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Wealth Destruction Options · View
1ball
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 8:44:49 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:


Well there's that winning personality: taking a throwaway joke and using it literally.

You know, if you can't sway anyone using objectivist dogma handbook exercises, I'm sure your charm will help shore up the cause. And in the odd occurrence of that failing too, you're welcome to cash in a free hug or two in the Feel Tank. You just might find yourself in need of one. Think about it, Chuck. Lwinking


You attributed your magical thinking to weed. You have a budget for weed but you want the fulfillment of your needs to be somebody else's obligation. And you think I'm a misanthrope? And talk about a winning personality and charm, feel free to review your posts in this thread.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 8:48:51 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:


To his credit, though, he's only resorted to that when people don't buy his narrative wholesale. As the holder of all truths, he's sort of compelled to let others know when they've lost their way, even if it's tough love. So if you decide to reject what he's delivered from the mountaintop via stone tablet, and instead choose to live in willful denial (otherwise known as: actual life, with shades of grey, and pieces and parts of different ideologies which have their own strengths and weaknesses), then be prepared to be dismissed, told your points are irrelevant/bullshit/babble, followed by something about wanting people to buy you stuff and a feel tank reference or two. At some point you also might be asked who owns your life. Fair warning, for whatever it's worth.


This is a think tank, right?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
LadyX
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 8:53:10 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
1ball wrote:


You attributed your magical thinking to weed. You have a budget for weed but you want the fulfillment of your needs to be somebody else's obligation. And you think I'm a misanthrope? And talk about a winning personality and charm, feel free to review your posts in this thread.


I'm aware of my churlishness, but to be fair, it's mostly directed toward you. You'll get better treatment when you demonstrate that you deserve it.
LadyX
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 8:54:39 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
1ball wrote:


This is a think tank, right?


Well, not in the Heritage Foundation sense, no. Sadly, we don't have donors.

I'm just saying, I think I may have seen this movie before; but perhaps I'll be surprised instead.
Dani
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 9:06:16 AM

Rank: Big-Haired Bitch

Joined: 12/25/2010
Posts: 4,614
Location: Under Your Bed, United States
1ball wrote:


You attributed your magical thinking to weed. You have a budget for weed but you want the fulfillment of your needs to be somebody else's obligation. And you think I'm a misanthrope? And talk about a winning personality and charm, feel free to review your posts in this thread.


In her defense, not that she needs it, if I'm paying for some weed, it's their obligation to make sure it's fulfilling. All it takes is one person to say your weed is shitty. Just saying.



Baby put your arms around me, tell me I'm a problem...

Monocle
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 6:28:04 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
1ball wrote:

Are you holding others in this thread to the same standard you're holding me? Yourself for instance?


I've refrained from stooping to your level of condescension, for the most part. But I can't say I've been completely above it. As far as others, I'm not really talking to them, for the most part. You are pretty good at diverting, I'll give you that.
1ball
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 11:54:20 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
Well, not in the Heritage Foundation sense, no.


In what sense is it? You, one of the "moderators", make Think Tank a false name. You attack beliefs you don't share and the people who hold them. But you don't attack the actual beliefs, as in refute them. You avoid addressing the actual beliefs but attempt to smear, mock or dismiss them. You don't put thought into them, but you put effort into silencing them. You make a mockery of the name "Think Tank" by attempting to stifle actual thought. Is that the role of a moderator here? or just your way of turning this place into your personal soapbox?


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Dani
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:34:52 AM

Rank: Big-Haired Bitch

Joined: 12/25/2010
Posts: 4,614
Location: Under Your Bed, United States
I called it!





Baby put your arms around me, tell me I'm a problem...

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 2:39:27 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 530,472
1ball wrote:
In what sense is it? You, one of the "moderators", make Think Tank a false name. You attack beliefs you don't share and the people who hold them. But you don't attack the actual beliefs, as in refute them. You avoid addressing the actual beliefs but attempt to smear, mock or dismiss them. You don't put thought into them, but you put effort into silencing them. You make a mockery of the name "Think Tank" by attempting to stifle actual thought. Is that the role of a moderator here? or just your way of turning this place into your personal soapbox?


You are absolutely right...this is the Think Tank. It is not the Think Like 1-Ball Tank. You've accused others of smearing, mockery and dismissal. I invite you to go back and read how you, 1-Ball, smear, mock and dismiss other posters. It's the reason your thread is a bag stinky, squishy, smelly,liquid crap.

