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A place for civilized animals
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Welcome to /townhall/! This is an anonymous-only board for debates, dialectics, and discussions of a serious nature.

As the topics discussed on this board may deal with sensitive or controversial subject matter, we expect a higher standard of conduct than elsewhere on the site, and will enforce the board's rules with a greater degree of strictness. Inability or unwillingness to follow the rules will result in a /townhall/-only ban.


1) All posts in a given thread must contribute constructively to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing. Off-topic, contentless, inflammatory, or hostile posts will be deleted and result in a ban.

1a) Derails that occur as a natural result of discussion progressing from the original subject will generally not be interfered with; however, if these hinder discussion of the original topic, making a new thread is preferred.

1b) Part of contributing constructively is understanding and addressing the reasoning behind an opposing view. While this can be a tedious task and will generally not be officially enforced, please make an effort to at the very least avoid "talking past" someone when presented with a counterargument. Simply doubling down on your initial point does not advance a discussion.

1c) Be as willing to "lose" as you are to "win", and above all else, be willing to learn and understand. You will not get the most out of this board if your only goal is to persuade, and you will not even be effective at that unless you understand what you are arguing against.

2) Ad hominems and other uncivil behavior will not be tolerated. You may have a significant personal stake in some subjects discussed here, and it is normal to be frustrated when someone cannot relate; however, lashing out is not an effective way to engender sympathy for your position, and will not advance the conversation in a constructive way. Even if you find someone's argument morally abhorrent, there are constructive ways to express this.

2a) Attempting to deliberately provoke an uncivil reaction is prohibited, even if it is done within the letter of the law.

2b) Snark and other forms of mockery are strongly discouraged and may result in warnings or bans.

2c) "Strawmanning" an "opponent" deliberately will be regarded as uncivil conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. This will not apply to genuine misunderstandings.

3) While we do not claim to be arbiters of absolute moral or empirical truth and aim to moderate this board in a fair and even-handed, politically agnostic manner, the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward, including attempts to "hint" or dogwhistle:

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would have posted on /pony/ but I'm pretty sure this is a political issue.

I recently came across the following article https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234
And among the 75 items it lists that white people can do to actively support anti-discrimination, it mentions starting a book club, and reading a few recommended books. I would love to try this with all of you.

I once had a friend who spoke out violently about this issue, but he hurt me to the point that we had to end our friendship. Still, the issues he faced are real, and I am glad to have found something I can do to help support his plight. I would love if you could join me in actively reading and discussing books on racial prejudice, as recommended by this article.
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>I'd disagree with that, unless you mean that it doesn't differ after controlling for socioeconomic status and cultural values.
Based on what I was thinking I should have said, 'the proportion of people with any criminal behavior is not significantly variable across races.'  If anyone is watched long enough, they will very likely be watched breaking some law.

I see what you're saying, though.  The kinds of criminal behavior are probably different for different economic classes, and all sorts of other factors.


A book club is where a group of people read the same book and then discuss it, sharing their own unique perspectives on the work and sharing what they might have learned.


>Way too many things are criminalized, and enforcement is often arbitrary and capricious.  I'd say we'd be better off decriminalizing all 'possession'-type offenses.  Perhaps allow the state to confiscate contraband, but no jail time, no violent execution of search warrants, etc.

The book points out the job creation power of American prisons, and how corporate forces will resist reduction.  But it would be hard to say jailing people is about jobs as some final end.

Reduction in the number of things that can make Americans criminals would probably be good.  Demilitarization of police action, especially for non-violent offenses would probably be good.  As the cost of prison is considered, reduction in sentences is expected, although with digital forms of monitoring, that may not mean fewer under correctional control.

I think the author would consider the motivation to control black people using the criminal system is the more important root issue than the system itself, but if respectful, I agree too many common actives are felonies.

OK, sounds good.


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What is an optimum diet for typical humans?

