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I don't recall ever laughing to anything in Slaughterhouse-Five either, but Wikipedia indicates dark humor as one of its genres.

Is there anyone here who read Slaughterhouse-Five and found it funny?

I think the point of Catch-22 is that as hilarious as it is underlying the humor is a tragedy revealing the horrors of war. At first, it's just funny but in the second half, we start to really see the tragic consequences of the absurdity. There are just outright dark scenes like Snowden's death where Yossarian desperately tries to save a dying man's life but is unable to do anything and has to watch Snowden's organs drip out after he is hit by flak.

Then there are the humorous parts that come hand-in-hand with the tragedy.

For example, there is a scene where Yossarian is making love to Nurse Duckett at the beach and it's quite a dreamy and beautiful moment, people are out and about enjoying themselves in this moment of tranquility during the war, only for it to cut short by the death Kid Sampson.

Even people who were not there remembered vividly exactly what happened next. There was the briefest, softest tsst! filtering audibly through the shattering, overwhelming howl of the plane’s engines, and then there were just Kid Sampson’s two pale, skinny legs, still joined by strings somehow at the bloody truncated hips, standing stock-still on the raft for what seemed a full minute or two before they toppled over backward into the water finally with a faint, echoing splash and turned completely upside down so that only the grotesque toes and the plaster-white soles of Kid Sampson’s feet remained in view.

What killed him? McWatt had been "buzzing" the beach as a joke for a while earlier in the chapter trying to scare people by flying his plane dangerously close to the ground. Except this time, he fucks up and actually does kill someone. And in response, he chooses to crash his plane into the mountain killing him. The people watching can't make sense of it, they watched a comrade die and can't do anything but watch the other choose to kill himself as well. The two newbie pilots on the plane with McWatt jump out via parachute, indicating they too failed to convince him otherwise.

This scene is immediately ended with this gem of a line:

Colonel Cathcart was so upset by the deaths of Kid Sampson and McWatt that he raised the missions to sixty-five

And then this line in the immediate chapter afterward:

When Colonel Cathcart learned that Doc Daneeka too had been killed in McWatt’s plane, he increased the number of missions to seventy.

I think that would count as dark humor.

After typing this all out, I just realized where your flair comes from. Somehow I haven't made the connection despite seeing it several times.

Thanks, fixed.

Slaughterhouse-five is supposed to be in the category of dark humor/satire, but I honestly don't remember much about that book from when I read it in high school. Catch-22 is often mentioned as a similar absurdist fiction anti-war satiric book and it is the far superior of the two.

Well, now I feel silly for missing this entire discussion that was already had. Thanks for taking the effort to organize the key points.

I'm hoping amongst all the people that have an issue with how the moderation is done at least one of them has a good idea on how to improve the place. I gave my idea for a solution and then threw in 6 more (admittedly not well thought out), so they should be able to as well. Thanks for the response.

So far, it seems like the felony conviction has mostly galvanized support for Trump.

He has raised almost $34 million within 6 hours after the conviction, and $52.4 million within 24 hours. 29.7% of donors are new donors: https://www.morningstar.com/news/marketwatch/20240531368/trump-campaign-says-it-raised-35-million-after-guilty-verdict-nearly-doubling-its-prior-recordl

Early polling shows that the number of people who said they would vote for Trump if he was convicted of a felony has increased post-conviction: https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/majority-believe-prosecution-donald-trump-upheld-rule-law-not-motivated-politics

This is true across democrats, republicans, and independents.

One betting market had Trump's odd job up: https://x.com/IAPolls2022/status/1796288757177446654

It went from 45% at the start of the trial, to 58% after the trial. As of 6/1, it currently sits at 54% https://polymarket.com/event/presidential-election-winner-2024

Just to provide some a counterpoint, this poll from Reuters suggests there would be some drop in support for Trump: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/one-10-republicans-less-likely-vote-trump-after-guilty-verdict-reutersipsos-poll-2024-05-31/ (Note that the number of republicans who said they would be less likely to vote for trump if he was found guilty has actually decreased post-trial.)

This article suggests other betting markets had Trump's chances fallen although that betting market they quote still puts Trump ahead of Biden:https://www.morningstar.com/news/marketwatch/20240601270/betting-markets-give-lower-chance-of-trump-election-win-even-as-billionaires-back-him

The source Morningstar uses shows across multiple betting markets Trump is ahead of Biden: https://www.realclearpolling.com/betting-odds/2024/president

Trump saw a big leap and then a small correction but he is still ahead compared to when the trial initially started.

It seems like the anti-Tump side has to try much harder to spin this in a negative light than the pro-Trump side has to make it seem like a positive.

No my opinion is not, I think 70 is close to phenotypic average SSA IQ and I consider that African Americans have somewhat similar genotypic IQ to Ivorians because most of their origin is from West Africa (maybe 5 points higher due to White admixture). If you don't like Flynn estimates, get better ones but do not shift into discussion how many degrees Nigerian Americans have (a highly selected group benefiting from race-based affirmative action).

Can you provide a source? Gottfredson puts the black-American IQ average between 85 and 90. Flynn's work is based off meta IQ analysis of IQ testing data largely from before 2000s. I have provided evidence that between then and now that in the Ivory Coast the amount of education has increased. So again, I have reasons to believe that the average IQ would have risen between when the IQ tests had their data gathered to today.

