40 votes

What's a widely criticized thing that you feel is worth defending?

Anything is fair game: from a movie seemingly everyone panned to a company seemingly everyone hates. Give us a justification for why you think, say, nails on a chalkboard is actually a delightful sound or why Ringo is the best Beatle.

With that said, I'm interested in genuine answers, not just people playing devil's advocate, so please only submit something you actually believe! Also, while my examples are light-hearted, serious answers are welcome too.

Guiding questions:

  • What are the common criticisms for your chosen thing?
  • Why do you feel that it's worth defending, even in light of those criticisms?

123 comments

  1. [37]
    vord
    Link
    Capitalism needs to be abolished. I constantly hear the arguments in bold. One liner rebuttals because I'm short on time. Capitalism was better than what came before it, therefore we don't need to...

    Capitalism needs to be abolished. I constantly hear the arguments in bold. One liner rebuttals because I'm short on time.

    Capitalism was better than what came before it, therefore we don't need to look to other economic models.
    Why should we only ever settle for what we have, and not strive to improve?

    Non-capitalist societies always fail, therefore it is the fault of their economic model.
    It couldn't possibly related to the fact that every time a non-capitalist society forms, capitalist nations wage economic or actual war against them.

    Greed is a natural human trait, therefore since capitalism feeds off greed it's a good thing.
    Maybe humans would be less greedy if we actually had a chance to live outside of a system that only lets the greedy be successful.

    Capitalism is efficient at distributing resources.
    Say that to all of the sick, hungry, and homeless, despite having ample medicine, food, and shelter.

    All technological progress is due to capitalism
    Because nothing was ever invented prior to the rise of capitalism, and non-capitalist states never invented anything. /s

    Green capitalism is the only way to save the planet
    There is no such thing as green capitalism. We need centrally planned economies with strict regulations to reduce waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and to build unprofitable but necessary infrastructure.

    My personal experience shows capitalism is good. Why should I listen to you instead of dismissing you?
    Stop making one-line dismissals of anti-capitalism and read or watch the underlying information I forwarded to you when you called my arguments "crazy."

    That last point drives me batty for other stuff as well... I could probably write a whole second reply about anarchism.

    46 votes
    1. [5]
      spctrvl
      Link Parent
      Or planned obsolescence, induced demand, overproduction, destruction of products to generate artificial scarcity, and inability to deal with any externalities relevant beyond the next quarter....

      Capitalism is efficient at distributing resources.
      Say that to all of the sick, hungry, and homeless, despite having ample medicine, food, and shelter.

      Or planned obsolescence, induced demand, overproduction, destruction of products to generate artificial scarcity, and inability to deal with any externalities relevant beyond the next quarter. Market economies are overrated. In the age of dirt cheap computing, we can do better.

      I wrote a bit more on that in a similar thread a while back if anyone cares to read.

      26 votes
      1. [4]
        rogue_cricket
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Not to mention the number of man-hours spent producing absolute inanities to make money for a bunch of already too-rich board members that they will never meet. There are tons of wonderful folks...

        Not to mention the number of man-hours spent producing absolute inanities to make money for a bunch of already too-rich board members that they will never meet. There are tons of wonderful folks out there full of potential to do good or produce beautiful art and they instead have to spend their limited time and valuable energy figuring out how to sell more vuvuzelas so they can get health insurance.

        11 votes
        1. [3]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          Up front: I acknowledge that this is a very privileged complaint and things could be FAR worse. I feel this though. I'm a software engineer. I hate the industry. I hate the mindset and culture of...

          Up front: I acknowledge that this is a very privileged complaint and things could be FAR worse.

          I feel this though. I'm a software engineer. I hate the industry. I hate the mindset and culture of most tech companies and many of their employees. I feel completely neutral about my day-to-day work. I find no joy in what I do, I don't actively dread work, but I find 0 satisfaction in successes. I have countless things I would rather do with my life. Unfortunately, between my partner and myself we have about $100K in student loans to pay off, we live in one of the highest cost of living cities in the US, both have chronic health issues, and i have a significantly more employable degree than my partner does. So I'm stuck in tech just trying to minimize my discomfort in hopes that someday we'll be out of debt and move to a more affordable area and it wont be too late for me to learn new skills to transfer fields.

          I acknowledge this is the best case for having this problem: I am complaining that I don't find satisfaction in the job that gives me a comfortable living, when there are plenty of people who aren't able to achieve that. Just wanted to add my experience to the "I wonder what people would be doing if they didn't have debt or need health insurance."

          16 votes
          1. [2]
            rogue_cricket
            Link Parent
            I'm in kind of the same boat, although I am fortunate to be debt-free and to live in a country that has socialized medicine. Still - I have costs of living to account for, and my siblings and...

            I'm in kind of the same boat, although I am fortunate to be debt-free and to live in a country that has socialized medicine. Still - I have costs of living to account for, and my siblings and parents need my support occasionally as well.

            Right now I make tools for analyzing call centre data and I doubt that I could make as much money as I do elsewhere. It's not soul-destroying or anything* but some days it strikes me what a waste of time this all is. Of course things could be worse, but they could certainly be better too.

            *(Ironically, working as a phone operator at a call centre is the one job I have had that I would describe as "soul-destroying".)

            7 votes
            1. Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              Yeahhhh my long term goals are to wait a few more years (hurray youth stupidity fucking up your life!) then try to convince my employer to sponsor me to work from one of our offices in a...

              Yeahhhh my long term goals are to wait a few more years (hurray youth stupidity fucking up your life!) then try to convince my employer to sponsor me to work from one of our offices in a predominately-English speaking country in Europe, and then eventually not need that employer anymore to stay in the country and change fields.

              6 votes
    2. [3]
      wycy
      Link Parent
      Also, even without the sarcasm, the bolded argument isn't even true. Most of the progress in technology seems to have been the result of government-funded research, including the internet and iPhone.

      All technological progress is due to capitalism

      Because nothing was ever invented prior to the rise of capitalism, and non-capitalist states never invented anything. /s

      Also, even without the sarcasm, the bolded argument isn't even true. Most of the progress in technology seems to have been the result of government-funded research, including the internet and iPhone.

      17 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        110% agree, but still hear that or variations thereof all the time as dismissal of non-capitalist systems....hence why it is so frustrating. When people tell me "Smartphones wouldn't exist without...

        110% agree, but still hear that or variations thereof all the time as dismissal of non-capitalist systems....hence why it is so frustrating.

        When people tell me "Smartphones wouldn't exist without capitalism," I like to point out that socialists orbited the earth first. That tends to flabbergast.

        2 votes
      2. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        I get how the Internet came about as a result of government-funded research, but I am not familiar at all with its relation to the iPhone. That is quite interesting. Do you have any links I could...

        including the internet and iPhone

        I get how the Internet came about as a result of government-funded research, but I am not familiar at all with its relation to the iPhone. That is quite interesting. Do you have any links I could read to learn more about this?

    3. [16]
      Loire
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Or, and here's a thought, maybe they simply failed? I find it incredibly odd that the numerous examples of global failures of (actual) socialism are constantly excused for any number of reasons...

      Non-capitalist societies always fail, therefore it is the fault of their economic model.
      It couldn't possibly related to the fact that every time a non-capitalist society forms, capitalist nations wage economic or actual war against them.

      Or, and here's a thought, maybe they simply failed?

      I find it incredibly odd that the numerous examples of global failures of (actual) socialism are constantly excused for any number of reasons but American capitalism's failures are all explicitly inherit to the system and have nothing to do with the external factors unique to the American system. Failures of socialism? Not. Our. Fault. Failures of capitalism? Explicitly a result of the system!

      Numerous capitalist nations have waged "economic or actual war" amongst themselves without suffering complete economic collapse, but your argument is that every single socialist failure is because the big bad West is actively destroying them?

      It's just intellectually lazy. Ignore all these data points, ignore the countries that willingly transitioned from pseudo-socialist systems to increasingly capitalist systems for a reason, socialism will work, we know it will work and it's just the Capitalist's fault that it hasn't so far.

      Edit: If you want to convince me, a non American who has prospered under a non-American capitalist economic system, whose parents escaped the working class into the upper middle class, largely because of capitalism, that capitalism is literally the root of all evil and Socialism will make my life better than you need to do better than paltry excuses like "It hasn't worked because people won't let it work."

      12 votes
      1. [6]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        You need to work on disagreeing without the blatant overtones of condescension. There's little room for it to be a productive discussion at all when you start with that approach, and I'm already...

        You need to work on disagreeing without the blatant overtones of condescension. There's little room for it to be a productive discussion at all when you start with that approach, and I'm already expecting that I'm going to need to remove comments and/or lock this before long.

        Having this topic devolve into exactly the same arguments surely wasn't the intention behind it.

        20 votes
        1. Litmus2336
          Link Parent
          Do you believe Loire is being more dismissive or condescending than the poster he is replying to?

          Do you believe Loire is being more dismissive or condescending than the poster he is replying to?

          6 votes
        2. [4]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          Look, I genuinely have no idea what you are referring to Deimos. Please point out the condescension so I can rectify the issue because at no point of typing that out did I expect it to be read...

          Look, I genuinely have no idea what you are referring to Deimos.

          Please point out the condescension so I can rectify the issue because at no point of typing that out did I expect it to be read negatively beyond the act of disagreement.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I was going to list the sentences from your post that are written in a condescending way, but when I tried to do it I ended up just quoting the entire post, because all of them had some level of...

            I was going to list the sentences from your post that are written in a condescending way, but when I tried to do it I ended up just quoting the entire post, because all of them had some level of it. Condescension comes through from word choices, phrasing, the way you re-state aspects of their views as disingenuous/dismissive questions, and more. There's an overall tone meant to convey that anyone that holds the opinion you're disagreeing with is inferior.

            You're a good writer, I don't believe that you don't realize what you're doing when you write that way. It's a very antagonistic writing style, treating the other side as someone you're trying to defeat, instead of someone you're having a conversation with.

            17 votes
            1. [2]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              That is written with a conversational tone. It seems as if you want less rhetorical flourish assuming the "writing something in the voice of the other position" is a big part of what you find...

              That is written with a conversational tone. It seems as if you want less rhetorical flourish assuming the "writing something in the voice of the other position" is a big part of what you find condescending. This is something that absolutely can (and will) be improved but becomes extremely tedious on what is largely a social medium and not a research platform.

              the way you re-state aspects of their views as disingenuous/dismissive questions

              Something to improve upon, thank you.

              There's an overall tone meant to convey that anyone that holds the opinion you're disagreeing with is inferior.

              That really isn't the tone I am striving for at all, and I would venture to guess that, perhaps, your own political bias may be colouring it that way. The entirety of the OP is dripping with exact same tone I effected but, unless I missed it, you didn't admonish them.

              For example:

              It couldn't possibly related to the fact that every time a non-capitalist society forms, capitalist nations wage economic or actual war against them.

              Is exactly the same tone as:

              Or, and here's a thought, maybe they simply failed?

              The "It couldn't possibly" serves exactly the same rhetorical effect as the "here's a thought", while also going further to paint the opinion holder as disingenuous.

