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  1. dither's Avatar
    Winston,
    I may be talking out my arse here but two words spring to mind tension and friction. Be it racial social economic whatever. We need to get to the root causes and try to educate people on how to deal with their own kinds of shit. Life , the world, is what it is. We can't changed it. Sounds like a massive task [ and nobody likes to think they're being pigeon-holed ], but I DO believe that much of what is going or has gone wrong can be narrowed down into not so many factors. Also, we need to start listening, and talking. I think.
  2. tinacrabapple's Avatar
    There was an ad on the radio today about being planned for a disaster and how they store can help you with supplies. It was pretty remarkable- there are people out there getting prepared. I have to be prepared because I am a daycare, so I feel good about this preparation. I think, you just never know.
  3. escorial's Avatar
    Death and destruction has made us civilized...I don't do faith but I'm sure there is more civilizing to come
  4. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by escorial
    ...not everyone died going over the top,so many died because of disease and conditions they lived in or shot or exploded by friendly fire an the military cock ups...
    And quite a few were shot for desertion and open mutiny. Italy was one of the worst. But there was also quite a lot in France.
    The Russians knew the Germans were ripe for revolution (many thousands died from starvation alone). The newly formed Soviet Assembly tried to hold out, expecting a general uprising in Germany. Instead, Russia fell into civil war, and Germany took more land before the treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended Russia's participation in the war.

    And all those deaths with Russians killing Russians? Turks killing Armenians? Russians killing Ukrainians? Arabs killing Ottomans? Fins killing Fins...
    None of those poor souls "went over the top". They just died the old fashioned way. By the millions.

    Even poor Belgium, knocked out early, lost a significant chunk of it's population as slave laborers in German factories (disease and starvation).
    Makes ya kinda glad the 20th Century is over.
    We're so much more civilized now, right? Right...
  5. escorial's Avatar
    Ovverheard two older chaps talking on the bus about Poppy's... does it matter whether you buy a red or white poppy...reply..not everyone died going over the top,so many died because of disease and conditions they lived in or shot or exploded by friendly fire an the military cock ups... unfortunately my bus stop arrived an I got off.
  6. escorial's Avatar
    After survival comes greed...
  7. TuesdayEve's Avatar
    What is tribalism based on… survival.
    What if there was no need for primal
    survival? Wouldnt that then eliminate
    competition? I believe it would take a
    few generations and the world collectively
    to agree on this, and there will always
    be tribalism/family/loyalty but the horrific
    atrocities we see globally might be
    minimal. Ever see Star Trek?
    Castles in the air?
  8. escorial's Avatar
    It all comes down to tribalism which survives in so many forms...all my life I have witnessed it..at school were the other schools were our enemy,fighting against other kids from other parts of the city...being a football fan..the list goes on..and it all comes under different names..whether your poor or rich it's human nature to act tribal...
  9. TuesdayEve's Avatar
    In todays modern world with all it’s
    technology, fastest communication
    ever and Big Brother’s offspring,
    some would say, war is on purpose.
    Someone’s purpose. If education is a
    key component to enlightening human
    behavior and greed/power the motivator
    behind atrocity, everything in between
    might be highly subdued if.... what?
    If the desire was there on a global
    scale. Unity of thinking equality for all.
    Sure theres a lot of people who feel
    that way, but not enough in powerful
    positions to turn the things around
    ...yet. There’s plenty of money out
    there it’s the direction that is too slow
    turning to save some of the African
    countries. Even if money was evenly
    distributed, there would still be
    corruption, part of human nature eh?
    Or is it? Or is it survival of the fittest?
    What if there was no fittest and we all
    fit? Everyone had everything they
    needed...and ecology, philosophy
    and art were the passions of world?
    Just a thought.
  10. escorial's Avatar
    The uniforms might change but people will just keep killing each other... quote from Robert Mitchum in a war film...
  11. Neetu's Avatar
    I think, personally, that people cannot change the minds of others if they are fixated on beliefs. I also think I can often recognize when it is going to be futile to argue and prefer to not waste my energy. Sometimes, you sense that there is flexibility and openness on the other side, though they might be firm in their convictions, at least you know they're listening and you're not just yapping. In those cases, I would state my reasons for whatever it is I think is worth conveying and explaining. So really, openness and communication is a two-way lane. You can't go the wrong way on a one-way street. I mean, you can but you could end up damaged yourself.