If you're not pulling from Flynn who's the most prominent source behind the 70 IQ estimate for people of Africa then where are you getting your value from? You're the one that needs to provide a source, not me. I've provided numerous sources throughout this discussion to ground this discussion and you've yet to provide anything. This 70 IQ value for people in the Ivory Coast we've been discussing stems from 2rafa's comment several posts up and they point to Flynn as the source so that's the basis for this discussion. If you're using a completely different source to base your beliefs then we can't have a discussion properly. I've made pretty clear where my ideas come from to give you the opportunity to check and you haven't done the same level of effort for me so I'm not going to just take your word for it.

If so (I am not saying it isn't), then you should drop "70 iq people are unemployable" altogether.

Perhaps you have a point here and I should be more clear with my words. - People whose genetic potential caps around 70 IQ and are raised in a Western nation are not mostly employable in Western countries where most jobs are service and intellectual-based. The job-IQ research I'm aware of is done in the US so if you limit the area to just the US you can ignore a lot of other factors that have to be taking into consideration if you try to extrapolate elsewhere. I'm not going to drop the idea altogether. I do get in the habit for talking from a US-centric perspective to thank you for helping me remember to be more specific with my words.

Many people say this, but nearly all twins studies find impact of shared environment on adults low, less than 10%. Research of education>IQ is not stigmatized. Why didn't they come with some impressive results?

And those twins both typically both graduate from high school and still get an adequate amount of nutrition. Just gonna quote Scott yet again:

We know deep biological things matter because it's genetic and correlated with brain size, we know motivation matters because stimulants can raise IQ probably by making people try harder on the test, we know abstract thinking ability matters because of Flynn effect and because people from populations where they've never been exposed to this kind of thing do much worse on tests than is plausible from biological differences alone, and test-taking skills are just a good bet.

Most likely the larger effect sizes are going from almost no education (thus almost no familiarity with abstract thinking) to some education (and some familiarity), and the smaller effect sizes are going from 10 years to 11 years of education or whatever. I wouldn't expect extra education to be very valuable to people already very familiar with abstract thinking, though I'm not sure where to draw those lines.

The difference in an environment where twins grow up in the most extreme examples (upper class America vs lower class America), that gap is smaller compared to the average child in the US and the average child in the Ivory Coast in the 2000s. Both twins still get the benefit of education, which includes learning about abstract thinking. Show me a statistically significant twins study where the twins grow up in two completely different countries with completely different standards of education, or where one gets an education and the other doesnt and yet they end up with similar enough IQ and I might think you have a better point here.

Why these are exceptions? They are just conditions with larger effects, there are many lesser conditions. If some condition drives phenotypic ability to perform well on IQ tests, why wouldn't it be drive their phenotypic ability to perform well on a job?

You know what, I think I misunderstood your point earlier and thought you were saying something else. Upon a reread on your previous posts, I think I see your point and have to agree. I believe my revised statement above should account for this properly now.

It looks to me, that I completely agreed with your point that "70 iq Ivorians not same as 70 iq Americans" and yet that you're thinking I am disagreeing and you do not like that I wrote something unflattering for SSA.

Well, my impression was you didn't agree because every time I point out the reasons why they aren't equal, you swoop in to challenge the reasoning and then you didn't explicitly say anything about your thoughts on that until your most recent response. Thank you for clarifying. I think your clarification with "genotypic IQ" and "phenotypic IQ" is actually a very good distinction because when people typically discuss IQ they don't make this distinction, and then racists will take the existing research to justify their beliefs framing it as purely "genotypic IQ" and all this does it prevent further research into IQ which is a net negative for the world since now it's controversial to do research into IQ.

The lyrics are from this BBC article: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-68017347

"I love and enjoy what I am doing." Mr Sastha R has benefited from a boom in India's VFX industry. Not only is India's domestic film industry demanding more special effects, companies from overseas are sending work to India. For example, the dragons in the fifth season of Game of Thrones were created in Mumbai.

Streaming entertainment firms like Netflix, animated TV and film producers, and the computer games industry are all demanding more. "The VFX industry has surged due to an infusion of visual effects in almost all the entertainment sector," says Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus, a giant Indian media firm which owns...

And then loops back to "Mr Sastha".

This sounds a lot like speed reading. You can increase your reading speed without losing comprehension based on information density. This means a lot of nonfiction books you can speed read because they typically spend 200 pages to convey 1-5 key ideas. But if you were going through a physics textbook, you can speed read all you want but you're not going to retain any information. I guess it depends on what kinds of videos are being watched.

Unlike speed reading, it's not easy to adjust your consumption rate on the fly. I find it very annoying having to rewind the video when watching at faster speeds if I miss something and want to rewatch it. If I feel I need to speed through the video I actually just use the right arrow key to skip a few seconds and read the subtitled text than increase the video speed. I think it really depends on the video. I usually read for knowledge and watch for entertainment, so I don't really increase the video speed because I'm trying to enjoy my time watching the video, not optimize for speed. I read fiction slower, too.

YouTube doesn't have a speed option faster than 2x, so you'd have to go a bit out of your way to get the videos to play faster.

No it's not.

