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Messages - wili

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The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: August 05, 2020, 06:17:19 PM »
Three cheers for Captain Spalding!

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: August 05, 2020, 04:19:35 PM »
Good to have you back, nanning. I hope your contemplations went well.


On minimalizing capitalism, I like a paraphrase of Grover Norquist's famous quote:

I don't want to abolish capitalism. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub

I can't remember whether this has been brought up on this thread, but an economist who has done quite a bit of work thinking through what might replace or displace growth-based capitalism is Herman Daly, particularly, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future . Probably a bit out of date by now, but worth building on, perhaps.

I can't answer yes or no, because there are too many grey areas in the definitions of these things.

What I vote 'yes' on is in confidence in our moderators to judge when a poster or discussion has gotten so far out of touch with reality and become so distracting that it needs to be shut down or redirected. Any particular judgment is going to seem to harsh to other and too lax to some, and the whole thing will inevitably continue to be a bit of a messy learning process. But we have a smart and principled crew, it seems to me, that can figure it out, with occasional input from the rest of the rabble, as here.

I do think some here seem to underestimate how quickly a forum can become overrun by trolls and bots of various stripes if too laissez faire of a policy is instituted. There is no limit on how many stupid ideas there are out there or that can be invented (and re-invented, and re-invented...). And spending time shooting down each and every one of them would be tiresome, pointless, exhausting, and irritating, not to mention taking away from the much more important work to be done here.

But sometimes one doesn't know if something is completely stupid till you've kicked it around for a while, and in the process, many of us sometimes learn something.

So I would not be for any hard and fast rule, either letting it all through or utterly banning all of it (if that were even possible).

I do think that, as has happened recently, when a poster gets 'information' from clearly disreputable sources (Heartland Institute thugs, etc...), and continues to tout said bad info even when warned about it, they should at least be put on some kind of suspension and then let back on probationary status, perhaps.

In general, though, I trust our current crew to navigate the rapids and shoals in the wild river of deliberate and accidental mis-information we are all constantly adrift in.

That's why they get paid the Big Bucks, right???  ;D ;D ;D

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:59:53 PM »
"I don’t think Trump aims to delay elections"


Then why the hell did he say he was thinking of doing exactly that?

But yes, he certainly wants to also discredit the elections. Of course, if he were (even appear to) win, all of his doubts would somehow magically vanish. Basically the same playbook as last time, but on steroids and with even higher stakes.

He also want to distract the news cycle from the disastrous economic numbers that just came out...

In other news:

Neuroscientist explains why Christian evangelicals are wired to believe Donald Trump’s gaslighting lies

One reason Trump supporters believe his lies comes from a basic fact about the brain: it takes more mental effort to reject an idea as false than to accept it as true. In other words, it’s easier to believe than to not.

So basically, they're just too lazy to bother to think for themselves?

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:02:25 PM »
Hwaet. We Gardena  in geardagum
theodcyninga   thrym gefrunon
hu tha athelingas     ellen fremedon

This is English from about a thousand years ago (first lines of Beowulf), yet it is unintelligible to modern speakers unless they have made a special study of it (and this is with modernizing the script!).

So yeah, there's a lot of problems with trying to communicate with future generations just 1000 years out, let alone tens of or hundreds of thousands.


This part from kassy's article struck me as rather...ironic

The initiative came up with a number of suggestions as how to help humans in the future make informed decisions, such as libraries, time capsules and physical markers

Human during our lifetimes have made multiple of what might be called the least well 'informed decisions' in the history of the planet. Deciding to trash the planet by leaving nuclear waste all over it being not the least of these ill informed decisions.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 02, 2020, 11:47:53 PM »
It's pretty clear to me that the media has actually vastly underplayed the severity of the virus.

What I haven't seen much of in the MSM (to the extent that I view it) are endless 'up close and personal' stories about victims of the disease, the suffering of their relatives...

Instead it has mostly been about the numbers and the experts and politics.

It is emotional personal stories that moves people to both care about the individual outcome as well as the larger issue, and that would prompt people to take the necessary precautions, whatever the policy makers end up doing. So while I lay the lion's share of blame for the disastrous US non-response to covid-19 at the feet of Trump and his hapless minions, I see the media as also partly to blame.

There are about 1000 stories of deaths a day they could cover, and many others of near deaths, etc. So it's not like there's a lack of freakin' material for them to work with. And they know full well what stories are most effective at changing hearts as well as minds...

