished typing a response to your post when I realized you edited it to add the other paragraph, which changed the tone I was inferring from you. So instead, I'll just say this:

Samwise wrote:
Someone says that straight capitalism is good for everyone and I can discuss that because, while I don't agree, there isn't a set of facts that really back up either my position or his as pertaining to this country at this point in history (obviously).

This isn't quite true, but I see where you're getting at. Don't confuse a normative statement ("straight capitalism is good for everyone") with an inability to acquire facts about it. The social sciences are arguably all about collecting "facts" about society in order to form normative judgements about them. For example, we can see study the effects of capitalism on a country, and form judgements about them--subjective judgements for sure, but potentially useful ones nevertheless. Like you, I voted Democrat in the last election in the hopes of more regulation. You know what? No "fact" as to the benefit of regulation exists, but other observations inform the opinion that regulation of business is beneficial, so I act accordingly.

Basically I'm just knee-jerking to what is in all likelihood not really an attack on social science.

Nothing to see here, move along...

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circa1015
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:45 pm

This is why I stick to the hard sciences.
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Troker
Admin
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:56 pm

circa1015 wrote:
This is why I stick to the hard sciences.

And I to the hard liquor.

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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:35 pm

If I am attacking social science it is totally unintentional. I'm saying you can't have a true sense of the pros and cons when comparing two economic systems because we can only run one economic system at a time. They can run all the computer models they want but it wont ever catch everything. They can't even predict sporting events properly. And transposing Rooshan socialism in the 80s or whatever Guevara was trying to do in S.A. onto America doesn't work either. Saying x policy is better than y policy isn't exactly like saying plants photosynthesize. If everything were straightforward every country with rational or greedy leaders would have exactly the same setup.

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Rorschach
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:18 pm

Haven't you guys ever read a political discussion on a message board before?

C'mon, get angry and start flaming! I recommend starting with an ad homonym attack.

It's how these things work on the internets!
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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:23 pm

Pshhh, like I need to take advise on arguing from someone who cant spell ad hominem. . . You see what I did there.

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circa1015
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:37 pm

Why should I listen to somebody who would be so petty as to correct somebody else's spelling while having a discussion in a setting as informal as an internet forum?
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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:16 pm

Why would I listen to someone who isn't a crusader for truth in all its forms?

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Raiden
Tim Heskett
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 2:25 am

For fuck's sake, since nobody is willing to start a political flame war like Micah said, I'll oblige him ...

The only reason that Tippen and Mike are liberals is because they hate Jesus, who is, as you know, the true founder of our great nation, the bestower of presidential authority. Whoever disagrees with me is a terrorist and/or homosexual child rapist who is trying to raise my taxes.

Ball is in your court you commie bastards.
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Pteage
Kissed Wes
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 6:12 am

Haven't been on in a few days...


Here's mine.
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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 8:41 am

Your test was obviously skewed by the lack of this question:

Anti-Tax Tea Parties. Awesome?

[] Yes
[] No
[] Mass facebook invite worthy

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Samwise
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 8:47 am

And in response to Dan, Charlton Heston's hands are cold and dead. Welcome to pinko globalization. Jesus or any other mystical entity has no place in the coming secular union, which, of course will be called Un Monde when we collectively submit to superior French intellectual rule.

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Samus
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 12:43 pm

need more flames i wanna feel warm and fuzzy from them! cat
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Troker
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Fri May 01, 2009 3:50 pm

Samus wrote:
need more flames i wanna feel warm and fuzzy from them! cat

What do they call tranny furry's?

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Pteage
Kissed Wes
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Sun May 03, 2009 4:56 pm

Samwise wrote:
And in response to Dan, Charlton Heston's hands are cold and dead. Welcome to pinko globalization. Jesus or any other mystical entity has no place in the coming secular union, which, of course will be called Un Monde when we collectively submit to superior French intellectual rule.


hahaha. i love you mike dunge.
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Samus
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Mon May 04, 2009 12:16 am

Troker wrote:
Samus wrote:
need more flames i wanna feel warm and fuzzy from them! cat

What do they call tranny furry's?

free kill?
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Slater-Morris
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Mon May 04, 2009 4:46 pm

Troker wrote:
Samus wrote:
need more flames i wanna feel warm and fuzzy from them! cat

What do they call tranny furry's?

i'm pretty sure they're not related at all. although you could have a tranny furry, they're not at all mutually exclusive.

unless i'm mistaken, furries fantasize about human/animal hybrids in sex acts.
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Samwise
Joe Jon Finley
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Mon May 04, 2009 5:16 pm

From the furry version of wikipedia (Jesus the internet is amazing):

It is not uncommon to find furries who are transgender or transsexual, also known transfurries, or those who have create fursonas of the opposite sex for transgender roleplay. According to Pounced.org, 1 in 62 furs considers themselves transgendered, as compared to about 1 in 1000 for the United States as a whole.

The word fursonas makes me lol a little bit. Bad liberal.

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Samus
Nate Erdmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Political Compass   Tue May 05, 2009 11:05 am

damnit cause that is what i need to be associated with Razz
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