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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > It's time for America to start looking at other countries

It's time for America to start looking at other countries
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Clinically Insane
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Dec 21, 2012, 06:58 AM
 
My perception is that often times Americans are disinterested in looking at what other countries have done and what has produced good results for them. If you disagree with this assertion, I guess this thread is a non-starter for you because this is something that can never be proven, but...

Whether this is banking/finance, education, health-care, or gun control, it seems that many Americans either seem uninterested in entertaining the idea that maybe there is something they aren't best at and can learn from, become so incredibly defensive that these conversations cannot really take place, perhaps are overall prideful, perhaps think that other countries are somehow inapplicable, cling to this fantasy of American freedom necessitating a wholly separate framework for looking at these issues, or that the results of other countries as flukey and not a result of any particular set of policies. Maybe these reasons are strawman reasons, but they are the best theories I have.

The reasons why gun murder rates are so vastly different in countries such as Canada or a number of European countries is a pretty complex subject with no single answer. When one looks at other countries they have to do so without predetermined conclusions which we are all guilty of, perhaps this is a big part of this, but I don't understand why these sorts of discussions are not more prevalent? That another country might be better off in a single area doesn't make America overall inferior nor provides cause to feel defensive, it is silly to think that any country is "perfect", or that there isn't something that can be learned from outside their borders. They all have their strengths and weaknesses culturally, politically, economically, socially, etc.

What also kills me is when I hear prominent voices in the media go on about incidents like Newtown as being reason to look at video games and Hollywood movies as if these don't exist in other countries as well. This is such an incredibly lazy way of thinking, and it is arguments like this that warrant looking abroad for solutions. I'm not suggesting that America should simply start copying the policies of other countries just because, but there is nothing wrong with copying what has worked. American solutions don't have to be wholly unique.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 07:04 AM
 
Thanks for the lecture. We'll get right on that.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 07:47 AM
 
The other thing I forgot to add, it's unfair that other countries are looked at only when they can provide a cautionary tale, such as how Greece was mentioned a number of times during the debates.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 07:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post

Thanks for the lecture. We'll get right on that.
I think it's time for me to get on adding you to my ignore list.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 07:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
[QUOTE name="Uncle Skeleton" url="/t/496422/its-time-for-america-to-start-looking-at-other-countries#post_4208172"]
Thanks for the lecture. We'll get right on that.
I think it's time for me to get on adding you to my ignore list.
[/quote]

You didn't bring any facts, evidence or logical arguments. You didn't ask questions or use examples. All you did in this thread is express your dissatisfaction. And be hypocritical. You wouldn't be any less defensive if someone came into your thread (country) and then started complaining about how you're doing it wrong, and you should be more like the thread (country) that person left to get here in the first place.

I think you're really just spoiling for a fight. You're pressing all the right buttons to get an emotional backlash, but none of the ones for a calm rational analysis. I'm not going to give you your emotional backlash because I see through your taunts. So if you're not happy with that, then you probably had best ignore me.

I know from experience that you don't like it when people come in and try to analyze you, and I don't want to do that either. The problem is when you start a thread and don't provide anything but your own psyche as a basis for discussion, there's nothing else to do but focus on that. Provide some examples, facts, figures, something concrete, and then this problem won't keep happening. Look I'm just trying to help.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 08:11 AM
 
Sweeping dismissal of Americans based on a perceived propensity for Americans to make sweeping dismissals.

[golf clap]
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 08:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Sweeping dismissal of Americans based on a perceived propensity for Americans to make sweeping dismissals.
[golf clap]
What do you mean by "sweeping dismissal"?

And, more importantly, will my asking this allow us to move closer to actually talking about the issues raised in my original post? I'm looking forward to getting past this sort of usual obligatory MacNN ice breaking bullshit whenever somebody creates a new thread that isn't worded or expressed to everybody's liking.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 09:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm looking forward to getting past this sort of usual obligatory MacNN ice breaking bullshit whenever somebody creates a new thread that isn't worded or expressed to everybody's liking.
Presentation, polish, fit and finish matter. I'm surprised I have to point that out on an Apple message board.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What do you mean by "sweeping dismissal"?

And, more importantly, will my asking this allow us to move closer to actually talking about the issues raised in my original post? I'm looking forward to getting past this sort of usual obligatory MacNN ice breaking bullshit whenever somebody creates a new thread that isn't worded or expressed to everybody's liking.
Doubtful.