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: July 31, 2020, 09:19:10 PM »
That guy on the right looks pretty worried about the giant boar about to head butt him! :-o

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:51:28 PM »
Paph wrote: "I was surprised by the strong effects of this storm."

Yes, besides spreading ice out into warmer waters and sometimes raining on ice, the wind in storms can stir water up from below that is saltier and warmer, it seems to me. Look up thread at the illustrations of 'sails' and 'keels' in ice floes.

When wind hits the 'sail' I have to assume it moves the much longer keel, and since these can be quite deep, it probably creates a stirring motion that I would think could effect fairly deep warm salty water, some of which probably comes up to the surface.

Can anyone confirm or show counter evidence for this pet theory of mine? I suppose samples of changes in temperature and salinity near these formations during high winds might be evidence? 

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:37:23 PM »
Another thing to think about is if this were to 'run freely' through the rural part of the country...about half of all farmer in the US are above this could likely have an impact on the availability of food (and large numbers in the US are already food insecure for economic reasons).

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: July 30, 2020, 04:15:03 AM »
So they did find out that the guy who started the first building on fire was basically a Nazi (part of some gang with Aryan in the title).

I find myself more and more saying the line from Indiana Jones: "Nazis, I hate these guys"

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: July 28, 2020, 06:25:48 PM »
Thanks, bk. I was just listening to a radio program with the author of this book: Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: July 28, 2020, 04:23:05 PM »
When will white evangelicals wake up to the fact that their support of Trump amounts to Satan worship?

Antarctica / Re: The State of Wilkes Basin Glaciers
« on: July 28, 2020, 03:45:24 AM »
Thanks, prok. Glad to see that  you are still at it

In case anyone doesn't know, prok has, as far as I have seen, the best collection of AGW related videos on the internets, at climatestate

(I am ashamed that I remember the name partly because I think of it as 'prokstate'  :-[ ::) ;D )

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: July 24, 2020, 05:08:18 AM »
Thanks for that, fg. It reminds me of the reason I am no longer a doner--it is vanishingly rare that an organ from a relatively wealthy doner  end up with a relatively poor recipient...but maybe sometimes that leads to some kind of reconciliation???

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: July 24, 2020, 05:05:11 AM »
Thanks, kass...that is definitely a classic!  :D

and this is something that bc's comment on 2020 melt season reminded me of...

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: July 18, 2020, 04:45:03 AM »
Ah, another fact free post

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 15, 2020, 09:47:58 PM »
"Universal use does not make it more correct"

Actually, in language, which is pretty much what we are talking about (the definition of a term), it pretty much does.

You might not like it, but if everyone else says that a duck is something that quacks, waddles, and swims as well as flies...that's pretty much the definition of what a duck is, no matter how much you might not like it.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 06:31:34 PM »
Thanks for the clarifications, Neven.

Yes, we should all be constantly reminding everyone about the underlying conditions making more and more 'covids' and other types of preventable tragedies inevitable.

"they are exploited more by a system that seeks to profit off of people's health"

Yes, that seems to be the main reason for the disparities.

Please do, Neven, continue to point out the bigger conditions that will continue to destroy us long after covid leaves the headlines and the ICUs. I think you can do so effectively without trying to downplay the current crisis. But I get it if you just want to bow out for a while.

Thanks again for a creating a great forum and blog, by the way.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 06:07:27 PM »
In the US, covid is killing a far larger percentage of Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans than of Whites.

Are those groups also guilty of excessive fear for this virus?

Most of the most public voices in the US who are saying not to worry much about this virus are also famous as racists.

These things, fairly or unfairly, color my perception of those elsewhere who are dismissive of (to me) realistic concerns about the virus.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: July 02, 2020, 12:10:34 AM »
I used to dig a lot more than I do now. I still do some digging for laying wood down for hugelkultur, but I don't really have to dig potatoes out of the ground anymore, since I grow them in piles of leaves!

Alex, fungus and bacteria are everywhere and find there way into everything. But undisturbed, healthy soil is generally much richer in both (but especially fungus) than even most commercially sold compost, or so I'm told by folks who follow this stuff much more deeply than i do.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: July 01, 2020, 05:34:44 AM »
cover crops, my friend... cover crops

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: June 29, 2020, 12:52:45 AM »
Rod, I appreciate your concern, but really, isn't that what the ASI Blog is for? Am I missing something?

