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Multidimensional Radical Centrist

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joined 2022 September 04 18:24:54 UTC


User ID: 64


Multidimensional Radical Centrist

1 follower   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 04 18:24:54 UTC


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User ID: 64

Want to increase birth rates? Try gender equality.

I find this point interesting, because I distinctly remember a zeitgeist a few decades back in which "gender equality" was being pushed specifically because it would reduce birth rates to ward off Malthusian catastrophe. This was specifically in the lens of low Western birthrates being preferable to higher ones in largely Third-World nations. Admittedly, "the zeitgeist" is hard to cite, so perhaps I didn't really understand the full situation at the time.

I'm not particularly convinced that either direction is unilaterally correct: it's quite possible that the results are contextual based on a number of other variables, but it does provide an example of how "more feminism and gender equality" seems to be pushed (primarily by the Left) as a cure for all societal ills. That last part I think is a drastic oversimplification, but probably also a bit of a weakman of the actual arguments.

I always assume that anyone unironically quoting Schenck agrees with its conclusion that distributing anti-draft pamphlets is akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater. Which seems like a downright fascist perspective, but what do I know?

I watched Idiocracy (2006) recently and had a similar experience. Sure, it takes hard swipes at Bush-era conservatives, but the fundamental premise is about how intelligence is heritable (this is, in fact, just assumed without discussion) and how educated populations aren't having kids.

Also Team America World Police hit differently in a 2023 in which opinion seems to have swung back towards "actually, some intervention might, hypothetically, be for good" with wars of violent conquest ongoing in Europe and potentially elsewhere.

So the school district in question was recently taken over by the state due to the consistently failing scores of some of its schools. This is somewhat politically controversial because it's a red state but a blue district, although most at least seem to agree that the schools themselves are underperforming. The new superintendent brought in to fix this is trying some pretty aggressive reforms -- honestly I would have expected business-as-usual with maybe a hint of red politics, followed by little actually changing.

My understanding of the details from peripherally following this are as follows:

  • New Education System schools are (mostly?) the failing ones: they seem to be leaving the well-ranked ones alone.
  • Several thousand (IIRC) non-teaching administrators at the district office have been laid off.
  • Teacher salaries at NES schools have been bumped measurably, but will also be tied to test scores.
  • There seems to be a focus on the core "Three Rs" (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic), and honestly swapping librarians for improved classroom sizes and reducing classroom disruption might be worth it. It sounds like they are keeping the actual books.

Overall, I'm surprised they are willing to try an experiment with such large changes. Some of the changes seem a bit partisan, but "reduce classroom sizes and pay teachers more" seems to generally have bipartisan expectations of improving scores. Classroom discipline is red-coded, as is cutting non-core services. I'm modestly hopeful it will show results, but the blue teacher constituency would love to see egg on the State' face. I'm never quite sure how much we can expect the education system to solve issues at home: maybe in aggregate, but not in every case, certainly.

Only a tiny fraction of people who come in for an initial consultation end up medically transitioning; most are dissuaded after talking to psychologists and doctors about whether it's actually the best path for them.

Do you have a citation to back this up? I haven't found any direct numbers, but there are some damning quotes from seemingly-reasonable sources. For example, the Interim Cass Review of the Tavistock clinic includes:

1.14. Primary and secondary care staff have told us that they feel under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach and that this is at odds with the standard process of clinical assessment and diagnosis that they have been trained to undertake in all other clinical encounters

Honestly, I can't even find anecdotes of anyone and their doctor deciding that no treatment was the right course of action. I'm sure it's happened, but I'm having trouble believing "most" here.

A first generation, in which people primarily followed real-life friends or acquaintances of those friends (and so on). Those real-life friends shared their thoughts, pictures, ideas, inane ramblings and so on. This was Facebook and its predecessors like MySpace and Friendster.

