Talking politics (uh-oh)

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Mav23, Jul 16, 2002.

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  1. Mav23

    Mav23 Swabbie
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    I was just wondering how everyone here thinks the world should be run (seriously). I know they say not to talk politics, but i think we should be able to pull it off without upsetting each other. I'm not really sure on what I believe quite yet, but I know I support individual rights without government intervention. I think as long as it doesn't effect other people, you should be allowed to do what you want. I'm not sure what classification that would fall under however. (Hope it's not anarchist :p )

    Edit: Did I spell politics right?
     
  2. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    I'm all for individual liberty. The REAL problem is when somebody like Bill Gates comes around and decided that he wants to take all the toys for himself. It's OK if somebody wants to be rich, but not if the cost is making hundreds or thousands of people live in poverty.
     
  3. Penguin

    Penguin Spaceman

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    In my country there's an election coming up in a few weeks. Its my first chance to vote in a national election, but blast, none of the parties are particularly inspiring :(
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Vice Admiral

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    And just WHO is Bill Gates keeping in poverty? Microsoft employees? Car dealers selling cars to Microsoft employees? Auto manufacturers building cars for the dealers to sell? Steel manufacturers? Home builders? Insurance agents servicing all of the above? Real estate agents? Grocers? Doctors? Stupid politicians taxing it all? People like Bill Gates CREATE jobs. In turn CREATING wealth. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in economics is thinking it's a zero sum game. Someone getting richer doesn't make someone poorer.
     
  5. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    longer - sorry

    Well - let me say sorry up front - the following is going to get quite long...

    @Mav 23:
    Hehe - if I knew the definitife answer to that question I'd probably be elected world president ;)

    More seriously. What to aim for:
    * Maximise personal rights, especially privacy.
    That one should be a natural, but very hard to do - "who watches the watchmen"...
    No censoring. No SPAM.

    * Minimise poorness around the globe.
    All equal - all glad or something like that Communist propaganda. It is a fact however that almost all wars have their roots in this monetary differences. As long as the West partially lives at the cost of for example Africa there always will be war and terrorism. Pay so they don't attack us? You can call it blackmail or you can call it a sain decision. It is unavoidable to ensure a united world however IMHO.

    * Take care for the world.
    Take care for other humans. Accept their believes. Be tolerant. Treat others like you'd like to be treatened by them.
    Take care for animals. They feel pain just as much as a human does. And they as well deserve rights to have a pleasurable life. Well I'd be happy if we'd all turn Vegetarian, but that is a different story.
    It is not a good idea however to maximise profits (yeah - here it is again - money, the root of most evil) by using for example growth hormones at the cost of the animals, at the cost of our personal health because of the sideffects of the meat and finally at the cost of having to actually destroy the overproduction.
    Also note that pleople that like to torture animals also got a lower threshold for being nasty with humans. Teach the respect at the lowest possible point.
    Take care for our environment. There are many resoures we waste every day that we cannot restock - oil as the most prominent example.
    It is an insanity if a country like the USA needs more electricity in summer for cooling the in winter for heating, especially when the heat is mostly human caused (CO2, hole in the Ozone layer).
    So many stuff could be easily solved. Why not try solar energy for cooling? After all there is sun when it is hot, isn't it? Also there is a big possibility to reduce traffic, especially the trucks. Is it a necessarity if potatoes are driven from Germany to Italy to get washed?! Also traffic could be switched to less polluting transport methods. Let me give you a vision: Why not use solar enpowered drone like flying machines (planes, baloon, zeppelin) whatever. Sure they would most likely be slower - so who cares?! What goods are really time important?

    * Reduce the political influence of multi national corps.
    Very un USish, isn't it? But without this clause neither point 1 nor point 2 nor point 3 would hold for longer.
    DRM, DECSS Lawsuit, ...
    @Ridgerunner: You are wrong in your arguments IMO. Yes - Bill Gates might be responsible for a lot of jobs. You ignore something however. How many jobs have been lost by the destruction of countless companies by MS? It is a fact that many small companies create more wealth for all then one big one. Also how much money was lost for the customers because a quasi monopoly forced them to pay insane prices (Office for example), but also Win2000 Pro...

    * Then lets get to a government. Hmm yes - we'll need one I am afraid. Someone has to watch over the rules I fear.
    I'd tend to go somewhere into the direction of a technocracy here. I am sick and tired of politicians that don't have a clue about what they are talking about. Let the most knowing people people for a job also get the job. Also by this reign of intelligence you reduce the risk of dependancy on some interest groups.
    Elections or votes (they don't change much anyhow - do they? *sigh*) could be skipped easily as long as it is made sure that the rulers follow the wishes of the majority. Again something a scientist will more likely do then a politician.