Hasn't SWW blown this thread up twice already?
Monocle
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:15:23 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
1ball wrote:


In what sense is it? You, one of the "moderators", make Think Tank a false name. You attack beliefs you don't share and the people who hold them. But you don't attack the actual beliefs, as in refute them.

etc.


What hypocrisy.

1ball wrote:
Moral relativist bullshit.

Attack, unsupported, invective.

1ball wrote:
The belief that anything culturally relevant has been omitted is insupportable.

Unsupported statement claiming others thoughts are unsupportable (bonus irony points).

1ball wrote:
If you want to Critical Feeling exercise your way

Ridicule of someone who asks a question.

1ball wrote:
You babble about ungiven givens

Dismissal of points or questions you disagree with with derogatoriness.

There's more, of course, but this subset speaks for itself.
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:59:26 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
1ball wrote:


In what sense is it?



In no literal sense whatsoever. This, at least, you've nailed. It's just a name we came up with for discussion of weightier topics. I can assure you that nobody had visions of policy formation or journal publication when we decided to create a new forum category. Nevertheless, you seem to have put considerable unearned credence into the name, and seem hurt that it doesn't meet your strict code of fidelity to its literal definition. I'm not sure what more to say about it, other than the requested Feel Tank is still in the works. This code doesn't write itself, you know.


1ball wrote:
You attack beliefs you don't share and the people who hold them. But you don't attack the actual beliefs, as in refute them. You avoid addressing the actual beliefs but attempt to smear, mock or dismiss them. You don't put thought into them, but you put effort into silencing them. You make a mockery of the name "Think Tank" by attempting to stifle actual thought. Is that the role of a moderator here? or just your way of turning this place into your personal soapbox?


I do make a mockery from time to time, that's true. But it's more a matter of how you interact than the beliefs you hold that have become the object of my mockery. You've presented yourself as the "proselytizing individualist" guy, for whom it's not enough to simply allow others to disagree with you. No, you apparently feel it's your duty (to what authority, I'm not sure) to confront everyone with your values, presented as ultimate truth. Then, to whatever degree people engage you, they either submit to your supposedly infallible ethos, or they're classified as bullshitting idiots in denial of the overwhelming fallacies that up until that moment, they lived in slavery to. I'm not sure if this is because you're so super-earnest about politics that you take it personally when others don't see the world the way you see it, or if it's just your personality to go around declaring others to be either dumb or in denial whenever they disagree with you about anything.

So yes, I'm preconditioned based on your past behavior, but one need not look beyond the history of just this thread to make my point. Monocle's done a decent job of pointing this out too, but let's review. You posited a question, and subsequent questions and requests for clarifications were made. Some of us felt that an unequivocal answer was unattainable based on the info given. So, instead of just shrugging your shoulders and moving ahead with those that did offer a clear answer, you answered questions by belittling others' intellect, and dismissing what they say and asked as irrelevant, 'babble' and 'bullshit'. Seeing this occur confirmed my suspicion that this wasn't so much an open canvas for a variety of answers, but another exercise in "find those that disagree with me, put them through a series of exercises, the pre-constructed logic of which is only solvable through my personal principles." This, I gather, is part of the worldview that one either is a stalwart individualist or a slave to collectivism, "and through this simple test, you will determine for yourself...."

But not everyone sees the world this way. I venture to say the vast majority don't. And I'm sure you'd say that makes the vast majority deluded...and that's okay.

--

So back to the question you gave at the top of this thread: when you say "people have a hard time just saying 'not as far as I can tell'", but you aren't sure why, that's because you're assuming that everyone approaches it the way you do, otherwise it would obvious to you (as it is to me) why you're not getting that answer from everyone. To many, the details not given were of greater curiosity, and seemed important in determining the answer. Those who are predisposed to suss out suspected collectivist thought in every facet of life would've given the response you were expecting (which based on your posts, is the only response that doesn't activate the 'individualist logic' follow-up questions).

Nobody's trying to stifle or silence anyone, but just as you feel comfortable alienating others by the way you interact and present your ideas, I certainly feel just as comfortable calling this as I see it. You're apparently secure enough in yourself to declare those who take offense to what you say as "thin-skinned." In doing so, I'm going to deduce that you can get as well as you give. You call others hypocrites, and antagonistic, and dismissive, yet you do the very same things (meta-hypocrisy)? So let's be clear about this: feel free to be just as individualist (or collectivist, or Dadaist, or...) as you want, but regardless of your personal belief system, if you act like a jerk (as you have, at times), you'll find yourself being treated accordingly.

