Altherion

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  1. Just as with almost every other issue, there is a spectrum of views from positive to negative and it is not obvious which issue is the tipping point for any given voter. I presented a fairly negative description for contrast with the positive one earlier in the thread.
  2. Consider what it looks like to the considerable fraction of the population which disliked it: it's a flagrantly racist (just look at the name!) anti-police organization which at the very least disables critical infrastructure such as roads and airports and, although they deny this, also appears to be associated with riots and the shooting of police officers. And the government does absolutely nothing about it! Imagine what will happen if there's another 4 years of this... Of course, this is quite far from the position circulated by the media and not everybody who was opposed to it held that exact mix of ideas, but I've heard some variation of this from multiple relatives and acquaintances who supported Trump. Given the narrow margin by which Trump won, I suspect it tipped more than enough people into his camp to change the outcome (of course, this is probably true of quite a few other things).
  3. Out of curiosity, has it ever occurred to you that such activism also strengthens the less moderate elements of the other side? Trump is extremely unlikely to have become President without the Black Lives Matter movement.
  4. I am not sure that it will fade. To overcome the culture of honor, it must be replaced with something else. In most Western countries, an attempt was made to replace it with a culture of law and this served to diminish the culture of honor for a time... but it only works if people believe that the law is more or less just and uniformly applied. Given that we're now in a society where "The system is rigged!" is an effective political slogan, I expect the culture of honor to make a bit of a comeback.
  5. If the reporter's comments immediately prior to the scuffle were the entirety of Gianforte's cause, then of course there is no excuse. However, I think it is much, much more likely that those comments were merely the straw that broke the camel's back. I agree with you that Gianforte still should not have reacted as he did, but in that case it is understandable why he did it and why people would excuse him. You are right that it does not exist in law. Should it? I suppose not, but this is contingent on the press behaving at least somewhat reasonably and at the moment they're not doing that. She is absolutely trying to justify his actions and I fully understand her even though I disagree. Imagine that the press followed everything a specific individual did and cast all of it in as negative a light as possible without running afoul of defamation laws. Under our system, the individual has no recourse against such treatment -- he or she can ignore them or ask friends (or pay neutrals) to propagate a competing perspective, but there's no way to stop the sludge. Would it be wrong to retaliate in the old fashioned way? I personally think that it would, but I can see the other side of the argument.
  6. Sure. In fact, as I said earlier in this thread, I expected more people to be making this argument, but it doesn't seem to be the case. Of course, there's also the Ned Stark school of thought which suggests exactly the opposite (i.e. that people in leadership positions should be willing to carry out the dirty work with their own hands every once in a while). I was not excusing Gianforte. I merely said that I understand the people who excused him. Given that there were a lot of them, it's a bit facetious to claim that there was no excuse for his action. I don't find this excuse altogether convincing and you don't find it convincing at all, but the voters of Montana like it well enough.
  7. Some people still care, yes, but the left and right no longer do and the middle is being hollowed out. And yes, the people who support Gianforte's actions while criticizing the attacks on conservative speakers at universities are just as hypocritical as the people who are attacking Gianforte now but supported the punching of Spencer. Logical consistency doesn't have much value anymore beyond one's side being right and the opposite side being wrong. You can call it that too. My point was that tribalism is taking over and all of these niceties matter less and less. To be fair, quite a few Presidents were wrestlers. The most famous one is Abraham Lincoln.
  8. I think we're past the stage where people genuinely care about free speech. It's obvious that the elites will not protect it in some instances so the masses are not going to be too upset when it is violated in others. The moral landscape is simplifying itself...
  9. That's pretty funny. For some reason, I get more Planned Parenthood ads than anything else. Looks like the ad algorithms need some tuning for sites with diverse points of view. Yes, of course. Freedom of the press is not a license to constantly insult someone and find fault with their actions no matter what they do. I have not heard of this Montana politician prior to the scuffle, but the press is doing the same thing to certain national politicians and they're pretty blatant about it. I suspect the same thing was going on in Montana. Here's a quote from a CNN article: This is not to say that I agree with the action -- Gianforte definitely should not have done it -- but I understand why he did it and why many people support him.
  10. Speculating is easy -- there's a multitude of science fiction stories based on the concept. The problem is making it look at least semi-plausible. We don't have any plausible methods to construct traversable wormholes: even if you could somehow come up with the required energy, we lack the exotic matter with negative mass (or its equivalent) that is generally needed to stabilize the wormhole. If one really needs energies on the order of stellar masses to be used during short time scales... well, then it's not obvious what we could use as a power source. There exist stars which are millions of times more luminous than our Sun, but this still does not reach the needed energy output. A sufficiently large supernova would probably do it, but they're very rare and good luck "harvesting" one.
  11. That's pretty interesting. I can understand the sentiment, but I would have guessed that the candidate doing it personally would be viewed unfavorably. Looks like decorum is also losing its power. In any case, FiveThirtyEight has called the race for Gianforte so either the news didn't get out in time or not enough people cared (or perhaps they even shared the general opinion of the sandwich haunt).
  12. The Pittsburgh-Ottawa game is awesome. It's rare to see double overtime in a Game 7 with a trip to the finals on the line.
  13. It's possible, but it could also be that they're communicating in a way that we cannot perceive. Imagine sending radio waves into a medieval city. If the most efficient way to communicate turns out to be something like gravitons (entangled or otherwise), they could be in constant communication with multiple locations in our solar system and we'd never see it.
  14. Yes. Even with current technology (i.e. roughly 20% efficiency), it only takes a tiny area to power all of Earth. The power output of the Sun is utterly absurd by human standards; to call us insects compared to it is an insult to insects. Depending on how you do it, stuff like interstellar travel may require that kind of energy. Also, all of the things that we currently do (computing, communication, etc.) benefits from extra power and this might scale up for interplanetary or interstellar civilizations.
  15. The rationale for cuts and for not throwing more money at the issue is exactly the same. The only reason to favor the latter and not the former is if you believe that we're currently sitting at precisely the optimal point. Like many things that money can be spent on, this sounds nice... but why should the federal government pay for it?