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Messages - Nyxyin

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Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 14, 2008, 10:22:24 PM »
You mentioned how it'd supposedly be better if masturbation is acceptable in society. Are you saying that people have sex in place of masturbation because they're forced to by society?
That's a huge leap.  It's like someone saying "It'd be nice if I'm allowed to have chocolate cake whenever I want" and you then asking "Are you saying that you want to be force-fed chocolate cake all the time?"  "Acceptable" doesn't mean "forced".

I take it that you've never had a sexual partner, otherwise you wouldn't be saying so god damned stupid.
You've just proven lyricaldanichan's point that masturbation is not accepted.  The second someone says that masturbation might be equivalent to sex, they're accused of not having had sex or at least not being very good at it.  People get socially put down when they say such things.  Such attitudes against masturbation are no different from bigotry against homosexuality.

I don't think we know how many people would naturally prefer masturbation over sex if they weren't socially pressured to do so by all the peer pressure asserting that sex is somehow better.  I think some people do talk themselves into considering masturbation inferior to sex because they're insecure enough to listen to people who tell them that considering sex and masturbation equivalent is "god damned stupid".  If such attitudes against masturbation were gone, we would at least stop people (especially teenagers) from trying to "score" just because they want to prove something.  Fixing attitudes would stop the "Emperor's New Clothes" phenomenon.  Better yet, social acceptance of masturbation would prevent problems in those who keep doing it because it wasn't really that good for them (and may never been that good for them -- maybe autosexuality is as valid a preference as homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality), but they're told that it's only because they're doing it "wrong", and it's some amazing holy grail if they do it right, so they do riskier and riskier things (like trying it without condoms) trying to get it "right".

General Convention Discussion / Re: New to Fanime. :)
« on: December 07, 2008, 07:17:06 PM »
2) I heard you need a 'badge' to do certain things. Can I have more info on these? I know nothing about them. XD Also, how much extra would these cost? [...] Do you have to buy a new ticket everyday? Or does one ticket and badge last all weekend?
At the start of Fanime every year, people have to line up at Registration to pay money.  Even if we buy the registration online earlier, we have to print out our confirmation message from the web site or e-mail and take it to the Registration area and stand in line to exchange our printout for a membership badge.  If you register early enough, the badge has pretty Fanime art, and it's laminated so many people collect Fanime badges.  The convention itself is huge and has lots of rooms, so they seem to do spot checks to make sure people have actually paid money.  At various different rooms around the convention, there are door guards checking for badges.  If you aren't wearing your badge, they won't let you in.  Full weekend badges are good all weekend, so don't lose them when you go home at night and remember to put them back on when you go back the next day.

People can buy single day badges by standing in line every day, but it's more expensive that way.  The single-day badges aren't laminated, and they have different colors for each day.  If you try to use a paper badge with the wrong color for the day, they won't let you in.

During some years, very special events have extra tickets.  For example, to get into some music concerts, autograph events, and exclusive meet-the-guest parties, they sometimes have an extra ticket that you have to stand in line for ahead of time.  Whether extra tickets will be required and how to get extra tickets for these special events seem to vary from year to year.  Normal things that happen every year (such as anime viewing rooms, dealers room, art room, game room, dance, karaoke, etc.) are all covered by the one registration badge and don't require any extra tickets.

Also, I don't think memberships will still be $55 at the door this year.  Prices seem to have gone up faster this year, so I think it's likely for prices to end up being higher at the door, like maybe $60 or $65.  If you're already sure you want to go for more than one day, don't wait until you get to the door because it's hard to guess how high the price might go.

Serious Business / Re: America: Officially in recession
« on: December 07, 2008, 04:55:16 PM »
Wonder why we always wait until it gets really bad to do something?
We/they didn't, but what is constantly being done tends to not get noticed until things get really bad.  Big changes require a lot of consensus and support.  The people who can have been tweaking interest rates, issuing warnings, proposing and discussing things, and trying to correct whatever they can in a normal, non-emergency mode all along.  It's just that, until things are declared drastically wrong, nobody notices all the work being done.  A lot of little elves (maintenance people, sysadmins, even politicians, etc.) are working all the time, invisible to most people, always fixing things, improving things, and preventing a million things from going wrong.  They're just usually not appreciated or even acknowledged until things blow up.  There are just some things that require more power than people give the elves, and sometimes, things fall through the cracks.  It's only when things get very bad that the people who need it get a big enough stick to thwack the irresponsible parties around and make big changes happen.  And, even when big changes do happen, all the irresponsible parties tend to get the most help.  The world is built in such a way that Prometheus usually ends up being punished.  Many banks that didn't make bad loans and are still strong and fully solvent were being told that they have to follow the same ultra-restrictive punitive standards that the government is imposing on those that are getting bailouts.