Then why do you respond with "Nigeria certainly has much lower threshold for getting a university degree"? I don't see what education in Nigeria has to do with the education of Nigerian Americans in the US.

Did I say something which made think you so?

Yes, because when presented with 3 possible explanations for how children from Ivory Coast are now graduating elementary school with data from 2012 in conjunction with Gottfredson's description of those with 75 IQ you chose "probably much simpler" as the most likely option. Meanwhile, your opinion on IQ for people in Ivory Coast is likely based on Flynn's paper which I point out has some issues to take into consideration.

The reason the 70 IQ person from USA is going to fail at work is because they are actually incapable of mastering elementary school-level concepts, and most jobs in the US today require some level of intelligence. If you acknowledge that a baby from the Ivory Coast growing up in the US would be able to pass elementary school, it goes to reason that how you should interpret that 70 IQ average value from the Ivory Coast is not equivalent to 70 IQ person in the US. Maybe it makes sense in your world where you deny the effect education has on IQ, but I have reasons to believe education does have an impact on IQ, and your casual dismissal of "you're not sure" or you think it is a "sociologist's fallacy" does little to convince me otherwise.

This seems to be where our disagreement largely stems from and if we can't agree on this then our conclusions will just have to be different.

I did. Nigeria certainly has much lower threshold for getting a university degree.

This is such an odd point to argue. Consider 2nd generation Nigerian-Americans: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/23780231211001971

For example, among second-generation Asian men, 3.6 percent dropped out of high school and 7.3 percent obtained PhD or professional degrees, whereas the corresponding figures for second-generation Nigerian American men are 0.4 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively. The specific group with the highest level of educational attainment is arguably second-generation Nigerian American women; Table 3 indicates that 71.1 percent of them have bachelor’s or higher degrees in comparison with 68.2 percent for second-generation Nigerian American men.9

Is it so hard to believe a self-selected group that is allowed to immigrate to the United States could just so happen to be more educated than the average US population? They're not going to Nigeria to get their education. They're getting their education in American Universities just like any other 2nd generation American migrant group.

So would IQ decrease from FAS or cerebral palsy (phenotypic) have mostly no effect on whether the individual could function well in modern society?

This is the exception. Not everyone in Ivory Coast or other sub-saharan African country has FAS or cerebral palsy or other non-nutrition defective diseases driving the IQ down.

lower IQ than population average is often associated with personality deficits and mental disease, which average member of low IQ population does not have.

This personality IQ correlation is done in the US and thus it cannot be appropriately extrapolated to Africa. Unless you know any specific studies/research to suggest otherwise, I don't know any.

On the Flynn Effect:

The variability of the Flynn effect suggests that either the population IQ change is not a simple phenomenon that can be explained by a single factor, or, if it is the result of a single factor, the influence of this factor is different in different subgroups of the population or in different domains of ability. Researchers have studied some factors (for example, is it a real IQ gain due to social, population, or genetic factors, or is it simply a psychometric artifact?) that may have played a role inside the “black box” behind the Flynn effect. As significant genetic modifications of a population only occur over very extended periods, the IQ gain observed during a 50-year period cannot be explained by modification of the genetic characteristics of Western populations.

The Flynn effect seems rather to be a consequence of several interrelated factors. Educational progress during the twentieth century seems to be a strong factor underlying the Flynn effect. Several studies have shown the impact of schooling on intelligence (Ceci & Williams, 1997).

Barber (2005) analyzed the relationship between schooling and IQ using data collected in 81 countries. He observed that the intellectual differences between countries were mainly related to literacy rate, attendance at secondary school, and agricultural population percentage.

Thus, not only may the improvement in education have caused an increase in the population's intelligence, but the changing pace of this improvement may also have caused variations in the magnitude of the Flynn effect in different countries and at different periods in a country's development.

Another important factor underlying the Flynn effect is the considerable improvement in bioenvironmental conditions of life since the end of World War II. Bioenvironmental conditions refer to the interactions between the environment and individual biophysical characteristics.

As trees do not grow to the sky, human intelligence has likely some developmental limits that will be reached sooner or later. Regarding height potential, a ceiling seems to have been reached in some countries where positive bioenvironmental conditions appeared earlier – in Norway and Sweden, for example, the height of conscripts is no longer increasing (Schmidt et al., 1995). At the same time, in countries where positive bioenvironmental conditions appeared later (for example, Southern European countries), height is continuing to increase. A similar phenomenon is now being observed for intelligence. In Norway and Denmark the Flynn effect has not been observed since the 1990s, and intelligence seems to have reached a plateau.

So, there is a wide range of literature to support the idea the increase in IQ is not because Western nations somehow genetically got more intelligent, but instead that improvements in education, nutrition, and health resulted in the increase of IQ. Once these educational and health-related factors allow populations to reach their maximum potential, we see that IQ is no longer rising (Norway and Denmark for example). Most African nations have not yet caught up in terms of education, nutrition, and health.

Okay, now let's look at what Flynn used for his IQ estimates of Sub-Saharan Africa. Look at the dates of when the IQ studies he uses in his meta-analysis. 1998, 1988, 1965, 1960, 1993, 1995, 1981, 1937, 1964, 1975, 1965, 1954, 2004, 1950, 2007, 1961, 1994, 1976... you get my point. Most of these studies are looking at IQ over a period when African countries has yet to see the benefit of improvements in education, nutrition, and health to the degree that Western and Asian countries have.

