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True Earthling's Journal - Archives
Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Mon Oct 31st 2011, 11:00 PM
The rich who do cocaine usually started after they became rich.

Humans evolved from adaptations to many different environments undergoing constant change which led to variation and a diversity of skills and knowledge. As social beings, human evolution and survival depended not only on adaptations based on individual self interest but adaptations for cooperation within a group as well. Like biologic evolution, economic growth is dependent on a dynamic process of adaptation.

An economic system that guarantees equal outcomes does not rely on adaptation. A planned, pre-determined outcome makes as much sense as planning creativity, discovery and know how. The long term co-ordination of an economy cannot be achieved by planners who 'pull levers and press buttons' in a vain attempt to control the future.

There is a permanent underclass not because the "system requires it", but because in our adaptive economy, unfavorable skills and knowledge are constantly being replace by more favorable skills and new knowledge. Those with few skills and knowledge or skills and knowledge that become obsolete, become the underclass. Yes - the underclass is permanent but not the people who constitute it. In our free society it's possible to escape through the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that are in demand by growing economic trends. Although the overall economy is stagnant there are growth areas where skilled workers are needed i.e. health care, engineering and communications technology.




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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Sun Oct 30th 2011, 04:35 PM
Evolutionary psychology shows that cooperation, sharing and caring is stronger in an individual's in-group (family, friends, etc.) and diminishes as the circle expands outward. Some would construe that as hypocrisy but it has more to do with how our brains developed through millions of years of evolution.

I did not mock the OP and I don't criticize anyone for wanting the essentials and finer things of life. My criticism is the OP's polarized view of the world by tallying all the benefits of being rich vs. all the disadvantages of being poor and then ignoring the forces that shaped and processes that preceded those conditions. I have a 55 yr old sister in-law who is about to become homeless because she made very poor decisions and became addicted to crack. It had nothing to do with the rich or her being poor. She had a good job that she lost because she failed a mandatory drug test and then proceeded to empty her 88 yr old father's (who has borderline Alzheimer's/dementia) bank and investment accounts. I know rich people who grew up in lower middle class families who never did drugs, finished high school, went to college and worked their ass off to earn what they got.

Instead of comparing what the rich have vs. what the poor do not have it would make more sense to look at the situations, decisions and actions that led them to their respective stations in life. Both rich, poor and everyone in-between want the same essentials, luxuries and conveniences. Some people have the capacity and are willing to make sacrifices to achieve goals and some do not have the same ability or choose to make short sighted, self-defeating decisions. People are not equal... that is a scientific fact. Growing up, no matter how much I trained, worked out and played football I was never going to be successful enough to play H.S. football let alone college or the NFL. I just did not have the athletic ability. The same holds true for personality, intelligence, artistic ability, work habits etc. which are innately influenced by genetics.

I believe one of the most non-productive mental exercises is to compare oneself with others. There is always going to be someone who is more intelligent, more attractive, funnier, better educated, has a better job and more money etc. and vice versa. This type of score keeping is egotistic.... it perceives reality superficially and ignores external forces which we have no control over.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Fri Sep 30th 2011, 04:01 PM
according to this...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44592106/ns/po... /

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that's less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue Jun 28th 2011, 10:55 PM
and violent behavior in the child.

Meta-Analysis in 2002

In 2002, researcher Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff published a comprehensive meta-analysis of the studies on corporal punishment over the last sixty-two years. She found a consistency in the research indicating harmful effects from spanking that is rare in social science research. She reviewed eighty-eight studies, including 117 tests of the hypothesis that corporal punishment is associated with harmful effects such as aggression, delinquency in childhood, crime, antisocial behavior as an adult, low empathy or conscience, poor parent-child relations, and mental health problems such as depression. Of the tests, 103 found results suggesting such negative effects of spanking. Despite the fact that there were some methodological weaknesses of many pre-1997 studies, and while they are not conclusive evidence, these statistics, based on decades of research, do seem to clarify that the harmful effects of corporal punishment are serious; indeed, they appear to produce the same harmful effects of physical abuse, albeit to a lesser degree.They support and complement more recent research that provides greater evidence of causation. Some researchers believe the result of this meta-analysis reveals an “unprecedented degree of consistency in research findings.” While no study has controlled for every confounding factor that could contribute to the adverse effects associated with spanking, the research as a whole allows for the conclusion that the associations between spanking and the various problems discussed herein are not coincidental. “Triangulation” is a well-recognized scientific principle holding that valid conclusions may be based on cumulative evidence from studies, which, taken one by one, are not conclusive. This basically means that weaknesses in some studies have been dealt with in other studies. When the results of the studies converge, this clarifies the causal link between spanking and the harmful associations. In sum, the vast majority of studies on corporal punishment demonstrate harmful long-term effects: the scientific data has reached the point of triangulation when it comes to the harmful consequences of spanking children.
http://www.deanapollardsacks.com/Banning-C...


