[ home ] [ pony / townhall / rp / canterlot / rules ] [ arch ]

/townhall/ - Townhall

A place for civilized animals
Password (For file deletion.)


File: 1631967153604.jpg (37.21 KB, 525x363, 175:121, Image-of-the-coronavirus.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Should the U.S. federal government be in the business of forcing people to get the coronavirus vaccine, whether they like it or not?

Story: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/09/biden-vaccine-mandate-republicans-dont-believe-own-arguments.html

My personal opinion is that mandates are justified. Lives are literally at stake. Children have been suffering. The immunosuppressed have been suffering. They can't get the vaccine and rely on others for their own safety. We should care about them and protect them. Other reasons exist as well.
5 posts and 1 image reply omitted. Click reply to view.


This how I feel as well, broadly speaking.

My personal viewpoint is that the OSHA mandates are clearly legal, but I'm far from an expert in the area. Still, I hope that the courts side in favor of the Biden administration. Lives are at stake.


Yes. Force them. I don't care about personal opinion at this point because it harms others.


Heh, can't speak for the US.
But I have seen articles go by in Europe stating that even requiring a proof of vaccination to have access to stuff is a violation of human rights. And courts are willing to annul any sanctions against the unvaccinated in this.
Heck, there's been a long standing discussion if there was even a legal grounds for closing down public life / barring large gatherings and mandating masks during the "height" of the pandemic.

Me personally, I don't know if mandating a vaccine is really necessary. you can go by and let everyone sit on their own risk by not getting vaccinated.

But I personally wouldn't blame the healthcare personnel to peace out on this. Honestly, they are set up with cleaning the proverbial bathroom that people try their hardest to cover in rotten faeces.


File: 1630966081256.png (77.4 KB, 1023x718, 1023:718, Map-Of-Afghanistan.png) ImgOps Google

Even after the U.S. military has left Afghanistan, concluding the U.S.'s longest war, massive efforts remain in order to help stranded individuals who seek assistance leaving the country. They've much to fear given recent actions by the Taliban, including mass assault upon female protesters. This exodus still includes American citizens as well as many others. Desperate times.

Story: https://news.yahoo.com/blumenthal-furious-biden-administration-over-202200285.html

Given that it appears safe to say that the Biden administration has bungled the situation in Afghanistan badly, what if anything can be done to make things better past this point? What would accountability look like? And is all this likely to damage U.S. foreign policy moving on in other places?
4 posts and 1 image reply omitted. Click reply to view.




It's the middle east. Big-headed countries have tried to conquer it for milenia and never succeeded long-term. It was total idiocy to try and take it over in the first place. While i do think Biden's withdrawl exacerbated issues, it was always going to be a shit-show.


A fiasco for years to say the least...


File: 1631351673502.png (9.96 KB, 761x504, 761:504, Pingu_doesn't_know_what_to….png) ImgOps Google

The terrorist attacks that occurred two decades ago set into motion a profound bunch of changes in America that we're still grappling with today. Personally, most of these appear to have been misguided at best and nightmarish at worse. Still, history is history, albeit recent history.

Interesting report on some regrets from seminal foreign policy figure David Petraeus here: https://news.yahoo.com/gen-david-petraeus-2-regrets-032857899.html

Thoughts on what Petraeus said? And reflections in general? What does this anniversary mean to you as an individual?

To be honest, I don't quite see where to go from here. Although, looking back, I sure as hell would've done a gigantic number of things differently (i.e. avoided invading Iraq, refrained from linking the separate issues of Iraqi actions to that of Iranian and North Korean behavior via the "axis of evil" approach, worked to advance alternative energy so that fossil fuel dependence was less of a problem, et cetera). I don't feel safer than I did on September 12th, 2001. Do you?
1 post omitted. Click reply to view.


>If anything, we have much more to fear from our own government and fellow countrymen than we've ever had from terrorists.



The terrorism of 9/11 always seemed very distant, and while people talk about its impact, the only impact I've actually felt is from what we've done about it, and all of that impact has been negative.  While nothing as grandiose as 9/11 has happened again (yet), we seem to have failed at any attempt to prevent what caused these attacks in the first place.  We've finally pulled out of Afghanistan, a Taliban victory, all while making everyone angrier in the process.  I can honestly say that I don't think a single thing we did in response to 9/11 was the correct choice and that moving forward from here our main goal should just be to continue to reverse what we've done and attempt to seek amends.


