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It appears clear that the people of America have no consensus or majority view in terms of what foreign policy should be.

What will end up happening? What should happen? Will this division change into something more united later on?



It's interesting. In 2008 and 2012, Ron Paul held the philosophical position of not getting involved in foreign conflicts (i.e. the founding fathers didn't want the U.S. to get involved in entangling alliances), leading some Republicans at the time to incorrectly label him as isolationist. Due to his perceived lack of support even for Israel, most Republicans didn't really care for him.

I think people generally want to save the world, but they don't want to get emotionally invested or for a war to escalate, resulting in sending in their kids and grandkids, as is often the case. They also don't want to increase the national debt faster in order to fund a potentially long, drawn-out war.

Taking a utilitarian approach, in such situations as a world power attacking a much smaller country over a territorial dispute (am thinking of the situation in Ukraine), perhaps initially helping the smaller country defend itself against the much more powerful country would make sense. It would give the smaller country time to mobilize its military, while also providing time for many who may want to leave the country to do so, with the goal of restoring peace as quickly and efficently as possible. On the other hand, a protracted war could cause conflict to generally escalate in the region and increase the risk of use of nuclear weapons. It would seem the best strategy may be initial financial and military aid (without sending in actual troops to fight), followed by either aggressive peace talks or committing to staying in the war for as long as it takes in order to defend the smaller country, which could be decades or longer, perhaps causing greater harm to all involved than if the former strategy was used.

Hopefully in the future, things move towards finding ways to quickly and peacefully resolve conflict.


I would like for some kind of logical majority view, even one that I don't personally agree with, to emerge in terms of foreign policy.

However, I fear that national divisions will remain so strong that nothing can gain solid popularity, even a defensible utilitarian view as you describe.

My instincts are to advise a stronger and more aggressive NATO attitude to China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia altogether, as those four countries seek to expand their influences worldwide. However, I recognize that nuclear blackmail is a major problem. Three of those four countries have atomic materials in large quantities, I believe. There aren't that many simple answers.


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What happens if/when AI/robots become better and more cost-effective than humans for most jobs, leading to massive unemployment?

Personally, I am also still worried about getting paperclipped, but even if you don't think that an unfriendly AI will exterminate humanity, there are still massive economic problems that will be caused by AI.
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I'll be idealistic and optimistic by taking the belief that hardline capitalism in the market fundamentalist sense disappears in countries such as the U.S. And what's left is a mixed economy that's closer to the Adam Smith and David Ricardo view of financial and economic progress, with there being a fairly administered state under strict moral principles subject to the objective rule of law. This would happen in the U.K. as well as other major countries too.

This would mean advancing to a more evolved and intelligent view of human rights that involves the right to health care, the right to clean drinking water, the right to shelter, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and so on being fully realized.

The belief that flesh-and-blood people only have any worth based on their productive potential and what can be generated for society as a whole has to die off, being substituted for a system aligned with individual liberty.

Practically, though, I can't see this happening without a WWIII between "McWorld" (with populations more or less becoming enslaved by AI powered corporate masters) and "Mayberry" (with a lot of individuals clinging to the idea of community solidarity and togetherness).


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Suppose that AGI provides for all our material needs: good housing, good food, good healthcare, etc.  I worry that this might still be a dystopia.  For many, it is important to have a sense of purpose and to engage in meaningful work or activities where one can utilize one's skills and which provides a sense of accomplishment --- what if AGI deprives us of this?



I think that the traditional concept of the meaning of work would disappear as a result of AGI, freeing up people to be able to pursue more meaningful work. Jacque Fresco (with The Venus Project) talks about this in one of his videos from 2009 (I think it's from one of his movies): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUCmHH6grsI but it still seems to be relevant.


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A lot of the debates on the Israeli-x-Palestine conflict that has recently flared up in a violent way has brought back old academic and popular culture debates on settlers, on colonialism, on the formation of nation-states, and on the idea of legitimacy in the creation of countries as legal entities.

A major issue is that of what makes a territory a "homeland". What makes an area an inherent place designed to be occupied by a certain race, certain religion, and certain ethnicity to the exclusion at worst or detriment at best of other categories of people. It's a sticky issue.

