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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/.


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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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There exists a hypothetical poster who might go by the name Flower and use pictures of skunks sometimes.  Perhaps this person reads a book on Marijuana and finds out skunks and Flower(s) -- as in Flower Power, and the part of the plant potent in cannabinoids -- both have associations with this schedule 1 narcotic.  Maybe some people were worried about this.  To be helpful, I will make a thread about the harms of cannabis.  (You don't need drugs to be cool.)

Cannabis is know to the United States Federal Government to be highly harmful,  immoral, and not at all good, but if you use some other authority, I guess you could talk about other things, maybe.  If nobody is worried about that.
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>The DEA's website says a schedule 1 narcotic has no beneficial purposes.  

I believe that is because it has not been well studied yet, and that it has not been studied is a consequence of it being illegal.

Opioids were a plant at one time, but after having had been studied and refined by humans, have become a tool in the medical field. I am personally hoping, now that marijuana is becoming less stigmatized, this can also happen.

One of the major risks I see with marijuana currently, is the, what I believe to be, false idea that it is harmless.

I do not think it can be deadly, however, this does not necessarily mean that it isn't harmful. Unfortunately, we will not know what harm it may cause, (if any), and to what degree, until we can study it more.


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I believe that is because it has not been well studied yet, and that it has not been studied is a consequence of it being illegal.

The scheduling system was part of compliance with a 1961 United Nations treaty which placed cannabis in schedule 1, however it appears (skimming the text) schedule 1 in the UN case allowed medical use.  The US passed its Controlled Substance act in 1970 when cannabis was associated with protest, or perhaps, as you say, it was provisional, but it seems after passing the act the state became uninterested in science that failed to affirm that marijuana had been appropriately classed in the most harmful category.

>marijuana is becoming less stigmatized, this can also happen.

In some places, I think it is used medically.  America...lags behind or leads the way -- depends on where you imagine the finish line.

>false idea that it is harmless.
I've noticed that people seem to say cannabis is either a wonder-herb, or criminal through and through.  I do sorta believe that inhaling smoke is probably not great for your lungs, and that the brain seeks to avoid over-saturation, so may adjust to the high of a drug, perhaps muting someone's natural production or response to endocannabinoids.  But that's not my field, so I don't really know.



Haven't really read much in this thread but what I can say is that the legitimacy of the schefuling system is suspect when it's more likely that the scheduling system in the US reflects what was politically expendient for those in power at the time rather than addressing problems in a pragmatic and effective way.

And yeah there is a back and forth between too extremes in the rhetoric between the "harmless" and the "extremely harmful" side. A kind of black and white thinking, where one side is a combination of those who are trying to justify the status quo and those who believe them and the other are those who have discovered that it's not extremely harmful as they had been told and take to the opposite extreme.

So here's the truth as I understand it. Marijuana is not harmless, but how harmful it is is very much exaggerated by law enforcement.

One common myth about marijuana from thos who would claim that it isn't addictive. This isn't quite true, the truth is that it's extremely unlikely that one can develop a chemical dependency on the active drugs, the cannabinoids, that naturally occur in Marijuana flowers. Meaning that withdrawal symptoms from quitting are basically bery rare.

However, marijuana can be addictive in a way similar to how gambling or social media use or certain foods high in fat, salt or sugar can be addictive for some. It stimulates production of dopamine in the reward path system of the brain via the canabinoid system which is what is ultimately responsible for the sensations of euphoria that many experience while high (it actually increases the amounts of dopamine released from various sensory stimuli, especially from eating, listening to music and sexual stimulation). While it's extremely rare to have chemical dependency, it's still possible to become emotionally or psychologically dependent on marijuana for things like mood regulation or anxiety management. However, the addiction liability is generally pretty low.

Other risk include psychologically negative reactions to the experience of being high. What effects that marijuana has on a user is dependent on two factors: 1) the strain used and its cannabinoid and terpene profile and 2) the bioPost too long. Click here to view the full text.


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Perhaps I am not using this site respectfully enough, as I am not really bringing up topics with probable ad hominem temptation.  So, I thought about it for awhile and I think I can turn up the heat, and be a good townhall poster.

