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joined 2022 September 22 14:34:15 UTC


User ID: 1315



0 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 22 14:34:15 UTC


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User ID: 1315

You're right, I didn't understand what the word "instigate" meant. I thought you claimed that Ashkenazi Jews are the chief supporters / proponents of Zionism in modern Israel - but that was not your claim.

You ignore the DNA evidence that Palestinians are the direct ancestors of ancient Canaanite and Levantine inhabitants of the land, and doubly ignore that Ashkenazim — the chief instigators of Zionism — are half-European in DNA.

How are Ashkenazim "the chief instigators of Zionism"? Mizrahi Jews in Israel make up over 60% of the nation's Jewish population, and their politics are to the right relative to the country.

Yeah, I think in ice hockey especially, fights aren't seen as pathological, but rather as an important part of a self-policing culture. I can understand that. What I don't understand is why the local district attorney would take that stance (and not prosecute offenders).

Baseball doesn't have the same opportunities to deliberately inflict injury within the standard ruleset of the game, so the same sort of culture never developed.

Interestingly, and consistent with your theory, my sense is that the proximate cause for most professional baseball fights is a perception of inappropriately aggressive play on the part of the opponent: high-and-inside fastball, sliding into 2nd base with spikes up, and so on. It's also interesting to me that in both baseball and ice hockey, the culture broadly prohibits using weapons in fights. The first thing a hockey / baseball player will do at the start of his fight is throw down his stick / bat. Again, this is consistent with the theory that fights serve to self-police / enforce expectations for conduct.

hockey has long had a culture of policing things that aren't quite illegal, but considered excessive via player-based enforcement in fights.

Why are fights between athletes considered just part of the game, rather than serious crimes? I assume that if I were to take a swing at someone in my office, in front of a million spectators and filmed from fifty angles, I would (quite appropriately) face jail time. But this doesn't seem to hold for, e.g., baseball players.

Hamas is backed, formally or tacitly, by a host of Middle Eastern nations, at least one of which (Iran) is a nuclear power.

I don't think Iran is known to be a nuclear power, at least as I understand the phrase (possessing nuclear weaponry).

I personally haven't carried a phone (smart or otherwise) since sometime in July, when I dropped and broke my iPhone. Before that, I hadn't been without a smart phone since around 2012. I don't have a land line. If I need to make a call, I use Google voice on my laptop.

Mostly, I've been phoneless as an experiment. Overall, the experience has probably been net negative, and I'll likely get a phone soon.

On the plus side, I can focus somewhat better (on reading, or work, or watching a movie at home, or whatever) without the phone constantly interrupting me or threatening to interrupt me (or just being an attractive distraction). I also take satisfaction in the idea that I've opted out of a part of modern consumer culture. I think I'm reading books now when previously I would have been scrolling on my phone (this is an improved use of my time, in my opinion).

On the negative side, there've been a few times where I could've used a phone (e.g., I got locked out of my office, and had to just go home for the afternoon). I know it's an annoyance (and concern) to my family that they can't reach me at any moment. There are various sites (for banking and such) that use the ability to receive texts as a 2nd authentication factor. If I had a social life, I assume not having a phone would be a major impediment. I feel like I'm losing touch with friends whom I used to call and text. I can't call Uber. If I get lost, I don't have access to maps.

I will say that the first week without a phone felt very unnatural (ironically), but after that, I guess I got used to it.

This response is extremely helpful, thank you.

Israel would have (more of a) carte blanche to just indiscriminately whale on Gaza. After all, it would be easier to say that anyone who did not leave is a Hamas militant, or forced to stay by Hamas (so it’s Hamas who are responsible if they die)

Prohibiting the exit of Palestinian civilians from Gaza because keeping these civilians in Gaza limits Israel's scope of military operation seems consistent with Israel's complaints about the use of Palestinian "human shields."

Rest of the Arab world might hold Egypt partially liable for a new Nakba.

It's hard for me to see the Arab world blaming Egypt for allowing refugees to exit a war zone. Many Palestinians were permitted to flee to Egypt in 1948. Does the Arab world hold Egypt partially liable for the original Nakba?

If sufficiently many [Palestinians] leave, it would considerably advance the desired Israeli end state of a comfortable Jewish majority in the entire former Mandatory Palestine.

