Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Re-Elect Eisenhower! (I like A-Ike!)

Or Churchill, or George Washington.
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

The executive office would be filled by an assembly of experts on that person from history who the voters choose to run the country for the next four years.

Decisions would be made by consensus of that board as to what that person would do in any given situation.

My choice for instance would be my favorite, President Dwight D Eisenhower. He was the leader of the military campaign against the Nazis, stood up to the Soviet Union during the cold war, built the highway system, forced de- segregation, balanced the budget and despite being a vaunted military leader, warned against the rise of the military industrial complex.

Enough is known about this man, and other leaders in history, that it would be fairly easy to assume correctly what they would do in any given situation.

The board would convene daily and issue decree by best guess of how that person would handle the issues posed for that day. Frankly, you could probably have a computer do it better than a bunch of scholars.

Watch in horror as Genghis Khan roars ahead in the polls.

AIEisenhower for President! (That line created by 2 fries shy of a happy meal)

doctorremulac3, Jan 17 2018

Fantasy Historical Cabinet Fantasy_20Historical_20Cabinet
Prior Art ... [8th of 7, Jan 17 2018]

Eh, what? https://www.nytimes...ain-loneliness.html
[theircompetitor, Jan 17 2018]

France's nuclear power plans https://www.reuters...ister-idUSKBN1CX0KP
[doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018]

CO2 and vulcanism http://www.skeptica...ng-intermediate.htm
I don't know whether this is right, but ... [pertinax, Jan 19 2018]

List of anti nuclear advocates in the U.S. https://en.wikipedi...n_the_United_States
It's a left wing movement, this is un-deniable. [doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]

Stop Steam Now! https://en.wikipedi.../File:Nirs_logo.gif
Water in its gas phase makes makes mother Earth cry! [doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]

(?) Artists united against science and logic https://thumbs.drea...strial-81556728.jpg
This is one of my favorites. Leftists really hate those cooling towers. [doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]

Then again, maybe we're doomed. https://www.google....160k1.0.smgpijGKmtQ
If this is true, it's very depressing. [doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]

Synthgod module for the 3rd world. http://geekologie.c...0/08/tech-cross.jpg
"To activate, "pray" into the microphone." [doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018]

As long as the conversation has deteriorated to this point. https://www.youtube...watch?v=f2L47_W2mFs
Might as well go with it. [doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018]

The Gods of the Copybook Headings http://www.kiplings.../poems_copybook.htm
You Have Been Warned ... [8th of 7, Jan 23 2018]

China: The world's biggest greenhouse gas producer by far. https://www.google....eid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
It's not even close. [doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018]

And biggest consumer of coal. https://www.statist...t-coal-consumption/
Out paces the US in coal consumption by over 5 to 1. [doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018]

When us prols are given a vote on the matter. https://www.youtube...watch?v=AX0XDHF3M60
The elites might not like what they get. [doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018]

Rapists, murderers and muggers... https://www.huffing...82ce4b03deac08ab6d6
...great voter base for the Dems. [doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018]

Et dona ferentes --Kipling https://www.kipling...em/poems_etdona.htm
Beware my Country, when my Country grows polite! [Voice, Apr 21 2022]

If you can't remember https://www.youtube...watch?v=qFA_t2DVrMo
what it's like to have a German leader [4and20, Apr 24 2022]

When you're big in Japan https://www.rerf.or...general_research_e/
[4and20, Apr 24 2022]

Was hoping your link would be to this. https://www.youtube...watch?v=NM60iVDu79Y
Song by another hero of mine, Tom Waits. [doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2022]

Give Peace A Chance https://www.youtube...watch?v=C3_0GqPvr4U
Classic song from a historic musical genius and humanitarian. But still having Neville Chamberlain in the room would have been kind of funny. [doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2022]

Does vodka cause barbarism? https://www.economi...alcohol_consumption
Just a theory. [doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022]

You tell me you'd live here and not get drunk on a regular basis? https://www.agefoto...a-russia/X8H-935929
I'd be having vodka for breakfast if I lived in this "government supplied housing for the people" shit-hole. [doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022]

How Alcohol Conquered Russia https://www.theatla...ered-russia/279965/
A history of the country’s struggle with alcoholism, and why the government has done so little about it. [doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022]

Countries by cleverness index https://www.forbes....ld/?sh=59232fd2163f
[doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022]

Brain scans of https://www.thesun....-aggressive-reason/
vodka aggression [4and20, Apr 27 2022]

Russian apartments http://gellersworld...nt-floor-plans.html
I'd probably be hitting the vodka every night too. [doctorremulac3, May 01 2022]

World map of ongoing armed conflicts. https://en.wikipedi...ing_armed_conflicts
[doctorremulac3, May 01 2022]

World map of IQs by country. https://public.tabl...10314730/IQworldmap
[doctorremulac3, May 01 2022]

How to make all the citizens happy. https://www.youtube...watch?v=o0LUUFQ4MNM
The happiness act. [doctorremulac3, May 01 2022]

The most important room in Russia https://www.rbth.co...n-apartment-kitchen
The kitchen [doctorremulac3, May 01 2022]

Eisenhower, the good and bad https://www.nps.gov...ranger/5accompx.htm
Really good summary. You decide. [doctorremulac3, May 03 2022]


       The strange thing is that Flynn effect (see your nearest Wikipedia outlet for details) suggests that average IQ in western nations has increased steadily over the last century. In contrast, that of American (and for that matter English) political leaders has declined over the same period.   

       Perhaps the two effects are related. We are all electing dumber and dumber people to positions of power, and those people are then too busy and important to take IQ tests, and so the average IQ of the sampled population increases.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2018

       Ahem. <link>   

       // Watch in horror as Genghis Khan roars ahead in the polls. //   

       Or if you're from a Central Asian nation, "Applaud in glee as Genghis Khan roars ahead in the polls ..."
8th of 7, Jan 17 2018

       It's not strange at all, [MB]. It's a direct consequence of having more people vote and (at least in the US) the elimination of smoke filled rooms in favor of primaries.
theircompetitor, Jan 17 2018

       //Applaud in glee// sp. ghee.   

       //a direct consequence of having more people vote// Wait - they've handed voting over to the people?? In which case, what have I been paying for all these years? This is devolution gone a step too bally far.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2018

       Regarding link: "U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness"   

       The strides government has made in creating cushy bullshit jobs for themselves is truly incredible.   

       I'm going propose and apply for the position of "Minister of Troubled Minds". Our goal:   

       1) To be on the lookout for those citizens who might question the validity of the post position "Minister Of Troubled Minds" which is clearly a symptom of advanced psychosis.   

       2) Me and my staff will spend 1 out of every 3 months in Hawaii having meetings at our private beach on how these troubled souls might be "helped".   

       3) Obviously we'll need to have advanced surveillance of all government personnel to weed out "Troubled Minds" who might pose a threat to themselves and the country.   

       4) Treatment facilities will need to be created in every town. Former drive in movie theater locations might be cheaply transformed by surrounding them with "motivation wire" to sooth the envious mind and the troubled spirit.   

       Of course you might not support me at first, but you will. Believe me, you will. And you will thank me.   

       Daily, at 8:00 every morning in front of your televiewer.
doctorremulac3, Jan 17 2018

       // televiewer //   

       Sp. "Telescreen"   

       Will there be a Two Minutes Hate, too ?
8th of 7, Jan 17 2018

       Hmm. So many questions.   

       Assistants are currently on their way to help you.   

       No need to tell us your location.   

       Have a nice day.
doctorremulac3, Jan 17 2018

       // Assistants are currently on their way to help you. //   

       Sorry, did you say "Assimilants" ?   

       No matter ... we will Assimilate them regardless. We look forward to their arrival.
8th of 7, Jan 17 2018

       //Wait - they've handed voting over to the people??//   

       Representation without taxation is a paradox of modern democracy
theircompetitor, Jan 17 2018

       //No matter ... we will Assimilate them regardless. We look forward to their arrival.//   

       Sounds like a sci-fi plot that hasn't been explored yet. Could be interesting.   

       I'd be rooting for the Borg.
doctorremulac3, Jan 17 2018

       //we will Assimilate// Sp.: ass-emulate
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2018

       //In contrast, that of American (and for that matter English) political leaders has declined over the same period.//   

       I've wondered about this. My refusal to vote for the obviously dim, has narrowed the options very effectively. The first hypothesis was that the politicians were just as clever, but were appealing to a low common denominator. I met a couple, that was discarded. Then I considered that we were only getting the real bright sparks through the filter of time. There's some credibility to that, but not enough to throw up the calibre of morons we have suffered for decades. My conclusion is that it's not a very good job. Why take a position that will turf you out on the swing of fickle public opinion or dreadful judgement of party seniors? Why spend 50% of your life gladhanding and fundraising, why commute to London an irritating amount of times? The salary looks like that of a London plumber, but with less opportunity for freelance accounting irregularities.
bs0u0155, Jan 17 2018

       indeed. Look at the quality of leadership in Singapore.
theircompetitor, Jan 17 2018

       Well, I've said it before, I'll say it again, stupidity is a commodity that's cultivated for profit.   

       Whether you're selling breakfast food or a political party, you want your consumers dumb and controllable.* It's only a matter of time before a dumb voter base wants one of their own to represent them.   

       * You want your sugar blasted, triple frosted Sugar-Berry Puffs fortified with eight essential vitamins and iron and your politicians ready to sent a message to those fat cats in Washington!
doctorremulac3, Jan 17 2018

       // ready to sent a message to those fat cats in Washington //   

       Presumably, "Like cats, we are lazy, vicious, selfish and untrustworthy. We care nothing for others, seeking only our own ease and comfort. What do we do to join you ?" +
8th of 7, Jan 17 2018

       Periodically I threaten to run myself for election as the "Don't Vote For Me Party". Success is guaranteed regardless of the outcome.
xenzag, Jan 18 2018

       I see [Ian] there going for Godwin's Law fairly early in the discussion...
hippo, Jan 18 2018

       Actually, just mentioning Adolf isn't enough to allow a Godwin call. There has to be a comparison between a previous poster and Hitler, or an accusation that they are, or are like, Nazis.
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       I love this idea, but here is what would happen if it were enacted:   

       1- The average good Democrat voter would say "Winston who? Oh, is that the guy on the oatmeal box?"   

       2- There would be 24/7 coverage of the newly discovered scandals uncovered proving Winston was a fat, racist Hitler supporter.   

       Those pointing out he went to war with Hitler would be greeted by a group of panelists on CNN pointing out that Winston Churchill 1) Never actually punched Hitler in the face and 2) Never technically said "God! That Hitler guy is such a like, jerk and stuff!" The segment would be titled: "Churchill: Hitler Foe or Hitler Fan?
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Adolf is like a Nazi. Do I win something?   

       While conservative, I suspect Churchill would not have been a Republican voter in our current state of affairs. And the average Republican would simply pray for deliverance from Hitler while trying to scare him away with their NRA-lobbied AR-15's.   

       I suspect the real libertarian perspective might've sided with Ireland, as in 'Eh, what's the use, they're just badgering our neighbors, not us...'   

       <expecting usual political diatribes in 3...2...>
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       //Actually, just mentioning Adolf isn't enough to allow a Godwin call// - Godwin's Law Nazi!
hippo, Jan 18 2018

       what's needed is the Godwin's Law Police. Presumably they will be dressed in black uniforms, with silver SS* runes on the collar and shiny black jackboots ...   

       *"Situational Scrutiny", before you ask ...
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       Is there a Trump's law to take over from Godwin? There's bound to be since Trump is so totally moronic and universally hated that even Hitler now pales in comparison.
xenzag, Jan 18 2018

       //<expecting usual political diatribes in 3...2...> — RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018//   

       Correction: That would be T+ 1...2...3...   

       //Trump is so totally moronic and universally hated that even Hitler now pales in comparison.//   

       So the whole killing six million Jews thing pales in comparison to which of Trump's actions?   

       I think citing Hitler comparisons is a great way of saying "I have nothing interesting to offer in this conversation."
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Which one is the banana again?
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Trump's deliberate destruction of the climate will result in considerably more than 6 million deaths, and if he succeeds in starting a nuclear war, how many of us will be dead when the fall out settles as he cringes in safety in his gold lined bunker? - that's something else he can share with Hitler.
xenzag, Jan 18 2018

       [xen], you need to take one of the green ones. UN DES COMPRIMÉS VERT.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 18 2018

       //start a nuclear war...kill everybody with global warming/cooling//   

       So he isn't worse than Hitler YET, but will be with your predicted future actions he WILL take, got it. So in three to seven years if none of this has happened we know he'll still be worse than Hitler in your eyes, but what will your reasoning be then?   

       There are two reasons to have a conversation, one is to share views from other perspectives, and one is to mindlessly trigger a dopamine rush. This is the latter.   

       I've had enough for one day thanks.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       He's far worse than Hitler already. Millions are dying and entire eco systems are being destroyed due to Trump's global warming.
xenzag, Jan 18 2018

       Trump started global warming.   

       Ok. Thank you.   

       If I find myself arguing with a Scientologist about the existance or non existence of Xenu, I'm the one being an idiot.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       //Millions are dying and entire eco systems are being destroyed due to Trump's global warming.//   

       Right. Those millions are where, exactly? And they've all died as a result of Trump's tweets over the last, what, six months?   

       Hey, I think the guy is a jerk too, but I doubt he has the powers you ascribe to him, mon amie. I'm with [doc].
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 18 2018

       And for whatever it's worth, I contend that the guy didn't really want to get elected, it was an accident.   

       Now THAT'S a contention I'll put on record for review in later years and if it proves to be false I'll accept it and admit I was wrong, but that really appears to me to be the case. Does that mean anything? Yea, I think somebody getting elected to the highest office by accident is pretty interesting.   

       So to use the banana comparison, I think either Trump or a banana would have won running against Hillary.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       If the pen is mightier than the sword, then Trump's swipe at journalistic freedom is an endangerment to at least six million of the most vulnerable.   

       How many people live in North Korea / Iran / Myanmar / Congo / Sudan / Yemen again?
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       If Trump threatened to block out the sun I’m sure the media would report that we’re all in grave peril.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       I'm always amazed at how easy it is to smoke out the secret members of the extended family of humourless Trump worshiping minions. Do you all enjoy sleeping in freshly urineated bed sheets and mashing burgers into the carpets, as you repeat your favourite mantra: "I'm tremendous, I'm tremendous, I'm tremendous"
xenzag, Jan 18 2018

       Make it two, [Xen]. Deux.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 18 2018

       // He's far worse than Hitler already. Millions are dying and entire eco systems are being destroyed due to Trump's global warming. //   

       But on the plus side, almost all this is happening in far-away hot countries with very low per-capita GDP and lots of low-lying terrain that they can't afford to revet; so it's win-win, really.   

       Where is the scientific proof that climate change is anthropogenic ?   

       Not "opinion"; not "extrapolating from current trends"; not "the balance of probabilities". Proof; actual numeric proof, which will stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny, that the effect is ANTHROPOGENIC. The climate is chaotic and changes continuously - this is indisputable.   

       A mere 10k years ago there was an ice age with glaciation. Now, it's warmer. Did humans cause the ice age to end ?   

       What are the facts ?
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       //Do you all enjoy sleeping in freshly peed bed sheets and mashing burgers into the carpets?//   

       Hmm, let me think. Define “freshly”.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       You know, thanks to [xen]'s input, I like Trump more now.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 18 2018

       // I like Trump more now //   

       Wow, didn't see that one coming...   

       // Define “freshly”. //   

       Noticeably above ambient temperature.
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       Apparently it doesn't matter what leaders say, which then quite invalidates this entire idea.   

       It didn't matter to the history of the world what Lenin wrote, or that Churchill told everyone to buck up and fight, or that Ghandi taught MLK nonviolent protest, or that Jesus said to love our enemies.   

       This is an odd hypothesis that you present.
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018


       Oh, the Trump thing, we're back to that.   

       If there's a converestion about Trump that isn't totally fascinating, I have yet to hear it. I like the parts with the peeing and stuff.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Its my reply to your note above which I took as meaning that it doesn't matter what Trump says, reality will continue on unaffected. The sticks and stones school of thought.   

       On climate change, the facts are still rather concisely presented by Randall Munroe in the xkcd link we all have seen time and again. Dispute it.
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       What does Randal Monroe rather concisely present about using nuclear power instead of wealth re- distribution scams to stop polluting the atmosphere?   

       You are aware that the current plan is to let anybody spew as much crap into the air as they want as long as the socialists get their cut of the profits right?   

       Or didn't Randy mention that?
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       I don't think that was the topic at hand. And even the socialists are using nukes, or haven't you been to France in awhile?
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       France gets the majority of their power from nukes but plans on drastically reducing their dependance on this Godzilla creating technology.   

       Quite obviously you haven't been to France in a while, although it's not necessary to actually go there to know what's going on.   

       France aims to cut the share of atomic energy in power generation to 50 percent by 2025 from 75 percent now. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Yes, I'm aware of their desire for reduction. Knees jerk in all parties and nations, after all. They'll not be going back to carbon, at any rate, so the entire point is rather secondary.
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       Point is, we have a solution, we've had a proven solution for decades, but that proven solution doesn't expand the socialist's power base and line their pockets.   

       So it's gotta go.   

       Which is frustrating for people like me and others like the guy who started Greenpeace, (You know, that right wing Nazi organization?) who would like to take care of this planet by using the best technology to do so.   

       No matter what the figures are on Climate Change (tm, all rights reserved) we would benefit from moving away from a carbon fueled society as much as possible if for no other reason that to preserve this limited resource. But no, we're going to talk about peeing on sheets and poorly applied orange face makeup.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       // Dispute it. //   

       1. The direct data set is on a human, not a geologic timescale. It is far too small to be meaningful.   

       2. The indirect data from ice cores, marine sediments and dendrochronology has huge error bands and the results are inferential.   

       3. Human activity is totally dwarfed by vulcanism; one average to large eruption releases in a few days as much CO2 and SO2 as humans release in years. This can be directly measured from eruption plume size, velocity and composition. Both Huaynaputina and Pinatubo are relevant examples.
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       Has anybody ever measured how much carbon emission we get from the oceans? I was going to measure it last week but I forgot. NFL playoffs and everything. Slipped my mind.
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       Oceanic CO2 equilibrates with the atmosphere by gas exchange, as does oxygen. Temperature and pressure directly affect solubility. Again, the system is huge and chaotic, and the data set extremely sparse.   

       Has anyone noticed the similarity between the NFL and Nazis ?
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       Well, there's the N.   

       Which stands in both cases for..... "National".   

       Might be on to something there.   

       NATIONAL socialist party. (22 letters)   

       NATIONAL football league. (22 letters)
doctorremulac3, Jan 18 2018

       [xen] would call it "proof" ...   

       // we would benefit from moving away from a carbon fueled society as much as possible if for no other reason that to preserve this limited resource. //   

       It's limited only over a very short (human) timescale.   

       Plenty of systems exist to recapture carbon, usually biologically. If energy is freely available from fusion generators, this can be catalytically reformed into any hydrocarbon you want. It's not rocket science.   

       What happens when a practical, cost-effective fusion powerplant is developed ? The whole game changes ...because the energy density of the fuel system is orders of magnitude higher.   

       The most obvious effect is that, because helium is a free, plentiful by-product, everyone can have a free balloon ...
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       I don’t see a lot of effort on either side of the aisle to move the nuclear option along. Blaming the socialists for its stalling seems like a convenient and arbitrary scape- goat.   

