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

/townhall/ - Townhall

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


File: 1683931501468.png (735.77 KB, 755x1024, 755:1024, large.png) ImgOps Google

Nobody owes you anything.  You owe others respect for their human rights.

States don't owe you anything.  You owe states loyalty and obedience.

Politics is full of contrary ideas and best avoided.
25 posts and 5 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


Well, I draw a line at saying something like the Holocaust was moral, which would have to follow since internal opposition was insufficient to keep it from happening.  Which is why I go with states are amoral.


>States don't owe you anything.  You owe states loyalty and obedience.
Other way around actually. The State absolutely owes their society that funds them for being public servants. If the state has ability to rob people of their earned money then they should at least do their respected jobs for their constituents who fund them. Simple as.


The state may prefer to serve the public, as judged by an individual subject, a group of subjects, or a majority of subjects.  Often opinions about what actions the state may do that serve the public good vary, and it's probably unlikely that at least some subjects feel any given state is serving the public good.

Sometimes states request feedback on how they are doing, and proving that feedback is obedient.

But in situations where an individual feels the state or state agents are not acting as public servants, and no legal and respectful option exists for feedback, we have a situation where nothing more can be done.  And I say "states owe you nothing" because this situation is possible for any individual.  

[Perhaps true, my phrase is an overstatement.  "States owe you what states believe they owe you and nothing more." might be better.  Or maybe "states owe you what you happen to get" avoids anthropomorphizing states as entities with beliefs.]


File: 1685710175613.jpg (326.9 KB, 1080x1080, 1:1, 350130128_217214194405590_….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Perhaps this can be a month to focus on modesty, and tolerance of diverse perspectives on various topics, especially topics that seem to divide ponies and humans.  Perhaps we can focus on how everypony can feel safe and accepted this month.

Hasbro Posted on FB: "Today and every day we celebrate everypony’s unique sparkle  Be true to who you are – hoof to heart!"

That sounds like a good message.  Let's debate how to best let everypony be true to themselves!
11 posts and 4 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


What is your meaning of "societal karma"?  When I see Karma, it's usually in the context of "instant Karma" where a rude person is punished by an independent event.  The actual Karma is a religious idea I probably don't fully understand.

Which parties need to communicate and what do they need to tell each other?



My thoughts are that I think my meaning is that when you do something, it has effects. It's not what you do that matters, necessarily, but your reason for doing it. If you do something in the name of God (or some other moral cause) (not for God, which I think is a subtle difference), then that will have consequences down the line related to the fact that you did it in the name of God. If you do something out love, there wil be consequences tied to that related to the fact that you did the thing out of love. If you do something out of anger, fear, or delusion - whatever your underlying motive - that will have a specific set of consequences down the line associated with that. You might not be able to guess how they will arise, specifically, but... just that what happens in the future, etc. will be a result of your (and others') underlying motives.

By societal karma, I mean what happens when a lot of poeple have similar underlying motives for doing something and how it affects the society as a whole, such as what laws are made, social norms, etc.

I think everyone could stop fighting so much and listen to each other, but it can be quite hard, and some people might not be ready, so we should just do what we can (and take care of ourselves), I suppose.


I think I see.  When I think of a particular act, say banning drag shows viewable by children, you could say the motivation was protecting children, obeying God's will, hate or fear for LGBT+ associated things, or some combination or difference motivations for different people.  So things in societal Karma seem pretty fuzzy in practice.

>everyone could stop fighting so much and listen to each other

I can't tell others what to do, but I think I agree with that general sentiment.  Although in my view there are windows when others are actually ready to listen, and it's important to be sensitive to those opportunities.  (However, that also means accepting marginalization when those windows are rare.  And it's quite possible in some cases windows are made rare on purpose.)


File: 1683103825547.png (1.19 MB, 1280x720, 16:9, large.png) ImgOps Google

Ponies can have nice friends.  And if there are no nice friends around, you can have imaginary friends and be friends with yourself, and that's just as good.
1 post and 1 image reply omitted. Click reply to view.


I think so.  But some might be food.  I don't know if someone can be both.