All in all, it seems like a very similar routine to the last time you were active here in the so-called "Think Tank." But feel free to prove me wrong...or not.
Rembacher
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 1:30:43 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Assuming Mexico still has IMSS by the time Carlos Slim has finished selling off his companies and is able to buy gold or another precious metal without affecting the perceived supply of that metal, no, he's not depriving anyone of anything. I would assume he has already paid more into IMSS than his broke ass would be withdrawing from it, and under Mexican law, he would be entitled to it regardless.

Though the whole exercise falls apart when the Mexican government asks what happened to the gold he bought with his wealth. It's either assumed that he has it hidden somewhere, and goes to jail for tax evasion; or he has to come clean and document what he did, causing a run on the remaining gold and inciting panic in the markets.
angieseroticpen
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:19:39 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 729
Location: United Kingdom
1ball wrote:
A Critical Thinking Test


The Situation

The world's wealthiest person decides to convert his wealth to precious metals. He announces his retirement and slowly and carefully sells all of his shares in his company and in all other companies that he holds an interest in, while slowly and carefully buying gold, silver, and platinum. He's careful not to rock the markets and he complies with all laws and fulfills all contracts while doing so. In numerous trips, he then takes these metals out on his yacht and scatters them far offshore around the world's oceans. He distributes them so widely that recovery of them would cost more than their value. The process takes years but he manages to keep the true nature of his activity undiscovered by the markets and governments of the world until all he has left is enough money in zero-interest checking accounts to live out his years in mere luxury. He never again pays income tax or social security tax and when he reaches the eligibility age, he draws social security and medicare benefits. After his death the treasure hunters learn the fate of his vast fortune from records he kept detailing the ocean journeys.


The Effects

The net wealth of his society has been decreased by one vast fortune. The supply of precious metals in the metals markets has been reduced. The fortune used to purchase his company shares and other equities has become unavailable for other investment, causing a cascade of possible secondary effects from the lack of investment of that capital in other places.


The Question

Has he deprived anyone of anything they are entitled to?




Hau Hi is a Chinaman?

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:38:44 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,869
Location: California
LadyX wrote:


I do make a mockery from time to time, that's true. But it's more a matter of how you interact than the beliefs you hold that have become the object of my mockery. You've presented yourself as the "proselytizing individualist" guy, for whom it's not enough to simply allow others to disagree with you. No, you apparently feel it's your duty (to what authority, I'm not sure) to confront everyone with your values, presented as ultimate truth. Then, to whatever degree people engage you, they either submit to your supposedly infallible ethos, or they're classified as bullshitting idiots in denial of the overwhelming fallacies that up until that moment, they lived in slavery to. I'm not sure if this is because you're so super-earnest about politics that you take it personally when others don't see the world the way you see it, or if it's just your personality to go around declaring others to be either dumb or in denial whenever they disagree with you about anything.

So yes, I'm preconditioned based on your past behavior, but one need not look beyond the history of just this thread to make my point. Monocle's done a decent job of pointing this out too, but let's review. You posited a question, and subsequent questions and requests for clarifications were made. Some of us felt that an unequivocal answer was unattainable based on the info given. So, instead of just shrugging your shoulders and moving ahead with those that did offer a clear answer, you answered questions by belittling others' intellect, and dismissing what they say and asked as irrelevant, 'babble' and 'bullshit'. Seeing this occur confirmed my suspicion that this wasn't so much an open canvas for a variety of answers, but another exercise in "find those that disagree with me, put them through a series of exercises, the pre-constructed logic of which is only solvable through my personal principles." This, I gather, is part of the worldview that one either is a stalwart individualist or a slave to collectivism, "and through this simple test, you will determine for yourself...."

But not everyone sees the world this way. I venture to say the vast majority don't. And I'm sure you'd say that makes the vast majority deluded...and that's okay.

--

So back to the question you gave at the top of this thread: when you say "people have a hard time just saying 'not as far as I can tell'", but you aren't sure why, that's because you're assuming that everyone approaches it the way you do, otherwise it would obvious to you (as it is to me) why you're not getting that answer from everyone. To many, the details not given were of greater curiosity, and seemed important in determining the answer. Those who are predisposed to suss out suspected collectivist thought in every facet of life would've given the response you were expecting (which based on your posts, is the only response that doesn't activate the 'individualist logic' follow-up questions).

Nobody's trying to stifle or silence anyone, but just as you feel comfortable alienating others by the way you interact and present your ideas, I certainly feel just as comfortable calling this as I see it. You're apparently secure enough in yourself to declare those who take offense to what you say as "thin-skinned." In doing so, I'm going to deduce that you can get as well as you give. You call others hypocrites, and antagonistic, and dismissive, yet you do the very same things (meta-hypocrisy)? So let's be clear about this: feel free to be just as individualist (or collectivist, or Dadaist, or...) as you want, but regardless of your personal belief system, if you act like a jerk (as you have, at times), you'll find yourself being treated accordingly.