Your original post is constructed so antagonistically it will take inhuman effort to respond to it constructively beyond calling you out on it.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Thanks for the lecture. We'll get right on that.
Yep, right after I get through cleaning/adjusting my vintage NOS 60s-era H&K MP5. Man, this is a damned fine looking weapon, quality German product, right here. While not my favorite, that would be the Machine Gun Kelly-owned Thompson (his prints are all over the guard and drum), it is impressive.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Doubtful.
Your original post is constructed so antagonistically it will take inhuman effort to respond to it constructively beyond calling you out on it.
Indeed, the troll-type bait reminds me to put besson back on ignore.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post

Doubtful.
Your original post is constructed so antagonistically it will take inhuman effort to respond to it constructively beyond calling you out on it.
Show me how to ask the same questions without making people feel defensive then.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post

Indeed, the troll-type bait reminds me to put besson back on ignore.
Do that if you must, but at some point I hope people like yourself will eventually come around and begin to think about the actual content in the original post. America will always suffer for as long as it thinks it needs to find a unique solution to its problems, whether unique or not, and while burying its head in the sand.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 12:44 PM
 
I'm not sure you can Bess.

Those of us in other countries can love our country and criticise it at the same time. That seems to be very, very difficult for Americans.

Maybe some of you can think of examples where America has tried adopting policy from abroad and it has failed for you?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 12:57 PM
 
It IS time to start looking at other countries, and how they treat personal property and personal liberty. We also need to make sure and pay attention to how well they innovate and accumulate capital. And how well they can respond to crisis situations around the world that don't involve their direct interests.
He can be fixed -- you can't.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
[QUOTE name="subego" url="/t/496422/its-time-for-america-to-start-looking-at-other-countries#post_4208216"]
Doubtful.

Your original post is constructed so antagonistically it will take inhuman effort to respond to it constructively beyond calling you out on it.
Show me how to ask the same questions without making people feel defensive then.
[/quote]Jesus, even your contrition is combative. Well I can't resist a challenge...

How To Write a Good First Post

Lesson 1. Do your homework (or look like you did). This is the internet, it's a limitless void of information. Use that. No matter how original and ingenious your ideas are, at least part of them have been written about before. Go find that and link to it. Few people will click through AND read, but it will demonstrate two things to all: you put more than a scant knee-jerk's thought into it, and you gathered outside info about your idea. These two facts will put the reader in a receptive mood. Here are 3 examples* of good first posts that used this technique:
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/496084/connecticut-every-day-is-the-day-to-talk-about-gun-control
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/495545/senate-gop-kills-disabilities-treaty
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/461091/conceal-carry-the-2nd-amendment-vigilantism
Here are some not-so-good first posts that didn't bother to do their homework first, or at least didn't show it:
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/495507/u-n-control-of-the-internet
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/494294/freedom-of-information-act-good-or-bad

*Three is the magic number, just look at the titles of any of OAW's fine works

Lesson 2. Be concise. Decide what you want from your post, and make sure every sentence is in pursuit of that aim. Is it to gather information? What information? Is it to convince people of something? Put the main point at the beginning. People tend to only read the beginning; don't fight it, use it. Make your point at the top, and fill in the background, equivocations, and assumptions afterwards.

Lesson 3. Be respectful. If you assume your opponent is an idiot, your reader will assume the same thing about you. If you assume your opponent has a good point, your reader will give you the same courtesy. Don't use profanity, don't use ad homs, don't use stereotypes. If you want your opponent to be in the kind of mood to accept new information, you have to set that tone, by example.

Lesson 4. Be predictive. Ghost-write a rebuttal to your post. In keeping with Lesson 3, assume your ghost-opponent is intelligent and informed. Pretend your post says the opposite of what it says, and imagine what criticisms you would make of it. If your ghost-opponent can accuse you of jumping to conclusions or exaggerating the truth, now is your chance to stop doing those things. If possible, identify your assumptions and confirm them; refer to Lesson 1 and give links showing your assumptions aren't off base. Proof-reading is part of this lesson as well. This lesson is more about taking things out (exaggerations) than putting more things in (equivocations).

Lesson 5. Gamification. Present a challenge to the reader which they can attempt to solve. Sometimes it helps to pretend you were given this challenge by someone else IRL, and your reader is on your side. Make the rules clear up front. This and this are good examples. This technique is under-appreciated.