For example, "Palestine" as a territory is popularly thought of as a homeland for Muslim Arab peoples based on Islamic rule through Arabic culture that would either not have Christians, Jews, atheists, et al or would subject them to second-class citizen status in those lands.

In the U.S., the argument is made that this a white European based Christian nation made as a homeland for those peoples to which other groups (such as Muslims, or Black people, or transgender individuals who aren't Christian) are mere guests or such.

>What are your thoughts?

In my opinion, the concept of a "homeland" is not an ethically or legally viable one. Anybody living in a territory ought to have clear-cut civil rights such as the right to bear arms and freedom of speech regardless of their social group status w.r.t. their religion or whatever else. Nonetheless, I would call a "homeland" a practically and rationally viable concept. Historically, it can make sense to view a patch of land as having significant meaning to certain groups with that being given social respect that doesn't involve coercing anybody to do anything. For instance, the national parks associated with English colonial shipping in America ought to preserve educational information, such as protecting buildings for tourists, without this meaning that "being English" as an ethnicity is somehow targeted for political meaning.

P.S. I don't want to use a sad photo of Israelis or Palestinians being hurt or anything related as the OP, so have SpongeBob, I guess.
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>Why do you say that?

Because no land was created for anyone or any group in particular. Identities associated with particular homelands are often the product of historical revision or in some cases are just purely mythological. Cultures and ethnicities evolve over time like species and like species,  cultures split off from each other and the dividing line where one culture ends and another begins is often arbitrary and in many cases not even universally recognized between cultures. The idea that any "homeland" "belongs" to any one culture, especially very old cultural identities with old historical narratives about origins in a particular place denies the possibility that other separate cultural identities may historically share the same land as their place of origin as well. Not to mention cultures that may no longer exist after splitting into multiple other cultures who might have come before.


I'm heavily sympathetic to this view.

A "homeland" likely only has a limited practical and ethical meaning while there's no or almost no legal meaning.

People have natural human rights no matter where they happen to live.


Most things in life are not black and white, this is not one of them. Palestine has always (and shall remain) been the "homeland" of Palestinians. Israel has a long history of trying to use genocide to rid the country of the Palestinians, but because they themselves lives through a genocide they are just allowed to go off.


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Madman though he seemed, Thanos was right about the universe. It had grown overpopulated. There were starving people on every inhabited planet. Crime was becoming rampant. The galactic empire was struggling to keep the peace. There was pain everywhere, but only distributed amongst the poorest people. The rich and wealthy enjoyed a life of luxury on their plush and sparkling towers, glaring down with disgust on those simply less fortunate.

And after he defeated those who failed to see his vision, what did Thanos leave in his wake? Pain, oh yes. Wide spread pain, like the sting of an open wound which has been doused in disinfectant. Like the aches of a cut off gangrenous limb.

But it was fair. Thanos's purge was indiscriminate. The pain was spread and felt evenly across the galaxy, the universe. Everyone lost someone. Everyone became the same. And everyone helped each other. The people galvanized about the pain of their loss, and they grew together, rebuilding their world, now full of abundance.

Like the atomic bomb saved the people of WWII Japan, Thanos and the Infinity Stones saved the universe.
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Couldn't he have just sterilized half the population instead?  A bit slower at reducing the population, but much less painful.


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If we generously remove all of the weird psychological stuff from Thanos' life, such as his creepy attitudes towards his children and other individuals connected to him through family or friendship connections (with has uncomfortable predatory undertones), we can analyze Thanos from a socio-economic perspective.

Let us be scientific.

He's indeed correct, based on my assessment, that the massively increased population of the Milky Way Galaxy's sentient beings would present a variety of problems, particularly the loss of badly needed resources. In the history of English language academia, this view of economics is called "Malthusian" and has a lot of criticism. This criticism from the point of view of English-speaking nations is valid, through my eyes, since English-speaking peoples can just leave the continents of Earth to get more resources. Earth is not a closed system; access to other locations in the solar system already exists for detailed analysis. However, the Milky Way Galaxy is a different story as it appears to be significantly isolated from all other entities in outer space. So, constantly increasing overpopulation for resources that simply cannot be replicated in any way (such as involving unique matter related to peculiar stellar events) is tricky.