Flynn rejects several studies of IQ in trying to estimate the IQ of African countries for various reasons. One study he rejected because it was tested on high school-educated Africans, because the average African did not study in high school at the time the study was conducted. If your goal is to find the median IQ of the country that's fine but then you have to be very nuanced about how you interpret that IQ, because you're comparing a country where the average citizen graduated from high school to one where the average citizen doesn't even have the opportunity to go to high school. When it comes to IQ people assume that IQ is static and doesn't change and then racists use IQ to justify their stances. I'm not so naive as to argue that IQ would be equivalent if all races got equal amounts of education and nutrition and are raised in an equivalent culture, but I am arguing that IQ gap would be not as large.

I don't know how you can reject the notion that education has an impact on IQ. I'm just going to quote Scott here

We know deep biological things matter because it's genetic and correlated with brain size, we know motivation matters because stimulants can raise IQ probably by making people try harder on the test, we know abstract thinking ability matters because of Flynn effect and because people from populations where they've never been exposed to this kind of thing do much worse on tests than is plausible from biological differences alone, and test-taking skills are just a good bet.

Most likely the larger effect sizes are going from almost no education (thus almost no familiarity with abstract thinking) to some education (and some familiarity), and the smaller effect sizes are going from 10 years to 11 years of education or whatever. I wouldn't expect extra education to be very valuable to people already very familiar with abstract thinking, though I'm not sure where to draw those lines.

Any argument or data point I bring up that might suggest the IQ of Africans could be higher you seem to challenge. What's your angle here? What's your belief? I'm honestly confused about what your intention is. What are you looking to get out of this conversation? Do you believe if we take the average baby from the Ivory Coast and raise them in the US they're going to fail elementary school?

I think in a just world conservatives and leftists would live in their own vision of society absent of the benefits of the other's vision of society and suffer the consequences of their own beliefs.

As it stands you one can just blame all bad things on the other side and believe all good things to be from their side.

I'm not sure the definition of Business Record is very specific or useful since it seems to qualify nearly any piece of data in any equipment or file held by the business.

Based on this definition even messages on Slack or Teams between employees joking about how their manager looks could be argued to qualify as a business record.

The 70 IQ person in the US is more likely to be at the peak of their genetic potential due to the availability of resources. I think if you take the supposed average 70 IQ person from the Ivory Coast and give them a Western country-level education, their IQ could still rise 10-15 points. There is some evidence to support that for every additional year of education, IQ rises 1-5 points. Maybe not because children benefit much more from education than adults.

Also, I'm not sure if IQ measurements of the Sub-Saharan African countries do follow a true bell curve since IQ level is adjusted for a mostly Western country. I think the IQ distribution would likely skew right in these countries. We may see a drop-off point above 100 IQ because smart Africans typically migrate to better countries to make a better living. Fun fact, did you know Nigerian-Americans are one of the most educated groups of people in the United States?

IQ plays a more significant role in the lower bracket in terms of job success and ability than at the higher levels. Since the studies are based in the US I think it would be fair to assume most people reached their genetic potential. So IQ matters significantly sub 85, but around 100 and higher it no longer becomes as strong of a predictive tool of job success.

In terms of phenotypic vs genotypic IQ we don't know for sure but based on Gottfredson's description of IQ ability I'd say it applies mostly to genotypic IQ. According to Gottfredson

75 signals the ability level below which individuals are not likely to master the elementary school curriculum or function independently in adulthood in modern societies.

It seems extremely unlikely you take an Ivory Coast child and give them US-level nutrition and education that a majority of them would be unable to pass an elementary school education. Wikipedia indicates that while the Ivory Coast is behind educational availability for its population, the literacy rate rose from 48.7% in 2000 to 89.9% as of 2019. And by 2012 94.2% of children attended secondary school. To me, it doesn't make sense 70 IQ people are able to graduate primary school if Gottfredson indicates people below 75 IQ cannot master elementary school education unless that IQ description only applies to the US population where the study was done, or the IQ measurement in Ivory coast is inaccurate or outdated, or primary school education in the Ivory Coast is incredibly simple relative to that of the US.

this highly depends on society.

Good point, I didn't really consider the cultural aspect properly.

The more recent the event in question, the less likely we are to know if there was a lie or not.

Mearsheimer's work came out in 2011 and he sticks mostly to examples that took decades to find the truth of the matter because it's a bad look for a government to be caught lying in the technical definition of a lie. Iraq is his most recent prominent example in his book and that's because that was such a tremendous fuck up. Do you think the government is going to release information that sheds light on recent events anytime soon unless it helps them push an agenda or policy and is so far removed from the party in power to resolve them of any legitimate criticism that would follow?

And furthermore, governments are now more sophisticated in how they propagate information to the population. Proving someone told a lie is extremely difficult because the defendant in question can always claim they thought they were telling the truth and just had the wrong facts. You'd need to be a certain level of incompetence to have a documented recording of you admitting you know something was a lie.

You can accuse the government of spinning facts all you want, and you'd be 100% correct, but you didn't do that, likely because you knew it lacked the same punch as an accusation of "lying".