Lesson 6. Don't come on too strong. Add a joke or two. Hold some back. If you have a manifesto, just give the abstract in the OP and save the rest for after people have had a chance to reply. Don't melt down, take a breath. A picture is worth 1000 words. Sometimes you get two for one, if you're talking about alcoholism for example:




The more of these lessons you can incorporate, the better your chance of success. Of course, it depends on the topic, some topics are just uninteresting, and you'll have to use more of these techniques in order to overcome that deficit.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 21, 2012, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
It IS time to start looking at other countries, and how they treat personal property and personal liberty. We also need to make sure and pay attention to how well they innovate and accumulate capital. And how well they can respond to crisis situations around the world that don't involve their direct interests.
Feeling a little defensive?
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I'm not sure you can Bess.
Those of us in other countries can love our country and criticise it at the same time. That seems to be very, very difficult for Americans.
Maybe some of you can think of examples where America has tried adopting policy from abroad and it has failed for you?
Nothing comes to mind. All I can think of is some lip service being paid to a European country for utilizing wind power, and to Canada for their financial sector dealing with the financial crisis quite well. I don't think this has translated to actual policy though, just praise.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I'm not sure you can Bess.

Those of us in other countries can love our country and criticise it at the same time. That seems to be very, very difficult for Americans.

Maybe some of you can think of examples where America has tried adopting policy from abroad and it has failed for you?
You're losing an important distinction. Americans are fine with criticism of America by other Americans. You're not as accepting when American's badmouth your home country as when your countrymen do it either.

This is perfectly logical. If I move to another country and start tinkering with it, what's the worst that can happen? If my changes screw it up, I can always emigrate again and try to do better next time. One free Western democracy is as good as the next, as long as it's not "my" country, "my" homeland. But people who identify with that country as if they partly "own" it and no substitute would feel quite the same (for purely subjective emotional reasons), are less cavalier about declaring parts of it obsolete that were historically very crucial and hard-fought, on the hopes that removing what was once a critical pillar won't inadvertently topple the whole structure. You may consider this special cautiousness to be a bad thing, but I don't.

It's the same reason we use a standard of informed consent in medicine. Even the most educated doctor can't be trusted to make decisions for the patient without the patient's informed consent, because humans simply aren't capable of being thoroughly cautious enough with Other People's Property.

PS. Of course, maybe there is just a little something to Americans not wanting to be copycats. I mean look to history: how stupid would we be if we let our own government become the exact same thing we were founded on not being: the redcoats, and we fell for it by imitating the British!. How does that saying go again, "Fool me once you can't get fooled again!" Know what I mean? Nobody's perfect, but at least we're going to err on the other side of the fence this time.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 03:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Show me how to ask the same questions without making people feel defensive then.
Gladly!

If there was one tip I could give you it's not to attempt to answer your own questions as an opening gambit.

Answering your own questions is just poor form if what you want is a debate.

It indicates to your audience you aren't interested in their response, and they'll treat you that way. I'm not saying you aren't interested in people's responses (in fact, I believe the opposite to be true), I'm saying that's what you're indicating, and that's why shit goes pear-shaped.

The alternative is not to answer your own question and wait to see how people respond. Right there you're indicating to your audience you are interested in what they have to say. This is doubly true when you assume the worst about what it is they'll say.

This is what you did right here with this question. I know you have an opinion about why people get all defensive to your posts, but you didn't share that, what you shared is a desire to hear what I have to say. Do that and I'll spill out a book's worth of constructive response.


If I may be so bold, we're somewhat birds of a feather. Have you ever had someone bring up the difference between sales and IT? A sales person listens to your problem and offers a solution. An IT person offers a solution before you've even opened your mouth in an effort to prove how smart they are.

We're IT people.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:02 PM
 
TL;DR.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A sales person listens to your problem and offers a solution. An IT person offers a solution before you've even opened your mouth in an effort to prove how smart they are.

We're IT people.
God damnit. I do that too. I still think it's because I'm impatient. I can see people get annoyed when I do it, and I get annoyed when people do it to me. I've got to stop doing that.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:58 PM
 
I'm way bad too, but getting better.

Impatience plays into it a lot, especially when you're unsure of when you'll get a response, like on a forum.

I used to make my argument, make the spread of possible responses from the person I was debating, and then make arguments against all of those responses.


It seemed like a good idea at the time.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:09 PM
 
