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Patch93 said:

The difference is that Communism is fundamentally flawed in many aspects, more so than Capitalism. Even if Stalin never rose to power, Communism still likely would have never worked out.

And you are right, Capitalism does have its flaws, but it doesn't help that there are people who do take advantage of those flaws.


I think it really just depends on the model of capitalism used. A pure capitalist system of the variant that Milton Friedman would have liked doesn't and hasn't existed anywhere in the world. And it's a good thing as well, because such a system would be terrible and would not work at all.

I am personally in favor of a economic-liberal/social-conservative combo. I feel that capitalism is generally better at creating wealth than the state, but that the state is needed to create and maintain social order (I don't subscribe to social-liberalism for this exact reason) and that this means that individualism sometimes has to take a backseat to the greater good of the community. I also believe that capitalism though mostly good is not always 100% perfect like some libetards do.

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Jaxxoon R said:

Even Lowtax & Shmorky?


Haven't seen any with those guys, but then I haven't followed Something Awful in years.

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I actually wasn't really into Let's Plays until Game Grumps - but then, honestly, I'm rarely watching Game Grumps to actually watch them play the games. Last time I ever actually really paid attention to the game itself was Spore, but that was mostly because of how creative you can be with the game, and seeing them make a bunch of dick monsters was half the fun. Otherwise, really, Game Grumps could just be "Egoraptor et. al. Shoot the Shit," without any games or context whatsoever, and it'd probably be just as entertaining. Heck, there have been times when I've loaded up Game Grumps and actually minimized it so I could do other things while listening, because listening to them shoot the shit was far more interesting than actually watching the game itself.

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Patch93 said:

Blame the greedy corporate money grubbers who abuse Capitalism, not Capitalism itself.


The same could be said of the equivalent money grubbing -or rather, privilege-abusing- Nomenklatura of Communism.

So, in the end, nobody can prove that it's the systems themselves that are flawed, but it's because of imperfect people that they fail.

hardcore_gamer said:

A pure capitalist system of the variant that Milton Friedman would have liked doesn't and hasn't existed anywhere in the world.


At least (most) Socialist governments were honest enough to admit that their particular flavour of Socialism wasn't "The One True Socialistm", but that they were to be considered "transitory" forms of governments, that would eventually lead to Perfect Socialism.

No such claim has even been made by any non-Socialist government, e.g. that they are striving to achieve "Perfect Capitalism", someday, somehow.

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It's contradictory to say a pedophile is mentally ill without saying homosexuality is a mental disorder as well.

Go ahead and tell me I think it's okay to fuck a kid though. You're wrong.

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flubbernugget said:

It's contradictory to say a pedophile is mentally ill without saying homosexuality is a mental disorder as well.

Go ahead and tell me I think it's okay to fuck a kid though. You're wrong.

I don't see how it's a contradiction. It's all a matter of understanding what "mental illness" means. More or less, the definition of a mental illness is a little more, what's the word I'm looking for, plastic than that of a physical illness. By that I mean, with physical illness, there are physical signs and symptoms which can be measured objectively - well not always, but often. I mean for instance, pain, and how much of it you're experiencing, can be very subjective, but for the most part, you can make observations, perform tests, grow cultures, etc. to quantify the illness or disorder. Such as, if you have a cold, this could theoretically be determined by actually looking for the virus under a microscope. Of course, that's rarely done, but it could be done if you so wished it.

Mental illness, however, is much more subjective. There are tests you can perform, but the tests themselves can be very subjective. In certain cases, maybe you can scan for certain brain patterns, but for the most part, determining mental illness is judged largely on your behavior itself and interpreting that behavior. And your behavior itself is measured for criteria such as, "Is it out of the ordinary? Does it go against societal standards? Does it cause harm to yourself or others?"