Personally, I think that the government-recommended diet is too high on carbs.  And naturally occurring saturated fats have been wrongly maligned.

Also, check my quads!
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I think the opimal diet for humans is: Food. And drinks.


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a diet supplemented with lots and lots of alcohol.


I exist on a diet largely comprised of complex carbs


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I didn't think this was controversial, but I've found on Facebook, it is.  I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really talk with authority, so I'll ask here:

1) Is it legal to choose to run over protesters with a motorized vehicle if they are in your way?

2) If it is legal, is it in the public interest?  (Obviously crime will not be in the public interest, so you have no need to argue in that case.)

I'm talking about generic protesters, if you want to talk about a protester threatening a driver's life, I'll ask you to argue that this is the expectation for a generic protester.

(If you want to share for countries other than USA, that's fine, too.)
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Some are showing up. Roof koreans are becoming a thing again. It's just, due to rioters attacking innocent people's property instead of the system that wronged them, they're usually taking a stance against what is an immediate threat to them.

There are also some with the more peaceful protests, though, as I understand it.



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>Even if that's true (I've seen no proof of this) this is EXACTLY the fantasy scenario they have been saying they need their guns for. If the government turned it's own military against civilians. But where are they? Why aren't they out there defending these people with their second amendment rights like they always said they would.

1. It's uncertain whether a majority of the protesters would even want this sort of armed defense by Second Amendment enthusiasts.

2. People generally don't go out and be free armed security for other groups.  People use their weapons to defend themselves and the groups that they are part of.

3. Probably some of the protesters were armed and ready, but fortunately didn't have to kill any misbehaving police officers.

4. Have you even read The Art of War by Sun Tzu?  It is foolish to do a full frontal assault against a superior enemy.  If you want a picture of how a rebellion against the US government would play out, look at how insurgents in the Middle East have resisted the US military there.


Honestly, given the numbers involved, a full frontal assault would probably work.
But that'd require a lot of citizens to actually pull it off. And, that's not something anyone's going to want to do with people they don't like, disagree with, or wouldn't trust in power.


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Should it illegal for police to conduct no-knock raids and night-time raids?

I think such raids should be limited to cases where the police would be justified in using deadly force on the basis of the underlying crime being investigated (e.g., kidnapping, military espionage, etc.).  And given that police have fucked up on multiple occasions and raided the wrong house, no-knock raids should be illegal unless there is clear and convincing evidence that knocking will fairly directly lead to physical injury to innocent persons.

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Wouldn't that make it especially dangerous for the kidnapped?


With exceptions to when they pose an immediate threat to others, yes, absolutely.

There should be no no-knock raids for drugs or such nonsense


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Hmm...the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is talking about these SWAT raids.  It sounds like most drug related search warrants need to be conducted in this fashion.  Collateral damage (property destruction, deaths, emotional or physical trauma) does not seem an uncommon outcome.

>Should it illegal for police to conduct no-knock raids and night-time raids?

If the collateral damage were greater than the benefit to society of locking up drug offenders (that couldn't be discovered without a SWAT raid) or if the collateral damage were simply intolerable no matter the benefit, you could say that.  Although I'm becoming confused about the relationship between legality and police action.


As you've probably heard by now, a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on George Floyd's neck until Floyd died (and didn't remove his knee until well after Floyd was dead).  Was it murder?  I'll await the autopsy report, but it sure as hell looks like murder from what I've seen.  What do you all think?

To quote from another site:
This is a police officer laying his knee on this guys neck until he dies. It’s so fucking obvious that he’s going to die. And the cop still doesn’t move. It’s so obvious that the man has stopped breathing and is clearly not a threat because he’s literally a corpse.

Yet the officer still keeps his knee in the guys neck.

The people are begging these officers to just check his pulse. But he’s still just keeping his knee in his neck.
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>there are very few instances where a police officer should be trying to prevent someone from breathing in either sense. Their goal should be to restrain someone, not prevent them from breathing.
I agree with you.  Again, I was discussing only the general proposition "if you can talk, then you can breathe".  I wasn't commenting on the appropriateness of any actions by police officers.