There's a very fine and tricky balance between "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", "haste makes waste", and "a stitch in time saves nine".  How do you know when it's "broke" enough to fix?  When is a fix too hasty?  When is the right time for the stitch?  Generally, the world is set up so that people who wait for things to break first are rewarded most.  After all, if something goes wrong first, the people who come in and make things even a little better are lauded as heroes, even if it's only a mediocre and partial fix.  They're usually given the most power to get their fixes implemented, the most leniency if their fix doesn't entirely work perfectly, and the most credit for anything that goes right.  In contrast, those who try to fix things before they're broken end up with usually end up with no end of obstacles and criticism ("It wasn't broken!  What did you change it!?  I liked it the way it was before!") from people who don't understand (and will now never see) what potential disasters have been avoided by the fix.

It's a thankless job and an uphill battle to fix things before they get bad, but there are people out there constantly trying to get it done even if most people never notice them.

In this case, I believe there was some fluctuation in the indicators earlier this year that confused the issue, so that they couldn't be sure until they had enough data to drown out the fluctuation.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 06, 2008, 03:38:09 PM »
Like ewu noted, I think you're confusing what the numbers are representing. Take for example, the statistics shown for a vasectomy are 99% or more, but for the large majority, it is 100%. However, that 1% is still there, for those with complications with getting a vasectomy and somehow having it fail, etc etc etc... that 1% doesn't necessarily apply to you.
While I agree that statistics don't apply to any individual in general, many modern sciences seem to usually use them as a guide in estimating probabilities.  If someone is deciding on whether to shell out money for a vasectomy, then I think it matters that something might go wrong.  Furthermore, until the person either conceives or dies off, he doesn't know whether or not he is that 1%.  What we do know is that people who have had vasectomies succeeded in conceiving.

As I said earlier with lines like "I can be convinced that the rules of probability do not apply here" and "I can be convinced that probability and statistics aren't very closely related, but that says a whole lot of negative things about what is being passed off as science", I can be convinced that many modern sciences are just plain wrong.

I've done both withdrawal and the "rhythm method" before for quite a long time without fail, but I still acknowledged the risks.
Condoms have risks too, and it seems like people don't understand how much.  "Lowest Expected Rate of Pregnancy" statistics (ie "perfect use" or "method was always used correctly with every act of sexual intercourse") for "Male Latex Condom" is "3%", while it's "1-9%" for "Natural Family Planning".

This is an interesting link:
However, it's actually book review, and it doesn't get into the probability and statistics discussion until about halfway through.  So, I'll just quote certain pieces:
The statistics vs. clinical intuition debate has ensued for decades in psychology. Where one sides in the debate is largely determined by what one makes of a single phrase: “Group statistics don’t apply to individuals.” This claim, widely believed, ignores many of the most basic concepts of probability and statistics, such as error. Yes, individuals possess unique qualities, but they also share many features that allow for predictive power.  If 95% of a sample with quality X has quality Y, insisting that someone with quality X may not have Y because “statistics don’t apply to individuals” will only decrease accuracy. Insistence on certainty decreases accuracy.
Uncertainty is exactly why statistics apply to individuals: they give us the best guess available given the level of uncertainty at hand. It does not behoove anyone to ignore uncertainty and pretend it is not there.

If people want to read the statistics discussion without reading the whole book report, skip down to "Group statistics don’t apply to individuals".  The discussion goes briefly into why people who go around saying that the statistics don't apply aren't improving their accuracy.

The basic problem is there is a very fine line between the fact that statistics don't apply to any individual and the uncertainty that makes statistics become reasonable probabilities for individuals to use when making decisions.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 05, 2008, 04:23:30 PM »
If you're asking about me personally, then yes, the percentages matter a lot to me.  Percentages do affect my frequency of heterosexual vaginal intercourse and views about alternative forms of play.  A lot of sex is in the brain, and I do have to be in a certain head space to enjoy it.  I doubt I would be able to enjoy heterosexual vaginal intercourse if abortion were illegal.  There are many forms of intimacy that do not risk conception.

