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Knight Of Winter

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About Knight Of Winter

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    Northern Bound
  • Birthday 01/05/1989

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    Croatia

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  1. Knight Of Winter

    What should be done... about climate change

    Don't see any inconsistency. Individuals (and countries) need to make changes even though they are insignificant. For a multitude of reasons: being principled (i.e. consistant with your values), not being hypocritical (i.e. expecting others to shoulder a burden you yourself are unwilling to take), encouraging others to adopt similar behaviour etc. If fight against climate change is an individual's goal, he will (and should) pursue it regardless of what other people do. And who knows, if enough people (and countries, and organizations, and companies) adopt the similar principle - results will be far from insignificant.
  2. Knight Of Winter

    What should be done... about climate change

    Just to kick off with few things about religion and religious approach to fighting climate change: first off, thinking that it's more prone to cause violence is not, IMO, supported by human history. For the most part, wars and conflicts had other causes: Greeks and Romans, for example, never conquered other in name of religion. Mongol Empire, one of the most brutal conquering nations in history of humanity - was religiously pretty tolerant. And for many millennia eastern Asia was a site for interplay between many different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc. The only two major exceptions to this: Christianity and Islam. A digression: research was done about actual causes of human violence, and the answers were pretty diverse: from absence of central authority to having your status and wealth measured by goods which can't be easily stored and protected (such as livestock). With that said, I don't think that religious approach to combating climate change would work. As we can all agree, climate change is a definite problem, and ideally you'd want a open-minded system which pools various ideas and solutions and filters out best ones to actually implement. Religion, with its tendencies towards dogmatism, isn't one such system. Secondly, who's to say that people in charge of climate change (i.e. religious leaders) would be the ones best fit for the job? Most likely they would end up a bunch of demagogues, populists and schemers - rather than actually competent ones. And lastly, this new religion would fall under the category of monotheistic (just replace "god" with "fight against climate change") and universal one - just the type that's historically most likely to e.g. be intolerant, punish "heretics", wage wars etc. And now for the main topic: climate change. The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts". With that kind of attitude, you don't really need climate change deniers: eco-movement will simply sabotage itself from within. Second would be the realization what humanity isn't just damaging environment for shits and giggles: the energy and resources produced this way is actively raising the living standard of billions of human beings. It lifted and continues to lift millions from poverty. It helps to end world hunger. Etc. Rich people and corporations may indeed be the ones who are profiting the most from environmental damage, but they're also the ones who will lose the least once the change becomes necessary. They're rich: they'll make do with alternative approaches, no matter how expensive or inefficient they currently are. But poor and developing countries, who are using fossile fuels to...well, stop being poor - they're the ones I'm worried about the most. They're the ones who will pay the highest price if some hypothetical international eco-laws were passed tomorrow. Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit. And some countries are just particularly ignorant of the necessities: I'm talking about Russia and USA, for example. And especially USA under Trump. With all o this I'm not for a moment saying we should give up on our fight for better and cleaner planet. What I am saying is that change won't be easy. It won't be pleasant - in fact it will likely cause pain and suffering for people who are the least responsible about the whole situation we've found ourselves it. In fact - I'm considering this to be a first major test for humanity as a global whole. If everyone sets their personal interest aside to fight a common enemy - it may be possible to avert a disaster. If not - well, we will have only ourselves to blame.
  3. Knight Of Winter

    Anime

    Thanks again. From what I hear, Fate series is indeed a rabbit hole As for Kara Kyoukai's fifth film - yes, I believe that's the one. Madoka I've watched relatively recently, and I've liked it. Psycho-Pass one among the first anime series for me, and it's still one of my favourites. But since I see we have similar taste in anime, allow me to venture a recommendation or two of my own. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - perhaps the best-known anime cyberpunk series. The concept is very similar to Psycho-Pass, indeed SAC was one of the main influences for PP's creators. Again we have a group of police officers (although they're more like special agents in SAC's case) who live and operate in technology-dominated, slightly dystopian world of the future. Themes are also recognizable: the relationship between humanity and technology in years to come, how will technology change our lives for better or worse; and how humanity itself will change, relationship between body and mind etc. Not to be confused with Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell movie with Scarlett Johansson - which is a remake of (also great) 1995 Japanese animated movie, but with significant drop in quality. Shinsekai Yori (aka From the New World). A relatively little known anime, which is a pity, considering it's one of the most unique and interesting examples of the medium I've experienced. Set in a apparently utopian future, where people happily live in arcadian little villages, with everyone able to use magic and being genetically conditioned not to use violence against each other. However, soon a series a strange events occurs, and plot slowly starts to unravel. Primarily a social commentary, but also mystery, drama and coming-of-age story, I can't recommend it high enough.
  4. Knight Of Winter