Why, though? Police officers being mistaken in believing that if someone can talk, then they can breath (in sense 2 you described) does not benefit from establishing that being able to talk does in fact mean that they can breath in some sense of the word. That only serves to muddle the real issue; claims of being unable to breath should always be taken seriously even if the person is verbal. It seems needlessly pedantic with no real benefit.


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>Why, though?
The physiological question interested me, so I researched it online.  After researching it, I decided to report my findings.

 No.5308[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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You can discuss what you want in this thread, but the main purpose of this thread is for support and love, because what's going on right now is awful.

I don't want to put it on /pony/ because I know it will turn political, so please just keep the main purpose of the thread in mind while you post here.

One of my online friends had to evacuate their home. They live in Minneapolis. In the state next to my own, in a town I have actually drove through a few times, there are riots. In big cities in my own states, there are riots and vandalizing.

This sucks.
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>And it bugs me greatly that 90% of this thread has been about debating ...
>with very little posting about showing some support...
I guess I just don't see how you could fill 200+ posts with just showing support.  So naturally, debate will predominate, because people have more to say on that topic.  Or maybe I don't understand what you mean by "showing support".


Im sorry, I'm still trying to rein in my emotions, but does it have to be a 200+ post thread?

I don't know. I'll think about putting the thread on pony, but I'm very hesitant.


Posting in an historical thread.

 No.4991[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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There's sorta a gun debate going in another thread, but not something I feel is appropriate for me to join as it started somewhere else.

In America, there seem to be two main groups, one favoring gun control -- bringing down the number of guns, basically; one that believes the greater quantity and quality of weapons per citizen -- especially per well trained, law-abiding citizen -- the better the society.  And I think most of us have seen sparks fly as the groups head off.

A question that comes to my mind: are there shared values between these two groups (values related to weapons and the debate, for those who like things spelled out)?  I know, for example, reducing gun deaths is not a shared value -- some deaths are seen as justified and many would say reducing gun deaths (by bad people) simply means an increase in death by other means.  So that's not the metric.  Is there one?
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Zimmerman's race is disputed. Again, it is uncivil to keep accusing me of racism when I have not done so to you.

You're only framing it as "freedom" because it benefits your narrative. We aren't allowed to buy plutonium, but somehow that isn't infringing on your "freedom".

The fact you dont' afford Martin the same benefit of the doubt is troubling, but I think the issue is here. You say

>His life still has value.

But this person says

>"His life has lesser value than that person he attacked".
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>The fact you dont' afford Martin the same benefit of the doubt is troubling,
I'm not sure what that is in reference to?

>For those that always value life, a gun has no value.
Huh?  That's not true at all!  Lots of people enjoy shooting paper targets and soda bottles at the range!  And not all lives have equal value.  Most people would agree that the life of a deer is worth less than the life of a human.  And if you eat meat, then you're in no moral position to condemn hunting.  And if a violent home invader is about to kill or rape your children, then obviously you should protect your family even if you need to kill the home invader.

>For those who believe that life can be devalued, then as soon as they do an action that devalues their life, the best course of action is to end that less-valuable life.
Nani???  That doesn't make any sense at all!  My stock portfolio lost a lot of value this year -- but did I end my portfolio as soon as it became devalued?  No!

>We hold completely opposite values on life itself.
I'm not so sure about that.  We might differ mainly in what system of ethics we follow (e.g., consequentialism, deontology, etc.) and its details rather than in axiology.


While his race is disputed, he's most certainly not black.

>You're only framing it as "freedom" because it benefits your narrative. We aren't allowed to buy plutonium, but somehow that isn't infringing on your "freedom".
So long as you are able to store it safely without risk to those around you, I think you ought to be.
You can buy uranium ore, and similar samples as I recall.

But, yeah, I would consider that an infringement, if I'm not hurting anyone with it.