              All technological progress is due to capitalism
              Because nothing was ever invented prior to the rise of capitalism, and non-capitalist states never invented anything. /s

              This explicitly sarcastic rebutal doesn't tick off each and every box of condescending, dismissive and disingenuous re-statement?

              I know you hate back and forths in threads so I will stop here but there was a very clear tone set by the original post that went without reproof. Simply matching the tone should not trigger consternation within the community.

              6 votes
              1. Deimos
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Oh, I agree that the original post isn't in a "good faith" tone at all either. But that's kind of the point of the thread (or at least the way a decent number of people are interpreting it): to...

                Oh, I agree that the original post isn't in a "good faith" tone at all either. But that's kind of the point of the thread (or at least the way a decent number of people are interpreting it): to talk about something you're sick of having to defend all the time from widespread criticism. There's an inherent element of frustration and dismissiveness that's going to be included in responses to that prompt.

                But then to take one of those, perpetuate or even escalate the tone from it, and try to use it as a starting point for a real argument on the subject is totally missing the point, and I can't see anything positive coming out of it. The answers aren't supposed to be invitations for other people to start exactly the same argument they were complaining about, they're closer to the opposite. Nobody's looking to be convinced to change their mind in here.

                Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of missing that point happening in multiple different threads in here already with actual arguments starting, so I'm probably just going to have to end up locking it eventually.

                14 votes
      2. [3]
        Happy_Shredder
        Link Parent
        The "no true socialism" argument is worth inspecting a little more closely, I feel. Consider the central principle of socialism --- that a social economy will lead to a society based on universal...

        The "no true socialism" argument is worth inspecting a little more closely, I feel. Consider the central principle of socialism --- that a social economy will lead to a society based on universal liberty and justice --- follows from the central criticism of capitalism: that capitalism has a tremendous humanitarian and environmental cost.

        (i) Just because socialism fails (by some measure) doesn't invalidate the criticism.

        Now, this principle is very general, vague enough to be useless by itself. The next step is to construct a realisation. Socialism is then some principles, and a set of economies.

        (ii) If we propose a realisation of socialism, and try to implement it, and do not get a class-free, just, and liberal society, then the proposed realisation has failed. The capitalist criticism still stands, and other realisations can be investigated.

        Lenin's proposal --- central market planning and the dictatorship of the proletariat --- didn't come from nowhere. Lenin really believed that this would result in communism. There was strong theory from the 19th century supporting these ideas. And, of course, much criticism. That criticism continued after the revolution; Kropotkon and Orwell are popular examples. Leninism devolved into Stalinism, which in turn yielded Maoism, which then gave us Juche. Criticism of these societies abounds: the atrocities are of course indefensible. And on a theoretical level they failed to realise socialism and should be considered as state capitalism, or something similar.

        Why did the Soviet Union fail? People write enormous books answering this question. In short, externalities and inherent flaws combined. This question really does deserve a deep analysis, and we should not rely on paltry excuses, as you say.

        More interesting are the successful examples. Without going into details, consider:

        • Australia's Medicare system relies on central market planning.
        • Exarchia, an anarchist community in Greece responsible for saving many refugees that's been around for a century.
        • East Wind, an income sharing agricultural community in the Ozarks, around since the 70s.
        • Free software, as a principle and in practice reflects socialism.
        • Rojava, in northern Syria, an autonomous region since 2012, run along direct democracy and socialist lines.
        • Catalonia has a rich history in this space e.g. the anarchist and Marxist militia which fought the fascists in 1937, as well as various small communities.

        In general, I agree, we shouldn't be too quick to laud our preferred politics, or to rely on glib answers to criticism. Unfortunately, online it is difficult to take the time and space to really dig into serious issues and discussion. But if you are interested, there is a huge body of literature on the history, successes, and failures of socialism. It might be worth engaging with.

        14 votes
        1. [2]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          It is from my perspective, and of course I am not an academic in this field so this perspective must be taken with a grain of salt, that this point the continual failed realization of...

          (ii) If we propose a realisation of socialism, and try to implement it, and do not get a class-free, just, and liberal society, then the proposed realisation has failed. The capitalist criticism still stands, and other realisations can be investigated.

          It is from my perspective, and of course I am not an academic in this field so this perspective must be taken with a grain of salt, that this point the continual failed realization of classlessness, is, in itself, the argument against the socialist system. If attempts continually devolve following the loss of some key figure, then the system is not capable of self-perpetuation and as such can not be realized.

          Certainly there is a grey area between what level of required input is acceptable. Democracy, as we are seeing now, is only as strong as the society willing to support it. Despite this, the inability for any nation-scale socialist system to take root tells me that there are hard coded factors preventing its actualization.

          You give numerous good examples of socialism where it succeeds, however each of these are relatively small realizations of the concept. The region of Rojava, for example, is smaller than many single American cities and even so, while striving for communalism, still practice aspects of private enterprise where required, private property is still enshrined in the region, it is just subject to "ownership by use". Whether or not this is indecisive wording or a true mingling of systems, I obviously don't know. Likewise Free software reflects socialist ideals but that doesn't mean those contributing to it are practicing collective ownership with their "tangible* assets or in every day life.

          All of your examples, with the exception of Australia's healthcare system, are based on small populations of a singular culture. Can the system ramp up when considering the competitive nature of different cultures/religions/regions/nations etc? That's the question I don't think has been successfully answered.

          5 votes
          1. Happy_Shredder
            Link Parent
            Sure, that's all fair. Transitioning from one system to another, and scaling are certainly outstanding issues. I'm optimistic that a class free society is possible, and would suggest that a multi...

            Sure, that's all fair. Transitioning from one system to another, and scaling are certainly outstanding issues.

            I'm optimistic that a class free society is possible, and would suggest that a multi generational shift is necessary. I'm not sure I could argue it formally.

            Similarly, I don't have a clear vision of scaling. It's possible that interconnected small communities is sufficient.

            3 votes
      3. [5]
        vord
        Link Parent
        I'll sum it up thusly: 'Escaping the working class' is precisely the problem. Why does anyone deserve a more lavish lifestyle than anyone else? Why should a minority of the population get to live...

        I'll sum it up thusly:

        'Escaping the working class' is precisely the problem.

        Why does anyone deserve a more lavish lifestyle than anyone else? Why should a minority of the population get to live in luxury while others struggle to make ends meet?

        All human life has equal value. Nobody is worth more or less than anybody else.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          As pointed out by our fearless leader nothing I could say would change your opinion on the matter. We have fundamentally different perspectives on the matter. With that said I would argue that...

          As pointed out by our fearless leader nothing I could say would change your opinion on the matter. We have fundamentally different perspectives on the matter. With that said I would argue that historically capitalism, properly conducted, has done more than any other economic system, including socialism, to drag the most humans out of poverty and give them fundamentally comfortable lives.

          That is supported by the facts. Granted the research also shows that the trend is currently decreasing (hello late-stage neoliberalism). Irregardless during the period from 1820-1992 the number of people living in poverty dropped by 50%, while those living in "extreme poverty" dropped by 60%. From 1981 to 2011, a decidedly capitalist period worldwide, the number of people worldwide that live in poverty has dropped from 53% to 17%. Granted I guarantee you won't agree with their measure of "poverty" and that's fine. Looking at other metrics it's inarguable that we are, say, the most well educated couple of generations humanity has ever produced, again, within a largely worldwide capitalist system.

          Just so we're on the same page. I am not here to argue all socialist systems will deteriorate into Venezuela or Stalinism or whatever exasperating arguments you have heard in the past. I am not trying to argue against socialism so much as against the way in which socialists portray capitalism as if it's some barren wasteland that has done nothing but create misery.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            sinyavitsa
            Link Parent
            Counter-argument: why should we give credit to capitalism when the poverty reduction programs and improvement of quality of life happened largely because of socialist movements and activism?...

            Counter-argument: why should we give credit to capitalism when the poverty reduction programs and improvement of quality of life happened largely because of socialist movements and activism?
            People literally died for us to have an 8-hour work day and no child labour, capitalists didn't give them to us voluntarily.

            10 votes
            1. [2]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              With all do respect that counter argument is only half correct. The poverty reduction occurred as a result of the expansion in resources and capital caused by the capitalist economic system...

              With all do respect that counter argument is only half correct. The poverty reduction occurred as a result of the expansion in resources and capital caused by the capitalist economic system (certainly that massive drop from the 80's to 2011 can't be attributed to socialist movements). The prosperity derived from the generic practices associated with capitalism. Sharing of the prosperity derived from state enforced regulations. The expanded prosperity would not have existed without capitalism. Sharing of that prosperity would not have existed without the movements you mention.

              This is where we start getting muddy waters with definitions of "capitalism" and "Capitalists", socialism and socialism. I am a capitalist but I am not what you are referring to when you say "the Capitalists". The "socialist" movements of the 19th century did include bona fide socialists but the majority of the activists were simply workers that wanted better pay, lesser hours, etc. These weren't people demanding the end of rent, interest, property rights etc. They weren't demanding centrally planned economies or the direct allocation of resources in order to prioritize the production of goods by utility. Did these, largely men, in most of the cases, desire gender equality or racial equality (at least prior to the 60's)? They simply wanted a bigger and safer share of the pie they were creating.

              We are not really arguing from the same perspective of what constitutes "socialism" and that creates a large problem in communicating. For example I believe universal healthcare is a necessity for a healthy capitalist economy because the free movement of labour is essential as well as the productivity increases created by a healthy populace. Am I a socialist because I support a social policy in order to maximize capitalist efficiency? No that just means I believe in social democracy. There is a very clear gradient between "these social policies are good" and "seize the means of production" that gets lost when internet goers refer to a generic "socialism".

              3 votes
              1. sinyavitsa
                Link Parent
                Fair enough. I can't argue with capitalism creating wealth and prosperity - Marx said the same thing. Your comment on maximizing efficiency through social policies reminds me of this article I saw...

                Fair enough. I can't argue with capitalism creating wealth and prosperity - Marx said the same thing.
                Your comment on maximizing efficiency through social policies reminds me of this article I saw earlier on Tildes about Finland being a capitalist paradise, you might be interested in it.

                In my view a Capitalist is an owner of the means of production (not someone who supports capitalism) and a socialist is someone who supports the collective ownership.

                I can't comment on what went through the heads of workers in the 19th century but I personally wouldn't join a radical (and often illegal) movement and place my life on the line for simply "a bigger share of the pie".

                4 votes
      4. Litmus2336
        Link Parent
        I'm a staunch capitalist two (although a mixed economy social democrat) but I generally find economic arguments are primarily based on moral principles. Admittedly, that's not something I'm a huge...

        I'm a staunch capitalist two (although a mixed economy social democrat) but I generally find economic arguments are primarily based on moral principles. Admittedly, that's not something I'm a huge fan of. I will most likely get bombarded with posts about no true socialism, CIA coups, and/or how socialism will finally work because we have powerful enough computers, but I think complete socialism in general completely fails to provide for the populace.

        Of course I consider most of the points OP listed as "Capitalist talking points" to be very silly, so if people actually believe that then sure, they're wrong.

