Author Topic: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?  (Read 3614 times)

Offline scottws

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Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 04:44:41 AM »
Pregnant Pakistani Woman Stoned to Death by Family

It's 2014, and 1) we are still stoning people and 2) free will is still a problem for some cultures.

Tea Party dominates Texas GOP Runoffs

I'm waiting for the Salem Witch Trials Redux.  It seems bound to happen at this point.

Wyoming Rejects Science Standards, Won't Teach Man-Made Climate Change
Creationists on Texas Panel for Biology Textbooks

It's 2014, and we are rejecting science.  This after America's period of massive prosperity mostly brought on by investment in and use of science.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  After all, America's oligarchs are making laws, regulations, and policies that are shrinking the middle class even though America is an economic beacon of light entirely because of its middle class.  Note to rich dudes:  who is going to buy your stuff when people don't have disposable incomes any more?

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 05:50:41 AM »
The use of religion as political power is on the rise, and that is indeed going backward.  One story goes that the ancient Greeks would have developed technology, but the mystics--the equivalent of modern-day zealots and fanatics--nipped that in the bud.  They were numerous and powerful, as they are in certain countries in the Middle East today.  And Greece ended up falling to Rome, becoming their enslaved education and cultural center.  The Roman gods are renamed Greek gods.

Mysticism, aka religion, can't produce weapons, medicine, or any other understanding of the physical world.  Yet because of ignorance and fear among the populace, it can grow to displace that which gives humanity an upper hand in the real world.  It grows like a cancer among the disaffected, and is seized by power-hungry opportunists as their rallying cry.  (Talking about such things always reminds me of Ignorance and Want, the two children under the robes of the ghost of Christmas present.  They spell our doom.)

The push of Creationism, a philosophy clearly rooted in Christian religion, to displace Evolution, a truly scientific theory, is the most troubling evidence of such backward-driving tendencies in this country.  The only effective weapon against it is education, beginning with why faith-based theories are not, and can never become, science.  Science demands the absence of belief--the very opposite of religion.  But in a culture where the smartest are ridiculed and the dumbest thugs rule the schoolyard, I am not optimistic about education at all.

Offline idolminds

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 09:34:58 AM »

Offline gpw11

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 05:39:45 PM »
The use of religion as political power is on the rise, and that is indeed going backward.  One story goes that the ancient Greeks would have developed technology, but the mystics--the equivalent of modern-day zealots and fanatics--nipped that in the bud.  They were numerous and powerful, as they are in certain countries in the Middle East today.  And Greece ended up falling to Rome, becoming their enslaved education and cultural center.  The Roman gods are renamed Greek gods.

Socrates' and Plato held a particular disdain for democracy for this reason.  They were of the opinion that the rabble could easily be convinced to make the worst decisions for mankind.   

Offline Xessive

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 01:17:54 PM »
Socrates' and Plato held a particular disdain for democracy for this reason.  They were of the opinion that the rabble could easily be convinced to make the worst decisions for mankind.   
Ditto. Democracy is not for everyone. There are too many dependencies and variables which must be met for democracy to function effectively.

As it is today, democracy functions under many assumptions that all of the voters are educated and well-informed, the nominees are equally campaigned, and that the people counting the votes are honest.

Offline Cools!

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 02:49:00 PM »
Unfortunately in recent times we have slowly been brainwashed to believe that democracy is about picking candidates based on a few core ideologies and not based on actual representation. For example, you are either pro-life or pro-choice, pro-gun or not, religious or not, democrat or republican, etc. You are supposed to pick the candidate that shares a particular set of values with you and that's about it. Of course, none of these choices imply that the person you are voting for actually is a good leader and that they will represent you appropriately.