No, I didn't. After reading your comment I'll acknowledge I just had poor logic and was not using the word "lying" in a strict, legal-lawyer-like definition. In my head I went the opposite of truth is lies. The government is not telling the truth, therefore they are lying. I'll concede this is a technical got-ya that I'm not ready to defend because I'm mixing a lot of sentiments in that statement I made. In recent years I think the government lied about Covid, they're lying about the state of the economy to the people by saying it's better than it is with tactics such as redefining how inflation is measured, they perpetuate lies such as commemorating George Floyd and playing defense for the BLM movement, they lied about the Trump Russia collusion. You asked specifically for foreign policy examples and I don't consider myself particularly knowledgeable on matters of foreign policy.

Your examples given in the last two decades amount to very little.

That was me literally searching on Google and just copy-pasting the 1st example I got for each president. You asked for examples of lies in regard to policy, I did provide and then you dismiss some of them as just saying those are "mild". Are you looking specifically for a fully exhaustive list of other examples that was as disastrous as Iraq? The government is never going to fuck up on a level of Iraq ever again if they have half a brain. As much as people like to fling shit about our politicians as being incompetent idiots they're not actual literal idiots and most of them have higher IQ than the average population. They're also skilled with words and framing which is why many people find politicians to be slimy weasels.

Look, I appreciate you helping me better refine my position with more accurate words, but at this point we are just talking about technical definitions and I'm not really interested in having that conversation any further, especially since you reframed it specifically in the context of foreign policy and then dismiss some examples of actual lies as "mild". I'll edit my comment to say "deception" instead of lies. Happy? I don't think it substantially changes the core of my argument one way or the other. I'm still going to choose to believe the government is lying to the people and that we won't know the truth on many of these topics until decades later.

Aren't most large ancient cities located around or near rivers because agriculture enabled a bigger population size? I'm not sure if fishing alone and trade were sufficient to support large cities at the time. How devastating were coastal raiders? I imagine a coastal city should be able to field its own navies.

Yes, but the end goal is deception. Lies in regard to foreign policy seem to be held to a different level of standard than lies on domestic policy or lies in general.

I'm going to use the definition from John Mearsheimer's 'Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics'

There are actual technical lies, where a person makes a statement they know is false while hoping others believe it to be true. But there are also situations where you disingenuously arrange facts to tell a fictitious story to imply something is true when you know the implied conclusion is not true. He also points out spinning, where "a person telling a story emphasizes certain facts and links them together in ways that play to his advantage, while, at the same time, downplaying or ignoring inconvenient facts" and concealment, "which involves withholding information that might undermine or weaken one’s position."

What's related about all three is that the goal is deception - essentially the goal is to prevent the other party from knowing the full truth. Spinning and concealment are far more common, but the end of goal of deception is the same.

Historically speaking, the US government has used lies in matters of foreign policy. Well-known historical examples:

  1. Iraq, as you point out
  2. WWII - Greer incident
  3. Vietnam - Gulf of Tonkin
  4. Iran-Contra

In more recent times, you can find no shortage of critics arguing the presidents have lied about matters of foreign policy:

The more recent the event in question, the less likely we are to know if there was a lie or not. Whether these specific examples are actually lies or fabrications from critics I'm not really going to dive into. But it's easy to find critics arguing there have been lies.

Mearsheimer also points out that he had difficulty finding examples of international lying between states compared to governments lying to their own people. He argues that governments are more likely to lie to their own citizens than to other states on matters of foreign policy. It is difficult for countries to lie to one another because there is not a lot of trust between them, especially when it is in regard to security. It's far easier to lie to your own citizens because there is more trust between governments and their citizens than between governments that are enemies of each other.

In his own words:

Furthermore, leaders appear to be more likely to lie to their own people about foreign policy issues than to other countries. That certainly seems to be true for democracies that pursue ambitious foreign policies and are inclined to initiate wars of choice, i.e., when there is not a clear and imminent danger to a country’s vital interests that can only be dealt with by force. Of course, that description fits the United States over the past seventy years, and, not surprisingly, American presidents have told their fellow citizens a number of important lies about foreign policy matters over those seven decades.

So when it comes to evaluating recent US actions on matters of foreign, we really have to ask ourselves and analyze what the intention was. Were they in the interest of the American people, or was it something else, like drumming up support for an election, or selfish monetary interests, or appeasing just a specific lobby group? I don't see governments ever giving up the option to lie to their citizens especially on matters of foreign policy, because of its strategic utility. It seems public reaction to these lies depends on the end result. If the outcome of telling the lie is good, the leader gets a free pass with little to no consequence. That's why Vietnam is heavily criticized while WWII is seen in a positive light. My current perception is that the outcome of recent foreign policy actions of the US government has largely been negative with little benefit for the American people, and those have largely been justified via lies and deception.

Yes, it seems America has dipped its toes in too many different things that had little benefit, how much of that was really due to the pursuit of expanding/maintaining the American Hegemon versus the selfish interests of actors with different goals?

America currently has enough domestic problems to deal with to be playing world police currently and could likely benefit from taking a step back from the world stage. But in terms of maintaining the Pax Americana, it leaves the question of how long and how likely a foreign bloc could form to dismantle it. I think at this point I made clear my stance is that large-scale conflict is more likely when there is no dominant force than when there is. Maybe some history buff could provide examples otherwise?

