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Author Topic: Obituary for Facts  (Read 4794 times)
jeremypayne
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 05:30:46 AM »
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It is almost as if this was all some grand joke to illustrate the fallacy of the "golden age" ... sad, really.

Wake-up and smell the bullshit.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2012, 08:17:37 AM »
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I think there really was a Golden Age, but it was a long time ago. Many thousands of years ago. Before the first politicians came on the scene.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 09:12:40 AM »
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So, do tell, Rob - would you have been happy running a home instead of taking photographs?  You seem to have had a choice in how you spent your prime years (you chose photography), but your wife had no option but to be satisfied ensuring that there was a great meal to which you could come home.



Some assumption!

My wife was perfectly able to work (her number was physics and chemistry) and for the first few months of our marriage she did, but when motherhood came knocking at the door like the Avon Lady, she chose home. After the kids were old enough to be in school, she thought about having another crack at working, and she returned to college (and a job) to catch up with developments in her field. A year of that, of wondering if I'd got back home in time to make the kids something to eat for lunch (she didn't dig the idea of them eating school slop) and she decided that choices always have to be made, and hers was to keep the home as numero uno. You bet you never saw such contented faces!

What she experienced had little to do with work; it was all about the concept of personal validity: could she still cut it in the bigger world? Once she realised that she was just as bright as she'd always been, she passed.

Would I have been happy being a househusband? I think the question is basically flawed, and derives from the PC concept of the two sexes being the same. They are not; they are designed for different functions and it's something reflected throughout the natural world. You just can't take the maternal, the nurturer out of the equation and thrust those qualities/requirements onto the other gender. It won't work.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 09:36:32 AM »
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Lots here that I could respond to. My difficulty is how to get from lists of examples, which can be multiplied and debated endlessly on both sides of the argument, to a conclusion about how things are "overall", with confidence that one's judgement isn't distorted by the various failures of mind and body that (for me at least) come with pensionable age, and the resulting difficulty in adapting to rapid change.  Things may not look so bright, but how can you be sure it isn't your eyesight? My children, who, in their thirties, are just as polite as I ever was, see a lot of challenges and seem up for the task of overcoming them, as I was at their age. My grandchildren and their friends are literate, numerate, interested in school, and show no propensity to resort to violence or oaths. They give me what I consider to be good reasons to be hopeful, and I don't see why I should assume that everybody else's children and grandchildren are that different. I certainly agree that greed, hatred,  ignorance, sickness, old age, death, and various species of idiot are just as prevalent as they always were, but I don't think they are any more prevalent.



Ken, all of these exchanges of points of view are the same: they are coloured by personal experience and I can't see any way around that. My own grandchildren are far brighter academically than ever I was; they have sharper minds and are much more street savvy and aware than I have ever been. Equally, I can't remember an earlier time when I used to be afraid to walk by myself in our local park in Scotland. Today, having last visited the place about eight years ago, and with memories of the changes I saw, I'd be very concerned to wander there alone again.  With a camera? Never again, and more's the pity as we used to have wonderful autumn colours in the trees every year.

But it doesn’t have to be something confined to cities, either. Here, on Mallorca, there is a couple of reservoirs up in the Tramuntana mountain chain where you can park and go for walks. When we first came here to live some thirty years ago, I would think nothing of parking, pulling out the tripod and doing some stock. Since then, tourists have been held up at knife point up in those mountains and I wouldn’t try doing any work up there today. Lonely rural places are becoming just as dangerous as the cities always were. This is all new here, there are no wild animals with four legs to fear, only the two-legged ones.

But hell, as you say, that’s probably only another item on a list, so I might as well just fold.

;-)

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 09:39:22 AM »
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I think there really was a Golden Age, but it was a long time ago. Many thousands of years ago. Before the first politicians came on the scene.


Certainly before Columbus, for many.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2012, 09:52:38 AM »
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Russ, I wouldn't dispute the proposition that there are downsides to my upsides. What I am arguing is that one needs to be very cautious about one's personal disposition to focus on the one rather than the other.

I'd be the first to agree with that, Ken. I see all sorts of bright spots in our future. At the rate technology is exploding we'll soon have the hardware and software to solve just about any physical problem that besets mankind. Of course that assumes we don't blow ourselves up like a kid playing with an adult chemistry set.

But in the moral sphere we're not doing so well, and sometimes it's necessary to rebut the short-term-memory idea that things are getting better and better. At the moment they're not, and a single statistic: that in the U.S. approximately 41% of children are born out of wedlock is enough to make the point. Unfortunately the trend continues to accelerate. And I don't use the term "moral" to mean religious doctrine. Morality -- treating your neighbor with dignity and consideration -- is essential to civilization, and our loss of civilization, as a result of our loss of morality has overfilled our prisons and turned once beautiful cities such as Detroit into disaster areas.

The problem is solvable, but to solve it we first have to recognize that it exists.

It is almost as if this was all some grand joke to illustrate the fallacy of the "golden age" ... sad, really.

Wake-up and smell the bullshit.