All in all, it seems like a very similar routine to the last time you were active here in the so-called "Think Tank." But feel free to prove me wrong...or not.


This lady has grown quite a pair. Cut them off one ball. Get her. Win the internet back from her uppity ass.



Liz
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:55:23 AM

Rank: Scarlet Seductress

Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 4,529
Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom
slipperywhenwet2012 wrote:
I called it!





Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:17:36 AM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 4,348
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
1ball wrote:
A Critical Thinking Test


The Situation

The world's wealthiest person decides to convert his wealth to precious metals. He announces his retirement and slowly and carefully sells all of his shares in his company and in all other companies that he holds an interest in, while slowly and carefully buying gold, silver, and platinum. He's careful not to rock the markets and he complies with all laws and fulfills all contracts while doing so. In numerous trips, he then takes these metals out on his yacht and scatters them far offshore around the world's oceans. He distributes them so widely that recovery of them would cost more than their value. The process takes years but he manages to keep the true nature of his activity undiscovered by the markets and governments of the world until all he has left is enough money in zero-interest checking accounts to live out his years in mere luxury. He never again pays income tax or social security tax and when he reaches the eligibility age, he draws social security and medicare benefits. After his death the treasure hunters learn the fate of his vast fortune from records he kept detailing the ocean journeys.


The Effects

The net wealth of his society has been decreased by one vast fortune. The supply of precious metals in the metals markets has been reduced. The fortune used to purchase his company shares and other equities has become unavailable for other investment, causing a cascade of possible secondary effects from the lack of investment of that capital in other places.


The Question

Has he deprived anyone of anything they are entitled to?


Five pages of discussion revolving around a high school doublethink question?

I had posted a longer response, but to correctly consider this question, one has to truly understand what these metals are in relation to wealth. Does the op understand exactly what that is?

Any inert material derives its value by either having a constructive use, or by being a gauge, a constant lasting symbol of actual wealth. Whether this gauge is paper money, gold or any other material object, it contains little true value other than that assigned to it by investors. Reducing the range of this gauge by burning it or by dropping it in the ocean, doesn't actually destroy wealth. It only deprives the last one who poured wealth into it. The perceived cost to society by reducing the supply is an instant rise in the value of that which remains. No actual wealth to society is lost, the mad tycoons wealth is simply redistributed.

Wealth itself is created by labor and ideas. Currency, precious metals, bonds etc, are nothing more than methods to represent this wealth. If that method, or gauge, is no longer available, then others will be found.

From the point you were trying to make, oil would have been a much better choice. Oil, unlike precious metals derives its value from its actual usefulness as a substance that increases the effectiveness of labor. Remove that, and the value labor produces is then reduced.

The ops argument is therefore inherently flawed.

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


My Editors Choice Award Winning Stories.








Monocle
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:06:57 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
Milik_The_Red wrote:
The ops argument is therefore inherently flawed.


Well, yes, but I disagree why. Precious metals in modern society are not only wealth symbols. They have actual industrial value or 'constructive use' to use your term. I take gold and platinum as examples, with high value in electronics and high technology applications. Other rare elements in this case have higher relative value, and gold's value as an industrial commodity _alone_ is not as great as it is as wealth symbol, but there is "inherent" societal value in the base metal. As our spiteful billionaire's supply was never available to industry to begin with, it is arguable whether it's loss is a true loss.
Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:14:07 AM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 4,348
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
Monocle wrote:


Well, yes, but I disagree why. Precious metals in modern society are not only wealth symbols. They have actual industrial value or 'constructive use' to use your term. I take gold and platinum as examples, with high value in electronics and high technology applications. Other rare elements in this case have higher relative value, and gold's value as an industrial commodity _alone_ is not as great as it is as wealth symbol, but there is "inherent" societal value in the base metal. As our spiteful billionaire's supply was never available to industry to begin with, it is arguable whether it's loss is a true loss.


True. However, the value placed on these precious metals by society due to is decorative beauty and by investors by its symbolic value has caused industry to have already accounted for its rarity. Therefore, even if a portion of the supply were lost, the actual percentage of that loss to the real supply is fairly minimal. Those industrial applications in which gold is used would not be severally affected.