I am, to be honest, a little sad that the Facebook of 10-15 years ago isn't really around anymore. To some extent, the friend network is still there and it's interesting to me to follow what my classmates and friends at the time are now up to. I think there's till a market for a good service like that for mainly keeping in touch and tracking major life events ("births, deaths, and marriages"), but modern Facebook seems to aggressively recommend Instagram-like creators rather than creating an environment where I can see "oh, this friend from college just moved to the same town as me" and stimulate real communities. But maybe I'm just getting old and reaching the "old man yells at someone else's computer cloud" stage.

Now 75k a year of migrants is probably NYC fair share of migrants for how many are coming.

One comparison I think is interesting is that the number of illegal border crossings each month in 2022 (~200k) is roughly the size of the Russian force that originally invaded Ukraine in February. Obviously those crossing into the US aren't an armed force bent on regime change, but I think it gives an interesting perspective to the scale of the problem that someone (wrongly, as it turns out) thought that was a large enough force to invade a country with more people than California.

Honestly, I think the Democrats have a branding problem in that they've been positioning themselves as Anti-Republican on this (among other issues) without universally wanting unfettered immigration either. But when word gets around that "Uncle Joe will let us in" and people start turning up, they can't exactly admit that some degree of restriction is valid and desirable, so they do things like quietly continue building Trump's wall.

I also think we need to reconsider the idea that the shibboleth "asylum" when said to border agents should grant months-to-years of legal residency until claims can be reviewed with no real teeth for failure-to-appear. It sounds nice in principle, but seems prone to abuse.

It's worth noting that the inventors of the lobotomy won the 1949 Nobel Prize for medicine: this wasn't just a few crazy doctors somewhere.

Yet, if you think about it, where else does light come from but heat? Things that are very cold give off no light, yet everything that emits light will also be hot.

I would observe how over the past few decades we've moved from domestic lighting based off the blackbody radiation of incandescent (hot) filaments to high-efficiency LEDs producing (blue or UV) monochromatic light based on the engineered semiconductor band gap, illuminating carefully designed phosphors to re-radiate pleasant spectra with maximal efficiency. These are much more power efficient than incandescent bulbs, and are observably less hot, even if the light itself will (subtly) warm that which it shines on.

I don't think one can avoid some metaphorical heat (excessive emotional valence) with the light of sober discussion, but we can certainly strive to be more efficient about it.

What's funny about this is that my experience is largely the opposite: I recently visited some friends in the north Dallas metroplex, which is about as close to the platonic ideal of detached-house suburbia as you can get sprawling in all directions, and they know their neighbors on all sides by name (and which tools and skills they regularly trade), and live within a few hundred meters of an HOA-managed playscape where they regularly encounter the same few dozen children and parents. As far as I can tell, the folks I know in the NYC area have much more trouble meeting their neighbors behind closed apartment doors, with front yards replaced with dark interior hallways, and porches replaced with coffee shops and bars.

I'd buy that the experience varies a lot by personality, though: if you are looking for a particular niche interest friend group, the city is probably a better choice, and suburbia can be pretty underwhelming. But I do think suburbs are often undersold generally.

I have been wanting to do an effort post on the Culture War clashes of yesteryear that have since fizzled for various reasons. This is a couple of good examples, to which I might add turn-of-the-century hysteria over carpal tunnel disabling knowledge workers at keyboards and file sharing vs. the RIAA and MPAA.

I'm curious if anyone has any other battles-gone-cold they can remember.

I think a decent fraction of America's troubles in this regard happen because our rules enforcement mechanisms target the middle class. There is an entire class of people (including those disturbing your train ride) who are functionally judgement proof. They aren't afraid of a fine because they can't pay it anyway, and so aren't dissuaded from all sorts of anti-social behavior.

There is also a very middle-class sensibility that instinctively opposes criminal punishment for things that can mostly be enforces with fines.

The problem is that a golf cart is a low-security vehicle

For better or worse, I think one of the less-prominent reasons that cars are so popular is that they're just big enough to be hard to walk off with. Bikes, and to a lesser extent motorcycles, are forced to depend on locks, which for better or worse are pretty universally inadequate if left unattended for hours. An angle grinder or bolt cutters aren't regulated equipment, but tow trucks are harder to conceal and use illicitly: as far as I can tell, most car theft involves taking the car under its own power.