For a more general "you", I don't expect the percentages to change anybody's minds about their own sexual behaviors or their own contraception choices, but I believe the information still matters.  I think a comparison of these particular percentages can affect attitudes towards people who use the rhythm method.  I've heard this joke many times:  "What do you call people who use the rhythm method?  Parents!"  But, according to the Mayo Clinic statistics, they're no more often parents than people who use condoms.  Even if the exact numbers aren't important, I think it's interesting that the statistics here are reversed from what popular culture claims.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 04, 2008, 09:50:40 PM »
breaks, mis-use, accidents, and idiots.
By the way, I find it fascinating that the Mayo Clinic link I mentioned above claims that the "rhythm method" (aka "Natural family planning -- calendar") is more effective than male condoms (in typical use scenarios):  87% for the rhythm method and only 85% for the male condom.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 04, 2008, 09:38:00 PM »
The 97% means that 3% of the sampled population is likely to use it incorrectly and result in pregnancy.
According to the Mayo Clinic link I had above, male condoms result in only 85% effectiveness.  97% is a "perfect use" statistic.  The FDA sets "typical use" of male condoms at 14% and "perfect use" at 3%.  I suppose I could still be wrong about the vocabulary, but it seems reasonable to me that the difference between "perfect use" and "typical use" numbers would be to remove instances of "mis-use" (at a minimum).

It has nothing to do with the amount of time using the contraceptive with the exception that the variable of time needed to be held static.
Maybe.  That's the part in which I can be convinced that the rules of probability do not apply.  However, mathematically, if you say that there is a 50% of getting heads on one coin flip, and there's a 50% chance of getting heads on the second coin flip, then you have a 75% chance of getting heads on one of the two coin flips.  I can be convinced that probability and statistics aren't very closely related, but that says a whole lot of negative things about what is being passed off as science.

it is conceivable for it to be 100% effective for you.
Probability deals with the future.  Obviously, if you use condoms and never conceived, all the condoms you used up until that point were 100% effective.  But, we're talking about probabilities.  The fact that all the previous condoms were 100% effective for you doesn't mean that your next condom won't break, no matter how perfectly you use it.  Even with "perfect use" of the condom, your next sexual encounter still has a 3% chance of conceiving.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 04, 2008, 08:36:24 PM »
If a condom is cited as "97% effective", it does not mean that 3% of women who have sex will automatically get pregnant.
However, (now that I've read your link) if condoms are cited as 97% effective (in a perfect use scenario), it means that 3% of the women using condoms "perfectly" in their study actually did get pregnant within one year.  Mathematically, having sex with just condoms for two years means that there has been a 5.91% of getting pregnant during those two years.  Doing it for ten years means that there's a 26% chance of getting pregnant.  Doing it for 25 years means that couples are "statistically likely to conceive" (over 50% probability of a single conception) by using condoms alone, even in perfect use scenarios, assuming a 97% perfect use effectiveness rate.  I can be convinced that the rules of probability do not apply here, but assuming the rules of probability hold, this math is correct.

See this link for an example.
OK, I stand corrected.

If you want to claim that "combining all birth control methods + human foibles" results in an average of "98% effective", that's one thing (although I'd like a citation).  But to claim that "statistically likely to conceive in one year" is outright bad math.
Technically, my primary error is "outright bad vocabulary".  I didn't know this definition before: "The effectiveness percentage refers to the number of pregnancies that occur per 100 woman-years of contraceptive use."

I can't find the site that was quoting closer to 70% effectiveness rates for typical uses of condoms and pills, but I wasn't examining the source, so you're right that it could've been a biased source, or it could've been the study used a purely teenage sample set or something.  Still, 30% * 30% * 25% = 2.25% failure rate, so if we were to assume 70% typical effectiveness of the other two methods, all three methods combined would still mathematically be a 2.25% failure probability.  My math is fine, but I do apologize for my poor vocabulary and poor web searching skills.

To go back and correct myself, probably has more authoritative numbers.  It claims only 8% for the pill failure and 15% condom failure, which is drastically different from the 30% I had seen elsewhere (and can no longer find).

I didn't feel that it's fair for Stormfalcon to say that couples are stupid for not using more than a condom [...] to prevent pregnancy
just relying on that condom by itself is not a smart thing to do
I agree with both statements.  "Birth control" includes preventative methods (such as condoms and pills) and after-the-fact methods such as abortion.  I think "just relying on that condom by itself is not a smart thing to do" because I believe that it's very stupid to not have discussed what Jun called a "Plan B" before having sex.  However, to me, "Plan B" fully qualifies as "more than just a condom" -- in terms of birth control overall (not just pregnancy prevention).  In fact, given that conception can happen even with perfect use of three birth control methods (some people are just that unlucky), I think it's stupid to not have discussed a "Plan B" before having sex, no matter how many preventative measures are taken.