Is "a Jewish majority in the entire former Mandatory Palestine" really the "desired Israeli end state"?

Thank you, this is an extraordinary answer.

Let's consider pediatric medical supplies with minimal potential for military diversion (e.g., neonatal incubators). Let's further assume that pediatric health will be harmed without access to these supplies.

Under this framework, at the current time, is Israel obligated to permit their passage across its border?

Pour liquid propane inside could help I think. It displaces all the oxygen . . . they will run out of oxygen.

I'm not an expert, but I assume this would reasonably qualify as a chemical weapon (an asphyxiating gas). Separate from the legal questions, I would consider it an escalation in the conflict.

Thanks. I've read all the threads here, and I still don't have answers to these questions. I've seen plenty of confident assertions (of course), but they often conflict and typically lack support.

For example, to respond to your answer, I've seen suggestions here and elsewhere that America and Israel have exerted pressure on Egypt to not open their border with Gaza to an exodus of Palestinian refugees / an influx of humanitarian supplies. Is this claim totally without basis?

Some narrow questions about the current conflict.

I have some narrow questions about the conflict that I'm having trouble getting good answers to. None of these is intended as a "gotcha."

  1. Why can't Palestinian civilians flee to Egypt across Gaza's southern border? What considerations or pressures (internal or external) prevent Egypt from granting entry now to Palestinian refugees?

  2. What is the status of the Israeli hostages? Should we believe that they're still alive? Are they assumed to all be held in Gaza? Are they being detained together? Who coordinates their care? Do we have any knowledge of their treatment in detention?

  3. What is Hamas? Is it a political party? Is there separate civil and military leadership? Does it have a clear command chain? Are leaders identified publicly? Is it clear which particular leaders were likely involved in planning / authorizing Saturday's incursion into Israel? Do these leaders currently reside inside of Gaza? Are they in communication with one another, or are they isolated now? Do they continue coordinating activities, or are they relegated to being bystanders? Is there any line of communication open now between Israeli and Gazan political leadership? Leaving aside willingness, are there Gazan political leaders who would be capable of enforcing the Gazan side of a potential ceasefire?

  4. What are the strategic objectives of Israel's current bombardment / siege of Gaza? Is it aimed at weakening military capabilities in preparation for a ground invasion / occupation? Is it aimed at weakening military capabilities to limit Hamas's ability to launch another strike against Israel? Is it bloodlust / punishment / revenge? Is it a show of force to warn other regional actors (from the West Bank, Iran, or Lebanon) to stay away? Is it intended to "break the will" of Gazans, so that popular support will wane for military strikes on Israel? Is it aimed at disincentivizing future military strikes on Israel (by impressing upon prospective actors that the consequences of such strikes will be severe)?

  5. Is there significant continued Gazan military resistance to Israel's bombardment? Are missiles still being launched from Gazan territory? If so, are these coordinated actions, or are they actions taken at the initiative of small, independent groups of actors in Gaza?

  6. If Israel's total blockade of the Gaza strip persists, how will the civilian population be affected? Clearly, medically-vulnerable people will be severely impacted in the immediate term. But over what timeframe will the general population face life-threatening hardship (and not simple inconvenience)?

  7. Leaving aside ethical and moral obligations, is there a case that Israel has a proactive legal obligation to permit the influx of humanitarian supplies to Gaza along their shared border?

I assume that others here have their own narrow questions. If so, maybe they could go in this thread.

Is a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict conceivable in this decade?

Warning: I know very little about the details or history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In business negotiations, there's a concept of Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), which boils down to the range of possible negotiation outcomes that both parties would consider preferable to the alternative (i.e., preferable to a failure to arrive at any negotiated agreement).

Take the sale of a used car, for example. The buyer is willing to purchase the vehicle for a price up to $3000 (this figure is private). The seller is willing to sell for a price that's at least $2750 (also private). In this scenario, a Zone of Possible Agreement exists between $2750 and $3000, where both the buyer's and the seller’s minimal terms can be met.1

The important point is that any negotiated agreement will be somewhere in the ZOPA. The buyer's goal in the negotiation is to achieve an agreement on the low end of the ZOPA, and the seller's goal is to achieve an agreement on the high end of the ZOPA. It doesn't mean they'll arrive at an agreement, but at least both parties prefer to reach an agreement in the ZOPA than to not reach any agreement at all.

