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About Rippounet

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  1. I watched the French animated series Last Man a month or so ago, and I just wanted to share because there isn't that many non-Japanese adult animated series. The description: And the trailers: Despite what you may read on the internet, the series is finished and the dubbed English version should be released soon somewhere (but no, I dunno where).
  2. So I've been going on Breitbart again, and something I don't get about the Wealthcare/Trumpcare bill is that the "individual mandate" has only been modified so that people without insurance have to pay a penalty to insurance companies instead of paying it to the government. And I'm like: what the actual fuck? I don't get this at all. I thought the main reason conservatives hated Obamacare is that it didn't give people a choice to buy or not buy insurance. Something I can actually understand: if an individual is willing to take the risk of not having any insurance, then maybe he should be allowed to take that risk, in the name of individual liberty. But this bill does not provide more individual liberty. So why the fuck is anyone cheering exactly? Apparently the logic is that insurers lose money if they have to pay for the healthcare of sick/elderly individuals while healthy/young individuals don't want to contribute. So the insurers must be compensated -so they don't raise their prices to protect their profits. It basically eliminates any kind of business risk for insurance companies. It makes potential consumers subsidize private companies if they don't subscribe to their service. By that logic, people in Vermont should be paying a penalty to companies providing insurance for tornadoes in Texas (Texas is the state where there are the most tornadoes, Vermont where there are the least). This isn't about individual liberty at all, it's just about entrusting private companies with responsibilities that were taken on by the government. The difference being, of course, that the government is headed by elected officials, thus providing some form of democratic oversight. Also the government isn't trying to make a profit, it's supposed to work for the people. The sad irony is that no one over at Breitbart really understands this. There was one person commenting that their aunt had cerebral palsy and that the caps on medicaid could kill her. People just told them that is was their family and their responsibility, and that they should not be expected others to pay for their aunt's treatment. Notwithstanding the fact that the exchange shows what this is all about (basic human solidarity and empathy and the lack thereof), no one seems to understand that people will, in fact, pay for the care of others indirectly. Through penalties and insurance fees, everyone will indirectly pay for the treatment of sick people, but only those rich enough to afford insurance. Or rather, they will pay to guarantee that the insurance companies can pay for the treatment of the sick rich people and still make a profit. It's so crazy it's unbelievable, It's privatizing a public service (healthcare) but Americans still don't get to choose whether they want the service or not. This is not conservatism. I'm not sure what it is and how to call it, but it doesn't actually put any emphasis on individual liberty. It only guarantees that private companies make huge profits, and that poor people who can't afford their services will die. Shouldn't true conservatives be just as angry at Republicans as liberals?
  3. This can easily be remedied. There are a number of possible explanations given in these articles. One of them is the fact that even when IT is used for communication, there are still technical skills to be mastered (bringing us back to the interest in programming). Another is the fact that the internet is not female-friendly (an interesting hypothesis). Of course, the elephant in the room is "the social expectations and stereotypes about what is appropriate for both genders." There are different levels of "social factors" imho. On the one hand there is the problem of social expectations and stereotypes. We all know that women are discouraged from pursuing careers linked to mathematics because of these. On the other hand it's still possible that even without the pressure of social expectations, women still have some reasons for disliking computers or programming. There would still be social factors at work, but on a slightly different and more subtle level.
  4. Anecdotical experience: I've been teaching in law schools for the past four years in two different French universities and I usually get around 80% female students. The official national proportion is around 65%. Numbers are comparable for med school (where I also taught, although for a single year). In engineering, the numbers are reversed (i.e. only around 30% of female students).
  5. Why would they not? A different way to ask the question would be "why would free choice not result in some differences?" To talk about the gender divide... Of course we all know that living in patriarchal societies has a considerable impact on such statistics, especially if higher education is expensive like in the US or England. However, one thing to bear in mind is that the statistical differences persist, and are sometimes even worse, even in Western countries where higher education is almost free of charge. In other words, even if you remove the major obstacle to higher education, you still get crushing statistical differences. Or to put it differently, what one would expect to be a major obstacle to free choice actually has little statistical influence. Of course, one way to interpret such differences is to say they are a problem because they are the result of other undesirable factors. I dunno. I think even if you somehow do away with most patriarchal elements you'll still find significant differences. Or yet a different way to put it is that one should be careful about what statistical differences "ought to be" corrected, and which ones are in fact the result of genuine free choice.