The Taliban victory clearly makes the entire Afghanistan war enterprise seem pretty pointless.


File: 1631318274290.jpg (44.98 KB, 480x320, 3:2, JoeBiden_smiles_with_sungl….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

With several months of leadership to go by, has Joe Biden fulfilled his promises to be a fundamentally just, reasonable President? What's your opinion of him so far? Are you surprised? Or no?


File: 1631319201524.jpg (310.58 KB, 1140x798, 10:7, kzeu24iad2051.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

- Hasn't made any completely insane out-of-left-field decisions (which is more than can be said for our previous president.)
- Hasn't tried to pack the Supreme Court.

- He royally fucked up withdrawal from Afghan.
- Still insufficient production of N95 masks.  Most Americans still lack N95 masks.
- FDA is killing Americans with its insane bullshit.  (E.g., no authorization of boosters, no authorization of vaccination of under-12-year-olds.  Mifepristone and misoprostol still aren't available over-the-counter.)


That's a good point about the FDA. It's slowness is legendary, yes, but what's happened in terms of it over the past multiple months has been horrid.


File: 1630303919910.png (178.34 KB, 1824x1628, 456:407, 33ca9e87211fabf3ca414f9271….png) ImgOps Google

In political science, the horseshoe theory asserts that the far-left and the far-right closely resemble one another in many respects, analogous to the way that the opposite ends of a horseshoe are close together.  What do you think of this theory?
7 posts and 3 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


>What do you mean by that? Only agents (not ideas) can be properly said to be disingenuous.

I'm using "idea" as a rough synonym for "rhetoric"


So I thought of this in the other thread, considering how a lot of political visualizations falsely imply a spectrum of beliefs, and I thought of a good example for this thread: vegans vs carnivores. There are people who, for various ideological reasons and nutrition beliefs will only eat phony cheese made from soybeans. There are people who for various ideological reasons and nutrition beliefs will only eat the burger patty and they will never put tomato ketchup on it. It's tempting to put them on a visualization of how much meat a person will eat implying that somebody's opinions about meat are the justification for that decision.

Except meat has nothing to do with it.

There are people who have strong arbitrary ideologies that they impose on everybody around and who expect everybody to understand them and have equally intense opinions regarding food just waiting to be broadcast, and you have people who eat things because they feel like it. And then you have weirdos who once encountered a hobo who shouted at traffic that eating asparagus means you are possessed by hitler and now they eat nothing but asparagus to spite nobody in particular.

And the tricky thing is that using a number line arrangement for visualizing this makes the hobo a centrist and asparagus guy a vegan, but I don't think it would be appropriate to put either in those groups.


I think that there's a saying in the social sciences that goes something like "Logic and facts aren't judges. They're lawyers for emotions." Or something like that.

In short: people tend to have snap reactions to problem solving situations in life first, gut instincts happening, and then afterwards there's a long, belated chain of rationalizations that usually comes about to support those first reactions.

With enough time and effort, rational thinking can overcome first instincts. But that's quite difficult. When it comes to politics especially, irrational emotions are in the drivers' seats a lot.


File: 1630535669476.png (123.25 KB, 600x600, 1:1, medium.png) ImgOps Google

So, we're coming up on 20 years.  As I read, I see the words "Islamic," or "religiously motivated."

I've taken, by definition, that religion is good.  This allows us to respect religion, to protect the freedom to practice it, and appreciate the cultural impact.  It appears to me to be the pro-social thing to do.

We don't respect or protect something that motivates terrorism.  Or that discriminates (in a bigoted way) or hurts people in any way.  So anything harmful must have a different name.

Perhaps we have a language problem.  Do you think there are better phrases we could use rather than "religiously motivated," "Islamic extremism", "Christian fundamentalism," etc?  (A good thing should not be terrorism when stripped to its fundamentals, after all.)
20 posts and 6 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


We obviously can't see either magnetism or gravity, but we can experimentally prove that they exist in some physical fashion. Perhaps love is the same? Maybe consciousness as well? Actual ripples in space-time that cause matter and energy to alter? I don't know.


I suppose.  Few bounds confine possible assertions about what's yet to be measured.


File: 1630967152120.jpg (63.36 KB, 460x652, 115:163, The-Power-Of-Determination.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Hope springs eternal.


