cristo71's avatar

cristo71

A member since

3
2
3

Total topics: 26

Back when I was flight instructing, I had a few annoying and tedious students whom I would frequently vent about to my roommates after a long day. So that my roommates would immediately know which one I was talking about, I gave them unique nicknames, and— viola!— instant recognition. One was a guy in his 60’s but going on his 80’s in demeanor, appearance, and overall health, he liked to drone on about arcane subjects but disliked listening to anyone else, he would burp a lot, and do back stretches on the floor without warning— a real odd bod. As he was also blind in one eye, I dubbed him “Old One Eye”— as one might jokingly call an animal when one is always seeing it from the rear when riding on a carriage; get it?

Another was a young man who had tragically lost his legs to a rare infection. A tough break, indeed, but he was also annoyingly cocky, held kooky conspiracy theory and religious beliefs, and just kind of creeped everybody out with his demeanor and penetrating, almost vampire like grey eyes. The Lord of the Rings movies were all the rage at the time, so I dubbed him “Legolas.” Get it?

Finally, there was a woman from Japan, anywhere from 28 to 38 years old. Intelligent and pleasant, she was also, without a doubt, THE weakest student I ever had— just no natural ability or instincts whatsoever. Whenever I vented about her, guys would just hear the “young Japanese woman” part and inevitably ask, “Is she a hottie?” I would always respond, “No, she’s not a hottie.” Hmm— Not-a-hottie— sounds sort of like a Japanese name— Nottahotti it was! These nicknames all stuck, and thereafter my roommates would constantly ask if I had any more funny stories to tell about these three.

Fast forward to the here and now— this site is basically a troll farm now, lacking in true wit and rife with vapid threads, stubborn ignorance, and non-committal, “drive-by” style posts. In light of these manifestations of mediocrity, I have probably given you a moniker of a mocking nature reflecting your online persona better (to me, at least) than your own chosen screen name, assuming you are a frequent enough poster on this intellectual desert of a site.

For example, there is a poster here I call “EverybodyLovesWinning!” How did I arrive at that? It derives from this poster’s current name. Think of the old sitcom “Everybody Loves [comedian’s name].” Then there is a certain, bad boy actor whose notorious, un-self aware boast was simply “Winning!” From there, you should be able to guess who it is.

If you’re curious to know what yours might be, just hit me up!
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Personal
13 5
Here’s a great half hour interview with Professor John McWhorter discussing his book “Woke Racism:  How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America”:


Created:
Updated:
Category:
Religion
6 4
This is a great interview with an impressive, talented Harvard professor who had a very promising career early on but refused to simply toe the line when it came to the prevailing narrative at Harvard:


Created:
Updated:
Category:
Education
3 3
“White House sends letter to news execs urging outlets to ‘ramp up’ scrutiny of GOP’s Biden impeachment inquiry ‘based on lies’”

Marching orders given; marching orders gladly recieved! Oliver Darcy at CNN dutifully reports on the White House issuing instructions to media and proceeds to follow those instructions in the very same article without even a hint of irony or self awareness. It must be read to be believed:


Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
451 10
Who is your top rated politician? Currently serving politician only, please.

Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
26 9
Say you are having a look around at a toy store in the USA. You see a certain doll selling for $20. Nearby, you see a dark skinned version of that doll selling for only $14. Is it:

A. Priced according to the law of supply and demand
B. Evidence of systemic racism
C. Both A and B
D. Some other explanation
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Society
37 8
This is from a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility glossary from California Community Colleges:

“Merit: A concept that at face value appears to be a neutral measure of academic achievement and qualifications; however, merit is embedded in the ideology of Whiteness and upholds race-based structural inequality. Merit protects White privilege under the guise of standards (I.e., the use of standardized tests that are biased against racial minorities) and as highlighted by anti-affirmative action forces. Merit implies that White people are deemed better qualified and more worthy but are denied opportunities due to race-conscious policies. However this understanding of merit and worthiness fails to recognize systemic oppression, racism, and generational privilege afforded to Whites.”


So, does anyone stand by this definition, or is it civilization crushing inanity, or somewhere in between, and why?

