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Republican economics are destroying our culture, and in turn our economy
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besson3c
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:13 PM
 
I'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about our failing education system. Our failures are not simply in our education system, but our entire culture. We are becoming a nation of ****ing morons, culturally speaking. Our failing education system is a *reflection* of this, not the sole reason for this.

Look at scientific research, for example. There are Republicans and probably some Democrats who think that our government shouldn't be spending money on programs like NASA or various other avenues of scientific research. This way of thinking, as far as I understand it, seems to equate to the notion that anything that does not make money in the short term should not be the business of the government. The problem is, stuff that does not make money in the short term is never the business of private business either, how can it be? Under this way of thinking, there may not have been electricity or any number of other inventions which took many years to develop, and ironically ending up being taxable sources or revenue for the government when looking at the history of the planet (keeping in mind that in the planet's entire overall history, capitalism is a relatively new thing).

Look at space research. If there was no NASA, what would inspire young kids to pursue science if this is simply not something their country was a leader in, or even funded at all? What would inspire young minds to participate in these areas if their work would simply amount to, say, a more fuel efficient car or plane rather than a chance to explore another planet? A fraction of a penny of our individual tax contributions goes into funding NASA, so not only is the whole attitude of "let's not spend money on space until we sort out matters at home" harmful to our culture, but not spending this money doesn't really solve any problems - it is just the product of politicians resorting to gimmicks to trick the electorate and make themselves look like they are doing a good job. If we can't afford a fraction of a penny, we have far greater problems on our hands.

There are number other examples that can be cited in and outside of science including the arts. Countries that have a rich culture are almost always prosperous, and in turn wealthy. A rich culture and support of that which makes our culture great is a money maker. The problem is, support and its effect is often very intangible and lacking direct, measurable connections. Anything that does not have a direct, immediate, and tangible economic benefit seems to be discarded under this "cut all government spending" mindset. While we are floundering about trying to restore our economy in the short term we are trading off our long term for our short term. What great accomplishment would it be to say that we survived our current economic turmoil if this was only for a few years until the next generation of morons inherited power?

Our culture is on the steady decline in a number of areas, our poor education rankings is a reflection of this, not the cause of this. I'm not suggesting that spending on things that might have an impact on our culture should be unfettered, but that we need to be thinking very carefully and deeply about our culture and its long term, rather than just supporting ways to slash budgets for immediate political or short term economic benefit. Another way of saying the same thing might be that we need to look for ways for the government to help start growing the economy again by stimulating the creation of new inventions, and stimulating its people to care. I realize that *making* people care part is not the government's job nor is it even possible, but it's very hard to thrive in spite of an absence of supportive government policy.

America is being passed over in so many areas these days, its international leadership is waning, and this goes way, way, way beyond left and right politics. It's time to change this by thinking a little bigger and bolder about our investments.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:22 PM
 
Not to diminish the idiocy of the Republican Party, but I would put a large part of the blame on the Democrats as well. Both parties are frighteningly aligned in their belief that it's only by pushing greater and greater government intervention in our lives that things can be made better. The difference is really only in which, specific problems they focus on solving (and lately, comparing Bush and Obama, it's mostly even the same problems).
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:27 PM
 
You don't even have to go back as far as electricity to make my point.

Look at the internet and all that it has inspired. Could we have invented the internet with this current way of thinking of "oh, they're just wasting tax dollars and buying/building expensive computers and trying to make them speak to each other so that they can entertain themselves, let's cut that wasteful spending" ?

Again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't question our investments, but the debate should be over the merits of these individual investments, not whether the government should be making them at all.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:31 PM
 
Oh I think you're generally correct. I just think it's misguided to blame only the Republicans.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Not to diminish the idiocy of the Republican Party, but I would put a large part of the blame on the Democrats as well. Both parties are frighteningly aligned in their belief that it's only by pushing greater and greater government intervention in our lives that things can be made better. The difference is really only in which, specific problems they focus on solving (and lately, comparing Bush and Obama, it's mostly even the same problems).