Debate Question:  Prison rape -- hurtful stereotype about incarcerated communities, a problem to be fixed, or a healthy feature of criminal justice, especially for perpetrators of sexual or violent crimes?  Explain your answer as best you can without posting more than people will probably read.
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I don't think most people think about it that way. Though i also think that if everyone had the choice to be employed or unemployed, with both having equal pay, then everyone would choose unemployment, society would grind to a halt, and we'd all starve. Someone not being able to find a job isn't the same to me as someone who is perfectly capable of contributing to society choosing not to work and living off welfare. I don't think anyone owes someone like that anything, including the government owing them funding to survive.

That being said, i don't think we should actively incarcerate these people, which is what ends up happening. Police should no harass the homeless, and we should have more robust systems to guide people who are homeless or jobless into employment. Right now, there's a cliff which, if you fall down, you'll have a very tough time climbing back out of.


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> I suppose you're saying to some an increased probability of rape is a fair cost

I'd go further and say that people are quick to ignore any amount of suffering if they can compartmentalize it with a dehumanizing label:  freeloader, criminal, jew, whatever.

Yet still consiser themselves compassionate etc.  Its more a rule for our species than an exception, too.


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I see authoritarian enforcement as fulfilling a human need for justice, and to be honorable it must meet the needs of all involved.  I don't think I understand dehumanizing in the context of justice.


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What does a college degree mean?  What does  it signify to be college-educated?

I'm going to try to remain detached in the discussion from my personal perspective in an attempt to understand wider social perceptions.  I have strong opinions for me (and perhaps those like me).  I was going to write my idea out, but I realized it's a bit unfair to say:  here's what I believe, I don't intend to see it otherwise, so I'm just going to think of this thread as leaning how others see things, or how things are in general.

So anyway, I often hear demographers grouping people by education.  Employment opportunities are sometimes contingent on a college degree.  Some people mortgage their future earnings to get their degrees early.  I gather college graduation is pretty important.
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Sounds like you see a college degree as representing the actions to get that degree.

>Would a college degree be of a much better worth if the price was a lot less?
I'm not sure if you're asking that of me, or if it's rhetorical.  If to me, cost factors into my judgement of college (for me), but not primarily.  It's more college doesn't feel right.

>evaluates how well you are at grasping the material
That's an important element.  Many people don't see it this way, but I think people who chose to make hiring decisions based on the educational attainment of the applicant expect college guarantees a minimum standard.

>say developer
Part of the reason I thought people might want to share their ideas on college is I'm part of a Facebook group for programmers (who are often also software developers), and posts related to the value of a college degree in the software fields tend to get a lot of attention.


I don't use college for job searching, but rather, if there is something I really want to learn about and the only way I can learn more is from the experience that others (at college) can offer me.

I've never been career focused though and have have tended to lean more towards a simple job/life. As long as my bills stay relatively low, I'm happy with just minimum wage jobs.


That sounds reasonable.  College can teach people things, I don't deny that.  I understand liking simple jobs.  I  have one of those (but I also multi-career.)


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>Picture a very beautiful woman. How sexually arousing would you find it to imagine *being* her?
Answering "a lot" to this question would signify autogynephilia: getting aroused by imagining oneself as a woman.  (Likewise, "autoandrophilia" means becoming aroused by imagining oneself as a man.)

Blanchard and Bailey speculated that auto{gyne,andro}philia are the most common cause of transgender.  The Slate Star Codex survey data suggests a different hypothesis: if you identify as a gender and you’re attracted to that gender, then it’s a natural leap to be attracted to yourself being that gender.  This hypothesis can also explain other things that Blanchard and Bailey can’t explain.

Is this subject of interest to you?  And if so, do you have any thoughts on it?

For more details, please see: https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/02/10/autogenderphilia-is-common-and-not-especially-related-to-transgender/


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I am a woman.  Imagining myself as a man is not really attractive in a romantic way, but I'm not interested in men.  And I already am a 'very beautiful woman.'  I'm pretty sure, anyway.  Suppose I could imagine I'm a different woman.  Off and on, I've been thinking about creating an imaginary partner which is similar, but not quite what your post is about. I'm probably not a good sample, I guess.

>if you identify as a gender and you’re attracted to that gender

That's homosexuality, I guess I am that.  (Maybe I am your sample.)  To the degree I'm sexual, which is not a large degree.  Maybe if I were more normal, I'd arouse myself more.


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To what extent is hyperbolic discounting a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic?
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>I think you're underestimating the loss of quality-of-life caused by diabetes.