    Anime

    Thanks, I've bookmarked El-Melloi Case Files to watch later Having also watched Kara no Kyoukai, I've very much liked them - definitely one of the best thriller anime I've seen. 5th movie was the best, IMO: intriguing plot, good mystery, great action and non-linear storytelling made for a awesome combination. And Yuki Kaijura of course, whose music elevates every anime she's ever worked on.
  5. Knight Of Winter

    Anime

    As someone who seems to have watched a lot of Fate series, which ones would you recommend? I've watched only Fate Zero and Unlimited Blade Works so far, and heard that series quality rapidly drops in lot of other Fate iterations.
  6. Knight Of Winter

    Workable Socialism

    Interesting and informative. Thanks for this info.
  7. Knight Of Winter

    Workable Socialism

    What OldGimletEye said in the beginning is the crux of every problem: there are just too many ways people see and define socialism that it's nigh impossible to discuss it with everyone involved thinking about the same thing. Does socialism include abolition of private property or not? Can it work alongside capitalism or not? Is it compatible with democracy or not? Ask 20 different people (even in this thread) and they'll give you 20 different threads. With all that in mind, some common grounds are necessary for this discussion, so I'll take this as a starting point: Nordic model - which is currently, IMO, one of the best - if the the best - economic systems Earth can offer right now. Every great idea (with regards to economy) left had during the last 2 centuries: fight against poverty, limiting the wealth disparity, workers' rights and unions, social state, regulated market etc. has been well incorporated with free market, private property and other tenets of capitalism. And it seems they've achieved a pretty good balance: Nordic countries are continuously at the top with regards to the GDP per capita, and more importantly their HDI, their reported levels of their citizens' happiness etc. Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. Socialist firms, where workers own at least a percentage of their company: in theory, this has the valid psychological background - people should work better and harder, and be less alienated - if they actively partook in the companies they work. In practice - it didn't work so well. A variant of this was tried in former Yugoslavia - they called it "self-governance", and it turned out that working in a company doesn't mean per se that you're qualified to successfully lead it. I'm even skeptical from a purely ideological point: namely that it makes workers happier and less alienated from their work. I'm interested, for example, if you rounded up thousands of successful, happy or fulfilled workers in carious companies and asked them about reasons for their job satisfaction. I'd speculate that almost none of them would cite I'm a shareholder in my company as their reason, instead noting stuff like: my job suits my interests and personality or I have a good salary or working atmosphere is great and similar reasons. Soviet model - this one has conclusively been proven to not work, over and over and over again. It led to tens of millions of deaths of people supposedly killed in the name of perfect society to be: from malnutrition, gulags, political persecutions and other causes (and that's not even counting Stalin's incompetent leadership in WWII, causing way more Soviet deaths than it should). It violently dealt with anyone who dared to think differently - ridiculing traditionally left ideas such as inclusiveness and diversity of thought. It oppressed and violently subdued its client states who dared to rebel (like Hungary and Czechoslovakia). And though it did achieve some stunning successes in their space program, it came at the cost of welfare of ordinary citizens. American economy was strong enough to pump billions of dollars into space program and still work - Soviet economy wasn't. Even its supposed economic successes are dubious. I mean, just look at Germany: divided between capitalist and democratic and capitalist West Germany and Soviet puppet state East Germany. Both of them suffered collapse and huge devastation as a consequence of WWII, and both had to be built basically from the scratch. If Soviet economic system truly was superior, East Germany should have come out on top, right? Well, it didn't - by the time of 80s and 90s, West Germany was several times richer, while East Germany was the one who had to build a wall in order to stop its citizens from defecting. No wonder that Russia, along with former Soviet republics, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Albania, Poland, Bulgaria and Hungray all voluntarily abandoned communism the first chance they got in late 80s and early 90s.
  8. Knight Of Winter

    What binds people together (?)