How is it relevant in the context?

Read my next paragraph and read it in context of it being a response to 2rafa's post. I argue 70 IQ in Ivory coast != 70 IQ in the US so whether or not 2rafa can employ people they met in the Ivory coast (and there are so many things to address here are such as are the people they met actually 70 IQ) was in my opinion not a good response to the economic value of a 70 IQ person.

How is it relevant in the context? The hypothetical is other society that is +2SD shifted to us.

I prefaced the comment by saying these are just my thoughts. I don't even think a society of 130 IQ can exist naturally. We already know what a society of 70 IQ and 100 IQ looks like. Sure is fun to think about though!

the higher IQ society will invent more paperwork and qualifications even for simpler jobs.

I'm not so sure, maybe 130 IQ society will do that, or maybe they can progress past the notion that everyone has to work because if such a society can create robots to make most jobs absolute then we would probably be at the point where AI and robots could do almost anything better than a human can. So even the 130 IQ person could be made obsolete in their own society. My point is that you cannot extrapolate past patterns to the future without adequate reasoning. For example, if you look at a child's growth, one could incorrectly assume human beings continue to grow taller and taller until they die. When we were talking about success in society, it usually refers to the ability to have a job, although there are other factors. My point is that a 130 IQ society may make the concept of jobs in relationship to humans obsolete, and just because we have previously seen the growth of new industries replace old ones does not mean the pattern will continue.

We have seen humanity move from agriculture > industry > services > IT/Data to put it simply. The type of skills needed transform from manual labor to mental labor and human relationships. If robots and AI make those obsolete, what next? You seem to think more mental labor, but I think if AI makes mental labor obsolete it can just as easily replace new mental labor that is required. Jobs exist to solve problems, in the era where robots and AI replace most existing jobs, will there be enough problems to require most of the human population to tackle? High IQ people tend to not have kids anyways, so I don't think overpopulation will be an issue.

I challenged you directly if you think you should excuse blatantly immoral and destructive conduct under the idea that US hegemony is good. It seems to me that you want to do that and are just trying to promote it based on arguing that US hegemony is good actually. But you also accept restraint and criticism. And it doesn't seem that you really do in a substantial manner.

I edited this in later so you may have missed it but I believe it addresses your point:

When we look at US-caused international conflicts, we have to consider, whether the primary purpose is to maintain and grow the American hegemony in service of maintaining global peace, or if that is being used as an excuse with some other primary motive in mind (fund the military-industrial complex, drum up support for an upcoming election, etc.). If the former, I think that would warrant a legitimate criticism about the pitfalls of relative peace achieved through this method and find ways to account for it. But if the latter, that's not really a criticism of the model. People will always use existing values and models to justify whatever they want to do, but it doesn't mean that it's wrong.

I don't believe I am excusing "blatantly immoral and destructive conduct under the idea that US hegemony is good". Are these international conflicts strictly the result of pursuing a US hegemony, or are there some other factors at play? I'm going to say that you can have US hegemony without needing to instigate wars left and right. Or are you saying hegemony is achieved solely through military might? If I gave off the impression that is my belief then I should've been more clear and that is my fault.

You hold the people who made those decisions accountable. The mechanics of how it's done is irrelevant for this conversation. I did not say we pardon our leaders for what they have done because it was in service of the US hegemony. Your challenge was not something that I really thought important to address when you initially posted it because my question was in regards to how global peace can be achieved and maintained and you didn't really provide any alternative solutions. You later expanded your post and provided more information, which I'm grateful for. I am now challenging you that these immoral and destructive conducts is not an inevitable outcome of a pursuit of a global hegemony and that the idea of the US hegemony is being used as an excuse for other purposes.

There are a few problems with this. Which is that destroying other countries and causing civil wars to cause more US hegemony will result in far more devastation.

US-based hegemony does not necessarily have to be achieved strictly through military might, although it has to be enforced by its existence. Most of Europe did not become allies of the US because USA subjugated it via force.

It feels like a big part of your argument is that the US-based support is no longer attractive due to the prevalence of the condition that it involves adopting leftist cultural marxist values. I will acknowledge I wasn't considering this and thinking more in terms of concepts such as capitalism and democracy. Yes, if US support comes at the cost of having to adopt DIE woke style culture then I am against it, because I am against those ideas within America as well. Propositioning US support would be better accomplished without that baggage tied to it. At the same time, it doesn't mean America just gives away money for free with no strings attached. Why should America provide charity to the world with no benefits? Otherwise just invest that money domestically.

Anyway, a USA that is against the immoral conduct of other countries, and restraints it self from instigating more trouble, will work better.

How does the USA enforce punishment regarding the immoral conduct of other countries without itself maintaining a dominant position relative to that other country? A dominant position maintained by superior military and economic might? Words alone mean nothing unless there is credible threat of action behind those words. What happens when negotiations and communication fails? Or if the other side refuses to de-escalate?

and restraints it self from instigating more trouble, will work better.

Do you think the only way to grow the US hegemony or bring more countries under the US sphere of influence is done by instigating "trouble"? Because I don't think that.

It honestly doesn't sound like you're against the idea of a US hegemony, just against how it is currently being accomplished, which I think we are both in agreement with? So what's the dispute here? Okay it looks like you provided more context with the additional text, which I address below.