(And I'd love to hear your explanation of what is and isn't 'radical,' but that would involve you in a political conversation, I maybe not?  :-\ )

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 28, 2020, 03:26:13 PM »
That is a widespread motif in literature that apparently goes back to a work called "The Mysteries of Russia" where it is used as a political metaphor for how oppressive systems sap the humanity from their subjects.

It's not clear that wolves regularly (or ever) displayed such behavior, but it has been part of the myths about them that have encouraged people to exterminate wolves in the 'Old' and 'New' Worlds.

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 28, 2020, 02:12:18 AM »

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: June 27, 2020, 06:33:56 PM »
Good suggestions, all.

If you go with the wood chip suggestion, you should be even more careful to go with the bean suggestion, as wood chips tend to leach the soil of nitrogen. Clover is also nitrogen fixing, but obviously is not edible by humans (though some can be used for a nice tea).

You have to make your own choices, obviously. But weeds are generally considered weeds because they out-compete vegetables and most other plants for soil nutrients and moisture.

But yeah, you shouldn't expect to be particularly successful in gardening on your first try, any more than you would expect to pain a masterpiece the first time you put paint to canvas

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 27, 2020, 04:35:03 AM »

Thanks, kass. We got to see them live a couple years ago. We seemed to be the oldest ones in the crowd by a decade or two. Very fun, enjoyably raucous time

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 27, 2020, 03:47:55 AM »
We run from  our horrors, but the horror inevitably follows us...

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 25, 2020, 03:03:47 AM »
Good points, gl

Yes, it was a camera that prompted this thread (and more importantly a worldwide movement).

But it wasn't a camera worn by a cop.

I'm saying that cameras on cops is another way for some to feel that the situation is being taken care of, when in fact it is much deeper, something that a few cameras on a few cops will never begin to address.

But yeah, that they couldn't even get that weak measure through shows just how far the Republicans are to facing up to any of this sh!t

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 24, 2020, 09:36:10 PM »
Phoenix wrote:

Police reform appears to be dead in the senate.

The sticking points appear to be qualified immunity for cops, banning chokeholds and body camera requirements.

I always found it a bit weird to put trust in body cameras. Requiring them already implies pretty much total lack of faith in the cops. Why keep around a work force you have no faith in?

And if you don't trust people so much that you have to record their every move, why do you think they won't find various ways around the camera thing, as many have in many instances?

To the extent that we continue with anything like a police force anywhere, qualified immunity has definitely got to end, or be vastly scaled back. You can't have an entire segment of the population that can, in the words of our fearless leader, shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and get away with it.

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: June 23, 2020, 06:15:59 PM »
So do you think that status and comfort are the only things that motivate any human being ever?

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: June 23, 2020, 06:13:27 PM »
'Coastal' can have many meanings, I suppose.

But what is relevant here is proximity to current and future sea levels.

There are lots of bayous connected to the Mississippi Delta that are essentially at current sea level, but do not, by and large house the wealthy along their banks...quite the opposite.

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 23, 2020, 06:00:47 PM »
Thanks for that perspective, Walrus.

Again, I would say that racism is too complex to just restrict it to any narrow range, including just intentional actions.

Some use the distinction of active versus passive racism. Active racism, on the individual level, is the kind of intentional activity you are talking about (though the line between intention and non-intention can be fuzzy sometimes).

But there is also passive racism (again, I'm talking in this case about the personal level), where you don't counter racism when you see it, and don't act aggressively to fight against its pervasive systemic forms. I would say that most whites are guilty of this form at some level, though I understand that many (especially whites! :) ) don't find it useful to lump both of these together.

What we all need to be is actively anit-racist.

Words create meaning in many ways, and besides the denotative discussions we are having here, we should also be clear that a term like 'racism' and 'racist' also can have strong connotative meanings...they can be emotionally charged 'fighting words' so to speak.

So it can be hard to navigate these semantic waters without someone getting their hackles up at some point. Hopefully we can avoid those kinds of reactions here.

Thanks all for a valuable discussion  so far, by the way. And apologies for any toes stepped on when I was under maximum stress a couple weeks ago.

Tiny sand grains trigger massive glacial surges
"It's within the realm of possibility that we could get 1 to 3 meters of sea-level rise from West Antarctica within our lifetimes," Minchew says. This type of shearing mechanism in glacial surges could play a major role in determining the rates of sea-level rise you'd get from West Antarctica."

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 19, 2020, 12:58:31 PM »
And these statistics would be

The thread is about cops, who are supposedly sworn to protect citizens, brazenly and casually killing citizens they are supposed to protect. And that killing (and other brutality) by those supposed protectors is far more likely to happen to you if you're Black (though all US citizens are far more likely to get killed by those supposedly there to protect us than in any other supposedly developed country).