Created:
Updated:
Category:
Education
55 13
I have observed that a number of members in this forum tend to view people who disagree with their politics as intellectually inferior. I think it is a mistake to do this. In that spirit, let’s try to name at least one person, famous or not, who has an opposing political worldview whom we nonetheless consider to be intelligent. I’ll go first:

Noam Chomsky (probably the smartest yet most disagreeable on my list)
President Carter
President Clinton
President Obama
Justice Elena Kagan
Jon Stewart
David Letterman
Dave Chappelle 
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
32 14
I realize this forum is largely empty, but here is hoping that there are still some armchair economists with something to say about Modern Monetary Theory:


To summarize, MMT posits that nations with full control over their currency, such as the U.S., can print money as needed for the general welfare. Inflation would be kept in check by a measure of unemployment and by keeping supply and demand properly balanced. If inflation were to occur, it could be taxed back, government spending reduced, and the money supply thereby reduced.

It is supported by such prominent politicians such as AOC and Bernie Sanders. Personally, I don’t buy it. I believe it would lead to hyperinflation, unemployment, and the loss of the US dollar as the world reserve currency. We would be, to put it delicately, f****d.

Any thoughts for or against?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Economics
13 6
“The border!” was one of the chants heard during the president’s State of the Union speech. The condition of the US border and border enforcement are hot button issues currently. One can find a whole host of articles and studies extolling the benefits and virtues of allowing immigration, legal or not, and defending the numerous “sanctuary cities” in the US (Canada and Europe as well).

However, Democratic politicians, such as Cory Booker, have claimed that the Democratic Party does not advocate for open borders and resent the GOP implication that the US borders are virtually open and intentionally so. I have to point out here that the term “open border” itself is pretty vague. If one looks it up, the types of national borders are numerous and varied. Admittedly, it is not simply a binary choice of open/closed borders. But… to those who oppose highly regulated immigration, are for policies such as amnesty and sanctuary cities, but, like Cory Booker, insist they are not advocating for open borders, my question is:

Why not have open borders?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
9 6
Myth, or not?

Written in 2009, there is a book titled “The Myth of the Missing Black Father” which challenges the claim that black communities in the US suffer from a lack of a strong father figure in the family. This book doesn’t exist as an isolated one off, either. Here are just a few other places where this counterclaim is made:




In summary, the claim is that while many black parents do not cohabitate, black fathers are still much more involved in their children’s lives than is generally thought. The claim is that this allegedly pernicious myth arose out of racist inclinations to scapegoat black fathers for shortcomings in black communities. But we have also heard President Obama talk about absent black fathers. The BLM website *used to* advocate for the abolition of the western nuclear family— they have since erased that claim, curiously.

So, which is it? Black communities suffer from absentee fathers, or not? Or somewhere in between? Will the real myth please stand up?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Society
9 5
I read an article about rising wages in this tight labor market and its contribution to this inflationary environment. It was a decent article, imo. Then… I perused the comments section. Now, I’m just a dabbler in economics, but the waves of confident, angry ignorance in many of the comments was just a facepalm assault for me. I’m talking merely basic fundamentals here, not “Keynes vs Friedman” or anything close to that. It almost caused me physical pain. Why such arrogant ignorance regarding economics??

Well, I read another article which pointed out that, unlike so many other esoteric subjects such as physics, chemistry, engineering, horse breeding, etc., people have a personal stake in the economy and their place in it. We all make and spend money and are part of the economy. That lends itself to becoming highly opinionated on the subject, even if one knows very little about it. In fact, it said, we all need to be mindful of what we don’t know. Excellent point!

Finally, I got to this article, which is simply awesome in its use of irony (I hope people in an economics forum both read it and “get” it):




Created:
Updated:
Category:
Economics
9 6
I’ve heard of EMH, but I’m no expert! I understand that it is taught in college economics and is the dominant explanation for market prices. So, for those more familiar, I have a few questions:

1. How does EMH account for “corrections”? Doesn’t a correction mean things were overpriced?
2. How does EMH account for equities which are overbought or oversold? When a trend is overdone, doesn’t that imply an inefficiency in pricing?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Economics
15 4
From a site called Alux.com:


The video has a very positive yet realistic vibe. I believe it eventually admits that gaining financial independence isn’t exactly “easy,” but easier than many believe and easier than it used to be.

My thoughts:  the video provides food for thought and can hopefully provide inspiration to those open to listening to it. It certainly isn’t material for the “woe is me” type. Financial independence requires discipline, focus, patience, adaptability, and a positive attitude— with these traits, gaining wealth is easier now than ever— perhaps even close to a mathematical certainty. Thing is, many people do not possess all of these traits and will continue to scrape by as they always have.

