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Yeah, I don't see the contradiction there.
General Discussion / Re: Five most serious problems?
« Last post by Harry Black on Today at 05:34:27 PM »
The bubble keeps growing until it pops.

I completely agree with the list in the OP.
Its great that we have fewer starving people but its not enough. Corporate influence and bootstrap philosophy is driving us back toward pre WW2 levels of hopelessness and the concentration of wealth shows no sign of slowing down.

Along with global warming, we are sitting on a timebomb that desperately needs to be defused.
Sure. We have always figured things out in the past, but we have never had problems of this magnitude (depending on the validity of the Toba catastrophe).
A few people are trying to insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions and leaving the rest of us to deal with it.
An undefeated fighter only remains so until their inevitable defeat. Statistically, humanity will fail to solve a final problem at some point and we are stacking the deck against ourselves right now in relation to a few fucking doozies.

Getting rid of leaders who make the above problem worse needs to an absolute priority. And not just the obvious ones who say silly things about Russia. We have to make an international decision that enough of us will vote to stop the fuckwits from grabbing the wheel of our species survival.
I saw an online discussion about skepticism, and one self-identified skeptic wrote that he was also a vegetarian, and often received questions from fellow skeptics how he could be a vegetarian if he is a skeptic. He therefore had stopped telling other skeptics about his vegetarianism.

I wonder, is there any contradiction or conflict between skepticism and vegetarianism? I would think that as long as you don't invoke and pseudoscientific or logically fallacious argument in favor of your vegetarianism, you can be a skeptic and also a vegetarian. Correct? Or am I missing something?

(For the record, I'm personally not a vegetarian.)
I do agree with that.
Its shit to see a thing that you feel defines you and perhaps you even had to pay a price for, having its best parts separated in a blender and used to benefit the very kinds of people who made your life hard in the first place.

Like suddenly every Hollywood actor loved every obscure comic? Fuck off.
My car is in the shop so Ive been running home from work everyday with my backpack.
Much more annoying when its the only way home!

Also means I havent been able to go to the gym to do my other stuff so its been pull ups before work instead.
Back in the day, words like "nerd," "geek," "dork," and "dweeb" were all shameful slurs, certainly not the kind of epithet one would ever actively self-identify as.

...but we are no longer back in the day. I'm almost 50. I played red- and blue- box D&D when I was 9 or 10. Nerd is no longer a pejorative because we took over the world.

That's a quaint interpretation, but I disagree. The n-word didn't cease to be a pejorative in the US when we had a black president.

African-Americans use the n-word (spelled slightly differently if you want to be technical) to refer to themselves, but it is still not acceptable for white American to use it, and these two circumstances are not contradictory. In contrast, I know of no self-described nerds who would object to non-nerds calling us that. So your analogy isn't quite appropriate.

You are welcome to your opinion. I have been able to work through and let go of the pain of my childhood trauma, as have many other nerds. We have been raising nerd children for decades. They will have their own pain, of course, but need shame is much lower on the list.

Yeah, I should probably walk that one back a little. It's really not fair to compare a childhood taunt to a vile racist slur redolent of hundreds of years of oppression that persists to this day. Looking back at that comparison, I'm feeling a bit ashamed of myself. 

And I agree that the word "nerd" has indeed been reclaimed somewhat. Even back in the '80s we had movies like Real Genius and Revenge of the Nerds that celebrated young people who sought education for its own sake. Then, during the tech boom of the late '90s, "the nerds inherit the Earth" became a popular trope. Apparently, everybody loves you so long as you're putting money in their hands. Nowadays, everybody loves their smartphones, video games and adolescent power fantasies, and visionary "nerd" CEOs are the heroes of our economy.

You and I are at the age where we can laugh it off if somebody were to call us a "nerd." But for a kid, it's hurtful to be called by any name that ostracizes them from the group. It's not even about the name itself, it's about being targeted for ridicule. The kids with the athletic skills, the good looks, the money and the social skills will always be more popular than the one who studies hard and cultivates a range of non-mainstream interests.

Our culture is changing with respect to technology. Despite the prevalence of tech, we're currently in the midst of an anti-intellectual backlash. Most kids aren't "nerds" in the same sense that you and I were in our youth. Today's children have never known a time without ubiquitous Internet and mobile devices. To them, being connected online is roughly analogous to what television and the regular ol' land line telephone was to us in our youth. When we had the opportunity to get our hands on computers, we couldn't wait to fiddle around, learn programming, and make them do what we wanted. But unlike our generation, today's kids take them for granted. They're mostly passive consumers instead of tech hobbyists.

I suppose that's why I still find it pandering and annoying to hear "nerd" turned into a marketing term to hawk mainstream movies, TV shows and videogames. Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety.
Podcast Episodes / Re: Episode #679
« Last post by DevoutCatalyst on Today at 02:10:34 PM »
I wish someone (not me) would develop something for Science or Fiction such that the rogues will enter and lock their answers before hearing the others.

The segment doesn't really have a clear objective.  It's not exactly a quiz even though they keep score, it's a discussion, and changing your mind after hearing other people's logic is a good thing.  I think whoever goes first should be able to change their answer after the discussion.  Best evaluation and application of critical thinking is the winner.

It shows that skeptics aren't know-it-alls and are willing to be wrong and change their minds.
Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Novichok nerve agent attack - UK
« Last post by gebobs on Today at 01:57:10 PM »
End the thread. Putin told Trump he didn't do it.
General Discussion / Re: Five most serious problems?
« Last post by gebobs on Today at 01:52:13 PM »
If what you say is true why bother doing anything?   

A. It's only my opinion of what's going to happen. I'm not an expert and even they aren't exactly sure how things will flesh out.
B. Even if we are past the point of no return, there may be a chance to mitigate the damage.

Humans can and will survive

Doubtlessly. But will a population of 10+ billions, mostly clinging to within 200 miles of global shorelines persist. That is doubtful, perhaps unlikely.

We invent things, we improvise, we adapt.  Its not getting worse its getting better, Global climate change is a big problem and we will solve it.  Overpopulation is a problem and we will solve it. Thats what we do, we solve problems. We are making progress in several areas that will solve the carbon dependance, nuclear fusion, solar, and others.  We are doing so much better at feeding people and there are so many more of them. Right now too many people on the left are preaching doom and gloom because the ignorant right is currently in charge,  Still we are doing so much better and will continue to do so.

I hope you are right and things aren't as bad as I think.

You bring up a point that I'd like to discuss. On the one hand, overpopulation is a problem. On that we can agree. On the other hand, we are developing technology which promotes more population. If and when we have fusion, we will have a near infinite supply of energy to fuel further growth. Vaccines/medicine have saved untold millions of lives and have contributed greatly to life expectancy and quality. GM/agrotech reduce spoilage and increase yield further promoting population growth. Modern transport/communications allows us to mobilize humanitarian relief where previously whole populations would succumb.

All that and more is tipping the scale toward increasing population. What is the counterbalance? What we need though is a global will to reduce population with consideration for these factors that promote growth. Otherwise, it will be done in ways that are going to be quite cruel.
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