The first two questions I stated aren't specifically indicative of mental illness in themselves. You may have odd quirks, you may go against societal norms, and not be considered mentally ill. It's that last question, whether you cause harm to yourself or others, that is the most important one. It's the question that separates pedophilia from homosexuality. It's also the reason homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness in the DSM. Being homosexual, and practicing homosexuality, is not in itself cause for harm to either yourself or others, even though it may go against societal norms (and while going against those norms can result in harm, the harm itself is not directly caused by being homosexual - in this case, it's because of how others react to you and treat you). This differentiates homosexuality from pedophilia in that we've established that pedophilia does cause harm to the minor involved in the relationship (I'm not going to get into an argument regarding people who claim that pedophilia is not harmful to children - just ugh, that's a whole other can of worms). A homosexual couple can be homosexual and be completely happy and functional in society - be upstanding members of the community, hold down jobs, etc., without harming anyone else. And it is that distinction, the ability to be happy and functional and not cause harm to others, that separates it from pedophilia, in which a child is always harmed in the relationship, no matter the intentions. And because of that distinction, that is why one can be considered a mental disorder and the other not, even though on a fundamental level, both seem similar in that they're both simply people who deviate from social sexual norms.

I dunno, that's kinda long-winded, there are parts I probably could've explained better, and all in all, I'm not even sure I want to open this can of worms by even putting this out there, but I felt I owed it to my college degree to at least give it a shot to try to clarify some things, whether you agree with me or not in the end.

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I think optical discs are overrated. Seriously, they've been around since the late 70s. Despite having digital data, they're actually analog. They've been using EFM (eight to fourteen modulation) since the first consumer audio CD to convert analog pulse frequency to digital.

All a cd/dvd/bluray does is send a frequency pulse signal created from pits and lands on the disc, and an EFM (or efm-plus) chip simply converts the analog signal to binary 1's and 0's. It's like a morse code sort of thing.

If they were digital they'd be a lot faster and easier to improve upon. E.g. they could make something more efficient out of silicone for digital storage. Kind of like those micro SD cards, but something that lasts longer than 10000 writes and without the USB 2.0 bottleneck.

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I don't find "the way X did" wads very great. They involve too much self-constraining to imitate others' styles, resulting in something less stellar than what the original authors would make without having to think hard.

I feel that too many of the newer Doom MIDIs are of the "electronic" genre, with fast tempo and lots of instruments. I'd rather listen to more rock, blues or movie-like soundtrack in Doom wads.

Doom 3 is all in all better than Doom 2, as it nails the "doomed space marine" sensation so much better, in ways that sprites, MIDIs and the insurmountable limitations can't beat. It's too bad that editing was nowhere as easy as Doom 2.

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Holering said:

Despite having digital data, they're actually analog.


I think that's a "flaw" shared by all digital media, with those pesky physical laws and all. Even if you somehow could directly carve atoms or set the (indeed, binary) spin properties of particles and electrons, reading them would still be a very "analog" process.

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printz said:

I feel that too many of the newer Doom MIDIs are of the "electronic" genre, with fast tempo and lots of instruments. I'd rather listen to more rock, blues or movie-like soundtrack in Doom wads.

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I dont think we should have any political systems at all, not any systems at all.

then you'll remind me how fundamentally awful people apparently are and we'll turn into wild animals and murder one another then.

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People should be required to pass a a PQ (political quotient) test in order to have any involvement in the political process, be it running for office or voting. That would help keep a few of the idiots and corrupt assholes from tainting the system. The problem, of course, is that creating an objective PQ test would entail appealing to a higher authority, who somehow has to be objective in their development of the test, which is probably impossible.

Animal cruelty should be treated with the same severity as human cruelty.

If a superior alien species were to visit us, we should submit to them and allow ourselves to be enslaved, domesticated and abused, since we have done the same to animals.

Women can still look beautiful, even if they're overweight, or severely overweight, or even morbidly obese.

Refusing to date someone because of their race is not necessarily "wrong" if you simply do not experience attraction to certain cultural norms, skin pigmentations or skeletal structures.

Adam Sandler is a generally unfunny fuck with about one good movie (Punch Drunk Love). Maybe there's more, but I certainly don't know about them.

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GoatLord said:

People should be required to pass a a PQ (political quotient) test in order to have any involvement in the political process, be it running for office or voting.


I often advocated such an "elitist democracy" system, but ofc trying to discuss it openly with most people will the very least lead to questions like how it would be determined who's "worthy" of voting, by what procedures, or simply get called a "fascist" outright.