    Ok, now let me further plot my utopia:
    Well weapons (of mass destruction, but eventually even guns) will be unnecessary. There won't be any tensions left after a while. Crime will also (almost?) vanish - it will be unprofitable.
    Also we would not need a defense against aliens. Every race that evolved far enough as to reach us and hasn't self destructed on the way to get that advanced is very very very likely to have extremely hight ethical values.

    Well I think that are ('in short') the most important points. I could go on for several more pages, but I assume you get my point by now.
     
  6. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    I would imagine that Microsoft is responsible for *creating* far more small companies than it's "destroyed". They're the reason that everybody and his car can use a computer...
     
  7. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Re: longer - sorry

    Sounds like something Hobbes would have written (not the Kilrathi ;)). Personally, I don't quite understand why it's become so fashionable lately to say that elections and democracy in general are unnecessary. Do people really think they'd be be better off ruled by a totalitarian regime?

    There's a problem with that idea - most of the great empires in human history were highly unethical. And, though this is obviously a rather sensitive subject, a case could be made that the most powerful government of today is becoming progressively less and less ethical in its dealings with the rest of the world.
     
  8. WildWeasel

    WildWeasel Spaceman

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    That's the problem with being the most powerful. There's nobody above you to smack you upside the head when you go too far.
     
  9. junior

    junior Spaceman

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    Re: Re: longer - sorry

    There's always something reassuring about the idea that its no longer YOUR responsibility. Douglas Adams joked in one of his Hitchiker's books that the way to make something invisible was to make it somebody else's problem.
    Totalitarian regimes also often have the advantage that they have a strong leader who can ignore petty infighting and bickering, such as the kind that takes place between even legislators of the same party.
    Its also possible to end up with a benevolent dictator. Supposedly the first tyrant or two in Athens fit this category, although since I wasn't there, I'll withhold judgement.
    Ultimately, however, I don't think dictatorships work. Even if you somehow end up with someone who thinks similar to the way you do, and manages to go his or her entire life without being corrupted, said dictator is going to die at some point, and there are no guarantees with the successor.
     
  10. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    Seriously doubt the the creation part. I don't count the nameless horde of sharewareprogrammers companies. And everything that only gets a bit bigger is steadyly put out of business sooner or later.
    Sure they created many small virus programmers however ;)

    As far as ease to use goes. What about Apple or OS/2? Heck there even is a FVWM95.

    Each of them could be easily in place of MS if it never existed/wouldn't have the monopoly it has.
     
  11. Penguin

    Penguin Spaceman

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    Quarto: If there's any apathy towards elections, it might be because the electorate thinks the politicians are the same, or won't do what they say they'll do. Its not because they think dictatorship is better.

    WildWeasel: There's always somebody...

    Junior: Having a strong leader isn't necessarily a good thing. Cutting corners and overriding dissenters is good only if the leader's initiatives actually work for the benefit of the state. Otherwise its bad. Perhaps the best example of a line of benevolent despots are the adoptive emperors of Rome. There were five of them and they managed to rule reasonably well over a period of 84 years.

    cff: Seeing as how Microsoft dominates the operating system market it would seem their OS is easier to use than their rivals. They didn't start off with a monopoly.
     
  12. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    Re: Re: longer - sorry

    Did I say Dictatorship? Tell me however what the recent switch of Democratic Leadership (Clinton) to Republican (Bush) did changed for the average people in the US.
    That is where I say Democracy fails. Heck I got no clue who to elect the next time. I got to pick from 4 parties practically. Each one that has at least one view that I'd not ever want to support in my life.

    Now you could go full democracy asking the people for every little tidbit. 2 immediate problems arise:
    a) It costs a shitload of money.
    b) People are stupid and don't get the bigger picture. Ask them if they want to pay less taxes - sure you'll get 99% yes. Then ask a week later if the social security should be lowered. 99% saying no. So what now? Only one can exist.
    The alternative would be to offer only combined votings like what would you rather see: More taxes - more free social services, less taxes less social services. Well that would be possible, but still has its problems.
    For one you ignore who formulates the questions, which can change a good deal of the query. Also the alternative you'd like to vote for might just be not there.
    But even if that is solved you still got more problems. People will only take into account the now. Imagine a politic that only pays off (but big time then) in 20 years, but will hurt in the first 2. Voters won't consider it.

    Also democracy always has a pressure to pick the popular solutions over the good/necessary ones.