If you're going to talk about "bullshit" Jeremy you'd better specify what it is you think is "bullshit." It's also incumbent on you to tell why you think it's bullshit.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:43:01 PM by RSL » Logged

jeremypayne
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2012, 10:51:47 AM »
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If you're going to talk about "bullshit" Jeremy you'd better specify what it is you think is "bullshit." It's also incumbent on you to tell why you think it's bullshit.

Ken's done a great job of identifying and pointing out the biases. This is also well-traveled territory. 

I'll just assert that a few hundred years ago, the world was a brutal, impoverished, unfair and filthy place. 

How lucky you were to have caught this brief window of civility and perfection in between then and now ...
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RSL
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2012, 12:34:57 PM »
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I'll just assert that a few hundred years ago, the world was a brutal, impoverished, unfair and filthy place. 

And it was even worse than that a thousand years ago, Jeremy. But what's that got to do with this discussion?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2012, 12:48:19 PM »
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Jeremy, I think you are unjustifiably harsh and uncharacteristically impolite. Too bad.

I also think that at such high level of generalization and abstraction, both sides could claim they are right, just like in the debates whether  equipment matters. Generalizations require context to be understood properly.

However, it is perfectly human to lament the demise of something specific, like civility, in isolation from the grand scheme of things. And that is what Rob and Russ are doing, and I can totally identify with that. In other words, allow us to lament something without the immediate need to excuse our "weakness" by admitting that, say, life expectancy today is better than yesterday, or that there is a vaccine for polio.

I lament the demise of newspapers, for instance, although I can not remember when was the last time I took one in my hands, let alone paid for one (probably when I am on the plane, as they give them for free, hehe). I lament the times when my day would start with a newspaper and coffee. The paper I used to read was my trusted source, journalists working there were the best in their profession, building reputation carefully and steadily over the years. You could say: "i know it is true, I read it in..." and people would agree. I get my news on the internet these days. I skim dozens of "news" sites within minutes, and barely read further than the headline or a few introductory paragraphs. TMI (too much information), too little knowledge (I know it must be there, but probably buried under gazillion of other sources). And if I dared to say today: "i know it is true, I read it on the internet", you also know most reasonable people would be ROTFL (at this point, allow me to lament the demise of eloquent writing too, while we resort to those awful acronyms).

I lament the time when sexuality, like other private matters, was indeed that, private, not "proudly" paraded on the streets, in the worst display of public debauchery and decadence since Roman orgies.

I can only admire Ken for his parental skills, but my teenage daughter, and her female classmates, swear like a drunken sailor. There is certainly some guilt of mine in that, but it is so hard to overcome the peer pressure, Internet, media, YouTube, etc., which are much more influential (and omnipresent) source of education these days than parents and schools, and which make it "cool" for girls to swear (or gang beat the crap out of other girls and post it on YouTube, proudly).

Taken in isolation, certain things were better yesterday (just ask Stamper Wink)



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Slobodan

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jeremypayne
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« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2012, 02:02:16 PM »
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Jeremy, I think you are unjustifiably harsh and uncharacteristically impolite. Too bad.

You are right ... my apologies.

What Ken said ... should have left it at that, he was doing fine until I fouled it up ...
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2012, 02:59:07 PM »
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I lament the time when sexuality, like other private matters, was indeed that, private, not "proudly" paraded on the streets, in the worst display of public debauchery and decadence since Roman orgies.

Taken in isolation, certain things were better yesterday (just ask Stamper Wink)




Yesterday afternoon I parked as usual in the Pollensa town carpark. There was an old Mercedes parked maybe twenty-five yards away, with a young couple hugging and leaning against it. I returned, perhaps an hour later (broad daylight) and the car was still there, but the pair now inside... I mean, can't they wait until its dark? It really won't go off.

Everything used as an example is in a state of isolation; it's just that so many isolated things add up to a pretty depressing whole, as we point out!

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2012, 03:33:22 PM »
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Lots here that I could respond to. My difficulty is how to get from lists of examples, which can be multiplied and debated endlessly on both sides of the argument, to a conclusion about how things are "overall", with confidence that one's judgement isn't distorted by the various failures of mind and body that (for me at least) come with pensionable age, and the resulting difficulty in adapting to rapid change.  Things may not look so bright, but how can you be sure it isn't your eyesight? My children, who, in their thirties, are just as polite as I ever was, see a lot of challenges and seem up for the task of overcoming them, as I was at their age. My grandchildren and their friends are literate, numerate, interested in school, and show no propensity to resort to violence or oaths. They give me what I consider to be good reasons to be hopeful, and I don't see why I should assume that everybody else's children and grandchildren are that different. I certainly agree that greed, hatred,  ignorance, sickness, old age, death, and various species of idiot are just as prevalent as they always were, but I don't think they are any more prevalent.