Serious Business / Re: Don't Pop The Pill If He Won't Share The Bill
« on: December 04, 2008, 05:04:48 PM »
If I see a man buys a box of condoms and the woman opens her wallet and offers to help pay, she's a winner in my book.
In my book, paying for the condoms without sharing the responsibility of bringing them isn't enough to qualify as "win".  What if, in the heat of the moment, the boy suddenly realizes that he ran out of condoms?  There are some very major differences between birth control pills and condoms, and I wouldn't consider the situation you described to be a winning scenario.  It's not enough to just buy the condoms: they have to be on hand at the right times too.  By itself, putting down money doesn't fundamentally solve any problems.  With the nature of humankind these days, money seems to be far easier to come by than responsibility.

In any case, I believe that anybody of any gender who wants to be having sex (and isn't trying to have a baby) should buy their own condoms and keep some on hand.  Unlike birth control pills, condoms are still useful no matter who brings them.  If either party fails to bring condoms, it's still useful for the other to be able to provide.  (In contrast, if the girl doesn't take her birth control, the boy's just out of luck.)  The only good reasons for any active heterosexual to not carry their own condoms are (1) they want children or (2) they're sure that they would prefer to not have sex.

Again, everybody who wants to have sex should carry their own condoms.  It's just that important.

relying on condoms alone is pretty damn stupid.  Not as stupid as unprotected sex,  but still stupid since condoms can break, develop holes, etc.
Frankly, it's "pretty damn stupid" to expect to have sex without also expecting some possibility of conception.  Conception is always a gamble (whether you want it or want to avoid it).  Even with birth control, condoms, AND morning-after pills, conception can still happen, especially among people who want sex the most.  (Raging hormones seem to correspond with high fertility.)  The overall success rate of the morning-after pill is only around 75%.  The success rate of condoms (with perfect use) is only 97%.  The success rate of birth control pills (with perfect use) is 96%.  That still leaves a 0.03% chance that, even if a couple uses pills and condoms perfectly all the time and get a morning-after pill as a backup plan, conception can still occur.  At "typical use", the chance is closer to 2%.  Doing the math, if a couple has sex merely once per week, then they're still statistically likely to conceive within a year assuming "typical use" of all three methods combined.

I think people should talk about their opinions about what to do with a potential baby before having sex at all, no matter how much birth control is used.

It's good to play safe, but being too paranoid could take away from the experience. Condoms are usually are enough.
I agree that it's good to play it safe and that condoms are usually enough (where "usually" is something like 80-97% of the time).  Furthermore, birth control pills are just not an option for some girls because it makes them sick.  Hormones mess with the entire body, and medical science doesn't fully understand all the systems that the pills affect.  While most girls are fine on the pill (and some, like me, thrive on the pill), it's not always necessarily safe for all girls.

However, I don't think it's "paranoid" or would "take away from the experience" to double-check birth control use before having sex.

In any case, as others have already mentioned, each couple should decide for itself who pays for what.  Furthermore, for any given individual, the decision even change from relationship to relationship, or even from stage to stage as a relationship progresses.  Depending on the nature of the relationship and reasons for using birth control, someone might want to start off by paying for the whole thing but end up sharing the cost.  Deciding how to share financial decisions is just a part of having a relationship.

By the way, here is the original letter:
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year. We split all the bills -- rent, utilities, etc. -- in half.

A few nights ago I asked him how he felt about paying for half my birth control pills, which amounts to $40 a month. Because neither of us is ready for children, I think we should share the expense.

Am I out of line to ask my boyfriend to split the cost with me? This has become a hot topic at work. The guys don't agree with me, and surprisingly, most of the women don't, either. What is your take on this? -- ALL IN LOVE IS FAIR

DEAR ALL: As I see it, there are two kinds of expenses when people share a dwelling: joint expenses and those that are personal. Prescription drugs usually fall into the latter category. Unless you are prepared to pay half the cost of his prescription drugs -- including Viagra --- my advice is to back down on this one.