One important thing missing from this particular video:  the importance of good relationships. Part of a healthy and wealthy life is good relationships with good people. It is good for emotional health and well being as well as networking into a career. We are social creatures after all…
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Economics
16 9
It appears to be a given that electric vehicles (EVs) are going to be increasing in number into the foreseeable future as THE superior alternative to internal combustion engines (ICE). My concern is that EVs have definite disadvantages, such as limited range, long charge times, drain on the electrical grid, heavy batteries… it seems to me that plug in hybrids would be the best of both worlds or at least serve as a more workable transition until the infrastructure is better suited to pure EVs.

So, why the current uncompromising trend toward pure EVs?

Created:
Updated:
Category:
Science and Nature
25 11
The federal mask mandate is officially over in the US. Most US airlines now no longer require masks to travel domestically, but one can still wear a mask if desired.

A cause for celebration… or concern?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Current events
12 6
New, on SHOWTIME, the docuseries “everything’s gonna be all white”:


A deep dive into America’s tainted past through the voices and experiences of people of color.

What do you guys make of this? Productive and insightful, or unproductive and heavy-handed, or somewhere in between? Whatever the case may be, rest assured, this view is NOT being taught to children in school! [sarcasm]

I see it as unproductive because it appears to undermine its own point— that it’s wrong to discriminate against a group on basis of identity and immutable characteristics, all while casting white people in a negative light. It also appears to posit the notion that identity groups are monolithic in ideology, worldview, culture, etc.

Created:
Updated:
Category:
Education
53 14
It seems to me that a lot of people don’t really know what “natural” means. “Uh, it means occurring in nature?” or guesses along those (tautological) lines. So, then, is a beaver dam natural?
“Yes, I think.”
Honey?
“Sure.”
An automobile?
“No!”
Why not?
“Because Man makes cars!”
Aren’t we humans… also a part of nature?
“Uh…”
How about… uranium?
“Uh…”

So many products these days claim to be “100% natural.” Why is that necessarily good? Oil is natural, and we tend to see it as toxic and damaging to nature, rather than “natural” in the good sense, rather than being “in harmony with nature.” Yes, I know that we humans go out of our way to dig it from deep in the earth— same with uranium.

My point here being:  “natural” is not a very useful or informative descriptor. It is often misunderstood and misleading. I believe it is merely a layman’s term meaning “not man made or caused by man.” But, really, aren’t we humans also a part of nature?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Science and Nature
35 7
Sounds reasonable at first… science is as close to objective investigation as we can get, and it would behoove us humans to heed its lessons. As time goes on in the COVID era, however, it is starting to sound more and more like “Obey the science,” or worse, “Obey me.”

Science is a tool. Tools do not issue commands, make tough decisions, make prescriptions, make moral arguments, weigh all the pros and cons, account for unintended consequences, etc. People— leaders in particular— do (or should do) those things. You never hear anyone admonish anyone else to listen to any other tools. That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? You might conceivably be advised to “listen to the computer,” but that would take on a disturbing tone if taken to the lengths that “listen to the science” has taken. I can tell you that in my work, we back up the computer’s directions with our own cross checks.

The problem is that the people who say “listen to the science” or “follow the science” often have an underlying ideological agenda. They tend to cherry pick the available data. Science doesn’t create or side with ideologies; people do. So, in effect, these people are saying “listen to the science (obey me), because I, too, follow the science.” That just leads to authoritarianism with an effective tool as the presumably unquestionable justification— the person in question may not even be using science in the most optimal way, and the results of scientific studies should never be implied as being unquestionable.

I would much prefer “Use the science” be the admonishment. Use the tool… to your advantage. What a concept! Just don’t confuse using science as constituting effective leadership.
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Science and Nature
49 11
There’s a political pundit who is fond of pointing out, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Well, in postmodernism, one’s feelings don’t care about your facts! 

The Enlightenment was a high point in Western civilization; it has been on a downhill slide from there in recent times. I believe postmodernist thought, originating in the mid to late 20th century, is to blame. Birthed largely in academia, it has since grown into all of the West’s institutions. What is postmodernism? It posits the subjectivity of truth. From there, one arrives at moral relativism, cultural relativism, and neo Marxism.