I don't disagree with the idea that government has been pushing for greater intervention and has been making power grabs, or that the manner or extent in which they have done so hasn't gotten out of hand.

All I'm saying is that we need to separate this from smart investments, and change the whole debate from not debating whether the government should be in the business of investing at all, but simply what they should be investing in. This whole political climate of slashing and burning anything that does not make money next quarter (or even slashing and burning programs that do) is corrosive, and will bite us in the butt maybe not within this current generation, but the next one. We shouldn't be trading off the long term for the short term.

A part of this is the silly misguided faith that private business can do anything the government can better. If it took 60 years to invent electricity and bring it to the masses, there is no private business that would have funded this.

Won't somebody think of our culture?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Oh I think you're generally correct. I just think it's misguided to blame only the Republicans.
Okay, maybe my topic was a bit sensational, but it sure seems like the whole cutting spending thing has become the mantra of the right these days. Their time in office is usually too short of a time period to reap the benefits of cultural investment, and this is not compatible with what they are after. Neither are Democrats, but the cutting spending thing is not exactly a mantra among them.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 28, 2011, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about our failing education system. Our failures are not simply in our education system, but our entire culture. We are becoming a nation of ****ing morons, culturally speaking. Our failing education system is a *reflection* of this, not the sole reason for this.
Well, it pays to be dumb, so.... being dumb is actually rather smart. When you get bailed out for being dumb, but you get nothing (or sometimes chastised) for being smart, then you shouldn't be surprised when more people choose to be dumb.

Under this way of thinking, there may not have been electricity or any number of other inventions which took many years to develop
I'm not aware of which inventors of electricity were working for the government. Can you fill me in?

Look at space research. If there was no NASA, what would inspire young kids to pursue science if this is simply not something their country was a leader in, or even funded at all? What would inspire young minds to participate in these areas if their work would simply amount to, say, a more fuel efficient car or plane rather than a chance to explore another planet? A fraction of a penny of our individual tax contributions goes into funding NASA, so not only is the whole attitude of "let's not spend money on space until we sort out matters at home" harmful to our culture, but not spending this money doesn't really solve any problems - it is just the product of politicians resorting to gimmicks to trick the electorate and make themselves look like they are doing a good job. If we can't afford a fraction of a penny, we have far greater problems on our hands.
By the same token, if there is no chance of losing their funding, there is nothing keeping NASA from resting on their laurels. The thrill of space exploration is just as dead whether you remove the "space" part or you remove the "thrill" part. NASA has found a way to make space boring, which is just as bad for the morale of tomorrow's scientists as cutting funding altogether. IMO.

Countries that have a rich culture are almost always prosperous, and in turn wealthy.
Poor countries don't have rich culture? That's not surprising, they can't afford it

While we are floundering about trying to restore our economy in the short term we are trading off our long term for our short term.
That's exactly what a lot of people say about the invention of social security, and it's hard for me to find fault in that assessment
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I'm not aware of which inventors of electricity were working for the government. Can you fill me in?
Michael Faraday - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

By the same token, if there is no chance of losing their funding, there is nothing keeping NASA from resting on their laurels. The thrill of space exploration is just as dead whether you remove the "space" part or you remove the "thrill" part. NASA has found a way to make space boring, which is just as bad for the morale of tomorrow's scientists as cutting funding altogether. IMO.
How has NASA found a way to make space boring, and whatever your answer might be, is this a reflection of our culture, or a driver?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 09:24 PM
 
A question that intrigues me with regards to private business vs. government funding research is diseases...

The US government funds stuff like cancer research (Cancer Research Funding - National Cancer Institute), and I'm not sure whether researching something like this is of interest to the private sector. Obviously, the potential to monetize a cure is beyond huge, but there is no guarantee of any profits within any given timeline, and if a cure was found could a company monetize something like this if the cure came out of the result of years of work from researchers outside the company?