I think the circumstances surrounding the question are important, and I don't see how people can have a serious discussion about the letter without the full details.  If "All" thinks it's fair, then I think she has every right -- and every responsibility -- to bring up the topic and ask her boyfriend how he feels about paying half of the birth control.  Since they're already at the financial sharing stage, no matter what decisions are made, it's good to open the discussion.  I very strongly disagree with Abby and all of the girl's coworkers because they seemed to imply that the girl was wrong to even ask about the boyfriend's feelings on the matter.  It makes me wonder if Abby and the girl's coworkers all have problematic relationships.  I think good communication is essential to a good relationship, and I don't think it's ever wrong to honestly ask how the other person feels.

Serious Business / Re: CA Supreme Court review of Prop. 8
« on: November 26, 2008, 11:26:55 PM »
First off... a question. Why, in every one of your post, do you post like you're speaking to students that don't know anything. You post basic information that we all already know... BUT NEVER ADDRESS ANYTHING ABOUT THE POINT OF WHAT WAS MADE OR BEING MADE.

Let me quote...

I didn't know that ewu didn't count voter law-making as part of the legislative branch.
Because it's not. You even answered that in your reply to me.
The original questions are "So should the CA Supreme court be able to review Prop. 8? What implications does it have? Can/should a court 'usurp' public opinion?" and "what people thought about the court challenging the vote of the people".  My response is, "There are no implications to the court reviewing Prop 8.  It's not 'usurping' public opinion because the courts were always intended to check and balance the other branches of government.  It has no implications other than the founders were right and are still right.  The court challenging the vote of the people is always what was intended.  That's what I've been trying to say all along.  I've been addressing what people are saying, but people seem to need more and more simplistic explanations for people to even begin to understand.

My original position is still the same, just with a slight wording change.  The edit was explicit acknowledgment of ewu's input, changing the phrasing of "legislature/legislation" to "fourth branch of government".  It's an insignificant detail that doesn't render my original point invalid: the courts are a normal and intended check and balance to the other branches of government.

Serious Business / Re: CA Supreme Court review of Prop. 8
« on: November 26, 2008, 10:39:51 PM »
... Voting != Legislative branch.
No, voting itself is not part of the legislative branch.  Popular voting itself is just for advisory and entertainment purposes.  Any time laws are made, it's conceptually legislation, even if it happened to come into existence because of voters instead of the official legislature.  The judicial branch acts as a check and balance against legislation, so it is all part of the original plan.

Edit: Even if laws created by voters count as a fourth branch of government, it still would not be an overriding fourth branch of government.  All four branches should still act as checks and balances against each other so that no one entity gets too powerful.

Serious Business / Re: CA Supreme Court review of Prop. 8
« on: November 26, 2008, 09:58:13 PM »
You didn't know we were a representative government? Really? lol...I thought they taught this stuff to you guys in high school.
Technically, I didn't know that ewu didn't count voter law-making as part of the legislative branch.  I knew we're a representative government.  I just assumed that, when voters pass laws, they counted as the "legislative" branch (as a concept).  It's an irrelevant nit that voters aren't part of the strict definition of "legislature".  The concept of the "legislative" part makes laws.  When voters make laws, they count as part of the "legislative" part, then the checks and balances work when the courts overturn laws.  When voters don't count as "legislative", they don't get to make laws.

Your post is also ad hominem and has nothing of substance to add to the topic.  I thought people were supposed to be interested in "serious business" here, not in just having everybody agree with whatever the "in crowd" says.  I answered the question, and I explained how my answer directly addressed the question.  I do admit this group has given me an invaluable first-hand learning experience about the social dynamics of pre-WWII Germany, so I will drop the racism conversation.

Serious Business / Re: CA Supreme Court review of Prop. 8
« on: November 26, 2008, 05:22:22 PM »
BTW, Steve is the only one that addressed my question in my Prop. 8 thread.
I am not a lawyer.  I was under the impression that the legislature includes all entities capable of making laws.  I was taught that the government breaks down into "legislative" (which creates laws), "executive" (which makes laws official), and "judicial" (which interprets the laws and resolves conflicts when they're inconsistent).  I think most people share this view of the world with me because that's what most are taught in middle school and high school.  This is why I assumed that voters trying to pass laws would fall under "legislative", and I assumed that everybody else is starting from this point as well.

To the best of my knowledge, I addressed your intent of the thread ("to see what people thought about the court challenging the vote of the people") directly by saying "The courts are supposed to act as a check and balance to the legislature."  I thought "voters passing laws" falls under "legislature".  As I'm finding out in other threads, it's very likely that you're having difficulties getting people to address your point (from your point of view) because the people simply do not have the necessary background to do so.