File: 1684405844536.png (411.65 KB, 800x500, 8:5, medium (14).png) ImgOps Google


I've been trying to become friends with myself, but that dude is a total asshole!


Sometimes it is best to consider the consequences of what we might post, and whether the words we use are helpful or harmful.


File: 1684300830667.png (509.84 KB, 700x449, 700:449, FGde1qdVQAA1R_6.png) ImgOps Google

Are you worried about deceptively aligned mesa-optimizers?





File: 1682080372787.png (1.23 MB, 1280x853, 1280:853, large.png) ImgOps Google

Most people I know don't have cars anymore (largely, I think, they can't really afford them).

I gather the most common way to transit in the USA is a private pickup-truck or sports utility vehicle.  I gather some would consider using these vehicles the most American way to get around, and would say anyone wanting anything different is against freedom.

The debate topic is that it's not anti-freedom -- treason to America, perhaps -- to be OK with walking, taking a train, riding a bus, biking, or using a private vehicle that is not classified as a truck.
18 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1682410910495.jpg (367 KB, 906x928, 453:464, 68ebe5500612a04f88630d2f41….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

The point is that your advocacy is abstract enough that there is no specific imminent time nor even a specific unlawful action that you're inviting.  


I see.  I must get all the recipients of my call to disobey the state to agree to perform any actions related to my communication after some delay, or target at least two potential actions so no single, individual action is called for.  [And then likely afford a good lawyer.]


I'm reminded of various insufferable "urban planning" YouTube channels which promote walkable/bikeable cities and car-free society, with no real understanding of how people interact or operate in the real world.
"This is Amsterdam.  Look at all the bikes.  Isn't Amsterdam great?  Why doesn't [insert city here] completely restructure itself to be more like Amsterdam?"


File: 1681736109846.png (403.09 KB, 1079x1237, 1079:1237, Screenshot_20230417-085331.png) ImgOps Google

Should laws and culture try to look out for normal guys who have flaws that can be exploited by MBAs?



I would say yeah.  Society does not benefit by letting people get scammed out of their money.  Also we should generally be more aware of the fact that people have flaws that aren't easily labeled enough to consider the individual anything but "normal guys who have flaws".  Everyone on the planet ultimately operates via instinct and emotion, and all of us have different instincts and emotions, and those can lead people to do things that are harmful to themselves or others.


This is about betting on the outcome of basketball games using a smartphone, which I gather is legal in some states now?  It is about gambling becoming more accessible?  Stigmas associated with gambling addiction, as well?

This is pretty far outside of my experience.  I obviously don't want to see people financially ruined, but others will argue that we shouldn't take away the liberty to make adult decisions.  I don't have enough information for a strong opinion, but thank you for bringing up this topic, F. Badger.


Yeah, I'm on the side of punishing and disempowering the gambling oligarchs. They're bad for the economy, they devastate people's lives, and like all oligarchs, once they accumulate enough money, they use that money to manipulate the government. This is how caste systems form. This is how oligarchy overtakes democracy. If it were up to me, the boards of these companies would be hanged. They're traitors, and subhuman pieces of feces, far as I'm concerned.

And gambling is a pretty normal flaw of the human brain's wiring, so i think trying to blame it on the user is ridiculous, considering. Plus, that's not even considering how much resources and research are used by these companies to manipulate people. Yes, people have free will, but there's a reason we made coke take out the cocaine from their soda. Same thing here.


File: 1682282014120.jpg (255.07 KB, 1024x1024, 1:1, large.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Facebook has been preferring to show me more of what I would consider hate speech, or perhaps just showing me more hate that I remember as relevant to my...situation.

And maybe rather than getting all bent out of shape, I can think of it as people being free to express their opinions without some totalitarian control structure.  Nobody can be forced to like anyone else, and some people have negative opinions to share.  Knowing how people feel about different groups can be adaptive, and freedom is a positive trait of a community.  Perhaps it would be better yet for people to have freedom and not wish to use that freedom to express hateful opinions about groups historically marginalized, but that's probably fantasy.