So again, how would those stats be relevant to this particular discussion?

Or is this yet another example of 'whataboutism'?

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: June 18, 2020, 08:21:52 PM »
Wow, what a relief!! Send him our very best wishes.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 18, 2020, 02:16:18 PM »
Funny, dnem, I was thinking the same thing.

Inside transmission seems to be much more likely than getting it outside.

I would think that this would extend to places (like Minnesota) where most people have all their windows open during the summer, rather than air conditioning.

A test case may be if we get a string of 90+ F days (32+ ), in which case most people who have them will put in window units and shut all the windows.

I doubt most systems have very sophisticated filters

Recently, at least, the Catholic Church has been very much a promoter of AGW concern, so that may help explain the high level of concern on those countries.

In a country where about 40% of the population still approve of the job Trump is doing, I'm surprised the US didn't score even worse.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: June 16, 2020, 12:47:51 AM »
Trump's disapproval rating in the aggregate polling at 538 is higher than any time in about a year and a half (since the depths of his idiotic government shut down).

Will this no ~6 week trend continue?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 14, 2020, 11:59:33 PM »
It is known


And see:

The amount of particles a person is exposed to can affect how likely they are to become infected and, once infected, how severe the symptoms become.

The amount of virus necessary to make a person sick is called the infectious dose. Viruses with low infectious doses are especially contagious in populations without significant immunity.

The minimum infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is unknown so far, but researchers suspect it is low. “The virus is spread through very, very casual interpersonal contact,” W. David Hardy, a professor of infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told STAT.

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 14, 2020, 03:50:55 AM »
Tom, I've read academic studies that confirm that this is indeed the general pattern. Mostly, older police are less likely to use lethal force, while new recruits come to policing through the lens of cop shows they see on tv. Generally, the older cops tend to have a mellowing influence on younger cops as they tutor them.

This was not, apparently, the case with the cops who killed George Floyd (remember his name).

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 13, 2020, 05:45:31 AM »

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 12, 2020, 10:17:49 PM »
Tom, your article swings from admitting the horrid, long history of racism, to suddenly pretending that his racism suddenly and magically and completely vanished and is no longer a factor, with no supporting evidence (perhaps, because there isn't any?).

And it also breathtakingly refuses to see any connection between the long (and yes, ongoing) horrid history of racism, and what roll that history played in the 'cultural' traits discussed.

The levels of blindness (nicest word I can think of right now) that the writer unconsciosly reveals are too multifold and pervasive to fully unpack here. But at the very least (and again,  using the nicest word I can muster) it is a vastly simplistic picture of complex history and present.

kass, I would agree that all of white society has participated in the history of black suppression, and yes  is particularly disappointing behavior for those who have at least given lip service to the needs of oppressed minorities.

But blacks (and especially black women) have consistently voted overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Are you saying that they are all, and have long been, completely and utterly wrong, and they should have thrown all their support behind Trump, for example, in the last election?

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 11, 2020, 05:46:40 AM »
we named our only child 'Etta'...need i say more...

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 11, 2020, 05:33:27 AM »
it's on us

to end this


The rest / Re: Good music
« on: June 11, 2020, 05:29:45 AM »
no words

remember their names

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 11, 2020, 05:27:13 AM »
went to The Site today

moved beyond words

can't breath



The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: June 10, 2020, 08:34:18 PM »

But that number keeps going down over the last few weeks. But, yeah, I have always found it rather flabbergasting and disheartening than anybody other than some lunatic fringe would support this guy.

But nearly the entire Republican Part seems to have become a large 'lunatic fringe'--his support remains higher than most other Republican presidents during their presidencies among Republicans.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: June 10, 2020, 08:11:03 PM »
Not sure what it's worth, polls being pretty damn unreliable these days, but 538 aggregate polling (and most others) show Trump's support collapsing and his disapproval sky rocketing

And...for a bit of comic relief:

Trump campaign demands CNN apologize for poll that shows Biden leading

(This is NOT an Onion article!  :o )

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: June 08, 2020, 05:10:53 AM »
Thanks, nan

The rest / Re: George Floyd murder and blowback
« on: June 08, 2020, 12:51:23 AM »
9 of our 13 city council members here in Minneapolis announced their plans to dismantle the police department today...

Now all we have to do is dismantle racism ! :)

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