Now, if the majority of the worlds real supply were lost, industry would be forced to use other metals. This can be done. Golds usefulness is defined by its non corrosive and conductive nature. Other materials can replace it, they are just not as durable.

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


My Editors Choice Award Winning Stories.








Monocle
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:27:06 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
Milik_The_Red wrote:


True. However, the value placed on these precious metals by society due to is decorative beauty and by investors by its symbolic value has caused industry to have already accounted for its rarity. Therefore, even if a portion of the supply were lost, the actual percentage of that loss to the real supply is fairly minimal. Those industrial applications in which gold is used would not be severally affected.

Now, if the majority of the worlds real supply were lost, industry would be forced to use other metals. This can be done. Golds usefulness is defined by its non corrosive and conductive nature. Other materials can replace it, they are just not as durable.


I'll agree. Now if he'd cornered the market on, say, cobalt, or vanadium, or iridium and then flushed them soon after, it'd be a different story.
Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:35:41 AM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 4,348
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
Monocle wrote:


I'll agree. Now if he'd cornered the market on, say, cobalt, or vanadium, or iridium and then flushed them soon after, it'd be a different story.


While I'm not versed in the actual uses of these materials, if they are either critically necessary and irreplaceable (as cobalt is in some aircraft applications, I've worked in aerospace manufacturing for 25 years) then I am in complete agreement.

The point was that the op had misfired on his hypothesis from the start.


“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


My Editors Choice Award Winning Stories.








Agrippa
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:18:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 7/29/2013
Posts: 50
Location: United Kingdom
In addition to my earlier post and the response it provoked:

It is not only what we (the human race) can achieve with any given material at the moment that is important, but also what future technology may be facilitated by their use.

All precious metals have applications over and beyond the value that stems from their rarity in our predominately market driven societies. I expect further uses may be found for them, possibly such further uses may be of tremendous benefit to all man/womankind.

Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, osmium (to name a few) all have a myriad of practical applications including, industrial, medicinal, electronic and so on.

The intrinsic legal position of 'entitlement' is (to my mind) irrelevant. In my opinion (and I freely acknowledge that it is only an opinion) we are entitled (in a general sense) to expect that one individual cannot arbitrarily and unilaterally decide to deprive the world of the use of such resources - I would encapsulate that concept within the words fair and fairness.

I will not be drawn into a discussion over or about semantics. All the words I have used are in common usage, if you don't understand them look them up in a dictionary.

Having said all that, I would temper all the above with the observation that Critical Thinking exercises are just that; exercises. I enjoy them for their thought provocation alone - they are, for the most part, hypothetical and are not worth getting one's knickers in a twist about.

My answer is not the definitive answer. It isn't the only answer. But it is my answer and it sits well with me both in terms of it's reasoning and with my views of what is fundamentally right and wrong.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:50:48 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 530,472
lurk
Agrippa wrote:
Having said all that, I would temper all the above with the observation that Critical Thinking exercises are just that; exercises. I enjoy them for their thought provocation alone - they are, for the most part, hypothetical and are not worth getting one's knickers in a twist about.

My answer is not the definitive answer. It isn't the only answer. But it is my answer and it sits well with me both in terms of it's reasoning and with my views of what is fundamentally right and wrong.


Truth be spoken. Well put. Beautiful.

1Ball doesn't have the open-mindedness to accept this kind reality simply because it is not his thought therefore it is not his reality.
I suggest we let him take his 1 ball home so no one can play with it and we'll go ahead and play 8 ball without it. I call solids...lol. lurk
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:30:41 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
In no literal sense whatsoever. This, at least, you've nailed.


Great! Thanks for clearing that up. Now that we've both played the churlish game and avoided the "HEAR MY OUTRAGE!" game, maybe we can get down to something meaningful. Critical thinking does not require an unequivocal answer any more than it requires an answer that doesn't contain a value judgement (which is not at all). Both of those are luxuries in many situations requiring critical thinking. Both of them are often irrelevant and requiring them is irrational. Requiring them before answering without a rational case for them is bullshit. I'm not going to refrain from calling bullshit what it is, because not every opinion is equally valid. Anybody who expects to be recognized for their critical thinking skills while bullshitting is delusional. Critical thinking is about rational thought in whatever situation you're applying it to. Bullshit is about pretending you have a valid point when you're using magical thinking.

This is reality. Judeo-Christian indoctrination and monarchism have had a lot of influence on the development of English speaking cultures. Monarchism has essentially been replaced by statism, but there's still a stench of "Divine Right of Kings" underlying the relationship between the individual and the state. A majority's will is no more infallible than a King's or a Pope's, but popularity still seems to carry weight disproportionate to its justification.

