DocWatts

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  1. Interesting to note that lab grown synthetic meat uses less resources to develop than some forms of plant based food. What we should be shooting for is to make maintaining an ethical diet to be as easy as possible, similar to how we would also want Voting in elections to be as easy as possible. In a Late Stage Capitalist society it's unfortunately been the opposite for much of our history, but it's encouraging to see that this trend has been changing over the past few decades.
  2. @Leo Gura @Roy These are some thoughts on the matter from some a scientist with actual experience using these types of surveillance equipment during his time serving in the military. His Youtube chanel actual deals quite extensively with topics that pertain to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject.
  3. @Leo Gura There are also plenty of eyewitness accounts from people that would swear on thier life that the twin towers were destroyed by controlled demolition. Human perception is highly fallable. Any idea of how many people have been wrongly sent to prison because of bad or mistaken eyewitnesses testimony? It's not hard at all to believe that hundreds of thousands of people could have mistakenly identified whatever it was they were seeing as an alien craft. There are billions of people living on this planet after all, who see and hear things all day every day. When someone else brings up some very valid points on the subject and your response is that they're just close minded, hard not to see that as hand wavey. While the importance of physics or biology may be vastly overstated in explanations of why were here and what this life is about, when considering the narrow subject of interstellar travel by other life forms, it becomes highly relevant. Kind of get the sense that you want to believe ET is up in the skies zipping about, and that your metaphysics may be biasing you (not claiming I'm immune from this second point ) *As a fun aside, for anyone who wasn't shown this in intro psych, I'd recommend giving it a quick watch.
  4. Trying to understand the motivations and intent behind Hitler's actions (including placing those actions into a broader historical context) is quite a different thing from condoning Hitler's actions, or having sympathy for fascist ideology. For even moderately thoughtful people this should not be a difficult distinction to make.
  5. It's also worth pointing out that how dangerous it is to be a cop in America (compared to other professions) tends to be overstated. Police officers aren't even in the top ten of workplace fatalities in America, sitting right between being a mechanic and a construction worker. And yeah I get that being a police officer is a psychologically demanding and stressful job, but so is being a teacher in a low income neighborhood. Or a Social Worker. Or an Emergency Dispatcher...
  6. @Preety_India Heh, for what it's worth I can speak English, and that's basically it... The majority of folks here aren't given any real education in other languages, and I'd be useless if I tried conversing in a non English speaking country
  7. @Preety_India You make a number of really good points, especially about the environment not allowing for black people to speak about thier own issues without running the risk that said discussions will be co-opted by people outside of thier community for nefarious purposes. It's an incredibly pernicious issue, and one that I've seen operate in the real world. A good example being how entertainment that's critical of some of elements of American Black culture (such as Chapelle's Show or The Boondocks) being enjoyed by white racists on a very surface level. Hell, the issue I describe is a big part of why Dave Chappell decided to stop making from his wildly popular show. While separating internal issues from race realism makes logical sense, unfortunately Bad Faith actors will ignore this distinction and use said discussions for thier own purposes in a way that hurts people. Unfortunately I don't have a good answer for this dilemma, except to try and be mindful about how I participate in discussions to make sure I'm not adding to the problem.
  8. While Vaush's explanation more or less matches my own thinking on the subject, in my mind my own inclination is to look at the problem from an Effort In to Results Gained viewpoint. In that Progressives/Lefties aren't going to win on everything, and it would make more sense for us to pick our battles, so to speak. And tackling America's gun problem is going to be among the most uphill and device political issues around. As a matter of pragmatism, it makes more sense to use that time, energy, and political capital to address the economic issues that are at the heart of most forms of gun violence. Providing more economic opportunity to poor neighborhoods, curbing corporate lobbying by gun manufacturers, creating a Universal Healthcare System (which includes Mental Health support structures), and ending the War on Drugs would do far more to reduce gun violence than feeble attempts to limit the manufacturer of certain types of weapons in a country where guns are more numerous than people. **Disagree with him hard on the necessity of Revolutionary action, but that's a different discussion. And yes, I'm outing myself as one of the reformist socdem cucks that he bitches about from time to time . **
  9. I think a larger point here that people often miss when looking at internal critiques from a community you're not a part of, is to recognize the limitations of your own perspective and to show some humility when offering an up opinion on the matter. That goes even more so when the people or community you're speaking of has suffered in ways that you haven't. There's a good reason why this subject matter is touchy, and how even well meaning people can come across as condescending or insensitive. As a white person living in America, I can go out of my way to understand broader socio-economic issues that effect black communities (along with everyone else). I can study American history, and educate myself on the dynamics behind race relations in this country. But I'll never have the lived experience of what it's like to be a black person living in America, and it would be presumptuous of me to have strong opinions on other people's various responses to being subjected to injustices that I haven't. Just something worth keeping in mind; recognize your own vantage point in relation to the issue being discussed. For my own part, while I see broader socio-economic and structural issues as fair game, I'm going to be a bit hesitant offering my opinion when people discuss lived experiences that I haven't shared.