    I have often disagreed with people. I have been battered by those who have taken offense. However, my real friends and folks who have a grain of decency and acceptance, will always earn my respect. Even when they disagree with me.
  12. Winston's Avatar
    My son just got back from his JROTC "mini boot camp". The platoon he lead finished first in overall points.
    Funny thing, they actually only won one event. Came in second in the rest.
    Some may find consistency boring. But, it works. And wins.

    Physical shape, fiscal shape, mental acuity, same rules. Learn, grow, and get stronger.
    My wife calls our boy "The Turtle". Slow and steady.
  13. TuesdayEve's Avatar
    It doesn’t sound like your son will grow
    up to be the guy in the shipyard...you
    must have done something right.
  14. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Being in good physical shape and being of good characte,r consists of being attentive to both on a daily bases.

    It sounds like your son is on the right path...probably the greatest compliment you could share with another dad.
    Updated October 23rd, 2018 at 01:14 AM by Plasticweld
  15. dither's Avatar
    epimetheus,
    much of what you is way over my head but I like your tone.

    With regard to your question about debating in here. Some members, it seems, can become very abusive and insulting when their much loved views and opinions are challenged. Personally I don't mind a serious informed difference of opinion when the opinion in question happens to be mine. I might not agree with everything you say and vice versa but I can live with that.

    Hello and welcome.
  16. epimetheus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    First, civility. Welcome to The Writing Forums. Glad you're here.
    We used to "debate" here. That (sadly) is no longer allowed. But you mentioned "global warming / climate change". We can use that as an example.
    Are we allowed to discuss this then? I normally frequent science forums and this 'debate' would be considered tame and civil, so my sense may be different to the norm here. I'm not even yet sure we have a difference of opinions, or just of the language we use to express it. It seems you enjoy a good debate, as do i, so i'll continue for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    However, I support challenging "groupthink" wherever it infests itself. In the case of "global warming", the general public has been brow-beaten into accepting anthropomorphic climate change. The current "middle" position is that humans cause climate change. There is no deviation from the mean. Any variation from the accepted social norm is considered "anti-science" and heretical. No growth (personal or societal) can be accomplished by "parroting" the current accepted heterodoxy.
    The public has also been 'brow beaten' into excepting germ theory, quantum physics and a plethora of other theories. But no one complains about them. But people do complain about climate change evidence. I can only assume that this is because some people opposed to the evidence have a vested interest (we also see this with Creationists). Hence it has become a political issue. It should be a political issue at some point, but the evidence should not be. As you say, science is not a democracy. All this parroting should be an issue for politics, not science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    The funny thing is, the "science" I am familiar with not only accepts challenges, it encourages them. Alvarez didn't want the input of "second-rate" opinions. He did not dismiss well formulated challenges.
    "Lay people" should never be quiet. They should educate themselves to the point that they can contribute substance to a conversation. Lazy, head-bobbing Yes Men should keep their ignorant pie holes shut. Alvarez was spot-on in that respect.
    By all means question science, but there is a genuine problem with the complexity of the systems under investigation. I think it was Laplace who commented that science had become sufficiently complicated that an interested lay person can no longer fully grasp physics. That was in the 18th century. Now even the Nobel prize winning physicists wouldn't try to claim they grasp all of contemporary physics.