        Edit: Also, it seems you and I are often the ones defending capitalism here. I'll make sure to try to say "hi" when both our backs are up against the wall :P

        5 votes
    4. [4]
      post_below
      Link Parent
      I think if you're going to talk about abolishing capitalism, you're sort of obligated to provide an alternative. Which is a big ask, but otherwise it's just "I hate this lets destroy it". And then...

      I think if you're going to talk about abolishing capitalism, you're sort of obligated to provide an alternative. Which is a big ask, but otherwise it's just "I hate this lets destroy it". And then what?

      Capitalism is far and away the most successful economic model in history.

      I don't disagree that there's probably a better way, but so far no one has come up with one.

      It's easy to say that other models failed for reasons that could be corrected but the fact remains that they failed.

      In light of that I think the best answer we have right now is capitalism tempered by socialism. That's a model we can see working in a lot of countries.

      Late stage capitalism sucks for the larger part of the population. But I'm not sure the answer is to try to replace it completely. Even if that was the answer, how would that realistically happen?

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        reifyresonance
        Link Parent
        There's an article I'd like to reference: http://www.armoxon.com/2019/02/the-compass-and-navigation.html?m=1 I'd like to build on this model. I think it's important to have values, things you care...

        I think if you're going to talk about abolishing capitalism, you're sort of obligated to provide an alternative.

        There's an article I'd like to reference: http://www.armoxon.com/2019/02/the-compass-and-navigation.html?m=1

        Coordinated movement begins with a determination to move in one direction over all other directions.
        Then comes the plan.
        Then comes the actual trip.
        But the trip may turn out to be something quite different than the plan.

        I'd like to build on this model. I think it's important to have values, things you care about, before you worry about how to get there. I think you might not know quite where there even is in the conceptual space, just that it's, y'know, in that direction. And once you know what direction you're heading, you can plan the trip.

        Sometimes there might be mountains in the way, and from where you're standing you can't see what lies beyond, only that your compass points that way. People can imagine what's on the other side of those mountains, whether it's decentralized communes, worker councils, or something else, but we can't know until we get there.

        I don't think very many people, before capitalism existed, could have predicted it's consequences. If they could have, there were probably 100 other predictions that were wrong.

        I don't think it's necessarily fair to throw out the compass because you can't tell where it will lead.

        Late stage capitalism sucks for the larger part of the population. But I'm not sure the answer is to try to replace it completely. Even if that was the answer, how would that realistically happen?

        I would say that because it sucks for the larger part of the population, and a better system seems possible, it is our moral duty to those that come after us to find ways to replace it. Then, we can look at those ways or come up with our own. Maybe building a dual power through mutual aid? Maybe raising class consciousness? Is this what you're asking for?

        What do you think? Do our compasses differ?

        10 votes
        1. post_below
          Link Parent
          I see your point. You're right, there's value in believing in a destination without exactly knowing what it looks like. The problem, though, is without a more defined vision, the chances of...

          I see your point. You're right, there's value in believing in a destination without exactly knowing what it looks like.

          The problem, though, is without a more defined vision, the chances of building enough support for an idea to make it a genuine possibility are slim.

          I completely agree that raising awareness of the problems with late stage capitalism is a good start. Or not even a start, just good practice regardless of the ultimate goal.

          6 votes
      2. spctrvl
        Link Parent
        The most straightforward and low-friction way to transition to socialism would be to go the market socialist route. Essentially that would entail reorganizing most businesses as workers'...

        Late stage capitalism sucks for the larger part of the population. But I'm not sure the answer is to try to replace it completely. Even if that was the answer, how would that realistically happen?

        The most straightforward and low-friction way to transition to socialism would be to go the market socialist route. Essentially that would entail reorganizing most businesses as workers' cooperatives, with egalitarian distribution of voting stock, elected boards, etc. That'd let you keep free markets and stuff, if you're in to that sort of thing, and the basic machinery of the economy doesn't end up too different, but it basically guts the power of private capital and puts the means of production under workers' control, and I think it would lead to a substantial increase in economic equality.

        While that's not necessarily what I'd advocate as an 'endgame' for socialism, I think it's a decent enough way to organize things, and a substantial improvement over the current system, and so serves a good jumping off point if there do turn out to be better alternatives. It's not necessarily the most important thing in the world that we go straight from capitalism to the ideal form of socialism. What is important is that there's a consensus that it's time to move past capitalism, and an openness to experiment with alternatives in good faith, within the context of democracy and an open society.

        9 votes
    5. [2]
      envy
      Link Parent
      Took me longer than it should have to realize you were criticizing something that is often defended. Do you feel the same way about countries that try to strike a balance between open markets and...

      What's a widely criticized thing that you feel is worth defending?

      Capitalism

      Took me longer than it should have to realize you were criticizing something that is often defended.

      Do you feel the same way about countries that try to strike a balance between open markets and government social programs such as free healthcare for all, housing for those in need and unemployment benefits for those still looking for work?

      5 votes
      1. Sand
        Link Parent
        No, they're defending the notion that capitalism should be abolished.

        Took me longer than it should have to realize you were criticizing something that is often defended.

        No, they're defending the notion that capitalism should be abolished.

        6 votes
    6. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Inability to defend against threats is one of the fundamental functions of a social order though. If you can't actually push the revolution through then is it a workable system? It's not like...

      It couldn't possibly related to the fact that every time a non-capitalist society forms, capitalist nations wage economic or actual war against them.

      Inability to defend against threats is one of the fundamental functions of a social order though. If you can't actually push the revolution through then is it a workable system?

      It's not like merchant/commercial interests didn't exist in precapitalist times. They may not have had primacy to where their values and belief systems suffuse the government and culture, but it's sort of an emergent property of human interaction/cooperation. If you can't provide a constructive outlet for those then you end up starving Kulaks.

      3 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        There is an argument to be made there, but often it's an issue of scale. When the largest, most powerful countries in the world wage direct or indirect war on you, unless you are comparably sized,...

        There is an argument to be made there, but often it's an issue of scale. When the largest, most powerful countries in the world wage direct or indirect war on you, unless you are comparably sized, you hardly have a chance.

        The Soviet Union was arguably the most important country fighting the Nazis in WW2, suffering some of the greatest casualties...and even afterwards they were an economic superpower for decades, rivalling the USA who didn't suffer nearly the same levels of human or infrastructure loss in the war.

        2 votes
    7. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Capitalism is most certainly better than what came before it, but this is not a sound argument. Many things that are better than what came before are bad nonetheless and should be replaced.

      Capitalism is most certainly better than what came before it, but this is not a sound argument. Many things that are better than what came before are bad nonetheless and should be replaced.

      3 votes
    8. [3]
      vakieh
      Link Parent
      Market power has shown itself to be vastly superior to centrally planned economies simply due to the fact the central planning is BAD. Because central planning is too slow and miles from...

      Market power has shown itself to be vastly superior to centrally planned economies simply due to the fact the central planning is BAD. Because central planning is too slow and miles from intelligent enough. I have never seen the slightest hint out of any bureaucracy or large organisation to suggest anything remotely different is even possible, let alone probable.

      Now if that market power was constrained such that negative externalities were captured (i.e. carbon taxing) then we might see something better than we have now - unfortunately that is where economics stops and politics begins, at which point the argument becomes corporatism vs democracy and nothing to do with capitalism at all.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        ubergeek
        Link Parent
        I'd disagree with you, with a singular example: China. They are economically beating out every other nation right now. Now, we can also look to any wartime economy as well, but those never lasted...

        I'd disagree with you, with a singular example: China.

        They are economically beating out every other nation right now.

        Now, we can also look to any wartime economy as well, but those never lasted more than a few years, but created insane growth.

        2 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          China does not have a true centrally planned economy any longer. It is at best a hybrid since Deng. While SASAC does entail state ownership of the assets, they conduct their business in a...

          China does not have a true centrally planned economy any longer. It is at best a hybrid since Deng. While SASAC does entail state ownership of the assets, they conduct their business in a fundamentally capitalist fashion unlike what was seen in the Soviet Union or early Maoist China. The difference is not in ownership of the resources, but in how the allocation occurs. This is why you hear many refer to the Chinese system as "State Capitalism".

          4 votes
  2. [24]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    (edited )
    Link
    I have 2. Religion. I don't think this is necessarily as big globally, but I would say this is an unpopular opinion in tech/software/STEM. I spend a lot of time defending religion and I'm not even...

    I have 2.

    1. Religion. I don't think this is necessarily as big globally, but I would say this is an unpopular opinion in tech/software/STEM. I spend a lot of time defending religion and I'm not even religious. There is a large and vocal population who hate religion, or who think anyone who is religious is stupid because how could they possibly believe in God. My frustrations with this stem from a couple of things. First, almost without a doubt the main religions they want to use as their proof of "all religion is bad" is western fundamentalist christian and terrorist-extremist Islam. My problems with that are (a) that's a super western view of what constitutes religion and IMO way too reductive to even begin having a conversation about and (b) a huge stereotype of the small subset of religion they want to talk about. Not saying that religions can't be criticized and that there are no bad denominations of religions, but to say Southern Baptist in the USA is an accurate representation of Christianity as a whole? Nah. Second, many times people in these discussions don't want to accept or acknowledge the countless reasons why people turn to religion and what religions and their communities can do. Sense of direction in life, sense of comfort, sense of community, the financial and physical support of the religious community, and the very basic belief in a higher being. All of these are valid reasons for people to be religious and I swear to god if one more person boils all these down into "they just aren't intelligent enough to understand SCIENCE that's why they believe in god" I'm going to tear all of my hair out.

    2. Few things have been worse for society than the "free content" of the internet. No one wants to pay for subscriptions, no one wants to have to see ads, no one wants their data stolen, yet throw a hissy fit about the decline in quality of journalism and art and discussion. Servers cost money, human work costs money, research costs money, a business existing costs money. The selling of data got so popular because if you put up any sort of ads or subscription to your site people act like you killed their family. Want selling data to be less common and higher quality content? Start paying subscriptions and stop using adblocks so creators can afford to exist.

    Edit: seeing how much time I have spent arguing if US Christian extremists are representative of the concept of religion on a global scale, I’d say I was right both on it being unpopular and that most people only consider abrahamic religion (most specifically western Christianity) when thinking about religion as a whole.

    23 votes
    1. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Re: 1 - I used to be that guy who would say and I feel bad for being so ignorant. I'm still an atheist, but after a lot of thought I've started to see the good that religion brings to the world....

      Re: 1 -

      I used to be that guy who would say

      they just aren't intelligent enough to understand SCIENCE that's why they believe in god

      and I feel bad for being so ignorant. I'm still an atheist, but after a lot of thought I've started to see the good that religion brings to the world.

      In order for someone to incorporate an idea into their mental framework it needs an existing place to slot into. In a world where many people are raised by abusive or narcissistic parents, children are left to go hungry, power structures are defined to keep the poor weak, and the universe is generally apathetic to everyone's suffering, it can be hard or impossible for a lot of people to find a slot for the secular versions of Christianity's ideals. Be good to other people - but so many people are not good to you. Be giving - but you have so little to give.

