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#661
wjfox

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So apparently the company I work for has now switched all of its plastic packaging to a biodegradable version.

 

I realise it's only a drop in the ocean (excuse the pun) compared to the global production of plastic, but it's nice to hear a bit of good news.


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#662
Outlook

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I got a bible in the mail, some nuts trying to spread the word of god and their bible study program. It's just the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans, so its a small booklet. Everything outside of that reads funny, for example after the books, you have a large body explaining why Jesus is missing from your life. "As much as you may hate to admit it, YOU are a SINNER."

Interesting though. It's the first physical bible I've ever had, or piece of it at-least.
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#663
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Another night of appalling, soul-crushing insomnia. There is simply nothing in my life that is worse than being unable to sleep. It leaves me completely wrecked and in a kind of dazed stupor for the entire day. I can't emphasise enough how much I FUCKING HATE insomnia.

#664
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I got a bible in the mail, some nuts trying to spread the word of god and their bible study program. It's just the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans, so its a small booklet. Everything outside of that reads funny, for example after the books, you have a large body explaining why Jesus is missing from your life. "As much as you may hate to admit it, YOU are a SINNER."

Interesting though. It's the first physical bible I've ever had, or piece of it at-least.

 

I remember right when the 2012 world ending hysteria was at its peak a preacher came up to me and handed me a small invitation to his church and very authentically said, "there's still time."  


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#665
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A thoroughly depressing, indescribably frustrating and boring weekend of trying to upgrade my hard drive (which ended in failure), while suffering from chronic insomnia and getting little else done.



#666
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Your insomnia sounds like something I'd check a doctor on. Usually when I have insomnia it's due to stress, coffee overdose or screen-light. Even then I can just meditate on counting and doze off when I have to. That doesn't sound normal.
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#667
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I've just learned about the Scattered Disk. I mean I'd heard of the term, but hadn't really studied it before. So it's a region of the Solar System just beyond the Kuiper Belt, but nowhere near as far as the Oort cloud. Sort of like a much more diffuse version of the Kuiper Belt, with a lot of Trans-Neptunian Objects, including Eris. We could feasibly explore it this century, perhaps with Americium-powered batteries, which I'm writing about now.

 

 

rjj8r7w.jpg


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#668
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=== Here were my thoughts about Forex, but I don't think you need them, actually... ===



#669
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Some interesting (to me) thoughts from recently read "Does Capitalism Have a Future?" by Immanuel Wallerstein:

 

Both social systems (capitalism and socialism) have their own specific and unavoidable flaws: capitalism needs in constant growth and expansion to new "frontiers", otherwise capitalists will start to reduce costs (wages and social spendings) at home that will lead to growing inequality and social explosion (revolution). Socialism, other hand, requires the centralised planning and control over economy that, in turn, creates the ideal basis and permanent danger of political tyranny. This is just the increased "owner vs manager" problem: how can formal "owners" (people) prevent much more competent and better organized "managers" (state bureaucracy) from acting in their own interests?

 

So, author assumes that, perhaps, the future human history will consist of centuries-long fluctuations between capitalism and socialism, with each "new" system being born on the ruins of previous one but, after some time, eventually collapsing from its own flaws.



#670
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Some interesting (to me) thoughts from recently read "Does Capitalism Have a Future?" by Immanuel Wallerstein:

 

Both social systems (capitalism and socialism) have their own specific and unavoidable flaws: capitalism needs in constant growth and expansion to new "frontiers", otherwise capitalists will start to reduce costs (wages and social spendings) at home that will lead to growing inequality and social explosion (revolution). Socialism, other hand, requires the centralised planning and control over economy that, in turn, creates the ideal basis and permanent danger of political tyranny. This is just the increased "owner vs manager" problem: how can formal "owners" (people) prevent much more competent and better organized "managers" (state bureaucracy) from acting in their own interests?

 

So, author assumes that, perhaps, the future human history will consist of centuries-long fluctuations between capitalism and socialism, with each "new" system being born on the ruins of previous one but, after some time, eventually collapsing from its own flaws.

Sounds fairly plausible. Hopefully someday humanity will become enlightened and we can have a glorious eternal golden age of capitalism.



#671
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Capitalism is based on scarcity. I think we need to move beyond this, to an age of post-scarcity and abundance. Something like the Star Trek universe, or the Culture series by Iain M Banks.