Quality-of-life Years is a neat concept when imagining stuff like this, but there's no concrete agreed upon method for even determining a QALY, much less a full consensus that it's a useful tool.  At the very least, every method used to determine QALYs involves subjective questionaires, and you can't really take the average of what people answered as accurate to any given individual.  There are no doubt people out there who could go down every single thing associated with diabetes and say "Yeah, that's perfect health."  And surely there are people who would prefer that to giving up their lifestyle for even a short period of time.


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>There are no doubt people out there who could go down every single thing associated with diabetes and say "Yeah, that's perfect health."
And there are people who believe that the Earth is flat, that the moon landing was faked, et cetera.  Nephropathy is objectively a disease, by any objective definition of the word "disease".

>And surely there are people who would prefer that to giving up their lifestyle for even a short period of time.
Such people would be a tiny minority.  And I'm not sure how much we should credit such 'preferences' anyway.  There are people who 'prefer' death to living and who accordingly commit suicide.  For some of those people, it is a legitimate preference (in particular, for people near the end of their life with progressively worsening disease), but for most, it is a result of a chemical imbalance in their brain.  Many people who preferred suicide received psychiatric treatment that reversed their preference and now they are glad that they didn't commit suicide.


There's a leap here that makes me uncomfortable.

The data and theory do not demonstrate that unsaturated fatty acids *prevent* insulin resistance but rather that they fail to trigger it.

Furthermore, I think that intentionally producing ROS in order to induce insulin resistance is missing the forest for the trees. Considering the role that frequent insulin resistance would play in developing actual diabetes and that ROS are more implicated in vascular disease than anything else, especially in the presence of high blood sugar, I am skeptical of the health benefits of weight loss via this method.


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Is assassinating the second-most powerful military leader of a foreign country generally an act of war?

And specifically, was Trump's airstrike that intentionally killed Soleimani an act of war?

And, keeping in mind that the Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war, did Trump violate the Constitution in ordering the airstrike without authorization from Congress?  And if so, should he be impeached for it?

Relevant source: https://www.vox.com/2020/1/3/21048012/iran-general-killed-qasem-soleimani-legality
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>Wait a minute, the President CAN pardon State offenses.
Nani???  The president only has "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".


Well how bout that.

My ignorance has no limits.



No.  First, it was not a declaration of war.  Second, every president since at least Clinton has been involved in undeclared wars and/or targeted strikes.  Impeachment for it would simply be another partisan instance of Democrat hypocrisy.


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How would you define "general intelligence"?

I think most people would agree that, for example, AlphaGo Zero is intelligent but not generally intelligent (i.e., it is intelligent only at the specific task of playing Go).  GPT-2 is a little more general, but still nowhere close to human general intelligence.  Do you think existing deep machine learning will ever lead to general intelligence, or is a completely new paradigm needed?
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So...IQ measures a ceiling of success.  If a successful group scores low, the test is to be revised.  If high scorers are not successful, the test is acceptable.


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>So...IQ measures a ceiling of success.
Only certain types of success, in particular, success that requires intelligence.  And IQ isn't a perfect measure.  For most humans it is a decent measure of intelligence.  But it doesn't work well for everyone.  Just like the Glasgow Coma Scale doesn't work as well for people who have an eyelid infection that makes it hard for them to open their eyes.


OK, IQ measures a ceiling of success, in tasks involving intelligence, for many people, but not everyone.  (Perhaps mostly for people who are neurotypical, if that's the psychological analog to having eyebrows?)


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One of the things they don't really explain well in America: we are to value religious freedom, to not prejudice someone for their religion, however this duty obliges religion to fit into a box where God or The Gods can not encourage criminal or antisocial behavior.  Or perhaps even unprofessional behavior.  Organizations that see God commanding otherwise are called extremist or fundamentalist, and will not be legitimate parts of a religious or faith community.

People who do not understand can see a person obeying Holy commands in a literal sense, attribute that behavior to a religion, and begin to fear or hate other people associated with the religion.  They may become Islamophobic, for example, but that's because they don't understand box theory.