       The error bands have been reviewed and re-reviewed. You can make a case that they didn’t pick a good line along them, but you’ll be pretty lonely in that judgement.   

       Fusion is only a decade away, don’t you know? Been that way for at least two decades now...
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2018

       // they didn’t pick a good line along them //   

       The very fact that "picking a line" yields different answers throws doubt on the method.   

       Your car is stationary.   

       You start to drive.   

       After 5 seconds, your speed is 25 km/h.   

       After 10 seconds, you speed is 50 km/h.   

       After 15 seconds, your speed is 75 km/h.   

       After 20 seconds, your speed is 100km/h.   

       All perfectly reasonable so far?   

       ... and after 3 minutes 20 seconds your car will achieve supersonic speed. Obviously ...   


       // I don’t see a lot of effort on either side of the aisle to move the nuclear option along. //   

       The original impulse for fission energy was military. A civil power programme that produced plutonium as well was too good to pass up from a PR point of view.   

       Having set off down that path, the sensible technology of Thorium fission has been studiously ignored, because it doesn't make weapons.   


       // Fusion is only a decade away, don’t you know? Been that way for at least two decades now... //   

       It's just a funding issue, not a technical one. When the chips were down ,it only took ten years to go from Meitner's and Hahn's and Szillard's theory to a workable gadget.   

       If your species really needed fusion , it could be done in a decade or less.   

       If all the money poured into, for example, international sport (Olympics, golf, football, tennis, baseball, conkers and tiddlywinks) were put into fusion energy research, it could be done in months.   

       It's all about motivation ... you know it's possible, you just don't want (need) it badly enough.
8th of 7, Jan 18 2018

       //Human activity is totally dwarfed by vulcanism//   

       I claim no expertise in this field myself, but would you care to rebut the points against it in <link>, [8th]?
pertinax, Jan 19 2018


       1. The rebuttal makes no mention of the emissions from deep- sea hydrothermal vents. These are much more common than previously thought and the fluids are supersaturated due to the immense pressure. They support entire ecosystems. They are a significant contributor. These are not necessarily the much vaunted "black smokers" - along every marine spreading fault, sea water penetrates the fractured crust and is then expelled again, loaded with gases and minerals.   

       2. The graph shows the spikes from "headline" eruptions but fails to mention the steady "background" emissions from innumerable other vents. These large magmatic eruptions are not the ones that release the most gas.   

       The volcanos most closely studied are the ones with the greatest impact on humans in specific ways. The data set is incomplete, and admitted by the authors to be liable to be an underestimate due to limitations in methodology.More recent work on continuously erupting vents such as Stromboli has produced new data. Vesuvius, although quiescent, emits huge amounts of gases through the porous tufa of the Monte Somma cone, causing life- threatening local concentrations. The same is true of the Great Rift Valley.No need for a full on eruption for there to be huge gas emissions.   

       3. Sulphur aerosols can not in themselves reduce CO2 levels; this is an attempt to infer a parameter from a change in a secondary effect that has more than one cause.   

       4. No mention is made of the release of methane from clathrates. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and much harder to quantify.   

       It is significant that the papers quoted are around two decades old. They represent the state of knowledge as it was, not as it is.
8th of 7, Jan 19 2018

       //I like Trump more now//Max. Excellent. A cum stain quote.
xenzag, Jan 19 2018

       Lot of weird kinky sexual stuff in your "arguments". Frustration perhaps?   

       //Blaming the socialists for its stalling seems like a convenient and arbitrary scape- goat.//   

       See link "List of anti-nuclear advocates in the United States".   

       I skipped through to the names I recognized: Ed Azner, Alec Baldwin, Ralph Nader, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Woopie Goldberg and Martin Sheen. All proud warriors against the cooling towers poisoning the atmosphere with steam as is shown in all their posters and propaganda.   

       The one Republican I saw was Henry Kissinger who I believe is suffering from "Need to be liked by the left after working for Nixonitus."   

       In risk / reward ratio evaluation we need to look at both choices. We can learn a bit about the various sources of power we have to keep our civilization running or just hand the controls over to the "progressives" to do whatever they want.   

       Keep in mind, these guys have had to change their name twice after the whole bad publicity thing of world wide genocide against innocent people caused by the communists. Then they were the socialists. That got some bad publicity after enough countries had to stand in line for toilet paper and food, so now they're the "progressives".   

       Can't trust any product that's continually re- branded despite being the same old thing. Most "progressives" don't like being called communists though they support communism. Even they know they have an image issue and I would argue it's well deserved.   

       Just to detour the good communist vs the bad capitalist argument, I support some socialist institutions as long as they're paid for by a sensible free market economy and not taken advantage of those in government who would seek to expand dependence on these institutions to the detriment of the society for their own aggrandizement.
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       [doc], you're almost reasonable enough to be English at times.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2018

       Spoken like a true Trumpeter. Yeeee-haaaaaa! Git some!
xenzag, Jan 19 2018

       I'll take that as a compliment Max, but at the risk of ruining my image in your eyes, my lineage is Scottish. I was told for years that all indications were my people were descendants of the William Wallace clan and that was somehow cool, something that I didn't agree with until the movie came out.   

       My cousin traveled to your island to research our family legend but didn't come back with much more than what we already knew.   

       So although I've only been there a couple of times, I love it over there and as I've mentioned before, yours is my ancestral homeland.   

       Of course lumping the English and Scottish together is probably a rookie mistake since there seems to be a rift between the two peoples, but sounds to me like more of a sibling rivalry than anything else. I just know both make very good engineers and inventors and that's good enough for me.   

       //Spoken like a true Trumpeter. Yeeee-haaaaaa! Git some!//   

       Hmm. well Xenzag, you've got a good point there. Maybe a new hairstyle could cover it up.
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       Where would the world be if people discussed, say, building design, in the same way they discuss politics?   

       Would the brickists and the glassists both vehemently deny that the other material could possibly have any merits?
Wrongfellow, Jan 19 2018

       I like that.   

       That being said, how can a virtuous, intellectually superior brickists be expected to work with those fascist pig glassists? They're worse than Hitler, fat, ugly and hide squirrels in their pants.   

       They all need to be put in internment camps. Kill some sense into them I say!   

       (So how's that building coming along?)   

       Did I mention that glassists are worse than Hitler? Maybe you're one of them eh? And not to mention the kinky sex they all get up to. It's disgusting! I can't get those visions out of my head! 24/7, I picture them! Thrusting, peeing, grunting, it's DISGUSTING! WHY WON'T THOSE KINKY GLASSISTS GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!!   

       ...aaaand scene.
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       Back to grownup talk for a second, regarding this nuclear energy thing. There are people on both sides who support nuclear power but I believe they are cowed by the vitriol of the leftists.   

       I would love to see a bi-partisan group get together to fight the "nuclear power horror" image cultivated over the years by the Luddites. It appears to me this anti nuclear movement is powered simply by inertia at this point anyway.   

       Except for France quietly dismantling the most successful nuclear power grid the world has ever seen, I don't see a lot of people marching in the streets with pictures of exploding steam condenser towers these days. Maybe the time has come for a bi-partisan group to fight back? I mean, the opposition just isn't very bright, how hard could it be? (see link)   

       If me and Ray agree on something, and we don't agree on ANYTHING, there may be a spark of hope there.   

       Then again, maybe we're doomed as the idiocracy ascends. (see last link)
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       There's no "maybe". You are definitely, irretrievably doomed.
8th of 7, Jan 19 2018

       Communism =/= Socialism =/= Democrat.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2018

       // the same old thing //   

       With respect, [doctor], they're not the same. There's a kind of cognitive bias which, in the current thread, seems to affect both you and [xenzag] (and, in the wider world, affects a lot of other people both on the Left and on the Right, so there's no shame in it).   

       This bias is best summed up as "all your enemies look the same".   

       During the course of the twentieth century, there was a huge pivot in progressive thought away from marxism and towards psychoanalysis. This was somewhat obscured by a tendency of people in the psychoanalytic tradition to use marxist words (notably "bourgeois") in a rather disingenuous way.   

       Then, as the intellectual credibility of Freud declined, it was found in the academic world that you could perpetuate the kind of power structures favoured by psychoanalysis - based on unaccountable, informal cliques - by taking particular positions in semiotics. So, those positions duly became the orthodoxy.   

       With hindsight, they're both flawed ideas, but in completely different ways. The original marxist vision was an egalitarian one, involving workers' control of the means of production. The psychoanalytic vision, on the other hand, has always involved a stark division between an aristocracy of cool, sexy, well- connected people and, on the other hand, a sub-human underclass of "inadequates" who must shut up and serve them. It's all there in a stark way in D H Lawrence, and in a slightly subtler way in Abraham Maslow, David Riesman and Somerset Maugham.   

       It makes for a complicated landscape.   

       For example, about the only mainstream author in the twentieth century who had anything nice to say about Ayn Rand was Maslow - but Maslow's economics were tax-and-spend social democratic.   

       Tl;dr - what [Rayford] said.
pertinax, Jan 19 2018

       // a stark division between an aristocracy of cool, sexy, well- connected people and, on the other hand, a sub-human underclass of "inadequates" who must shut up and serve them //   

       That world view is hardly the exclusive result of "psychoanalytic" thinking ; numerous societies, from the Roman republic with its Patricians and Plebeians to the (fictional yet credible) Orwellian socialist dystopia of 1984 offer similar models.   

       Ho hum, off to the Moloko now for some Milk Plus and then maybe a bit of the old ultra-violence ...
8th of 7, Jan 19 2018

       I think the current state of nuclear inertia has more to do with cheap natural gas and NIMBY politics and Fukushima than any particular scare group.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2018

       Churchill would not be a Trump Republican, Ray -- of that I'm more than certain. But he would certainly not be a Democrat, and he would certainly not be a Libertarian.   

       [pertinax] wow. eh, what?   

       [xenzag] a trolling ass, as usual.
theircompetitor, Jan 19 2018

       //hardly the exclusive result of "psychoanalytic" thinking//   

       True - but the psychoanalysts were unusually ingenious in disguising it as progress. Enjoy your moloko.
pertinax, Jan 19 2018

       I see Churchill squarely in Eisenhower's camp of old- school east coast/Rockefeller Republicans, or as we now call them, moderate Democrats, but perhaps with a soft spot for the Tea Party and no love of unions.   

       I like virtual Ike..   

       Who knows, maybe someday we'll even invoke Churchill's vision of socialized medicine.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2018

       I'm sure it beats medicinalised socialism.
Wrongfellow, Jan 19 2018

       //wow// Sorry. As I said, it's complicated.
pertinax, Jan 19 2018

       //medicinalized socialism// Is that what they were calling it in the 60's?
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2018

       Well, that was certainly *a* key change - but it applies mostly to those analysts who were in clinical practice. However, as will become clear if you read Freud "on the question of lay analysis", the clinical practice was always intended to be part of a much broader movement. It was that broader movement (including artists, critics, miscellaneous caring professionals and "experts" in various fields of public policy) that did most of the harm.   

       One can compare the way that, in times of civil disorder, one is much more likely to be murdered by a part-timer, excited to have a gun, than by a long-service professional soldier.
pertinax, Jan 20 2018

       hello anybody, you know how there is meant to be a scroll bar on the side of the screen, I think mine got infinitesimally small and I may never get to the bottom of this
DDRopDeadly, Jan 20 2018

       And not even a visit from Vernon to be seen. What have we become?
RayfordSteele, Jan 20 2018

       Ray, the $850,000 cure for genetic blindness is ultimately information. Once a significant portion of medicine is via genetic correction costs will shift out of the sector.   

       In the meantime, I'd rather someone developed immortality trying to become a trillionaire than slow everything down to make the US healthcare system like the VA.   

       As to nuclear I must admit I've somewhat shifted my stance on it. I used to be all for it, more so because I had assumed peak oil is at least possible (though I was a skeptic).   

       Now that we know peak oil is not a real possibility, I would say it makes more sense to wait for working solar/working fusion than to build reactors which clearly cannot be perfectly safe.   

       The equation appears to be real simple to me -- the Ukraine conflict -- as a for instance -- or for that matter even our recent politics -- tells me that one cannot assume that any state cannot become a failed state. Building things that pose a risk for 10,000 years seems to be a bad idea.   

       Of course part of my calculation here is that I dismiss any meaningful risk from global warming. If you believe that things are as dire on that front as the most ardent believers, then you should think nuclear may be worth it regardless.
theircompetitor, Jan 20 2018

       // What have we become? //   

       A self-perpetuating, unaccountable, autocratic arrogant elite, apparently ...
8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       I should probably read more than one book of this Ayn Rand gal I'm supposedly a fan of.   

       I think when the tribalism is turned down a notch (and tribalism is a natural and therefore useful human trait) we can have some productive activity. I'm seeing points of agreement from those who are most decidedly in a different political camp than I am. (But then again, I think there's only one member of my political camp.)   

       However, when both sides of our government get on the same page that's not necessarily progress. Often times it's just to agree to make government bigger. Just as an aside, since this is a political discussion, I'll hoist my banner for what it's worth. If I had to join a club, I guess it would be the libertarians who I'd proceed to disagree with at every turn, but we've already established I'm not very good at going with the flow. My views on our current political system is this: Democrat or Republican, evil or stupid. Take your pick.   

       //always involved a stark division between an aristocracy of cool, sexy, well- connected people and, on the other hand, a sub-human underclass of "inadequates" who must shut up and serve them.//   

       I'm not sure if you're referring to the world Marx sought to change or the modern leftist PC world of today, fed to a great extend the way the ancient empires were: Ruling class at the top, cheap imported slave labor at the bottom.   

       What used to be called "slaves" are now called "dreamers". The current debate turns on the opposing assertions that, on one side, altruistic humanitarians are lifting up the disadvantaged while on the other hand, they're just importing an army of voters for their cause that will have the double benefit of driving down wages for the wealthy and offering the rich cheap labor to further line their coffers.   

       My proposal is that we put efforts into improving these countries that are so horrible people want to move to this shithole. If we absolutely must save the world (I vote no on that one as well.) I'd rather go out and save it rather than moving it here.   

       By the way, libertarians don't believe in borders. See what I mean? All the political clubs available and me agree: I don't like them, they don't like me.   

       As for immigration, I say let the Native Americans decide who gets in. What better way to say "Sorry about the whole taking your homeland." thing than to put them back in charge of it?
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       // My proposal is that we put efforts into improving these countries that are so horrible//   

       More realistically, in the immortal words of Sam Kinison, people will move to where the food is.
theircompetitor, Jan 20 2018

       Feed them then give them my "missionary modules". Synthogodesque smart devices that walk them through the process of not having any more famines and building a successful society.   

       Don't bring God, bring "Synthogod". (tm, registered, all rights reserved.)   

       I just had a great idea, make these in the form of crosses just to piss the other religions off. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       As the Sahara expands, moving to where the food is becomes increasingly more difficult, especially when the trend of the day is against immigration and more walls.   

       Libertarians don't believe in borders, but they also don't seem to believe in societies or causes. It is this perpetual negativity in the face of what should be some sense of inspiration that keeps folks like me repelled. I've seen A Christmas Carol far too often.
RayfordSteele, Jan 20 2018

       //they also don't seem to believe in societies or causes//   

       I'm pretty much lined up towards the libertarians and I believe in society and causes, but rather than just hoisting the generic placard from some political party, religion or other stupid group, I address issues on a case by case basis. I suppose this gets too complicated for some people, hence the whole generic team play "we're all good, they're all bad" method of approaching the world. Guess people just need a nice, simple bogyman to give their life meaning.   

       I don't have a team, I don't want a team, but that doesn't mean I won't stand up to the best of my ability to all the retarded teams out there. Will it make any difference? No. Do I care? No. Will I ask questions and then answer them myself? Most certainly.   

       Actually, scratch that. My team is the family that I support and protect. Beyond that, not interested in membership in any other clubs.   

       I don't want accolades, recognition or even respect. I'm going to do this job I've been tasked with to the best of my abilities and then I'll die. This works for me. I'll treat criticisms of my path in life like the dog at the side of the road barking at the passing caravan. As long as it's not in my way, let it bark.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       I think it's a bit unfair to say that not believing in government doing things is the same as not believing in doing things, especially, as amply demonstrated by the food industry, for profit is feeding people while govt control tend to make them starve.   

       Because of their belief in things like Bitcoin (nonwithstanding recent gyrations), lots of run of the mill libertarians have become quite wealthy. Wonder how that's going to play out
theircompetitor, Jan 20 2018

       I used to go to the libertarian's website "Reason" but stopped after finding that I agreed with less than half of what they posted.   

       I like the idea of people being allowed to keep their money and relying on taxpayer help only if physically unable to work due to infirmity or age. If they can't find a job they should be given one by the government for their welfare payments. This is not punitive, this is treating them like fellow humans, not chattel. I say this knowing that the government would probably fuck this up as well unfortunately. Probably end up with team of workers that break windows at night and another team that replaces them during the day. Anybody criticizing this would be called a racist Nazi.   

       This concept of "workfare" by the way, is right from the old Democrat brochure. The new brochure says basically: "To question anything we do is a crime." The Republican brochure on the other hand says "We're pretty good. We offer much of the same awesomeness as the Democrats, so why not consider voting for us if you're not doing anything that day?"
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       No worries, the window replacement crew will be here at their regular time. Remember our motto:   

       "Making Up Jobs As We Go Along" by the people who brought you the slogan "More Free Stuff For Better Goodness".
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       "Communism is a race in which everyone comes in first, with no prizes" (Lord Inchcape)
8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       It may or may not be relevant that "Eisenhower" is an anagram of "woes herein".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

       Sometimes it takes clubs to get anything really significant done, like the club that revolted against King George.   

       The Libertarians in my immediate circle prattle on about waste, ineptitude, and corruption as if they are the only ones uniquely aware of them in the public sector. More dopamine in their case I think is needed.
RayfordSteele, Jan 20 2018

       ... or maybe just clubs. Big, heavy wooden clubs, with iron spikes driven through them.   

       Excellent for re-educating ideallists in the reality of being smacked very hard on the head with a big, heavy lump of wood with a nail through it. Not a lesson that the few survivors easily forget.
8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       Well Ian, that's probably the nastiest, most hateful thing anybody has ever written on the Halfbakery. You're obviously in a lot of pain so I won't take the bait.   

       Hope you find peace, but please take your quest someplace else.   

       Ray, I'm not going to defend libertarians or any other group. Getting together to get a specific job done, like freeing a country from oppression or building helicopters is a wonderful thing, but being in an ideology club just isn't my bag. It's especially silly when two groups might be at odds just for the sake of being at odds.   

       Take the nuclear power thing for instance, I'm not sure if it were put to a vote, changing to a nuclear economy wouldn't win by a landslide, but it won't happen because it wouldn't do anything to hurt that horrible bunch of bastards across the aisle, which becomes the main job when two factions start fighting.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Of course, technically, he's right.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

       Max, I'll assume that's that dry British humor that so often soars majestically over my head.   

       I just lose interest when there's a conversation going on at a cocktail party and somebody craps in the bean-dip.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       So would I, although so far that hasn't happened at any of the parties I've been to.   

       Wait - maybe there was no bean-dip.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

       So where are people supposed to crap at your cocktail parties?
Wrongfellow, Jan 20 2018

       Good point. Maybe that wasn't bean dip in the first place.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       OK, you got to write some words, please go away now.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Now, now.
Wrongfellow, Jan 20 2018

       I've always wondered, exactly how does one "fuck off"?   

