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File: 1630960432429.jpg (10.84 KB, 281x179, 281:179, Covid-19-Unemployment.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Over seven million people across the U.S. are now losing unemployment benefits today as pandemic related measures expire.

Article: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/570948-more-than-7-million-americans-to-lose-jobless-benefits-monday

I think that most individuals are rational when it comes to their personal planning. When living life on the edge, getting off benefits to work a new job involves a ton of risk, and the loss of benefits is effectively a large, punitive tax on doing the right thing. From an Econ 101 point of view, it's quite silly to punish people for doing something that's good for them. So, there's plenty clearly wrong with the past system of just paying people not to work (essentially).

At the same time, the pandemic obviously hasn't ended. Thousands clog the nation's hospitals. Mass suffering is still going on. Economic stimulus appears quite justified. And, at the very least, those who are economically severely disadvantaged have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic and deserve disproportionate help.

What then shall be done?
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>Why would the same conservatives who literally deny me and people like me the sense of being HUMAN with human rights in the first place, let enough being a "citizen" in the specific sense, ...
You might as well ask why Texas is reducing restrictions on guns even though it means that people like you can get guns more easily.  The answer is the same: Even though some fraction of Republicans would deny citizenship rights to people like you if they had the political power to do so, the reality is that they don't have that political power and they know it.  Given a choice to enact mandatory militia service for all citizens (including people like you) or to do nothing, I think there is a reasonable chance that they would support the militia bill.  The possibility to exclude various outgroup minorities from citizenship is an orthogonal issue that realistically isn't even on the table.


I mean Texas Republicans have already been trying their best to force hurting minorities through the legislature, they've just been stalled at some points (such as their rapid anti-LGBT measures) due to extreme backlash by non-Republicans. If Republicans ever got their way completely (which, to be clear, could happen at any moment given political winds changing), then Texas would be North Korea on the Gulf Coast as far as human rights goes.

And efforts right now to expand gun access for some don't apply to minorities, as I've pointed out. The winks and nods about who's allowed to exercise their 2nd amendment rights and who's not allowed de facto are clear no matter what de jure laws say. Conservatives do their hardest to make sure that gun culture in all of its forms is dangerous territory, whether in terms of membership associations such as the NRA to clubs at local gun ranges to communities on firearms related blogs and so on... they're generally hostile to minorities who want to break into anti-minority pro-gun "safe spaces".

I, for one, am a Texan minority who doesn't own firearms because in part I know that they're not meant for me and that I'll never be accepted as a valid human being by your standard gun owner, most of whom (as one prominent conservative news-magazine aptly put it) fear the "Monsters Mutilating Children". The reason why they've got guns in the first place is in order to act against people like me. I'm the one that the paper target represents at the standard gun range.

I'm also wondering why you're denying that preventing minorities from being considered full citizens with full rights is something realistically possible. It sure is. Especially when conservatives have been hellbent on that during the four years of a Trump Presidency and have had a lot of success. The next conservative President will likely be even more of a government-worshipping statist than Trump. America's already teetering on the edge of conservatives winning and turning everything into a fascist dictatorship, why would they stop now?



The solution isn't to make benefits less beneficial, it's to make jobs more worth going to. You let wages stagnate for decades, slowly crumble union power, and chip away at benefits over time enough, and wages end up barely covering cost of living. That's where we're at now. Maybe companies could get more workers if they'd actually pay them more than what we've determined is the  bare minimum to survive.


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You want to challenge /townhall/ for mathematics?

Or is there a topic related that you want to see discussed?


Correct, saying it's well formed suggests the algebra will work out.



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Yes, that is indeed a twitter post.


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Would you prefer that one person be horribly tortured for fifty years without hope or rest, or that 3^^^3 people get dust specks in their eyes?  (See below link for what "3^^^3" means.)

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I'd prefer the dust specks, unquestionably.  With most things, not just something abstract like suffering, it's better to distribute the work load as wide as possible.  Do it enough, and almost no one has any work to do at all.