However, the logical solution to this would be obtaining the 'Time Stone' and then the 'Reality Stone'. Doing this means that Thanos has the ability to go into future versions of the Milky Way Galaxy including alternate dimensions that don't involve any of the same residents living on those planets. Travel through spacetime becomes simple. This situation entails the ability to mine a gigantic variety of locations for all of the needed resources without any actual harm coming to any living being.

Thus, Thanos is both right and wrong at the same time.


The resources his plan calls for make it a one-time-only deal. The doubling time for humans is roughly 35 years, though mass casualty events are frequently followed by baby booms so it could be dramatically shorter.

I don't know what part 2 of his plan was. I don't think he had one since stabilizing population growth would make the whole preventative genocide thing unnecessary. He talked about balance? I don't know what he's actually balancing though because it isn't growth rates.

He just kind of reminds me of those people who notice the symptoms of a problem and think that they have the solution to it without dedicating any more thought or observation to understanding it.

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Gender Egalitarianism a movement for equal opportunity for the different genders, as applicable.  I don't think that people of different genders have to be equal, just that they should have the option if they prefer equality.  Are you in favor or do you have negative opinions about this general notion?
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Cheer up, humans may be worked to death making paper clips before becoming them.

Best of luck in starting a ponyville academic journal.  Sadly I will be on sabbatical for awhile.  But thank you for reading my posts, if you did, as I do not have a direct quote with the word "read" from your text.


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Haha, thank you. Enjoy ~


I'm pretty sure that said AI wouldn't be using snails.

However, that's a scenario that I've never come across in my life in the media (as in "dangerous snails"), and I'd be curious to see that done.

While this is an off-topic post, I suppose it being a sincere message that's complimentary (as in "this is really interesting") means that it's not harmful.


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Elon has messed up a lot in running Twitter, but Community Notes is a rare example of a clear improvement to Twitter under Musk's ownership.  Do you agree?
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I do not know what Twitter is.


I can't read the word "twitter", I'm illiterate.


Remember that famous rapper and media celebrity who bought a really famous sports car, maybe a Ferrari roadster, and then crashed it in public with him as the driver?

And he said that he crashed it just to know what it felt like? Out of raw curiosity?

That's Elon Musk and Twitter/X. I really think.


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This is a thread for opinions on transgenderism for animals who consent to view and share opinions on transgenderism.

I have the opinion that adults should be allowed to assert a gender or pronoun preference among groups of adults who consent to adults in the group asserting a gender or pronoun preference, where state power allows this to happen.  Adults should be able to prefer not to maintain contact with others who don't respect their pronouns, again where state power allows.  I have no opinions about children; I consider that other people's business.  I don't have opinions about groups of adults who do not consent to see or conform to pronoun preferences of other adults, except that they should not seek independent destruction of groups of adults who consent to adults in the group asserting a gender or pronoun preference, for the reason of those adults seeing, asserting, or respecting pronoun preferences.

You may agree or disagree with my opinion, with or without amplification, or express your own opinion, if such expression follows applicable site rules and law.

Happy discussing!


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Given some purposefully inciteful posting in townhall surrounding this topic, and the bad faith engagement i have seen, i am preemptively locking this thread, and issuing a warning that any further inciteful behavior will be met with a ban.

i think we've been generous in allowing the discussions to happen, but they've become increasingly mean spirited, shifting further and further away from the rather strict rules we have here on /townhall/.

The staff is discussing whether to permanently disallow this topic in the future, in light of the constant bad faith engagement we've seen around it.


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Should children learn a foreign language (such as Japanese or Finnish) in elementary school?
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I am pretty sure they already do.


Children will learn in school what the state decides they will learn.  In some countries Japanese or Finnish are not foreign languages.  I'm not an expert on childhood development.


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This is a thread for ponies who have no political opinions.  Ponies that just respect and obey the state without getting upset over anything related to state power or government.

We can talk about how nice it is to be apolitical.  Or maybe just say hi to each other.  The topic can be whatever you like other than political discussion.
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Then choke on the boot I guess.  