       Do I leave while I'm fucking, carrying the woman with me while I go? If you look at it that way seems like kind of a nice thing to say.   

       "Leave, but while you're walking, why not enjoy some passionate sex? You seem like you're a robust enough fellow to pull this off and as a very attractive man, certainly would have no problem finding a willing woman seconds after I make this suggestion to you."   

       So, thank you for the nice suggestion but I'm quite happy to just sit here and not fuck right now. Maybe later. Can't promise I'll be in the mood for the walking around part though.   

       But seriously Ian, lighten up. My guess is you're going to sober up tomorrow, read all this and be very embarrassed. So why not quit while you're ahead so you'll have less stuff to erase in the morning eh? There's a good chap.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       So, that was a weird string. Did the UK pass some liberal new experimental drug law or something? Ian, are you hearing voices or something?   

       //being in an ideology club just isn't my bag//   

       Now you're sounding eerily like me. That's why I remain a pragmatic, mostly boring centrist.   

       "I'm off to see the Wizard" and strings like "and they're off" seem to have the same etymology base.
RayfordSteele, Jan 20 2018

       If all of you rational people I've always considered to be rational could go back to being rational again that'd be great m'kay...   

       Goodness me, what a busy thread ...
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //Of course, technically, he's right.// ([Ian Tindale], that is, about family, etc.)   

       Right or not, I think he has George Orwell on his side (though I admit Orwell didn't put the case quite so aggressively). Would anyone vote for a virtual George Orwell? Also, he has on side certain passages of scripture, and a large part of the argument for priestly celibacy. Again, you may or may not feel that this helps his case.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //I wonder why it isn’t “Fuck Away” //   

       I suspect that the precursor phrase is "Push off" - possibly a metaphor from handling boats.   

       The purpose of "fuck" is simply to add aggression and/or demand more attention. Compare "Thank Fuck for that".   

       Now, you may be wondering why "fuck" adds aggression. That would be because "fuck" itself is a metaphor, as most sexual words are. Different cultures refer to sex with metaphors from different aspects of sexual behaviour. For example, both Greek and Hebrew tend to emphasise metaphors of intimacy ("be with", "go with", "have knowledge of"). Japanese tends to emphasise sensuality ("pillow"). Anglo-Saxon, like Latin, emphasises power and violence in the choice of sexual metaphor. Hence, the original meaning of "fuck" seems to have been "hit" or "beat". That is why "you're fucked" doesn't mean "someone is making sweet love to you". It means "you're beaten".
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //I'm not sure if you're referring to [...]//   

       Strictly speaking, neither; I was referring to *intended* futures described or implied by writers in the psychoanalytic tradition. However, the status quo nowadays does incorporate certain aspects of those intended futures. If all this sounds like a rather wild allegation, I could start boring you with detailed references to the writers in question - you know, "in 1922, Somerset Maugham wrote *this*", etc. But this thread is already quite long, and not *entirely* on-topic.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       Regarding pre-enlightenment society, you might like to read Foucault's "Madness and Civilisation". His value-judgements are abhorrent and his causal model is back to front, but he crams in lots of striking facts, some of which might interest you.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       I heard about a party in a North Korean concentration camp, where the shit WAS the bean dip. The 2 phrases were synonymous. If someone shat in it they just patted you on the back, and they said i’m Definitely booking this catering service for the next party
DDRopDeadly, Jan 21 2018

       // a citation for the ‘fucked //   

       I'm afraid it was something I heard on the radio. One piece of evidence quoted, though, was the old dialect name of a certain small bird of prey in the North of England - "wind-fucker", assumed to mean "wind-beater".   

       Also, in Latin, there's a word "superare" whose primary meaning is "overcome", but which is often used in a sexual sense. Hence, according to ... Aulus Gellius, I think it was, legionaries called out "Caesar fucked the Gauls, he gets a triumph; Nicomedes fucked Caesar, he doesn't get a triumph".
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       ////Of course, technically, he's right.// ([Ian Tindale], that is, about family, etc.)//   

       I believe Max was making a joke.   

       //I think he has George Orwell on his side//   

       Don't remember George Orwell proposing any kind of final solution against men who love and care for their families.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       Now, [8th] ...   

       Thank you for taking the trouble to respond about those volcanoes. Your points are plausible, if not necessarily compelling. However, if I understand them correctly, your drift seems to be "never mind the big bangs - the continuous leakage is what matters".   

       Does this mean you're retreating from your earlier claim that //one average to large eruption releases in a few days as much CO2 and SO2 as humans release in years.// ?
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //Then I made a nice cup of tea.//   

       Good call.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       Psst - [2 fries] - I think you can come out now. The screaming has stopped and we're having tea. We can sweep up the broken bits later.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //Don't remember George Orwell proposing any kind of final solution [...]//   

       No, but he did observe somewhere that the people who pointed and laughed at newsreel footage of Jews being herded towards the gas chambers tended to be the same people who were most loudly sentimental about motherhood.
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       //No, but he did observe somewhere that the people who pointed and laughed at newsreel footage of Jews being herded towards the gas chambers tended to be the same people who were most loudly sentimental about motherhood.//   

       I'd be surprised if George Orwell ever said that. You can post the quote to prove me wrong, but I doubt he ever made the link between love of children and family and love of genocide. He was a great humanitarian and one of my top ten heroes incidentally. One problem with that story is, how did he do his research? Did he note who laughed at newsreel footage in a darkened theater, presumably using infrared glasses then question each of these people about their beliefs in motherhood as they left the theater? Gotta call complete and total BS on that little factoid.   

       There is however, a most definite link between anti- family philosophies and genocide.. The communists decried the classical family unit when they weren't busy murdering tens of millions of innocent people.   

       I think some people just get triggered knowing that others have love, children, wives and family and dream of some world where they get love, purpose and companionship from somewhere else. The state perhaps? The whole, "It takes a village" thing? I know sex robots are becoming a big thing, something I find pretty disgusting and wish I had never heard about. Anyway, don't know, don't really care. They do their thing, I do mine.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       Back to the grownup talk again for a second, hopefully to stay there for a bit this time,   

       I understand the same camp who stands against nuclear power often promotes dietary reform, that is, a non animal based diet for among other things, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released by farm animal flatus.   

       Has anybody run the numbers on that? Not saying I have, but if you remove the planet's 1.5 billion cows and replace the calories they supply to the planet's 7.5 billion people with plant based foods, the same foods the cows ate, isn't there some un-accounted for additional fart gas from that equation?   

       8, you seem to be the resident expert on atmospheric science. Isn't the "eliminate all 1.5 billion cows and their farts and instead feed 7.5 billion people beans to keep the planet fart free" plan flawed? Should be easy to find out the volume of gas from each animal on a vegetarian diet and do the math on that one.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       more accurately, the same crowd who always wants to have a reason to control the means of production spreads its tentacles wider and wider. A larger than usual number of people is not going hungry -- must be a planet ending problem.   

       skipping through Ian's fugue, [Ray] people that always complain about corruption or deficits are certainly boring, but not nearly as much as people that announce 2017 as one of the hottest years on record a couple of weeks after the Arctic Circle migrated to Manhattan. Let's face it, Cassandra is never popular regardless of the subject matter of her peeves or prophesies.
theircompetitor, Jan 21 2018

       Good points TC.   

       //Now you're sounding eerily like me. That's why I remain a pragmatic, mostly boring centrist.//   

       No shame in not joining either side in the right/left political paradigm. (hate that word) I've used the aircraft metaphor previously, here's a finer point on it.   

       An airplane has two pilots, the left wing pilot and the right wing pilot. Each pilot asserts, CORRECTLY that if that guy in the other seat has his way, turning the control yoke totally to the right/left, the plane will spin out of control in that direction and explode in a fireball when it hits the ground. The passengers in the back are told the facts by both pilots that both leave out one crucial point: the best way for this plane to fly is to have balance between control surfaces. This is looked at as some as not being exciting, but I'm in the back of the plane (looking for a parachute) hoping to god that neither one of these idiot pilots gets his way.   

       So if you're feel that being a centrist may appear boring or undecided, look at it this way: being a centrist is the most radical and revolutionary of all. You're standing up and fighting everybody.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       // Isn't the "eliminate all 1.5 billion cows and their farts and instead feed 7.5 billion people beans to keep the planet fart free" plan flawed? //   



       Food production is a zero-sum system.   

       Growing 20 billion tonnes of beans takes x amount of CO2 from the ecosphere.   

       (a) Feed the human population entirely on beans. This releases x amount of CO2 back into the ecosphere, either as expired CO2, or fart methane. What goes around, comes around.   

       (b) Feed 1.5 billion domestic animals on beans. This releases n% of x as expired CO2, and farts. Feed the humans on meat, plus beans. This releases (100 - n)% of x in the same way, but because of low energy conversion efficiency in producing meat, there aren't enough beans, and some humans starve (releasing carbon through decay, but ultimately requiring less food).   

       Whichever way you go, x goes in, x goes out. However, ruminants produce more methane, a "greenhouse" gas.   

       The wider discussion is about "extra" carbon in the ecosystem, from (1) fossil fuels, (2) deforestation, and (3) vulcanism.   

       We contend that, firstly, (3) is a poorly-understood, unquantfied, and potentially very large (comparable with human activity) input, and secondly, the countervailing mechanisms for environmental CO2 self-management (plankton, jellyfish blooms etc.) are also poorly understood and unquantified.   

       Ammonites, ammonites, ammonites ... warm, CO2-rich seas, full of ammonites ...   

       Were they good to eat ? There must have been predators ... maybe it's time for ammonites to make a comeback ...
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       What are the particulars, percentages etc. of those three again with regard to their effect on the climate? I know you talked about it earlier but I don’t want to have to go back and comb through all the insane tantrum crap that’s polluted this thread to find the interesting stuff.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       link #4, posted by [pert]. But the papers quoted are 20 years old, and better data are now available, which indicate that the quoted figures are low by a whole order of magnitude - putting vulcanism, particularly deep-ocean hydrothermal emissions- on a par with human activity.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       Cool, thx.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       There's a sort of "dark matter" parallel for environmental carbon. Physicists came up with Dark Matter because there's "too much gravity"   

       In the same way - call it Dark Carbon, if you will - understanding is growing that there are huge amounts of "extra" carbon in play that are geologic in origin, but that there are also carbon-capturing geologic mechanisms that are understood poorly, if at all (i.e. sediment entrainment at subduction boundaries).
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       When looking at any complicated system, I like to consider the reference point of the person or persons evaluating it. Ernst (I think was his first name) Mach was the man on this one. Your vantage point determines what you perceive. If you sell ice cream, you're likely to propose selling more ice cream as the solution to any problem you're reviewing.   

       Government is in the business of selling governing so when they tell me the solution to poverty, demonic possession, killer clowns or global warming is giving them more money, I take that into consideration when reviewing their solution to any problem.   

       And there's a false narrative I often hear that I don't accept. You can only have one of two views on this: 1) Global warming or climate change can never happen or 2) Increased government taxation is the only solution to any problem, this one included.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       Huh... I always thought the word fuck came from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge which was the charge for prostitution back in the day.   

       As for cattle and methane production, you'd need to factor in the thirty to one hundred million bison which used to roam free for centuries before their genocide.
There is a fascinating TED talk from a fellow who was given the task of trying to stop desertification of an elephant preserve.
His final recommendation was that twenty elephants needed to be put down so that there would be enough food for the rest without stripping the land bare.

       Not only did this not work it had the opposite effect and it was later determined that the lack of "roaming" herds is actually causing the desertification spreading in North America, Africa, and elsewhere for the simple reason that moving herds don't eat what they shit on.
This means that large patches of grassland remain un-trampled and merely bent over casting shade beneath them while the fertilizer from the beasts slowly permeates the area around them creating little insect-opias allowing the grasslands to thrive in a natural cycle.

       Removing the herds kills the plants which are binding up carbon and releasing oxygen.   


       I would probably vote for AIEisenhower.   

       // 1) Global warming or climate change can never happen //   

       We disagree. Climate change is a continuous, dynamic, chaotic process.   

       Climate change can be immediate and local (microclimate), seasonal, or global and on a geologic timescale (ice ages). But the point is that climate change is an absolutely fundamental part of the ecosystem.   

       Global warming happens. Global cooling happens. The factors and variables are numerous and - currently - not well understood.   

       Accumulation of observational evidence is not proof. It is necessary to demonstrate a causal relationship with a model or models that predicts future behavior.   

       Plate tectonics is a relevant example. It describes in general terms what causes volcanos and earthquakes. It predicted the existence of marine slip-strike faults at spreading plate margins, which were subsequently found by exploration. It predicted the "zebra-stripe" magnetic anomalies in the Pacific.   

       Plate tectonic theory does not predict that there will be a magnitude 5.8 earthquake 21 km NW of Parkfield on 21 May at 03:48 ... it's a "broad brush" theory. But it does predict some things very well - where faulting will cause volcanos, and that where there are earthquakes, faults will be found.   

       Building on this, and knowing the underlying processes, seismometry, deep gas analysis, surface sensing radar and DGPS surveying work towards providing a steadily improving understanding of how, where and importantly when earthquakes will happen.   

       When climatology theory is as good or better than tectonic theory, it will be worth paying attention.... facts, facts, facts, what are the facts ? Where are the numbers ? ALL the numbers, not just the ones that fit someone's pet theory ...   

       "The planet appears to be warming" - yes.   

       "Human activity releases fossil carbon" - yes.   

       "Human activity in releasing carbon is the primary cause of planetary warming" - is it ? What other factors are involved ?   

       Show your working ...
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       //Huh... I always thought the word fuck came from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge//   

       German for "strike" according to Monty Python. (See link)   

       //Removing the herds kills the plants which are binding up carbon and releasing oxygen.//   

       Sounds plausible.   

       Whether we kill all the cows or cover the planet with yummy, delicious cows, just give me my nukes.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018


       With your permission I'm putting that in the idea description.   

       I'll give you full credit.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       // 1) Global warming or climate change can never happen // We disagree. Climate change is a continuous, dynamic, chaotic process.//   

       Right, that's why I'm saying it's a Hobson's choice. Believe that climate has never and will never change or agree that government taxation and wealth distribution plans are the only way to effect positive changes should they become necessary.
doctorremulac3, Jan 21 2018

       No. Believe nothing. Trust no-one. Question everything. Belief is something that is characteristic of religions, which require faith - compliance in the absence of facts or proof.   

       Science is not a religion. The scientific method requires that theory is supported by repeatable, demonstrable experiment. Anywhere, anyone can stick a piece of copper and a piece of zinc in a lemon, and measure a voltage.   

       The voltage will vary depending on the ambient temperature, the purity of the metals, and the freshness of the lemon- but importantly, all those factors can be calibrated for and those calibrations are universally valid.   

       Anyone who "belives" in anything is suspect.   

       Note that belief if very different from opinion.   

       Opinion is a result of prior experience, aquired knowledge, and reasoned analysis. The process of deriving an opinion is explicable. "The car engine does not start. The starter motor turns the engine quickly; the fuel gauge indicates fuel in the tank; there is a smell of unburned fuel at the exhaust outlet. Opinion - there is likely to be a problem either with the air filter, or more likely the ignition system."   

       It's possible - but unlikely - that an evil clown has cut the wires to the ECU, but the ignition fault is much, much more likely.   

       This is not belief. The process of arriving at the opinion is amenable to systematic, rational deconstruction.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       Well that's all just your opinion. Ha
xenzag, Jan 21 2018

       Yes, it is, and we can demonstrate step by step the process by which the conclusion is reached.   

       Can you do the same ? If you can, please do. We'll pay close attention. You should expect rigorous analysis and criticism (in the academic sense), and be prepared to support your argument (in the academic sense) with facts and hypotheses.   

       We will provide, if possible, a reasoned rebuttal, and will not descend to name-calling, ad-hominem arguments, or abuse.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       Fake logic.
xenzag, Jan 21 2018

       Fake, or false, logic is inevitably vulnerable to correctly-applied analytical techniques, as codified by Bertrand Russell.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       In your opinion. You'll dream a different reality, if you alter how your mind works. i.e. Think differently and you'll experience different thoughts.
xenzag, Jan 21 2018

       // In your opinion. You'll dream a different reality, if you alter how your mind works. i.e. Think differently and you'll experience different thoughts. //   

       No, because codified formal logic does not admit of opinion or belief. There is only ever one possible solution. The whole point is to exclude any component of subjective perception or interpretation.   

       Formal logic is a mathematical entity of itself, detached from and independent of humans. It can be validated by computational systems built up from fundamental arithmetic elements, each of which can be verified in isolation.   

       There is no "thinking differently". That's a human thing.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       So, [8th], about chocolate...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2018

       //post the quote to prove me wrong//   

       Gah! Now I go to look for it, I can't find it. Maybe I dreamed it. ;-)
pertinax, Jan 21 2018

       // about chocolate... //   

       ... which seems to be very much a Betazoid thing.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2018

       Don't take this wrong, [doc], but in our history, I never saw you as much of a centrist. You seemed to care very little for the left pilot from my vantage.   

       Incidentally, my car engine starts roughly. It smells like fuel. It's fault is actually leaky injectors.   

       Regarding the herds and plants and their codependence, the quick and dirty answer is that changing the system dynamic faster than evolution wants to go is very likely going to end up being very bad for all parties involved, save for the lucky few that somehow find a quick benefit and become invasive / pervasive.   

       //Show your work.//   

       Well, in brief, the rest of nature has been doing the same sorts of things for several thousand years or much longer, with little change here and there, even factoring in the occasional volcano. Humans have not been doing the same sorts of things for that long. During that time period during which we have added some substantial changes to the earth, its been getting warmer at a much faster rate than previously observed.   

       If you are hypothesizing that the scientists simply extrapolated data well beyond the point of believability, I'd submit that that is a childish error not likely to be committed by a large number of climate scientists in today's world. They'd lose their credence quickly for something so basic. I find your theory to be beyond my bounds of credibility.   

       [tc], the cold you are now experiencing and the overall warm climate are related. Read up on the oceans and what drives the currents and what happens when they slow down.
RayfordSteele, Jan 21 2018

       //You seemed to care very little for the left pilot from my vantage.//   

       I'll put it this way. I despise the people currently occupying the left pilot's seat for too many reasons to list but I support the idea that this seat is necessary for balance. I support Social Security, helping the underprivileged in such a way that lifts them up without creating a permanent dependent class and caring for the elderly and infirmed. I also support the checks and balances that keeping evil government types holding each other's dreams of conquest in check represents.   

       But don't take the conciliatory tone of my statement as a white flag. Progressives are my enemy. Many of the causes their brochure espouses, I support, but I don't believe the modern leftist cares about anything but power, elitism, classism, racism, nihilism and dividing people for fun and profit. I believe their whole premise is a lie. Their causes are equivalent to the 8 essential vitamins and iron that poisonous sugar based breakfast cerials print on the side of the box to sucker people in.   

       Take one issue, this immigration thing. If immigrants voted largely for Republicans the Democrats would have put a wall on the southern border of the U.S. a long time ago. And here's the deal, you know that's true, whether you admit it or not. Think about that for a second and be honest with yourself. Picture Chuck Schumer saying "We understand these immigrants spell the death of the Democrat party, but we need to look at this from a humanitarian angle." As you very well know, that would never happen.   