Capitalism isn't even that old, from a historical perspective. Only 300 years or so. It won't last forever, and there's nothing inherently special about it. Humanity will adapt and transition to new systems. I see basic incomes as a precursor to post-scarcity.
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#672
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Some interesting (to me) thoughts from recently read "Does Capitalism Have a Future?" by Immanuel Wallerstein:
 
Both social systems (capitalism and socialism) have their own specific and unavoidable flaws: capitalism needs in constant growth and expansion to new "frontiers", otherwise capitalists will start to reduce costs (wages and social spendings) at home that will lead to growing inequality and social explosion (revolution). Socialism, other hand, requires the centralised planning and control over economy that, in turn, creates the ideal basis and permanent danger of political tyranny. This is just the increased "owner vs manager" problem: how can formal "owners" (people) prevent much more competent and better organized "managers" (state bureaucracy) from acting in their own interests?
 
So, author assumes that, perhaps, the future human history will consist of centuries-long fluctuations between capitalism and socialism, with each "new" system being born on the ruins of previous one but, after some time, eventually collapsing from its own flaws.

Sounds fairly plausible. Hopefully someday humanity will become enlightened and we can have a glorious eternal golden age of capitalism.

Socialism doesn't necessitate authoritarianism nor do market economies necessitate an owning class. Democratically owned workplaces exist at scale and work (see Mondragon in the Basque Country, Amul in India, American farming coops.) State run infrastructure such as libraries, healthcare, roads, dams, bridges and schools are proven to work by decades of observation when run by a competent government. Both authoritarianism in socialism and capitalism are mostly cultural in nature and not reflective of universal economic law. Materialism has a role, but both culture forces and economic forces are in feedback with one another and great change in one will affect the other. Which is to say, if we collectively started valueing liberty it would reflect economically.

In the case of socialism the historical cultural totalitarianism is in plain view due to years of western propaganda. In the case of capitalism the dictator westerners so easily see in far away lands resides in plane view in the modern corporation. Yes, corporations are more decentralized, but oppression is oppression whether centralized or decentralized and the Rwandan genocide is a good case study for that. Which is to say, it doesn't matter if a government official or a corporate boss is giving orders from down above, the hierarchy is still present and the inherent potential and often literal oppression with it. In the case of old "socialist" nations this hierarchy was overtly and centrally enforced as a worker could not escape the clutches of the state. In the case of modern capitalism the hierarchy is enforced informally with the same end result. There are no secret police forcing the worker to do anything. Rather their slavery lies in that the worker can only choose to sell their labour to a myriad of bosses who set the condition by which they can sell it. The worker does not interact directly with the market in modern capitalism because they are unable to bargain, as not accepting whatever terms are imposed by the many bosses would mean death by starvation as they don't have capital to support themselves like the monied classes do. They can't demand better pay by switching bosses in any substantive way because if they refuse to interact they will starve, unlike a capitalist who can sit and wait for a better deal. (This relationship is simplified for explanations sake but the concept stands.)

Market dynamics were diversifying the economy with a dose of socialism in the second half of 19th century America prior to union regulations and state interference. The Battle of Blair Mountain is a good example of the state stepping in to side with capitalist interests as is the Battle of Homestead and the many railroad strikes of the time. Market dynamics necessitate that those who produce own their product and are entitled to sell it as they wish. Workers claiming their production during those times was simply cutting out the middle man (the capitalist) and while there is an argument to be made the capitalist enabled them to work by providing initial capital it is important to point out that nearly all the wealth of monied people can be traced to historical conquest and exploitation whether in the form of slavery or overt pilliaging, making such wealth illegitimate. Moreover for all the money in the world the capitalist cannot build a railroad with their sole pair of hands. The labour required, the producing force, is a collective endeavour and as such the product of such an endeavour is the rightful claim of the collective which produced it. None of this is to say the state should have sided with the workers, just that it should have let such situations play themselves out. Not that it ever would or even could given that the state is generally just an arm of the monied classes and causally tied to them.

The general nature is important there though. For what representation the working class has within the state it will make state socialist endeavours almost irreversible once they are entrenched and work. Public libraries and public healthcare in countries where it is properly implemented are examples of this.

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#673
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so in contemplating the idea of running for President of the United States, I have dug up some old plans for what I wanted somebody running to be like or what I would do if I were running. (Be the change you wish to see in the world, as it were)

 

Basically, I figure the value is in the running, not in the "winning" (you are being approved for a job to serve people, and you should treat it that way, rather than a prize to be won).