>. For some people, life ALWAYS has value. No matter what a person has done.
Most people are not pacifists. For good reason. Pacifism is an inherently flawed ideology.

>For those that always value life, a gun has no value.
I'd still have my firearms regardless of my value in life, as the mechanics of them are interesting, and the shooting of them is fun. So, I don't really buy that.
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Good evening ponies. Unfortunately, our testing period for Plan A has not yielded the result the staff was expecting.

As such, we are moving forward with Plan B, and issuing bans to a small pool of users who have been found to be particularly uncivil in their conduct on the board.

We will start with just a few bans, and escalate as needs must. Thank you for your understanding. I'm sorry it has come to this measure.

I truly hope this can help to resolve some of the civility issues and reports present on /townhall/.


Moved to >>>/arch/4337.


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Pic Unrelated

I want to talk about the concept of forgiveness. So that we are all on the same page, we shall define "forgiveness" as "the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, and overcomes negative emotions such as resentment and vengeance, however justified it might be." Many religions tout the virtues of forgiving and urge their tenants to forgive. However, atheism is on the rise. The number of Americans who consider themselves atheist is increasing. According to the Pew Research Center, 4% of Americans self-identified as "atheist" in 2019, nearly doubling from 2% in 2009. (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/06/10-facts-about-atheists/)

With this in mind, do you believe that forgiveness is also in decline? I believe that forgiveness is baked into so many of the world's religions as a concept and a virtue because forgiving is not the natural human response to victimization, resentment and/or a desire for vengeance is. There is virtually no reason for an atheistic person not to follow these natural urges.  But can a society devoid of forgiveness function?
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>Ask who? Atheists? That's a lot of people to ask!

Wouldn't that imply that your generalizations are not justified?

>That only makes sense if you see murdering a person as traumatic. Not everyone does or would

Again more reason the generalization is not rationally justified.

It's not a matter of human nature, it's a matter of individual differences.

>Atheists don't belive there is punishment for murder outside of government laws.

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> Some people fear looking weak in front of others, or find the humiliation of being very publicly mistaken.

That sounds massively insecure and immature. People can learn to admit their mistakes and be wrong. It's not social media's fault that some people refuse to do so.

>Social Media and the increasing pressure to participate in it as a neccessary part of being informed and in touch with society as a whole around us leave many of us in a heightened state of self-consciousness within our own homes and otherwise private spaces.

I mean... good? You should be aware of your actions and deeds and whether those things are wrong. People need to be called out when they are shitty and if you're constantly being called it, it's time to examine your shitty behavior.

>Empathy is a double edged sword.
I'm not sure how empathy could cause you to hurt people. If it does, it's not really empathy. It's selective empathy towards a small group you've deemed worthy of it. Both of these things are not the same thing. One needs a different word to describe it, because calling both "empathy" is not helpful.

>But apologizing is humiliating and sometimes people fail to have a tolerance for that humility and the act of simply apologizing is too painful for them and their egos.

Again, that sounds incredibly insecure and immature. Apologizing is not humiliating. Not if you genuinely care. What would be humiliating would be to continue to hurt someone out of your own insecurity/immaturity. I've NEVER thought lesser of a person who apologized, but I've always thought lesser of people who refuse to.
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>It's not social media's fault that some people refuse to do so.

You're right, human nature is to blame. People fear those things that hurt them, including humiliation or "losing face", and respond with a "fight, flight or freeze" response to those things they fear.

Social media just lets all the potential pitfalls of human nature of greatest consequence to social relationships, and to the media we consume, get magnified.

>I mean... good? You should be aware of your actions and deeds and whether those things are wrong. People need to be called out when they are shitty and if you're constantly being called it, it's time to examine your shitty behavior.

I meant that it primes people to see a judgemental or competitive subtext to other's actions that might not actually be there. Basically, social media makes people far more concerned about what other's think of them beyond the point of what's even reasonable to interpret as competitive or as judgemental.