I guess my argument is that a) box theory is correct, and b) not understanding box theory is a big cause of religious prejudice.
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>Because they don't understand box theory? Or because the person obeying the holy commands doesn't understand box theory?
Well, unless an islamophobe and Muslim exist in the same person, these are two separate, although interconnected problems.  I was raised religious, and although The Christian God, when asked whether it was right to pay taxes, said "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, Give unto God what is God's," to mean, I think, a degree of subjectivity to the state, it was taught that God reigned above all, and when it really came to it, following God's will outranked obedience to law or social order.  So that is one problem.  Believing God can oblige criminal or harmful behaviors in others is the problem that creates fear of religion, I think.


Its not the law itself, well, I mean it kindof is, but I think the bigger issue is inconsistency. If youre rich and famous, you can rape someone on the street or kill someone and lawyer your way out of it, but if you're poor and not famous, you could end up in a private prison that squirms its way into essentially making you a slave for the rest of your life, for something like smoking weed. Depends on the judge and jury's mood and your budget to an astronomically larger degree than the actual laws on the books.


So, a rich person would have greater freedom for religious practice because not so confined by the box of state enforcement?  Or put another way, their Gods will be more powerful?


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Every mainstream article attests that there is huge focus on recruitment among young especially in college.  And that its all on the rise in a big way.  And a huge problem.

Without advocating squelching free speech (any position purporting this will be considered a derailment), what can be done about this?

My opinion is that this is the product of our education system in the US (maybe others but i know only the US) and that we have to start there.  Obviously even if we did fix that, which we wont, its a bit late to deal with the existing problem.

So.  Lets have some ideas from brains with IQs between 1 and 200 and see if we can get some kind of positive perspective on a dismal problem.  Help!
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>How do you imagine we can create a computer that is more just than its creators?  Wishful thinking?

Oversight. I think bad results end up happening because judges know what they're doing isn't the right decision, but that they've got enough local authority and enough of a lack of eyes on them that they do it anyway. I don't think the judge who let brock turner off easy did it because he thought it was the correct application of justice, i think he did it either because he was being bribed, he had some bias against this woman or for turner, or some other personal reason not related to how he thinks the law should be applied. A computer with open-source code wouldn't have that issue. We can make good laws, so it's just a matter of making sure they actually get used and it's not just a clusterfuck of inconsistent enforcement. If all eyes are on the computer and what it does, than all we have to do is put in the best of humanity and leave out the worst. Leave out any affinity to a particular race/gender/ect, leave out desire for money or fame, just pure logic. Every line of code would be tied to it's coder, so the moment a coder tries to program something evil, they're on blast immediately, and because it's centralized, there will be eyes on it all the time, and shit like that won't slip through the cracks.

Yes we have public gallery and judicial review, but they're slow and clunky, and won't be applied to the however-many judges just like Michael Aaron Persky there are out there who pull shit like that but don't reach media fame. It's not a very efficient system.



So here's a good way of thinking about it. Do you think there is value in a republic? Of informed representatives working on behalf of citizens? Do you think the average congressperson is not more able to make informed decisions about political matters than the average citizen? The computer here would essentially be the perfect representative. It would have all the values we want it to have, while being perfectly informed, and, if we allow it to be, totally unbiased. If you feel like a republic is a terrible way of conducting government, then fair enough. I disagree, but you may have your reasons, and they may be reasonable. If you do not think that a republic is useless, than there stands my argument for computerized public servants. They are potentially the perfect representatives.


Well, if dictating uniform sentencing from on high, executed coldly regardless of circumstance, creates "justice" then mandatory sentencing guidelines would have done exactly that instead of the opposite.

How far are you willing to take this?  Let Roe v Wade be decided by your fone?

>judges act without regard for oversight
This is simply untrue.  I have argued issues before several trial court judges who follow the high court to avoid being overturned even though they personally disagree.  Your opinion is not supported by fact.

I haven't taken a position on representative government.  However, the complete spaghetti the legislatures in this country produce really doesnt support your argument about politicians being more capable to make law then regular people.

Your assumption that representatives work "on behalf" of citizens also isnt supported by any facts.  Politicians spend many times their salary to get elected.  They work for their financial backers, not their constituency and frankly you should check your assumptions before making arguments.


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Happy New Year, Townhall!


a) this marks the start of a new decade(!),
b) the new decade starts next year, or
c) both can be right/some other demarkation.
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Since we're calling it an arbitrary label, I think it's okay that "decade" isn't actually always ten years.  We can have a decade that's only 9 years, due to odd numbering conventions of the past.  We could even do something like ditch the BC/AD system if we felt really motivated, and renumber all the years we're aware of from that era, starting at another arbitrary zero somewhere.