If voters passing laws does not count as legislation (which Webster defines as, "the exercise of the power and function of making rules (as laws) that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization"), then I stand corrected.

So, incorporating what you said about voters not being legislature then...  The US is a representative government, not a democracy.  So, the public vote is more for advisement purposes (and general entertainment) than the Word of Law.  Voters aren't disenfranchised; voters were never that far enfranchised to begin with.  The representative government setup was the founders knowing that the majority isn't always right.

(Edit:  I believe I failed to explicitly state that, in as far as the voters given the ability to pass laws, I still think they count, in spirit, as legislature, so the original checks and balances plan of the founders still works out.  Public opinion -- or any other potential player for that matter -- was never intended to have unchecked absolute authority.  When they created our government, the founders already knew that they had a problem with slavery, and they had always intended to protect us from cases of absolute tyranny by the majority.  Nobody is being disenfranchised here: nobody was ever so far enfranchised to begin with.)

Serious Business / Re: Florida High School Keeps KKK Founder's Name
« on: November 26, 2008, 02:55:38 PM »
btw, are you saying that discrimination is ok? WTF
Yes.  Discrimination doesn't necessarily include bigotry.  That's only one of several possible definitions.  The basis of the definition of discrimination is discernment.  Affirmative action is discrimination.  Cultural pride is also discrimination (although not of a racial variety).

I think bigotry is a biological construct, frankly.  I have said repeatedly that there will still be bigotry.  "The smallest differences" is no longer "racism" specifically.  To pull up an example I already mentioned, let's put "fat" for "the smallest differences".  If people hate fat people, do they count as "racist"?  Technically, no: that's a different type of bigotry.  That's all I'm saying.

From my point of view, the point that is being repeatedly ignored since I first started posting is the difference between "racism" specifically and "discrimination", "bigotry", "prejudice", etc.  I suppose it makes sense that, if people believe all discrimination to be bad, then they become incapable of mere discernment even between different words.

I don't understand how people can be racist if they can't discern the difference between races.  Furthermore, I don't understand how racism can be much of a problem if there are 6 billion different races.  There may still be nepotism, but that's still not racism, especially if families are mixed, and families themselves are breaking down too.

Furthermore, I think we're already at the point that the white preference in society has already been broken down enough.  Since Hollywood has been putting more and more different races in a reasonable variety of roles, people are accustomed to seeing all sorts of minorities just naturally fit into all different contexts.  Boy nurses are still a bit weird, but black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. nurses are as normal as white ones.

It's usually useful to stop or scale back fighting of a battle that has already been won.  If an army keeps battling in an area where they've already defeated the enemy, the only people left to battle would be those who previously didn't care one way or another.  Attacking innocent bystanders is likely to create a backlash: they didn't care about the armies before, but they're going to hate the winning army and its cause if it starts picking on them.  It's a delicate balance to know when to fight and when not to, and constant non-stop fighting is going to create more problems than it solves.  It's usually a more efficient way to win the war if battles were chosen carefully.

Back to the article, I was suggesting reasons why the people in that particular high school may have good reasons for not choosing to not fight that particular battle at that particular time.  It seems like a bad strategy to engage in a battle in which you're pretty much guaranteed to hurt yourself whether you win or lose.

you wouldn't read it anyways...
Even if that weren't pure psychological displacement, it's at least quite ad hominem.  Just because I disagree doesn't mean I didn't read.  The only time you complained about anybody not reading was when you called Steve.Young ugly.  You weren't the only person posting to the thread, and he didn't quote your response, so he could've easily been just making a comment related to the topic but wasn't entirely stemming from purely your comment.  I thought his comment was a good one in general for the topic.  I don't understand why you would overlook Pyron's repeated offensive comments and start instigating your own, especially against Steve.  It seemed very inconsistent for you to tell cortana to not insult others and then tell Steve that he's ugly.

Now, if you did that because you confused me and Steve, then that also goes to support colorblindness removing the effects of racism.  If you just can't tell the difference between other people and me sometimes, and if you also fail to recognize me as me sometimes, then no matter how Nyxyin-ist you want to be, the effect is that you'd be just plain rude at random times to random people.  If everybody on the board was Nyxyin-ist, but everybody kept randomly confusing other people for me and me for other people, then the effect is that many Nyxyin-ist comments will fall on lots of people who aren't me, and I'll escape such comments quite a lot of the time too, which means that I personally don't suffer much of a disadvantage compared to everybody else.