If that is how you think of it, may you also choke on the boot of state power.


Or, you know, however you get to the right answer with your differently able mind.


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It makes perfect sense to me that if you're a European conservative in the vain of those trying to bring back Otto Von Bismarck style traditionalist authoritarian glory that you'd support Russia achieving ultranationalist goals under a certain banner held up by Putin.

I'd refer to something like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultranationalism#Background_concepts_and_broader_context

What is Putin trying to achieve? The advancement of the Russian race. The purity and cleansing of the Russian race. The destiny of the Russian race as a classification of people given its inherent strength and ability due to their higher intelligence, stouter courage, tougher determination, better physical endurance, and the like is to achieve a massive Empire across both Europe and Asia as respective of the God-given destiny given to this tribe with such excellent literature, artwork, music, and the like. The rejection of corruptive elements such as Judaism, homosexuality, feminism, transsexuality, pornography, Islam, and the like that pervert a white Christian people from its destiny is logical.

As conservatives in Vichy France put it, **Travail, famille, patrie** Work, family, homeland. As conservatives in the Kaiserreich put it, **blood and soil**. That's the mindset.

If you're, say, a European conservative looking to create what you think is the idea theocratic ethnostate existence for the native Ayran race in Europe, why not look to Putin? Why not see him as hero? He's upholding Bismarck's legacy.

To me, I should say, this is genocidal madness of the worst kind. Yet I admit that extreme national pride is a powerful thing. It's like a spiritual form of heroin addiction, I suppose. Terrible yet agonizingly appealing in the pleasure you feel.


> To me, I should say, this is genocidal madness of the worst kind. Yet I admit that extreme national pride is a powerful thing. It's like a spiritual form of heroin addiction, I suppose. Terrible yet agonizingly appealing in the pleasure you feel.
I would have really hoped most people would have been over it after WW2.


While I think that the struggle against these issues is just and reasonable, and we should go through with it even if we're not sure what to really do, I don't know if it's actually possible for modern humanity to exist without extreme racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice.

These ideas have been as naturally human as drinking water and breathing air for millennia now.


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If you had a magic button that would repeal all gun-control laws and prevent enactment of any gun-control laws for 20 years, would you press it?  For purposes of this question, a "gun-control" law is a law that criminalizes the keeping or bearing of ordinary small arms by free adults or restricts free adults from acquiring such arms (including ammunition).  It does not apply to laws that restrict children, prisoners, inmates of mental asylums, etc., nor does it apply to laws restricting bombs, nuclear weapons, etc.  Also, it doesn't apply to policies of denying entry to sensitive places for persons bearing arms.
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Again only for on public roadways.
But that aside, the only limiting factor as I understand it are necessary components for safe operation on the road.

Do those taxes carry with them the penalties of years in prison with a felony if you have merely the components to make it shorter, and thus the "intent to construct"?

You're right that there are import restrictions, but I think it obvious to say, they're no where near as heafty as the requirements and restrictions on importing firearms.
And of course, once again, these restrictions you mention only apply to their use on public roadways.

>Sure the laws and regulations aren't identical but that's because nobody has been on enough cocaine to regulate the magazine size of a Misubiti or the caliber of a Dodge, or the rear view mirror angle and passenger side air bags deployment zones of a Browning.
Right. Because that would be absurd and would accomplish nothing.
Just as it has done for guns.

Nobody worries about a "shoulder thing that goes up" on a car, because it's obviously meaningless and changes next to nothing.


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Reminder: most early gun-control laws were explicitly racist and "applied only to particular groups, such as slaves, Blacks, or Mulattos".


It seems to me that the fundamental problem behind all of this is that the United States has an extremely "flat" justice system - almost, almost everybody goes through a nearly identical ringer no matter what they chose to do and gets out relatively soon-ish.

For example, the average punishment for murder or manslaughter is about nine years in prison.

This means that, ethically and morally, if you're arrested for something like selling bags upon bags of weed out of your house full of weed such that you get placed in the same cell alongside a man who intentionally ran over a child with his truck... maybe you receive three years in prison. You eat the same food. Sleep in the same bed. Get the same health care. Exercise in the same way using the same equipment. You're only as safe as he lets you be. You're getting the same essential punishment except in time duration.