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Suppose those are the two proposals that will allow decades to align with 2020-2030.  Squid's proposal seems simplest to me, since it corresponds years to a standard number line, although the Christian epoch moves back a year, which might unsettle some.

Calendar changes are rare and slow to be accepted, but do happen.  The shift to the Gregorian calendar comes to mind, which took hundreds of years to perculate through the Old and New worlds.  Changing the B.C. system would be simpler since it would mostly be a change that concerned historians.  I do feel as people have lived with the current system for millennia,  there'd have to be some new reason to switch.  In the case of the Julian calendar, it was a progressive worsening of the alignment of months and seasons.

In the meantime, if you want to think about decades, we're stuck with having to chose whether to please the majority or...I guess you might say...ordinalists.  I've been an ordinalist because I believed that to be the convention, but I see that's a minority (17% according to the poll mentioned in Wikipedia).  A convention contradicted by a majority is not a great convention.  I am willing to buck popular opinion for particularly satisfying or useful conventions,  but I'm not sure this qualifies.


Time flows backwards so it's actually the ending of the 2020s even though we dont remember them, and the 2010s lie ahead even tho we "remember" all we're about to suffer.


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I see various posts on the social medias saying transgendering children involves sexualizing children.  Now, I don't support sexualizing children and I don't feel it would be right to argue against someone's goal of protecting children from these kinds of exploitation.  And we all know transphobia is inappropriate, so I won't accuse of that.

But it occurs to me, the opposite of boy or girl, is again boy or girl.  Perhaps it is in those very categories that the problem of sexualizing lies.  I would propose, then, that gender be forbidden minors.  Perhaps I've missed some fine detail, so I'll open it to discussion, but it seems most rational to me.
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> Are there other social media where people say smart things instead?
Yes, e.g., a few subreddits and https://news.ycombinator.com/


Mostly this looks like computer stuff.  A few about the economy.  You like those kinds of topics, better, I take it.


>I see various posts on the social medias saying transgendering children involves sexualizing children
Seems kinda dubious.

>How would one go about raising their kids genderless and how would that work in a gendered society?
I don't think you can. You can approach gender neutral upbringing, but you can never cut out any trace of anything that can be called gendered from children's lives. This is just not possible or pragmatic.

>Would you assign names?
I guess you could let the kids pick their own names, or give them gender neutral names like alex or max.
>How would you deal with whatever questions come up regarding biology.
I think the kindergardens that are around these days that attempt this, tend to just tell them the truth for the most part. That some kids have penises, some kids have vaginas. When people grow up, they tend to sort themselves into one of two types, either male or female, and that these categories are known as gender, and that this is likely to become relevant for them some day, but that in the kindergarden they don't use that yet.


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I just read a very interesting essay about the harms and benefits of eating meat:
The essay was a collaboration between two people, a vegetarian and a meat-eater.  From the introduction:
>The central question is whether factory farmed animal lives are worth living; the realistic alternative to meat eating is not a better life but for those animals to not exist in the first place.
>We begin by investigating which animals are conscious. Then, we compare the happiness literature to the conditions under which animals are factory farmed to figure out if from their perspective non-existence is preferable. And finally, we survey the more easily measurable impacts of meat eating on environment, finance, and health.
They conclude that average beef cows have a positive cumulative lifetime happiness but that factory-farmed chickens exist in a state worse than death.  Quantitatively, they estimate that a typical Westerner annually contributes $373 of net utility to cows by eating beef but imposes $5,913 of net harm to chickens by eating chicken meat (assuming a 75% probability that chickens are conscious in a morally relevant sense).  They also estimate that, for typical adults, eating a meat-based diet reduces lifespan by a few years (compared to a vegetarian diet), a harm that they average out to $3,336 per year of eating meat.  (Note: the essay has a linked XLSX spreadsheet if you want to tinker with their model.)

What do you think about the issues analyzed by the essay?  For those who prefer a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons relating to animal welfare: If you can afford (not just financially but also logistically) to buy meat directly from a small farm that humanely raises their livestock [1], such that you’re contributing to the existence of animals who strongly prefer to be alive, would you consider doing so?  For those who eat meat: Do you disagree with any of assumptions in the model, and if so, which ones?  (I’m aware that there is a large variation in how people’s bodies handle different foods, so for some people, eating meat might be a net benefit to their health, given what alternative diets they can afford.)