Serious Business / Re: Florida High School Keeps KKK Founder's Name
« on: November 26, 2008, 04:50:27 AM »
Your base is that... if we make everything equal, no one will be able to be racist towards anyone else, because they will have no grounds to do so... therefore the problem won't exist.
Actually, it's quite the opposite.  If everybody were different, there won't be such a solid wall of aligned factors creating the problem.

for this idea to work, everyone would have to throw away their cultural pride?
That's a bad assumption.  Even one generation of easy access to air travel started breaking down the link between race and culture.  At my alma mater, there are plenty of other races in the Asian American club because people were just interested in the culture.  Plenty of minorities are proud to be American in culture.  Plenty of anime fans seem to be quite proud of whatever bits of Japanese culture they know.  The enthusiasm from people who choose to be interested in a culture (as opposed to being forced into it by birth) often reinvigorates several positive aspects of traditional cultural practices.

See this is funny. People will not stop making assumptions as I noted earlier.
When situations like these become more frequent and more commonly known, people will stop making assumptions.

So in 1 to 2 generations, you expect everyone to be mixed blood enough to the point to where the traits they carry will not be distinguishable?
No, they'll merely be insufficiently correlated with current racial cues to allow races to group together.

So that would make everyone in the world half races.
False.  You forget to count the mixed people who already exist.

Guess what, he will get crap because he looks black.
From whom?  If we assumed that everybody mixed, then this generation has absolutely zero purebred blacks.  Some mixed blacks will still look black too, but their siblings may look like some other race, and their parents are very likely to look different from them.  If every last family has such mixes (or even if every last family is merely close to one such family even if they're not like this themselves), it would be extreme hypocrisy to be racist.  At that point, it would be easier to switch to other factors: hate fat people or thin people or short people or tall people, etc.  I suppose there could be an undercurrent of racism from some, but it wouldn't be a problem because there won't be this wall of correlated traits.

Racism... by defenition... is "discrimination". Racism by defenition is "elitism". Racism by defenition is "bigotry".
There are plenty of free dictionaries online that can help you with that.  (They can help with spelling too.)  Racism is a subset of discrimination, elitism, and bigotry.  That's my point.  People can discriminate against old people, but "old people" isn't a race.

The only FEASIBLE way to do what you are stating... is if we were all cloned to look exactly the same.
Not at all.  You see, I somehow managed to end up with something like racial aphasia.  When I walk into a sushi restaurant, I already often can't tell if the sushi chef is maybe a light black, tanned white, or even full-blooded Asian, Hispanic, or Native.  Usually, I consider a slightly higher probability that they're some form of Asian (because, well, it's a sushi restaurant), but I have heard some speaking rather Mexican-accented Spanish to the kitchen crew, so I'd say the probability of that person being Hispanic is higher.  Everybody still looks different to me, and I tell if their skin is lighter or darker, or if their hair is finer or thicker, but I just cannot guess what race they're from based on physical appearance alone.  I don't understand how people tell the difference, but I'm often unable to put people into racial groups with any amount of certainty.  I'm Asian, so let's pretend I want to like Asians and hate Hispanics.  However, the physical differences between Hispanic or Asian give me the most difficulty, so how can I discriminate against or for either group?  Speech and culture can be trained.  I suppose I can discriminate against everybody who speaks with an accent, but most people raised in the US will be likely to have US accents, no matter what their race might be.

The problem with racism isn't the differences between individuals: it's the huge wall of traits combined together in a way that is recognized as a distinct group by most people.  Racism against blacks is a lot easier if they have certain hair styles and speak Ebonics.  I wonder if Obama and Tiger Woods would still get called black if they chose a different hairstyle or if more Asians and Hispanics wore their hair that way.

Even if you don't believe in the genetics angle eventually making racism moot, the social angle is making great progress too:
In a state such as Iowa that's 96 percent white, a black guy can now win, because in our world segregation has never existed. When an Associated Press story announced that Obama's Iowa win was part of "a historic bid to become the nation's first black president," young voters thought, "Who cares? I just like the guy."

I believe the ability to even tell the difference between races is taught.  If Gen Me doesn't care, then they're not going to teach the ability to their kids.  In either case, racism is not "here to stay".  It's dying.

Serious Business / Re: CA Supreme Court review of Prop. 8
« on: November 26, 2008, 03:17:23 AM »
Our founders were careful to set up multiple branches of government and a system of checks and balances as a precaution.  The courts are supposed to act as a check and balance to the legislature.  It's legal, necessary, and expected for them to strike down bad laws.  I still think the check and balance precaution is a great idea.  It's not anarchy or vigilantism.  It's a fundamental part of our government, dating all the way back to when it was originally conceived, working exactly the way it should.