>it's better to distribute the work load as wide as possible.
It's not merely distributing the suffering though; it's increasing the sum total amount of suffering enormously.



Still ideal, though, clearly.  We could honestly allow the dust speck number to be literally infinite (which it essentially already is because we don't have a solution for dust specks).  If the question was "Would you allow one person to suffer for 50 years to eradicate dust specks forever, would you do it?"  I would still say no.  That is not something that is ever worth that cost, again, due to distribution of the suffering.


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How do workers in the US generally deal with the rules regarding to workdays?

I got basic info that there are no official rules regarding holidays and paid sick days, so to my understanding it mostly depends on the leniency of your employer.

Do people generally still have a positive experience in that?
Does anyone know people who have gotten the short end of the stick?
How easy is it to meet personal appointments during working hours? (like repair, administrative visits, planning a medical check up / emergency, being home when your kid has a sick day / vacation day from school)


Because of the general system of federalism, state laws about employment play a gigantic role in peoples' lives, and situations can vary widely depending on where one resides.

To pick just one state, here's some information about Texas:



There's a patchwork of state laws, but it all more of less depends on your employer.

I don't know.  I've had the flu, but still had to work in fast food.  And if the germs passed on, I think that was appropriate enough.  (The place subsequently went out of business, probably for various related management issues -- but it all goes to show it depends on your boss).


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So this got posted somewhere and it got me thinking.  What counts as "accepting" and "allowing" something?  Like for the purpose of argument, let's assume that white people are indeed overwhelmingly dominant and that black people are comparatively mistreated.  If you disagree with said mistreatment of black people...what are you supposed to do?  What are you morally required to do about it?

Is it enough to simply not mistreat people yourself?  Do you need to step in to prevent mistreatment when you see a friend or family member doing it?  How about a stranger?  Do you need to get up and actively seek out this mistreatment to remove it from society?  If so, is it enough to attend rallies and be a part of organizations that oppose these things, or should you go out on your own patrolling for these injustices?

A separate question:  how mistreated does a group have to be for it to trigger as actionable?  Does the severity of the mistreatment adjust the moral reaction?  What are the thresholds?
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There can be no authoritative "reasonable burden" standard of action in which the conditions for actionability are nebulous to this degree.

There cannot be an "appropriate" amount of burden, if the degree to which burden is necessary is not even understood.

To answer the question "how much work needs to be done?", the question "what are we building?" needs to be answered first. And what we are building is, in trying to figure out the puzzle of racial (in)equality, fundamentally not a practical function of law or logic that can be "solved."

How do we even begin to address a task as impossible to conceive of as establishing a burden of actionability for an undefined moral question?

Well, perhaps we start from a moral core, some fundamental principle, and work our way out of the problem.

What is our moral core? Why do we seek "equality" and what does that mean? How do "accepting" and "allowing" fit into that equation, and what do they mean?

What does overwhelmingly dominant mean? In what ways?

Post too long. Click here to view the full text.


I think of racial prejudice as both an individual and systemic problem that's an aberration to how people inherently, at a gut level, want to treat others and be treated. It's in the vein of other afflictions that happen to humanity that we want civilization to fight to point of near elimination if not outright elimination. Think of brain cancer, car accidents, depression, earthquakes, hurricanes, pneumonia, polio, train crashes, tuberculosis, and the like. At a personal level, you try to give others the decency and respect that they inherently deserve as your fellow human beings. You also work to 'raise the sanity waterline', as the saying goes, of broad culture as much as possible.


>Is it enough to simply not mistreat people yourself?
Yes.  Everything else you asked about is supererogatory.

Also: Even with discrimination, most black people in America still have lives worth living. Some people might think it more important to devote one's energies to avoiding existential risk than things such as fighting discrimination.


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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.
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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.


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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?
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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...


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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?
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>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.


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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?


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- 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.


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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?
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>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.


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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.)
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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.


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Hope springs eternal.


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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/
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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.


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>>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:


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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?
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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.


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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.
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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.


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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.

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