Interestingly, the same people have no problem with school and university exams, job interviews, closed professions, wirh age/education/physical shape/sex-discriminaing jobs and institutions. Only when it comes to political rights (and specifically voting) they have no qualms.

Which is even more interesting, since in the case of exams, admissions to schools, job interviews etc. they'll argue that these are gatekeepers for "important" things that "can't be trusted to anyone" without proof of skill or competence. So this implies that voting is an irresponsble act.

Personally, rather than some IQ test, I'd adopt Heilein's political system (described in Starship Troopers) verbatim: full citizenship and the right to vote are obtaind only after serving the State for a given period of time.

Alternatively, I'd settle for a "weighted voting" system, where people of working age and/or with numerous families should get more votes than e.g. pensioners, in order to avoid "grey power" from setting in and killing off the prospects of the young generations.

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My game reviews are full of unpopular opinions. People pick fights with me. Steam is full of argumentative people, because on the Internet, you're always righter than everyone else.

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Maes said:

I often advocated such an "elitist democracy" system, but ofc trying to discuss it openly with most people will the very least lead to questions like how it would be determined who's "worthy" of voting, by what procedures, or simply get called a "fascist" outright.

Interestingly, the same people have no problem with school and university exams, job interviews, closed professions, wirh age/education/physical shape/sex-discriminaing jobs and institutions. Only when it comes to political rights (and specifically voting) they have no qualms.

Which is even more interesting, since in the case of exams, admissions to schools, job interviews etc. they'll argue that these are gatekeepers for "important" things that "can't be trusted to anyone" without proof of skill or competence. So this implies that voting is an irresponsble act.

Personally, rather than some IQ test, I'd adopt Heilein's political system (described in Starship Troopers) verbatim: full citizenship and the right to vote are obtaind only after serving the State for a given period of time.

Alternatively, I'd settle for a "weighted voting" system, where people of working age and/or with numerous families should get more votes than e.g. pensioners, in order to avoid "grey power" from setting in and killing off the prospects of the young generations.


The problem I almost always have with people who advocate for Heilein's system is how incredibly militaristic it tends to be. Since this is the unpopular opinions topic, I'll go for gold here. I don't believe that risking your life in the military is alone validation of your opinions. Sure, you can respect someone for being able to put their life on the line, but I've met far FAR too many vets, even in my own generation, whose opinions and political leanings are not beneficial for the country as a whole. Granted, I'm from the USA, so your mileage may vary, but for such a system to work, social services need to have equal, possibly higher, precedence than military service, or else you end up with what amounts to a junta government.

@flubbernugget: If you're not being sarcastic, you totally just gained massive props in my book, for what that's worth.

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Maes said:

Alternatively, I'd settle for a "weighted voting" system, where people of working age and/or with numerous families should get more votes than e.g. pensioners, in order to avoid "grey power" from setting in and killing off the prospects of the young generations.


People with underage children should get fewer votes. This should probably extend, to some degree, to people who have ever had children. Parenting appears to cause permanent hormonal changes that negatively affect policy decisions.

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Foofoo said:

I dont think we should have any political systems at all, not any systems at all.

then you'll remind me how fundamentally awful people apparently are and we'll turn into wild animals and murder one another then.

It's always funny reading about Porcupine Fest and how its organizers need to come up with regulations because of popular demands, like banning the use of chainsaws because they make too much noise.

Also people commenting on the lack of infrastructure, such as sewers and storm drains.

Maes said:

I often advocated such an "elitist democracy" system, but ofc trying to discuss it openly with most people will the very least lead to questions like how it would be determined who's "worthy" of voting, by what procedures, or simply get called a "fascist" outright.

Only people who have the same political opinions as mine should be allowed to vote. A good proposal.

Maes said:

Personally, rather than some IQ test, I'd adopt Heilein's political system (described in Starship Troopers) verbatim: full citizenship and the right to vote are obtaind only after serving the State for a given period of time.

I could get behind that if "serving the state" isn't restricted to actual military service.

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Membrain said:

The problem I almost always have with people who advocate for Heilein's system is how incredibly militaristic it tends to be.


