Well, we know the Tekne is so capable that the Inchoroi could create entire slave races, operate space age aircraft, and build incredibly durable starships that can literally survive a crash landing with no dents. It's probably not a stretch to imagine they can screw around with the fabric of space-time, and accidentally pulled an Event Horizon opening a window into Hell. It could have even actually been an accident, with them looking into the Outside with a device meant to allow them to study "higher dimensions".
McConnaughey's not exactly how I imagined Flagg (he still looks like Jamey Sheridan in my mind), but I bet he could do great in the role. Flagg just needs to be creepy and unsettling, while almost over-the-top All-American looking in blue jeans and jacket buttons. I'm having a hard time mentally casting Roland. He needs to be hard-edged and "severe" looking - the closest looking actor I can think of is Josh Brolin.
I got the vibe that it was just delusion on their part - they thought they'd figured out how to make their souls invisible to the predators of the Outside, but they hadn't (hence why a ton of them jumped ship to the Consult despite what the Inchoroi did to them, once they realized that). You'd think if it actually worked, they'd still be teaching it in the Mandate School later on. Certainly the human Schools have their delusions as well. Their reaction to damnation pre-Kellhus seems to have largely been "it's a bunch of self-contradictory bullshit" and "we don't care" (except for the Mandate School, where it's part of their belief system). Part of the "Fanim got the theology right" element of the story.
The only consolation here is that at least the self-abortions won't be as dangerous as the pre-Roe era, back when there were no medications you could take for abortion and it was all surgical. If Texan women who want to self-abort can get a hold of either misoprostol or mifepristone, they can self-abort that way in the first 9 weeks or so I think (using it later on gets really dangerous). Or at least they can until Texas law enforcement starts harassing women who show up in the hospital with miscarriages, which they almost certainly will at some point despite bleating from the anti-choice crowd about how they're "not going to arrest or punish the woman".
I know this might jinx it, but I've been mostly feeling pretty good in the intrusive thoughts front for the past week or so. And they disappeared altogether temporarily when I hurt my ankle - principle of distraction at work, I guess.
Someone wrote a very good argument once about how the Inchoroi may have initially been trying to become Dunyain-esque "self-moving souls", removing the "wiring" in their brains and nervous systems that they thought limited them in terms of thought and reason. The problem was that they couldn't remove all of it, and what was left afterwards - lust, aggression, desire - overwhelmed them, turning them into the monstrous "race of lovers" that they are now. Then again, the whole bit about "being born for damnation" in TTT could mean they just figured out they were damned, and that was that.
That would explain the whole "Black Heaven" aspect of it. Better a slave to a god you created and shaped rather than a bunch of demons who will torment you for all eternity. Of course, if you write off all existing humans as a lost cause, then other alternatives present themselves. I think it's pretty likely that Mimara somehow combines the Judging Eye and rebirth of the No-God to rewrite the rules so that all new humans (including her unborn child) are born soulless and thus free of the Outside's grasp. That doesn't do any good for the existing ensouled humans or the Inchoroi, but it's ultimately the only freedom that doesn't require genocide. Actually, I could totally see that appealing to Bakker. It'd be like Moses being able to look upon the promised land but never enter it, as with the Inchoroi gazing upon the promised world and the promise of liberation but never being able to grasp it.
The minimum wage was not intended just as a "starter wage" - it was explicitly passed at the federal level as a means of ensuring a "living wage": It pretty clearly is not at that level, and hasn't been for a long time. It needs to be around $14-15/hr, and indexed to overall wage growth in the economy. That wouldn't be a living wage in exceptionally expensive areas like New York City or San Francisco, but it would be enough in most of the US for an individual working 40 hours a week to afford an apartment, a car, and some amenities. Put two people living together, one working 40 hours a week and the other 20-40 hours/week, and you're almost there (you won't get fully there unless you having housing assistance, universal health care, public provision of child care, and so forth).
Perfect people doesn't imply a perfect world where scarcity doesn't exist. That's the point of the "calculation problem" of socialism - even if you assume away issues with selfishness, greed, etc you're still stuck with the problem of determining how to produce and allocate goods and services.