 

Since most of my plans for projects for 2020 are falling apart, I may just have the time to do a full series of videos on every election and measure on the National, state and local levels, lay out the people in office, and those running based on their voting records and stances on the common issues as well as the issues most likely to effect the states and regions they are running in. Cover voter registration, means of getting an ID, and a ride to the voting station, as well as all the other ways of getting a ballot. Perhaps contact some unions and ask about arranging some kind of psuedo-strike on voting day to support those who must work and cannot risk their jobs and income to go vote.

 

Interview people via e-mail, phone, video and in person wherever possible. And just set it all out in the open. Every bit of info everyone needs to vote, down to the sample ballots.

 

And at the same time ask that anyone who thinks their vote doesn't count, or objects to the choices they are given go through the process anyway using all the steps I've provided and cast their vote for a third party like the libertarians or the greens or some of the others, that is if they don't feel like they want to vote for me or write me in. If we get third parties enough vote they are better positioned to run on a more even field against the two primary parties. Break the political monopolies. 

 

and when all is said and done, we will see the voting power of the people we encourage to vote who would otherwise feel their vote didn't count or who would otherwise abstain. Despite my 'loss' it would still be a win if we made any change along those lines, and we set things up for a repeat in mid-terms two years later where I will likely begin by announcing my run for president in 2024.

 

I've heard time and time again, people complaining that the millions being spent on election campaigns could solve so many more issues than the people who actually win ever do. And so I feel like I would prefer to campaign by making investments in positive changes to the communities in the areas I'm campaigning in. "Great idea, but you'll never win that way." gee I guess you might be right, that's hard luck, maybe we will succeed the next time we do it, or the time after that, or the next one. Yes really, I'd run for 20 years with no hope for a "win" if every run resulted in a better situation for all the communities in the process.

 

That and any debate or media coverage that invites me in to talk will get some Jon Stewart or John Oliver style calling out the BS of the system and those in it right now. Not sided hit pieces on anyone, but more reasoned out logical proposals about what we as a country are clearly not doing well at and methods available to do better that can be acceptable by the vast majority of reasonable people in this country.


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#674
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Capitalism isn't even that old, from a historical perspective. Only 300 years or so. It won't last forever

 

Yes, of course.

 

I see basic incomes as a precursor to post-scarcity.

 

Not at all. I see basic income as a modern analogue of ancient "bread and circuses": an attempt to pacify the declassed masses (former farmers, whose plots were taken away by rich landowners and whose labor wasn't needed in slavery-based economy). The simplest solution was to just give them some food to make them dependent and easily controllable. As we know from Roman history, this tactics worked very well: masses were tamed and their revolutionary demands like "give our land back!" quickly (within just one or two generations) evolved into "where is our bread? give us some... oh, thank you, sir!!!"

 

So (imho) it will be in the modern world: growing automation and basic income will eventually create modern plebs: the new class of people unable to bargain and fully dependent from elite.

 

Socialism doesn't necessitate authoritarianism

 

Does not necessitate, but centralized planned economy creates a real opportunity and irremovable temptation (for managers and administrators) to misuse their power. And if there are no working social institutions deterring them, then, sooner or later, the opportunity will become reality.

 

Both authoritarianism in socialism and capitalism are mostly cultural in nature and not reflective of universal economic law. Materialism has a role, but both culture forces and economic forces are in feedback with one another and great change in one will affect the other. Which is to say, if we collectively started valueing liberty it would reflect economically.

 

Well, the typical point of Western leftists: "of course, those Russians and Chinese created the deviant and unattractive form of socialism, but this is only because of their rich authoritarian traditions... unlike them, we value freedom..." Let me doubt this. Of course, culture and "values of freedom" will play its part, but not too much:

 

"Ottava, 7 July 2134. The government of Northamerica condemned the recent erection of one-kilometer-tall statue of the Wisest Trustee Li Jang in former Vladivostok, serving as a disgusting example of personality cult and oriental servility, incompatible with ideas of true socialism. Unlike Pacific Union, we are, and will always stay, the humble servants of the people, the faithful defenders of their freedom and guarantors of our collective property, said the speaker of Unknown Fathers Committee..." :)


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#675
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Does not necessitate, but centralized planned economy creates a real opportunity and irremovable temptation (for managers and administrators) to misuse their power. And if there are no working social institutions deterring them, then, sooner or later, the opportunity will become reality.
 

Both authoritarianism in socialism and capitalism are mostly cultural in nature and not reflective of universal economic law. Materialism has a role, but both culture forces and economic forces are in feedback with one another and great change in one will affect the other. Which is to say, if we collectively started valueing liberty it would reflect economically.

