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9 hours ago, ignatius said:

AntiFragile touches on some of those feelings about academia vs real life.  it's interesting if a bit repetitive w/the examples... but isn't a difficult read.  I'm not evangelical about it but it makes a lot of sense even though comes across as an "i told you so" once in a while... but i guess in the wake of when it was written that is understandable.  

https://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Disorder-Incerto/dp/0812979680

i'm actually currently 90% of the way through my second read of this book. i'm a big fan of Taleb's general worldview & he introduces all sorts of handy terminology. i agree that he can be repetitive at times, and imo it often feels like he's resisting the urge to go as far as he could with his ideas, perhaps out of concern for not alienating large portions of his audience (I haven't gotten around to reading his more technical material yet). His books hit a conceptual sweetspot where they're easy to grasp but still make for interesting conversation....

Also I don't want to give the wrong impression by saying I read a lot. My approach to most areas of life is largely intuitive, and I've never done well in formal academia. All of my friends with actual philosophy degrees get cheesed off when I talk about philosophy with them because I tend to communicate my understanding mostly in the form of isometric cube drawing metaphors & things like that. their immediate reaction is "sounds made up, go to school dickweed" but after an hour or so they grudgingly admit that I do in fact seem to have some internal understanding of the material

8 hours ago, Braintree said:

Theory is fine and everything, but you need to keep in mind that it isn't concrete. It's not a hard science. It's not a science at all. I consider myself a socialist, but I arrived at that point after reading history, the news, and how things actually work. I fucking hate the "comrade," "bourgeoisie," "proletariat" speak. It's almost as if a lot of people got into it for the aesthetics rather than the content. And don't get me started on how 'bourgeoisie' isn't even applicable anymore. If you can't think for yourself then you can at least pick an ideology applicable to your own fucking century.

Yeah, again to reiterate I don't consider myself an adherent of any fixed ideology. Usually when people ask me for my political orientation my answer is either "I'm still looking into it" or "on which topic?". I'm definitely not a Communist lol, and for every person in the greater field of Marxism who seems to be doing interesting analysis there's probably a few hundred who seem to have mostly gotten onboard because they like the logo

8 hours ago, cyanobacteria said:

If you're in the camp of reading too much consider yourself lucky and once that phase ends try to synthesize it and get back to basics

i'm savouring it. my life has gone through cycles like this so far, where i'll have a few years where I'm most not working, researching a ton, most of my social circle is nerds & academics etc. And then I'll go get a physical labour job or something & spend 50+ hours a week hanging around with actual working class types who make offcolour jokes & would no doubt be seen as the rot destroying society by the theory advocates claiming to be the representatives of their interests. i like to think of my life & my persona as being heterogenic, with no particular identity being fixed or more true than any other potential combination. with political issues my primary concern is usually "what feels like a good fight to be fighting, today?"

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40 minutes ago, Cryptowen said:

Yeah, again to reiterate I don't consider myself an adherent of any fixed ideology

40 minutes ago, Cryptowen said:

i like to think of my life & my persona as being heterogenic, with no particular identity being fixed or more true than any other potential combination. with political issues my primary concern is usually "what feels like a good fight to be fighting, today?"

That makes you pretty generic and yet another adherent of an ideology of ideologylessness. If you are really devoid of any ideology then you are a player, not a thinker, and dismiss the actual realities that underlie certain world views. Everything becomes just an intellectual game.

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11 hours ago, Cryptowen said:

I mean to be fair I get why people stay away from theory. I went from being largely apolitical for most of my youth, to deciding in my mid 20s to read a few theory texts for fun, which has snowballed to the point where I'm reading theory five hours a day, waking up in the middle of the night to go look for pdfs on libgen, etc. And if anything I feel much less confident now than I did five years ago in terms of aligning myself with a particular ideology or explaining how I think civilization works. Theory is a rabbithole. i imagine teamsports is just so much more efficient if you want to dedicate most of your time to healthy relationships & appreciating art & shit like that

yeah of course but ignorance actively harms other in my eyes

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9 hours ago, Braintree said:

It's not that they're not relevant, it's that the things they refer to aren't the same anymore. Proletariat referred to the working class - people that have to work (labor) to survive. The bourgeoisie referred to the middle class, and in Marx's time they were people that didn't need to work to survive since they owned the means of production. They exploited labor and were able to generate wealth. The 'middle class' in America, and basically every modern industrialized nation, has to work to survive, so the definition isn't the same as it was in Marx's time. The modern day middle class isn't able to generate wealth from exploitation like the bourgeoisie. They may have it off better than the lower class, but the middle class is still only a few months of savings away from being lower class.

AAAAnd just like that the western socialist only focusses on western countries/ continents. How about Africa and South America?

1 hour ago, dingformung said:

Who legitimises the vanguard, though? Does it legitimise itself? If so, that would be the same sort of power legitimation you would see in a fascist putsch.

Initially, the people. The Cuban revolution started out with only 80 people, Cubans wouldn't have joined the struggle en masse if they saw it didn't benefit them. I can see where legitimacy can be seen as an issue after everyone involved in the revolution is no longer alive though sure.

