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Rippounet

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  1. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Dude, you'll never cease to amaze me. You spout arch-conservative bullshit for months on end, and suddenly you post this piece which is anti-capitalist enough to make my eurocommie heart swell.
  2. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    'tis something I said last year I think: Democrats are at a disadvantage because they want government to work. Republicans can just fuck everything up and it can still play in their hands.
  3. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    There's something interesting here. Funnily enough, I'm something of an optimist, though it doesn't necessarily show. I do think there are technical solutions to climate change. The thing is, they should have been implemented yesterday. As we procrastinate and lose so much energy because of the resurgent nationalisms of our time, we're only making it increasingly likely that technical solutions alone will not suffice and that we will have to endure some form of "eco-fascism" - as the right would put it. I just can't see who will profit from that... Perhaps in the grand scheme of things it's all for the best: an eco-führer might turn out to be a good ruler, who knows. Not sure veganism as a state religion will be fun though.
  4. Rippounet

    Nightflyers (Syfy)

    Same here. I still enjoyed it though. Once I accepted what genre the show really belonged to (i.e. gory/dark sci-fi) I found it pleasant and well-written. Martin's characters have more depth than the usual kind, and the overall intrigue is stimulating, if only because it's about the nature of first contact (much like several movies I've seen recently, like Arrival and Annihilation). I'd started Origin at the same time - with a comparable premise. Only watched the first episode in the end, because I found it to be more predictable and/or less engaging than Nightflyers. For that alone, I'd give Nightflyers a solid 7/10. I dunno if it's such a cliffhanger.
  5. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Can you oppose something like a Green New Deal and be a centrist? It's a genuine question, but one of semantics. Because US politics have moved so far to the right, it's become difficult to know what a "centrist" is supposed to be. Not that this hasn't been a recurrent question on these threads, but I think it's an important one: when we use a label like "centrist" should we be talking of centrists in the current sense, i.e. left of the Republicans, or centrists in the absolute sense, i.e. to the right of socialists? Climate change throws in an extra layer of difficulty. I don't think anyone reasonable can deny climate change in 2019. Nor can anyone reasonable deny that it requires pretty major policies at this point. So a centrist should not be opposing a "Green New Deal" but simply refusing "extreme" socialist solutions to curb corporate power. A reasonable centrist however should accept that there's simply no way to deal with climate change without at least hurting the industries primarily responsible for it. A reasonable centrist might even have to accept the fact that eternal economic growth is quite simply not fully compatible with the survival of our species. All that is tricky. Climate change basically means that the West cannot protect its "way of life" indefinitely, so this should be a pretty centrist position. However, if you oppose the American "way of life," you're supposed to be a dangerous anti-American commie or something. And fact is, as of now, it's difficult to see how to change our way of life without massive government intervention. Because it seems to me that, on some level, Republicans have a point: anyone wanting to deal with climate change will almost automatically advocate for what are essentially radical leftist policies. So how do you guys make sense of all this mess? Doesn't accepting climate change mean becoming a leftist or even worse? Aren't all reasonable people forced to contemplate becoming radical activists of sorts? Again, not a rhetorical question. My GF is constantly asking me what we should do. As in, what kind of political activism we should engage in. But is there anything centrist at this point? Doesn't climate change mean that there are really two possibilities: denying it and sticking our heads in the sand or becoming radical eco-activists of sorts?
  6. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    This touches on the very nature of our representative democracies, doesn't it? Not everyone's interests end up being represented or defended in the legislature. Politicians do try to cast very wide nets, but even with the best of intentions it's simply not possible to cover issues from too many angles. In the US, assuming an issue is politicized, it's likely to be covered from two opposite angles, with everyone having to choose one side over the other - even if they don't really want to. In multiple-party systems you get more parties representing more angles, but since only one will eventually gain power, you end up with even more malcontents... At least in the US you have federalism that's supposed to deal with that, since issues can be seen differently in different states. Of course, the problem remains on the national level, especially for complex issues that can't be reduced to two opposite positions and yet end up being decided by Congress... Perhaps it's a point for anti-federalism, uh? Sorry, just thinking aloud here, dunno if I'm making sense.
  7. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Random analysis I stumbled upon: I think there's some truth in that. Taking this stand for the wall doesn't make that much sense in the overall picture. Yes, Trump is a moron, but his extremism -as usual- hides deep insecurities. He clings to his base because he fears he doesn't have much besides. And he's probably correct on some level.
  8. Rippounet

    The Orville Season 2

    Man, it really feels like watching ST:TNG doesn't it? Only I hope The Orville goes back to science-fiction at some point. In these first two S2 episodes, the sci-fi setting is more of an excuse to discuss social issues while in the first season most episodes were genuine sci-fi IIRC. I like the TNG vibe but I don't like the Orville characters enough to keep watching them grapple with purely social issues.
  9. Rippounet

    Feminism -- A continuing discussion

    You don't need to pay anyone to do anything, just look for stupid anecdotes and use them to make hasty generalisations. A few cases *are* manufactured but they are very rare imho.
  10. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Ah, fuck, didn't know that. Was kinda hoping he was someone Trump might listen to.
  11. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Although with Trump you can never be sure about anything, I don't think he will declare a state of national emergency. Not for any good reasons, but because Fox & Friends said it wouldn't work:
  12. Rippounet

    SpaceX's Big Falcon Topic 2

    Does China's mission to the dark side of the moon belong here? http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25781/chinas-historic-mission-to-the-dark-side-of-the-moon-is-about-more-than-science I'm intrigued by the idea of a "semi-permanent" base there.
  13. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I agree with almost everything you wrote. Yes, the 99%-1% divide is by far the one with the most merit. Two things though: - Special treatment: in the overall picture, there are few people demanding "special treatment" and many many more who would be content not to face discrimination. Another way to put it is that "special treatments" are often (though not always) extreme means to fight discrimination. Of course, the more limited the resources and the more contentious any means to fight discrimination will become - as you've pretty much pointed out several times I believe. If everyone is struggling, it's much harder to convince people that fighting discrimination is important. - It would be better to write "not all groups are aligned among economic lines." Most of those that come to my mind are. And to be clear, I don't think discrimination is the only cause. Contrary to popular perception there isn's that much social mobility in the US to begin with, which make historical and deterministic perspectives all the more important. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-from-lower-rungs.html?sq=mobility&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all One of the national myths of the US (land of opportunity) is very useful for the top 1%. You're unlikely to want to address income inequality if you think everyone has a chance. But the groups that seem hit the hardest by the lack of social mobility are those at the bottom. That's why I reach a slightly different conclusion in the end: it's not that people are divided into non-economic groups. It's just that many of these groups actually have very similar interests, but tend not to see it that way.
  14. Rippounet

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Those cars better be cleaned every hour or so.
  15. I'm glad these methods are finally going to be burried. When I started teaching we were still being told to use "inferring" as a method to teach English, which basically meant writing sentences on the board and letting students figure the rules out by themselves. Most of us didn't do it thankfully and used good ol' grammar lessons instead, but some did, with devastating consequences for the students. The worst thing about it at the time was that teachers who used "inferring" would often get praise and more from the hierarchy, when everyone knew that they were basically screwing the students up to get a promotion, and their colleagues would have to compensate for the damage done on the students the following year.
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