 
Well, the typical point of Western leftists: "of course, those Russians and Chinese created the deviant and unattractive form of socialism, but this is only because of their rich authoritarian traditions... unlike them, we value freedom..." Let me doubt this. Of course, culture and "values of freedom" will play its part, but not too much:
 
"Ottava, 7 July 2134. The government of Northamerica condemned the recent erection of one-kilometer-tall statue of the Wisest Trustee Li Jang in former Vladivostok, serving as a disgusting example of personality cult and oriental servility, incompatible with ideas of true socialism. Unlike Pacific Union, we are, and will always stay, the humble servants of the people, the faithful defenders of their freedom and guarantors of our collective property, said the speaker of Unknown Fathers Committee..." :)

A socialist economy isn't necessarily planned. Some aspects of it can be, but it doesn't need to be. The qualifier for socialism is that the workers own the means of the production. A worker owned and managed company within a market economy is an example of socialism on a micro scale for example. My guess is that future socialist economies will still be mixed between central planning and the market just without a large capitalist class.

For the Russia and Chinese qoute. I don't think that at all. I think the Russian revolution turned authoritarian in response to foreign invasion from Germans, British, Americans and other western forces during the civil war. Not because it was made by Russians. The same stands for the Chinese, the civil war there was hard and Nationalist China wasn't going to give the communists any room to breath. I take a lot of inspiration from the Russian revolution pre Bolshevik and constantly cite it as a good example of the people winning the fight when talking to others. Moreover modern Russia is no worse or better than the United States. Both our governments are corrupt oligarchies.

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#676
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Anyone know math? I'm trying to study for an evaluation exam, and doing the practice questions I came across this step in the solutions that's left me dumb.

 

This is the question, and the direct answer on the right.

 

M0rdnw9.png

 

This is the solution:

 

jdwf8sw.png

 

My issue is with the very first step, the thing that looks like a factorization at the numerator. The rest of the solution I get, it's just that one that's left me scratching my head.


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#677
PhoenixRu

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My issue is with the very first step, the thing that looks like a factorization at the numerator. The rest of the solution I get, it's just that one that's left me scratching my head.

 

Well, It was easy, though initially I was scared by those square brackets (they are just second-level usual brackets, right? never used in Russian textbooks)... I'll try to explain:

 

Step 1) You need to solve what's in numerator, let's just ignore (so far) the denominator. Our initial numerator is:

 

Step 2) You need to factorize the first part of numerator to get this (x - 3) ^ -1/2 as one of the multipliers. Let's do it! Do you see what happened?

 

Steps 3-5) All the rest is easy:

 

26900770.jpg

 

Hope this helps.


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#678
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Yes! It clicked when you transformed the 1/2 into a 1 and -1/2. I never thought about that, it makes sense, finally. I was completely baffled how they did that. Thank you!
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#679
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About personality cult:

 

Driven by curiosity, I've recently downloaded the archive of "Izvestia" (the main oficious Soviet newspaper) of the year 1937. I was wondering how they were depicting the comrade Stalin, the breaking news about political repression and the like. And you know what? Stalin's portraits are quite rare while "some flaws and remnants of the past in our life" described rather frankly and accurately...

 

Let's go back to our days. "Izvestia" is still alive and well and remains what it was in past: the main oficious newspaper. But, compared to Stalin's era, in the modern newspaper Putin's picture(s) appears in every (I mean literally every) issue: Putin at workplace, Putin awards common or not so common people, Putin and minister(s), Putin and foreign leader(s), Putin talking to workers, Putin inspecting robots... That's what I've found in the last twelve issues:

 

PutinPutinPutinPutinPutin.jpg

 

v v v

 

26929828.jpg


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#680
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About personality cult:
 
Driven by curiosity, I've recentlty downloaded the archive of "Izvestia" (the main oficious Soviet newspaper) of the year 1937. I was wondering how they were depicting the comrade Stalin, the breaking news about political repression and the like. And you know what? Stalin's portraits are quite rare while "some flaws and remnants of the past in our life" described rather frankly and accurately...
 
Let's go back to our days. "Izvestia" is still alive and well and remains what it was in past: the main oficious newspaper. But, compared to Stalin's era, in the modern newspaper Putin's picture(s) appears in every (I mean literally every) issue: Putin at workplace, Putin awards common or not so common people, Putin and minister(s), Putin and foreign leader(s), Putin talking to workers, Putin inspecting robots... That's what I've found in the last twelve issues:
 
PutinPutinPutinPutinPutin.jpg
 
v v v
 
26929828.jpg


I'd be curious to see Stalin's Izvestia coverage in the late 40s and early 50s compared to Putin.

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