Both statism and Christianity have a lot in common as far as how they view and impede critical thinking. Both call on the individual to think first on what he can do for the joint venture (whatever it may be). JFK's famous "Ask not" speech is a great example on the statism side. "Ask what you can do for your country" was an attempt to guilt-trip Americans into patriotism. There's implicitly no room for believing that the best thing you can do for yourself and for your country is to require the joint venture to serve your interests by respecting your sovereignity. But for those who wish to cling to the comfort of a higher authority, critical thinking keeps getting in the way.

You'll never hear, "Hold your country accountable for its lip service to human rights.", from a statist government. You'll never hear "Let your conscience be your guide" from the Catholic Church, or the Mormon Church, or from any religion that wants you to refer to a book or a spiritual advisor on matters of morality. Both statism and Christianity use variants of the "might makes right" morality. Life is only good if spent in service to <insert your master's name here>. Unfortunately, the history of our culture has downplayed the importance of critical thinking in making decisions on what we are reasonably entitled to and what sacrifices we can reasonably expect from others and what can justifiably be taken from us. We use our minds to survive and our minds have been inundated with conventional "wisdom" that is anti-individual. We've been spoon-fed morality from the time when our minds were too simple to penetrate the inherent contradictions in it. Maturing intellectually and emotionally requires overcoming that.

But Kennedy had one thing right, "Ask". Free inquiry is essential to critical thought, but For those who wish to remain safe in their delusions, questioning conventional wisdom has become blasphemy. Daring to question conventional wisdom has become proof of heresy. Speaking up for the individual has become proof that one is more selfish than the greedy and selfish sheeple who flock together under the banner of conventional wisdom because they believe the popularity of an apparently self-serving idea is more important than the actual wisdom of embracing it. Asking questions about apparent contradictions until we're satisfied that we've penetrated any BS and found a useful truth is how we avoid jumping to false conclusions while making decisions.

So I offer scenarios where multiple aspects of conventional wisdom conflict with each other. I invite people to think about their beliefs in another way. An attempt by a respondent to try to dictate the scenario has to fail because, in that respect, the exercise must mimic real life to make it worthy of critical thinking. Asking until satisfied that the ground rules are as clear as they will become and then answering, even if the answer must be inferred from sub-optimal knowledge or include the values of the respondent, is crucial to critical thinking. But both authoritarian influences that people turn to for help in making decisions (religions and governments) discourage questions and try to lead to unequivocal answers based on values dictated by dogma. You think I don't see shades of gray, but there is nothing more black and white than turning your will over to a majority, a charismatic leader or your own belief in the holiness of self-sacrifice or an entitlement that springs from an irrational belief. I escaped from Catholicism by employing free inquiry and catching myself over and over when using assumptions that were spoon-fed to me by the Church, until I got out of the habit. And that required throwing out the assumption that moral dilemmas always had unequivocal answers.

I'll give you an example of a critical thinking exercise where there is no unequivocal answer; Vietnam War draft dodgers. Some of them opposed the war on the grounds that it was wrong to impose our anti-communist values on the people of Vietnam. Others opposed the draft on the basis that it was slavery and that our founding ideals were compromised by forcing young adult men to serve the whims of the government. Others were hoping their opposition to fighting communists in Vietnam would cause the US to lose and would lead to communism for the US. Which groups were wrong and worthy of dismissal as irrational ideologues? Which were cowards, worthy of dismissal as selfish non-conformists. Which were heroes, worthy of praise for their principled opposition? What does critical thought tell you? Stop here and think about that for a while before reading on.



As far as I can tell, the first two draft dodger groups were opposing US statism. The view that those young men owed their support to the US was statist. The view that the US could morally deny the Vietnamese people their right to try a totalitarian option was also statist. No matter how you look at it, a win for anybody, the US, Vietnam, the anti-war groups, or the anti-draft group, meant losses for somebody else, except in one scenario. A win for the ant-draft group was a win for individual liberty, and rational thought tells us that, unless the absolute morality of "might makes right" is acceptable, nobody else was entitled to their lives. So nobody would have lost anything they were entitled to by the exit of the anti-draft group from the stage. An underlying principle of our social contract is the right to walk away from a deal presented. Their protest by abandonment of their society was their right. Did it make them heroes? I don't know. But I've made a principled moral decision that seems like the right one to me. In an absolute morality called "live and let live", they displayed the most principled stance. Care to offer a counter opinion?

So let's deal with your other "observations".

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Nevertheless, you seem to have put considerable unearned credence into the name, and seem hurt that it doesn't meet your strict code of fidelity to its literal definition.