       That's why I hate these guys. Lying elitist scumbags. And from a personal perspective, you can agree with them on 99% of the issues, but disagree on that last 1% and you're immediately a googleplex times worse than Hitler. They argue like children.*   

       The Republicans are just morons so they can be forgiven a little bit more. I guess.   

       * Not all of them, this is a generality because typing "Of course not all Democrats are this way. There are friends and relatives of mine who I respect and even love who are Democrats." would be almost impossible to read due to the extreme, mind numbing boredom it would generate.   

       One more thing, if I think somebody is completely not worth talking to because there's just nothing there, I don't waste my time. So if you want to take some kind of olive branch out of this, you're welcome to it.   

       Just remember, olive branches can quickly be converted to clubs
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       [Ray], I have no doubt as the earnestness of the belief of most believers in global warming. I'm also not one of those that says "so <evolution, relativity....> is just a theory?"   

       But the statistical distribution of scientists does not argue as to the validity of the theory especially when the political cost for disagreement is so high.   

       More importantly, presuming the theory is correct, it's not at all clear what the practical effects would net out to be, and that's holding many variables equal. It doesn't come close to estimating net effects versus, for instance, deliberately reducing economic growth, or on a longer scale, the value of gaining Greenland or imagine, a whole continent in Antarctica versus losing Miami or even New York.   

       It doesn't know that in 10 years the car fleet may turn largely electric and in 50 years the fleet will be a 10th or 100th of its size because of a combination of telecommuting, reduction in work and automated vehicles, not to mention Tesla roofs and in-house thorium reactors. Have they even modeled that as it gets warmer you have to spend less on heating? :)   

       It doesn't know that Pinatubo may grant you another 10 years, or Krakatoa another 50 years or 100 years, it doesn't know if birthrates throughout the world will plummet to Western levels, or even lower with longer lifetimes, it doesn't know your descendant may have a gene-engineered mutation that lets zer directly metabolize sunlight.   

       The theory comes down to a nonsense prediction over what would happen in a future that is often predicted but is beyond the singularity, and acts primarily as an organizing principle for those that would seek to control the means of production.   

       By all means, have governments fund any kind of energy research that's viable, and even some that are not. By all means have taxing authorities tax what they want to reduce, they already have a right to do so. By all means reduce pollution, why would we want to have pollution.   

       But using energy is an existential threat to humanity or the planet? Nonsense.
theircompetitor, Jan 22 2018

       //But using energy is an existential threat to humanity or the planet? Nonsense.//   

       Can't control the people without these threats and the "If you don't vote for us, you'll all die!" message.   

       That's really what this is all about.
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       see what happens when there's no woman in charge.
po, Jan 22 2018

       Agreed. Put the virtual Maggie Thatcher on the ballot. She'd get my vote.
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       [tc], here’s what I know: if you screw up the weather too badly too quickly you screw up agriculture, and you start to eat canned goods for as long as you have them. And it’s not so easy as simply moving further north or south, there are things like soil types and water resources to worry about, as well as pollination, species balancing, disease transfer, etc.   

       The politics of opposing climate science aren’t as big a concern as the risk of getting it wrong unprepared, for that reason alone, (and there are a great many others).   

       [doc], say what you will about the progressives, but I don’t see Bernie for starters being that motivated by wealth or even power. He seemed like the real deal to me, if a bit left of center.
RayfordSteele, Jan 22 2018

       //a bit left of center//   

       Yeeeeaaa. A bit.   

       For me, he needs to answer for all the communist, not socialist, communist nations he's supported. He repeats the stuff from the brochure, free healthcare, free education, free everything but doesn't want to talk about countries where these utopian ideas have crashed and burned.   

       Sell me on free healthcare, free food, free everything. Hell, sell me on magic carpets for everyone but I'm gonna have to see all those things actually fly successfully.   

       Keep in mind, we do have some socialist institutions here that I support but he's gotta show me how it's getting paid for, and I'd trust his numbers a bit more if he ever ran a business or balanced a ledger in his life.   

       But this is where it gets boring. Who wants to discuss the best way to do things when Trump is running around the world pissing on everybody's sheets?   

       Now THAT'S what gets people engaged apparently.   

       By the way, if you think Trump is the last reality star president, just replace "last" with "first of many". The media has never raked in so much cash following this guy's every move, to the last imaginary, alleged drop.   

       Had to do that, we went several days without mentioning Trump or Hitler. Gotta stick to the rules here.
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       // Well, in brief, the rest of nature has been doing the same sorts of things for several thousand years or much longer, //   

       Millions of years. Millions and millions.   

       // with little change here and there, even factoring in the occasional volcano. //   

       ... apart from the last few ice ages ...   

       // Humans have not been doing the same sorts of things for that long. During that time period during which we have added some substantial changes to the earth, its been getting warmer at a much faster rate than previously observed. //   

       Not directly observed; inferred from indirect historical data. Direct observations start in the mid-18th century; accurate, calibrated observations start in the late 19th century.   

       // If you are hypothesizing that the scientists simply extrapolated data well beyond the point of believability, I'd submit that that is a childish error not likely to be committed by a large number of climate scientists in today's world. //   

       The fault lies not with the scientists, but with the paucity of data. The conclusions may be entirely reasonable based on the data set. But the data set is compiled over a meaninglessly short (in geologic terms) timescale.   

       You would be foolish indeed to bet on the outcome of a two hour sporting event based on the last thirty seconds and without knowing the previous score.   

       // They'd lose their credence quickly for something so basic. //   

       No, because given the same data and theory, any reasonable scientist would draw the same conclusion.   

       // I find your theory to be beyond my bounds of credibility. //   

       But it's not our theory.   

       We are not proposing a hypothesis. We are asking that the existing hypotheses be rigorously justified.   

       Possit: in the last 200 years there has been a (say) 3 C average temperature spike.   

       Question: Are any of the available techniques which derive their data from a geologic record capable of accurately resolving a 3 C temperature spike over a 200 year window ?   

       Are you seriously speaking out against distrust and skepticism ?
8th of 7, Jan 22 2018

       The simple truth is that we don't understand nearly enough about the climate to make any predictions as subtle as a few degrees warmer or cooler. For instance, we don't really know what determines the cycle of ice ages - and something like that would be quite important, wouldn't it? I mean, we DON'T KNOW why global climate has swung around by 10s of degrees in the past. Atmospheric CO2 is a small player in the climate, and to predict the effects of changing it - even doubling it - is way beyond what we can do at the moment.   

       Not a single quantitative prediction about climate change has been correct to within a factor of 2. Does anyone remember the quantitative climate predictions from 20 years ago? No? That's because there are new and better predictions, and unfortunately the ones from 20 years ago proved to be incorrect. Lather, rinse, repeat.   

       Qualititatively, adding CO2 to the atmosphere will probably favour warming. But qualitatively, a snowflake and a bullet are both projectiles.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2018

       Max, 8, you can cite all the science and logic you want, but I fail to see what this has to do with Trump urinating on everybody's sheets.
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       That, [doc], is a very good point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2018

       //but I don’t see Bernie for starters being that motivated by wealth or even power.//   

       Not that there's anything wrong with that.   

       Strange that people worry so much about right-wing populism, but can't quite worry enough about left-wing populism, which demonstrably causes as much, if not more damage
theircompetitor, Jan 22 2018

       // everybody's sheets //   

       Some initial assumptions:   

       Mr. Trump consumes a diet rich in asparagus, and plenty of Screwdrivers (Orange juice/vodka cocktails), resulting in a urinary output of 3 l per day of smelly urine.   

       The average human's sleeping area is 2m x 1m.   

       How much smelly urine at ambient temperature is needed, evenly distributed per human sleeping area, to be noticeable - either by odour, or enhanced moistness ?   

       Assume 1 ml over a 2 m2 area is sufficient for effectiveness (tests will be necessary), and clean, indeed pristine sheets (mattress, and other bedlinen) and a recent shower or bath, plus an absence of olfactory deficiency caused by allergies and/or a cold.   

       Therefore, The Don can *noticeably* piss on the sheets of 3000 persons per day.   

       There are more than 300 million inhabitants of the U.S.A. alone at this time.   

       This means that each day, 0.001% of the U.S. population can have their sheets pissed on; a little over 1 million people per year.   

       So, if Donald is blessed with immortality, it will be 2317 before everyone's had their sheets pissed on, and that's just the U.S. - what about all the billions - literally billions - of humans who will die, miserable and deprived, long before their vial of Holy Wee comes by ?   

       What about population growth ?   

       Perhaps extra kidneys could be transplanted, to guarantee and indeed enhance supply ?   

       There are so many practical problems to overcome ...
8th of 7, Jan 22 2018

       See? Now we're getting to the important issues.
doctorremulac3, Jan 22 2018

       I think that Bernie's been around long enough to realize that his really far-left proposals would never get implemented. In order to pull the conversation back to the middle, he's had to yank very hard to the left. Or put another way, in order to reach the moon, you have to aim for the stars. That yank is precisely what I was looking for.   

       I simply didn't want to type out hypothesis again, it seemed like bad writing form.
RayfordSteele, Jan 22 2018

       I don't know Ray, that sounds awful close to excusing rhetorical means for the end -- a Bernie version of seriously but not literally :)
theircompetitor, Jan 23 2018

       // in order to reach the moon, you have to aim for the stars. //   


       Actually, in order to reach the moon, you need to aim just to one side of it by a very carefully calculated amount. There may indeed be a specific star that corresponds with the aiming point, but "the stars" is far too general.   

8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       //in order to reach the moon, you have to aim for the stars.//   

       To achieve moderate socialism you need to espouse the benefits of genocidal communism?   

       My favorite Bernie clip is when the interviewer asked him to explain why Venezuela is a failed hellhole of a state and he completely melts down and starts yelling that he doesn't want to talk about it.   

       If you guys want socialism, elect an FDR clone, not some Che Guevara fan who thinks keeping one's hair combed is an artifact of bourgeois oppression.   

       At least he's honest about his idiology I guess. Hillary is a pure corruptocrat who wears here Che Guevara shirt on her way to those backroom deals that here and hubby specialize in. "Hey! I will never take millions of dollars from corporations to do their bidding!" said no Clinton ever.   

       Or should I say, HIllary WAS a pure corruptocrat. One can only hope.
doctorremulac3, Jan 23 2018

       //Not directly observed; inferred from indirect historical data. Direct observations start in the mid-18th century; accurate, calibrated observations start in the late 19th century.//   

       Herein lies a major issue. Both the coverage, in terms of sampling locations, and the sampling frequency have changed over time. Dramatically. If you take temperature readings more often in more places you have a better idea of the real picture but you will drastically increase your chances of a very high (or low) reading. It's interesting that many studies show changes in the number of temperature ANOMALIES.   

       Something as simple as temperature is actually pretty tough to measure. It's quite obvious that it is a series of nested oscillations, yet there's no talk of Nyquist sampling frequencies or use of appropriate techniques to account for problems.   

       Even the "raw" data (I'm thinking of those 2011 met office files I remember having a look at) for surface temperature is lumped together as monthly "averages" +/- SD. Is that appropriate? Without the real raw data, I have no idea. But I know how a couple of 20C days like we had in december 2015 produces skewed data and a misleading average to the point where you'd definitely want to get serious about your data handling. There are other really scary techniques in play, the metoffice data substitutes missing data with "-99". A tired grad student is definitely going to include the odd one of those once in a while, I've watched it happen. The correct thing is to represent missing data with something that can't influence the result, NaN for example. This is going to be important when there is a clear trend for more missing data the further back you go.   

       //Assume 1 ml over a 2 m2 area//   

       I think the "California King" will mess this right up
bs0u0155, Jan 23 2018

       You say 'communism' like its some sort of a bad thing... ;-)   

       Bernie proposes radical ideas in order to get people thinking differently or at least thinking. He's my honorary political halfbaker. There have to be some benefits to doing that somewhere... if I stick around here long enough I might discover them... just around the next corner...   

       FDR was sloppy and disorganized in his management of organizations. He had all sorts of competing agencies stomping all over eachother, and the military brass hated him for it.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2018

       That sounds just like the sort of "multiply, divide, and conquer" that Hitler used within the administration of the Third Reich …
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       I don't see how saying free healthcare or free college is revolutionary other than in the communist sense of the word :)   

       It's just the other side of the enticing, but fundamentally flawed populist coin
theircompetitor, Jan 23 2018

       // free healthcare or free college is revolutionary //   

       But they aren't "free", nor can they ever be so.   

       They require resources. Those resources have to be provided through human activity. Doctors and teachers need food; either they are provided with it, or they stop teaching and doctoring and grow or hunt their own - otherwise they die.   

       Nothing is ever "free". A state only has money because it takes it from the citizens - or it borrows it.   

       There is no free healthcare. There is no free college. There is no free lunch …   

       Everything costs. Maybe not in monetary terms, but everythinbg costs. Get over it.
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       //other than in the communist sense// No it's not. It's the central, "I care about my nation, therefore I care about the future of my nation (and by extension am willing to pay tax)" position.   

       If you want communism, you need to make the state responsible for a great deal more than that - like infrastructure (roads and bridges, as well as walls) deciding what's real or fake news, declaring which countries you're happy accepting people from or not, encouraging organised gangs of nationalist thugs - you know, all that authoritarian stuff.   

       Establishing communism (or any other kind of totalitarianism) without some degree of violent authoritarianism as a precursor is next to impossible.   

       In contrast, the Open Democracy certainly annoys a great deal of people, nearly all the time - (often only because it's so damnably confusing having frivolous stuff like deciding which toilets some people can go into, or how to spell Kwanza, or how exactly to rename each European institution such that it doesn't contain the word "Europe" in it any more, at massive public cost, because "sovereignty" come up all the time) and apart from the very obvious prop of overwhelming military dominance over the rest of the world, it rarely does any of its own citizens any actual harm.
zen_tom, Jan 23 2018

       … apart from unarmed black teenagers, where it seems to be open season with no bag limit …
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       //Nothing is ever "free". A state only has money because it takes it from the citizens - or it borrows it. There is no free healthcare. There is no free college. There is no free lunch … Everything costs. Maybe not in monetary terms, but everything costs. Get over it.//   

       With all due respect sir, this is third-grade material. Everybody gets it. Maybe not everyone in the current Administration as their third grade graduation papers seem to be of questionable origin, but do try talking to your audience at their level.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2018

       //unarmed black teenagers, where it seems to be open season// Hmm yes, I think I'm going to have to play my American Exceptionalism Joker on that one. Left or Right, Authoritarian or Liberal, some historical things are so broken, they're going to take some serious actual non- partisan fixing.
zen_tom, Jan 23 2018

       if everybody got it, they wouldn't be getting so slim in Venezuela.   

       There's a lot to be said for free college -- if I'm going to have my kids indoctrinated in hating capitalism, I might as well save some money rather than spend $240K paying communist professors for whom other people's money is no object :)
theircompetitor, Jan 23 2018

       Let's all take a break from all the politics and have a little musical interlude.   

       (Sung to the tune of YMCA by the Village People)   

       Comrade, pick up your shovel and hoe, I said, comrade, go harvest potatoes, I said, comrade, I don’t care if there’s snow we will build, for, glo-ry of motherland.   

       Comrade, you must do as you’re told I said, comrade, or you’re going to be cold. You must stay here, besides I'm sure you will find many ways to have you a good time.   

       It's fun to stay at the U.S.S.R. It's fun to stay at the U.S.S.R.   

       And if you complain, not enough to do, there's a gulag waiting for you.   

       It's fun to stay at the U.S.S.R. It's fun to stay at the U.S.S.R.   

       We give you things to clean, you eat your bear meat, but don’t do whatever you feel...   

       Comrade, steel production is down. I said comrade, wait in bread line in town and dear comrade. Don't you dare complain or you'll end..up...six... feet under the ground.   

       (BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!)   

       It's fun to live in the USSR   

doctorremulac3, Jan 23 2018


       // this is third-grade material. Everybody gets it. //   

       Not everybody. We are assuming that, here and there among the illuminati, there are Democratic voters, socialists, senior managers, and [xenzag].   

       So it has to be pitched at a very, very basic level ...   

8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       //pitched at a very, very basic level//   

       a good length medium seamer just outside off would probably be the most basic.
bs0u0155, Jan 23 2018

       Even that would defeat [xen], since (amongst their innumerable other deficiencies) the french are notorious for being completely unable to play cricket.   

       This partially accounts for their deplorably poor showing in most* contests with the English since 1415.   

       *Apart from the loss of Calais, which was the fault of Mary Tudor, who was not only a catholic but a woman** too, so no surprise she mucked it up.   

       **Elizabeth Tudor was mostly a woman, but fortunately had the heart and stomach of a King (presumably some form of early organ transplant) and more importantly was a Protestant.
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       Like the ones in China, and the former USSR ?   

       The opportunity to vote, and democracy, are not the same thing.   

       After all, how often does an election - even in a western populist democracy - deliver what the electorate actually want ?
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       They have "elections" in North Korea too.
doctorremulac3, Jan 23 2018

       “Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.” - Terry Pratchett, Mort.
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       Kim's election is bigger than Dorald's.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 23 2018

       It's not how big it is, it's what you do with it (allegedly).
8th of 7, Jan 23 2018

       We have "elections" here too. Maybe someday the popular vote and the ruling party will align, gerrymandering will be a thing of the past, and my voice will matter as much as Rebekah Mercer's. Maybe.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2018

       There was a lot of talk after this last election about getting rid of the electoral college. Problem with that, why would citizens of say, Wyoming, want to remain in a country where their citizens have no representation? Just trust highly populated California and New York to do everything in the best interest of citizens of Wyoming?   

       "In other news, New York and California have solved the garbage crisis. Wyoming will now be designated "The Garbage State". Representatives of both the ruling states celebrated the compromise between California dealing with its own garbage and New York dealing with its own garbage." Representatives of Wyoming couldn't be reached because there aren't any."   

       But fine, as a supporter of state's rights, I like the idea of the rest of the states telling California and New York "Good luck with your retarded new president, just don't come around telling us what to do."   

       But let's face it, if the electoral college were eliminated, the first time the Democrats lost an election they would have won with the old system they'd be rioting in the streets to get it back.   

       Gotta love those adorable little imps.
doctorremulac3, Jan 23 2018

       You can substitute many a word for your use of "Democrats" - choose any that is used to describe a group.   

       I briefly pondered inviting all the people in Wyoming to join us in California - probably wouldn't be noticed in the crowd. But that's how the parking problem began, and there's all those big trucks.
normzone, Jan 23 2018

       //You can substitute many a word for your use of "Democrats" - choose any that is used to describe a group.//   

       Rather than just doing what the humor manual says and listing a bunch of plural pejoratives, I'll just say that I'm probably jealous of these guys. It must be comforting for them to have a group to belong to that they think is 100% pure virtue, right about everything all the time without fail and has a comic book style nemesis in the Republicans that are 100% wrong about everything all the time and are pure evil.   

       I would love that. Simple, comforting, even kind of fun. But then again, I'd love to believe in a guy in the clouds with a beard and sandals who loves me and will eventually punish people who piss me off if I put a buck in the collection plate and say the right incantations.   

       So I don't have religion or the flip side of that coin, belief in Karl Marx's people's revolution which are basically the same salves with slightly different ingredients. I don't get to pick what I believe, but since I have no choice in the matter anyway, I think I kind of like it out here in the cold reality of the non-believer. Keeps me on my toes.   