Now that we got that out of the way, the original topic?
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You're losing an important distinction. Americans are fine with criticism of America by other Americans. You're not as accepting when American's badmouth your home country as when your countrymen do it either.
This is obviously right to an extent, but I still think there is an element of truth to what I said. We've discussed american patriotism before and I still maintain you guys are less likely to criticise your country than most.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
humans simply aren't capable of being thoroughly cautious enough with Other People's Property.
I'll be a little sad if you actually believe this.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
PS. Of course, maybe there is just a little something to Americans not wanting to be copycats. I mean look to history: how stupid would we be if we let our own government become the exact same thing we were founded on not being: the redcoats, and we fell for it by imitating the British!. How does that saying go again, "Fool me once you can't get fooled again!" Know what I mean? Nobody's perfect, but at least we're going to err on the other side of the fence this time.
Doing the opposite thing to someone you don't like is something humans often tend to do but if you don't watch out you can end up cutting off your nose to spite your face. The redcoats might have been the enemy, but they presided over the largest empire in the history of the world, no mean feat. They must have been doing something right. They also aren't the enemy any more, supposedly they are now among your closest friends.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Now that we got that out of the way, the original topic?
Why on earth would I reward such an obnoxious response?
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You're losing an important distinction. Americans are fine with criticism of America by other Americans. You're not as accepting when American's badmouth your home country as when your countrymen do it either.
This is obviously right to an extent, but I still think there is an element of truth to what I said. We've discussed american patriotism before and I still maintain you guys are less likely to criticise your country than most.
You can maintain whatever you want.


Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
humans simply aren't capable of being thoroughly cautious enough with Other People's Property.
I'll be a little sad if you actually believe this.
Is this generic argument day?


Doing the opposite thing to someone you don't like is something humans often tend to
Come on it's not like that at all. This safeguard was designed specifically to fix a specific systemic injustice, not to be simply different. Reversing it is a step backwards. I'm not saying a step backwards is never warranted, but it's more significant than you have admitted so far.


The redcoats might have been the enemy, but they presided over the largest empire in the history of the world, no mean feat. They must have been doing something right.
Wow. Now I'm sad. I hope this is just the 3am talking. If our goal was conquest instead of justice, I would be more interested in that line of reasoning.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post


Why on earth would I reward such an obnoxious response?
It was directed at everybody here, I might circle back to what you wrote to me.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 03:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Is this generic argument day?
You never lend anything to anyone?

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Wow. Now I'm sad. I hope this is just the 3am talking. If our goal was conquest instead of justice, I would be more interested in that line of reasoning.
Conquest wasn't really my point. The point was only that it was quite an achievement.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 05:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Is this generic argument day?
You never lend anything to anyone?
Not something I couldn't bear to lose. Did you?

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Wow. Now I'm sad. I hope this is just the 3am talking. If our goal was conquest instead of justice, I would be more interested in that line of reasoning.
Conquest wasn't really my point. The point was only that it was quite an achievement.
Appeal to authority? Because they were good at conquest, they must have been good at everything?
Do you think I'll fall for that because of your stereotype about prideful Americans?
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 07:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Not something I couldn't bear to lose. Did you?
Sure. Not just anyone of course, but yes.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Because they were good at conquest, they must have been good at everything?
Do you think I'll fall for that because of your stereotype about prideful Americans?
Not everything, but building and running an empire requires a plethora of talents. I'm not sure why you'd need to fall for anything to realise that.

Do any other americans here disagree that your nation is one of the more patriotic around? Sometimes I wonder if Skelly just likes to disagree with me.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Not something I couldn't bear to lose. Did you?
Sure. Not just anyone of course, but yes.
So what was it?

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Because they were good at conquest, they must have been good at everything?
Do you think I'll fall for that because of your stereotype about prideful Americans?
Not everything, but building and running an empire requires a plethora of talents. I'm not sure why you'd need to fall for anything to realise that.
Compassion isn't one of them. In fact empire building works better without it than with it. This would be exactly why appeals to authority are fallacies.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Thanks for the lecture. We'll get right on that.
Muahahaha

-t
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:05 AM
 
Well if nothing more it seems that this thread is destined to provide Turtle his jollies with a little conflict, and it's Christmas and all, so I guess that's a good thing.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
So what was it?
I've loaned out money, computers, cars. I don't have a lot of cash so I can't really stand to lose much. I don't have kids but I have plenty of friends I'd trust with them if I did. Don't you?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Compassion isn't one of them. In fact empire building works better without it than with it. This would be exactly why appeals to authority are fallacies.
Compassion has never struck me as something the american right has valued in its governments.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Compassion has never struck me as something the american right has valued in its governments.
It's not.

Well, to be more specific, people on the right tend to have a very different understanding of compassion than what I think you're talking about, and for them it has no place in government.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Well if nothing more it seems that this thread is destined to provide Turtle his jollies with a little conflict, and it's Christmas and all, so I guess that's a good thing.
In that spirit, a Merry STFU Christmas to you

-t
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Compassion has never struck me as something the american right has valued in its governments.
Not that I necessarily identify myself with "the American Right" (whatever that means anyways), but here's on example of how I don't want compassion to be a "job" of the government.

I give away more than 20% of my income to charity.

I prefer doing this voluntarily, rather than the government taxing me 20% more, and then deciding by their own greedy / corrupt standards who would be the recipient of that money.