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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Mon Jun 27th 2011, 06:21 PM
Why should images of gratuitous violence be considered free speech?

Freedom of expression is not absolute under the United States Constitution. There are many exceptions that we make for what constitutes free speech. How we judge what qualifies is based on the context and potential harmful consequences.

We don't allow people to falsely yell "fire" in a crowded theater because it can cause harm. The key word is "falsely". The First Amendment does not protect speech if the speaker intends to incite a violation of the law, such as a riot, that is "imminent" and "likely".


In Brandenburg v. Ohio, (1969) the Supreme Court established that the First Amendment does not protect speech if the speaker intends to incite a violation of the law, such as a riot, that is "imminent" and "likely". The "Imminent lawless action" doctrine states that speech that will cause, or has as its purpose, "imminent lawless action" does not have constitutional protection. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v...


If gratuitous images in children's video games are scientifically proven to be harmful (i.e. desensitization, less compassion, more aggression/violence/crime) and to have no possible redeeming value or positive effect... why should it not fall under the same category as inciting a riot? The only issue to be resolved is "imminent". What saves violent video games is the effects and consequences play out over time but are no less harmful than an "imminent riot". Why should the time lag make a difference?

I just read a book by Sam Harris who makes this argument in The Moral Landscape... a book which makes a case that morality and laws should be based on science and take religion out of the equation...


Q: How could science guide us on the moral landscape?

Harris: Insofar as we can understand human wellbeing, we will understand the conditions that best secure it. Some are obvious, of course. Positive social emotions like compassion and empathy are generally good for us, and we want to encourage them. But do we know how to most reliably raise children to care about the suffering of other people? I’m not sure we do. Are there genes that make certain people more compassionate than others? What social systems and institutions could maximize our sense of connectedness to the rest of humanity? These questions have answers, and only a science of morality could deliver them.

Q: Why is it taboo for a scientist to attempt to answer moral questions?

Harris: I think there are two primary reasons why scientists hesitate to do this. The first, and most defensible, is borne of their appreciation for how difficult it is to understand complex systems. Our investigation of the human mind is in its infancy, even after nearly two centuries of studying the brain. So scientists fear that answers to specific questions about human well-being may be very difficult to come by, and confidence on many points is surely premature. This is true. But, as I argue in my book, mistaking no answers in practice for no answers in principle is a huge mistake.

The second reason is that many scientists have been misled by a combination of bad philosophy and political correctness. This leads them to feel that the only intellectually defensible position to take when in the presence of moral disagreement is to consider all opinions equally valid or equally nonsensical. On one level, this is an understandable and even noble over-correction for our history of racism, ethnocentrism, and imperialism. But it is an over-correction nonetheless. As I try to show in my book, it is not a sign of intolerance for us to notice that some cultures and sub-cultures do a terrible job of producing human lives worth living.
Q: How could science guide us on the moral landscape?

Harris: Insofar as we can understand human wellbeing, we will understand the conditions that best secure it. Some are obvious, of course. Positive social emotions like compassion and empathy are generally good for us, and we want to encourage them. But do we know how to most reliably raise children to care about the suffering of other people? I’m not sure we do. Are there genes that make certain people more compassionate than others? What social systems and institutions could maximize our sense of connectedness to the rest of humanity? These questions have answers, and only a science of morality could deliver them.

Q: Why is it taboo for a scientist to attempt to answer moral questions?

Harris: I think there are two primary reasons why scientists hesitate to do this. The first, and most defensible, is borne of their appreciation for how difficult it is to understand complex systems. Our investigation of the human mind is in its infancy, even after nearly two centuries of studying the brain. So scientists fear that answers to specific questions about human well-being may be very difficult to come by, and confidence on many points is surely premature. This is true. But, as I argue in my book, mistaking no answers in practice for no answers in principle is a huge mistake.

The second reason is that many scientists have been misled by a combination of bad philosophy and political correctness. This leads them to feel that the only intellectually defensible position to take when in the presence of moral disagreement is to consider all opinions equally valid or equally nonsensical. On one level, this is an understandable and even noble over-correction for our history of racism, ethnocentrism, and imperialism. But it is an over-correction nonetheless. As I try to show in my book, it is not a sign of intolerance for us to notice that some cultures and sub-cultures do a terrible job of producing human lives worth living. http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Landscape-Scie...