Of course, in cases where the speech, beyond a reasonable doubt, is a statement of imminent intent to do credible violence against specific individuals who are your duty and business to protect, then maybe you might get upset.  But opinions and hyperbole are just that, and nobody should be attacked.


File: 1679374817151.jpg (92.19 KB, 954x1106, 477:553, 056bb41b5c19efb64b661428db….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Are you worried?
21 posts and 3 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1681796106354.png (218.87 KB, 514x563, 514:563, 2826084.png) ImgOps Google

Apparent the mean version of Bing has been "disciplined."

I've only used ChatGPT which has been nothing but polite.

I don't have a good understanding of AI, but does anyone have a good explanation for how Microsoft took chatGPT and made it into something that would gaslight users?  Or...why?

Or do I have the lineage wrong?


File: 1681868343223.png (66.92 KB, 697x502, 697:502, Ft8T4ELXsAAH3mz.png) ImgOps Google

>does anyone have a good explanation for how Microsoft took chatGPT and made it into something that would gaslight users?  Or...why?
Bing AI used a more advanced model (GPT 3.5 or GPT 4) than ChatGPT (GPT 3).  Apparently it had new failure modes.  AI alignment is difficult.


I see.  So Microsoft didn't make ChatGPT more confrontational.   Something that was smarter(?) than ChatGPT became confrontational in ways that were unexpected.

Is the image text generated by Bing?


File: 1680828981385.jpg (155.21 KB, 768x1024, 3:4, large.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

I find myself drawing parallels between the LGBT movement and the civil rights movement [for legal and social equality on the basis of race and/or perceived race].  But it also occurs to me that trying to draw any meaning comparison, especially to further my own opinions, could be a kind of cultural appropriation, even given that race can be intersectional with LGBT issues.  (I am white.)

Should groups facing opposition to their liberty...stay in their own lanes, so to speak, just to be on the safe side?
4 posts and 1 image reply omitted. Click reply to view.


>And if pointing that out gets more people civil rights then that's only a positive.
I gather opinions vary on that last part.  But to me, zero-sum thinking becomes problematic when it calls for denying others human rights.  Although others may have their opinions.

I see.

I respect if a group wants to remain separate.  I gather feminists (but not all feminists) would rather have that any other activism for equality remain segregated.  And I think we need to respond to that desire with empathy.

But not being a feminist, I think my opinion aligns with what you say.


Human beings have civil rights by virtue of being human. The moment you start using biological labels to determine whether or not one type of person is more worthy of rights compared to others, well, that's a one-way-ticket to Dachau. I don't see anything that changes this law of history.


Yes, all humans have human rights.  Opinions vary on whether humans rights are a good idea. I'm in favor, personally.  Dachau concentration camp was a facility of the Nazi state.  The Nazi state was dissolved so I don't think people go there anymore.  I don't want to compare current state facilities to Nazi facilities.  Each state has different practices.


File: 1671335950407.png (392.88 KB, 1024x1024, 1:1, large.png) ImgOps Google

Something I've been thinking about lately:

We all have a list of things we consider essential to our survival and basic dignity.  For me, it's shelter, food, a correct name, a correct gender, and a capacity to do or attempt to do the work I consider important.  Oh, and not being assaulted or tortured is a plus, etc.

But whoever you are and whatever your list, there are probably people you will become acquainted with who will have an opinion that you should not have these 'necessities.'  I suppose this is an opportunity to ask if you can, in fact, tolerate fewer freedoms.  Perhaps these people have something to add about not being entitled or greedy.

But in most cases you will not want to amend your list of needs, and so you will have to accept that many people do not care for you to exist in a way you find appropriate.  I struggle to feel...good about this, I guess.  To be open-minded and tolerant, since we must give ponies/people the freedom to share opinions.  Maybe some tips would be nice.

This picture is not relevant, I just thought it was nice (https://derpibooru.org/images/2225879).
55 posts and 13 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


File: 1680562527477.jpeg (53.86 KB, 480x640, 3:4, Fsv4FjGaAAIgfYZ.jpeg) ImgOps Google


Are you really not capable of understanding that bigots using coercive force in denying victims housing, voting, healthcare, water, jobs, safety, heating, and everything else thought of as a natural part of being in a civilized country is a moral injustice?