  10. That's literally the first thing that comes to mind whenever I see the point brought up. Even more ridiculous when you see internal critiques of black culture being taken out of context and used in bad faith arguments to delegitimize efforts to address gross inequality (or the Chapelle's Show folly, as I've come to think of it)
  11. Extra Credits did a really good breakdown a while back of the links between systemic racism leads and inter-generational poverty in rhe United States.
  12. @Preety_India Just to preface this I'm not black, so I am looking at this from the outside to some degree. But there are an number of systemic problems within American culture that black individuals and black communities have suffered from disproportionately compared to other groups, including: (1) A system of Law of Enforcement that's highly dysfunctional, where communities of color are over policed. The American War on Drugs, in its current incarnation, was quite explicitly created in the 1970s and 1980s to give authorities a means to crack down on communities of color, which bear the brunt of the destructive effects of this policy. The thinking at the time was that while authorities couldn't criminalize someone for being black, they could draft up policy which heavily punished drugs that were more heavily used among certain groups. From the point of view of the people using this as a calculated political move, this has the dual benefit of disenfranchising people who wouldn't consider voting for you, and gaining favor among people with negative attitudes towards minority groups within the US. (2) A revolving door Prison system that disproportionately targets black males, where those who end up in the prison system for a minor infraction are denied future economic opportunities. Furthermore, people with prior arrests (or 'priors') are much more likely to be end up back in the prison system again once they get out, for a variety of reasons. Employers are legally allowed to discriminate against people who have been sent to prison. Ending up in prison even for a somewhat short period of time is economically disastrous, and more than enough to destroy an individuals finances and future career/economic prospects. If that person was the head of a family, it creates a cascading effect where the family is highly likely to end up in poverty, and children of said person grow up without a male role model. Private prisons are a thing in the US, so this creates a financial incentive to keep on the books draconian laws that target poor people and create revenue for the private prison industry. Or to put it another way, cultural prejudices about black males being thought of as criminals (ie common component of racism within the US) creates a self fulfilling prophecy where black communities are over policed, and interactions with the Legal System over even minor infractions can end up destroying a person's future prospects. (3) The demographics of many places within the US is still heavily influenced by the legacy of a housing discrimination practice known as 'Redlining', where black Americans were prevented from living in affluent (white) neighborhoods. The effect of this was to force people of color into segregated ghettos with limited economic opportunities. Though these laws are no longer on the books, the socio-economic effects of racist policy are still felt to this day; the most serious consequences of this being lingering inter-generational poverty among communities that were discriminated against in this way. ___________________ There's a lot more I could go in to, but these are some of the more visible ways that black communities bear the brunt of dysfunctional practices within the US. There's also an unfortunate tendency in the US for internal critiques of aspects black culture to be used as a jumping off point for people outside of those communities to deny the reality of systemic racism within the broader culture.
  13. The whole notion of 'black on black crime' is a bad faith tactic advanced by people with a vested interested in obfuscating discussion around issues of systemic racism (at least that's how it operates in practice here in America). An easily demonstrated reason for why 'black on black crime' is a ridiculous argument is that the argument is true for every ethnic group: ie the majority of crime done to white people comes from other white people. This is also true for Hispanics, etc. The simple reason for this is that most crime tends to happen within communities. You're much more likely to be mugged from someone living down the street or on the other side of town than from someone several states or cities away. Here in America, communities are still largely segregated due to long history of racially based economic deprivation, that still hasn't been adequately addressed to this day. Add to that only a vanishingly tiny portion of crime is racially motivated, as opposed to having motivations rooted in socio-economic factors (broken families and broken communities being a prime example). What I'm saying is that crime statistics are always going to be closely correlated to the demographics of any given era. Because the root causes of crime are socio-economic, take a group of white people, put them in a dilapidated neighborhood and deprive them of economic opportunities, and the majority of crimes there will be white on white. And for what it's worth black Republicans exist, so just because you occasionally see a person who happens to be black ideologically motivated to push Conservative talking points doesn't mean they know what the hell they're talking about, or that they're worth taking seriously.
  14. Because at their most benign they serve as a distraction, and inhibit productive discourse around important socio-political topics. Most Conspiracy Theorists tend to be willfully (and sometimes aggressively) ignorant about their own internal biases, and tend to be lacking in ego awareness. Hard to have a productive and mature conversation with someone whose view of reality is a patchwork of emotionally charged, paranoia fueled fantasies. But more often than not they serve as a smokescreen for harmful ideologies, which can lead to deadly real world consequences. The Jan. 6th storming of the Capitol, and thousands of preventable Covid deaths from people refusing to adopt basic safety measures during a pandemic, are some of the more obvious outcomes that come to mind.
  15. To follow a line of argumentation from our wisest stateman, Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw, McDonalds is awesome because the suffering it creates is socially useful, and because poverty wages build character and force people to find innovate ways to meet their survival needs. It's also good for the American consumer because one can get a whole day's worth of calories in a single meal, which in turn drives innovation within pharmaceutical companies to come up with new and highly lucrative treatments for obesity related illnesses.