Actually I was just hoping for a place where honest and thoughtful discussion could occur and free inquiry would be something everyone could engage in without being considered a blasphemer or heretic or even a jerk. This place was advertised as "Adult Swim - discussions and debate of a more serious and heavyweight nature", but that was misleading. I guess it's more serious and heavy weight than The Lounge, but it's often only barely deeper than a kiddie pool. And there is very little commitment to actual rational thought. People seem to think that questioning their beliefs is dismissing them. That's not rational. Questioning beliefs will lead to strengthening, irrational digging in, or changing their beliefs. Irrational digging in seems to be the popular choice and it's encouraged by the belief that asking unwanted questions is a jerk thing.

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I'm not sure what more to say about it, other than the requested Feel Tank is still in the works. This code doesn't write itself, you know.


Until the split occurs, this one could be called The GroupThink Tank. Unless a lot of others become more open minded and less afraid of examining the rationality of their beliefs. Maybe that's just not possible.

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You've presented yourself as the "proselytizing individualist" guy, for whom it's not enough to simply allow others to disagree with you.


You've perceived me as that for no other reason than the fact that I persistently question and challenge your statist beliefs. It would be so easy to just pretend I agree with them for the sake of getting along, but that wouldn't be honest or beneficial to anybody or interesting to me. Fawning sycophants are a drag. But others get a pass when they espouse their statist or conformist beliefs. Are they proselytizing any less than me? I don't think so. Their message is just different. It comes across as, "I'm cool because I believe what all the cool people believe." I have to believe that if you and I were sitting in a coffee shop and we overheard someone say, "I don't shop at WalMart because the higher prices at the other store mean they treat their employees better.", we would both recognize that they're slinging bullshit. If I didn't think that level of rationality was present in you, I couldn't have much respect for you as a thinker.

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No, you apparently feel it's your duty (to what authority, I'm not sure) to confront everyone with your values, presented as ultimate truth. Then, to whatever degree people engage you, they either submit to your supposedly infallible ethos, or they're classified as bullshitting idiots in denial of the overwhelming fallacies that up until that moment, they lived in slavery to. I'm not sure if this is because you're so super-earnest about politics that you take it personally when others don't see the world the way you see it, or if it's just your personality to go around declaring others to be either dumb or in denial whenever they disagree with you about anything.


It's not a duty. It's enlightening, interesting and sometimes even entertaining. I question. When I get bullshit answers, I question again, and again, and again... If people want to hide behind excuses, being questioned makes them uncomfortable, but if this isn't a GroupThink Tank, it's on them for believing that every opinion is equally valid no matter the consequences of believing it. Is that really what you want here? Everybody able to reach agreement on the lowest common denominator? Is there no appreciation for the heresy of disbelief in the "everybody has a valid point" mentality that infests this place?

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So, instead of just shrugging your shoulders and moving ahead with those that did offer a clear answer, you answered questions by belittling others' intellect, and dismissing what they say and asked as irrelevant, 'babble' and 'bullshit'.


Whose intellect did I belittle? Pointing out that an irrational thought is an irrational thought isn't belittling somebody's intellect. They belittle their own intellect if they don't revise their opinion in the face of it being shown to be not worth having. Whose answer did I dismiss? I gave opportunities to clarify and I asked questions to help achieve that. People like their pronouncements to be taken on faith or treated as equally valid no matter how irrational they seem. Questioning a belief is not dismissing it. It's key to finding out what's behind it and how much actual merit it has. Doubting the merit of an idea that seems irrational is not depriving someone of respect they deserve. It's the first step toward determining how much merit their belief actually has.

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Seeing this occur confirmed my suspicion that this wasn't so much an open canvas for a variety of answers, but another exercise in "find those that disagree with me, put them through a series of exercises, the pre-constructed logic of which is only solvable through my personal principles." This, I gather, is part of the worldview that one either is a stalwart individualist or a slave to collectivism, "and through this simple test, you will determine for yourself...."


Critical thinking exercises about things other than moral, political, or ethical choices are generally pretty boring. But what makes you think that critical thinking must lead to a variety of answers? That's contrary to leading to an unequivocal answer, but neither are required. Anybody who doesn't want to be lead by their own rational thoughts to a rational answer can simply refrain from critical thinking. Let's hope they also don't vote or have children. But anybody who truly values reason has nothing to fear from critical thinking.