    That is why I think an optimal ruling would not need elections in this sense. Do not mix it with classic dictatorship.
    Rater see it that there is a menager that takes care that the world runs as it should be.

    Yes, and all those empires are gone, partly because of their unethicallity. I am thinking a bigger scale however. I don't remember who wrote the book anymore (it was called Hyperspace - a book abit like the Brief History of Time) but he gave an interesting view.
    There are times in a society when it is in danger to extinguish itself. This danger arises when the technology does a leap forward while the ethical values evolve steadily. Such leaps in science occur with a certain foreseeability:
    First total control of a planet, then total control of a star system and so on. Einstein caused such a leap the first time in human history by inventing all the stuff regarding atoms. This was the first step to the first crisis: the total control of our own planet.
    What was the result: The A-Bomb. There was a good chance that we would not survive this phase of our evolution - heck there still is a certain probability that we don't. Ethic did catch up fast enough this time.
    When I talk about such crisis they are way greater then a laughable roman empire. We are talking each time about a crisis that will kill the whole humanity if ethics aren't strong enough.
    The idea is that it won't be possible to reach a new world without at least having mastered 3-4 such crisis at which point you should have accumulated enough ethic that you only can pe a peaceful society.
     
  13. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    Quarto: If there's any apathy towards elections, it might be because the electorate thinks the politicians are the same, or won't do what they say they'll do. Its not because they think dictatorship is better.
    [/B][/QUOTE]
    Either that or you got conflicting stuff.
    Lets say for example there is a right wing party. I migth like their liberal stance on taxes, but hate their view on immigrants. What do I do?
    Note: This is not a rethorical question for me. While the example is taken out of thin air I got the problem with all 4 bigger parties in my country. At least one thing in each program makes me sick (not taking into account that probably they won't keep their promises anyhow, but that is a different story).

    Also an advantage of a dictatorship I did not mention is that it needs less layers in a hierachy. There is a postulate that as soon as anything reaches 5 layers of hierachy less then 50% of the original ideas/ideals will be conserved in that 5th layer. That is also why big companies got so many communication problems.
    Just something to think about.

    Nope. People use it because they are used to it. Just curious: how many operating systems did you use in your life? And you are probably an exception as you are on the net and probably quite computer literate so at least substract 50% of your answer for the typical user. People use what they are used to/what their friends use.
    Lets get back to DOS for better showing my idea here. I think it is no doubt that about every system in the world was better then DOS, wasn't it (ignoring size and speed maybe) when it came to user friendlyness. Yet it run on 80% of machines... I think you see my point.

    Actually they quasi did. Bill Gates bought DOS from some student. Then he used the connections of his parents to IBM to market it as standard on the early PCs. From there on he did an awesome job to keep away competitors.
    I could start citing stuff like the infamous haloween papers or city famous stuff like "Windows is not done until Lotus won't run". Lets just say that most of that stuff was at least in the gray zone, and rather towards black...
     
  14. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    If, as you seem to believe, Microsoft both stole their product (having nothing to do with its creation...) then how can you go on to fault them for having a lousy product :)? And even if Windows is the horrible baby-killing tentacle monster that Lunix junkies rant about... doesn't *Microsoft* get credit for marketing it in a way that has created the basis for the market today?
     
  15. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    Huh? Did I say they stole it below?
    (Actually Microsoft _DID_ steal some products - I know that they lost in court at least once for software piracy!)
    But I don't see where I did mention that here. I said Bill Gates did never program DOS, instead he bought it. Well fine so far.
    Also I'd immediately sign that Microsoft did steal a lot of ideas (enough lawsuits again proove me right).

    Well for part one:
    I have to agree one one thing: Bill Gates is a marketing genius. He produce crappy software, betray partners and what else, but he definitely is a genius when it comes to marketing.
    As for part 2 regarding the basis for the market. As I said above there are lots of alternatives that could have easily taken the place Win has today - so I don't see how MS did create a good basis. Actually I'd go as far as to say that the basis would be much better without MS. To give one example about every system besides Windows is X-Windows compatible. So you can do cross platform graphical stuff. Now imagine a world without Windows - a system that does its best to be as proprietary (aka incompatible) as possible. Hey - wouldn't that be cool? Another example: Imagine MS pushing OpenGL instead of DirectX. Again we would have a multi platform compatibility. But that is not MSs way. As soon as they are only the slightest bit compatibe the change directions (see AVI files for example. They had been MS in early times. Now that other OSs use it they quickly moved to ASF and WMV...)

    PS: I am no Linux junky. In fact Linux ranks somewhere in the middle on my perfect OS scale.
     