      I was raised a Quaker. A core tenant of the religion is that "there is that of God in everyone". Essentially, you and every other human are all connected through God. That idea ties into ideals of pacifism, equality, and stewardship. But there's an atheistic approach to this. You could instead say "we're all human, we all have emotions, we're all going to die". Why is the mental path through religion rather than secular empathy so popular?

      I believe that religion makes empathy a black box. Humans are naturally selfish and don't want to waste their time putting effort into someone who hasn't given anything to them, and may never return the favor. By telling someone there's an invisible system in place that requires their empathy they become more willing to help others out. It doesn't matter if the other person thanks them. It doesn't matter if they ever get back what they put in. God wants them to help other people and will reward them "somehow".

      But there is no God. And yet, billions of people still use religion to some effect. They find happiness and bring joy to others through religion. What's going on is obvious given that

      1. The system works
      2. It's a lie

      When people pray they pray to themselves. They get "messages from God" through introspection, not magic. When people help others and gain something from it they're utilizing empathy. We think we need reciprocation for our deeds but we reciprocate to ourselves.

      Of course, religion is also just another power structure that power-hungry people can abuse. When people are using a misunderstood black box to do what they're capable of on their own they can be taken advantage of. They've been told that significant portions of their own brain are actually God, not themselves. If they feel wrong for shunning their gay child that's just their human fear. God wants it and they're told they'll understand that soon enough.

      I want there to be a secular religion. Something that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe for some the black box aspect is necessary . Maybe it's not with the right education and upbringing. We should keep prayer, it's good for people to introspect regularly. We should keep many of the moral rules that cause people to treat others well. But much of the existing power dynamic needs to change.

      10 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I like the idea that here has to be a mental slot to put religion in. Vague though it is, it explains the fact that some people simply don't have a desire for religion while others take it in very...

        I like the idea that here has to be a mental slot to put religion in. Vague though it is, it explains the fact that some people simply don't have a desire for religion while others take it in very deeply. I don't think it's a matter of upbringing, either: there are plenty of examples of people choosing no religion despite having been raised in a religious family and vice versa. It's something innate, perhaps genetic.

        Humans are naturally selfish and don't want to waste their time putting effort into someone who hasn't given anything to them, and may never return the favor.

        Pro-social behavior is the basis of having a society at all. If humans were to be so selfish indeed, we wouldn't even be talking about it here today, for this sort of technology would've likely never developed to begin with.

        By telling someone there's an invisible system in place that requires their empathy they become more willing to help others out. It doesn't matter if the other person thanks them. It doesn't matter if they ever get back what they put in. God wants them to help other people and will reward them "somehow".

        That sort of a thing has been the subject of Stephen Fry's popular rebuttal of the Catholic church being a force for good. I agree with him wholeheartedly in one matter he's spoken of: that of the necessity of commandments.

        I am an atheist; I have been my whole life. I find no need for an external framework to utilize my innate desire to help people, and to bring joy in their lives, and to lend a hand in small matters that would yield me nothing, now or ever. I need no external force to tell me not to steal for fear of punishment: I need no such warning, for every desire I've ever had to steal has been thoroughly thwarted by the notion that I wouldn't be able to live with myself for having stolen unless in dire circumstance. I've met enough people to know that not everyone is as considerate of it as I am, but I have seen enough people be this considerate to know that it's not a matter of whether one adheres to a religion.

        From where I'm standing, I find it easier to argue that an external system of guidelines is necessary for those who don't bear the internal consideration. It's not a bad thing to not have one: it is a quirk of human nature that sometimes, one can not do what most others seem to do so easily. An external system would help one orient oneself in a world that is otherwise confusing and frightening and misleading. Such guidance may prove simply helpful, or it may be necessary to lead a productive, meaningful life.

        I want there to be a secular religion. Something that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        Sure. Philosophy.

        1 vote
    2. [19]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Ok, I will agree. Thing is, churches (at least the for-profit ones) disagree and many fund candidates against good education, science or personal freedom in the name of 'protecting our culture' or...

      Many times people in these discussions don't want to accept or acknowledge the countless reasons why people turn to religion and what religions and their communities can do. Sense of direction in life, sense of comfort, sense of community, the financial and physical support of the religious community, and the very basic belief in a higher being. All of these are valid reasons for people to be religious.

      Ok, I will agree. Thing is, churches (at least the for-profit ones) disagree and many fund candidates against good education, science or personal freedom in the name of 'protecting our culture' or something like that. If religion is not naturally opposed to science and the reasons to be religious have little to do with not understanding or rejecting science, then why do many religious groups oppose it? If god is more analogous to an imaginary friend who you turn to then why do for-profit churches treat him otherwise? Do you think religious extremism and anti-intellectualism come from blending religion with political/economic power and can be 'solved' by taking the money/political power out and turning religion into a charity?

      6 votes
      1. [18]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        You literally did what I complained about in my original post by saying "for-profit churches in the US do this thing, why are all religious groups like this". Also, both religious and...

        You literally did what I complained about in my original post by saying "for-profit churches in the US do this thing, why are all religious groups like this". Also, both religious and non-religious groups have attacked education for political and economic power well before megachurches became a thing. Opposing education is far from a religious exclusive.

        5 votes
        1. [16]
          post_below
          Link Parent
          Wouldn't you say that anti-religious sentiment is understandable when those are the sorts of things people see religion doing? Yes, there are definitely other ways to be religious and the actions...

          Wouldn't you say that anti-religious sentiment is understandable when those are the sorts of things people see religion doing?

          Yes, there are definitely other ways to be religious and the actions of some shouldn't be conflated with the entire group.

          But as long as some of the common practices of a large part of the world's biggest religion are detrimental to society, there is going to be a backlash. Subsets of Christianity which aren't anti-intellectual are free to publicly identify as such and take themselves out of the crosshairs.

          We have a situation where huge groups (like evangelicals) are instrumental in getting politicians elected that are almost literally trying to bring about an existential crisis for the human race.

          It's not ideal that harmless people of faith get caught up in the anger over that reality, but the answer isn't to stop pushing back while the world burns.

          5 votes
          1. [10]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            That's the big problem with Christianity today. I've talked about this before, but Christians who aren't bigoted assholes need to speak up! It's not enough to tell your friends and neighbors that...

            Yes, there are definitely other ways to be religious and the actions of some shouldn't be conflated with the entire group.

            That's the big problem with Christianity today. I've talked about this before, but Christians who aren't bigoted assholes need to speak up! It's not enough to tell your friends and neighbors that you don't believe in the same things as the assholes on TV claiming all of Christianity to themselves. They need to get organized and let the media know under no uncertain terms that the extremists they air are crazy people who's opinions can most charitably be described as "minority".

            5 votes
            1. [9]
              Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              Do you then also agree that white men need to organize and let the media know under no uncertain terms that the extremists committing mass shootings and who are members of neo-nazi groups are...

              Do you then also agree that white men need to organize and let the media know under no uncertain terms that the extremists committing mass shootings and who are members of neo-nazi groups are crazy people who's opinions can most charitably be described as "minority"?

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                Akir
                Link Parent
                To specify, I am saying that the people in the majority need to distance themselves from and actively ostracize fringe groups who are being given elevated platforms. From a broad perspective,...

                To specify, I am saying that the people in the majority need to distance themselves from and actively ostracize fringe groups who are being given elevated platforms. From a broad perspective, white men generally already are doing this in regards to neo-nazis and other extremist groups. Nazis and extremists generally don't have elevated platforms to begin with, but extreme Christian groups are constantly getting platforms by being promoted either by major news organizations or by appearing with national politicians.

                2 votes
                1. Micycle_the_Bichael
                  Link Parent
                  So are white nationalists!!! There are white nationalists on major news outlets literally every day!!! Tucker Carlson has his own show where he just sits there and says racist things for an hour!...

                  So are white nationalists!!! There are white nationalists on major news outlets literally every day!!! Tucker Carlson has his own show where he just sits there and says racist things for an hour! Most of the Christian fundamentalist you’re complaining about are white men!

                  1 vote
              2. [6]
                Sand
                Link Parent
                Skin colour ≠ belief It's not like neo-nazis are extremely white.

                Skin colour ≠ belief

                It's not like neo-nazis are extremely white.

                1. [5]
                  Micycle_the_Bichael
                  Link Parent
                  That’s exactly how I’d describe them actually

                  That’s exactly how I’d describe them actually

                  1 vote
                  1. [4]
                    Sand
                    Link Parent
                    Really? That's more how I'd describe people with albinism.

                    Really? That's more how I'd describe people with albinism.

                    1. [3]
                      Micycle_the_Bichael
                      Link Parent
                      This line of thought is so insanely disingenuous to the comparison between extreme Christianity vs white nationalism.

                      This line of thought is so insanely disingenuous to the comparison between extreme Christianity vs white nationalism.

                      3 votes
                      1. [2]
                        Sand
                        Link Parent
                        Because the comparison itself is disingenuous. White isn't a belief.

                        Because the comparison itself is disingenuous. White isn't a belief.

                        1. Micycle_the_Bichael
                          Link Parent
                          Sure sucks when a group is unfairly considered to be represented by extremists ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                          Sure sucks when a group is unfairly considered to be represented by extremists ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                          2 votes
          2. [5]
            Micycle_the_Bichael
            Link Parent
            Should people start having an anti-science sentiment when we see the sorts of things that Big Pharma and Tech are doing? As long as a large portion of the pharma industry is price gauging for...

            Should people start having an anti-science sentiment when we see the sorts of things that Big Pharma and Tech are doing? As long as a large portion of the pharma industry is price gauging for necessary cancer and diabetes drugs and creating an opioid epidemic and are detrimental to society. We have come to a point where people are hoping that a gofundme will reach its goals so they don't have to die because their life-saving medicine is so expensive, and they literally die if they don't. A close friend of mine died because he had to stretch his insulin because he didn't have health insurance and couldn't afford the couple hundred dollar per bottle. Should I start hating science because of the failings of one major company? Social media is creating all sorts of issues. Clearview is creating questionable technology that will destroy privacy. We see the Orwellian surveillance state in China and being pushed by Ring to exist in the US. One need not look far for the negatives created by Google, Amazon, Uber, Airb&b, Facebook, Cambridge Analytics. I could go on all day with tech companies that have created crises. Those are just in tech and pharma. Enron was an energy company. CRISPR is springing up companies to make instant-eugenics a thing and possibly going to completely collapse ecosystems with things like frankenbees. Should science be stopped and an anti-science stance be considered understandable given all of the things I can point out without even doing a google search? After all, as you said, as long as some of the common practices of a large part of the worlds biggest science and tech industries are detrimental to society, there is going to be backlash.

            1. [4]
              post_below
              Link Parent
              You're making a huge leap by suggesting that tech and pharma companies represent science. Companies that make products based on science aren't representatives of science! Almost everything we make...

              You're making a huge leap by suggesting that tech and pharma companies represent science.

              Companies that make products based on science aren't representatives of science! Almost everything we make in the modern world involves knowledge gained through the scientific method to some degree.

              If, on the other hand, the larger part of the scientific community were in the public eye espousing ideologies that were objectively bad for society, some backlash against science itself, however unjustified, would be understandable.