Is the private sector better suited to research male baldness and erection problems and stuff, or have their been cases of government, the private sector, and worldwide organizations working together successfully? In other words, how does drug research of big diseases with no known cures, such as cancer, work as far as interactions go beyond the public and private sector here and abroad?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 28, 2011, 09:44 PM
 
A question that intrigues me with regards to private business vs. government funding research is diseases...

The US government funds stuff like cancer research (Cancer Research Funding - National Cancer Institute), and I'm not sure whether researching something like this is of interest to the private sector. Obviously, the potential to monetize a cure is beyond huge, but there is no guarantee of any profits within any given timeline, and if a cure was found could a company monetize something like this if the cure came out of the result of years of work from researchers outside the company?

Is the private sector better suited to research male baldness and erection problems and stuff, or have their been cases of government, the private sector, and worldwide organizations working together successfully? In other words, how does drug research of big diseases with no known cures, such as cancer, work as far as interactions go beyond the public and private sector here and abroad?
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 12:40 AM
 
hmmm

a rise in our nation of ****ing morons...a rise of dumb hick conservatives....sounds right
     
subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:03 AM
 
I live in Chicago.

Our public education system is garbage. It's been garbage for my entire life.

With the exception of positions like Treasurer and State's Attorney, we don't have Republicans in office.

Are the Republicans sneaking in and trashing my city's schools, or is the situation more complex than your thread title indicates?
     
Big Mac
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:28 AM
 
besson, why are you once again spouting off about politics when it's a subject about which you have not a single clue? I told you to stick to computing! That's where you excel. Otherwise, you're killing the holiday spirit. (Is that enough to get me some extra infractions?)

Here's some help for you besson: Democrats and their unions control education with almost a monopolistic grip. Not Republicans. Democrats control the Senate and the White House. Before 2011 they controlled the House, Senate and White House for two years. During that time federal spending exploded across the board. Before that Democrats controlled Congress for the last two years of President Bush's term. And before that you had President Bush with a compliant Republican Congress that also increased spending steadily (but not nearly as fast as the Dems and Obama).

Did you hear we're hitting the debt "limit" again besson? Very soon it will be $16 Trillion in debt. And you want MORE SPENDING? Even more ENORMOUS GOVERNMENT? Besson, your left-wing Pelosi-Reid-Obama economics are destroying our culture and in turn our economy. Hate to break it to you.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 29, 2011 at 01:41 AM. )

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besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I live in Chicago.

Our public education system is garbage. It's been garbage for my entire life.

With the exception of positions like Treasurer and State's Attorney, we don't have Republicans in office.

Are the Republicans sneaking in and trashing my city's schools, or is the situation more complex than your thread title indicates?
Did you read what I've written thus far? I did not say that the education system is not bad, nor did I say that this was a Republican or Democrat problem. Again, I said that our education system reflects our culture.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
besson, why are you once again spouting off about politics when it's a subject about which you have not a single clue? I told you to stick to tech! You're killing the holiday spirit.
Why don't you paraphrase what I've said thus far, if you can?
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:41 AM
 
I, for one, welcome the US government funding of the invention of the World Wide Web, and vBulletin, and electricity, and the chair I'm sitting in. Moar, I say, moar!
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subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Did you read what I've written thus far? I did not say that the education system is not bad, nor did I say that this was a Republican or Democrat problem. Again, I said that our education system reflects our culture.
Starts thread called "Republican economics are destroying our culture".

Says "ZOMFG! Who said this was the Republican's fault?!?"



Do you even realize you do this?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:55 AM
 
I don't even know where to begin with addressing the knee jerk reactions and misreadings, so I won't. If anything is unclear please ask.

Subego: do you just read thread titles and respond without reading the rest of the thread?
     
lpkmckenna
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I, for one, welcome the US government funding of the invention of the World Wide Web, and vBulletin, and electricity, and the chair I'm sitting in. Moar, I say, moar!
Is the universe about to explode?