    I really don't see any condescension either way. If I made a wrong reading of your tone or your meaning - simply point it out and I'll try to correct it. Without implying condescension. Sigh...I only used that phrase because you yourself quoted it from Kalbear's post. It's simple and straightforward, so I assume everyone will understand my meaning. Yeah...that's how inductive reasoning works. If you get repeated evidence for A, you'll assume A is indeed correct, unless you have some good reason to believe otherwise. Else you couldn't prove or disprove existence of anything: you couldn't infer the non-existance of unicorns from repeated observation of non-unicorn animals. So, overall, are there some evidence that morality is at least in part hardwired in brain - yes. Is there evidence to the contrary - that morality is completely taught - no, as far as I know. So I don't see how would it be logically fallacious to assume the former as truth. Of course, if you have proof for the latter case - please present it. Ok, maybe I didn't clarify enough in my first post. There was no two sets of experiments. When I said that A knew that B would reject the "unfair" offer, I thought it was clear that A used his innate moral sense of fairness to see that e.g. 90-10 offer will be considered unfair and assume (correctly) that B will be outraged to even hear it suggested; hence he refrained from making such an offer in the first place. I really didn't come here to dabble in semantics, and my knowledge of English is not good enough to know how strong of a claim wording "pretty much" describes. So I'll put it in simpler terms: every society that I know of, and every society that psychologists I know of who researched that subject - like Haidt and Pinker to a lesser extent - has some universal principles for its morality: fairness, care, purity etc. Yes, they may differ on opinions about "what is pure" or "what is harmful", but core principles remain the same. I won't go into much depth, Kalbear already did it in his response. Of course, should you have any counterarguments which prove the opposite, I'm all ears. I understand your argument here and don't disagree with it much. My point was that "traditional" in-group feeling was based on personal knowledge of your fellow in-group member: he was a part of your tribe; or a colleague; or a freind - in any case, someone whom you knew and interacted on a regular basis; and your "in-group" sentiment was based on that personal relationship the two of you shared. I find it remarkable achievement of human psyche that that same in-group feeling started (in case of nationalism) being based not on personal knowledge of said individual, but on the fact that both of you belong to some vague abstract concept, such as state or religion. Nationalism (in the way we today understand the word) is indeed a recent invention - for it is based of a presumption that all inhabitants of some country share a connection, a bond that unites them into a greater whole known as state. For the most of human history, such a feat was impossible: you could maybe invoke a sense of national pride in e.g. Spanish noble or perhaps a citizen; but majority of population was made of farmers and peasants who couldn't care less about some abstract entity which doesn't influence their daily lives at all. They could perhaps feel a sense of belonging to a local community or some other kind of local-patriotism, but that's as far as it went. Some common connection based of a fact that all of them are part of Spanish nation was non-existent. Peasant from Leon felt no common ground with peasant from Aragon whatsoever. Only in cca 19th century did countries became strong enough, and technology advanced enough for rulers to reach all of their subject and instill in them a sense of common national belonging. As for racism, it's indeed old and common - what I said was that it was not universal; that it was far from norm. Some societies were racist, others weren't. I questioned whether something sporadic (such as racism) could be considered an offshoot of something well-established and universal (such as monkeysphere).
  9. Knight Of Winter

    What binds people together (?)