              But that isn't happening. With religion it IS happening.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                Micycle_the_Bichael
                Link Parent
                And you’re making a huge leap saying fundamentalist Christians are representative of religion. Are they representatives of Hinduism because both are religions? Are christians representative of...

                And you’re making a huge leap saying fundamentalist Christians are representative of religion. Are they representatives of Hinduism because both are religions? Are christians representative of Buddhism? Of Islam?

                Also, a lot of those companies ARE science! How else do pharma companies make new drugs? Are the biochemists they employ not scientists anymore? Are the only representatives of science academics?

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  post_below
                  Link Parent
                  I never said fundamentalist christians were representative of religion. I didn't even imply it. With respect, I don't think you're reading/replying objectively at this point.

                  I never said fundamentalist christians were representative of religion. I didn't even imply it.

                  With respect, I don't think you're reading/replying objectively at this point.

                  1. Micycle_the_Bichael
                    Link Parent
                    Ok. Let’s take a step back then and see if we are on the same page: My original argument: religion is unfairly criticized because people only think of evangelical fundamentalists and Islamic...

                    Ok. Let’s take a step back then and see if we are on the same page:

                    My original argument: religion is unfairly criticized because people only think of evangelical fundamentalists and Islamic extremists and use that to generalize that religion is bad.

                    Your first response:

                    Wouldn't you say that anti-religious sentiment is understandable when those are the sorts of things people see religion doing?
                    Yes, there are definitely other ways to be religious and the actions of some shouldn't be conflated with the entire group.
                    But as long as some of the common practices of a large part of the world's biggest religion are detrimental to society, there is going to be a backlash.

                    That statement, to me, reads: “yes there are ways to be religious other than these two ways. However, can you blame people for being critical of religion when evangelical Christians are doing bad things.” Which is the thing you said you never said. Which is why I disagree that you never said it.

                    1 vote
        2. Kuromantis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          You underestimate how prevalent this viewset is. In Brazil, our current president was endorsed by many evangelical churches and got 46% of the vote in the first turn and used it to reduce...

          "for-profit churches in the US do this thing, why are all religious groups like this"

          You underestimate how prevalent this viewset is. In Brazil, our current president was endorsed by many evangelical churches and got 46% of the vote in the first turn and used it to reduce reservations and the like. In India the current prime minister is an economically conservative Hindu nationalist which won 37.5 percent of the vote and used it to pass bills compromising Muslims citizenships. In Myanmar the current president is a religious nationalist and is dismissive of the Rohingya genocide and her party won 57% of the vote. I never said anything about the followers of said churches (and if your assumption is correct then the people voting for these candidates would either be voting for other motives or vote for these candidates because they said we were going to abolish religion) or about any other churches that don't do what I said, I just said that those churches who do are a pervasive part of many religions and appear to hold tremendous power over their followers and I would want to know why. Presumably it would be because religion is baked into Conservatism the same way atheism is in Stalinism and Maoism and if so I asked you if stripping religious institutions from politics would return religion in politics to being about improving people's lives and giving them a sense of community like a charity the majority of christians would presumably want to be, like what the CDU believes in Germany.

          3 votes
    3. jacoblambda
      Link Parent
      I would argue that while this is incredibly accurate in its current form, it is not necessarily accurate in the general form. Most content on the web, free or not, is centralised content in that a...

      Few things have been worse for society than the "free content" of the internet.

      I would argue that while this is incredibly accurate in its current form, it is not necessarily accurate in the general form. Most content on the web, free or not, is centralised content in that a single entity has a monopoly over the creation, publication, advertising to an extent, and distribution of said content. As such, large corporations have immense control over that "free content" and how people access it.

      Much like how content providers (be it news, audio/video entertainment, etc) without their own platform are greatly restricted in how much access they have to your data and to a lesser extent how many/what type of ads you see, if we were to migrate to having an open, decentralised(in terms of servers and ownership) content platform that content providers could use, then these issues (data collection and ads) would be much less of an issue. Such a system could easily be designed to be largely anonymous and provide much more freedom in terms of content funding.

      Imagine such a system where ads were served and content could be provided for free in exchange for viewing the ads. The quantity of ads could be set based on a formula heavily on the compensation desired per view or partial view by the content providers. Now the system could also allow users to pay per view whatever the equivalent "cost" was from the ads or some ratio of explicit pay per view to ads served. You could also handle periodic (day/week/month/year) subscriptions as well (possibly with a separate bandwidth fee for the network). With a decentralised system where the users' and producers' opinions actually have weight, you could offer the freedom to choose between all of these payment systems or hybrids of them.

      Provided that there is freedom in selecting payment methods as described in the prior paragraph, you can to some extend curb the decline in content quality. This is because the consumers can choose their preferred payment model and the distribution of payment models is for a producer will set the incentives for quality vs more "clickbait" or low-bar content.

      Now mind you that there is nothing stopping centralised content providers from offering these features however by and large it is within the interest of the content provider to take the route most advantageous to them which is often not the most advantageous to consumers. With regard to handling the diverse payment options, centralised providers often decide on one choice of payment as to simplify their content metrics and payment processing however provided that it is abstracted behind an open and decentralised content network, the friction is removed and more preferably the ability to disable choices for payment options would be disabled.

      Note: Apologies if this is a bit rambly, I had a train of thought that kept being cut off due to people trying to talk to me irl one after another.

      4 votes
    4. SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      I find it very hard to convince myself that that is OK. My instinctive emotional response is "but that's just lying to yourself", ignorance is bliss kind of thing. That is not a trade-off I am...

      Sense of direction in life, sense of comfort, sense of community ... and the very basic belief in a higher being

      I find it very hard to convince myself that that is OK. My instinctive emotional response is "but that's just lying to yourself", ignorance is bliss kind of thing. That is not a trade-off I am personally willing to make and it's hard for me not to be condescending to people who do even though I have no right to tell them what to do with their lives. A part of my family is very religious (I'm not in US, for the record) and it makes it easier for them to get through hardships (their financial situation is not great, they're getting older, pension is tiny). But I don't see religion making them better people. They mostly use it as an excuse for their own incompetence and laziness and unwillingness to make things better for themselves. Sure, it's just a few personal anecdotes, yes I understand those are personality problems and not inherent to religion, but those are the reason why growing up I decided that it's not for me. I see religion as a quick and easy answer for those, who don't want hard answers, for those, who don't want to deal with lack of direction in life.
      (And yes, this is a more Christianity-based answer, since it's most prevalent in my country, I'm not talking about Buddhism or Hinduism)

  3. [6]
    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    I think a lot of the "Health At Every Size" movement is/was good, actually - at least as a kicking-off point for broader body positivity. Obviously some parts of it are questionable or extreme,...

    I think a lot of the "Health At Every Size" movement is/was good, actually - at least as a kicking-off point for broader body positivity. Obviously some parts of it are questionable or extreme, but there are a lot of good points in there re: how we think about weight as a society, and how we deal with it medically, psychologically, socially... heck, even statistically.

    "So you want to teach people that being fat is OK?" - I mean, yeah, in the sense that being fat does not make you less worthy of respect, kindness, or just... general participation in the human experience. Being fat should not exclude you from happiness and self-love. Existing while fat is not a crime. It is not worthy of scorn, derision, or harassment, and it is not an invitation for condescending advice or unsolicited comments from strangers.

    Additionally, you cannot tell someone who has a disordered relationship with food or their own body to "just eat less, CICO!" any more than you can tell someone who is depressed to "just cheer up". It's possible to manage both, but it takes sustained effort over the course of months, if not years, and often requires outside intervention and therapy.

    As a person who used to be real fat and is now only kinda fat... I used to be straight up suicidal, and body image stuff was a significant contributor. That is how serious it was. Now I love my kinda-fat body. I'm exercising to getting strong so I can enjoy a longer life, which was the opposite of what I wanted to do when I was immersed in diet culture.

    22 votes
    1. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      You must appreciate yourself in order to take action. Self-hate is extremely demotivating and will only increase unhealthy behaviors. So, in an apparent contradiction, you must love your fat body...

      You must appreciate yourself in order to take action. Self-hate is extremely demotivating and will only increase unhealthy behaviors. So, in an apparent contradiction, you must love your fat body if you want to get rid of it.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Body, or yourself? It may seem like nitpicking, I recognize, but it seems an important distinction to me, and it's something I'm not quite clear on.

        Body, or yourself? It may seem like nitpicking, I recognize, but it seems an important distinction to me, and it's something I'm not quite clear on.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I do mean body. Feelings do not observe the law of excluded middle. Ambiguity is a defining trait of our emotional lives, and we must use it to our advantage.

          I do mean body. Feelings do not observe the law of excluded middle. Ambiguity is a defining trait of our emotional lives, and we must use it to our advantage.

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        ubergeek
        Link Parent
        I dont know. Self hate was a huge motivator for my weightloss, and hating that version of my body is what keeps me from sliding back to it. Self scorn can be a powerful motivator, and a good one,...

        I dont know. Self hate was a huge motivator for my weightloss, and hating that version of my body is what keeps me from sliding back to it.

        Self scorn can be a powerful motivator, and a good one, if channeled properly and not taken to excess.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'm glad this worked out for you, I just think the other option is usually more effective.

          I'm glad this worked out for you, I just think the other option is usually more effective.

          2 votes
  4. [12]
    TheJorro
    Link
    Pineapple on pizza. Most shitty places use canned pineapple with that crappy sugar-water it's packaged in, which causes a disgusting acrid-sweet taste and a trauma-inducing smell for those poor...

    Pineapple on pizza.

    Most shitty places use canned pineapple with that crappy sugar-water it's packaged in, which causes a disgusting acrid-sweet taste and a trauma-inducing smell for those poor employees as it cooks. Good places used fresh-cut pineapple and it's delicious.

    Okay, not everyone likes sweet on their pizzas. But not everyone likes salty pizzas either.

    20 votes
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Pineapple + jalapeño is a revelation.

      Pineapple + jalapeño is a revelation.

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      GoingMerry
      Link Parent
      My favourite pizza topping combo is universally panned (except by my wife, the saint). Pineapple, ground beef, banana peppers. I guess it’s like a ‘halal’ Hawaiian? Pineapple on pizza is amazing....

      My favourite pizza topping combo is universally panned (except by my wife, the saint). Pineapple, ground beef, banana peppers. I guess it’s like a ‘halal’ Hawaiian?

      Pineapple on pizza is amazing. People who are vocal detractors usually like green pepper on their pies, so I think we can safely ignore anything they have to say.

      5 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        That sounds wildly interesting. Imma oughtta try me some of that sometime.

        Pineapple, ground beef, banana peppers.

        That sounds wildly interesting. Imma oughtta try me some of that sometime.

        3 votes
      2. envy
        Link Parent
        I resemble that statement!

        People who are vocal detractors usually like green pepper on their pies, so I think we can safely ignore anything they have to say.

        I resemble that statement!

        1 vote
      3. spctrvl
        Link Parent
        I actually like both of those, but not at the same time. I assume, anyway.

        Pineapple on pizza is amazing. People who are vocal detractors usually like green pepper on their pies, so I think we can safely ignore anything they have to say.

        I actually like both of those, but not at the same time. I assume, anyway.