       And as you point out, yes, they're not the first, only or last group to have these traits. This has been a big part of the human story for a long time.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       //Formal logic is a mathematical entity of itself, detached from and independent of humans.// [8th of 7].... ha - invented by humans or did aliens come and carve it into the rocks? People used to operate perfect logic to prove that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it. All explanations of everything are in the minds of the people who generate them, and in the minds of the people who believe them. Change your mind and think it a different way and your thoughts will also change, and somehow the entire universe will be seen as working in a different way to that which it previously did. See Einstein as an example. (until one of my fellow countrymen proved even he was wrong)
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       //People used to operate perfect logic to prove that the earth was flat//   

       No they didn't. See Koestler's The Sleepwalkers for a better summary of what people used to believe about this sort of thing, and why.
pertinax, Jan 24 2018

       //invented by humans//
I think deduced would be a better word in the circumstances
calum, Jan 24 2018

       gerrymandering is bad, very glad the Court has been at least chipping away at it.   

       Electoral college is necessary for the US (and the disproportionate Senate, as well). As is we're barely held together now, make every election about NY and California and the centripetal forces might overwhelm.   

       It's like a house built in an earthquake zone, it has to have all sorts of gives along all sorts of axis to maintain structural integrity.   

       In any case, all the mechanisms put in by the founders to slow down the rate of change are on balance a blessing.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       //I think deduced would be a better word in the circumstances// That the sun revolved around the earth was equally once deduced by human thought, based on what was their prevailing logic at that time. The point I am making is that there are simply no absolutes, as everything arises from human thought and that constantly evolves. New ways of thinking brings new thoughts. Absolutes create Hitlers, Trumps, and Popes.
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       the truth is almost exactly the opposite -- it's fungibility and relativism that allowed for Nazism, for Eugenics, and for many of the evils of the 20th century.   

       Religion thrives on absolutes to be sure, but Religion lacks the proof structures of science, so it's evils (e.g. the burning of heretics) really arrive out of reliance on faith rather than logic.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       // People used to operate perfect logic to prove that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it //   

       No. That is not formal mathematical logic. That is deductive reasoning, which is subjective.   

       The critical part is to exclude any subjective (human) influence from the process. Formal mathematical logic, for a given set of inputs, can only ever arrive at one output.   

       // The point I am making is that there are simply no absolutes, as everything arises from human thought and that constantly evolves. //   

       Once codified, formal logic does not evolve or change. A NAND gate is always a NAND gate.   

       The interpretation of the meaning of the result, by humans, can change, but the logic of the system is invariant.   

       There are lots of absolutes; humans often choose to ignore such "inconvenient truths".
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018

       Nazism and Trump's version of fascism has a defendable 'logic' based on what is described as factual information. Trump simply has a set of alternative facts, that include (inter alia) denial of global warming. Plenty of posters here (like Max and 8th of 7) have openly declared their belief in what Trump says about global warming, regardless of scientific evidence to the opposite. This all confirms my assertion that changing the way you think will change that which you think about, and each will construct their version of reality around their beliefs, and these beliefs arise from their thoughts. Think differently and you'll have different beliefs accordingly.
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       I'm fairly comfortable MB and the Borg's views on global warming (as do mine) predate Trump's entry into the political arena   

       alternative facts are surely not absolutes though.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       I thought Trump's opinion was that it's all a Chinese hoax?   

       I don't see anyone claiming that in this thread.
Wrongfellow, Jan 24 2018

       //Nazism and Trump's version of fascism//   

       It just occurred to me, these Trump / Hitler comparisons are the Most Special Generation's attempt to play tough like their predecessors, the generation that actually stood up to the actual Hitler and defeated him.   

       Xen, you and your group of progressives would have folded under Hitler's attacks at the drop of the first leaflet. Not bomb, leaflet. The first time an HE111 dropped printed propaganda over London demanding capitulation you and your kind would be in the streets demanding that Parliament comply.   

       By saying Trump is Hitler or worse, you're playing "defender of the Earth" for the exciting feeling it generates when most of you can't manage your own lives much less the planet.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       So, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, you choose to agree with Trump, Max and 8th of 7, that global man made global warming is a hoax. This totally proves my point that ultimately human beings will choose to believe exactly what they want, and will use systems they describe as establishing and embracing absolutes to support those beliefs. Alternative facts are now in the driving seat, just as they are with all religions and extreme organisations like Trump, ISIS, Taliban, Sinn Fein, etc.
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       Bush was Hitler. Romney came close, until it turned out he was the guy that inconveniently figured out Russia while Obama was flexing his flexibility.   

       Were there people that were saying Obama was worse than Stalin? I missed that.   

       The inconvenient truth is that presuming the predictions are correct the proposed fixes don't make sense and don't make a difference. The refusal to hear that is just one of the aspects that makes Climate Change a religion
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       I think people who compare Trump to Hitler are foaming at the mouth morons with inadequate facilities to weigh the complexities of the modern world and assimilate and process the information necessary to come up with the best course of action on any given situation facing civilization.   

       How come you're anti nuclear power, something that would do more than anything else to reduce carbon emissions? Because you've been told to be anti nuclear power.   

       Hive mind ignorance.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       //Xen, you and your group of progressives would have folded under Hitler's attacks at the drop of the first leaflet.// You know nothing about me or what my family did to face down Hitler and the likes of Sinn Fein terrorists. What I can assure you is that I will join many millions of others in the UK in protesting at any visit of the Trump Fascist, and he will know very clearly that his rotten politics of hatred, racism and abuse of women are not welcome here.
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       //You know nothing about me or what my family did to face down Hitler//   

       Not your family. You. I'm sure you will bravely pretend you're some kind of warrior by walking around holding a stupid sign pretending to be as brave as the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.   

       I'll give you time to check with your thought-masters about why you're anti nuclear power.   

       Or you can just avoid the question and get back to Trump breaking into your house and peeing on your sheets, which I think is the level of debate you're most comfortable with.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       no it's not just hive mind and ignorance. It's obscenity -- to verify that, just walk into the shoes room at Yad Vashem.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       // you choose to agree with Trump, Max and 8th of 7, that global man made global warming is a hoax //   

       We did not state that global warming is a hoax; indeed, we have repeatedly stated that global warming is a reality -but so is global cooling. Both have happened on a massive scale - we presume you do not dispute the fact of the last Ice Age, or the current measurable crustal rebound ? This has occurred while modern man has been extant.   

       Both are observed phenomena.   

       Is the current warming trend anthropogenic ?   

       Possibly. What are the facts ? Where is the data ? How is it validated ? What are the models ? What assumptions are involved ?   

       We are not swayed by opinion, or emotive arguments. Only by reliable, validated data, and a resilient predictive model.   

       Please supply a link to same, if you have one.
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018

       [doctorremulac3] Stop using the Halfbakery to make personal attacks, and learn to stick to the actual issues, or you'll find yourself with a smaller and smaller audience. It's very boring and indicative of underlying unhappiness and a lack of creativity. I can give anyone who wants some exercises to help with both of these conditions if they ask politely. Smile please is the first one :-)
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       //no it's not just hive mind and ignorance. It's obscenity -- to verify that, just walk into the shoes room at Yad Vashem.//   

       You know, I've very glad you mentioned that.   

       For anybody to take this, the human tragedy of human tragedies and make sport of it is disgusting.   

       Trump had an affair with a porn star. = Separating the weak from the strong as they got off the box cars so the strong would be worked before being murdered.   

       Trump tweeted "Covfefe" = Separating young children from their parents so both could be murdered more efficiently.   

       I was going to go on but thinking about this stuff is pretty depressing. I'll do my best to make sure it doesn't happen again in whatever way I can in my limited capacity to stop such things, but today I'll just tell those who downplay this horror by using it for some lame comparison to somebody they disagree with is truly disgusting.   

       //Stop using the Halfbakery to make personal attacks//   

       Like accusing people of rolling around in "freshly peed sheets"? Like accusing those who disagree with you of being unhappy and un-creative?   

       Still no thoughts on the concept of using nuclear power to help clean up the environment eh? We'll call that strike three. I've asked you 3 times and you have no clue because your handlers haven't instructed you in the duck speak answer you're supposed to repeat.   

doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       I'm surprised anyone's still engaging [xen] at this point.   

       I for one don't believe in the equality of Trump to Hitler, but I do believe in the slippery slope. It goes something like this: Presidency >> Trump >> Hitler.   

       The Presidency under Trump has been disgraced to the point of absurdity, and trust in our country eroded to a degree in which it will be difficult to recover from soon.   

       Ultimately your credibility is just about all you have, and he has severely maimed ours.
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2018

       I agree that Trump has a lot of pretty bad traits, but if I was on the side of the Democrats, I'd be looking at the underlying problem that brought him to office which is how horrible Hillary Clinton was.   

       I'd go back, regroup and say "What was wrong with our candidate that a reality tv star who has never held public office, a total amateur politician, destroyed her in the election?" Trump's campaign slogan could have simply been "I'm Not Hillary".   

       Wasting time trying to throw him out of office is still going to leave the Dems with a gaping hole in their roster for upcoming elections. Go back, regroup and think this out. The revolution isn't going to happen. Get over it and try something else.   

       That's what I'd do anyway. I don't have a problem with having a Dem president as long as he does a good job. Bill did a lot of good stuff, worked with the Republican congress to balance the budget, ran on a welfare reform platform etc. but now he'd be considered a racist that's worse than Hitler. Might want to analyze that for a sec.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       That's a good thing; the more representative democracy is ridiculed and undermined, the closer society moves to starting to want continuous semi-direct democracy.   

       Soon, the point will be reached where no-one can sustain a career in "public life" because they cannot withstand the constant unremitting scrutiny.   

       // I'm surprised anyone's still engaging [xen] at this point. //   

       By predicted fire at the moment, but we are closing the range and intend to go to fire-for-effect over open sights quite soon.
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018

       If America didn't have the capacity to destroy the whole planet either through starting a nuclear war, or with its unstoppable pollution, no one would care what kind of fascist lunatic they elected as a leader. Unfortunately the entire world is beholding to the tantrums and ill-informed baby mode of a total moron as the leader of what is currently its strongest power, at least until China overtakes them, which is in the very near future, assisted and accelerated ironically by Trump's own idiocy.   

       Meanwhile, this whole idea is based on the election of wiser heads to replace the current fruit-cake, and I would have no problem replacing "pee on my bed ladies" Trump (MI5 spy info) by voting for Donald Duck, or any other lovable cartoon character. Those who define themselves with arrogance, intolerance, ignorance, hatred, racism, misogyny, and lack of empathy are to be feared and loathed. And so mr [doctorremulac3] I award you this croissant for having an idea with which I agree. Why vote for Donald Trump when you could choose to vote for Donald Duck? ha [+]
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       I'd vote for that Donald over Hillary too.   

       Ok, Xen, we disagree but I don't hate you. Have a nice day and we'll all hope that things work out for the best.   

       Now I've got to get some work done today.   

       Tell you what. You give me a candidate that'll pay me just for sitting here and looking pretty and they'll have my vote.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       [Ray] the slippery slope argument is appropriate. The singular non-stop attacks -- which in part (and please -- I do not at all excuse it) have driven Trump's responses -- are something quite concerning though.   

       The press absolutely has a role, but questioning mental fitness -- of someone who is by no means up to the presidency -- but is also certainly not certifiable -- is absolutely out of the Soviet playbook.   

       The Russia is the enemy narrative (which I tend to agree with) -- is so out of character to how the Democratic party positioned itself previously -- is so convenient as to become completely unbelievable. I mean Romney should have been President if properly handling Russia was the country's largest concern -- CNN practically handles no other topic since the election. Imagine that Trump is blackmailed by Russia -- really bad. An agent of Russia? Even worse.   

       Now, imagine a political party accusing an opponent of being an agent of a foreign government simply because they want to make their program less effective? Plenty disturbing, and I think still plenty possible.   

       And [xenzag] that prediction will almost certainly fail if the US grows at 4%, even if China keeps building cities that no one lives in. Ultimately you cannot substitute state control for animal spirits, and if Trump has done one thing, he has unleashed animal spirits to a level not observed in a generation.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       "According to a PwC study, the Chinese economy will overtake the U.S. economy by 2030 by about $26.5 trillion to $23.5 trillion. But on the measure of "purchasing power," China has already surpassed the U.S., Blankfein said."   

       China has 1.5 billion citizens, and is totally unstoppable in terms of aggressive growth in every sphere of industry and production. All global leaders eventually go into decline. Under Trump America's decline is accelerating and China is taking the initiative in new progressive industries, like renewables and sustainable energy production. America will be stuck with The Trump Moron's "clean coal", as the rest of the world are buying smart Chinese solar panels.
xenzag, Jan 24 2018

       (see links)
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       I declare this thread has covered everything and with your agreement I’m printing and binding it for my local sixth form college library, to replace all other reference materials
DDRopDeadly, Jan 24 2018

       // smart Chinese solar panels. //   

       Are these the 2% efficient photovoltaics that require huge semiconductor fab plants consuming huge amounts of energy and producing vast quantities of toxic waste products, plus a huge petrochemical industry to provide the plastics for packaging and the feedstocks for the fab plants ?   

       And lots of copper, of course, electrolytically refined ... very environmentally-friendly.   

       So the US declines, and China ascends. Is this a bad thing ? China, a self-perpetuating autocracy, is outperforming a populist representative democracy. In 1945, China was backward, bankrupt, desperately poor and undeveloped. Now it is a technological powerhouse (allegedly).   

       What's wrong with that ? Why not ? Is there some problem with rapid economic growth ?
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018

       [xenzag] plz be a troll as long as you'd like, but don't be an idiot. The American economy is growing at a faster rate since the election, and that trend does not show any stopping. Trump's solar panel action is a pimple on a dog's ass as compared to the rate of growth for American companies overall. And we haven't even fully internalized the tax cuts.   

       You can safely assume I'm more attuned to economic forecasts including the one you mentioned than anyone else here.   

       China is certainly giving the Us a run for its money, which was enabled to a large extent by the anemic recovery of the previous administration, but the Chinese are buying everything they can to hold their money outside of China, from real estate to cryptocurrency. Ultimately, China would be a threat when they are able to fully liberalize their economy -- which the Communist Party is not prepared to do -- AND when people like me are interested in living in China, as opposed to Chinese people being interested to live in Palo Alto. While there's more of that now than ever, there's simply no comparison, all immigration bogeymen non-withstanding.
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       Re: Kipling.   

       My father would sit me down and read Kipling to me when I was a kid. He'd then "translate" it for me and prompt me to give my thoughts and ask questions about the subject of the piece.   

       A very different time.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       ... and the little Blue Devil replied ...   

       // don't be an idiot. //   

       You're asking a lot, you know ....
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018

       I ask from each according to their abilities, and give to each according to their needs :)
theircompetitor, Jan 24 2018

       In that case, you need to seriously lower your expectations when asking for stuff.
8th of 7, Jan 24 2018


       Q; What's the difference between a chickpea and a lentil?
A: Trump would never pay two hundred bucks to have a lentil on his bed.



       Very good.   

       You know, something interesting about the chick peeing on a bed for money story, that did come out of somebody's imagination, that is an undeniable fact.   

       I believe the story was Trump found out Obama slept in a particular bed and being the stupidest billionaire in history decided it would be a good idea to pay prostitutes to urinate on an inanimate object for some reason. The story's been pretty well debunked but that doesn't mean it didn't some out of somebody's sick imagination.   

       I hope we get to meet that person someday.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       //The Russia is the enemy narrative (which I tend to agree with) -- is so out of character to how the Democratic party positioned itself previously -- is so convenient as to become completely unbelievable. //   

       How so? Putin is running a known kleptocracy who is looking to grab whatever he can, and I can't think of a credible Democrat in office that thinks otherwise.   

       Trump is not an agent, he's an easily-manipulated fool in the hands of any leader who can push his buttons. Still dangerous. And yes, I doubt his sanity would pass a more stringent test consisting of something to the effect of "do you believe x nutty conspiracy theory."
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2018

       //he's an easily-manipulated fool in the hands of any leader who can push his buttons//   

       Don't know if you've been keeping up with the news, but they've abandoned the Trump collusion lie. The investigation is entirely about obstruction at this point hinging on him firing Comey. That's not going anywhere yet either. When the progressive media even mentions the collusion farce, they refer to "Whitehouse collusion" since there's clearly no evidence of Trump doing anything so they're quietly trying to make it look like it was his associates being investigated all along. But even that's faded into the sunset as they were now investigating obstruction all along. Next will be his taxes, and they will have been investigating THAT all along.   

       But worse for the Democrats is what's coming to light about a possible the conspiracy within the FBI to overturn the election. Secret meetings the day after the elections to figure out how to pull some kind of coup d'etat, more emails being scrubbed, lots of very serious criminal stuff going on. Real banana republic nonsense. "We don't like the election so we're going to install our own guy."   

       Here's my attitude about serious accusations like the one against Trump and now the FBI. A grave injustice has occurred, either due to criminal activity by the accused OR by criminally false accusations from the accusers.   

       I think we can all hope that the truth comes to light in all these cases and the perpetrators get punished, whoever they may be.
doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2018

       //based on what was their prevailing logic at that time//   


       No, based on the available *data* at the time. It took a long time to accumulate enough data, of sufficient quality, to make it obvious that a heliocentric model fitted that data much better than a geocentric one. Flat earth was abandoned long before geocentric cosmos, because it was much easier to get the relevant data. The *logic* applied to that data barely changed from Aristotle's time, until you get to Hegel.   

       Of course, familiar narratives and starting assumptions changed a lot. But narratives aren't logic, and assumptions aren't logic.
pertinax, Jan 25 2018

       What [pert] said.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2018

       // I'm more attuned to economic forecasts //   

       OK, [their] - how would you account for the recent fall in the USD? I'm not being snarky - the fall took me by surprise - I'm just wondering whether (a) you were expecting it and/or (b) you have a theory about it?
pertinax, Jan 25 2018

       It's been an unspoken truth that to improve the balance of trade, the strong dollar policy is a fig leaf, and, for the first time in a generation, mnuchin has admitted as much in that interview.   

       What they want is a weaker than it's been, but steady dollar. Any talk of moving off the dollar as a reserve is not serious   

       As to momentary shifts regardless of tax policy or economic performance, it's useful to remember that the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain liquid :)
theircompetitor, Jan 25 2018

       Any talk of war in 1925 wasn’t really serious, either.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2018

       You don't have to convince me that there are tons of similarities to pre WWI situation, more so than 2.   

       Trump is more of a symptom than a cause though. Can blame him for lots of things, but not for the breakdowns that caused him to emerge
theircompetitor, Jan 25 2018

       Well, to answer the question "How did this guy get into office?", something that surprised the hell out of me, there's one thing all sides can, or at least should agree on. His election wasn't just a slap in the face of the Democrats, it was a protest vote against the "go along to get along" Republican establishment.   

       There are those of us out there that don't like either party in their present forms. His getting elected was a revolution. People were very angry, and not all angry people riot in the streets. Some riot at the polls.   