Thus, the life of a dead child in the United States is legally equal to three houses full of weed.

This is even worse when you think about how something like stealing a computer set can get you a year in prison, so then a murdered child is the same as nine laptops.

Is it any wonder why normal people living their normal lives think of U.S. law enforcement and criminal justice as a complete joke? The most likely outcome if I get shot in the head walking home one of these days is that nothing happens to the criminal that did that. The alternative is them getting a stint in what's basically Crime University for a few years only to be right back out there. America, ladies and gentlemen.


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Context: "Starfield is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks." - Wikipedia

I just see this peculating down to Facebook, but I gather a controversy has formed over the freedom of a player to select gender pronouns.

I think this goes back to the notion of consent.  The ability to select pronouns is going to be seen by some as unethical, inappropriate, or a restriction of their religions freedom.  If an environment exists that would allow choice or preference of this kind, people should be informed ahead of time and be allowed to opt out.  People buying this game were not given this information, I gather, and are quite upset, feeling this optional menu item is being forced on them.  I guess it goes back to not making assumptions about others and allowing choice.
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Thank you for your consideration.  I find it best if I avoid the mental health industry.


I think that if political conservatives want to play video games without transgender people, black people, without Jews, without gay people, without disabled people, and so on, then there should be customizing options so that you can go about your game without encountering characters with darker skin shades or otherwise having your politics offended. Games are supposed to be fun. I believe.

I can't disagree more with their beliefs, but if this is them expressing them personally in private association and consuming private media, well, it's their right. That's that. Same thing with how going to a church or a book club or a ski lodge means the ability to kick out anybody for any reason no matter the justification. And how TV channels can refuse different things.

And, of course, if somebody walking down the street chooses to refuse to speak to any feminine man or any woman in a wheelchair, we would say that that's the individual's right? Yeah? I would think so.


>n there should be customizing options so that you can go about your game without encountering characters with darker skin shades or otherwise having your politics offended.

It would be charitable of a game developers to always create a non-political version of games for those who prefer.  We have to accept that some people's existence is going to be political, but in my opinion nobody has the duty to not exist, even in fiction, so game developers don't have to make a game without some potentially offensive class of human.  But we also should try to be empathetic, minimize offense, and respect freedom, which is the basic idea behind your post.  I do agree with that.


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Would you like to discuss ideologies and political theory broadly or more current events?

Would you like to talk about issues of social and environmental justice or more business and economics?

Futurism?  Tech? More about elections?  Wars?  Less of something?

Or do you want to discuss the politics in the MLP universe?
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Also fewer weird baiting threads would be nice.


So just the removal of the board?


OK.  Are there topics that are not political that you have in mind instead?

Hmm...I take it none of the threads are acceptable.  That is unfortunate.

I guess less of everything is an answer to the question.  But you'll have to recommend site changes to staff.


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Is the NFA tax on sound suppressors unconstitutional under the Second Amendment?
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Have to agree. Suppressors funnily enough are perfectly legal in Europe, by large, without any kind of issue.
The movie trope of untraceable silent murder that nobody notices is just not realistic.
Honestly, even if we did go by movies, it isn't like they're used by criminals, anyway. It's almost always state actors. Spies, assassins, agents of the powerful. Funny how that works.

But, yeah. All that's functioned with this is the creation of felons for no real cause, and significant distrust by the American people in the federal government thanks to events like Ruby Ridge.



>Ruby Ridge
Why you should own guns a case study.


I would operate under the inherent, default assumption that any regulation of firearms given the 2nd Amendment has to pass an inherent sense of legal scrutiny in terms of rationality. And these rules don't work. They don't pass the bar. They should be gotten rid of.

I've yet to see any factual evidence whatsoever provided that imposing a de facto kind of quasi-ban on sound suppressors reduces violent crime. This idea kind of just comes out of whole cloth. Even without evidence, really, I don't get the logic. A firearm with a suppressor on it is noisy. Less noisy than otherwise. What does that matter, actually? Would this actually change the plans of violent criminals doing what they want to do? I don't think so.

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