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>"Entitled" in what sense?
In the most basic sense of the word. If you exist, you are entitled to certain rights as a person in your place of living. Probably you have the right to bodily autonomy, the right to self-direct, and so on and so forth. But really it could be anything that you weren't given, but which is in place, merely because of the circumstances you exist in. Animals had these kinds of rights before we came along, and they should have them again, if we are really serious about cutting our interference out of their lives.

>I don't think any concept of entitlement enters into the analysis at all?
Well yes that was exactly the problem I had. Because there is such a thing as utility which we did not give the animals, it doesn't make sense to count just any utility associated with the animals' existence as being a consequence of farming. You know if I put a kid in a room for example, and he teaches himself to count while being in that room. I cannot take credit for his achievement just because I placed him in that boring environment. In the same way, we cannot take responsibility for every bit of the self-directed utility animals may experience in captivity, because that was something the animals produced, not us.

>Farming supports a vastly greater number of animals than would exist in nature.  So for most of the farmed animals, I think the realistic alternative would be non-existence.
I think that's one alternative we can imagine. I would hope, though, that there would still be large grazing animals and fowl around in nature reserves, since they're excellent at promoting biological diversity, which is something our overtaxed ecosystems sorely need. I guess it's true that numbers would be far reduced, but I'm not sure exactly by how much. If the space currently allocated to feeding and housing animals was made into nature reserves, something which we know from psychological studies has very positive effects on human populations, and which might help slow the decline of insect populations and the mass extinction currently ongoing in the natural world because of us, I'm not sure if the difference in population would really be that large, if we ignore the hard to ignore fact that the population size of chickens is pretty ridiculous inPost too long. Click here to view the full text.


Charts and graphs anon here.

I won't nitpick too much because this is clearly just a visualization without associated data (which is valid!) but trying to conceptualize what the crook in this graph represents and the meaning of the two axes relative to that is tripping me out.



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This is the last time I'm reviving Zone[Aury]!Tulpa65j4U's thread

Could ultrasound treat benign disease and cancers?

From high-intensity focused ultrasound(HIFU) to Histotripsy, these advanced revolutionary technologies/techniques could one day be the future of treatment for people with tumors, cancers or simply....just to control bleeding. Fortunately, sufficient evidence exists on the efficacy of these treatments. Histotripsy is one type of an emerging and revolutionary technique, which is a non-invasive ultrasonic approach to the treatment of benign disease and cancers. Histotripsy is an experimental focused ultrasound technology where acoustic energy generated by an extracorporeal transducer is focused on a target volume inside the body. Conceptually histotripsy is more similar to shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) than to high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Histotripsy was initially conceived and developed at the University of Michigan; so much of the refinement and pre-clinical translation has originated from these laboratories. More recently, other groups have begun to experiment with histotripsy both along technical and translational lines of research which serves to validate the concept of histotripsy and further enrich the potential therapeutic value of this new technology.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) is also interested in the practical applications of ultrasound. Elisa Konofagou, professor of biomedical engineering, received a $3.33 million grant from DARPA to work on developing a new way to use focused ultrasound for stimulation of peripheral nerves that will ultimately be able to control organ function

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>Could ultrasound treat benign disease and cancers?
Probably. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21762242


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>Could ultrasound treat benign disease and cancers?

I think it's pretty hard to argue no, especially when it's a 'could.'  I don't know a lot about medicine, but focusing wave energy to a region seems simple-ish.  The speed of sound through a body will vary based on the tissue which would make it less simple, true.  I guess you could contrast using sound energy in surgery to RF energy, both should be able to heat something up, but the pros and cons specific to a medical context are beyond me.


Thinking about this now, I can't help but feel like that would work by mechanically killing tissue. This could rule out the procedure for large or disperse tumors, patients at risk for developing either tumor lysis syndrome or renal failure, or tumors in sensitive areas where widespread necrosis would risk further damage.

Maybe the risk is minimal for the mass typically involved, or it is mitigated in some way, but if I were a surgeon I would want to hear about how it would affect my patient's post-operative condition before I adopt the technique.

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