       Voting for Trump was a protest against the ruling elites. Remember the scene in Life Of Brian? Reminds me of that a little bit. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018

       Maybe its just reaction but I get a little sideways at the phrase 'ruling elites.' 'Elite' is what people ascribe to be if they're any good. If they're not then that's their own fault. Trying to upset the billionaire class by voting for a billionaire, even a classless ousted one like Trump seems a little too silly and convenient. But then again, convincing idiots to vote against their own self-interest is what Republicans do best.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2018

       Odds are there Dems will loose if they position the next election cycle on the are you better off question. Explain how open borders is for self interest in the case of blue collar workers
theircompetitor, Jan 25 2018

       //But then again, convincing idiots to vote against their own self-interest is what Republicans do best.//   

       Any numbers to back up your assertion that Republican voters are not as smart as Democrat voters? I know Democrats are very into giving felons the right to vote because felons overwhelmingly vote Democrat. (see link)   

       But hey, if it's true that you guys are smarter than the Republicans, love to see the numbers. I know there are certainly a lot of dummies on both sides.   

       //Explain how open borders is for self interest in the case of blue collar workers//   

       It's not. Dems work off identity politics. If you're a person of color, blue collar union worker etc, your vote is considered a forgone conclusion so you're supposed shut up and do as you're told.   

       The importation of cheap labor to suppress wages is something the millionaire and billionaire Democrat ruling elites have on their three point plan for America: 1) Eliminate the two party system and establish one party rule. 2) Get more money and more power. 3) Destroy the middle class and establish a two tiered society, ruling elites at the top. obedient ruled class at the bottom with a nice comfortable gulf in between.   

       And getting idiots to vote for this is their specialty.
doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018

       That was not my assertion.   

       My assertion was that Republicans convince voters to vote against their own interests. This is why they cling to “values voters.”   

       Eliminating deductions for the working class, making retirement savings harder, eliminating consumer protections, defending the redefinition of the estate tax to a “death tax,” etc.   

       Isn’t it about time for another ‘two-minutes hate Clinton speech’ again?
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2018

       Well, we can't all be as tolerant and kind towards those we disagree with as those who disagree with Trump.   

       The two minute hate was a mandatory profession of allegiance towards Big Brother as indicated by one's participation in the ceremonial expression of hatred towards the enemy. I just think Hillary is a scumbag.
doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018

       There is a place for tolerance, and there is a place for hardnosed action. You're just now seeing it as a backlash against the nonsense promoted by the tea party and the Republicans who have spewed less- than-civil breitbart b.s.for years.   

       We're. Fed. Up.   

       Don't try and tell me there's no parallel between the continual focus on Hillary over a year after the election by certain media outlets and 1984. I don’t buy it.   

       And Republicans also work off of identity politics. They just target a different market. Hence their success at gerrymandering North Carolina and Pennsylvania into absurdity. I was their target market for a long time.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2018

       //We're. Fed. Up.//   

       Oh, good. Well, let me know how your little revolution works out.   

       (At least I didn’t use the “Who’s we? You got a turd in your pocket?” line. I’m getting better.) ;)   

       But seriously, I’m not gonna defend the Republicans. I hate them too. Individual issues that I care about? I’m yu huckleberry. The battle to see which political party is pure good and which is pure evil? Fun sometimes, but does get a little dull.
doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018

       //Not your family. You. //   

       Err, [DrRem], I think you overlooked the decades-long conflict that played out where [xen] lives during his lifetime. Low-intensity, but quite dirty. I think much of what [xen] said in this thread is wrong, but I don't share your belief that he's a coward, and I think you owe him an apology on that score.
pertinax, Jan 25 2018

       //I think you overlooked the decades-long conflict that played out where [xen] lives during his lifetime//   

       If by "overlooked" you mean "I have no idea what you're talking about." well, yes. Most definitely.   

       I grew up in the ghetto, East Palo Alto, murder capital of the world 1992. Had to have balls just to walk home from school. Where's my medal?   

       Hmm. Wonder if that had any affect on my sparkling personality. :)   

       Anyway, wadda ya say folks, I think this thread is pretty well played out. Everybody take our bows and go home?   

       Who's in the mood for smores!
doctorremulac3, Jan 25 2018

       I like mine just browned enough to peel.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2018

       Here's your medal. Eat it before it melts. ;-)
pertinax, Jan 25 2018

       I know I've been trying to let this thread die because it was getting a bit redundant, so at the risk of opening another Hillary vs Trump supporter tennis match:   

       I just realized that a hero of mine, George Orwell, may be the only philosopher cited as an inspiration by both left wing and right wing folks. So to put a bow on this one, here's a quote from the one guy we all agree is awesome:   

       "To admit that an opponent might be both honest and intelligent is felt to be intolerable. It is more immediately satisfying to shout that he is a fool or a scoundrel, or both, than to find out what he is really like."   

       I read this and had to let it sink in a little bit.   

       Heavy stuff George, you da man. Respect.
doctorremulac3, Jan 29 2018

       I missed that one.   

       However you might have come up with an interesting title for a follow up tome to Animal Farm. Talk about how governments are trying to raise increasingly ignorant, vegetable like voters that are easily manipulated and controlled.   

       Interesting title for that concept.
doctorremulac3, Jan 29 2018

       // Vegetable Farm //   

       Rumours leeked out that it was expected to be corny, and the publishers dropped it like a hot potato. In fact, it was barley intelligible to most readers, though the ones who knew their onions stuck with it, and in thyme the sages came to appreciate its greatness.   

       // than to find out what he is really like. //   

       The paradox is that it's quite difficult to really hate someone or something unless you know a lot about it. Having a "War on Terror" is easy enough, because most people have a vague feeling that terror is a bad thing, but it's hard to get enthused about - for exampe - "militant islamists", whereas it's much easier to hate Kassim who works in the local convenience store because you see him several times a week.   

       That's why civil wars are almost* invariably far more cruel, vicious and merciless than conflicts betweem nation-states.   


       *The exception being, of course, the Swedish Civil War of 1977-78, but since the Swedes are a generally peaceable and nonviolent** people, the conflict took the form of not saying "Good Morning !" quite as cheerfully as usual, sometimes failing to wipe one's shoes on the doormat when entering a building, and occasionally dropping very small amounts of biodegradable litter, such as orange peel. No-one outside Sweden actually noticed it was happening until it was all over.   

       **Except for ice hockey, which is recognized not as a sport but as a form of warfare, though lacking the benefit of the Geneva and Hague Conventions, or any human emotion other than an overwhelming, primitive impulse to beat the filthy vermin of the opposing team into humanberry jam, using whatever implements are to hand.
8th of 7, Jan 29 2018

       //the conflict took the form of not saying "Good Morning !"//   

       There was at least one recorded atrocity where one of the combatants, after a particularly heated engagement, said: "Good DAY sir!" and turned to leave. When the other gentleman tried to reply he turned back and said: "I said GOOD DAY!" and walked away without even hearing the second gentleman out.   

       All civilizations have episodes in their past they're not proud of.
doctorremulac3, Jan 29 2018

       //All civilizations have episodes in their past they're not proud of.// Doubtless you're thinking of the Loganberry Uprising in Cruichmuir - your tact in not mentioning it does you credit.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 29 2018

       Yes, inevitably one side decided to employ the Nuclear Option. The fallout is still causing damage and injury.
8th of 7, Jan 30 2018

       Update: Slogan would be "I like A-Ike!"
doctorremulac3, Apr 18 2022

       Not sure if it's been mentioned, but at least one book claims that Ike had a habit of threatening to use nuclear weapons, quite often, so much so that (I claim) he may have instantiated the arms race.
4and20, Apr 19 2022

       //Ike had a habit of threatening to use nuclear weapons,//   

       It's easy to forget how quickly the world was changing at this point in history. Post WW2, a lot of military brass considered nukes as big versions of conventional weapons, or a way to flatten a city with 1 rather than 1000 bombers. There were all sorts of plans that seem nuts by today's standards, Operation Ploughshare for example: Don't have a harbor? Use a line of bombs to nuke one into your coastline.   

       The number & power of nuclear weapons grew fast. Faster than all the ancillary knowledge and experience. We didn't really understand fallout until Kodak started getting mysterious dots on film straight of the manufacturing line.   

       Then H-bombs arrived with ~1000x the power. Meanwhile delivery options multiplied Mach 2 jet bombers, missiles, missiles on submarines, missiles on nuclear submarines. It took a further decade before Sagan and pals posited the whole "Nuclear Winter" doom scenario*. From the perspective of Ike, nukes were just a really fast & clean way of ending a war.   

       *It's well motivated, clearly, but when your theory starts with "Assuming a homogenous distribution of..." You're model is likely crap.
bs0u0155, Apr 20 2022

       I think it absolutely was a very different time, "Why risk the lives of hundreds of airmen when we can just take out a city in a few minutes with one plane?" and considering that, Ike did pretty good. Here's a bit from that link that a1 put up:   


       1. He Kept America at Peace.   

       Eisenhower was confronted with major Cold War crises every year he was in office: Korea, Vietnam, Formosa, Suez, Hungary, Berlin, and the U-2. While more than once America seemed on the brink of war and those around him clamored to drop the Bomb, Eisenhower always kept a level head. He dealt calmly and rationally with each situation, always finding a solution that avoided war without diminishing America's prestige."   

       Sounds like everybody around him was excited about using this new weapon. Remember, this is the man who coined the phrase "Military industrial complex" and warned the citizens about it in his farewell speech leaving office. I think he was a pretty strong anti-war warrior. Understood that the best way to use a military is deterrence. It could be argued that nukes have kept WW3 at the 5 minute mark on that countdown clock for 3/4ths of a century.   


doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2022

       I'll put the rest of the article here:   

       "5. He Sponsored and Signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1957.   

       This was the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction. Much to Eisenhower's dismay, Congress amended the bill and critically weakened its effectiveness.   

       4. He Sponsored and Signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.   

       This gave birth to America's interstate highway system. Eisenhower worked hard to get the bill passed and it was his favorite piece of legislation.   

       3. He Balanced the Budget, Not Just Once, But Three Times.   

       Despite much pressure to do otherwise, he also refused to cut taxes and raise defense spending. His fiscal policy contributed to the prosperity of the 1950's.   

       2. He Ended the Korean War.   

       He alone had the prestige to persuade Americans to accept a negotiated peace and convince the Chinese that failure to reach an agreement would lead to dire consequences. Eisenhower considered this to be his greatest presidential accomplishment."
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2022

       //This gave birth to America's interstate highway system.//   

       And got it built FAST. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is on it's second decade of trying to sort out a small section of highway heading north out of the city.
bs0u0155, Apr 21 2022

       I wonder how we can start electing leaders with actual leadership again instead of the guy on Our Team.(tm)
Voice, Apr 21 2022

       We're basically tribal. In this example, it's a guy both the Democrats and Republicans wanted to be their presidential candidate. I get the idea that since he chose Republican, modern Democrats demonize him. And maybe I'm wrong, but if he did the exact same things as a Democrat, as the Democrats wanted him to, he'd be hailed as a hero by them.   

       Lots of the stuff he did was very pro-union, tax the rich, stand up to the military industrial complex after being the one who called it out, all stuff that the Democrats at one point considered hallmark Democrat party positions.   

       I'm sure we're all guilty of it.
doctorremulac3, Apr 21 2022

       To be respectful to the memory of a1, I'll post the other part of the link he provided:   

       "IKE'S TOP 5 PRESIDENTIAL FAILURES (debatedly)   

       5. He Failed to Improve the Plight of the American Farmer. The goal of his farm policy was to get government out of agriculture and strengthen the family farmer. He failed at both.   

       4. He Failed to Moderate the Republican Party. This was a personal goal of Eisenhower's. He wanted to reenergize and modernize the Republican Party, making it less conservative and more acceptable to mainstream America. His failure became evident when Republicans nominated the conservative Barry Goldwater as their presidential candidate in 1964.   

       3. He Failed to Provide Leadership in Civil Rights. One could argue this, and many do. It’s fair to say Eisenhower was not considered a champion of civil rights at the beginning of his first term. His response to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision to abolish segregation in public schools was less than enthusiastic and he failed at first to speak out against racial violence in the South. But he went on to desegregate Washington DC, send the Army into Little Rock to desegregate Central High School, and sign the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Perhaps most importantly, he appointed liberal judges to the southern federal courts who would be instrumental in upholding the civil rights legislation of the 60s. Although he certainly failed at times to demonstrate leadership on civil rights issues, he grew more supportive of civil rights as his presidency progressed.   

       2. He Failed to Denounce Senator Joseph McCarthy. Had he publicly condemned McCarthy and his investigations, there would have been much less damage inflicted on innocent lives and the country's morale. But Eisenhower believed that to personally confront McCarthy would demean the Presidency and give McCarthy exactly what he craved: more publicity.   


       1. He Failed to Defuse the Cold War. He certainly tried. And he seemed to be on the verge of success when the Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, visited the U.S. in 1959 and agreed to a Paris Peace Conference for the following spring. But then the Soviets shot down the U-2 spy plane, Khrushchev scuttled the peace conference, and all hope of deflating the Cold War ended. When Eisenhower left office, the Cold War was even more threatening than when he embarked upon the presidency eight years before."   

       Thank you a1. Great info, a balanced review of the subject. I like that.
doctorremulac3, Apr 21 2022

       He should have invented a new type of "floating on an air cushion vehicle" instead of becoming president, then he could have called it the Eisenhovercraft. Alternatively he could have gone for a new vacuum cleaner, in which case we would now have the Eisenhoover. I could add in Eisenhomer Simpson but that's clearly going too far.
xenzag, Apr 21 2022

       I'd vote for Eisenhoover just out of principal. "His position on things? Who cares? His name is Eisenhoover."
doctorremulac3, Apr 21 2022

       //But then the Soviets shot down the U-2 spy plane,//   

       I sympathize with this whole situation. You can see that the foreign policy of the time hinged on where the Soviets were in terms of military technology. The Soviets were making leaps and bounds but it was crucial to get a clearer idea of the strategic resources in play inside a secretive regime. Initially Ike worked around the problem of the US gathering strategic reconnaissance by making the British do it. I can't work out why that changed, but Ike was hankering for another look in the run-up to the Paris summit and gambled on a couple of US-operated U2 flights. Getting one knocked out of the sky by a lucky shot from a brand new SAM was bad luck.   

       That set back relations. Ike could have resisted and the situation could have been different in the short term, but was the situation defusable? At that point I don't think so. There would have been another incident. Ultimately the Cold War ended because of decades of obvious economic failure, in the late 50's/early 60's that situation looked very different.   

       I wonder to what extent the CIA pushed for the flights? They had a clear hunger for information, the U2s were their toys. They probably hated letting the RAF play with them and the intel given their knowledge of ongoing Soviet infiltration into British intelligence. Was this a CIA screw up? Their screwing-up form was phenomenal at that time, the Bay of Pigs was around the corner, JFK was livid about that and even less happy about the intelligence screw-ups that led to the Cuban missile crisis. JFK probably used some choice language in the direction of the CIA after that, and look where that got him.
bs0u0155, Apr 21 2022

       //gone for a new vacuum cleaner,//   

       Eisendyson, the bagless president looking for a clean sweep in the mid-terms!
bs0u0155, Apr 21 2022

       //I sympathize with this whole situation. You can see that the foreign policy of the time hinged on where the Soviets were in terms of military technology.//   

       Agreed. I think one of the most interesting things you can do when looking back at history is ask yourself "What would I have done GIVEN THE SAME INFO THEY HAD?". Easy to do the 20/20 hindsight thing, but they didn't have a crystal ball.   

       In being honest, I probably would have:   

       1- Sent troops to Vietnam. It worked in Korea, the South Koreans live in freedom and prosperity because of the United Nations actions to expel the invading North. The North Vietnamese looked like a carbon copy situation.   

       2- Invaded Iraq to get rid of Saddam after expelling him from Kuwait.   

       3- Probably listened to the CIA's advice on a lot of other stuff. Bay of Pigs comes to mind.   

       4- Supported spreading "freedom and democracy" throughout the Middle East. Sure looked good on paper.   

       So did I learn my lesson? That's how I'd like to apply having made mistakes in the past. That's one reason I'm a fan of Ike. Tough but not a warmonger, smart guy, good balance of diplomacy and deterrence. As citizens ostensibly in charge of our government, military and foreign affairs, my opinion is we all need to think about this stuff and not expect politicians to make good decisions on our behalf.   

       I'm largely an isolationist now. I support NATO and strong mutual defense agreements, but civilizing the world? Not through war. Trade and diplomacy from a position of strength but I don't trust the military industrial complex to do anything but make matter worse anymore. Been burned too many times.   

       One last thing, I also would have done the exact same thing Kennedy did in the Cuban missile crisis which could quite possibly have resulted in the death of millions of people through nuclear war. It didn't, but it very well could have. We were a hair's breadth away from armageddon. Was that the right move? Yea, unless it wasn't.
doctorremulac3, Apr 21 2022

       Ya have to admit: if it's true that Eisenhower had a habit of waving nuclear weapons hither and yon, U2 flyovers could take on a particularly pernicious fright-factor.   

       JFK stated on camera that ICBMs made the Cuban Missile crisis a mere "face-saving device." It's like Putin's claims that any real difference exists between Ukraine and Poland being being in NATO. Provided that Fidel Castro wasn't a complete maniac or Kruschev kept the launch codes...
4and20, Apr 22 2022

       //1. Sent troops to Vietnam.//   

       Maybe, probably. But the escalation, and the continuation once the losses started piling up and studies were suggesting it was unwinnable? I hope I wouldn't fall into that.   

       I hope I'd have learned that fighting a conventional jungle war with a military set up for a strategic nuclear war wasn't working out too well. The way to go was to either get out, or draw down and hold. Develop an increasingly professional fighting force, use lessons to develop more appropriate equipment & doctrine. It can last a long time, but you can't be shipping bodies & flying dumb bomb runs into SAM traps forever.   

       //2- Invaded Iraq to get rid of Saddam after expelling him from Kuwait.//   

       In '91? We got the best outcome as it was. On paper, it was already ambitious. Force projecting to the other side of the world, fighting the 4th biggest military with recent combat experience, on home soil, with modern kit & training as well as a coordinated command/control & air defense system. It should have been difficult, so planning the limited objective of just kicking them out of Kuwait was probably wise. Politically, kicking them out of Kuwait works, but going further requires sensitivity to the times - this was a Soviet-aligned nation state. Obviously we know now that it was a basket-case USSR ready to topple, but the people making the decisions had been factoring the USSR into their thinking for decades.   

       Looking back, I'm sure there were stretch-goals coming out of best-case scenarios to go into Iraq, but you'd have had to get buy-in from the British, French, Saudis & Egyptians. That would have taken ages, and the momentum would have been lost. Had we tried it, I think it would have gone worse than in 2003, possibly a lot worse. We learned quickly in Iraq II/Afghanistan that a lot of the kit wasn't appropriate - again, like Vietnam, we had a lot of kit for fighting the Soviets in Germany that was vulnerable to the conditions, be that ambush/insurgency tactics or just sand. Iraq degraded between '91 & '03 in terms of political control, military readiness and a bunch of intangibles as a result of the loss and sanctions etc. I think we might have had a tougher time.   

       //3- Probably listened to the CIA's advice on a lot of other stuff. Bay of Pigs comes to mind.//   

       Looking over the CIA at this time, they were nuts. It's like someone formed an agency, gave them practically infinite budget and let them do unaccountable weird stuff in secret.. oh. Maybe I'm biased, but MI6's analysis suggested that Castro was extremely popular. If you have a plan that relies heavily on a neutral/cooperative populace, that's a fatal flaw. At this point, MI6 had been around the block a few times compared to the CIA, there was a lot of embedded experience, particularly behind the scenes handling of ex colonial states etc. I think I might have listened. Although I get the thorn-in-the side type irritation it must have been.   