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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue Jun 21st 2011, 01:32 AM
They buy shares of stock from income that was already taxed. Once they buy shares, their money becomes an asset of the corporation. That asset generates income for the corporation i. e. It's used to pay for labor or for the purchase of manufacturing equipment. The corporation then pays tax on the income generated by the asset. The profit (net income) increases the value of the shares. The corporation can pay a dividend to the shareholder from the after-tax corporate income. The shareholder must pay income tax at the personal rate for any dividend income received through ownership of the shares. If the shareholder decides to sell their shares, the shareholder pays a capital gains tax on the difference between what they paid and what they sold it for.

If you invest in bonds with your previously taxed income then you must pay taxes at the personal rate on any interest income you receive.

Hope this helps.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Mon Jun 20th 2011, 10:03 PM
a corporation is an organization of individuals who through cooperation, operate with a common purpose and common goal.

To say that corporations have no rights is to say that individuals have no right to organize for the purpose of creating, manufacturing and marketing a product or service that other individuals or groups need or desire to acquire at a mutually agreed upon price.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue May 31st 2011, 02:39 PM
So any cause that Bill Gates contributes to is bogus or corrupt? Gates supported Obama so what does that say?

Gates donates to MANY non-profits and Gates is one of MANY supporters and donors to the Khan Academy... you make it sound like Gates invented and developed the Khan Academy for his own nefarious motives. Please put it in perspective... you seem to have an obsession about Gates.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue May 31st 2011, 01:59 PM
because they don't want to look stupid. They misinterpret ot don't hear (or mis-hear) what the teacher said or they weren't paying attention or dozing off. If they ask too many questions it slows down the learning for the other students.

With online instruction a student can stop, think, conceptualize or visualize then continue on or rewind for a second try at it. That would be difficult to do in a classroom setting with students taking notes and then reviewing later. A student has very little time to think/conceptualize/visualize because they're to busy listening and taking notes.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue May 31st 2011, 12:54 PM
1. Students involved in online learning outperform their peers.
According to a 2009 meta study from the Department of Education: “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.” Students who mix online learning with traditional coursework (i.e. blended learning) do even better. Source: Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, United States Department of Education. http://goo.gl/O2JB5

2. Millions of students are participating in online learning.
According to the Sloan Consortium, 3.9 million students took an online class in the fall of 2007. That number continues to grow every year. Source: Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States 2008, Sloan Consortium. http://goo.gl/8eat5

3. Most reputable colleges offer online learning.
During the 06-07, the National Center for Educational Statistics found that two-thirds of Title IV, degree-granting post secondary schools offered some form of online learning. (Title IV schools are properly accredited institutions permitted to participate in federal financial aid programs.) Source: Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006-07, National Center for Education Statistics. http://goo.gl/UYOPD

4. Public colleges report a greater commitment to online learning.
Public schools are more likely to identify online learning as an essential part of their long-term strategy, according to the Sloan Consortium. Their online learning courses are also more likely to represent a greater number of disciplines. Source: Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States 2008, Sloan Consortium.

http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distance...

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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Mon May 30th 2011, 09:08 PM
Khan's videos have an informal, entertaining style that captures your attention... The author of the article suggest that the concept can be expanded to include video lessons taught by a handful of the best educators in the world.

Teachers would still be involved to assist students but the bulk of the learning would be video based.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Mon May 30th 2011, 12:49 PM
"Among other lessons learned so far, the Los Gatos experiment is showing how students previously thought to be slower or less gifted, in many cases, are simply hung up on core concepts, and once they plow through they can accelerate past other students."
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Thu Apr 07th 2011, 08:30 PM
Great find - I read my first Alan Watts book (The Wisdom of Insecurity) 40 years ago.

Watts is my favorite philosopher..read most of his books. I remember reading this quote and it made an impression. I've thought of it from time to time but couldn't remember the exact quote or what book it came from. His main point about how we get hung up on symbols and how we confuse symbols with the thing it represents... I agree. However his explanation of the Great Depression is too simplistic.

Although money is a symbol… it fluctuates as a measurement. Inches are constant. There's a multitude of factors that effect the value of money. If only it was that simple.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Thu Apr 07th 2011, 10:21 AM
There's a huge need for prostitution. It provides a way for some people who have little or no chance of having sex - an outlet to relieve their sexual urges at the same time providing much needed income to those providing the service.
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Posted by True Earthling in General Discussion
Tue Apr 05th 2011, 05:24 PM
If your religion compels you to behead those who criticize Islam or murder those who destroy your "holy" book in a symbolic gesture then you're religion deserves all the criticism it can get.
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