I don't want to beat it to death, Ken, but all four of my sons, who range from late forties to almost sixty, all eight of my grandsons, the youngest of whom is in his early twenties, and all six of my granddaughters, the youngest of whom will graduate from college next month, are, as you say, at least as polite as I ever was, especially taking into account that I was a professional soldier for 26 years. My sons have overcome multiple challenges too. My oldest is a software engineer competent enough that, though he works for a large company, recently spent a month doing his work on a friend's boat while sailing around southern seas. My second is a very successful attorney. My third is a software engineer/businessman who, with his partner, built a business they're about to sell for a lot more money than I've ever dreamed of. My fourth is an environmental engineer who, from scratch, built a company that has a huge yard full of trucks outside a large building, and that does environmental engineering through several states up and down the front range of the Rocky Mountains. My oldest granddaughter is a successful attorney, and all down the ladder of that generation my grandkids are overcoming their own challenges and certainly seem up to the task of continuing to overcome them.

My kids and your kids, and a bunch more like them are what will salvage the whole situation if we don't reach the point where the situation becomes unsalvageable. But beyond that, I'm not "assuming" anything. As I said earlier, it's not just the statistics that tell you how many kids are in trouble, and how many young black men are in prison, and how many people OD on a single day, etc., etc., etc., that should give you pause, it's simply walking into a local mall and looking around at the people and listening to them. You don't have to "assume" that anybody else's kids and grandkids are "that different." All you have to do is a little legwork. It's not that these are bad people, or that there's more greed, hatred, sickness, old age, death, and various species of idiot than there ever were. But I certainly believe there's more ignorance than there was fifty years ago, and, perhaps worst of all, there's almost no civility left. Without civility you can't really have a civilization.
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kencameron
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2012, 04:57:19 PM »
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...sometimes it's necessary to rebut the short-term-memory idea that things are getting better and better. ...

I couldn't agree more. I would say exactly the same things about that idea as I do about the idea that they are getting worse and worse.
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RSL
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2012, 04:58:53 PM »
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I lament the demise of newspapers. . .

Slobodan, not all newspapers are in demise. Check the WSJ, which is growing, while it sits there and watches the NYT commit seppuku.
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kencameron
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« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2012, 05:03:03 PM »
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However, it is perfectly human to lament the demise of something specific, like civility, in isolation from the grand scheme of things. And that is what Rob and Russ are doing, and I can totally identify with that. In other words, allow us to lament something without the immediate need to excuse our "weakness" by admitting that, say, life expectancy today is better than yesterday, or that there is a vaccine for polio.

Taken in isolation, certain things were better yesterday (just ask Stamper Wink)


Rob at least was quite explicitly talking about how things were, and are, "overall". I have no problem with anyone lamenting the demise of anything and certainly don't regard that as a weakness. I too am keenly aware of a number of things that, taken in isolation, were better yesterday.
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kencameron
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2012, 05:10:52 PM »
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...it's simply walking into a local mall and looking around at the people and listening to them..

I do spend time in malls and my legs, thanks to knee replacements, are still capable of a little work. I see evidence of greed, hatred and ignorance, but also families out together and kids having a good time. Not so much incivility - maybe I am fortunate in my locality. I get the feeling that some of what you and maybe others are lamenting is change in the USA. It was good to hear about how well your kids are doing.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2012, 05:17:18 PM »
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Slobodan, not all newspapers are in demise. Check the WSJ, which is growing, while it sits there and watches the NYT commit seppuku.

No wonder... being the paper "of the 1%, for the 1%, by the 1%", given that the 1% are doing quite good, while the 99% will indeed soon need to resort to seppuku (I know I will have to).
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« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2012, 06:17:23 PM »
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Not exactly, Slobodan. If only the 1% subscribe to the WSJ, why is the WSJ circulation rising? I've never heard of 1% becoming some other %. If they become the 2%, then they're no longer the 1%. Are you saying that the number of people included in 1% is growing? Or that as the 1% becomes wealthier they take out WSJ subscriptions? If so, the people being added must be unionized government employees.
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RSL
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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2012, 06:19:10 PM »
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maybe I am fortunate in my locality. I get the feeling that some of what you and maybe others are lamenting is change in the USA.

Maybe it would help to clarify things to know what your locality is. There's a place for it in your profile info.
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Farmer
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2012, 07:41:36 PM »
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Some assumption!

My wife was perfectly able to work (her number was physics and chemistry) and for the first few months of our marriage she did, but when motherhood came knocking at the door like the Avon Lady, she chose home. After the kids were old enough to be in school, she thought about having another crack at working, and she returned to college (and a job) to catch up with developments in her field. A year of that, of wondering if I'd got back home in time to make the kids something to eat for lunch (she didn't dig the idea of them eating school slop) and she decided that choices always have to be made, and hers was to keep the home as numero uno. You bet you never saw such contented faces!

What she experienced had little to do with work; it was all about the concept of personal validity: could she still cut it in the bigger world? Once she realised that she was just as bright as she'd always been, she passed.

Would I have been happy being a househusband? I think the question is basically flawed, and derives from the PC concept of the two sexes being the same. They are not; they are designed for different functions and it's something reflected throughout the natural world. You just can't take the maternal, the nurturer out of the equation and thrust those qualities/requirements onto the other gender. It won't work.

Rob C

Oh, I see.  The old chestnut of man=hunter, woman=gatherer.

Further discussion is fairly pointless at this stage.
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