       //4- Supported spreading "freedom and democracy" throughout the Middle East. Sure looked good on paper.//   

       Again. Lessons from running an empire. Britain ran India with 5 guys, a bicycle and a selection of hats. You can't do that without sensitivity to the local conditions and culture. Or even better, inserting yourself into the cultural situation.   

       Blundering into a country with a hail of guided munitions, wraparound sunglasses and wrappers from the on-base McDonalds and declaring "you know what you're doing wrong? everything, you poor morons. We'll install an election and be home for Thanksgiving". The way to do it was how it was going in Afghanistan, until we ruined it. Once you establish you have god-like military dominance and establish yourself as a permanent feature, you can hang around in statistically insignificant numbers acting as a garrenteur. Give it a couple of generations and the population will be speaking your language... literally if you do a reasonable job.
bs0u0155, Apr 22 2022

       //Looking over the CIA at this time, they were nuts.//   

       They WERE nuts?   

       Just kidding, really love those guys. They do an amazing job. Really terrific, absolutely fabulous.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2022

       //Britain ran India with 5 guys, a bicycle and a selection of hats.//   

       And I'm glad somebody besides me sees that social strata, dominion over others, over groups, over individuals is largely signified and defined by hats, and no, I'm not making a joke.   

       I think the original rulers of tribes were the strongest, best hunters, most aggressive, then one day somebody, probably a lesser male put a bear skull on his head and declared himself the tribal boss simply by nature of him having this big intimidating "hat". Got the idea looking at a picture of the Pope.   

       I posted a "Tall Hat Social Ranking / Testosterone Study - Does wearing a tall had affect your testosterone level or do people with hight testosterone levels just wear big hats?" Didn't catch on.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2022

       // They do an amazing job. Really terrific, absolutely fabulous//   

       We'll let you live this time.
Voice, Apr 22 2022

       You have a great study group available. I imagine the British army has plenty of blood samples, you could just do a before-during-after study on the small group who do tours as Queen's guards. That's an all time big hat, 18", 4- 6lb and made of bear.   

       Terry Pratchett has a lot to say about the social effects of hats. The whole concept is very well explored if I remember correctly.
bs0u0155, Apr 22 2022

       Whoa, really? That's cool. Any links maybe? I find the subject fascinating as well as a little comical.
doctorremulac3, Apr 22 2022

       From a British point of view, I propose an amalgam of Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) with Clement Attlee (Labour). Baldwin de-radicalised British politics in the 1920s, keeping out the Communists with one hand and the Fascists with the other. Attlee ended the British Empire* and began the National Health Service.   

       What they had in common was that they were both completely uncharismatic, and could not have stormed a barn if their lives had depended on it. Their hats were modest.   

       *The winding-up process took a few decades, but once Attlee's government had granted independence to India, there was no way back.
pertinax, Apr 22 2022

       Excuse my ignorance of British history, but Atlee took over from Churchill after WW2 right? Then didn't Churchill get another term after that? And from what I understand, the British people still loved Churchill, but just wanted to go in a different direction.   

       I like that. I always used the analogy of left/right politics as keeping a plane flying straight and level. You turn too far left you go into a spiral and crash into flames. Same if you turn too far to the right. Another analogy I've used is a suspension bridge. The anchor cables on either side are directly pulling against each other, fighting each other if you will, but their equal but opposite exertion of force keeps the suspension span between them structurally sound. Now if one side "wins" and gets rid of the opposition party, the whole thing comes crashing down.   

       That's why, although I don't agree with people like Bernie Sanders on many issues, (but agree with him in principal on some) I don't want him silenced, I don't want anybody silenced. I want all sides to get their say, let the court of public opinion sort it out. And I know that if any side gets unchecked power they're going to abuse it, it's human nature.   

       Sorry, we were talking about hats. Got a little off subject there.
doctorremulac3, Apr 23 2022

       Yep, that's about right.   

       If we're not careful, this thread will become a tedious bubble of civilised consensus.
pertinax, Apr 23 2022

       God forbid.
doctorremulac3, Apr 23 2022

       // We didn't really understand fallout until Kodak started getting mysterious dots on film straight of the manufacturing line. //   

       Radiation and mortality studies began within a year of dropping the bombs on Japan. [link] The U.S. had a very clear idea of the consequences of nuclear weapons. It's a bit like the claim that Nagasaki was dropped because no one had any idea about the bomb's power. Forgetting that pre-Hiroshima testing amply demonstrated the scale of potential destruction, Nagasaki was dropped (2 days later) to keep Stalin from attacking the Japanese mainland, as had been agreed with Roosevelt.
4and20, Apr 24 2022

       //Britain ran India with 5 guys, a bicycle and a selection of hats//   

       The number usually quoted is 30 000 and a bicycle, but that's still a very small number for somewhere the size of India.
pertinax, Apr 25 2022

       //any links maybe?//   

       I sound a quote, so at least a good book to start with:   

       “It wasn’t the wearing of the hats that counted so much as having one to wear. Every trade, every craft had its hat. That’s why kings had hats. Take the crown off a king and all you had was someone good at having a weak chin and waving to people. Hats had power. Hats were important.”   

       - Terry Pratchett - Witches Abroad   

       //Atlee took over from Churchill after WW2 right?//   

       There were a few things playing into Churchill's loss in 1945. Churchill never liked campaigning, he rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. It was said he was only allowed to be in the Conservative party because it was preferable have him inside the tent pissing out. Churchill was running as a Conservative MP (and obvious choice for PM if the party won) rather than the leader of a Coalition government that he had been throughout the war.   

       The Labour party played pretty heavily on the fact that Churchill wasn't who you were voting for, it was the Conservative party, and they were seen as being culpable for the appeasement and other failures in the run up to WW2. Some of Churchill's policies from the inter-war years would seem eye-wateringly progressive today, e.g. double income tax rate on un-earned income, rent/investment returns etc.   

       //didn't Churchill get another term after that?//   

       He was unfortunately, somewhat past it by then.   

       //Radiation and mortality studies began within a year of dropping the bombs on Japan. [link] The U.S. had a very clear idea of the consequences of nuclear weapons.//   

       Well, the behavior of the nuclear powers suggested they didn't think they knew very much. Even after 14 extra bombs in the 40's, they still kept testing with buildings/trees/vehicles and live troop maneuvers in the 50's. Remember, the two bombs on Japan were nuclear bombs #2 & 3. In the 60's, after the Kodak issue, they collected more than 300,000 baby teeth to gain more understanding about the spread from tests. We knew very little about how all of the various nuclides would be generated, spread and then how they would move through the environment/biome.   

       //It's a bit like the claim that Nagasaki was dropped because no one had any idea about the bomb's power. Forgetting that pre-Hiroshima testing amply demonstrated the scale of potential destruction//   

       Pre-hiroshima testing was just one device at Trinity. Lot's of bombs in the Early days did weird things, there were more than a few "fizzles" where the device severely underperforms and then there was Castle Brave in '54, that was 250% bigger than expected.   

       //to keep Stalin from attacking the Japanese mainland//   

       It's a theory I'm aware, of. The other component was demonstrating to Stalin so that they didn't feel like taking their large capable army and rolling West in Europe given that the remaining US troops were so eager to get home that there was a real discipline problem. I think the conventional narrative of "they didn't surrender after the first, try another" is a simple and likely most correct interpretation.
bs0u0155, Apr 25 2022

       Consider me less than shocked that U.S. leaders ignored horrific real-world data in making subsequent testing policies. Stalin already had 500k soldiers fighting the Japanese in Manchuria. Japan's post-Hiroshima nonsurrender would have been a nonissue if Russians were slated to do all the fighting. Stalin did formally declare war on Japan AFTER Hiroshima. Truman didn't want Japan to be Russian for whatever reason, even if the additional fighting would have weakened Russia in the process.
4and20, Apr 25 2022

       //(The Labour party) were seen as being culpable for the appeasement and other failures in the run up to WW2.//   

       Glad you mentioned that, that's another mistake in history that if I'm being honest I would have absolutely made given I had the same information everybody else had at the time. I would have signed that peace treaty with "Herr Hitler" bragged about peace in our time and waved that little piece of paper around like an idiot. I'd like to say I would have jumped over the bargaining table and crushed Hitler's skull with a roundhouse kick to the head, but I absolutely would have tried to give peace a chance just like John Lennon said had I not known what was going to transpire.   

       By the way, the video of that song should feature a cameo appearance by Neville Chamberlain in the crowd clapping his hands and singing along. (link)   

       John Lennon is one of my heroes, I'm sure he'd take that as the good natured joke it's meant to be. He had a great sense of humor. Now Yoko...
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2022

       // that's another mistake in history that if I'm being honest I would have absolutely made//   

       It's hard to comprehend the decision making landscape, especially mental for those people. WW1 was an unimaginable spectre in all their minds. Many had lost sons, all knew the numbers of maimed. Every town, village & city had memorials. The country had gone from the most powerful in the world to broke. And it looked like it was going to happen AGAIN...   

       It just makes Churchill more remarkable, although I suspect he was a contrarian by nature, so would just be firmly against whatever it was other people were for. That and he seemed to rather enjoy war. Screwing up the Dardanelles, and going from 1st sea lord to posting himself to the trenches was not a move of a war-shy chap.
bs0u0155, Apr 26 2022

       And you know, it occurs to me, not a lot of fame and fortune for people who win a war by AVOIDING it. For instance, look what I just said, best way to win a war is to get what you want without getting people killed. What kind of weirdo peacenik crap is that eh?   

       I had suggested putting up statues of people who avoided wars, one being a Russian fellow by the name of Boris Yeltsin was sober enough (at the time anyway) to not push the nuclear suitcase button labeled "Push here to end civilization" when some geniuses launched a sounding rocket over the Russian Federation but forgot to tell the radar technicians manning the Russian defenses.   

       I'm sure it would have gotten toppled in one riot or another by now though. And who cares about peacemakers? They make for boring movies.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       One thing that gives me hope for humanity is the fair number of times Russia had every reason to think they had been launched at and did not retaliate, in multiple cases by people who had every reason to know it would end their careers, or even their lives.
Voice, Apr 26 2022

       Agreed. I think it's important in times of war to try to keep a level head and not dehumanize your enemy. "Are there ANY good Russians? If so can we reach out to them and try to work towards peace?" Are there Russians that have done evil but are willing to work towards stopping this war? Anybody wonder what might have happened if we worked with Rommel in his attempt to assassinate Hitler? Maybe nothing, but sure might have been worth a try.   

       And I'm no fan of many aspects of the Russian culture. Being half Ukrainian I have obvious historical grievances, (how many relatives of mine were murdered by Stalin?) and after learning of the many disgusting atrocities Russian soldiers have committed through the years I've even asked myself "What the hell is wrong with these people?" and came up with a theory: they're drunk. More about that later, but where do we go now? My solution is try to do what's kept the peace in the past, work towards detent. President remulac3 would end any speech talking about the war in Ukraine and new developments with NATO expansion in adding Sweden and Finland with:   

       “And of course, I look forward to the day when these sort of defensive alliances aren’t necessary and the people of Europe and Russia can pursue peace and prosperity together. We’ve done it in the past and I’m confident that when current circumstances fade into history, (Putin) we can do it again." Carrot and a stick, this isn't complicated.   

       Speaking of how Sweden and Finland are joining NATO, I think that's great, but why are they broadcasting their intentions to Putin the same way the Ukraine did? Basically saying "If you're going to attack us, better do it before we join NATO." I think they should just do it in the dead of night, don't broadcast their timelines to the enemy and give them the open window to preemptively attack.   

       But back to the point, I think this war with this madman could have been avoided by putting effort into negotiation from a position of military strategic and tactical strength, not just taunting him from a position of weakness and vague allusions to someday, maybe, possibly forming an alliance to stand up to him which sent the crystal clear message that his window of opportunity was closing.   

       So negotiate for peace from a position of strength. An olive branch can be turned into a club easier than that club can be turned back into an olive branch.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       The problem with Nordic-style leadership is that it's the same as Nordic-style parenting -- very little encouragement, but (maybe) punishment (from the environment) if you get it wrong. So, though the west had a window of opportunity to aid and change post-Soviet Russia, laissez-faire parenting took over. True, Yeltsin was nominally the west's (drunken) boy, but when laissez-faire economics tanked and he tried to dissolve parliament illegally, parliamentarians refused to leave. So Yeltsin just aimed his tanks at the parliament building and killed over 100 people. Mommies and daddies who are not engaged have very little idea what is happening to their babies.
4and20, Apr 26 2022

       Although I'm pretty familiar with how the Soviet Union fell, I'm pretty clueless as to how the promising Russian Federation came under control of what's now become our era's Hitler. (I say that knowing full it's the most over used and inappropriate comparison to find its way into practically every political discussion.)   

       There's my theory that the core Russian "thing to do" is getting drunk. Always has been. Came up with that theory before looking at the evidence. (link)   

       One of my favorite documentaries, Michael Palin's "Pole To Pole" he spends time in Russia and pretty much all they do is drink. I noticed that they drink in the kitchen and when I brought it up to a coworker who had actually lived in Moscow before the fall of the Soviet Union he said "That's because they don't have living rooms which are considered a decadent waste of space." Think about it, what's the biggest room in your house? The living room. Get rid of those and you can probably add 20 to 30% more units or more to your miserable, dreary towers of bleak, grey government housing.   

       If I lived in one of those I'd be getting drunk in the kitchen too.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       I've spent a horrifying amount of years in ex-Soviet countries, and although I can't certify the build dates on outwardly semi-decrepit housing, many or most of them are practically palatial (because housing is so cheap?). In fact, the stereotypical Soviet block apartment seems to revolve around a large central living room. You're probably right about the drinking, but it seems to be basically a matter of vodka versus Margarita climate.
4and20, Apr 26 2022

       //they should just (join NATO) in the dead of night, don't broadcast their timelines to the enemy and give them the open window to preemptively attack. //   

       Can't be done. Joining NATO involves a massive effort. Military exercises, adjacent treaties, economic debate, adjustment of military spending, it goes on and on. You may as well say "let's throw around some grenades, and do it quick before the neighbor notices."   

       To be pedantic Russia isn't the enemy of NATO. NATO officially has no enemies unless and until someone attacks a NATO country.
Voice, Apr 26 2022

       //In fact, the stereotypical Soviet block apartment seems to revolve around a large central living room//   

       Just relaying what a guy who lived there said. No living rooms in his complex.   

       //Can't be done. Joining NATO involves a massive effort. Military exercises, adjacent treaties, economic debate, adjustment of military spending, it goes on and on.//   

       The thing that can be done in a few minutes is to send out instructions to NATO command: "Defend these countries starting immediately if they're invaded."   

       That would do it.   

       Presumably the NATO forces learned their lessons from every other war in history and can react to invasions anywhere within their area that might occur. If they say "Sorry, we need to fill out the proper forms before we can react that invasion, environmental impact, financial considerations etc" when there's an invasion from a military with no such compunctions about acting quickly, guess who's gonna win.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       //I'm pretty clueless as to how the promising Russian Federation came under control of what's now become our era's Hitler.//   

       So am I, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. It's a combination of nationalism, poverty, a powerful spy state, and a government strong enough to stay in power but not strong enough to also provide actual democracy. Some threats are too strong to handle with kid gloves and the collapse of the USSR left good Russians with some very, very bad choices. They danced with the devil and the devil never let the party quite end. Far too many people just say "communism bad", one of many thought-terminating cliches.
Voice, Apr 26 2022

       //It's a combination of nationalism, poverty, a powerful spy state, and a government strong enough to stay in power but not strong enough to also provide actual democracy//   

       and vodka?   

       I think it might be possible for a society to have a massive psychological problem bases on substance abuse. Like I said, dehumanizing the enemy is a bad course of action, but nothing wrong with asking why this country has repeatedly committed these horrific war crimes throughout their history.   

       Whoa, just read this: "According to Brown, by the 1850s, vodka sales made up nearly half the Russian government's tax revenues. Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Lenin banned vodka. After his death, however, Stalin used vodka sales to help pay for the socialist industrialization of the Soviet Union."   

       See link: "How Alcohol Conquered Russia"
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       Per the article, it would be entertaining if the best way to defeat the Russian military is to leave stacks of vodka behind.
4and20, Apr 26 2022

       //"Are there ANY good Russians?//   

       I hear you can find thousands of them - in Helsinki, in Istanbul, in prison and in early graves. And I hear that *someone* has been fire- bombing recruiting offices in Russia (though it's hard to be sure about such stories).   

       I read that there's been a spate of suspicious deaths of oligarchs, as if they had previously been assumed to be satisfactorily corrupt and spineless, but had recently fallen under suspicion of thinking good thoughts.   

       It's not easy being a good Russian. My heart goes out to them.
pertinax, Apr 26 2022

       Yea, heard about that. Two guys in one day and their families murdered as well.   

       Maybe that's the approach, look at this as a diseased society. Yea, it's a madman who's behind this stuff but why did he so easily take over this country? And it's a repeat of past murderous dictators like Stalin.   

       I'm hoping Germany was a one off thing triggered to a large extent by the ruination of the country in WW1. I think Japan is a good country now too but they did things during the war that were every bit as bad as the Nazis. But Russia is at it again. Why?   

       My theory is rampant alcoholism, but it that's not it I have absolutely no clue.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       //"If you're going to attack us, better do it before we join NATO."//   

       Well, that might have held water before we had a thorough demonstration of the paper-tiger in a basket case that is Russia's military capability. They're in absolutely no position to be launching a second front against Finland or Sweden.   

       Both countries are tough nuts to crack, but we can rule out Sweden, it's either sneak around the top or an amphibious assault. Sweden has a capable navy and air force which has been built specifically for defending against Soviet/Russian attack. It's not happening.   

       Finland is similar, but a long land border makes it more realistic. But again, super capable for a small nation. The population are up for it, they already have conscription and that means a huge pool of civilians with basic military experience. The active military exchanges/trains with other militaries in the EU/NATO.   

       They have modern equipment set up for a defensive war in their conditions, essentially a lot of artillery to pound advancing tanks that have to concentrate on/near roads because of the endless lakes/forrest. The conditions are a defensive dream/attack nightmare, as we saw in 1940.   

       If it did kick off, Finland is already a customer of high quality kit and has the finances to buy more. Sweden would quickly become involved since it's in their interests to stop Russia making it through Finland and in spite of what the Swedes/Fins say about each other after a few beers, their international relations are close.   

       Finland and Sweden have YEARS to sort out a NATO membership before Russia can pose any serious threat after what we've seen so far.   

       //How Alcohol Conquered Russia//   

       Some say the introduction of caffeine from tea/coffee vs all day beer kicked off the enlightenment/industrial revolution.
bs0u0155, Apr 26 2022

       //paper tiger// I disagree. IMO Russia is capable of absolutely crushing Finland or Sweden, or would be if they could muster the will. Now occupying either country or actually winning in the long term is a different matter. The reason Russia is losing in Ukraine is they lack the will to actually go to war there. They invaded with less than half of their available active military and didn't activate ANY reserves. It's like they want to lose.
Voice, Apr 26 2022

       I agree that the smart thing for Putin to do would be to study history and look at how successful previous two front wars were. However we're assuming Putin isn't out of his mind.   