    I'd honestly like to know what's so terrifying about the possibility the human morality comes in part from brain wiring, from nature as opposed to nurture? If it were indeed the case, how would it it any way diminish our morality or our striving to act in a moral manner? As to your question - there's a relatively easy way to check this. If large multitude of people have moral reaction (positive or negative) to the same issue, we can pretty safely assume that their moral reaction is natural. For it's exceedingly unlikely that all of these subjects had exactly the same moral upbringing that lead them to execute exactly the same moral judgement. Or even better, check subjects cross-culturally to eliminate the influence of one particular culture. Famous Ultimatum game is one such example. The experiment goes like this: person A is given 100 bucks, and must divide them in any way between himself and person B. If person B accepts A's suggestion - they both get what A proposed. If B rejects, nobody gets anything. Now, normally you could expect different reactions from different B's to various offers. For example, if offered some ridiculously small amount (like 5 or 10 dollars) - you'd expect that many of them would accept the offer: after all, getting 10 dollars is infinitely better then getting none. But no, all of them furiously rejected. And not only that, they were offended to be even offered such a small amount. Knowing that, A's would not propose such deals, offering either half or close-to-half split in most cases (like 50-50 or 60-40). So this would suggest, for example, that people have some innate notion of fairness ingrained in them; some sense of fair play and reciprocity. Otherwise, they would not all feel cheated in experiment above. And indeed, if you asked random people about their notion of morality, most would naturally list fairness of a integral part of it. Of course, fairness is not the only element of morality - you could list others as well, such as loyalty or care or purity etc. These may be up to debate. But what I believe is certain is that there are some universal factors upon which humans base their morality; otherwise social mores would not be in part so similar all around the world. Pretty much all societies promoted fairness and kindness within the group (what exactly is a group is a trickier question. It may be a family, tribe or a social class. It goes back to important in-group vs out-group distinction mentioned earlier), punished arbitrary violence, murder or cheating within the group, rewarded loyalty, shown disgust for things they considered impure etc.
  10. Knight Of Winter

    What binds people together (?)

    Is it? Monkeysphere (and in-group vs out-group distinction in general) is as old as humans - or even older - appearing in every person in every society ever made. Latter two are not: nationalism, as we now understand it - started to develop only in 19th century. Racism as well - it was fa(aa)r from norm in human history. I've even heard Harari speak how nationalism could be considered as a step in tight direction. Before, people felt loyalty to their immediate family, friends and colleagues. Nationalism far broadened the scale, making people loyal to millions of strangers whom they've never met before. Next logical step would be to include not only one nation, but entire humanity into that circle of loyalty (as much as human nature allows, of course. People will always i.e. put interests of their kin ahead of interests of stranger; no matter how nationalistic or humanistic they are). Speaking of which, I think he was on the right track when he wrote about the very issue this thread is about: what binds people together. For smaller numbers (up to Dunbar's number linked by Kalbear): it's informal stuff such as loyalty based of kinhsip or friendship, common goals, shared interests etc. The concept of monkeysphere refers to this type of relationships: always informal and always on personal level. For larger groups, on the other hand, it's always a shared belief in some abstract common myth, and this can be applied to nations, religions, money, political parties etc.
  11. Knight Of Winter

    Cool ASOIAF knowledge and trivia for a quiz

    Thanks, Euron
  12. Knight Of Winter

    Cool ASOIAF knowledge and trivia for a quiz

    Moderate to slightly hard - questions which readers who casually read the books once would not know most of the time, but which average e.g. forum contributor would usually know. And related exclusively to the main series and information available there - so no F&B, TWOIAF, PATQ, D&E novellas and such.
  13. I'm currently making a quiz for ASOIAF - the book series, not the show - and as always, I'm looking to make questions cool, interesting and requiring good knowledge of the books. So, I'd like to ask anyone who's willing to help. What cool, unusual, deep or interesting piece of ASOIAF plot or lore do you think would make a good quiz question? Feel free to be creative. Any help is appreciated
  14. Knight Of Winter

    Billionaires, making the world a better place (for them)

