• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics with the tag "ask.discussion". Back to normal view
    1. Language learning thread #1 - Share your progress, tips and questions

      As discussed and suggested here. What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions. Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this...

      As discussed and suggested here.

      What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions.

      Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this thread if you want to practice, but please at least include a Google Translate or Deepl translation in a foldable paragraph, using <details>[your translation]</details>

      18 votes
    2. Longstanding discourse w/ my SO about the phrase "a couple of..."

      #couple Defined as: noun: couple; plural noun: couples 1. two individuals of the same sort considered together. "a couple of girls were playing marbles" a pair of partners in a dance or game....

      #couple
      Defined as:

      noun:
      couple; plural noun: couples

      1.
      two individuals of the same sort considered together.
      "a couple of girls were playing marbles"

      a pair of partners in a dance or game.

      MECHANICS

      a pair of equal and parallel forces acting in opposite directions, and tending to cause rotation about an axis perpendicular to the plane containing them.

      2.
      two people who are married, engaged, or otherwise closely associated romantically or sexually.
      "in three weeks the couple fell in love and became engaged"

      3. INFORMAL

      an indefinite small number.
      "he hoped she'd be better in a couple of days"


      verb: couple;

      3rd person present: couples

      past tense: coupled

      past participle: coupled

      gerund or present participle: coupling

      1.
      combine.

      "a sense of hope is coupled with a palpable sense of loss"

      join to form a pair.
      "the beetles may couple up to form a pair"

      2.
      mate or have sexual intercourse.
      "as middle-class youth grew more tolerant of sex, they started to couple more often"




      #Discourse of the use of the word/phrase in this particular case

      You

      "how many would you like?"

      Them

      "just a couple."


      When someone requests 'a couple of...' I respond with something similar to: 'How many do you want specifically?', which leads to the discourse of, 'A couple is two, a few is >2, several is <x' and so on.

      I agree with the first two clearly stated definitions of 'couple', but in the informal use of a couple (eg. a depiction of a quantity) is not specifically two...nor is 'a few' three. How many specifically is several..?

      I understand the semantics within the conversation. But, the expectation of understanding that two, and only two, is implied in the use of the phrase 'a couple' in a request; is ambiguously stating what one party desires. I'm the asshole now, just tell me how many you want.

      And now...your thoughts, please.

      12 votes
    3. Let's talk about communism and the left

      Whenever i talk about my views in politics people say i'm a lefty. I want to understand what is this boogeyman called communism that will "take over the world". I live in Brazil and, for the...

      Whenever i talk about my views in politics people say i'm a lefty.

      I want to understand what is this boogeyman called communism that will "take over the world". I live in Brazil and, for the average american, our free health care system is communism. Even some brazilians think it's bad, which baffles me because it helps a lot of people, myself included. Everyone who needs cancer treatment go through it, it's one of the best in the world (for this particular disease at least) and affordable private health care plans won't cover expensive cancer treatment here.

      People here often talk about communism being bad, but what really is communism?

      I grabbed the Communist Manifesto and Why Marx Was Right to read, but did not start yet since i have to finish the book i'm currently reading.

      I never tried to understand these things because they are all over the place and it's a little boring to me, so i'll ask some basic questions here before i go further in this endeavour.

      Please, try to answer without anger and pointing fingers. Because every time i read about these topic online, there is fight and everyone says different things and accusations runs rampant.

      1. What exactly is communism in layman terms? Because for me it's all over the place. Everything that seems to care about people is put into the communist basket, but a lot of people call it a dictatorship. ELI5.

      2. Why almost every average citizen (americans and brazilians at least) says it's bad?

      3. My best friend is a school teacher and is a marxist. He says Joe Biden is still a terrible choice, but the only alternative to Trump and he is not a communist at all, but i keep hearing people call him a commie. WTF is he? If possible, ELI5 what he is and what he stands for.

      4. Why there is right x left and no place for something in between? Is there a need to everything be one side or another to work? There is no middle ground in politics? Grabbing aspects from the left and from the right and co-existing in the same government is a problem?

      5. A lot of people really think letting companies run wild and free is good. That the market will regulate itself. I think this is naive, because even now they do some really shady stuff. Just look at Nestle.
        Why people say that and is there some truth to this that i can't see? Is regulating companies a communist thing?

      6. People say that communism didn't work when implemented and the other side says that it was not really communism. What is the truth here? It didn't work? if not, why it didn't? If it was not true communism, what it was and why it was not true communism?

      7. Is there a country that is communist today?

      8. What books about the left and the right i should read? Nothing too dense.

      26 votes
    4. Personal vs. private property in Marxism

      Consider three examples: I am a farmer. I have a piece of land that can grow just enough potatoes to feed me. I work this land, I gather potatoes, ad nauseam. I am a farmer, but this time I have...

      Consider three examples:

      1. I am a farmer. I have a piece of land that can grow just enough potatoes to feed me. I work this land, I gather potatoes, ad nauseam.

      2. I am a farmer, but this time I have ten times the amount of land. I hire four workers and also work myself. Together we grow enough potatoes to feed all of us, and we also have a surplus. I sell this surplus potato for ¤5000. I am a greedy man, so I take ¤3000 for myself and give ¤500 to each of my workers.

      3. The situation is the same as in 2, but this time I am a just man. I share the money equally, so everyone including myself gets ¤1000.

      It seems to me that in the first case the land can be considered personal property, since there is no exploitation and no surplus is generated. In the second example the land is clearly a piece of private property, because I use it to exploit other people, taking most of the profit for myself.

      But what about the third example? On one hand, the profit is distributed equally, so there is technically no exploitation, right? On the other hand, I am alienated from the workers, because I still have the power to fire one of them (or all of them if I know I can replace them) or to distribute goods unfairly (even if I don't do that). What is the Marxist point of view here?

      12 votes
    5. 1000 years from now, assuming records still exist, what do you think historians will give as the end date for the American Empire?

      The Ottoman Empire ended in 1922. The Roman Empire, 476, though it was survived by the Eastern Roman Empire which lasted until 1453 and the Holy Roman Empire which stuck around in some form until...

      The Ottoman Empire ended in 1922. The Roman Empire, 476, though it was survived by the Eastern Roman Empire which lasted until 1453 and the Holy Roman Empire which stuck around in some form until 1806.

      Obviously these dates are inexact, but it's a useful historical tool to pick two events and use them as bookends to describe the arc of a given empire or society.

      So with the benefit of sufficient hindsight, say 500 or 1000 years from now, what do you think will be the generally accepted date printed in history books for "here's the event that signals the end of this period of history"?

      Do you believe it will be some point in the past, or the future? If you think it's in the past, how far back? What event?

      If you think it's in the future, how far in the future? What do you predict will happen at that time to be the historical marker?

      p.s. don't say "all history will be forgotten because of nuclear war". I agree that's a distinct possibility, but the likelihood of it happening is best addressed as a separate topic from this one. for the purposes of this thread assume we haven't completely fucked ourselves as a species and at least some records of our current time period exist.

      25 votes