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3 minutes ago, milkface said:

the people

A lot of political groups think they are "the people".

10 hours ago, Braintree said:

I fucking hate the "comrade," "bourgeoisie," "proletariat" speak. It's almost as if a lot of people got into it for the aesthetics rather than the content.

Or they go against it just because of the aesthetics/rhetoric.

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22 minutes ago, dingformung said:

A lot of political groups think they are "the people".

True but there's a difference between a US puppet pimping out Cuba for cheap labour and as a haven for drugs and gambling and very low literacy rate to nationalising everything and educating people. The fascist march on rome/ hitler's rise to power was hardly "people power" considering they privatised everything and created an ultra elitist society. Popular revolutions are different from coup d'etats and other elitist revolutions.

The right may claim they're for the people but their way of life relies on the exploitation of others. It's a case of BEING for the people not saying you are, and besides the far right claim that they're for the people but really are 'for' straight, (possibly) religious, traditionalist people with a certain coloured skin, which again doesn't cover a very large amount of people in the world...

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3 hours ago, Cryptowen said:

perhaps out of concern for not alienating large portions of his audience

lol, you obviously know nothing about Taleb the person.

he's famous as one of the most obnoxious and egotistical assholes around, he doesn't give a shit about his audience.

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50 minutes ago, Rubin Farr said:

You know the Republicans are gonna want a recount in Georgia, again. And then maybe again, again.

Warnock is comfortably outside the automatic recount range, and Ossoff is far enough ahead to not need to worry about one. If they want to waste their money on one for Warnock anyway, go ahead...

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24 minutes ago, caze said:

lol, you obviously know nothing about Taleb the person.

he's famous as one of the most obnoxious and egotistical assholes around, he doesn't give a shit about his audience.

nah nah i meant more in the sense of "if i go too deep in the paint with my convexity graphs then ppl who read GQ will stop buying my books" rather than trying to be polite. I mean largely I'm basing this off how reluctant he seems to be whenever he starts getting technical with the subject matter, getting out of that frontier country as quickly as he can in order to give another anecdote about stoicism or the benefits of not eating refined carbs. But that being said I also recognize that disdain for "nerdiness" is fundamental to his entire philosophy so another level i feel like i get what he's going for

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2 hours ago, dingformung said:

That makes you pretty generic and yet another adherent of an ideology of ideologylessness. If you are really devoid of any ideology then you are a player, not a thinker, and dismiss the actual realities that underlie certain world views. Everything becomes just an intellectual game.

i respect the point you're making here (indeed I recognize a lot of weak conditioned thinking in my worldview that i'm still unpacking). Largely agree but will offer a partial pushback: part of my reluctance to identify too strongly with particular movements is the fact that I have an extremely non-verbal understanding of the world. In many areas of my life I do in fact have a sense of inner directionality but I'm often very hesitant to attempt to explicate that directionality in words. also outwardly identifying with something can lead to problems relating to people: many will immediately disregard anything you have to say if they feel like they can reduce you to an ideological actor. I'm not interested in that, at least not in my personal interactions. I want to get to better understand people's worldviews, see what I can incorporate into my own understanding - and to do that I find I have to often present myself in a somewhat neutral fashion, to some degree open myself up nonjudgementally to whatever comes up. That doesn't mean that I consider myself fundamentally neutral in my understanding of the world or the macro-level events going on in it, just that my micro-level strategy day to day tends to favour a certain degree of fluid ambiguity.

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the best news is that now that the 2020 elections are over, we can close this thread and focus on what really matters- idm trix and teh lulz

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12 hours ago, Braintree said:

Theory is fine and everything, but you need to keep in mind that it isn't concrete. It's not a hard science. It's not a science at all. I consider myself a socialist, but I arrived at that point after reading history, the news, and how things actually work. I fucking hate the "comrade," "bourgeoisie," "proletariat" speak. It's almost as if a lot of people got into it for the aesthetics rather than the content. And don't get me started on how 'bourgeoisie' isn't even applicable anymore. If you can't think for yourself then you can at least pick an ideology applicable to your own fucking century.

I get most excited about socialism and communism when I think about future hypotheticals and the prospect of ending capitalism. Also historically reading up on more anarchist and syndicalist movements is more invigorating (yet also more tragic) especially outside of East Europe and China where communism was a hard pivot away from brutal feudalism and regressive-ness. I view the USSR and the SFRY in particular as tragic "what could have been" entities. I view Rojava and MAREZ with cautious hope. 

Left in-fighting is exhausting. Hell I got posting ability revoked of a socialist subreddit despite previously well-received posts because I mentioned being pragmatically a supporter of DSA and SocDem while having socialism as my core ideology. Leftism should be fluid and it can be fluid without compromising. Unfortunately many people conflate the two in both practice and skepticism. 

Also I must admit I like the phrase "comrade" because it's pretty broad and it neatly replaces the increasingly outdated sir/ma'am gendering. I've thinking about saying it more IRL. 