File: 1630727263949.png (383.82 KB, 700x420, 5:3, Handmaiden's-Tale-Texas.png) ImgOps Google

With Texas having put into effect what's de facto a complete ban on abortions, with Roe v. Wade being essentially overturned in terms of the state's administration, the question has suddenly become rather clear-cut: should all abortions be banned, regardless of context?

For information about public opinion and context, see: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-texass-abortion-law-may-go-too-far-for-most-americans/
8 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


Given that an adult person can receive a transplanted heart without in any way, shape, or form be considered to have 'died' or 'come back to life' or have their fundamental nature as a person changed, then I absolutely agree that using the heart as a metric for who or what counts as a 'person' is absurd.


File: 1630890136300.png (716.52 KB, 2000x2000, 1:1, 1448952634198.png) ImgOps Google

>>9762 >>9772 >>9777
Perhaps people who think that the heartbeat is morally significant are emotionally driven and using sloppy System-1 thinking rather than engaging in rational System-2 thinking.


It's perhaps inevitable given that "hearts" and "heartbeats" have such strong cultural association in people's minds with a bunch of things from the media.


Case in point, this kickass 80s synth tune:


File: 1630793936634.png (11.87 KB, 378x228, 63:38, Theory-Of-Government-3D.png) ImgOps Google

Have you felt that the one dimensional division between political ideologies is a problem and craved 2D and 3D based analysis? This is a thread for you.

If you have found a particular perspective on the political spectrum that you want to signal-boost, please link it here. Or if you've a particularly popular spectrum thing that you've come across that you want to criticize, feel free to do that as well.

Myself, I'm pretty sympathetic to this cube-based model. I'll call myself socially moderate left leaning and economically moderate right leaning while being way off in the side of limited government. Where would you be?
7 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


For those curious of where the OP image came from and the context, please see: https://www.quora.com/Is-anarchism-right-wing-or-left-wing-Explain-your-answer


>I suppose the core question between 'economic left' and 'economic right' is more along the lines of "Who controls the means of physical production and determines physical consumption?", with the choice being powerful non-state actors such as mega-corporations versus the state versus small, independent actors deciding for themselves.

Ok, I think I get that.  I'm not quite sure which is right and which is left, but I imagine in a cross-section of your cube where social is the same.

You have corners:

1) Total government control
2) Total government control
3) Individual/small business control
4) Non-state large corporation control


I believe that that I'm trying to conceptualize things like that, yes.

Admittedly, I'm not the best at three dimensional mathematical thinking even in the most generous circumstances.


File: 1630373075149.jpg (47.1 KB, 480x600, 4:5, medium.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Maybe there was a time when strength was premium, before poor John Henry lost to mechanized muscle.  But now [at least while AI is still taking baby steps], the name of the game is intelligence.  

Intelligence + education = success

Although I feel like a lot of my life has been trying to figure out what this equation is suppose to mean, exactly, and coming to terms with domains where the idea seems to lack validity.  Overall I don't know whether it's been a helpful model or not.
24 posts and 8 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


Yeah, Greene seems like a special case. High on her own supply.


I can't really think of many domains where intelligence factors in success. The only ones where it does are ones where the actual barrier for entry is education or training, but even in academia there usually isn't any reward for being smarter than the next person or more educated than the job requires. Intelligence and education are less the recipe for success and more the minimum requirements for entry that once met are mostly irrelevant. If you are outside of academia once you've worked a job nobody cares what your education is. Nobody is going to give you a senior position for being really smart, and frankly nobody is going to give you a senior position for being good at your job. You can certainly leverage those things in trying to secure benefits or promotion, but they are by no means the only parts of the puzzle and you can secure advancement without them.

Since managing other people is the most important job in our system to be successful being charismatic and punctual are more important to success than anything else.


That sounds mostly accurate.  Being good with people is a more lucrative skill in the long run than anything technical.


File: 1629751868342.png (71.54 KB, 575x551, 575:551, Screenshot from 2021-08-23….png) ImgOps Google

7 posts and 5 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1630275040157.png (3.4 MB, 1335x1263, 445:421, zxczc.png) ImgOps Google



Not them, but I personally enjoy about Finland the combination of:

>(a)Gun rights.
>(b)Reasonable understanding that if you use guns to commit violent crimes you'll get caught and punished severely.

Most countries seem to either do neither, just (a), or just (b), I guess? The U.S. is a great example of only (a) and never (b). Would prefer both by far.