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Did you hear we're hitting the debt "limit" again besson?
Since the debt ceiling is a meaningless and arbitrary legal fiction, why should anyone care?
     
subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't even know where to begin with addressing the knee jerk reactions and misreadings, so I won't. If anything is unclear please ask.

Subego: do you just read thread titles and respond without reading the rest of the thread?
I read the thread.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:06 AM
 
The MacNN thread filter process:

- Is the subject appropriate?
- Is the poster a hypocrite? Does he/she pass all of our little tests of post worthiness based on past history?
- Do we hold a grudge against that member?
- Do I feel like reading and thinking, or is a knee jerk reaction more fun?
- Do I feel like reading and comprehending, or can I just read a few words and interpret them randomly and spawn conversation off on that?
- Does the thread pass all MacNN guidelines?
- Can I pick apart little details and invoke debate for the fun of it, even if these little details are not at all central to the points being made?

Don't you guys get tired of this? Why not just reading the ****ing lead post and decide for yourself whether you want to participate in the thread without all of this usual stuff?

Yes, I know I'm guilty of this too, such as in Big Mac's dumb harrang-the-liberals-on-MacNN thread, so spare the "but you do it toooooo!!" response, I get it.

Seriously, don't these patterns bore you? Every thread seems to take about 50 posts before we can really sink our teeth into the actual subject matter.
( Last edited by besson3c; Dec 29, 2011 at 03:16 AM. )
     
Athens
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about our failing education system. Our failures are not simply in our education system, but our entire culture. We are becoming a nation of ****ing morons, culturally speaking. Our failing education system is a *reflection* of this, not the sole reason for this.
The failure lies in these words which have been forgotten. "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." which it has because its now Government of the people by the corporations for the corporations. Once corporations took over it was game over. The problem is the American people which are ****ing morons have allowed themselves to be manipulated by business. Everything done now is for whats best for business not the people. That is the only true failure, everything else falls under that. And corporate America is now spreading like a infection to the rest of the world. First world nations becoming more like the US (Canada included, look at that bastard Harper) and 3rd world nations are the slaves to corporations.

When you get back a government that is of the people, by the people and most important FOR THE PEOPLE things will get corrected. The question is how long will it take to hit rock bottom before this is realized.
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Athens
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Not to diminish the idiocy of the Republican Party, but I would put a large part of the blame on the Democrats as well. Both parties are frighteningly aligned in their belief that it's only by pushing greater and greater government intervention in our lives that things can be made better. The difference is really only in which, specific problems they focus on solving (and lately, comparing Bush and Obama, it's mostly even the same problems).
That is because both parties have people installed in them to serve corporate America. Don't matter who you vote for, they are all puppets for special interest and business doing what business wants.
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besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I read the thread.

Then if you did, you'd know that the thread is about culture, not our education system, and nowhere in it did I say that Republicans or Democrats are responsible for our failing education system.

I said that:

- our failing education system is a *reflection* of our declining culture
- the Republican mantra of "let's cut everything the government does" without examining the actual investment is corrosive to our culture. if Democrats in general or a particular Democrat were of the same mentality the same would be true.
- This is not a left/right issue, whether or not you buy the Republican mantra premise it doesn't really matter, it is not central to my point. My point is that our culture is on the decline in part because of this, but there are a whole host of other factors, I'm just choosing to focus on these particular attitudes in this particular thread regardless of who espouses them, using scientific research as a focal point.

Better?

Now, can we talk about the actual subject matter?
     
Athens
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
besson, why are you once again spouting off about politics when it's a subject about which you have not a single clue? I told you to stick to computing! That's where you excel. Otherwise, you're killing the holiday spirit. (Is that enough to get me some extra infractions?)