>I'm not sure how empathy could cause you to hurt people. If it does, it's not really empathy.

Empathy causes one to empathize with another's lack of ability to empathize with someone who hurt them. Empathy can literally lead people to having their empathy guided by another's lack of empathy. In fact this collective empathization with a victim of a crime committed by an outsider is the very thing that fuels wars. I.e. like Pearl Harbor, everyone empathized with the vicitms and in turn that led to hate for not only the perpetrators, but the perpetrators entire nation. The empathy for the dead in pearl harbor led to the dehumanization of Japanese people regardless of whether or not individually they would have supported their government's war campaign, and even if they weren't actually Japanese citizens.  

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Continuation of the locked thread on /pony/

You presume the assumptions are unknown. That's your problem.
Reality is, just examining the numbers demonstrates this.

Rent costs money. This alone makes the idea that businesses wouldn't shut down completely ridiculous on the face of it.
Businesses around the world already do when for whatever reason they get a several-month dry season.
Rent is expensive, and typically requires a down payment. They're typically set to a contract, too, with penalties and forfeitures in the event that contract is canceled.
The equipment then will need to be moved, if it is not sold to pay for the penalties which needless to say will also be difficult given the economic shutdown. Storing and moving that equipment costs additional piles of money.

This isn't some "cascade of events". This is a flat linear progression of a single event. Businesses are expensive. If they're not making money, they can't pay for themselves. This is something understood by any economist.

And speaking of "can't know", maybe you ought to look in the mirror? You sure make an awful amount of assumptions about what's going to happen with the virus, after all. Are you going to insist that's all guaranteed somehow?

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You've been making a lot of claims in this thread that i'm going to need some statistics on.

You claim hospitals are under capacity, but I'm still hearing of numerous places where this isn't the case. Such as Alabama (https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2020/05/20/montgomery-down-one-icu-bed-sending-virus-patients-birmingham/5227449002/). What is your source on this information?

You claim that most people do not need to recover from this disease in a hospital. What is your source on this information?

Also you keep asserting that the stay-at-home will irreparable damage the economy, but other countries have managed it without such a result. Where are you getting that information?  


As far as the economic concerns, I already posted a direct link for that particular line talking about how many small businesses are in danger of closing forever.

In regards to the hospital ization rate, that was your claim. You said that it was great enough to be "likely".
I said I don't believe that's true.

Name regards to the Alabama ICU lot, as I understand it, that's a classic example of fake news, as what is really happening is that in order to lower chance of spreading, as well as keep emergency slots open, ICU rooms are being marked as unavailable when adjacent to occupied rooms.
I will see if I can get a link on this later.

none the less, I feel that you ignore the issues I continue to point out, as it is inconvenient to your narrative.
It strikes me that you aren't inclined to engage with any ideas read conflict with your particular worldview.
Why should we maintain a lockdown indefinitely?
That should be the crux of this issue. Alongside how we can afford it.


You can't claim something is fake news without any counter-evidence. Yes, I'd like to see that when you get the chance to supply it.

>Why should we maintain a lockdown indefinitely?

No one is saying we should. Not a single person has suggested the lock-down last forever. It literally cannot. But it should last until all the possible precautions have been taken and the maximum number of people can be safe. And with cases of the virus still rising, that isn't the case. Many businesses still can't get sanitation supplies or masks for their employees or customers. Many hospitals are still over capacity and No clear universal safety protocols have been put into place. Like I said, look to other countries and what they are doing or did to prepare to reopen. Then look at America. We aren't doing enough. We can't send people to die.


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>It feels like you have specific gripes with the way they handle certain regulations on guns rather than them being incompetent.
The ATF once wrote that a shoestring is machine gun.  Do you own any shoes with shoestrings?  Then guess what, the logical implication of the ATF's position (at that time) is that you are committing a federal felony by possessing your laced shoes!  And it took the ATF three years to realize the absurdity of their position and to correct it: now they only consider the assembly of shoestring + semiautomatic rifle to be a machine gun.