       If we're gonna pull a gun out to deter a crazed lunatic, let's pull the gun, not describe to him how we're going to do it.   

       We need to learn from the Hitler on speed lesson and not assume that our foes are necessarily sane.   

       By the way, one of the greatest history studying moments of my career as a history nerd was finding it wasn't just Hitler that was on speed, it was the whole 3rd Reich and a lot of our allies too.   

       WW2 should be called "The Meth Wars".
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       //let's pull the gun, not describe to him how we're going to do it.//   

       Oh god this happens so much with the US & UK government. "We have an important foreign policy matter to take care of how should we deal with it?" "How about a whole load of media-covered internal politicking about precisely how far we are/aren't willing to go before we approach the foreign government?" "Yes, that usually gets the best deal".
bs0u0155, Apr 26 2022

       Yup. And a certain president, I forget his name (so does he) said if they invade just a little bit we won't do anything.   

       I'm beginning to think politicians are probably the worst people to be in charge of politics.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       Your sentence is too long:
"politicians are ... the worst people"
neutrinos_shadow, Apr 26 2022

       Correction noted.   

       When somebody asks you what political party you support a fun way to answer is "You know, I have a hard time deciding, they're both so DAMN good."   

       They'll get that expression on their face like when you hide a ball from a dog by putting it behind your back.
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022


       At least two things spring to mind.   

       One is geographic isolation. If you live a thousand miles from the nearest foreigner, it's easier to develop implausible ideas about your own country's role in the world. A similar phenomenon may exist in parts of the American interior.   

       The other is collective learned helplessness. If, over many generations, you'd been ruled by paranoid monsters, it would be hard to develop the habits of democratic optimism. See the Russian folk tale, "The Cat who Became Head Forester"
pertinax, Apr 26 2022

       How much does climate have to do with it you think? Harsh climate, long winters, isolation. Throw booze into the mix sounds like a recipe for not fun.   

       Does average IQ enter into it? Touchy subject I know, but quick peek I'm seeing:   

       Top 10 Countries with the Highest Average IQ - Ulster Institute 2019:*   

       Japan - 106.49
Taiwan - 106.47
Singapore - 105.89
Hong Kong (China) - 105.37
China - 104.10
South Korea - 102.35
Belarus - 101.60
Finland - 101.20
Liechtenstein - 101.07
Netherlands & Germany (tie) - 100.74

       Top 10 Countries with the Highest Intelligence Capital Index - 2017:   

       United States - 74.88 (A+)
United Kingdom - 64.19 (A)
Germany - 64.18 (A)
Australia - 63.96 (A)
Singapore - 63.60 (A)
Sweden - 61.58 (A)
Switzerland - 61.57 (A)
Canada - 61.15 (A)
Finland - 60.45 (A)
Denmark - 60.25 (A)

       Russia not on the list.   

       Ranking Country Number of Nobel prizes
1 USA 368
2 UK 132
3 Germany 107
4 France 62
5 Sweden 30
6 Japan 26
6 Switzerland 26
8 Russia 23
8 Canada 23
10 Austria 21

       Then there's a "clever index" (link) that takes into account IQ, Nobel prizes and school test scores. Russia ranks very high on that one.   

       There are obviously smart people there, but are they outnumbered by isolated depressed drunks? I know I'd be depressed as hell if I lived there.   

       Not meaning to sound xenophobic here, on the contrary, maybe this culture needs help. Hey, they put the first satellite into orbit and the first man in space, they're capable of doing incredible things as a culture, just makes me wonder, how did they get so lost?   

       Dunno. I've seen incredible people ruined by booze. Could an entire society basically suffer from alcoholism?
doctorremulac3, Apr 26 2022

       Well, I am neither Russian nor Ukrainian, but this situation has been escalating too far on all sides. I've met an idiot Russian or two of late, but as someone who mentioned ethnic stereotypes once on HB mentioned, it's possible the Russians are more intelligent than Ukrainians, if only because Western Ukraine was ruled by Germanic simpletons, or because so many Ukrainian intellectuals lost their lives in Russian purges and genocides.   

       Anyway, there are some serious assholes in Ukraine, and that includes members of their government. Not only are many people in Ukraine (in the west) greedy, grasping, and surly, but their governments have misallocated (defence) funds so consistently that even the U.S. refused to give them money directly. An article in a U.S. policy magazine before the war described how money taken from Ukrainians for the defence forces had simply evaporated, according to the Ukrainian administrator.   

       It is a colossal mistake to risk billions of dollars and people on Ukraine's so-called democracy. Zelensky and, especially, leaders before him, are careless with Ukrainian lives. They didn't deserve to lose Crimea, but it's gone, and they needed to find a political not military solution to ethnic differences in the east. WWIII over Ukraine would be dumber than WWII over Poland.
4and20, Apr 27 2022

       Well, we’re in agreement that WW3 isn’t on the table as a logical possible solution to this disaster. Hope it’s not underway already. Short of that, corrupt government or not, we should do everything we can to help the people defend themselves from this horrific invasion.
doctorremulac3, Apr 27 2022

       // There are obviously smart people there, but are they outnumbered by isolated depressed drunks?// There can exist smart, isolated, depressed drunks.   

       // it's possible the Russians are more intelligent than Ukrainians//   

       Some genetic attributes in populations which have undergone drastic reduction (as in Stalin's genocide) must be enhanced or reduced. If it's related to food perhaps a genetic propensity to be willing to lie to protect one's family, or the ability to foresee the event and escape, or, obviously, the ability to live longer on less food. It's not politically correct but a person would have to blind himself to not see the likelihood of natural selection working this way.
Voice, Apr 27 2022

       Well, the argument against IQ being the main cause (that I admittedly brought up) could be refuted by the fact that Germany and Japan caused WW2, both very high IQ countries.   

       I'm sticking with my alcoholic society theory until something better comes up. (or that's disproved somehow) Is it the total cause? Probably not, but I would be surprised if it doesn't figure into Russia's behavior problems to some extent.   

       //Some say the introduction of caffeine from tea/coffee vs all day beer kicked off the enlightenment/industrial revolution.//   

       I'd like to hear more about that. Any links? That sounds incredibly plausible.   

       And wow, revelation, I heard drinking alcohol was a good way to keep from dying due to one of ancient history's biggest killers, water borne diseases. The alcohol killed the bacteria. Was coffee and tea similarly free from cholera due to the water being boiled before being poured over the coffee grinds / tea leaves? In other words, did cholera steer society's evolution?
doctorremulac3, Apr 27 2022

       // Well, the argument against IQ being the main cause (that I admittedly brought up) could be refuted by the fact that Germany and Japan caused WW2, both very high IQ countries. //   

       How do you figure there's a positive or negative correlation between IQ and peacefulness, aside from smarter people probably being able to get what they want without having to resort to violence?
Voice, Apr 27 2022

       I already refuted that concept. There are also probably plenty of lower IQ areas that are warlike or peaceful.   

       It's okay to look under a rock and say "Hmm, nothing here.".
doctorremulac3, Apr 27 2022

       Re: your link 4and20.   

       Mmmhmm. Just sayin'.   

       And that's while you're on the stuff. What about that hangover the next day eh?
doctorremulac3, Apr 27 2022

       Regarding the war/IQ link, threw a couple of maps up, but note that smarty pants Japan and Germany started WW2 and if China invades Taiwan they'll have started WW3.   

       Point is, geopolitical, social, even biological areas of study into what causes people to go to war are too complicated for me to come up with a simplistic Hallmark card platitude to explain it. I personally find the world to be an incredibly complicated place.   

       But I'll stick with my vodka theory regarding Russia. If somebody proves it wrong I owe them a Coke.
doctorremulac3, May 01 2022

       I have never been to Russia itself, but I'll take a stab at it.   

       I think it all comes down to a people inclined to follow strong leaders regardless. Yes, I say that despite the Russian Revolution. Remember that the people had all been serfs more recently than the rest of Europe.   

       The alcohol abuse and the respect for strong leaders may have similar climatic origins. Cold, sunless climates, indoors, ok, often in cramped conditions makes people dwell on mere sequencing, mere processing of (critical) day-to-day-decisions. This is a frontal lobe process.   

       Per the link, Vodka shuts down the frontal lobe and grants a relief from all the internal processing and dwelling. So, probably, does anger and a strong leader who gives one a respite from all the dithering.   

       A majority of Russian leaders have been German, Norman, or Nordic-influenced. The Romanovs were first cousins of King George. Russia's longest-serving leader was Catherine, a German. Peter the Great and Lenin were both copying Prussian thinkers. In fact, the Rus, who founded Russia, were actually Vikings. Germany's and Russia's climate are not so different. Putin was Stasi in East Germany for many years.   

       The one unknown is (Russian) people who claim that Russia is partly Asian. This may mean the ethnic mix, or 200 years of leadership by "The Golden Horde"
4and20, May 01 2022

       That all sounds plausible, but now the hard part.   

       Is there any way to deal with this aggressiveness (wherever it came from) other than an old fashioned ass kicking? Worked amazingly well in WW2 with Germany and Japan, but we were the only ones with nukes then. When both sides have nukes is war even a possibility any more? We've done fine over the decades getting our war fix with proxy wars, but is direct all out warfare worth it for anybody now?   

       That would be great, but at some point doesn't some power decide it IS worth it? Some dictator who's either insane or 100% sure god wants them to nuke a country of infidels because the nuclear response will just send the good guys to paradise and the bad guys to hell?   

       My dad always said power is the most addictive drug. Might a powerful addict looking at loosing his regular fix feel they'd rather die and take the threat to their power with them rather than lose that power? Like that line in Melville's Moby Dick. "From Hell's... (something or another, I forget the line) I stab at thee."   

       Well, that's the depressing thought for the day.
doctorremulac3, May 01 2022

       There's one more factor that can't be dismissed: evolution.   

       In a country where guys like me are turned into the authorities for my political views and gulagged, death camped etc (in case anybody hasn't figured it out yet, I hate big government and the sheep that obediently bow down to it) are the controllable, mindless citizen drones the only ones who remain?   

       Then the beloved leader says "The time of the great war for peace is now good sheep! What do we all say about the evil people of Oceania? They're baaahahahahahahahhad!"   

       How many brave people who stood up to Stalin just got stood up in front of a firing squad?   

       I was very struck by a situation where a kid my age who was an immigrant from a very tyrannical country, the country's not important, total fascism, fascist to this day, the kid was getting his lunch money stolen from him by bullies. I'd always been a bully puncher myself being raised in an area where being a pussy wasn't an option. But this guy told his dad and his dad just said "I'll give you extra money, just give it to them to keep them from beating you up." I tell this story and can't believe it actually happened but it did. By the way, I told him if it ever happened again to tell me and I'd show him how to handle it and we'd do it together, but his dad's reaction disgusted me to this day.   

       Anyway, at some point does a government cull the strong and leave the easy to manage weak and docile?   

       And fascism's like any toxic product, it'll always come out with a shiny new packaging. The next Nazi party won't have a swastika, it might have a smily face, but the message to the sheep will be the same. "Turn in bad frowners like your non compliant next door neighbor! Show you're a good citizen of Happylandia!"   

       Or else. (link)
doctorremulac3, May 01 2022

       Also, (on a lighter note) see link for Russians and the kitchen being the center of their world. Evidently what's deemed a "living room" in Russia is a bedroom with a couch and a TV which we in the west refer to as "a bedroom with a couch and TV."
doctorremulac3, May 01 2022

       Alcohol and violence: see also Ireland
Voice, May 01 2022

       //at some point does a government cull the strong and leave the easy to manage weak and docile? //   

       It has happened by intent. But strength and docility are not mutually exclusive.
Voice, May 01 2022

       //Alcohol and violence: see also Ireland//   

       Yea, but that's small scale stuff, bar fights and the like.   

       There's the IRA I guess, but that's a single beef with England. They haven't invaded any countries. Even stayed out of WW2.
doctorremulac3, May 02 2022

       //Even stayed out of WW2.//   

       They'd rather forget the embarrassing flirtation their leadership engaged in with the Nazis. They were never going to side with Britain and taking the other option meant immediate invasion. So that's how that went. As a result, a HUGE amount of the shipping lost crossing the Atlantic was lost a few miles from Ireland as the convoys inevitably concentrated rounding Ireland as they headed for the major British ports.   

       The whole debacle was assumed to be a model as to how the Republic of Ireland might behave with the USSR. Britain could have their equivalent of Cuba off the coast. For that (among other) reason, the military brass were keen on a strong presence in Northern Ireland. The whole thing could have been a handled a lot better. Certainly after the US was in the war, they could have allowed a US anti-submarine air base onto some godforsaken western isle - after all, Ireland was just as dependent on transatlantic food supplies.
bs0u0155, May 03 2022

       // It has happened by intent //   

       Yes, but not very often; more successful elites find a way to co-opt the strong.
pertinax, May 03 2022

       Well I'm using the term "strong" subjectively. Strong in my view is standing up to the bad guys. Tyrants, totalitarians, world domination types.   

       I think you're referring to powerful people that have a lot of pull in society. By my view these can be some of the weakest people judging by their value to the human condition. Which granted is just my subjective view of what's good and bad.   

       B, I don't know much about Ireland's position in WW2 other than them being neutral, I had assumed it was like Switzerland but I guess you're saying they had some anti England motivation that swayed them towards the Nazis to some extent?
doctorremulac3, May 03 2022

       //anti England motivation that swayed them towards the Nazis to some extent?//   

       It was a complex situation, when has it not been!? Ireland was a Dominion of the British Empire, but as ever, the Irish population ran the gamut of social & political positions. There were plenty of disputes in the interwar period including a trade war with Britain & like most countries, fascism had taken hold amongst a portion of the population, that portion overlapped entirely with the staunch anti-British contingent.   

       In the run up to the war, head of government deValera was making overtures to Germany's "great achievements" and in 1940 sent a staunch anti-British envoy to Germany to say even nicer things. It's possible that this was all anti-British rather than pro-Nazi, after all, the British had arrested and sentenced de Valera to death as a component of a carefully timed uprising in 1916. however, deValera was the only major European leader to sign Hitler's book of condolence in 1945, and instructed his various ambassadors to make visits to German counterparts in the same vein. He also dismissed the reports of the concentration camp atrocities as propaganda.   

       A good portion of the Irish public behaved differently however, >45,000 served in the British armed services and >200,000 went to work.   

       Britain's role was dominated in 1940 by the fear that Germany would find Ireland an easy invasion target. As a counter to that Plan W, a plan that called for invasion to secure southern ireland, principally the coastlines was developed. Legally, Ireland was still our dominion and militarily it was trivial. Once the invasion hysteria had passed, particularly in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Britain came a long way toward Ireland, Churchill said "I will meet you wherever you wish" in order to abandon neutrality.   

       Was Ireland actually neutral? Progressively less so. Once the writing was on the wall, Britain was getting all it's downed aviators/sailors back, Germany was not. Britain was getting intelligence & weather reports (which often included careful aircraft observations).   

       But overall, I think the information was available at the time, and certainly by Pearl Harbor, that throwing your hat in with the Axis was wrong. Pearl Harbor was an excellent opportunity, it would have been politically easy to throw in as a partner with the US, it would have been an economic boon to serve as a US staging post/supply hub. The losses in the Atlantic would have been MUCH lower, we were looking for extra plausibility to cover the codebreaking and air/naval bases on the Irish coast would have been very useful.
bs0u0155, May 03 2022

       Wow B you know your history stuff! I'm impressed!   

       This is why I come to this site, when it works like this I come away learning something which is one of the great gifts life gives us.   

       Well done and thank you!
doctorremulac3, May 03 2022

       //you know your history//   

       meh, getting better. As my science learning curve flattened, there was a compensatory increase in non- science knowledge absorption. I was always resistant to that whole side of the university as a pathologically keen young chap, since they never seemed to be doing any work. Even when they did do some work, it seemed sloppy:   

       "We're here with some period armor and an Agincourt- replica bow to answer some questions about the role of English archers in that battle. Now, Steve here is a modern archer and can't reliably knock the full war bow, so we're using a lower powered.... Ooh, that one went through, but this one looks to have glanced, possibly because of..." Build an arrow-firing rig you amateurs, do a distance/penetration curve, do a strike angle curve. FIND SOMETHING OUT!   

       More modern history can be much more amenable to a rigorous approach, since there's a lot more data, photographs, film, recordings, accounts etc. It's a great time to be interested in the Cold War right now, since so much is being declassified & the veterans are much less worried about talking. I was talking to an old RAF Phantom pilot at a bar a few years back, he mentioned that at 24, he was "In charge of letting the genie out of the lamp", with a glint in his eye. I took that to mean the RAF Phantoms were at some point armed with US Genie nuclear anti-aircraft missiles, something never officially acknowledged. Cool.   

       Ultimately, it's all about people making decisions on the information at hand. Nowadays, either because I'm getting sentimental, or because I realize that science too is just people making decisions based on information, I'm getting interested in what drives good decision making. Or perhaps, what drives crappy decision making, since there's so much more of that.
bs0u0155, May 03 2022

       // I was talking to an old RAF Phantom pilot at a bar a few years back, he mentioned that at 24, he was "In charge of letting the genie out of the lamp", with a glint in his eye. I took that to mean the RAF Phantoms were at some point armed with US Genie nuclear anti-aircraft missiles, something never officially acknowledged. Cool.//   

       Whoa! I've relayed my "running into a person who had his finger on the button" story half a dozen times, but I'll go for 7. My step uncle (if that's a thing, second husband of my aunt) guess that's just an uncle, was the navigator on the Nautilus on its trip under the North Pole, made the joke that it was easy, just steered north. He was a captain on boomers after that and when I asked how many nukes they carried he said with a smile "I cannot confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons onboard any of the subs I served on." which I always thought was clever because it's not a lie, that's true. He can't, it's a rule. He didn't say he didn't know, just can't tell me.   

       I'd be interested if anybody else here's met a person with the power to destroy civilization. From these two anecdotes it seems like the people tasked with that responsibility are pretty good natured and light hearted about it. I think that's probably by design.   

       Wait a second! LOL, how can I forget my Grand Uncle? He flew with the Strategic Air Command! Okay, that's two for me. I don't have any knowledge of him referring to the actual weapons, just the aircraft he flew. B-52s, and B-47s (his favorite). Flew B-29s that might have carried them for a bit.
doctorremulac3, May 03 2022

       We have an election coming up in Australia. Of the two leading candidates, one is an ignorant jackass who's rude to the neighbours and useless in a crisis, the other is a careerist cypher, whose personality was coloured in by a small team of spin-doctors with a painting-by- numbers kit, except they ran out of paint half- way through and lost interest.   

       Does that sound familiar? It seems as if it might be a pattern.
pertinax, May 09 2022

       //flew with the Strategic Air Command!//   

       Fascinating era of history, even if just for the planes:   

       "Well done passing your check ride on the B-36, but I'm afraid after 3 months in service it's obsolete, so it's off to B- 47... Sorry, obsolete.... B-58 school for you"   

       At some point I'll get around to building a SAC-themed Fender Stratocaster in Strata blue, only I suspect I don't actually like the Strata blue color, I like the Strata blue color with a touch of sun fade then the color balance of the film they were using at the time, which is trickier.
bs0u0155, May 09 2022

       Jets and rock and roll, the two things that make life beautiful.
doctorremulac3, May 10 2022


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