Here's some help for you besson: Democrats and their unions control education with almost a monopolistic grip. Not Republicans.
No they don't, private business controls education. Special interest groups and lobby groups for business get the text books and education criteria installed. All education material and how its taught is dictated by corporations. Same for the medical community. Corporations control how medicine is practiced. The only thing government does for education is pass bills or interfere in ways that benefit a company. And its a uphill battle all the way to fix bad things like coke in schools. Look at how Pizza has been labeled a vegetable in lose terms to continue the ability to sell pizza to kids so a food corporation does not lose out on profits. Look at how religious special interest groups are getting real science removed or complicated with junk ideology like creationism vs evolution.
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Is the universe about to explode?
Sarcasm meter broken over the hols?

Of course, as I sit here in an English chair made by an Englishman, typing into a bulletin board system designed by an Englishman running on top of a communications system invented by an Englishman, using electricity invented by an English God and discovered by an Englishman, of course I welcome American taxpayers' money. Send it over. Promise I'll spend it less rapidly than the fat chumps in Washington. Honest.
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subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Then if you did, you'd know that the thread is about culture, not our education system, and nowhere in it did I say that Republicans or Democrats are responsible for our failing education system.

I said that:

- our failing education system is a *reflection* of our declining culture
- the Republican mantra of "let's cut everything the government does" without examining the actual investment is corrosive to our culture. if Democrats in general or a particular Democrat were of the same mentality the same would be true.
- This is not a left/right issue, whether or not you buy the Republican mantra premise it doesn't really matter, it is not central to my point. My point is that our culture is on the decline in part because of this, but there are a whole host of other factors, I'm just choosing to focus on these particular attitudes in this particular thread regardless of who espouses them, using scientific research as a focal point.

Better?

Now, can we talk about the actual subject matter?
[facepalm]

"I don't care how totally ****ed up and soul-crushing your philosophy is, that's not central to my point."

The irony here is anything I agree with you on (which is probably a lot) is completely wiped out with your delivery.
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:30 AM
 
Americans take credit for way to much. Was mostly Canadians from Avro that put the first man on the moon even if they had been picked off by Nasa and American Aero Space companies. Same goes for a lot of things Americans take credit for. Fact of the matter is most of the stuff Americans credit themselves for comes from the Talent of The English, Canadian's (and some of those Canadians had English roots too) and z' German's
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Athens
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:44 AM
 
How much has the US government spent on HIV research?

HIV / Aids Vaccine media release

The fact is China is now producing the same number of university grads as the populations of some states in the US. China has its focus in the right place with research and development and education. US has always been a collector of people from other places importing talent not producing it.
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besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
[facepalm]

"I don't care how totally ****ed up and soul-crushing your philosophy is, that's not central to my point."

The irony here is anything I agree with you on (which is probably a lot) is completely wiped out with your delivery.

Whatever. Back to the topic?
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 07:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
the Republican mantra of "let's cut everything the government does" without examining the actual investment is corrosive to our culture. if Democrats in general or a particular Democrat were of the same mentality the same would be true.

Look at the internet and all that it has inspired. Could we have invented the internet with this current way of thinking of "oh, they're just wasting tax dollars and buying/building expensive computers and trying to make them speak to each other so that they can entertain themselves, let's cut that wasteful spending" ?
The internet was created for military purposes and commissioned by the DoD. Defense spending funded its birth. The same sort of spending that traditionally the Democratic party likes to champion as wasteful and bloated often in turn asking for its funding to be scaled back or cut.
In fact the DSO and DARPA do a lot of very important scientific research which has translated into civilian applications we use in our every day lives. And NASA budgets should have been cut. It is vain and impractical to pursue human space exploration and travel when unmanned missions are more productive and fruitful to the scientific community.

You should really learn to title your threads differently before you run your mouth on these rants and then have to backtrack and explain that it was not what you meant to imply.

Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Americans take credit for way to much. Was mostly Canadians from Avro that put the first man on the moon even if they had been picked off by Nasa and American Aero Space companies. Same goes for a lot of things Americans take credit for. Fact of the matter is most of the stuff Americans credit themselves for comes from the Talent of The English, Canadian's (and some of those Canadians had English roots too) and z' German's
Pff, if you are going to downplay American contributions then the Canucks better take a seat too and you should change the order of your honorable mentions. "Repurposed" Nazi rocket technology made up the majority of Cold War Era advances in space travel for both superpowers. And neither Canada nor anyone in Europe had the will or resources to make the jump from theoretical plans to actual tangible applications in the West. That was left up to the lowly Americans
( Last edited by Captain Obvious; Dec 29, 2011 at 07:52 AM. )

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Dec 29, 2011, 10:20 AM
 
This part is not strictly relevant to the OP but I'd like to ponder it for a moment:

Government regulation is like the entropy of the universe, it only ever increases.
Its perfectly logical, you only add legalisation to fix problems or close loopholes and when something doesn't work out it gets, modified or replaced by more legislation rather than simply undone. It seems that modern government could benefit from some kind of maintenance routine. Like defragging the government from time to time.

There is a case to be made for applying a database mindset to new legislation. Every new rule or law introduced should include the following:
Any causal factors including specific incidents which might have inspired it;
Stated goals including projected timescales with clear metrics by which to track its effectiveness in achieving those goals;
Default conditions for automatic revocation of the new legislature;

In the case of amendments to other bills, any additions should have to prove relevance to the original bill in order to curtail the tricks where someone attaches completely irrelevant extraneous legislation to unrelated bills in order to sneak something less popular through on the back of something more popular;
Of course you'd then need to establish some kind of federal body to review all these things periodically but it seems to me that it might be more efficient in the long run.

As for the state of society and culture, I think a big part of the problem is that we don't tend to look at the bigger picture when it comes to making up our opinions or decisions of how society should be run. Besson has a very good point about not looking far enough forward even if you don't necessarily agree with the conclusion he draws regarding NASA funding.
My personal opinion on trying to fix the welfare state is that we need to do a couple of things. We need to get past the idea that taking children away from irresponsible or incapable parents is the worst thing in the world. Leaving them there is only going to produce more irresponsible and incapable parents. In order to do that, we need a system that can raise those kids properly without depriving them of the attention and affection they need and without them getting abused by each other or the staff.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Dork.
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Dec 29, 2011, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
My personal opinion on trying to fix the welfare state is that we need to do a couple of things. We need to get past the idea that taking children away from irresponsible or incapable parents is the worst thing in the world. Leaving them there is only going to produce more irresponsible and incapable parents. In order to do that, we need a system that can raise those kids properly without depriving them of the attention and affection they need and without them getting abused by each other or the staff.
You made a post stating your views that government regulation is hard to control and should be reviewed frequently to keep it under control, yet at the end of it you propose that Government play a larger role in regulating parenting, and determining which parents are "irresponsible and incapable"? That seems inconsistent to me.
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 29, 2011, 10:51 AM
 
Why do I feel like besson would be one of the first posters decrying partisanism in a thread entitled "Democratic policies are destroying our culture and in turn our economy"?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 29, 2011, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
You made a post stating your views that government regulation is hard to control and should be reviewed frequently to keep it under control, yet at the end of it you propose that Government play a larger role in regulating parenting, and determining which parents are "irresponsible and incapable"? That seems inconsistent to me.
Actually I wasn't really talking about controlling the government as such. It sounds like you are assuming I'm one of those "less government" republicans which couldn't be further from the truth. There are all sorts of things that absolutely require regulation for the benefit of all, but I do think it goes too far more often than it should and its horribly inefficient most of the way through the process. I was simply proposing an idea that I think might improve things.

All the legislation is a bit like an operating system. The first version is usually quite snappy but you quickly run into bugs, glitches or oversights so you need patches. Several years down the road, all those patches and updates have clogged everything up and slowed everything down. The good thing about an OS is that every now and then someone re-writes a big chunk of it to try and incorporate all those fixes and add new features. This part doesn't happen with government legislation. I'm saying perhaps it should.