        1 vote
    3. [3]
      Eylrid
      Link Parent
      Canned pineapple and fresh pineapple are night and day. To can pineapple is to ruin a good fruit.

      Canned pineapple and fresh pineapple are night and day. To can pineapple is to ruin a good fruit.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Is the canned form of any fruit good? I feel like every canned fruit I've ever had (pineapple, peaches, lychee, pears, etc.) isn't even slightly comparable to fresh. It's almost always a...

        Is the canned form of any fruit good? I feel like every canned fruit I've ever had (pineapple, peaches, lychee, pears, etc.) isn't even slightly comparable to fresh. It's almost always a sickly-sweet jellified chunk that only vaguely resembles or tastes like the actual fruit.

        2 votes
        1. whbboyd
          Link Parent
          Can it yourself. Sweeten it less (or at least with less corn syrup) than food megacorps do. My parents can peaches every summer, and they are delicious—tender but not mushy, and neither tasteless...

          Can it yourself. Sweeten it less (or at least with less corn syrup) than food megacorps do. My parents can peaches every summer, and they are delicious—tender but not mushy, and neither tasteless nor overwhelmingly sweet.

          5 votes
    4. [3]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      With the exception of tomatoes (which is technically a fruit), I find any fruit on pizza deeply unsettling. So it is not a matter of quality, even the best pineapple in the world wouldn't make a...

      With the exception of tomatoes (which is technically a fruit), I find any fruit on pizza deeply unsettling. So it is not a matter of quality, even the best pineapple in the world wouldn't make a difference for me.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Olives are technically fruit as well, and they're sometimes a perfect addition to pizza. It's just that most Western cuisines have a bias towards meat/cheese dishes being salty rather than...

        Olives are technically fruit as well, and they're sometimes a perfect addition to pizza. It's just that most Western cuisines have a bias towards meat/cheese dishes being salty rather than noticeably sweet.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I also dislike olives. If anything, I'm consistent!

          I also dislike olives. If anything, I'm consistent!

  5. [5]
    envy
    Link
    Muslims. I hear a lot of criticism and anger still from America. We should be welcoming of any non-fundamentalist religious group that peacefully co-exists with others, and equally damning of any...

    Muslims.

    I hear a lot of criticism and anger still from America.

    We should be welcoming of any non-fundamentalist religious group that peacefully co-exists with others, and equally damning of any fundamentalist religion that tries to impose it's belief's on others.

    14 votes
    1. moonbathers
      Link Parent
      The terrible irony of it is that a lot of people who are anti-Islam support basically the same shitty policies they claim Muslims support but with a Christian flavor.

      The terrible irony of it is that a lot of people who are anti-Islam support basically the same shitty policies they claim Muslims support but with a Christian flavor.

      7 votes
    2. [2]
      ainar-g
      Link Parent
      I think most people who take an issue with Muslims also take an issue with the fact that a lot of Muslims live in countries where Islam is an essential part of politics. Countries with an...

      I think most people who take an issue with Muslims also take an issue with the fact that a lot of Muslims live in countries where Islam is an essential part of politics. Countries with an “official religion” and a “sharia-inspired” law system. And the media portraying the population of these countries as predominantly fundamentalist, medieval, mentally-unstable, US-flag-burning crowds don't help either.

      Essentially, in many people's heads, a Muslim equals a fundamentalist.

      2 votes
      1. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        Not saying you believe these things about Muslims, but here is a good article I found the other day about the rise of the theocracies in the middle east (specifically Iran and Saudi Arabia)

        Not saying you believe these things about Muslims, but here is a good article I found the other day about the rise of the theocracies in the middle east (specifically Iran and Saudi Arabia)

        4 votes
    3. Douglas
      Link Parent
      I really need to brush up on the Muslim religion. I don't have a strong opinion about it, and I do not know a lot about it, but it feels to me like those who are anti-Muslim tend to have...

      I really need to brush up on the Muslim religion.

      I don't have a strong opinion about it, and I do not know a lot about it, but it feels to me like those who are anti-Muslim tend to have undertones of racism and bigotry of some degree.

      My naive take on it has pretty much been "Are they worse than Southern Baptists? No? Then I don't care."

      1 vote
  6. [8]
    mrnd
    Link
    This is something more trivial... I think the Tolkien-fandom unfairly dismisses the story of Shadow of Mordor games. ...This probably requires some backgroud for those who have no idea what I...

    This is something more trivial...

    I think the Tolkien-fandom unfairly dismisses the story of Shadow of Mordor games.

    ...This probably requires some backgroud for those who have no idea what I mean.

    Shadow of Mordor (2014) and it's sequel Shadow of War (2017) were video games in the Lord of the Rings universe. Their gameplay, especially the fairly innovative Nemesis-system, was mostly praised.

    Their story however took some heavy artistic freedom regarding the lore of the universe. This was deemed especially offending, because in their early marketing they played the "faithful to the lore" card pretty heavily.

    The criticism by the Tolkien community was very wide: from very specific details, like including characters that make the game not fit at literally any point in the timeline, to more abstract problems like messing up the metaphysics of the human soul. And worst of all, the game included its own story, not based on anything Tolkien wrote!

    The sequel was even worse. It introduced many new interpretations of historical characters, like human-formed Shelob, and revealing that the Nazgul are various historical characters. And numerous other things.

    The point being, there was a lot wrong with the games.

    However, these are mostly things I personally care about very little. And it's not like I am generally easy to please, I think the Peter Jackson's movies were quite offending to the books. But they got more, and worse things wrong than these games. Things like characters, themes, aesthetics.

    On aesthetics department, these games follow the movies (mostly at least), but because it has its own story, it doesn't really mess up anything I actually care about. It uses some important characters, yes, but it doesn't ruin them like the movies do. At some points, the interpretations are even inspired.

    Something the games are, is one of the only high budget creations that explore some of my favorite things in Tolkien's world: Eregion, the creation of rings, and the character of Sauron. And using these set pieces on the background, it creates a rather unique version of the world.

    By the end of Shadow of War, the series has created a very interesting story, with extremely inspired ideas. They may be not strictly canon-compliant ideas, but they are still inspired by it, even if some fans disagree. The questions about the Tolkien-world it deals with are relevant even outside the game's version of canon.

    Spoilery details about what I mean

    Probably the main idea I love is the transferring of the Rings. Multiple times the game moves one of the Nine rings from person to person, and this is something that completely works with established lore.

    Also, sexy Shelob makes perfect sense, thank you very much. And not everything needs to be literal anyway.

    Also, Talion is not actully brought back to life, but ratjer is prevented from dying, something we already know does happen.

    One of the most convincing criticism about the first game was how it glorified violence. The second game however makes it very clear that the game understands the risk of power, and supports Tolkien's recurring theme of its corruptive influence.

    TL;DR: The Tolkien community dismisses the games as fanfiction, but fanfiction is good actually.

    12 votes
    1. determinism
      Link Parent
      If I wanted to set a game in the Tolkien universe, do whatever I wanted, and avoid stepping on toes, I would focus on blue wizards' adventures to the east.

      If I wanted to set a game in the Tolkien universe, do whatever I wanted, and avoid stepping on toes, I would focus on blue wizards' adventures to the east.

      3 votes
    2. [6]
      HoolaBoola
      Link Parent
      I've never understood the need for everything to adhere to some canon storyline. Wouldn't it get boring pretty quickly? I wouldn't play the games to learn about the lore. I've got the books and...

      I've never understood the need for everything to adhere to some canon storyline.

      Wouldn't it get boring pretty quickly?

      I wouldn't play the games to learn about the lore. I've got the books and the movies + bunch of other sources to help me with that.

      1. [4]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        Because almost always when they do, the end result is worse somehow. It's like if somebody composed Beethoven's 10th Symphony, trying to follow his style but adding "innovative bits" of their own....

        I've never understood the need for everything to adhere to some canon storyline.

        Because almost always when they do, the end result is worse somehow. It's like if somebody composed Beethoven's 10th Symphony, trying to follow his style but adding "innovative bits" of their own.

        Wouldn't it get boring pretty quickly?

        I don't think there's any reason why stories such as these need to be expanded endlessly. Unless of course one is a shareholder of the IP.

        1 vote
        1. mrnd
          Link Parent
          I think this is somewhat universal want for humans. It's nice to tell and hear stories about shared cultural heroes. This was how oral folk tales worked, and it's why today we like big franchises....

          I don't think there's any reason why stories such as these need to be expanded endlessly. Unless of course one is a shareholder of the IP.

          I think this is somewhat universal want for humans. It's nice to tell and hear stories about shared cultural heroes. This was how oral folk tales worked, and it's why today we like big franchises. Familiarity is good.

          (This is incidentally why I'd like copyright much weakened: ideal human culture freely uses established characters from the shared mythology.)

          2 votes
        2. [2]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          achoo

          It's like if somebody composed Beethoven's 10th Symphony, trying to follow his style but adding "innovative bits" of their own.

          achoo

          1 vote
          1. vegai
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            That was a joke, but I wasn't thinking of remixes and covers, rather totally new compositions but trying desperately to follow the style. I don't think anyone but Beethoven could actually do...

            That was a joke, but I wasn't thinking of remixes and covers, rather totally new compositions but trying desperately to follow the style. I don't think anyone but Beethoven could actually do Beethoven's 10th, just like I don't think anyone but Tolkien could really follow up on Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion.

            Then again, I worship Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Perhaps it's all down to how good the end result is, but I find it highly probable that the end result of fan fiction is not good. Some gems appear sometimes though.

      2. Crespyl
        Link Parent
        I think it has more to do with being able to fit each individual story into part of a larger coherent whole. When a new story draws from an existing world it can add a lot of depth and context to...

        I think it has more to do with being able to fit each individual story into part of a larger coherent whole. When a new story draws from an existing world it can add a lot of depth and context to the characters (which works well in the SoM games for example), but when the team goes the extra mile to ensure that the new story doesn't conflict with the existing canon it can move beyond simply drawing from the original to feeding back into and further enriching the readers experience of the rest of the connected works.

        1 vote
  7. [8]
    stu2b50
    Link
    Capitalism. Or rather, mixed market capitalist societies. The idea of reaching consensus on resource allocation based on the independent action of (potentially) hostile actors is powerful. And...

    Capitalism. Or rather, mixed market capitalist societies.

    The idea of reaching consensus on resource allocation based on the independent action of (potentially) hostile actors is powerful. And certainly there are industries where that doesn't happen, like natural monopolies or healthcare, and certainly those should be publicly owned. However, I don't think the state should own Blizzard or decide what cereal we have on store shelves.

    12 votes
    1. [7]
      scissortail
      Link Parent
      I agree that the state should own neither Blizzard nor Kellogg's, but it's worth noting that state control isn't the only alternative to capitalism (or mixed-market capitalism). We could have a...

      I agree that the state should own neither Blizzard nor Kellogg's, but it's worth noting that state control isn't the only alternative to capitalism (or mixed-market capitalism). We could have a situation without a centralized state or capitalism, though it would take a long time to build up effectively.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        Well, what is it?

        Well, what is it?

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          scissortail
          Link Parent
          I'm going to try to answer in broad strokes, so this will be necessarily incomplete. Essentially, a society could vest all meaningful decision-making power locally, in variations of communal...