Edit: Since you added much more to your post after what I responded to, I think my general points above still stand. I think your greatest argument against the current US Hegemony is that the US currently is suffering from being ideologically possessed by leftist cultural marxist ideas, and because of this the US hegemony itself is no longer good or has serious issues. That's why in my earlier post I suggested perhaps the US take some time to work on its issues domestically for a decade or so. Realistically it'll take longer than that, which is why I asked what are the consequences of doing that? I think the biggest cause of the difference of opinion is I'm thinking more of a direct Post-WWII American set of ideals on capitalism and democracy and you point out I did not factor in the cultural Marxist element of America today playing a part in having an alliance with the US. How much of American support is actually dependent on adopting cultural-Marxist woke ideology though? I'm just taking your word for it here.

Frankly speaking, I don't believe significantly different cultures can exist peacefully for long periods of time especially when those cultures play into system of government that run the nation. Most countries are democracies now but these democracies just so happen to mostly align in the US sphere of influence. Are most countries better off or worse off with a democratic government? How likely are the undemocratic countries to serve as a threat to democratic ones? As you add more and more different types of values into the mix, it becomes increasingly more difficult for all of these values to exist peacefully.

The reason I can say US hegemony has resulted in a era of relative peace is because we literally live in an era of peace relative to human history, with actual war occurring in much smaller scales (proportionally) than they used to. Perhaps we are seeing the cracks of such a system today with Ukraine and other conflicts.

I still believe that a long era of world peace can most likely be achieved under a global hegemony with 1 dominant culture. It doesn't have to be the US, but it is currently the US most poised to maintain that. The League of Nations post WW1 had a pathetic ability to accomplish anything and the United Nations today similarly has very little influence (although much more successful than the LoN ever was).

I think you saying I am just excusing its behavior is an extremely uncharitable take on my position. If you still believe I am doing that then I don't know what else to say and will have to end the conversation here. I still appreciate your perspective and for giving some good points for me to consider.

Sure, these are good points you bring up to criticize America, but what is the better alternative? When we consider long periods of peace, it's accomplished under a hegemony of powerful nations aligned in goals/culture or a singular empire.

I'm not defending US in all of its actions and agree there is plenty to criticize in what they have done on the global scale. But I don't think any of these things really addresses the core of my argument. The mutually assured destruction is an alternative to relative peace without needing global hegemony and even then plenty of conflict was done via proxies AKA the Cold War. It prevented full-scale war between the US and the Soviet Union. Personally, I think peace achieved via MAD is worse than peace achieved via a global hegemony. For all the wars that have existed from 1945 to today, in comparison to eras throughout human history, we exist in a relatively peaceful era.

Indeed, we should strive to be vigilant and not use this line of argument to just absolve the USA of what it has done, especially when it has negative outcomes. At the same time, it doesn't mean we shouldn't aim to preserve a powerful global presence. The best argument against focusing on that currently is that America has enough domestic problems to deal with. But it doesn't mean we should abandon our position either.

When we look at US-caused international conflicts, we have to consider, whether the primary purpose is to maintain and grow the American hegemony in service of maintaining global peace, or if that is being used as an excuse with some other primary motive in mind (fund the military-industrial complex, drum up support for an upcoming election, etc.). If the former, I think that would warrant a legitimate criticism about the pitfalls of relative peace achieved through this method and find ways to account for it. But if the latter, that's not really a criticism of the model. People will always use existing values and models to justify whatever they want to do, but it doesn't mean that it's wrong.

What do you think would be a better path to a more peaceful world, and what can be done to maintain it?

Edit: Not a response to you directly, more of my thoughts concerning people who say the US spends too much on the military and then act like we would have world peace if America just drastically cut its military budget. I think there is legitimate criticism to be had of the military-industrial complex to take into consideration, but I also feel like many people with that sentiment take this era of relative peace for granted. Do they not read history? Do they not consider human nature?

Yes, America has instigated wars with little to no benefit and should be rightly criticized. But this does not mean the military is useless or that having a military presence globally is a strictly negative thing. I acknowledge that if I wasn't an American and a foreigner, I would have reason to want to break the American-led global hegemony, especially if I was for example Chinese. But I'm an American, and I am more favorable to a world under American values than a world under Russian values or a world under Chinese values. I'm not so naive to believe that you can have hundreds of relatively equally powerful countries acting independently peacefully. What would stop one country from just using force to take the resources of another? Sanctions? Their "image"? Propaganda on the citizens to make them not want to fight? You only need a few people to maintain an army that can suppress people. These things have to be backed up by military force otherwise it's futile.

I am for maximizing human potential and development, and the countries that aligned with American values post-WWII saw tremendous economic growth and development. Now one could make arguments about how countries that didn't had their growth artificially restricted by American policies against its adversaries or how the growth of America and its allies came by extracting value unfairly from its adversaries, but for the person that is born under a richer country, does that really matter? Countries that aligned with the US and adopted positions favorable to the US are far, far better off than those that didn't. Just look at North Korea versus South Korea. If I were born in a foreign nation, I would be extremely grateful if my country chose to lick the boots of the American imperialist ambitions some 50-60 years ago and benefited greatly from it, than if they didn't and my country ended up in poverty instead.

