Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Discussion Forums > Environment

Environment Climate Change, Pollution, Endangered Species, Industrial Agriculture, Degrading Habitats & Renewable Energy.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old Aug 2nd 2011, 07:17 PM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
Cranky Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,045
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
Nonsense. The Flea market assumes that the area is safe from crime and threats because of police power (aka coercive force). The Flea market assumes that if something is stolen they can call the police to apprehend the criminal (aka coercive force). The Flea market assumes that the building where transactions are happening is structurally safe because building codes are enforced (aka coercive force). And the Flea market assumes that if a contract is not upheld by both parties then a court can settle the conflict (aka coercive force). Where is coercive force not assumed in society?

As for free markets, the entire system assumes coercive force. It assumes judicial systems that can rule on contract law. The Free market assumes police power to enforce said contract law. It assumes laws and regulations permitting certain forms of labor and corporate organization. All this is coercive force that is necessary for the free market to work.



I don't see how this is all that hard. American society as a whole has deemed certain forms of coercive force legitimate within certain bounds. The force of the majority, with certain checks to protect the minority, is deemed to be the force of law. The individual has certain rights against the group, but no where have we said that those rights supersede all power of the majority.
1. Your first paragraph does not apply to Florida:
A. Down here there really does seem to be such a thing as Southern hospitality. For example, if a person down here makes some kind of a driving error it is very unlikely that anyone will honk their horn. They will just slow down and adjust. In my 59 years in the metroplitan area of NJ, any slight error is a perfect excuse to "make the other person wrong" (Rejoice in the other person's mistake.), and lean on the horn.
B. It is very likely that at least a few people at any flea market is carrying a concealed weapon, and on certain canoe trips and other occasions, I carry one myself.

2. Why does "American society as a whole" consist only of the murderous bureaucracy of the United States? Why isn't North America a "society" as a whole? I have friends in Canada I consider part of my society, and there are KKK members around here who I do not consider part of my society. Do you see geographical areas only in terms of nation-states?

Last edited by Tom Palven; Aug 2nd 2011 at 07:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old Aug 2nd 2011, 08:15 PM
Americano's Avatar
Americano Americano is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8,614
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
1. Your first paragraph does not apply to Florida:
A. Down here there really does seem to be such a thing as Southern hospitality. For example, if a person down here makes some kind of a driving error it is very unlikely that anyone will honk their horn. They will just slow down and adjust. In my 59 years in the metroplitan area of NJ, any slight error is a perfect excuse to "make the other person wrong" (Rejoice in the other person's mistake.), and lean on the horn.
B. It is very likely that at least a few people at any flea market is carrying a concealed weapon, and on certain canoe trips and other occasions, I carry one myself.

2. Why does "American society as a whole" consist only of the murderous bureaucracy of the United States? Why isn't North America a "society" as a whole? I have friends in Canada I consider part of my society, and there are KKK members around here who I do not consider part of my society. Do you see geographical areas only in terms of nation-states?
Maybe it was just the greater Miami area, but when I was in Florida driving errors could and did draw gunfire. As to 'Southern Hospitality', I'd never consider even most parts of rural Florida in that vein, much less metro populations. Though, after New Jersey, it would be quite a contrast.

I think Dave Barry's humor paints an accurate picture of Florida demographics.
__________________
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
~H.L. Mencken~
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old Aug 2nd 2011, 10:36 PM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I don't think it is unhelpful. I think there are meaningful lessons to be learned from history. Humans are humans and we tend to act in particular ways that we tend to repeat when we encounter apparently similar challenges. Analyzing successful and failed pattern responses is potentially good information.

I guess one point to make is that some Easter Islanders had to have noticed the progression of forest disappearance. Sure it took generations to happen, but some people had to have noticed that the big trees were not around any more or that the forests were getting smaller and smaller. Couple this with the fact that the largest stone statues ever built were the last ones erected and and the very last ones never completed. That says to me that there was a clear element of 'Nero fiddling while Rome burned' here.

We've talked about cognitive dissonance before. Our own society seems to be having a problem with this right now - coming to grips with the fact that our wonderfully comfortable and prosperous lifestyle is entirely dependent upon consuming massive amounts of a finite resource that we have evidence is being depleted at an alarming rate - yet we still build big new highways and fleets of new cars and airplanes - our economies depend on it.
or, going back to values, there was a clear decision it was more important to build the statues. We have no idea what their decision making process was and a reading of "Nero fiddling while Rome burned" imports concepts we really can't know onto the historical story. We just don't know if it was cognitive dissonance or not.

Quote:
I find the apparent evil of God's creations to be equally disturbing.
Well you are in good company. God did too (hence the whole Crucifixion thing )

Quote:
But that doesn't mean I ought to ignore the potential extinction of the human race. Btw, if 'survival=good, extinction=bad' isn't a functional moral statement, I don't know what is.
That is interesting. I would be curious to understand how you think that is moral. When i read that statement I don't hear anything other then "anything goes as long as we preserve life." I don't like where that thinking takes us.