The actual nature of the "Federal Service" in Starship Troopers is open to debate, but it's obvious that it's not all combat military.

Actually, Heinlein goes out of his way to provide tidbits of how offering Federal Service is an actual right and whoever wants to serve, the State has to guarantee him access. This is FAR less restrictive than being enlisted in ANY military or civil servant job today:

"Because the government doesn’t care one bucket of swill whether you join or not! Because it has become stylish, with some people — too many people — to serve a term and earn a franchise and be
able to wear a ribbon in your lapel which says that you’re a vet’ran... whether you’ve ever seen combat or not. But if you want to serve and I can’t talk you out of it, then we have to take you, because that’s your constitutional right. It says that everybody, male or female, shall have his born right to pay his service and assume full citizenship but the facts are that we are getting hard pushed to find things for all the volunteers to do that aren’t just glorified K. P. You can’t all be real military men; we don’t need that many and most of the volunteers aren’t number-one soldier material anyhow. Got any idea what it takes to make a soldier?"


So, it's laid out in no ambiguous terms that Federal Service is a right nobody is denied, and that it cannot, by matter of course, be 100% military.

Later on:

I asked one of the doctors what percentage of the victims flunked the physical. He looked startled.

"Why, we never fail anyone. The law doesn’t permit us to."

"Huh? I mean, Excuse me, Doctor? Then what’s the point of this goose-flesh parade?"

"Why, the purpose is," he answered, hauling off and hitting me in the knee with a hammer (I kicked him, but not hard), "to find out what duties you are physically able to perform. But if you came in here in a wheel chair and blind in both eyes and were silly enough to insist on enrolling, they would find something silly enough to match. Counting the fuzz on a caterpillar by touch, maybe.


So, Federal Service could be quite different depending on your skills (and preferences), and the Federal Government was obliged to create positions, even if of the "you dig a hole, you fill the hole" kind. But the idea was to serve the state and prove that you put collective interest above your personal ones, something which is unthinkable for most sheeple today.

The only way you can fail is by having the psychiatrists decide that you are not able to understand the oath.


^ That. That is the most important passage in the book, IMO. Nobody should be a citizen and allowed to vote, if he cannot understand the oath (which sums up the rights and duties of being a citizen) and the consequences of voting.

Voting is exercising power. Exercising power means (also) exercising violence. Therefore, voting ultimately means exercising violence (presumably, against those that vote differenly than you). A ritualized, controlled violence maybe, most of the times without actual bloodshed (?), but still, it's about making your opinions prevail over those of "political adversaries".

But this also opens another chapter: how responsible should citizens be held for the actions of their governments? E.g. terrorists find citizens acceptable targets because they are, after all, the people who elected the government they have a problem with.

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My bad, I wasn't very clear. I mean that, whenever you hear about Heilein's service model, it is almost invariably marketed toward the military junta system I was talking about. That is, the book doesn't matter as much as what the people advocating it believe it says.

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Membrain said:

That is, the book doesn't matter as much as what the people advocating it believe it says.


I say maybe, just maybe, those people are only based on what they saw in Verhoefen's film adaptation?

Truth is, I've seen a lot of summary dismissals of Heilein's model as a "military junta" by people who claim to have read the book. I wonder if they actually read it, or were simply throwing pinko/hippie fits through every page.

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Maes said:

I say maybe, just maybe, those people are only based on what they saw in Verhoefen's film adaptation?

Truth is, I've seen a lot of summary dismissals of Heilein's model as a "military junta" by people who claim to have read the book. I wonder if they actually read it, or were simply throwing pinko/hippie fits through every page.


I also agree that a system like the one described in the book would be good. I really hate it how it appears to be almost accepted in the modern day west that people should have only rights but no obligations.

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That's a fair point, though the movie is so far removed from the book that you really can't interchange them in a conversation without it coming across which version you're talking about. After all, the movie was practically a black comedy, while the book was... well, not quite.

Really, I have a feeling our issues are one and the same. People either supporting or criticizing the book without actually having understood it. That's not to say that it's wholly perfect, but that's not quite my point anyway.

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Well, after having read it multiple times in three languages (of which one in two different editions), I think I'm entitled to believe I 'got it' better than most. It's one of the very few books I studied so thoroughly.