What use is my country's culture and tradition if the average GDP per capita is $1,000 and I have to live as a farmer when it could've had a GDP per capita of $30,000 and my quality of life is vastly superior? Why do so many people leave their countries to try to come to the US if culture should matter more than economic growth and prosperity? I don't particularly care for preserving the culture of every other people in the world, especially when said culture is an active detriment to the growth and development of those people. This doesn't mean I think we should just make all of the world America, just that we shouldn't go out of our way to preserve existing cultures. And just for good measure, I'm going to repeat myself that this doesn't mean America is absolved of all its wrongdoings, or that we should be careful in adopting this perspective without criticism, but I don't see a better alternative that would realistically work without fundamentally changing human nature. I'm going to make this claim - that the world today for the average person is far better due to America taking a global position than it would have been if America chose to stay neutral during WWII and take a far more isolationist approach.

I got curious so I found some better stats:

In the first quarter of 2024, fully-electric vehicles (BEVs) declined to 7.3% of new sales market share in the United States. Of the nearly 3.8 million light-duty vehicles sold in America in Q4, 268,909 were fully-electric Tesla’s share of the EV market held steady at 52%, but is down significantly from 60% in Q1 2023, and down from 79% market share in 2020.

So Tesla has maintained consistentl sales of units of cars in the past 8 quarters while the other players are growing. 52% is still a lot but it doesn't seem like Tesla is able to really grow it's customer acquisition rate. EV in general is also slow to catch on. But in comparison to another individual company Tesla is still far ahead.

In comparison to Apple in 2024:

In the US, iPhones hold a market share of 60.77%.

But this was a drop from when Apple basically had 100% of the market since they were basically the first popular smartphone. I think the fact that EV has a strong competitor in just regular cars (EVs are not that much better than regular gas cars, while smart phones were vastly superior to flip phones) coupled with many other players entering the market before Tesla could grow too big makes your summary correct.

On the matter of public health there aren't any strong arguments I've seen in support that those lies that benefited the public on the matters of public health. Maybe someone could steelman their position because I can't think of any. I was thinking more in terms of geopolitical conflicts between nations.

Sachs' version of tell the truth isn't reveal all secrets, but to be honest about our past dealings and future intentions.

This better clarifies his position and I am in general agreement with that approach.

Honestly I barely read the rest of your post because it's the same arguments that got us here.

Honestly you don't have to mention this. I'm just asking questions to facilitate discussion and to better understand why governments behave the way they do, and if there is actually any value in doing so. You might not want to hear the reason, but I do, and I'm sure others do as well. Isn't that the point of this forum? To shed light and try to understand the opposition? Maybe there actually is some value in what they have to say. If not, then it better equips you (or anybody else reading) being able to point out the flaws in their reasoning.

I get your frustration, I really do. The government's fearmongering of and lies regarding Covid was an absolute disaster and I still feel the ramifications today. I feel like it robbed me of 4 years of my life, and that my life is worse today than it was at the start of 2020. But I still want to understand the line of reasoning and support of government lies (not necessarily of the response to Covid, but in general).

To fool your enemies, you must first fool your friends - this is a proverb for a reason. Now you may personally disagree with this as a matter of principle and refuse to engage with such an idea, but you cannot deny the utility it has. I think one could make a strong argument in support of such tactics in times of war. If one agrees with the argument, then it goes to reason there is some line where the cost to benefit justifies or denies it's usage. I don't think refusing to acknowledge its utility just because it can then lead to a discussion of where and when its justified is appropriate because most of the world is not black and white and most behavior of people isn't black and white.

Less lying. A whole lot less lying. From everyone, especially if you think it's for the common good, I don't believe you and don't want to hear it.

I'm trying to recall who said it but the general idea is that the most dangerous type of people who believe they are doing something for the good of humanity. I think there are people who would vote for or be in support of governments lying to the population if they believed it was for the common good. We see people defending the government's response to Covid to this day. Getting mad at these people won't get them to change their minds. The ones that do are just as susceptible to shifting their feelings back with an equally emotional response from the other side. I seek to hone my arguments so that I can at least convince those who are willing to listen.

But I'm not going to let the specter of the Orient let the lying fedgov off the hook for their lying ways.

Sure, let's hold the government accountable for their past actions. But we live in the reality we live in. What would be the best approach to China now? Personally, I think the US could benefit from not playing world police for a decade and just focusing on solving our internal problems. But what are the potential consequences of that?

My belief is that the world can only be mostly peaceful if there is a significantly powerful force that is so powerful that it makes it not worth it for a foreign nation to cause war. In that case, I'd rather that force be the US and not China. The reason we don't have wide-scale World War 1 and 2 style conflicts anymore is because of mutually assured destruction and the fact that most of the world is now aligned with US and US interests and values. But if human history teaches us anything, it's that if someone can bully someone else out of their resources, they will do that. On a micro-scale, the only reason we don't have large portions of the population stealing from each other is because society (with the use of physical force such as police) keeps us in check. As soon as we started defunding police crime went up. I believe the same applies to larger scales. Remove the US-aligned hegemony and we will start to see more international conflicts. This is a belief I haven't really honed, so I'm open to criticism and a better alternative theory regarding minimizing international conflicts.