  16. junior

    junior Spaceman

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    A few odds and ends...

    I don't like dictatorships, personally, although it seems one or two of you may have gotten the impression otherwise. And I wasn't kidding about the "somebody else's problem" attitude that I think often puts dictators in power. I think that has a lot to do with why Hitler ended up in power.
    Microsoft didn't buy DOS from a student. They bought it from another company (DEC? WEC? Can't remember...) that, iirc, had adapted it for other computer companies. MS then ported it to the IBM PC, and the rest is history.
     
  17. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Re: Re: Re: longer - sorry

    No, you didn't say 'dictatorship' - you said that power should be given to somebody who is skilled enough to use it, and that people should give up their right to change the leader. So, you didn't have to say the word 'dictatorship' - because you described it. This is the most disturbing thing about such views (because, unfortunately, there's quite a few people that would agree) - every dictator in the world's history would agree with the quote below:

    In conclusion, democracy, while generally not the most efficient system, is the best option, because it's the only option that tries to prevent dictatorship. Well, even in democracy, the tendency to push towards dictatorship is incredibly strong, but a democratic system is the only one that can resist that pressure. If you give up the right to elect your leader, who are you going to blame when the leader decides to take away your right to criticise the government? It will be your fault, and your fault alone.

    Hmm, well, I think almost every generation has lived with the feeling that they're living at the 'end of history', and that nothing more shocking could happen than what they have endured. This, of course, is generally false. Similarly, nuclear weapons are a much smaller threat than people make them out to be. The crisis, if we indeed live in one, lies in the proliferation of small arms, not nuclear weapons. The amount of people killed by the nuclear weapons is far smaller than the number who dies due to regular conflicts. If we were to average out the latter over the timespan of a year, we'd probably end up with an average of Hiroshima & Nagasaki's worth of deaths per month.
    What does this signify? It signifies that nuclear weapons are not a great moral dilemma. Overall, their impact on the world has been utterly irrelevant. It's still small arms that kill the most, and most people don't see small arms as a threat significant enough to make them reconsider the ethics of their civilisation.
     
  18. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Although I agree with the statement, I don't see the logic of the proof... how do you determine *won't* from *hasn't*?
     
  19. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: longer - sorry

    I would say that the real danger of nuclear weapons comes not from their ability to flatten large cities in one blow, but from the fact that. if enough of them are used, the Earth will be rendered uninhabitable for any people who are NOT killed by their use. Small arms may be sufficient to destroy human civilization, sending us back to the Stone Age, but nuclear weapons can wipe out every large animal on Earth, sending us back to the Jurrassic era (200 million years ago) or earlier.
     
  20. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    /me nods. That is why I try to be as vocal as a normal citizen can be when it comes to politics. Aka I of course vote, but I also raise my opinion and send letters to institutions and similar activities.

    I think the DEC thing was CPM. While DOS looks like CPM in lots of way it is a completely new development IIRC. I could be confusing some details.

    Not exactly - that is your interpretation. I did say the most intelligent should lead. Now unless we talk about ancient greek where there have been universal genius this is just an impossibility for one person.
    Obviously you'd need a small group (a couple hundred probably) to cover the complete human wisdom. Also never was there an implication that such an assignement was for life...


    Who am I going to blame when the leader of the party I voted for takes away my rights? I don't have rights for free speech anywhere on the world right now.

    As I said if you want democracy then do it right. Direct and full blown. Right now you probably would not even feel much difference to a mild dictatorship besides that your believes are hurt.



    Yup...
    But the A-Bomb is still a danger that is unique to the human race. It enables us the first time to actually destroy a world. As such the last generation had every right to say they endured more then everyone before.



    I could not more disagree. You are completely missing my point. Sure much more pain will be inflicted my measly small arms.
    And most definitely they are the bigger problem of our time.
    But you have to look at it from a global scale. Who cares if you are shot tomorrow? History will not change. Even if it hits someone like Einstein history is maybe delayed a hundred years. Who cares on universal scales.
    Even if some Millions die each year - so what?!
    Not so with the Atomic Bomb. The problem is that here if we start WW3 then it is over. The civilisation called humanity is over. So indeed the Ethical pressure is way higher here!
    Every danger that cannot wipe out humanity as a whole is irrelevant for that theory.
    As far as small arms go - probably the next leap (one our brains cannot imagine yet) will take ultimate care of that. I'd imagine that the average person will have the power of an A-Bomb with that leap. At this point we either learn to love each other and not use that personal power to destroy the planet, or again humanity has failed and was destroyed. No loss for the universe in that case.
     
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