File: 1629404467481.jpg (85.7 KB, 1120x630, 16:9, Two-Jobs-Cartoon.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

In a surprise move, the Biden administration's Department of Education seeks to forgive something like $6 billion dollars in student loan debt for individuals in a specific working situation.

Story: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/student-loan-forgiveness-disabled-borrowers-150036471.html

The U.S. student loan crisis is an interesting problem. While I've got more opinions on different issues than I can manage, really, I'm on the fence when it comes to this. Should the government keep going through situations piecemeal? Should all student debt just be ended? If so, what about the economic consequences... isn't there a kind of ethical dilemma when it comes to those who did pay things off?
17 posts and 5 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


They can make that argument if they want to but don't pretend it's for my sake.



College, in general, is worthless.  Yet every institution insists, if you do not go, you will be a failure.

It's not as hard to pay your debts as some make it out, but it's also not necessarily hard to pay a con artist.

Given the state itself is the one pushing you into this debt more often than not, it's on them as much as the colleges themselves.


>Yet every institution insists, if you do not go, you will be a failure.
Not every, but things nominally taught at state-accredited college or university will be skills, other abilities will not be.  [Possibly some trade schools may teach a few skills as well.]


File: 1629315310008.jpg (5.67 KB, 204x204, 1:1, 18697964_10155357246269108….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

View-harm, I will define, is the psychological harm done to another when they view a body or a photograph of a body.  Some parts of the body are especially potent, therefore laws require covering those parts in public and standards forbid showing those parts on many websites.  But people may be offended by any part of any body (eyes, nose, teeth, hair), or offended by the fashion of bodily display (hair style, make-up).  I don't believe in objective beauty or ugliness, so there is no, I suppose, defense against view-harm there.  A good person must not use their power to hurt those around them.

I think, though, fursonas or pony-sonas help defend against view-harm.  Perhaps we can share other ideas for keeping those around us safe.
2 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1629858216319.jpg (60.12 KB, 640x512, 5:4, 1628798180359.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Have you heard of the term 'overfitting'?



File: 1629892053004.png (359.8 KB, 800x450, 16:9, medium.png) ImgOps Google

Yes, when inferences are made from accidental patterns that don't do well at predicting what's being modeled.

That's bad, I guess, but I'm not sure it's psychologically damaging.

Interesting.  View-harm might be a class of information hazard.  I suppose you could say it's really information gained in a view that does the mental damage, although exactly what information is hard to say.


File: 1627347948512.png (344.79 KB, 1080x543, 360:181, Screenshot from 2021-07-26….png) ImgOps Google

If I understand correctly, one of Elon Musk's main motivations for Mars is to establish a self-sustaining settlement on the planet to prevent Human extinction in the event the Earth's population is wiped out.  We are in a pandemic so you can imagine a scenario where millions of miles of space make a good quarantine, for example.  I guess the other reasons to go to mars are: it's cool/inspiring, and (science!).  It's not really an economic move of any kind.

I'm seeing negativity about billionaires touring space while others struggle for necessities.  So, what are your opinions on pushing to make humans a two-planet species?
9 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


>Elon Musk almost seems more completely okay with sacrificing if not the environment of Earth

In fairness to Musk, he's not only advocated in public for pro-environmental measures but has actually, at least according to him, tried to work with the Biden administration on them.

See: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/12/elon-musk-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions-with-a-carbon-tax.html

I believe that Musk is one of those wealthy individuals who, akin to Bill Gates, believes that relatively green technologies represent the future of energy specifically and big business generally and thus want to get a leg up compared to competitors.


>at least for the long foreseeable future, any terraformed Mars is going to be a terrible place compared to a preserved Earth.

Right.  That's why I think the best argument for Mars as an insurance policy involves catastrophic destruction of Earth or the human population.

>okay with sacrificing if not the environment of Earth, then at least sacrificing a bunch of people on Earth, in order to make this dream of Mars happen.

Yeah, I mean, the resources to go to Mars could always be used terrestrially.  I take that you either don't buy the necessity of Mars or don't think Musk is doing it correctly.



If today a decision by local or federal government spurns massive protests/riots, do you see yourself taking up arms against the government?

Is there any line for you that the government can tread that would make you join a violent uprising?

If you get caught up in civil unrest in your neighbourhood, would you be prompted to take up arms and get involved, or would you try and stay out of it?