  6. That doesn't sound like much.
  7. The alt-right was always there. Conservatism was always there. What happened in the last forty-fifty years is that these groups started organising to increase their influence, because simply slowing down progress wasn't enough. Some of them received insane amounts of funding for the very purpose of winning political power. My point is that it's fallacious to claim any conservative movement is a "reaction" to attitudes. The irreconciliable differences between social liberalism and conservatism were always there, half-forgotten and underestimated. What some attitudes on the left did beget, was the absolute glee and spite that the alt-right is showing right now thanks to the success of Trumpism. But the narrative presenting conservatism as a "reaction" to liberal arrogance is basically false, if only because progressive gains always have had to be fought for. This is true, but not as far as social liberal issues are concerned. If that were the case, Trump would never have won the election in the US, would he? It's ironic that you (or they) would try to frame conservatives as victims when they are gaining power in many Western countries. If anything, the indoctrination clearly didn't work. Because it never existed to begin with. College professors may often hold liberal views but most of the time they try to convince with arguments and facts, not to indoctrinate. There is a big difference, and the failure to understand it is something that may be met with scorn.
  8. And I don't doubt it. But prison reform and a new-deal-type infrastructure project for example might prove more popular (in the short-term at least) than affirmative action, and yet improve the economic plight of minorities just as much. It's all about communication. Speaking of which... Maybe the Democrats could be more aggressive on that front? But since Obama mentioned Reagan as a reference at some point I wonder whether Democrats are willing to call out the bullshit that supply-side economics is. Well, with the exception of Sanders I guess.
  9. Nothing much: Though you made me consider what would happen if Trump was the victim of an assassination attempt...
  10. There's that, I guess. Many American progressives feel that the Democrats are almost as bad as the Republicans. Chomsky for example essentially describes Obama's campaign as being successful marketing more than any real attempt at change. Then, there's the fact that progressives tend to be more divided and the Democrats are struggling to find a program and a message likely to unite them. From a cynical perspective, one might suggest that they're not really trying, because any succesful move in that direction would probably entail a lesser focus on identity politics to start addressing socio-economic issues many American liberals are not actually comfortable with. Sanders tried to address such issues, but ultimately failed to gather enough support, so it's unclear whether the US can actually elect a genuinely progressive leadership. Was Sanders's campaign a success or a failure? Can a younger politician pick up the fight where Sanders left it and succeed where he failed? I wonder... I'm tempted to say that the specter of anticommunism still pervades American politics to this day ; or to put it differently, the apparent failure of communism or "socialism" in the 20th century is something all left-wing movements throughout the world must deal with, and they're not very good at it, because even though Marx is more relevant today than ever, the absence of a credible project as an alternative makes campaigning on such issues difficult to say the least. It's easy to point out that the system is unfair. Offering solutions that are simple enough to translate into political slogans isn't. Sanders was able to present himself as a socialist. Could a successor do the same thing? On the plus side, one may remark that the Democrats were not as crushed by the disappointment and bitterness generated by Obama's failures as one could have expected. Yes, they have been losing, but not by much. One could have expected far far worse. And Trump's success, ironically, was fueled by economic resentment. I often find it easy to think about political strategies as an observer. In this case however, I really don't know what I'd do if I were a Democratic politician. Too much focus on identity politics and you run the risk of being defined by that only - and they've clearly been losing popularity. Too much focus on economic issues and you basically end up advocating "socialism." It's not clear presenting oneself as a new Obama would be a winning strategy now, since the "change" he promised didn't exactly come to pass. So what's left to the American left, uh?
  11. You, I like you. And speaking of nerdy references in British politics...
  12. Which industries do you think they do apply to? (genuinely curious)
  13. Coincidentally, there's some pretty interesting economic analysis dating from 1995 saying that in the next century only about one fifth of the global population will be active workers, earners and consumers. The remaining billions will either have to be kept busy through entertainment (or "tittytainment") or die. Unfortunately, when you try to do some serious research into this on the internet you tend to find bullshit conspiracy websites. This paper is decent though:
  14. I thought the very same thing upon reading the thread title. I immediately thought of Lyanna being a sacrifice for the birth of Jon, and then wondered about Rhaella and Joanna. There is a connection here that is not accidental, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I think we're going to learn more about magic in the next book, and it will become clear that blood magic works in mysterious and powerful ways. Mayhaps like a twisted version of the Lilly Potter sacrifice in another series. And I'm convinced, as I've been for some time now, that at least one of these "big three" will have to sacrifice themselves to set the seasons right and bring balance to the world again. Perhaps ending much of the magic throughout the world and giving us the "bitter-sweetness" that was promised. But this is speculation for another thread.
  15. I get the feeling that governments are actually very efficient at what they do, as long as their action is not undermined by political decisions. But it's just a feeling, and I'm aware of my bias. Simply put, all the modern examples of government failures I can think of are really the product of terrible political decisions, and in the last decades, many of those decisions were completely deliberate. A common conservative strategy throughout the West has been to deliberately cut or misappropriate funding and then claim that agencies or programs were ineffective. My instinct even tells me that there is a very conscious strategy at work there, designed to hide just how efficient governments actually are in order to privatize their services. I've seen numbers not being reported and facts being misrepresented. Thus, people are increasingly convinced that government is bad and will gladly vote against their own interests. If someone knew a good book analysing the subject, it'd be much appreciated. I've read an economist or two having touched on the subject, but they tend to use examples rather than extensive data.