    In which case, we're on pretty much same page, along with everyone else. I'm hard pressed to find anyone who'd argue that various people should not have equal opportunity. However, this is not what good portion of these thread is about. Some posters here are not talking about better education, state support for young start-up businesses, scholarships for excellent students, call for more transparent relations between companies and politics, anti-dumping laws and other stuff which could be categorized under equal opportunity set of goals. What they are talking about is taxing and distrusting the rich (OP even claims we shouldn't trust them when they're giving away to charities), because being rich must mean they got their wealth in unfair or deceitful way, and thus need to be "punished". That's not equal outcome per se, but it's a step in that direction. Please, do tell more, for it sounds swell. When and where was it? Where can I find more information? Correct, but redundant, I think. Pretty much everyone reasonable today thinks that public education should be free, available to everyone and as good as it can get (at least in Europe; in USA, if I understood correctly, students struggle for years or even decades to repay their student loans after they've graduated) - indeed, it's one of pillars of equal opportunity you mentioned above.
  15. Knight Of Winter

    Billionaires, making the world a better place (for them)

    My point was - even in most equal society with everyone starting with equal wealth and equal opportunities - some people will rise to the (economic) top thanks to competence, ability or at least sheer luck. Society with equal outcome for everyone would thus be deeply unfair. Other than that, I pretty much concur with this part of your post. Yeah, it is "undeserved" that some people are enjoying a luxurious life through inheritance rather than doing anything productive, but I don't see any good way to fix this. You're arguing against social darwinism here, which is not the ideology I either support or think anyone should be implementing. Just as I think there's bound to be inequality in any society, no matter how just or fair, I'm also aware that these inequalities are (partially) fault of rigged system. If there's anything I'm arguing against - these are oversimplifications of the problem of social (in)equality and naive solutions that people propose. Lots of people here seem to think that taxing the shit out of rich at every opportunity is the magic wand that will make all things better, which is, IMO, gross oversimplification. If it's possible, when are where was it achieved - in which country and in what time period? I'm not being facetious here - I'd genuinely like to know. Lots of legitimate criticisms can be thrown out before capitalism: that it cares more for abstract concept of money rather than people, that it exploits, that it alienates the worker from his work etc. However, it has at least one thing going for it: sheer productivity. It always produces more resources than either feudalism or communism or any other economic system. Since we're talking about malnutrition, do you know when was the last time western country (as apotheoses of capitalism) was struck by a natural famine? Sweden, in 1869. What was the last time communist or non-capitalist country in general was struck? Much more recent, and with much higher death toll: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines .I find it very hard to argue that socioeconomic system has nothing to do with it. One could also argue that advances in science and technology had something to do with it, that new scientific discoveries and technological advancement improved quality of life for everyday people, and that reflected in less poverty, longer life expectancy, less malnutrition and other similar stuff. But then again, which countries made most technological and economical advances advances in the last few centuries - capitalist or non-capitalist? Which countries invented/discovered electricity, steam energy, trains, cars, radio internet, market stock or most vaccines? Like you, I also think capitalism is full of flaws. I'm not defending it because I think it's great, but because I think all the other systems we tried are much worse. Nowdays, in the 21st century, pretty much every person that posts here is living in a capitalist system with some socialist elements. Personally, I think that this combination works better than anything else and that we should contunue investing in it - if nothing else, for the lack of better alternatives. If you have a different opinion, I'm eager for a discussion. Yes, I'm calling it great, because it's way way better than anything we had in the last 10,000 years. Teleport yourself to pretty much any country during any period of human history and you'd see what I'm talking about. You'd encounter widespread poverty. Constant wars. People getting killed literally in millions by diseases today eradicated. You'd face slavery pretty much everywhere. You'd see most children dying before the age of 15, if they managed to survive than long at all. To not call today's world "great" would be deeply dishonest in my mind. And all of this is not a reasons for complacency and self-pride, but rather a somber call to improve even further and eradicate poverty and diseases once and for all, to enable people all around the world lives worthy of human beings. And if you're worried about "we have the resources to end starvation virtually overnight", consider that this is probably the first time in history that we can make such a claim. Before people were starving not just because of uneven distribution, but for simple lack of resources. That we even have enough to feed all the people is a huge step forward. As I noted, if we're more concerned about the poor that about the rich, let's consider the fact that being poor nowdays is much better than being poor 100 or 1000 years ago. It would mean that we're at least doing something right regards to distribution of our resources
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