I read an interesting book by Jason Brennan called Why Not Capitalism? He makes a pretty good case that if people were saints rather than people, capitalistic markets would be the best system. After all, if people were saints, they wouldn't try to rip each other off, they'd immediately step up to help each other if someone fell into trouble, and so forth. Moreover, such a system would still let people choose to live in collective arrangements if they wanted to - they could live in a commune amidst the broader capitalist society while trading with it, etc. I've been thinking about alternatives, though. If you had 1. Something akin to replicators from Star Trek 2. Extremely powerful, integrated computers 3. Ultra-cheap energy 4. Robots that could do literally every job that people aren't willing to do out of passion/desire/personal pleasure alone Then you could make something like Parecon work. Essentially, people would pull stuff out of the replicators to use and feed unneeded stuff back in for recycling, and the computers would constantly monitor and move energy and resources around to meet people's usual needs. If you needed an exceptionally large amount of resources you'd probably have to ask for permission (or at least put in a reason for it), but for everyday consumption and use you'd be fine. The Culture from Iain Banks' novels might have something like that, if I remember right from Consider Phlebas (it mentions that they fulfill all reasonable and "some unreasonable" requests with aplomb upon demand). And of course, the more resources and energy available, the more stuff you could have available upon demand. People might be able to request spaceships, airplanes, yachts, etc as long as they agree to use them within regulations. The tricky issue would be land, since you usually can't make more land. Would you let people have transferrable land rights? Nationalize all the land and give people long-term leases? Put people on a list to use it every so often?
$15/hr is high enough that you'd probably lose some of the value of it to unemployment and price inflation (you'd be roping in nearly half of all US workers), but it's worth considering. I'm leaning towards thinking that if you're going to have a minimum wage at all, it should be set at whatever you consider the socially acceptable hourly living wage for a family of four - and if that causes some unemployment or greater part-time employment, so be it.
Why not? Can't hurt. If he's already born and a few months old, I'd probably just bring him back with me and dump him at a hospital somewhere. Chances are that if you remove him from early 20th century Germany, he's probably just going to grow up and become a second-rate artist. There is a chance that someone worse might be waiting in the wings if Hitler disappears. Fascism wasn't just about Hitler - there was a good chance that Germany goes fascist in the 1930s with or without him, just like how many other countries in Europe were doing so.
Rubio looked okay, although not remarkable. It's a little weird to see the media latch on to him so quickly, although they may be right that he's the most likely candidate to be left standing if or when Trump and Carson implode. Personally, I just can't imagine him winning against Hillary even with much more financial support from the billionaire crowd. It's depressing to think about what the situation will be like circa 2017. I'll be happy if Clinton (or Sanders) wins and mostly likely secures the Presidency for the Democrats until 2024 (re-election is very likely), but we'll still probably have a Republican dominated House and divided Congress even if the Democrats retake the Senate. It'll just be business as usual, with the new President trying to push the boundaries on what she or he can do with Executive Orders.
That literally does not connect to my point at all. They pay for the lease out of revenue, or go bankrupt.
You are talking about middle or perhaps even upper-middle class people. I agree with you that such people can take a chance and strike out on their own, but I'm not sure that this is true of the poor. Let's say that somebody works at Walmart or McDonald's or some other place where the wages are close to the minimum and suppose that they have the average credit rating of people in that position. Do you really think that anybody is going to give them a loan or an installment agreement to purchase their own grocery store or franchise or whatever?
Immigrants poorer than your average American household start businesses (or get involved in various sectors as entrepreneurs) all the time. Like I said, most businesses early on are self-funded - they're either funding them out of earnings, mortgaging their house, using savings, getting money from family and friends, etc. Most Americans just don't do that because they'd rather force their employer to pay them what they want.
It's easy for us in our safe European homes to defend capitalism but it's a nightmare for most of the earth's population. And then we have the cheek to complain when a few migrants show up on our shores.
Hardly. The countries that have gone hard-core developmental capitalism like China and earlier South Korea and Taiwan are getting richer and more prosperous, while those that have consistently fucked it up on governance or kept themselves out of competing in international markets haven't. One of the greatest reductions of poverty in human history has happened in the past 30 years from China going more capitalist alone, and India moving away from the disastrous "license raj".
But yeah, pretty much what Shryke said. The idea that capitalism is an accurate and efficient meritocracy is delusional.
It's a more efficient and accurate meritocracy than the alternatives, and that's enough for me.
Most businesses are self-funding in their early days, using their own profits as the primary source of investment for expansion (aside from exceptions like tech startups in Silicon Valley). The capital argument might apply if you decide you're going to go out and start a national wireless provider, but for most businesses?