I imagine these kinds of things still happen in the US but aren't federally funded. And US university people know anything about this?

The typical workaround is that you can host a "women in [field]" event, but you can't restrict who actually attends. To some extent everyone knows what's expected, but I do recall my local Society of Women Engineers chapter was pretty explicit about recruiting all comers, so it's not all a wink and a nudge.

Personally, I think it's just typical American prudishness. In other Western countries, it is perfectly normal and unremarkable for statues with exposed penises and breasts (non-pornographic, of course) to be displayed in public, where they are easily seen by children of all ages.

This really seems to follow from a century-spanning argument over the appropriateness of not-obviously-sexual nudity. People say this is American, but the European debate over fig leaves in art goes back at least as far as the Reformation. The plaster cast of David at the Victoria and Albert Museum had a fig leaf covering the bits in the Victorian era.

If you talk to women in their 20s you’ll learn that a chunk of them go on dates and expect a relationship with a man who has no intention of having one. This is because of social media induced higher standards, hyper-competitive labor market induced higher standards, the decline in slut shaming, and last but not least dating apps.

Despite how much Millennials and Zoomers make fun of Cold War suburban "keeping up with the Jones'" standards chasing, widespread social media adoption seems to have driven the trend to eleven. Sure, the material aesthetic is somewhat different -- less quintessentially suburban -- but the rampant self-comparison to "influencers" who are often quasi-professionals at producing Instagram vibes certainly goes beyond healthy role models in many cases.

having homosexual sex became an identity rather than just something you did

I believe this still exists: the CDC uses the term "men who have sex with men" rather than "gay", "homosexual", or "bisexual" because there are communities of men who identify as "straight" that occasionally engage in same-sex activities. Consider "down-low".

But you're correct, it's not frequently discussed despite an otherwise large pantheon of sexual identities.

IMO Top Gun: Maverick did a good job of scriptwriting without throwing its title character under the bus. But that may be the only modern sequel/remake I can think of that does a passable job. Disney (really, Lucasfilm in particular) seems to like bringing up old characters and showing that despite when we last saw them victorious at the end of the movie, they've gotten old and have their lives falling apart.

On the other hand, Maverick is probably the only good example I've seen in the last few years. I've long wondered why filmmakers can't spend, I don't know, twice as much on hiring a good writer up front and making a good story, presumably saving tons of money in re-shoots and major CGI edits-on-edits. At least from the outside, it seems obvious that many of these movies are going to be trainwrecks long before release.

The issue around classification is effectively whether Trump could have by his power as President deemed any of the documents he took to not be information relating to the national defense, and also whether or not his claims to have done so are in fact true, or just something he made up after the fact of him leaving office.

Part of the problem with this is legal case is that with a few (largely nuclear-related) exceptions, all classification guidance exists in the form of Executive Orders. The current guidance is EO 13526 from 2010, but that revoked and replaced a whole list of orders from previous administrations dating back to Harry Truman. So if the question is "could Trump have declassified this?", he could have declassified (almost) everything by mere a executive order revoking 13526 without replacement. In addition, the EO 13526 explicitly designates the President (and Vice President) as a "classification authority" able to determine classification.

But what constitutes an executive order? In general, the separate powers of the US federal government are given broad leeway to determine their own rules and procedures (see Noel Canning, which found that the Senate is in recess only when it declares itself as such). I can't see any reasonable court deciding that failing to write on official White House stationary invalidates an executive order. There might be an argument that the President wasn't faithfully executing the laws as passed by Congress, but the Legislature has its own means (impeachment) for enforcing that.

If the contention is that the illegal acts happened after he was president, that's a potential case, but I think it still faces a fairly high bar to show that keeping the documents wasn't justified by actions taken as president: that would require a court to take significant leeway in interpreting how the executive ran its operations. A precedent of "just because a President [claims to have] issued verbal instructions to do things that are lawful except for violating prior executive orders doesn't prevent your prosecution for violating those prior orders" would be terrible.