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Maes said:

Truth is, I've seen a lot of summary dismissals of Heilein's model as a "military junta" by people who claim to have read the book. I wonder if they actually read it, or were simply throwing pinko/hippie fits through every page.

Heinlein idolizes soft fascism in the sense of supporting a strong government that people proudly serve, because they feel an obligation to do their part, which in turn makes them strong mentally. Pretty much the original Fasci di Combattimento idea that people serving together will develop an unbreakable bond that will see our society through in the face of an outside threat.

He was most definitely a free thinker, believed in personal freedom of choice (he was almost Randian in that regard), fought against racism and sexual prejudice and he was friends with that pinko commie trash P. K. Dick, so please don't take this as a Godwin's Law invocation, but he hated communism, the constant paranoia of the Cold War in the 50's and all the noise and indecisiveness of democratic political debates. You can say he liked the Law & Order part of fascism.

I mean, according to Heinlein's model, you can decide to not participate in the decision-making by not serving, but you're pretty much second-class citizen. Even Rico thinks lowly of his hippie pacifist parents. On the other hand, everyone who underwent the service is a grizzled veteran with a firm set of Worthy Opinions that he bestows on recruits in tough-but-well-meaning barks. And oh boy, aren't the recruits impressed and inspired.

I'm not trying to shit on Heinlein's opinions, he presents them pretty damn well in a goddamn sci-fi novel, so he cannot flesh it all out without preaching constantly (which he still does considerably). It's definitely thought-provoking and certain elements are not wrong, even if I disagree with the overall picture. It's just a bit too black(shirt) and militaristic while already incredibly utopian for my taste. I want strong dissenting voices in my democracy and the leading one emerging from a chaos of opinions.

Membrain said:

That's a fair point, though the movie is so far removed from the book that you really can't interchange them in a conversation without it coming across which version you're talking about. After all, the movie was practically a black comedy, while the book was... well, not quite.

You have to admire Verhoeven for taking Heinlein's rightwing pro-order manifesto and making mocking leftist satire hidden in a pulpy gorefest out of it.

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I don't believe that psychology, psychiatry and sociology are culture-indipendent disciplines. As such, there can be no standardized behavioral tests, psychometrics, various kind of "social" metrics etc.

Somewhat related, I do support the Liguistic relativity hypothesis. I always suspected that using one particular language may make expressing certain ideas awkward or even impossible, or may impose specific though patterns and behaviors on its speakers.

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Aliotroph? said:

People with underage children should get fewer votes. This should probably extend, to some degree, to people who have ever had children. Parenting appears to cause permanent hormonal changes that negatively affect policy decisions.


Think you got that twisted around. Men tend to become less aggressive after parenthood, and young unmarried men are more likely than any other group to indulge in destructive behavior.

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The idea behind assigning more "voting weight" to people of productive age (preferably NOT state employees), is to counter the increased numbers of pensioners and civil servants (who generate no wealth) versus an ever-decreasing number of young people at a productive age and in general, an ever-decreasing number of people in wealth-producing jobs who are, however, increasingly taxed to support the every-growing number of pensioners.

At least that's the situation in Greece. and youth of productive age, as well as non-pensioned private sector workers and free professionals, are outnumbered and under-represented politically, over-taxed, and very probably will receive no or a heavily reduced pension at a much later age, compared to their parents.

"Grey power" is a very real problem. Pensioners hold immense political power, and no politician is crazy enough to go against the grain there. Nor it it likely for pensioners to collectively say "Fuck it, let's do one final sacrifice for the future of our country!" and abdicate their "grey power" voluntarily, by accepting pension cuts or voting politicans who support dismantling the current pension fund system.

Some argue that the solution to that is to integrate immigrants, but this has already been done during the 90s, by integrating relatively "good quality" immigrants from Albania and other ex-socialist countries. I don't think that legalizing 100000. 500000 or 1000000 pakistanis and bangladeshis at this point will solve anything: most of them are unskilled, provide only cheap hands in menial labor (unofficially, of course), and of a totally different (and even hostile) cultural background compared to the previous immigration waves.

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