All of the reasons I give for never again wanting to live in a city just don’t apply in Singapore: There are virtually no traffic problems, virtually no crime, no hypodermic needles or feces on the sidewalks, everything is clean and well-maintained. Everyone is gracious and polite, most buildings are beautiful. Everything smells either delicious or fresh, homelessness is virtually non-existent, public transportation is the cleanest, quietest, and best-organized I’ve seen in any city… In many ways, Singapore is about as close as you get to a metropolitan utopia.
But these advantages come at a price, in the form of limited free speech, government-recommend behavior, heavy surveillance, strong police presence, and laws that some westerners find oppressive. No vaping is allowed period, cigarette smoking is heavily restricted, no chewing gum allowed (technically it’s legal to chew, but illegal to buy or sell), etc. And if you want to protest something, you have to apply for a permit (guess who gets to approve or deny your permit?).
2: Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3: Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.
4: When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5: Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6: Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7: Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8: Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9: Be scrupulously truthful, even when truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
22 states have a vote by mail option. Three states: Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, are now set up to vote ONLY by mail. Every potential voter gets a ballot mailed to them – no questions asked, no hassle. These states save tens or hundreds of millions of dollars running elections, put to rest all of the questions and vulnerabilities of voting machines, and maintain a tangible paper trail (even texting you confirmation when your vote is received). We need to put an end to polling places being used as tools of voter suppression, and this solution seems like a no-brainer to me. Bring it on, in all 50.
There are no truly socialist countries in the world, if you’re going by strict definitions. Neither are there any truly capitalist countries in the world. All countries have some regulations to protect the less fortunate, and all countries have some regulations to prevent the effects of runaway capitalism. There is a spectrum of regulation and a spectrum of social safety nets. “Socialist” usually just means “More socialistic than my country” and vice versa for “capitalist.” The only question is where you want your country to exist on these spectrums. Great answer at Quora.
Very good analogy. TLDR; When you go up against things that bring people comfort, no matter how reasonable or factual your arguments may be, be prepared to meet The Clenched Fists of Entrenchment.
The Fireplace Delusion | Sam Harris
The Fireplace Delusion | Sam Harris
It seems to me that many nonbelievers have forgotten—or never knew—what it is like to suffer an unhappy collision with scientific rationality. We are open to good evidence and sound argument as a matter of principle, and are generally willing to follow wherever they may lead. Certain of us have made careers out of bemoaning … Continued
Mind reeling watching Sacha Baron-Cohen’s “Who Is America?” The things Americans and their politicians are willing to say and do on camera when they feel like they’re talking to someone sympathetic to their cause…. Dick Cheney signing a waterboard. A woman from The Bachelor claiming to have saved 6,000 lives in Sierra-Leone by “just being nice” to a warlord. Congresscritters actively promoting the “Kinderguardian” program to arm toddlers in American schools, or to scream the N-word and push a bare butt up against people in burkhas to “make the terrorists homosexual.”
It goes on and on, until you’re dumbfounded. Amazing how one “victim” after another tries to defend themselves by claiming they were “duped” … as in duped into saying what they really think. The depths of American idiocy and evil Cohen is uprooting here is equal parts brilliant and horrific.
Grandfather and uncle said to me when I was young “If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart, but if you aren’t a middle-aged conservative, you have no head.” But that’s not what I’ve seen or experienced. What I’ve seen is that if people rigidify their beliefs as they age, they become more conservative. If they continue to learn and absorb, they become more liberal. How does your experience compare?
It takes light takes about a nanosecond to travel a foot. So if you’re sitting four feet away from me, I’m seeing you as you were 4 billionths of a second ago. Meanwhile, Earth light takes four years to get to Alpha Centauri. So for anyone on a planet in Alpha Centauri watching Earth TV, it would appear that we still have an adult president in office.
I just got called “a radical leftist” who is “angry because I’m not getting my way.” It occurred to me that that is probably how many Trump supporters see protestors against his regime – as radicals. So, I want to know: what “radical” ideas have any of us promoted in the past 18 months? Is it “radical” to not want the U.S. to torture? Is it “radical” not to want our government run by inexperienced bankers, bloggers, oil tycoons and reality TV hosts? Is it “radical” that we want to preserve crucial environmental regulations? Is it “radical” that we stand with and for America’s history as a refugee-friendly country, symbolized by our own Statue of Liberty? Is it “radical” that we believe in the 1st Amendment and recognize that a free press is fundamental to a functioning democracy? Is it “radical” that we want to turn to expert scientists who dedicate their careers to understanding and explaining the physical world to us? Nothing on this list is radical. No one on the left is even proposing change in this fight – we are just trying to protect our good bits. Meanwhile, we have a president who is throwing Molotov cocktails into the middle of…. pretty much everything, actively working to tear down as much of our government, our principles, our culture as he can. And we’re the radicals? Weird math.