But not all scenarios admit a non-empty ZOPA. For example, if the buyer were willing to pay no more than $2000, then there is no ZOPA. Negotiation would be pointless.

Obviously, this framework tremendously over-simplifies the present conflict. Still, I don't know of a better one.

So, is there any conceivable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that both sides2 would prefer over continued conflict (hot or cold)?

My sense, unfortunately, is that the most painful concessions that can be extracted from either side would be insufficient for the other side.

And thus, war remains as "the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means."

[1] This example is the one provided at the link, modified slightly for clarity.

[2] One way in which this framing is an over-simplification is that it ignores that each side contains multiple relevant constituencies, each with its own preferences.

Alcoholism, despite the stereotype, almost always has an emotional component which, if resolved, removes the driving compulsion to drink, though not always the urge.

I'm still struggling to understand what claim you're making about the nature of alcoholism. You stress that wants and needs are (imperative) emotional components. So is it just that people stop being alcoholics when they stop wanting/needing to drink alcohol? But that's almost tautological.

I like how this response emphasizes tradeoffs. Sometimes (or often, or always) the best realistic outcome isn't a perfect one.

I think this nicely acknowledges some of the individual variation / tradeoffs involved. I've noticed a trend in life-advice-giving where people are often wrong, but never in doubt. So, you'll have someone ask whether he should pursue his dream of quitting accounting to become a painter, and one person will write back that he definitely, 100% should, and the next person will respond that he definitely, 100% shouldn't.

I don't understand the "clashing rocks" comparison. I understand (from Google) that it's a reference to the Symplegades from Greek myth, but what the relevance is of that story is lost on me.

Thank you. I think this is very helpful. I look at various of the married guys I work with and it's hard to tell whether their boring-seeming (to me) lives are actually full of these hidden, rich wellsprings of "beauty and intensity," or whether it's all a lie I should run from without looking back. A lot depends on the person, I guess.

Thanks. I think it's interesting that your husband would share this concern with you before marriage. I have what I believe to be a fairly honest-and-open relationship with my girlfriend, but this isn't something I would consider sharing (partly for fear of hurting her, but partly out of concern for how it might affect her conception of me - and the impact that could have on our relation).

Alcoholism, despite the stereotype, almost always has an emotional component which, if resolved, removes the driving compulsion to drink, though not always the urge.

I find this claim appealing, but it's so poorly-defined as to be impossible to test. "Emotional component" is a placeholder - it might just as well be phlogiston or black bile.

Married men of The Motte, how do you “make peace with” life-long monogamy?

I’m a heterosexual male. During my 20s and early 30s, I had a non-trivial amount of novel sexual experience (probably averaging 2 or 3 new sex partners each year over this period, with exceptions for years in which I was in various committed relationships). Now, I’m old (40). I’ve had a girlfriend for a long time (5 years), and I’m considering marriage.

The thing is though, I’m freaked out by the idea of only having sex with one woman for the rest of my life. I get really uncomfortable watching Will Ferrell’s character in “Old School.”

I doubt my girlfriend would accept a non-monogamous relationship (I don’t even really want this myself), and I don't intend to be unfaithful (if only because the stress / feelings of guilt would eat me alive). I've always preferred vanilla sex; novelty's my only kink.

Should men like myself seek to "make peace with" life-long monogamy? If so, where do I start?

No, they weren't shit, or at least not all of them. American Pie offers an interesting treatment of male friendship and the transition to adulthood. I don't want to take this too far, but in some ways, it's a really beautiful movie. (I don't deny the sequels were shameless cash-grabs).

I agree with other comments that the teen sex comedy genre was crushed by a combination of (1) competition from online porn and (2) changes to cultural mores (particularly surrounding sexual harassment and consent). Larger Hollywood consolidation trends aren't completely irrelevant, but I don't think they were the main driver.

[Edited for clarity]

I was on one of these busses that was filled with migrants sometime around the beginning of the year. The bus was traveling from San Antonio to Dallas. It was a normal Greyhound bus, and I had purchased a ticket. When I got to the bus station, there was some kind of (possibly Christian) charity group distributing boxed lunches. Most passenger wore stickers on their chests listing their names and final destinations.