What I'm not saying is that there should definitely be less government, just that there are bits which need to reviewed and removed. We've all seen those websites full of hilarious out of date laws for example. They don't get enforced, so why not get rid of them if they don't apply? Its just housekeeping.
Also modern governments waste all sorts of time and money taking forever to change things even when they are obviously wrong and I just don't know why it takes them so long and costs so much to do things that everyone else can see is straightforward, necessary and obvious. These are the things about government which really bug me.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How has NASA found a way to make space boring, and whatever your answer might be, is this a reflection of our culture, or a driver?
By resting on their laurels (doing the same thing over and over). When was the last time you watched a launch, or followed the progress of a mission with anticipation? I can think of one MacNN member who no doubt does, but I wager this is the extreme exception, not the rule.

It's both a reflection and a driver. It both reflects and perpetuates the idea that "we're #1 because of the good old days" and that we should darn well reap the benefits of that in perpetuity with ever-escalating expectations, without having to ever be extraordinary or challenged in order to earn it.
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 01:50 PM
 
"Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something dee-oh-oh economics. 'Voodoo' economics."


"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
The internet was created for military purposes and commissioned by the DoD. Defense spending funded its birth. The same sort of spending that traditionally the Democratic party likes to champion as wasteful and bloated often in turn asking for its funding to be scaled back or cut.
In fact the DSO and DARPA do a lot of very important scientific research which has translated into civilian applications we use in our every day lives. And NASA budgets should have been cut. It is vain and impractical to pursue human space exploration and travel when unmanned missions are more productive and fruitful to the scientific community.
I'm aware that much research has come out of defense spending, and I don't necessarily think that the defense research or even defense in general should be cut, I'm more against all of the offense

You should really learn to title your threads differently before you run your mouth on these rants and then have to backtrack and explain that it was not what you meant to imply.
I think my thread title is fine. The Republican economic mentality is destroying our culture. I could improve it by including the word "mentality", but this is implied and clear once you read the actual thread, I think. As far as how this translates into NASA or my examples, it's the concept of wanting to leave research (which may not yield immediate financial benefit) to the private sector, and in skewing the entire debate to be about questioning whether the government should be investing in research at all, rather than just focusing on which projects would be best to cut, if any. In being overly cut-happy we are potentially trading off our long term well being for our short term, and where we aren't we need to be having this discussion and debate rather than just focusing on ways to save money for the next quarter so that a politician can live up to his/her promises of cutting everything under the sun.

Pff, if you are going to downplay American contributions then the Canucks better take a seat too and you should change the order of your honorable mentions. "Repurposed" Nazi rocket technology made up the majority of Cold War Era advances in space travel for both superpowers. And neither Canada nor anyone in Europe had the will or resources to make the jump from theoretical plans to actual tangible applications in the West. That was left up to the lowly Americans
I don't question this, but I wonder how long Americans will still be a leader. The Russians have recently invited Americans to help with asteroid defense, that asteroid that is slated to hit the Pacific ocean (and affect us in doing so). It no doubt used to be the case that Americans would initiate something like this and invite the Russians to the party.
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Why do I feel like besson would be one of the first posters decrying partisanism in a thread entitled "Democratic policies are destroying our culture and in turn our economy"?
The MacNN thread filter process:

- Is the subject appropriate?
- Is the poster a hypocrite? Does he/she pass all of our little tests of post worthiness based on past history?
- Do we hold a grudge against that member?
- Do I feel like reading and thinking, or is a knee jerk reaction more fun?
- Do I feel like reading and comprehending, or can I just read a few words and interpret them randomly and spawn conversation off on that?
- Does the thread pass all MacNN guidelines?
- Can I pick apart little details and invoke debate for the fun of it, even if these little details are not at all central to the points being made?
It looks like I didn't even get past the second filtration test!
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
By resting on their laurels (doing the same thing over and over). When was the last time you watched a launch, or followed the progress of a mission with anticipation? I can think of one MacNN member who no doubt does, but I wager this is the extreme exception, not the rule.