Quote:
No it isn't.

But recklessly continuing to expand/build our modern world has a very high probability to wipe us out within the next century.

Failure to adapt to a changing environment (regardless of the reason) is the real reason a society will go extinct. Our environment is changing right now and we, like the Easter Islanders and the Greenland Norse are not adapting at all - we aren't even trying.
As i said, my problem lies with trying understand why there wasn't change then and why there isn't today. Without some convincing evidence as to the "why" I find it hard to compare.

Quote:
As Donkey noted above, I wonder if the Easter Islanders and the Greenland Norse engaged in outright denialism as is so evidently popular in our own culture in the present day?
Well that I am sure of. People were shocked when Rome was sacked even though it was clear it was going to happen. Tragedy is rarely expected.
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old Aug 3rd 2011, 01:02 AM
andrewl's Avatar
andrewl andrewl is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 426
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
That is interesting. I would be curious to understand how you think that is moral. When i read that statement I don't hear anything other then "anything goes as long as we preserve life." I don't like where that thinking takes us.
So do you think there is a situation in which causing a mass extinction is moral?
__________________
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

-George Orwell
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old Aug 3rd 2011, 07:11 AM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
Cranky Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,045
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Americano View Post
Maybe it was just the greater Miami area, but when I was in Florida driving errors could and did draw gunfire. As to 'Southern Hospitality', I'd never consider even most parts of rural Florida in that vein, much less metro populations. Though, after New Jersey, it would be quite a contrast.

I think Dave Barry's humor paints an accurate picture of Florida demographics.
I used to love Dave Barry, but haven't seen anything from him recently, maybe since I lived in NJ and got NJ media. Can you point me to what you're referring to?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old Aug 3rd 2011, 12:44 PM
Americano's Avatar
Americano Americano is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8,614
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
I used to love Dave Barry, but haven't seen anything from him recently, maybe since I lived in NJ and got NJ media. Can you point me to what you're referring to?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Barry
__________________
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
~H.L. Mencken~
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old Aug 3rd 2011, 05:37 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,823
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
or, going back to values, there was a clear decision it was more important to build the statues. We have no idea what their decision making process was and a reading of "Nero fiddling while Rome burned" imports concepts we really can't know onto the historical story. We just don't know if it was cognitive dissonance or not.
Fact is, the forests died out while they were still trying to build bigger statues. The half-built but never finished statues point to that.

In other words, as the forests disappeared, this society was still trying to build bigger and better statues. That looks like 'fiddling while Rome burned to me'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
Well you are in good company. God did too (hence the whole Crucifixion thing )
Pointing out that your God crucified his only God-son isn't exactly a good counter-argument against the apparent evil of God and all his creations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
That is interesting. I would be curious to understand how you think that is moral. When i read that statement I don't hear anything other then "anything goes as long as we preserve life." I don't like where that thinking takes us.
Given the alternative, pleasing choices are not part of the equation.

Life or death. Pick one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
As i said, my problem lies with trying understand why there wasn't change then and why there isn't today. Without some convincing evidence as to the "why" I find it hard to compare.
As I've often argued in other threads, the 'moral why' is irrelevant to everyone except one's self and even then it is hidden and easily denied. Ergo, speculating about it is just a fool's errand.

The "what" is significant. What did the Easter Islanders do to exterminate themselves? What can we do to prevent ourselves from doing the same? The "what" seems highly relevant. The "why" seems entirely beside the point.

Who cares why the Easter islanders had a fetish for stone statues? Even if we knew why they had that fetish, it wouldn't change anything about the fact that they exterminated themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
Well that I am sure of. People were shocked when Rome was sacked even though it was clear it was going to happen. Tragedy is rarely expected.
Yet few things are as easy to predict as tragedy.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old Aug 7th 2011, 01:49 AM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

Pointing out that your God crucified his only God-son isn't exactly a good counter-argument against the apparent evil of God and all his creations!
I believe we have a thread on attonement theory somewhere. However, the good Friday liturgy, church tradition, and scripture are all very, very clear on this point. We killed Jesus.
Quote:
Life or death. Pick one.
Well Individually I can think of several scenarios where I choose death over life for myself. the meta level is different of course. My problem is that the puruit of life without any regard for any other value is what I think got us in this mess in the first place.
Quote:
As I've often argued in other threads, the 'moral why' is irrelevant to everyone except one's self and even then it is hidden and easily denied. Ergo, speculating about it is just a fool's errand.

The "what" is significant. What did the Easter Islanders do to exterminate themselves? What can we do to prevent ourselves from doing the same? The "what" seems highly relevant. The "why" seems entirely beside the point.

Who cares why the Easter islanders had a fetish for stone statues? Even if we knew why they had that fetish, it wouldn't change anything about the fact that they exterminated themselves.
I have decided that this is where you and I are getting hung up. For me, the "what" or the facts are completely useless without the why. Facts don't give meaning.

Quote:
Yet few things are as easy to predict as tragedy.
Only for someone else...
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com