    I believe the strength of your personal opinion on matters scientific should be commensurate to the degree to which you have studied the subject (real study, not looking stuff up on wikipedia). Otherwise the manifestation is overly opinionated people like Deepak Chopra, who obviously hasn't studied physics to any real extent, advising people how to live on the back of quantum woo speculations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    The point of my blog was that there is no virtue, personal or civic, to being devoid of opinion. Well formed, articulated and tested thoughts are the bedrock of modern society. Those choosing not to participate have that right. Those "moderates" also have the responsibility to accept the consequences of their inaction.The real problem is that it isn't just the moderates that pay. We all do.
    I can only agree with this sentiment if there is provision for people to choose moderate views. Taking the migrant issue, many people have one of two extreme views: either all immigration is wrong, or curtailing any immigration is wrong. But there is the perfectly reasonable opinion that some immigration is good for any country but at some point it becomes too much and becomes bad for that country. But these moderate voices tend to get drowned out by overly strong opinions on either end of political extremes.
  17. bdcharles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    I understand and respect that. Not because it is the "correct" position (morally or rhetorically) but because I personally value Freedom and the open exchange of ideas. For a healthy society, there must be thought and opinion all along the continuum of awareness. Regardless, at some point, you saw, and staked-out your position along that continuum. In your case, "in the middle". I understand this. What I do not fathom is the general apathetic and spineless "moderates" that blow like a leaf in the wind. They just land in the middle.
    While I usually prefer a steak, sometimes the smorgasbord is appealing. Inflexibility leads to a boring, unfulfilled life. Whereas over-malleable folk make poor choices, and proudly promote them.

    ...

    Reminds me of my high school days. I hung-out with the stoners, cowboys, jocks, brains, punks... I learned a lot.
    Today, I know what my "core values' are. I am tolerant and I understand positions that are opposed to my own. I do not embrace those positions, but I do not shun nor demonize the either.
    I find no need to (rhetorically) "hump anyone's leg". I am comfortable in my world-view, and welcome any informed challenge to it.
    My son is working on a physics project, regarding atomic theory. While talking with my boy, Fermi came to mind...



    Right and Wrong is not a moral judgement. Most often it is a simple fact.
    To a point, we agree. If everyone was fence sitters, there'd be no point because there'd be no other opinions to cast an eye over, and very possibly little would get done. Likewise, if everyone was boxed into their tribes, there'd be endless conflict and little amity. We need each other because we can work together across these differences. That's why I often struggle with I'm-correct-and-they're-wrong statements. I suppose it ties into your notion of right and wrong being a simple fact. I disagree. In physics, yes, as epimetheus says, there is a right and a wrong. But to apply the physics model to a social system doesn't seem useful, to me because the variables are totally different. It presumes a unified theory where there isn't one (yet) so it's a whole different thing. But of course it sounds good. It carries the weight of conviction, a couple of scientific terms, and a couple of names. I wouldn't like to argue with someone who said that because I suspect I would be on the back foot. But there's my point. I wouldn't feel back-footed because the argument was necessarily more correct, but because the manner of delivery was more persuasive to my limbic system. That doesn't make it right; it just makes it more likely to creep over the threshold of my low-level understanding of the world. Such terms must therefore be a red flag because they're like a hack or a sleight-of-hand trick. I therefore have to wonder to what end people put forth such statements. What are they trying to do? Understand something? It doesn't seem like it because the answers are believed to be already there. The only conclusion I can come to is that it is simply our way of making our presence felt in the world - the leg humping in doggy speak. Everyone does it. Me. You. The old lady at the end of my street. Without it I imagine we would have died out long ago. It is part of being human. I simply reject the idea that it is a part of being human that represents any kind of objective reality other than our impression of ourselves and the impact we desire to have.

    But please don't take all this to mean I think that approach is somehow disingenuous. I write fiction. I hope that someone may pay me money one day to listen to a bunch of stuff that isn't true but yet is convincingly-portrayed, so clearly absolute correctness is not the only thing that's important to me. If I was in a city and someone shouted "run!" I would probably run. I may not know why. I may end up escaping a hail of bullets or I may end up bundled into the back of a van, but I would take that risk. There is a place for such an approach.