          I'm going to try to answer in broad strokes, so this will be necessarily incomplete.

          Essentially, a society could vest all meaningful decision-making power locally, in variations of communal assemblies or town meetings. Everyone would have the opportunity to participate, and everyone would have equal political power. These small units could federate for broader cooperation or projects--more permanently under a shared federation agreement (resembling a constitution or bill of rights, etc.), or temporarily with project-specific charters. Power in these agreements would flow from the bottom up instead of the top down. Products and services would likely be provided by decentralized organizations instead of corporations, and the ideas of capital (here, the ownership of the means of production by non-workers) and rent-seeking abolished. These groups would coordinate to make sure everyone's basic needs (food, water, shelter, community) are met.

          Now all of these things would take different forms depending on where they emerge: somewhere like Vermont, for instance, would likely simply empower the longstanding tradition of town meetings to make political decisions. Somewhere like Austin, Texas could use its already healthy culture of worker cooperatives as a model for how to structure labor. Some places might use a variation on traditional currency, others could use something like a labor-hour note, while still others could try to abandon currency entirely (a very difficult proposition, imo). The occurrence of small free markets, local planned economies, and anything in between would be possible under such a system; I think that much of the strife in the current American political climate (and likely in other places, as well), comes from the wholesale ignorance of local contexts by both corporations and governments.

          This sort of model would free us both from the oppression that necessarily comes with a centralized state and from the modern corporate structure. As I mentioned, though, this sort of system would take a long time to build effectively. Here are some (but nowhere near all) of the obstacles towards its implementation (bear in mind that my reading of this is pretty strongly biased towards the USA):

          • It requires a pretty serious degree of local autonomy for basic needs. My understanding is that in the USA, most municipalities don't have the local infrastructure to handle getting everyone fed without pulling in food from California and global food producers. Medicine, too, is a concern--vaccines, antibiotics, anesthesia, and other critical medications would have to have a local source of production for this model to work. One workaround here would be to federate early with another municipality that can meet the gaps in production, though that still relies on their continued adherence to any federation agreement.

          • It is largely incompatible with modern industrial production. Not having a global neoliberal chain of manufacturing would cripple industry, as would directly empowering citizens who largely don't want to accept the negative externalities of modern industry when alternatives exist. I personally view this as a good thing, though many would not.

          • Overnight acceptance of such a system would be problematic, and would deprive many people of their safety and freedom. In the USA, local assemblies in certain places could elect to deprive women of their reproductive rights, choose to allow discrimination based on race/gender/creed, etc. This could be mitigated by brokering federation agreements with a bill of rights to prevent these things. I also don't think "Overnight acceptance" (i.e. revolution) would be at all feasible, but even with a slower rollout this would still pose a thorny problem. This is one of the tougher issues in my book, and I still haven't come up with a great solution.

          • The existing state and corporate structures would no doubt fight tooth and nail to prevent federated local democracies from happening.

          That's all I can really write for now, as work is calling, but I'll try to respond if you have more questions.

          The closest mostly-codified ideology that this fits with is Communalism, or Libertarian Municipalism, as devised by Murray Bookchin. The Ecology of Freedom is a great read, if a bit dense, and lays out the historical/philosophical underpinnings of his ideas. For societies that have been successfully with similar ideals, see the Zapatistas in Mexico or the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava). Cheers.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            stu2b50
            Link Parent
            I feel like my most immediate reaction is that localizing too much is just inefficient. Specifically, Is really, well, kinda bad fundamentally. Specialization and comparative advantage is real. If...

            I feel like my most immediate reaction is that localizing too much is just inefficient. Specifically,

            It requires a pretty serious degree of local autonomy for basic needs

            Is really, well, kinda bad fundamentally. Specialization and comparative advantage is real. If California can produce food cheaper than you can, but you can produce oil far better than California can, it's just better for you to produce a bunch of oil and California to produce a bunch of food and to then trade. Mathematically better.

            So, in a sense, this trades greater political independence for worse resource allocation, which could be a fair trade, though you'd have to model the degree to which resource allocation fails, because it could be very bad.

            In addition, what mechanism prevents local communities with stronger military force from, well, making their own federation via force?

            And how much power would be vested into these communities? Would there be a universal currency for instance? Because fundamentally universal currencies do not fare well when there are communities with drastically different economic outputs. But, at the same time, without them trade becomes obnoxious.

            2 votes
            1. scissortail
              Link Parent
              I don't deny that specialization and comparative advantage are real, but I would posit that the security and narrow focus of local economies would outweigh the inefficiencies specifically when it...

              I don't deny that specialization and comparative advantage are real, but I would posit that the security and narrow focus of local economies would outweigh the inefficiencies specifically when it comes to the necessities I outlined above. If something horrible happened to the main suppliers of food and medicine in the current system, it would mean suffering for a lot of people. If something horrible happened to a local supply of food or medicine in a federated system, the suffering would be much more contained (and hopefully quickly ameliorated by the surpluses of federated partners). It also allows for community oversight of workers rights, safety conditions, and the like--things that are a bit cloudier when production is outsourced. For things outside of basic necessities, specialization and trading with federated partners would be much more likely. As you mention, transitioning to this way of doing things would take a lot of forecasting, modeling, and a general lack of recklessness to work well.

              In addition, what mechanism prevents local communities with stronger military force from, well, making their own federation via force?

              I don't see this as substantially different from asking the same question of modern nation-states, to be honest. Optics, trade/economic repercussions, cost to the aggressor, humanistic concern, and other factors prevent the current major militaries from steamrolling everyone around them. You could also look at the Zapatistas as a current example--their territory is surrounded by Mexico (and Guatemala) and could be crushed outright by the Mexican government. They have been holding steady for more than two decades now without major conflict, though. Rojava doesn't look like it will be so lucky. They've had to ally with the Assad regime to prevent being totally steamrolled by Turkey.

              In a situation where there are neighboring federations, the use of military force would likely sour federation members on the offending municipalities. Further, I think the incentive to make war is substantially decreased when the basic needs of a society are met and there's no military-industrial complex to feed. As for the question of military ability and arms generally, I would wager that in the USA many communities would be well-armed and have a militia in this hypothetical confederalism.

              And how much power would be vested into these communities? Would there be a universal currency for instance?

              Power flows from the bottom up in this sort of model. Local assemblies get the final say in the agreements that bind them. As for currencies, it could take any number of forms as I alluded to in my previous response. My money would be on each federation having a single currency, and having agreements with other federations that either adopt a shared currency or establish a sensible exchange rate.

          2. [2]
            vord
            Link Parent
            What you described is actualy an example of abolishing capitalism. Capitalism is 100% about private ownership of capital. Free markets are compatible with socialism, but private ownership of...

            What you described is actualy an example of abolishing capitalism.

            Capitalism is 100% about private ownership of capital. Free markets are compatible with socialism, but private ownership of capital and land are not.

            One additional insight to your vision: a system like this is important to fighting climate change... local economies are far more sustainable and greener than global ones.

            1 vote
            1. scissortail
              Link Parent
              Yes, as I mention in my first post in the thread the system I describe is neither capitalistic nor statist. Capital is incompatible with freedom, in my opinion, and allows individuals to exercise...

              Yes, as I mention in my first post in the thread the system I describe is neither capitalistic nor statist. Capital is incompatible with freedom, in my opinion, and allows individuals to exercise undue control over others.

              And I completely agree regarding climate change, and think that in trying to transition to localized economies we would do well to make sustainability one of the top priorities. I think that kneecapping modern industry is essential to fighting climate change, and that (even in the bounds of the current system) we need to abandon the idea of nonstop economic growth for its own sake.

              2 votes
  8. moonbathers
    Link
    The Matrix sequels aren't as bad as I hear from a lot of people. No, they're not as good as the first one, but the fights and music are both still great.

    The Matrix sequels aren't as bad as I hear from a lot of people. No, they're not as good as the first one, but the fights and music are both still great.

    10 votes
  9. [7]
    blanknam3d
    Link
    Here's my take. I believe that the iPhone is worth defending despite its downfalls. The iPhone was the first to drop the headphone jack, is notably more expensive than other phones, has had some...

    Here's my take.

    I believe that the iPhone is worth defending despite its downfalls. The iPhone was the first to drop the headphone jack, is notably more expensive than other phones, has had some major flaws, and isn't that much more special than most other Android phones in the majority of common areas, except for the battery and the camera.

    Why do I feel the iPhone is worth defending here? Because of multiple factors:

    1. Features, or the lack thereof.
      I like the lack of features in the iPhone, less extra crap to deal with, and more focus on getting existing and upcoming features right, instead of packing in as many as possible just to say "hey we have this and the others don't have that" for extra virtual marketing points. Instead of adding support for crappy VR headsets (yes, I tried the GearVR, I still think it sucks), for example, I would prefer a more accurate biometric authentication system of some sort, either face ID or touch ID. It's simplicity at its best, you don't have to spend any amount of time trying to figure anything out, and you always know how to use it no matter what model it is, unlike Android phones which tend to have different launchers depending on what version of Android they run and what their manufacturer ships them with, sometimes even the same manufacturer switches launchers when making a new successor to their old model.

    2. Lifespan.
      iPhones tend to be supported officially way longer than any Android phone can be supported. In fact, the 5S was supported up to iOS 12.4.1, and can still be used today since a lot of apps still support the version of iOS that the 5S was kicked out of support on. Most iPhones are supported 5 or 6 years officially by Apple and depending on your use case, you can possibly end up using that iPhone model for up to a whole decade after that particular iPhone model came out, as most apps will either still support the last available version of iOS for your iPhone, or not need any updates to later versions that require a newer version of iOS to still work.

    In my case, this is especially important to me, I typically stretch out the lifespan of my devices painfully long, no matter what device it is. I used an iPhone 4S up until the iPhone 7 was out (though I had replaced the battery twice), and replaced it with an iPhone SE that I plan to use for just as long before I upgrade. Surprisingly I haven't needed to even swap the battery on my SE with a new one quite yet, 600+ cycles later it still runs a full day and doesn't drain beyond 50% by the end of the day, even on iOS 13.2.1. Another example I have here, is my PC, which I used for 8 years after I built it, even with an i3-2130, it was only recently replaced with a new AMD Ryzen 8c 16t build.

    1. Design.
      In my humble opinion, I think iPhones are actually designed right (well, at least up until the iPhone 8, and presumably the upcoming iPhone 9/SE2, and the 5.4" flagship iPhone), in the sense that they didn't hop onto trends like curved edges on screens, stupidly thin bezels, etc. As well as that, the iPhone before the iPhone X was smaller, they even made the iPhone SE right as larger phones were mainstream everywhere, and that's something I applaud Apple for doing since the SE and non-plus iPhone models are usable entirely one handed, more so with the iPhone SE.

    Apple didn't want to make a super large iPhone larger than 5.5" up until the iPhone X, they kept the non-plus models small enough to use one handed, like all phone maufacturers should have (honestly, some companies even call the iPhone 8+ size their "mini" model, like no, that's not small at all), hell they didn't even want to make a larger iPhone at all, since they believed in making things lighter and smaller. Simple and short explanation here: The iPhone wasn't jumbosized, the non-plus size model was small enough to use one-handed, even if it was kinda difficult, and the 4" iPhone SE is in my opinion, just the right size.