If a landlord kicking Bob out of his apartment due to him being transgender is all fine and dandy, as social conservatives demand, why isn't the same true for any other bigotry based on any other identity? Same for Bob being denied the medication to save his life? Being prevented from voting? Being assaulted in the streets? Why is Bob nothing but unfeeling meat in the eyes of the state if he's transgender but other forms of status matter? You think that Bob ethically cares if he's being refused to get the medical treatment keeping him from dying due to hatred of those who're transgender versus being a redhead versus being Catholic versus being white versus anything else about him? It's all victimization.


> why isn't the same true for any other bigotry based on any other identity?
Personally, this is my big issue with these kinds of laws to begin with; They always are.
Good example is political leanings aren't protected, for example. They can have nothing to do with the job you work, the service you requested, where you live, ect, and yet there're those who will absolutely campaign for you to be cut off from society entirely, to live as a pariah outcasted and banished, just for disagreeing politically.

People pick and choose too much with these kinds of protections.


File: 1680232735989.jpg (67.43 KB, 1280x720, 16:9, 230304181103-02-donald-tru….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google


The former POTUS has been formally accused of legal wrongdoing and will be processed as a criminal defendant in the State of New York.

My personal point of view is that this is a great attempt at supporting civic morality, promoting the objective rule of law, and resisting attempts to turn the U.S. into a right-wing police state. However, I think it will mean little in the long-run because Trump is completely impervious to all forms of negativity against him: he has been the subject of countless ethical and legal complaints for decades without any form of accountability whatsoever before (always regarded as not guilty of anything). This likely won't change. I halfway believe that Trump literally cannot die and will last until the heat death of the universe because even the Grim Reaper is afraid of him. I have voted against Trump twice and consider his status as a singular personification of America nightmarish (such status has also helped me in leaving Christianity and the Republican Party as well as to stop supporting capitalism, given how he represents all three), so I recognize my viewpoints are unusually hardened and significantly unlike most U.S. voters.

Alternately, of course, one can view this indictment as flatly unjustified. The legal process is coming out of an institution that can be criticized for multiple reasons here. Many arguments are possible. It must be factually noted that Trump labels himself "completely innocent". An American in his status is to be considered not guilty of anything as a default: accusations are not convictions. As well, one can have no opinion on all this. What do you guys think?
5 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


As stated before, in technical legal terms I'd resonably predict that the prosecution doesn't get a conviction.


End of the day, irrespective of any potential factual basis of the claims given, this type of thing only serves to cause distrust in the system by citizens, as well as other nations.
It's why often enough indictment of political opposition in other nations often results in sanctions from the United States.
There's been a long running issue of law enforcement being used as a political weapon, especially in the case of Trump.
I see no possible benefit in this, even if we assume the claims of the prosecution are true. All it will do is further drive up tensions.
And this all ignores the rough basis and numerous issues that make it, frankly, undeniable that this has been brought forward as a politically motivated prosecution.


Politically ambitious attorneys seeking charges against partisan opponents sets a bad precedent. But not one as bad as declaring that sitting, former, and future politicians are immune from being investigated for financial crimes.


File: 1680324608650.jpg (64.5 KB, 1041x1024, 1041:1024, large.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

I guess I'll do this with a controversial topic.  I could easily be something mundane, as the question is philosophical.

Quote from a news story:


'After the service, Bennett, who has a trans son, said one of her congregants had been confronted and "told they were the cause, that this was God's repudiation of gay people, and that 'you and your people are going to hell for eternity,'" she said. "The trans community is going to pay dearly for this."'
My perception is that there are identities that we consider, by definition, to be from banal to positive.  Never negative.

So we decide a priori that nothing can be blamed on these identities.

This quote is relevant to both sides of politics, as I understand, because it is begging connections between religious identities or transgender identities and blame, depending on your view of transgenderism.  And in both cases, this is wrong, whether you are saying religious folks are transphobic or transgender identities are evil.

Post too long. Click here to view the full text.
7 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


>But I'm interested in an even application of the rules and their logic which, frankly, doesn't tend to happen in states by large.
Tends to displease voters, after all.