Does an elected President (in particular, one with no prior service) even have to sign SF 312? That NDA is the vehicle through which most criminal charges for mishandling classified information flow, and without it it's unclear that any charges could stick to a non-signatory. That's why the powers that be can't charge the journalists at The Washington Post who published the Snowden leaks.

Now, the fact that classification is almost entirely due to Executive fiat is, I would agree, a terrible arrangement, and it would make quite a bit of sense to codify (much of) the existing ruleset through an act of Congress. But, in its great wisdom, Congress hasn't decided that doing so is worth its effort. Ultimately, I'm not a fan of Trump, but this really seems like a politicized effort to bring historically unprecedented charges.

There's got to be a social aspect to the instinct

The most plausible explanation I've seen for Uvalde is that the bystander effect took hold as soon as the first few officers didn't charge in. When there are already half a dozen guys with guns standing by the door, there's no rush for the next responders to do something different, then you start calling leadership asking for explicit direction to go in, and the next thing you know it's dozens of minutes later.

I'm not saying it exonerates their behavior, but I can see how it could have happened -- or indeed, gone quite differently with a few minor changes. If so, it's probably reducible with explicit training points about initial response.

Renewables were always a joke for Germany as well, they don’t get enough wind or sunlight for them to work and battery tech is still not close enough to compensate

While this sentiment is probably unpopular in the green space these days, over the past year or two I've realized that actually fielding scaled renewable systems anywhere roughly north of the Mason-Dixon line requires something like two orders of magnitude more battery capacity than even "battery-backed renewable" systems design for these days. Expected grid usage needs to go up. Way up.

To fully switch from fossil fuels, we presumably need to switch heating over from largely combustion furnaces to heat pumps: heating a home in northern Europe in winter takes far more energy than cooling one in a warmer climate. Electric transportation adds to grid usage. Including these, total demand is almost certainly highest when solar is least useful. A few net-zero days in summer is cute, but doesn't really provide a viable path to storing summer sunlight for winter, and without that investments in solar would be better placed in nuclear.

Yet these American blue cities are not "lurching" (a mild slur by the way) to the right, far from it. In the past decades they have become woker and woker.

I recognize that this is purely anecdotal, but my overall sense of "blue spaces" (and I live in one) is that in the last 12-18 months there's been an increase in the number of, as the kids say, "based" takes. Especially since the moderator revolt a few months back, a number of previously-radical local subreddits seem to have pivoted towards the center a bit, even if it's IMO quite-modest statements like "local property crime is bad for the community, and actually I want the police to do something" or "letting homeless folks shoot up drugs and openly defecate in the street across from the local elementary school is hardly 'compassionate' to anyone involved" get upvotes and positive engagement.

I'm hardly an expert on Russian internal politics, but this seems a case like several in history: Prigozhin likely believes he cannot escape defenestration (on account of previous comments and a lack of clear battlefield utility to the Kremlin) if he yields, so why not take a likely-unsuccessful stand? A Chinese uprising in 209BC occurred when two officers realized that the penalty for arriving late was the same as for rebelling: They were ultimately killed by their own men when their uprising proved a lost cause.

Alternatively, this could be compared to Caesar crossing the Rubicon: a charismatic military commander holding troops' personal loyalty faces a choice between yielding civil government demands to give up his army and riches and taking up arms against it. Caesar was successful despite mixed results in battle, but was ultimately unable to escape assassination at the literal hands of his political opponents.

Imagine if a democrat arrested 20 republicans for possessing an illegal firearm because they misunderstood an ATF statute and the ATF webpage said that particular modification / accessory was legal.

You don't even need to misunderstand the ATF: they're sometimes quite clear, like the since-rescinded 2004 letter in which they ruled that a "a 14 inch long shoestring with a loop at each end" was, by itself, a machine gun. In 2007 they were gracious enough to rule that the shoestring in isolation is not a machine gun, only when combined with a semiautomatic rifle.