    1. Simplicity.
      iOS is simple, well laid out, regardless of what version you're running, and everyone already knows how to use iOS. It isn't hard to find the setting you're looking for in Settings regardless of what iOS version you're running, the far, far left page has always had the search bar, you don't have to watch out for stuff as much or avoid fake "virus alert" pages on iOS, since installing apps from anywhere else but the app store is too hard to do that sites that attempt to install malicious apps on your iPhone pretty much never exist, there's no way any average end user can screw up their device permanently, pretty much everything in iOS makes sense regardless of if you use iOS or Android as your daily driver and regardless of what version of iOS it is in question.

    On top of that, you don't have to jump through hoops to stay secure, and privacy is many steps above other manufacturers, seriously, Apple is so hellbent on privacy, that even if you die with one of their products on you, they will not unlock said product for anyone, or let anyone but you into your iCloud account/Apple products, not even the government or police gets in. And meanwhile, Google and Microsoft put in backdoors upon the government's request, that eventually get found, causing Google and Microsoft to freak out and make a different backdoor that they hope no one else ends up finding. As it's simply put: They'll tell even the government to leave your shit alone.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      weystrom
      Link Parent
      This feels like a reddit-style "unpopular opinion", defending the most popular, universally acclaimed smartphone in the world.

      This feels like a reddit-style "unpopular opinion", defending the most popular, universally acclaimed smartphone in the world.

      22 votes
      1. [2]
        gpl
        Link Parent
        While it’s popular amongst the general public for sure, it does seem to get criticized by more tech-focused communities similar to Tildes. This is anecdotal of course.

        While it’s popular amongst the general public for sure, it does seem to get criticized by more tech-focused communities similar to Tildes. This is anecdotal of course.

        17 votes
        1. Deimos
          Link Parent
          Pretty much every Apple-related topic posted on Tildes inevitably devolves into the same "but Apple products are overpriced and not even that good" argument, so it's definitely true. People love...

          Pretty much every Apple-related topic posted on Tildes inevitably devolves into the same "but Apple products are overpriced and not even that good" argument, so it's definitely true. People love to be contrarian on the internet towards popular products, and that's one of the most common targets.

          9 votes
    2. [3]
      Odysseus
      Link Parent
      Honestly, the iPhone 11 launched at $699 while keeping most of the specs of the iPhone 11 Pro, barring a telephoto camera and some level of water resistance. That's a competitive price compared to...

      Honestly, the iPhone 11 launched at $699 while keeping most of the specs of the iPhone 11 Pro, barring a telephoto camera and some level of water resistance. That's a competitive price compared to android flagships. Even the non-Max iPhone 11 Pro wasn't particularly more expensive (and even less expensive in some cases) than Samsung or Google's flagship offerings

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Litmus2336
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        We're reaching the strange world of iPhones being a better priced flagship option than the most popular android phones, which IMO is mind boggling. I still refuse to pay over $400 for a phone

        We're reaching the strange world of iPhones being a better priced flagship option than the most popular android phones, which IMO is mind boggling. I still refuse to pay over $400 for a phone

        5 votes
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          Just to put out the other side of things, I am more than happy to spend $700-$1000 on a phone, and to repeat that every 2-3 years. When I amortize the amount and extent that I use my phone over...

          I still refuse to pay over $400 for a phone

          Just to put out the other side of things, I am more than happy to spend $700-$1000 on a phone, and to repeat that every 2-3 years. When I amortize the amount and extent that I use my phone over multiple years, paying for small niceties is worth it when it ends up being a negligible cost to me.

          4 votes
  10. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    This question reminds me of this thread. That being said, my opinion is I think subscriptions or asking your community to donate money to you, when done to have the community pay for the site's...

    This question reminds me of this thread.

    That being said, my opinion is I think subscriptions or asking your community to donate money to you, when done to have the community pay for the site's expenses aren't that bad. The main criticism is that it locks out anyone without a stable income and could force companies to make things cheaper by reducing programmer pay which is correct but if you aren't the one paying, than more likely than not giant corporations, your data, venture capitalists or shareholders are doing it for you so they can profit later by turning the platform into a feed of vitriol, blandness or false neutrality and there isn't really a solution other than somehow requiring advertisers (and all the others potentially involved) to play nice and let the platforms they pay for be free from their influence, which I find unlikely.

    6 votes
  11. [3]
    bub
    Link
    Marriage and/or having children. This is another one that's coming from the context of my being involved in the software and STEM communities, where having kids is seen as about equivalent to...

    Marriage and/or having children.
    This is another one that's coming from the context of my being involved in the software and STEM communities, where having kids is seen as about equivalent to ending your life. It's not.

    5 votes
    1. eve
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It may not be ending your life but it is completely changing it in many, many ways and some people just don't want that. I think people who don't want kids are so used to having to defend their...

      It may not be ending your life but it is completely changing it in many, many ways and some people just don't want that. I think people who don't want kids are so used to having to defend their choice that there can be a lot of anger or frustration but it definitely shouldn't make them shit on others for wanting to have kids.

      It's not fun to have to defend such a personal decision, especially when neither is inherently wrong. I personally won't be having kids but I have coming up on 7 nieces and nephews which is a very fulfilling thing for me; I love being aunty but I also see why others would want kids.

      7 votes
    2. Death
      Link Parent
      I feel like there's a lot of people in STEM communities who decided the answer to the work/life balance problem was to just fuse the two together. Marriage with/without children doesn't really...

      I feel like there's a lot of people in STEM communities who decided the answer to the work/life balance problem was to just fuse the two together. Marriage with/without children doesn't really function that way, unless you can understand your family life as a type of work. Though most people won't because another attitude I see a lot in STEM communities is one where productivity and valuing work in only terms of technical and/or monetary gains is held as holy scripture.

      And to sort of jump off of this and write my own response to the thread: I really do think there's a big lack of women in STEM, and that it adversely affects the industry. Just not in ways that are easily quantifiable in terms of revenue or technical issues. I know this is anecdotal I've met multiple women whose careers got stalled because they had a child. Predominantly male professors, bosses, or even colleagues seemingly just could not understand why it took so much of their time and energy, nor why they'd want that in the first place, not until they became fathers themselves.

      Much like how there's something of a gap in research concerning women subjects there seems to be a lack of understanding in the STEM field of the general condition of being a woman. And that's probably not an issue most of the time, but when something becomes systemic small issues start adding up.

      4 votes
  12. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I enjoyed Lucy. I think it's because it features a wildly-capable character who is so capable because of their inhumanly-enhanced intelligence. That's a fiction fetish of mine. Quite a few other...

      I enjoyed Lucy.

      I think it's because it features a wildly-capable character who is so capable because of their inhumanly-enhanced intelligence. That's a fiction fetish of mine. Quite a few other stories I can think of that feature such a thing that I'd love to see more of.

      It had its bad moments, of course. The ending is the kind of an ending no one has ever gotten right – maybe no human can, because we're just human. Maybe there were other things, but I don't remember them all, 'cause the film happened a while ago and I didn't care much for it.

      All I remember is the ending being wack and that I enjoyed the film in general.

      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I really like Luc Besson in general. Sure, they often come across as goofy, but that goofiness always seems to be sincere. In my oppinion, the problems with his movies aren't necessarily entirely...

        I really like Luc Besson in general. Sure, they often come across as goofy, but that goofiness always seems to be sincere. In my oppinion, the problems with his movies aren't necessarily entirely because of his decisions, but rather because the audiences often don't choose to suspend their disbelief. So what if Lucy is predicated on pseudoscience? So is literally every science fiction movie ever made.

        Nothing was more disappointing than how poorly Valerian was received. It was the most ambitious and beautiful comic book adaptation ever made, but 90% of people trashed the movie because they couldn't get over some casting decisions.

  13. [8]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Romantic comedies: Bringing Up Baby is a timeless classic, Woody Allen got an Oscar with one and Nora Ephron was a genius. Mainstream cinema: so you think films like Raiders of the Lost Ark,...
    • Romantic comedies: Bringing Up Baby is a timeless classic, Woody Allen got an Oscar with one and Nora Ephron was a genius.
    • Mainstream cinema: so you think films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Something About Mary, The Goonies, Legally Blonde and Bridget Jones Diary are useless crap? Try writing one yourself!
    • Actors with a narrow range: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Clint Eastwood are all terrific actors that only do a few things but do them very well.
    • The Village: a great film and the plot twist works!
    2 votes
    1. [4]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I wouldn't include Bruce Willis on the list of actors with narrow range. His career blew up with Die Hard, which had a protagonist who was ostensibly a badass but also entirely too eager to use...

      I wouldn't include Bruce Willis on the list of actors with narrow range. His career blew up with Die Hard, which had a protagonist who was ostensibly a badass but also entirely too eager to use self-deprecating humor and to banter with his opponents. He did transition into mostly-action roles later in his career (see Die Hard 4 and 5), but he can do decent drama (as evident by Unbreakable) and comedy (I think? I believe I've heard people talk about his comedic streak but can't recall a film where his work was comedic).

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        The Whole Nine Yards was a comedy through and through.

        The Whole Nine Yards was a comedy through and through.

        2 votes
        1. ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          One of my favorite films, I've fuckin' forgotten about it.

          One of my favorite films, I've fuckin' forgotten about it.

          1 vote
      2. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Having a narrow range does not mean playing essentially a single character. Most Bruce Willis's other roles share at least one major similarity. His characters are always emotionally contained[1]...

        Having a narrow range does not mean playing essentially a single character.

        Most Bruce Willis's other roles share at least one major similarity. His characters are always emotionally contained[1] in a macho kinda way, frequently with ironic overtones (similarly to Bogart noir protagonists).

        [1] Which does not mean lacking emotion.

    2. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      Honestly, I tend to avoid movies with these kinds of actors in them. Not because they are bad, but because the movies they are in tend to have bad writing. "I wrote this part with you in mind" to...

      Actors with a narrow range: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Clint Eastwood are all terrific actors that only do a few things but do them very well.

      Honestly, I tend to avoid movies with these kinds of actors in them. Not because they are bad, but because the movies they are in tend to have bad writing. "I wrote this part with you in mind" to me means a lack of creativity, though that is not to say that creativity won't show up in some other way.

      1. [2]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        TBH, I think you're not just wrong, but very wrong.

        TBH, I think you're not just wrong, but very wrong.

        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          Well, we can both be wrong. It's not an exclusive thing. 😺

          Well, we can both be wrong. It's not an exclusive thing. 😺

          1 vote
  14. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Science. Common arguments by anti-vaxers, conspiracy theorists, flat-earthers, and irrationalists in general. I don't think this needs further explanation. Because science is a positive force in...

    Science.

    What are the common criticisms for your chosen thing?

    Common arguments by anti-vaxers, conspiracy theorists, flat-earthers, and irrationalists in general. I don't think this needs further explanation.

    Why do you feel that it's worth defending, even in light of those criticisms?

    Because science is a positive force in the world that most frequently makes our lives better.

    1 vote