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32 minutes ago, Cryptowen said:

i respect the point you're making here (indeed I recognize a lot of weak conditioned thinking in my worldview that i'm still unpacking). Largely agree but will offer a partial pushback: part of my reluctance to identify too strongly with particular movements is the fact that I have an extremely non-verbal understanding of the world. In many areas of my life I do in fact have a sense of inner directionality but I'm often very hesitant to attempt to explicate that directionality in words. also outwardly identifying with something can lead to problems relating to people: many will immediately disregard anything you have to say if they feel like they can reduce you to an ideological actor. I'm not interested in that, at least not in my personal interactions. I want to get to better understand people's worldviews, see what I can incorporate into my own understanding - and to do that I find I have to often present myself in a somewhat neutral fashion, to some degree open myself up nonjudgementally to whatever comes up. That doesn't mean that I consider myself fundamentally neutral in my understanding of the world or the macro-level events going on in it, just that my micro-level strategy day to day tends to favour a certain degree of fluid ambiguity.

I consider myself leftist in the broadest sense for that reason. My disdain for identity politics is way, way too strong to really wear anything on my sleeve. Core beliefs are important though, they serve as a filter when you do honestly and openly listen to everyone you encounter. 

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9 hours ago, mister miller said:

Is he actually that dumb or is he acting in bad faith I can never tell

it's all a game to him, he doesn't take any of this seriously. sport for the rich boys club. remember, him becoming president started as a bad joke at a mar-a-lago dinner party, which grew legs, and now here we are... 

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36 minutes ago, joshuatxuk said:

I consider myself leftist in the broadest sense for that reason. My disdain for identity politics is way, way too strong to really wear anything on my sleeve. Core beliefs are important though, they serve as a filter when you do honestly and openly listen to everyone you encounter. 

Yeah! Very much agree with this sentiment. Probably the closest I get to a consistent political identity would be "spiritually leftist", treating the basic right/left dichotomy as something along the lines of "reinforces structure" vs "questions structure". And of course when its expressed at that level of abstraction most people & systems could be said to have right & left leaning elements. Every movement in the world requires a system (or at least a felt sense of direction), every system eventually requires movement away from it. Individual life & collective society are a continuous process of testing methodologies: the successes, the failures, the short & long term potentials, the character affects, the cultural affects.

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2 hours ago, caze said:

Warnock is comfortably outside the automatic recount range, and Ossoff is far enough ahead to not need to worry about one. If they want to waste their money on one for Warnock anyway, go ahead...

...I must have been thinking of Arizona, there's no automatic recount in Georgia, so there can only be a recount for Ossoff as it stands, and they'll have to pay for it. 

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5 hours ago, dingformung said:

You call this social stratum "precariat" and it's no longer considered middle-class.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precariat

Thanks. That reinforces my point.

4 hours ago, milkface said:

AAAAnd just like that the western socialist only focusses on western countries/ continents. How about Africa and South America?

If you want to harp on that then go dig up Marx and give him an ear full. How dare he focus on western countries because he's from western society.

4 hours ago, dingformung said:

A lot of political groups think they are "the people".

Or they go against it just because of the aesthetics/rhetoric.

:rolleyes:

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36 minutes ago, Braintree said:
6 hours ago, dingformung said:

You call this social stratum "precariat" and it's no longer considered middle-class.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precariat

Thanks. That reinforces my point.

You're welcome. If vocabulary like this exists, why not use it? Though it only partially reinforces your point, if at all. A middle class still exists but the definition you gave applies to the precariat, not the middle class:

Quote

the middle class precariat is still only a few months of savings away from being lower class.

 

 

Edited by dingformung
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12 minutes ago, dingformung said:

You're welcome. If vocabulary like this exists, why not use it? Though it only partially reinforces your point, if at all. A middle class still exists but the definition you gave applies to the precariat, not the middle class:

 

 

That's what the middle class is in America. Just look at the median "middle class" income.

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i would say "social programs" is a better talking point than "socialism" and accomplishes the same purpose. 

i'm surprised to see joshuatx coming out against capitalism. seems like a sure-fire way to torpedo the goal of flipping texas and unseating the oil cartel. i would say capitalism needs adjustments (tax rates) but capitalism by definition means people being free to own their own businesses, and i just don't get how any argument can undermine the self-evident importance of that.

i consider russian propaganda to be effective more than a lot of people, and no one has been able to convince me that i'm wrong about that. so, naturally, i am inclined to wonder if putin's propagandists are working to

  • subvert american values
  • bolster support of the russian "system" (mafia government authoritarian state)

by using the tried and true talking points of marxism.

25 year old son of democratic congress member raskin committed suicide on new years eve. raskin is a noble fighter, he was out there standing up against trump's serious abuse of power, and abandonment of ally ukraine. his son's suicide note said something like please take care of the animals, each-other and the global poor. this sets off my spidey sense. a 25 year old son of a vocal house dem mentions the global poor in his brief suicide note? hm. 

i consider information warfare to be a significant presence in the information ecosystem and i suspect it feeds this topic. 

and of course problems exist, i'm not saying everything is fine. i just don't get the notion that capitalism can be discarded. adjustments are what makes sense to me.

Edited by very honest
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