It's both a reflection and a driver. It both reflects and perpetuates the idea that "we're #1 because of the good old days" and that we should darn well reap the benefits of that in perpetuity with ever-escalating expectations, without having to ever be extraordinary or challenged in order to earn it.
I don't follow NASA all that closely so you could be right, but if so we really have to change this. As I pointed out, it's kind of a shame that the Russians are taking the lead on the asteroid thing. Some healthy competition is a good thing.
     
subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Whatever. Back to the topic?
If you punch me in the face. The topic becomes you punching me in the face.

If you don't want that to be the topic, don't punch me in the face.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It looks like I didn't even get past the second filtration test!
If you don't think that hypocrisy matters, you deserve all the ridicule you get.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:54 PM
 
One area that the US government should be researching the wager out of is alternate energy sources.

There are already parts of Europe making use of wind more than we do, but I'm mostly thinking of alternate energy sources with huge upside such as hydrogen. If an American was able to master hydrogen energy systems and help produce American companies to mass produce this technology, once it became cheap enough and practical enough to make the switch this could solve all of our economic woes virtually overnight in having vehicles, factories, power plants, etc. overhauled to migrate away from fossil fuels.

At this rate it is hard to see America being a leader in this area.

Another example: software. This I can't prove, but I would be willing to bet that if you were to keep a tally on Apple's lead software development teams and how their makeup has changed over the years, you'd find fewer and fewer pure Americans over time. Sure it is great that American companies still produce this technology and that probably won't change in the immediate future, but it seems like we are past the day of when something like Steve Jobs' biography would revolve around great American engineers.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
If you don't think that hypocrisy matters, you deserve all the ridicule you get.

Can we at least save this consternation for a page or so into the thread?

If every thread has to pass through all of these filters, it is hard to establish good threads unless one were to post anonymously, and even then they'd probably have to pass through a filter of proving that they are not some former MacNN member (like Abe).
     
subego
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Can we at least save this consternation for a page or so into the thread?

If every thread has to pass through all of these filters, it is hard to establish good threads unless one were to post anonymously, and even then they'd probably have to pass through a filter of proving that they are not some former MacNN member (like Abe).
My past history with you is that I like you. Very much.

The fact that I like you doesn't let you off the hook of responsibility for the way you communicate.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:12 PM
 
Hypocrisy matters. It shouldn't be on the same list as holding grudges or picking nits. A thread that is hypocritical should be derided for it, regardless of any other context. Hypocrisy is a fundamental flaw, no better than incorrect facts or backward logic, and you should expect better of yourself than to simply accept that all threads will be hypocritical.

Your low expectation of yourself that hypocrisy is unavoidable is ironically on-topic, as it harkens back to the "failed education" and general American mediocrity described in the OP.
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It looks like I didn't even get past the second filtration test!
Partisanship and point-scoring is the bane of quality discussion plus, I seem to recall you being against both in the past. Fail to recognize your hypocrisy all you want, but if you want to ignore the impediment it creates to the discussion, you do so at the risk of this type of derail. I mean, the very first reply to this thread points out the very idiocy of the title's claim.


Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
If you don't think that hypocrisy matters, you deserve all the ridicule you get.
Or at least the derailment it incites.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:32 PM
 
Fine, for the purpose of advancing this thread, I officially apologize for my thread title. I should have added the word "mentality" in there so that it doesn't come across as partisan bait. I wasn't intending to lay any partisan bait, I can see how you'd think otherwise, I was just lazy and rushed with my thread title as I often am. I'll work on better titles in the future.

We cool now?

That being said, generally speaking, whether they affect me or not those aforementioned MacNN filters do exist and they are often quite annoying.
( Last edited by besson3c; Dec 29, 2011 at 03:39 PM. )
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:37 PM
 
It seems like you think that "Republican economic mentality" is not partisan
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 29, 2011, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
It seems like you think that "Republican economic mentality" is not partisan
How else would you accurately identify what it is that I'm talking about? That mentality is pretty much the mantra of the Republican messaging machine these days.
     
 
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