Classical liberalism has adhered to the objectivity of truth, whereas leftism seems to embrace postmodernism. It used to be on the fringes of political discourse, but it has become much more mainstream in the 21st century. If you ever hear someone declaring that society needs to “reimagine” something, that is likely postmodernist thinking. Just some of the telltale results are:  moral confusion, gender confusion, identity politics, anti-capitalism, collectivism, anti-Westernism, anti-patriotism, and even skepticism over the inherent objectivity of mathematics.

Now, you might ask, “How can an ideology that promotes cultural relativism also be anti-Westernism? Isn’t that a contradiction?” Well, yes, it is a contradiction— merely one of several in the movement. Postmodernism abhors criticism of all cultures except for Western, European cultures. Regarding the West, it is highly judgmental. Postmodernists, ironically enough, only expect Western societies to adhere to Postmodernism in the first place!

You might also want to point out that evangelical Christianity, with its continuing belief in Creationism, is also putting ideology and belief ahead of what is generally accepted as factual and scientific. My response to that is at least Christianity places a high value on objectivity and fundamental truths. However, Postmodernism is actually reducing society’s trust in institutions (such as science in this case) even further because it is detracting from the rigor and trustworthiness that adhering to objectivity provides. People of faith will not be convinced to trust science more anytime soon if they feel it has been tainted by the ideological agenda of Postmodernism. You might also want to ask yourself why you don’t feel that same need to point out the same issue with much of the Islamic world!

In short, left unchecked, Postmodernism leads to confusion, chaos, and the decline of Western societies. Worst of all, that may actually be a feature rather than a bug…
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
62 13

Gee, couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys. Wonder if they will ever pay up?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Current events
37 8
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.”


Discuss…
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
16 10
Back in pre election 2016, a (foreign) brother-in-law asked me what was up with Trump’s popularity in the US. I replied, “I don’t fully understand it, but whether you agree with it or not, we as a nation need to understand what the appeal is and why it’s there”— and I said that assuming he was going to lose. That much greater the need to understand his appeal after he won! To the contrary, his opposition just made continual efforts to unseat him rather than comprehend what was happening.

After his election, his presidency, and his departure from office, I cannot help but observe that over half the nation still does not have a clue as to why Trump has an enduring popularity with so much of the nation. I believe his opposition ignores his appeal at their own peril.

Now, with the added advantage of hindsight, why do you think a (former) president such as Trump has such intense loyalty among his supporters?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
27 9
Dave Chappelle just finished his final comedy special (for now), and he has an offensive tendency towards punching down at people he fails to understand. Namely, Trump supporters. He took a subtle but definite swipe at Trump supporters, and it wasn’t the first time, either. Does he not know that Trump supporters are persecuted every day in our society? Shame on Netflix for giving a comedian with such offensive jokes a platform…




PS Nah, not really. I can take it just fine. I don’t have to disrespect/dislike/cancel someone just because we disagree on certain things. We can joke about it, can’t we? Lighten up, people. Humor is the first casualty of political correctness and certainly not the last. If you need some background on this subject:


Created:
Updated:
Category:
People
17 6
So, here we are, nearing the end of Biden’s first year in office.

What do you believe has improved? What do you believe has worsened?

Extra bonus points if you can give honest answers to both!
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
11 7
I have never seen it this blatant.

I recall a very different time in the 80’s and 90’s. I remember Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Diane Sawyer… one could not easily discern their political leanings because they did their jobs well. Contrast them with their current counterparts:  Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, Jim Acosta, Yamiche Alcindor— their biases are obvious. Contrast yesteryear’s Tim Russert (RIP) on Meet the Press with today’s Chuck Todd.

Now, I know that journalism tends to appeal more to the left leaning, so a center-left bias has always been there. It seems that the more blatant variety I lament here started gaining momentum during Obama’s presidency. He was young, charismatic, the first black president, and he quickly became a media darling. Enter President Trump, and the script quickly flipped. Nothing he did or could do would ever solicit anything resembling a compliment from mainstream reporters. When Biden was elected, the media met him with an overwhelming sense of relief. All he needed to be and do to garner such a welcoming reaction was not to be Trump. He was treated with kid gloves. Whatever pushback he gets from the media lately is simply media not wanting to end up on the wrong side of history to an embarrassing degree considering Biden’s glaring missteps.

In summary, today’s TV media and most of the major print media have lost their journalistic professionalism and are now merely the media arm of the DNC. If you disagree, why? If you agree, do you think the profession will ever get back to its previous standard? Will it produce another one of the greats?
Created:
Updated:
Category:
Politics
106 13