Yes, it's easy to label me as "not valuing compassion in government", but there can be valid reasons why people don't want every freaking aspect of human life outsourced to stupid / dumb / greedy / incompetent / corrupt bureaucrats.

From what I can observe in American Society, there's a much greater propensity to give voluntarily to the greater good than in Europe.
In Europe, the mentality is more like "I'm already paying a shitload of taxes, so let the government be responsible for everything".

-t
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post

In that spirit, a Merry STFU Christmas to you
-t
I'm racking up enormous debt in my Lotus Notes just for you!
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

I'm racking up enormous debt in my Lotus Notes just for you!
haha, nice.

But let it be known, I switched jobs, and I'm back to Outlook. Glory.

-t
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:05 AM
 
@turtle

Please get out of your "American" bubble and realize there's this place called Europe.

K? Thx.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
So what was it?
I've loaned out money, computers, cars. I don't have a lot of cash so I can't really stand to lose much. I don't have kids but I have plenty of friends I'd trust with them if I did. Don't you?
And since you are the person who came up with this analogy, I assume your friends felt it was ok to make fundamental changes to the nature of your stuff before giving it back, and you didn't mind? What did they change?
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:24 AM
 
Ok compassion was a poor choice of words. "Justice" or "fairness" work too. There's a very long list of attributes we strive for in governance that are contrary to the ideals of empire-builders.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:40 AM
 
Don't you guys ever get tired of talking like lawyers and quibbling over semantic details as a necessary prerequisite to having a more real, frank discussion about subjects like this that are about immeasurable attitudes and perceptions?

Yes, you can go on about my poor form here and perhaps you'd be right, but these sorts of threads *never* happen in the PWL no matter who is involved, ever, without this usual sort of semantic bickering.

This is an opportunity to get your Facebook on and just talk what's on your mind without having to write a bulletproof dissertation.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 12:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Don't you guys ever get tired of talking like lawyers and quibbling over semantic details as a necessary prerequisite to having a more real, frank discussion about subjects like this that are about immeasurable attitudes and perceptions?
You want us to ignore your "attitude" so that we can have an honest discussion about Americans' "attitude?" I'm getting confused, does "attitude" matter or not?

In all seriousness, as a friend, we can go either way on this, but we can't go both ways at once. If you want it to be a sparring match, then don't complain when people spar. And if you want it to be polite, civil and thoughtful, then don't come out of the gate swinging. There's value in both kinds, and we've had both kinds before, but there's no value in a muddled combination of the two.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 12:06 PM
 
The point of semantic debate is to share a common language. What's wrong with that?
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
@turtle
Please get out of your "American" bubble and realize there's this place called Europe.
K? Thx.
Uhm, yeah, I don't know if you're just trying to be funny, or if you're being an idiot.

And please, don't try to sound like you're educated by telling me Europe ain't one country. I always laugh my ass of when Americans feel the urge to point that out.

-t
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The point of semantic debate is to share a common language. What's wrong with that?
Because it never works out that way in here. It amounts to the participation splitting between emotional diatribes and potshots ala Badkosh, or endless academic bickering over small minutia while rarely addressing the underlying points and concepts, where it is very rare that anything is actually accomplished in terms of actually making a connection and bridging the disconnect that exists between both sides.

It is just tiresome having to choose between one or the other.
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Not that I necessarily identify myself with "the American Right" (whatever that means anyways), but here's on example of how I don't want compassion to be a "job" of the government.
I give away more than 20% of my income to charity.
I prefer doing this voluntarily, rather than the government taxing me 20% more, and then deciding by their own greedy / corrupt standards who would be the recipient of that money.
Yes, it's easy to label me as "not valuing compassion in government", but there can be valid reasons why people don't want every freaking aspect of human life outsourced to stupid / dumb / greedy / incompetent / corrupt bureaucrats.
From what I can observe in American Society, there's a much greater propensity to give voluntarily to the greater good than in Europe.
In Europe, the mentality is more like "I'm already paying a shitload of taxes, so let the government be responsible for everything".
-t

The difference between the two 'methods of compassion', is that the government is (or should be) legally required to be fair and non-discriminatory. IMO this makes it more likely that some people who need it will get it instead of being denied funds because they don't fit the donors' political, social, moral or religious beliefs. T is right that it also makes it more likely that the money will be mismanaged in some way.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 22, 2012, 02:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
And since you are the person who came up with this analogy, I assume your friends felt it was ok to make fundamental changes to the nature of your stuff before giving it back, and you didn't mind? What did they change?
This is an analogy now? You were the one who said you didn't trust anyone with any of your stuff.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
 
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