Furthermore, the assumption is that we shouldn't complain about the faults in our system because we are still better off than most people in other parts of the world. As in: we shouldn't strive to improve ourselves just because we are already at the top. So you think our system sucks? Well you must prefer [insert something worse here]! We are told that we have power, yet we are stuck with 2 or 3 virtually identical candidates that all promise to change things, yet rarely have any concrete plans in place during elections. We are sort of supposed to believe that just because they believe in a certain social or economical system that they will figure things out once in office. There is no ability for us to vote for "nobody" and thereby force the current parties to re-examine their platforms or force the formation of alternatives. Then there's the lack of any accountability: we just assume that most of the things politicians say won't be done, yet we vote for them based on those promises.

Oh boy...

Offline ren

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 06:11:23 PM »
I wouldn't say the world, just a select few regions.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #7 on: Friday, May 30, 2014, 02:44:01 PM »
I think the world is moving forward. These ignorant people have always existed and are perhaps less now. The difference is that they are now being highlighted by the media.
« Last Edit: Friday, May 30, 2014, 11:10:40 PM by Pugnate »

Offline K-man

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #8 on: Friday, May 30, 2014, 06:39:42 PM »
What Pug said.

Also, I believe we're finally getting to the point to where people are brave enough/it's safe enough to call bullshit on religious institutions.  At least here in the states.  Fundamentals are consistently making themselves look very ignorant.  Personally I don't care about anyone's personal beliefs as long as it doesn't interfere with positive progress.  Be it social, scientific, or whatever. 

One thing that worries me is the movement of turning the word "science" into a four letter word.  The flip side is that by doing so science has been thrust into the mainstream again.  It's nice we have people like Tyson and Nye, who despite not being "scientists" by definition are at the very least great spokespeople and champions of the cause.  Nye manages to stay level-headed, and Tyson has no qualms about being matter-of-fact about things.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #9 on: Saturday, May 31, 2014, 09:20:54 AM »
To focus on the financial part of this "moving backward":

Quote
The Major Results of This Study

What are the major conclusions to which these novel historical sources have led me? The first is that one should be wary of any economic determinism in regard to inequalities of wealth and income. The history of the distribution of wealth has always been deeply political, and it cannot be reduced to purely economic mechanisms. In particular, the reduction of inequality that took place in most developed countries between 1910 and 1950 was above all a consequence of war and of policies adopted to cope with the shocks of war. Similarly, the resurgence of inequality after 1980 is due largely to the political shifts of the past several decades, especially in regard to taxation and finance [emphasis mine]. The history of inequality is shaped by the way economic, social, and political actors view what is just and what is not, as well as by the relative power of those actors and the collective choices that result. It is the joint product of all relevant actors combined.
 
The second conclusion, which is the heart of the book, is that the dynamics of wealth distribution reveal powerful mechanisms pushing alternately toward convergence and divergence. Furthermore, there is no natural, spontaneous process to prevent destabilizing, inegalitarian forces from prevailing permanently [emphasis mine].
Capital in the Twenty-First Century - Thomas Piketty

In my interpretation, whether the rich continue to get richer until we live in another gilded age (we may be there already), or whether we return to a strong middle class like we had in the 1960s, is more a matter of who is in power than of unconscious factors such as market forces.  Imagine my surprise.  I've only been preaching this for about 20 years, though admittedly, I had no research under my belt to back up my feelings on the matter.  But he does.  It's quite a lot to plod through, but I'm determined to get through this important new book.

Offline scottws

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 08:57:16 AM »
Cobra, how did that book turn out?  Do you recommend it?

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #11 on: Friday, July 19, 2019, 08:46:54 PM »
It wasn't just you.

Offline ender

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #12 on: Sunday, July 21, 2019, 07:00:53 AM »
I think the world is moving forward. These ignorant people have always existed and are perhaps less now. The difference is that they are now being highlighted by the media.

Fast forward to 2019... whoops! Hope your statement rings true again one day, Pug :(

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #13 on: Sunday, July 21, 2019, 12:29:41 PM »
Haha I had no idea Trump was coming.

Offline K-man

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #14 on: Thursday, July 25, 2019, 11:19:51 AM »
Oh those halcyon days...

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Is it just me, or is the world moving backwards?
« Reply #15 on: Thursday, July 25, 2019, 10:00:34 PM »
haha