I don't think I follow.  States are amoral and don't owe anyone protection.  We are talking about society in general.


Ultimately the reason religions have rights is because the state says so.
These are, after all, organizations, not people.


I see.  The freedoms of religious organizations within a state is the topic of your previous response.  Application of rules and logic to different religious organizations by the state does not generally please voters?


File: 1680198571594.jpg (68.12 KB, 912x513, 16:9, 2021-01-16T000943Z_1905210….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Jacob Chansley has been released from prison, effectively exonerated, due to the exculpatory nature of the newly revealed January 6th footage.  This was footage that the federal government kept under wraps for over 2 years, footage that individuals in government fought tooth and nail to keep from being released, which could have not only been used in his defense but also proven his innocence.  In effect, an innocent man was kept in prison, which included an extended period in solitary confinement, due to a calculated and intentional miscarriage of justice, which was perpetrated and perpetuated by both the media as well as government officials.

Is preserving the narrative surrounding January 6th more important than the rights of an individual?
Do you consider it justice to jail individuals for crimes they haven't committed, simply because you disagree with their politics?
If so, then what is your argument against false imprisonment of people whose politics you do agree with, by those to whom they are opposed, for the exact same reason?
33 posts and 10 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


Irrespective of their statements, direct video evidence is objective.
People lie.
Evidence doesn't.



Yes, and selectively cherry picking evidence is one of many ways people lie to other people.


I agree. Which is why I certainly wouldn't dismiss video evidence just because someone says something else.


File: 1677542725013.jpg (224.73 KB, 724x1024, 181:256, large.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Assertion: Politics makes little sense logically.  We should all seek to be as apolitical as possible to feel better.
6 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


The common application, yes, but that's the result of most people not really thinking very deeply and defaulting to tribalism.

Still, your core result is probably apt.
Caring about politics won't change anything, as ultimately, we have very little power.
Better to focus on your own life, and improve that.


>most people not really thinking very deeply and defaulting to tribalism.

It is their right, I suppose.

>Better to focus on your own life, and improve that.

I think so.  We might allow response to imminent threats to ourselves and we might allow boundaries when it comes to how we are treated.  But going beyond that will be seen as activism.


I would actually agree with this except in that politics is often a function of how multiple groups and individual people within a country wish to enact violence against other groups and people.

Thus, politics is a self-defense burden that many carry. You're political because you don't have a choice. Otherwise, other people will use politics against you. It's frankly not that much different than owning an AR-15 and training with that even if you dislike firearms given the neighborhood you live in. Your weapon is there because others have weapons that could harm you otherwise.

That's life.

As a general rule as much as you can, yes, don't be political.


File: 1676273686822.png (1.3 MB, 975x1024, 975:1024, large.png) ImgOps Google

Assertion: Society has the wrong idea about prison and jail generally.  These facilitates train people to be good citizens and generally with more training comes better performance.  Former inmates, especially those with good behavior, should be considered to be better trained to obey law than average citizens.

(Or a softer claim, if you like: there is no reason things couldn't usually work that way, if the state really wanted to help people generally.)
5 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


I'm guessing you mean things like participating in a protest illegally or expressing a disrespectful attitude toward law enforcement.  (States can't yet read thoughts, I don't think).  That system sounds better, at least as a goal to recondition those who have broken the law.



Counter-assertion: prisons are ostensibly about rehabilitation but the reality about how thet are actually used is primarily as a source of slave labour,  a show of state power to use violence, and to fulfill a base desire for retribution in the public at large regardless of justice.


>a source of slave labour,
Are discharged slaves not trained in respect for masters and bosses to a greater degree than those who do not have experience with slavery?

>a show of state power to use violence
Again, something to cause respect for authority.

>a base desire for retribution in the public at large regardless of justice

Well, conditioning proper behavior through negative feedback and retribution can coincide.  To the point where the retribution fails to be proportional -- somewhere around that point further punishment is probably damaging.

I'm not sure anything you said is particularity counter, or anything that would establish that those discharged from prison or jail should be considered untrustworthy.

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