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<= revised position letter

 No.1580[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Lets give two hypothetical scenarios:

Let's say, science discovers a way for two men to reproduce with each other. The result is always a  baby boy and the men born from this process are able to repeat it and reproduce with other men as well, when they reach sexual maturity.

Now let's also say that, through some mechanism, it was possible for a person to quickly rid the world of all human females, in such a way that no one would be able to stop the process once begun. All biological women would suddenly disappear from the Earth and cease to exist.

Would men alone create a better society than the current one? A "better" society in this context meaning a society with less crime, less violence and less inequality for it's members. And if so, would someone be morally right, or even morally obligated to commit this act?
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lol, it's just a necroed thread


Necroed or no, this is an interesting concept. I suspect that while society might enjoy some rather efficient, straightforward communication initially, after a few months it would splinter into a group of men looking for a way to bring women back, a group of misogynists trying to stop them, and a group of misogynists helping them for the purpose of enslaving all new women born so that they grow up believing they exist only to become the property of men.

I almost want to write a book on this now.


It literally is, and its from back then >>4965


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There's not much going on on this site.  I've mostly been working at my confidential job -- spring is our busy season and we are essential, but the thing that's been on my mind that I can talk about is creating a science society.  Managing social groups is not something I would generally do -- I tend to upset people because there are details about being human that I guess I don't get -- but I feel like scientists should stick together and this is important enough.  I guess in this thread I'm looking for ideas about creating and managing professional societies, or helping scientists.  Has anyone done anything like this?
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I think as far as research availability, I would leave it to individuals to decide whether to put their work behind a paywall or not.  I'd just note that if someone can't talk about their work in a society -- for confidentiality or national security reasons -- their participation will be kinda one-sided.

>group needs a more clear-cut purpose
I'm thinking of it being somewhat local, and focused most on the needs of independent scientists, and value diversity the best I can.  I would focus on one kind of science, but I do work with plants and animals and astronomy, along with computer science, and I don't want to create a lot of groups.  There's always an option for sub-grouping if necessary.  Really depends on if anyone joins, I guess.

Sorry, still been very busy with one of my jobs, just trying to survive.  I think in a few weeks I will be able to get back to the scientific profession.


I see you're still not very good at maintaining your anonymity

At what point would you consider someone a "scientist"? Only people who work in a scientific field? There are plenty of people with a casual interest in science like me. What about students who don't have a job in the field yet? Or people who invent in the spare time? And what fields would count? There's scientific components in a lot of fields that aren't considered "science", like cooking.


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>maintaining your anonymity
That involves authorities on this site.  I have no role in being anonymous.

>At what point would you consider someone a "scientist"?

For the sake of my group, someone who does some kind of science, is able to talk about science, and is not a troll.  One of my values is making science more democratic.

(Suppose I might have to make some judgements on people who pursue scientific work but only tolerate one result -- eg. fundamentalist Christians trying to prove the literal truth of the Bible.)

>And what fields would count?
My impulse is to avoid fields where science and public health intersect too much -- medicine, mostly.  I want to encourage people to do scientific experiments but not endanger the group through association with people getting hurt, I guess.


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If someone has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution, but has subsequently received treatment and can demonstrate, by a preponderance of evidence, that he/she no longer poses a heightened risk of being a danger to self or others, should his/her civil rights be restored?
4 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


If a licensed psychologist can prove someone has one, why can't they prove it ended?


True.  So if they don't it's not that they can't, since they are authorities and may do whatever is their pleasure in their domain, it's more a standard.  In the Rosenhan experiment where people briefly feigned illness, the best psychologists could do was say the disease was in remission.  All the fake patients were eventually released, showing release is probable following remission.


I think there's a lot of room to question restricting people's rights based solely on their mental health, as opposed to anything they've done, on the face of it, honestly.

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