    As for your spineless moderates, that's where the choice of language gets me. It suggests a degree of disdain. Why do it? Do we think there is an insufficient amount of contempt in the world today? Or are you simply looking to consolidate your position. Everyone is trying to find their place and live their lives; to get by. In a world where there is a lot of pressure to adhere to a type - your jocks, your punks, your geeks, your stoners, rich kids and all of that, and it's great that so many find their place - I am interested, and I suppose I identify with, those that have no place, that feel rootless, that experience little kinship. So I suppose I type this not so much for your benefit; as you say you know your mind and your place along that spectrum, and more power to you, really - but for others who might read your words, and who may be struggling with their identity in what often seems like a rather hostile universe. They're not spineless, they're searching. Sometimes the search is quite desperate. I wonder if the statistics on male suicides, depression and anxiety, school shooters, crime and the like, attest to that.

    Good chat, anyway I've gone on a bit hehe.
  18. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus
    Fermi was talking about physics not morality....
    First, civility. Welcome to The Writing Forums. Glad you're here.
    We used to "debate" here. That (sadly) is no longer allowed. But you mentioned "global warming / climate change". We can use that as an example.

    That quote by Luis Alvarez simply inferred that those with nothing of substance to contribute should not contribute. That was his opinion. I find value in that opinion.
    However, I support challenging "groupthink" wherever it infests itself. In the case of "global warming", the general public has been brow-beaten into accepting anthropomorphic climate change. The current "middle" position is that humans cause climate change. There is no deviation from the mean. Any variation from the accepted social norm is considered "anti-science" and heretical. No growth (personal or societal) can be accomplished by "parroting" the current accepted heterodoxy.

    The funny thing is, the "science" I am familiar with not only accepts challenges, it encourages them. Alvarez didn't want the input of "second-rate" opinions. He did not dismiss well formulated challenges.
    "Lay people" should never be quiet. They should educate themselves to the point that they can contribute substance to a conversation. Lazy, head-bobbing Yes Men should keep their ignorant pie holes shut. Alvarez was spot-on in that respect.

    The point of my blog was that there is no virtue, personal or civic, to being devoid of opinion. Well formed, articulated and tested thoughts are the bedrock of modern society. Those choosing not to participate have that right. Those "moderates" also have the responsibility to accept the consequences of their inaction.
    The real problem is that it isn't just the moderates that pay. We all do.
  19. epimetheus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Right and Wrong is not a moral judgement. Most often it is a simple fact.
    Fermi was talking about physics not morality. If morality is as objective as you say, we should be able to measure it the same way as we measure mass, for instance. By what objective metric do we measure morality? It should also be observed to follow certain mathematical principles. Which ones does it follow?


    Doesn't that Fermi quote counter your argument anyway? It's contending that in the subject of physics any lay person's opinion weighs less than Fermi's, i.e. a lay person should keep a neutral opinion in deference to someone who's actually studied the subject. Otherwise you end up with dangerous situations like a load of people fervently denying man-made climate change after reading a couple of web-pages, despite decades of research and evidence.
  20. Winston's Avatar
    This is why I say that fence-sitting is the only real position for me.
    I understand and respect that. Not because it is the "correct" position (morally or rhetorically) but because I personally value Freedom and the open exchange of ideas. For a healthy society, there must be thought and opinion all along the continuum of awareness. Regardless, at some point, you saw, and staked-out your position along that continuum. In your case, "in the middle". I understand this. What I do not fathom is the general apathetic and spineless "moderates" that blow like a leaf in the wind. They just land in the middle.
    While I usually prefer a steak, sometimes the smorgasbord is appealing. Inflexibility leads to a boring, unfulfilled life. Whereas over-malleable folk make poor choices, and proudly promote them.

    For me, I am tribeless. I can dip in and out, but find that a more objective standpoint suits me better.
    Reminds me of my high school days. I hung-out with the stoners, cowboys, jocks, brains, punks... I learned a lot.
    Today, I know what my "core values' are. I am tolerant and I understand positions that are opposed to my own. I do not embrace those positions, but I do not shun nor demonize the either.
    I find no need to (rhetorically) "hump anyone's leg". I am comfortable in my world-view, and welcome any informed challenge to it.
    My son is working on a physics project, regarding atomic theory. While talking with my boy, Fermi came to mind...



    Right and Wrong is not a moral judgement. Most often it is a simple fact.
    Updated October 15th, 2018 at 09:52 AM by Winston
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