Critical thinking in support of collectivism, statism, or authoritarianism seems to be oxymoronic. I've invited people who take exception to individualist themes to come up with their own, but so far, no takers. I don't have a belief that critical thinking is incompatible with collectivism or statism or Catholicism or any other ism. I'm open to any case that membership in North Korea or Islam or the Westboro Baptist Church is actually rationally justifiable. You can bet I would question such a case. Wouldn't you?

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But not everyone sees the world this way. I venture to say the vast majority don't. And I'm sure you'd say that makes the vast majority deluded...and that's okay.


The question is whether those who are capable of and interested in critical thinking are embracing a delusion that they are so important and powerful, that they can get away with magical thinking.

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So back to the question you gave at the top of this thread: when you say "people have a hard time just saying 'not as far as I can tell'", but you aren't sure why, that's because you're assuming that everyone approaches it the way you do,


Critical thinking requires rational thought. By definition that means irrational thought is excluded.

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otherwise it would obvious to you (as it is to me) why you're not getting that answer from everyone. To many, the details not given were of greater curiosity, and seemed important in determining the answer.


And I offered assurance that these details weren't important. It's only when there was an irrational insistence that the scenario would be rationally dismissable without them that I could tell that magical thinking was at the root of the refusal.

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Those who are predisposed to suss out suspected collectivist thought in every facet of life would've given the response you were expecting (which based on your posts, is the only response that doesn't activate the 'individualist logic' follow-up questions).


If someone displays critical thought, there is no point in follow-up questions. If they don't...

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Nobody's trying to stifle or silence anyone, but just as you feel comfortable alienating others by the way you interact and present your ideas, I certainly feel just as comfortable calling this as I see it. You're apparently secure enough in yourself to declare those who take offense to what you say as "thin-skinned." In doing so, I'm going to deduce that you can get as well as you give. You call others hypocrites, and antagonistic, and dismissive, yet you do the very same things (meta-hypocrisy)?


I do those things after they've displayed magical thinking, when it's appropriate, as opposed to while trying to build a case from mierda de toro for not answering. The option to not answer at all is there. Those who choose to answer or to try to second guess the scenario are opting to play. If they step in their own bullshit, that's because they stepped into the arena where they deposited it.

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So let's be clear about this: feel free to be just as individualist (or collectivist, or Dadaist, or...) as you want, but regardless of your personal belief system, if you act like a jerk (as you have, at times), you'll find yourself being treated accordingly.


Trying to appeal to people who want to continue engaging in magical thinking is pretty low on my priorities. For it to bother me to be treated like a jerk, I would have to respect the opinion of the person who was doing it. Respect is earned. Magical thinking doesn't earn respect. The middle ground is not found where a thinker is forced to meet a fool halfway.


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1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:33:45 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
Milik_The_Red wrote:
Reducing the range of this gauge by burning it or by dropping it in the ocean, doesn't actually destroy wealth. It only deprives the last one who poured wealth into it.


So then your answer is himself?

Quote:
The ops argument is therefore inherently flawed.


How so?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:41:53 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
Agrippa wrote:
The intrinsic legal position of 'entitlement' is (to my mind) irrelevant. In my opinion (and I freely acknowledge that it is only an opinion) we are entitled (in a general sense) to expect that one individual cannot arbitrarily and unilaterally decide to deprive the world of the use of such resources - I would encapsulate that concept within the words fair and fairness.

I will not be drawn into a discussion over or about semantics. All the words I have used are in common usage, if you don't understand them look them up in a dictionary.


I know what their definitions are, but who gets to specify what that means in context? What authority has that power? What is the root of the obligation to future generations? Is a wealthy man more obligated to future generations than a mother who has a budget for pot but not for health insurance for her kids? You speak of fortunate as if something made stars align and can then send a bill calling the fortune back. Is that what you believe?

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
sprite
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:03:05 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
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Monocle
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:03:31 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
1ball, you make a long, long passionate argument against a straw man. You aren't having trouble discussing things with people here because they are being delusional or slaves to group think, or any of the other excuses you give. They're having trouble discussing things with you because you're being a hypocrite and derisively dismissive about anything you happen to disagree with.

Guest
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:39:31 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 530,472
1 Ball - That is one big pile of shit
Milik_Redman
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:17:21 AM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 4,348
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
Some people are more interested in the quest itself rather than its actual completion. Circular arguments never end, for the one weaving them is motivated by keeping the discussion going.

This is a discussion driven by passion and emotion, logical results cannot be obtained in such an excercise.

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


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Monocle
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 6:29:27 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 300
It's also telling, 1ball, that when presented with hard evidence of your own hypocrisy and factual incorrectness you completely ignore it.
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