I talked a bit to the guy sitting next to me (I speak Spanish). I'll call him L. L was from Venezuela, but had been living the past few years in Ecuador. He had a wife and 2 kids remaining in South America. He'd crossed north through Central America and then Mexico through some combination of foot, car, and rail. Finally, he'd arrived at the US border a few days prior. He proceeded to cross-over around Laredo, TX, then surrendered himself to American immigration agents. L was detained for a few days in some kind of immigration facility, then discharged to the streets with an (online) court date for a year in the future. Someone told L he should proceed to some kind of homeless shelter, so that's what he did. He stayed there for a few days, and then someone came and offered him (and other migrants) a free, 1-way bus ticket to the American city of their choosing. L chose Indianapolis, because he had some relatives living there. Some days later, he was escorted into a shuttle with other migrants, transported by shuttle to the Laredo bus station, handed a stack of bus tickets (there's no direct route from Laredo to Indianapolis!), and encouraged to board the bus. His first stop was San Antonio. L told me he'd worked as an auto mechanic before, and that he hoped to find similar work in Indianapolis, but that he was willing to work at any kind of job.

A few points:

  1. L maintained that he had been treated well during his few days in detention. (I asked.)
  2. L was clearly an economic migrant. He wasn't fleeing violence, or religious persecution, or climate change, or anything like that. He saw America as an economic opportunity for himself and his family (correctly or not).
  3. L seemed intent on finding a job ASAP. He asked me whether I could help him find work.
  4. L seemed intent on learning English. He asked me some questions about how to say simple words in English.
  5. L expressed the hope of saving money, then sending for his wife and kids to join him. He maintained that he would fly them to America, because it would be too dangerous for them to travel across land as he had done.
  6. I have no idea who the agent was who distributed bus tickets, or on whose authority he was acting. Did he operate in a governmental capacity? As a private citizen? As part of an NGO? I don't know.
  7. There was some kind of charity group (it seemed) greeting the migrants in San Antonio. I don't know who they were or what their role was, or how they were organized.
  8. L maintained that he hadn't been coerced into leaving Texas.
  9. This was a normal, commercial bus. It wasn't chartered. I had purchased a ticket online. Most of the people on the bus seemed to be migrants.
  10. L had received a medical evaluation when he entered detention, but he didn't mention any medical exam having been administered prior to his boarding the bus.
  11. I have no idea how typical L's case is.
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I think a major problem is that there’s a lot of wiggle room for motte and Bailey around the issue. When people want sympathy they talk about a guy just down on his luck. When they want to remove them, they’re drug using street shitters.

I agree that people describe homeless populations (indeed, all populations) as more or less sympathetic depending on their own sympathies. But I hardly see how that (alone) has anything to do with mottes / baileys. Not every form of intellectual dishonesty should be shoehorned into a motte-and-bailey framework.

Per Scott:

So the motte-and-bailey doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement. Then when somebody challenges you, you retreat to an obvious, uncontroversial statement, and say that was what you meant all along, so you’re clearly right and they’re silly for challenging you. Then when the argument is over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement.

[America has] 330 million people. A million [drug overdose] deaths in 10 years isn't even coming close to affecting the median.

Of course the median American didn't die from a drug overdose in the last decade. But if knowing a drug addict is to be affected, then I suspect the median American has indeed been affected by drug abuse.

Once you're in the real world, it's all about results, and if you can't hang, you aren't going to go anywhere.

The claim that professional promotion requires concrete accomplishments in a role is wrong or vacuous.

Plenty of people get promoted for "bad" reasons. Often they're just in the right place at the right time. Or they market themselves and their mediocre achievements effectively. Sometimes they sequester special knowledge, which makes them seem useful, even if they're not useful in any kind of wins above replacement sense. Sometimes they get credit for others' achievements, either because they take credit unethically, or because they're just kinda near an achievement and it falls on them by osmosis. Sometimes they've been in a role for a long time, and they're butting-up against the top of the compensation window for that level, so it's easier to promote them than not. Sometimes the panel making the promotion decision is sympathetic to them for various reasons. And on and on.