Would you be willing now to take someone's life to stand up for your principles?
49 posts and 12 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


>To the extent that people make bad decisions (given their available knowledge), it is a failure of rationality.
Or they have a system of ethics that we disagree with (e.g., the Nazis).


Yes, I understand, and I guess that further discussion likely is pointless if you've got the entirely wrong definition of "rationality" from my perspective.

I do regret being so emotionally negative, though. Wish this could've been less critical in tone.


File: 1629690714919.jpg (185.83 KB, 499x499, 1:1, shinobu-0jwwyxwd08iyo.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

>got the entirely wrong definition of "rationality" from my perspective.
Definitions fundamentally aren't right or wrong; they're just social convention.  We can make up new words, like "rationality_duck" and "rationality_griffon" to denote what each of us means.  I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "rationality".  I have been using "rationality" in the LessWrong sense, as expounded in the following webpages:

But in any event, I'm going to bed soon.  Goodnight, Eager Griffon!


File: 1629095770385.jpg (9.03 KB, 375x220, 75:44, 1628831711021.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Dr. Helen Chu, a doctor in Seattle who was running a study on flu prevalence back in February 2020, ... realized that she could test her flu samples for coronavirus, did it, and sure enough discovered that COVID had reached the US. The FDA sprung into action, awarded her a medal for her initiative, and - haha, no, they shut her down because they hadn’t approved her lab for coronavirus testing. She was trying to hand them a test-and-trace program all ready to go on a silver platter, they shut her down, and we had no idea whether/how/where the coronavirus was spreading on the US West Coast for several more weeks.

Although the FDA did kill thousands of people by unnecessarily delaying COVID tests, at least it also killed thousands of people by unnecessarily delaying COVID vaccines. ...

Every single thing the FDA does is like this. Every single hour of every single day the FDA does things exactly this stupid and destructive, and the only reason you never hear about the others is because they’re about some disease with a name like Schmoe’s Syndrome and a few hundred cases nationwide instead of something big and media-worthy like coronavirus. I am a doctor and sometimes I have to deal with the Schmoe’s Syndromes of the world and every f@$king time there is some story about the FDA doing something exactly this awful and counterproductive.
Quoted from: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/adumbrations-of-aducanumab
37 posts and 16 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1629652028023.jpg (83.83 KB, 985x924, 985:924, 1474512373175.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

>Can fluvoxamine be taken when you catch the disease?
Yes.  It is administered orally as a pill.

>Or is it also only used when you are in the ICU?
The results of this study are that fluvoxamine reduced the need to even go the hospital in the first place.

>I have to say, googling fluvoxamine at least doesn't land on a bunch of pages saying that it is not advised.
Fluvoxamine is an SSRI that is routinely used by psychiatrists as a first-line treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder.  Other SSRIs (e.g., fluoxetine) also showed promising results in observational studies but AFAIK haven't been tested in RCTs yet.

Hmm, you seem to know a lot more about this than I know, so I'll defer to your judgment.  


I do not know anything. I am the guy who puts the frozen plasma in the plasma thawer when the doctor calls. If you're reading studies that's more than me. But I do encourage learning the details of the immune system.


As an addendum...
What I'm seeing a lot of lately, especially in our younger covid patients who have expired, is signs of DIC and other coagulopathies. I've been doing this for 4 years and I've given out more cryoprecipitate plasma (a concentration of coagulation proteins) over the past week than over my career combined. DIC is pretty well known medically as something that modern birthing practices prevents. In the disease blood starts clotting in the veins. In addition to the risk of pulmonary emboli, clotting factors in blood are in limited supply and get consumed so that the patients lose the ability to repair microscopic damage to the vessels and they start bleeding out into their body compartments. Cryo was made to treat factor 8 deficiencies like in hemophilia, but it's also packed with factor 2 so it's the best option for DIC when combined with heparin. It's still a very dangerous condition to treat even with modern medicine since it involves giving blood thinners to a person who is bleeding out, and then giving fresh plasma which in addition to Factor 2 contains Factor 7, the antidote to heparin treatment, so dosing is an absolute bitch.

Furthermore, nobody has much cryo on hand. It's use is very niche in treating fringe coagulopathies associated with shake bites and amateur midwives. Cryo is the most complicated blood product to handle due to very strict temperature and time requirements and producing it involves wasting 10 units of precious plasma to produce one bag of cryo.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
[ home ] [ pony / townhall / rp / canterlot / rules ] [ arch ]