Serious Business / Re: 700 Billion Dollar Bailout
« on: November 26, 2008, 01:10:11 AM »
Ok, ok. both you and crack are very very misinformed. Let me try to explain things here.
Thanks for the explanation.  It's a nice recap of what the news has been saying.  However, I didn't think it necessary to repeat what is available elsewhere online.  The value in forums is so that people can toss opinions and ideas around and try them out.  If people were to only state what they can positively prove and are fairly certain about, then they should be writing professionally and getting paid for it.

I suppose I failed to explicitly state that I am of the opinion that the problem is more deeply rooted than the current economic crisis, and I was explaining the details of that opinion.  I did not intend to state it as factal information, which I thought I had expressed by explicitly using words such as "Personally", "I think it's possible ", "I believe".  I even teased and said, "even if I might be right", which I had hope would imply that I'm not putting that a very high probability on me being right, although I admit the wording might've been too subtle.  Furthermore, news articles are great, but journalists have only so much space, and they write creatively to appeal to the audience.  There is a lot they don't have space or inclination to state.

So, to start over...  I believe the government has very strong reasons for believing the bailout to be necessary.  However, I think the current problems are only a symptom of more deeply rooted problems, stemming from too many government incentives and controls that were enacted but never revisited after such things have served their purpose.  One such incentive is the mortgage interest deduction.

I believe its time has passed, even if there were ever a time it was useful to begin with.  I do not believe that people still need more incentives to buy homes than they already do.  We've discovered all the land there is.  There is already a social trend towards a nuclear family when an extended family would be far more socially stable.

Why do we give people a tax deduction on their home mortgage interest? That's simple. We do that to encourage people to buy and own a home, which builds wealth and increases fiscal security, so long as they do it in such a way as they can pay for their home and retain it.
If we were to believe the New York Times, the home mortgage interest deduction predates wide-spread use of home mortgages.  One of the founding principles of our country was "no taxation without representation", and this is where it shows.  When they first started taxing income, all interest was initially exempt.  Over time, they started taxing more and more interest, but by then, homeowners were numerous enough to prevent home mortgages from being taxed as well.

(I had not seen that article before today, and I only skimmed it just now.  I had independently come to the conclusion that mortgage interest rate deductions were problematic after the bailout was announced in the media.)

I think the New York Times article is plausible.  If we really think about it, the homeowner incentives don't do anything for encouraging people to buy homes at all.  Everybody already wants to do that anyways for many, many reasons, partly for the reasons stated above, and partly for emotional reasons such as "the American dream".  The homeowner incentives only help the rich get richer: the biggest mortgages go to the ones with the most income.  And, if we want people to get into homes, why do we now have a capital gains shelter, that encourages people to get out of their homes?  Remember: the 1031 exchange for people who want to trade up already existed before that, so the capital gains shelter is for those who want to sell and take their money.

I just ran across this doing web searches:  It says, "Despite the political popularity of the tax deduction for home mortgage interest, economists are basically united in their opposition to it. [...] by giving a tax subsidy to housing, it distorts investment decisions toward houses and away from assets like factories and equipment that are more productive at the margin. And that makes workers less productive, ultimately lowering wages and making society poorer."

So, I reiterate: the problems are far deeper than what the news articles have space to report, and I think the mortgage interest rate deduction is partly to blame.  Furthermore, I'm not the only person to believe that, and the idea that the mortgage interest rate deduction encourages people to buy homes -- or that we want people to be encouraged to buy homes at all -- is yet another myth.

And cortana, thank you very much for taking the time to post.  I appreciate the thought you put into your explanation.  I was very discouraged to learn that I was typing at people who still believe that our pieces of paper are backed by gold, and I had limited my response to Pyron's post because of that.  (I just wanted to make sure to disabuse others of the notion of any current gold standard.)  I would not have bothered to explain further if it weren't for you.  I hope my explanation was worth your presence here.

No need to insult does not add to the discussion and only leads to heated, aggressive posts.
I fail to understand how that is an insult compared to like this from the other thread:
Your idea sounds good on paper, but is realistically SO INCREDIBLY STUPID
Before anybody tries to claim, "Pyron only called the idea stupid", I'd like to point out that the definition of "stupid" is "characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness"[1].  Calling an idea stupid is the same as accusing the person who had the idea of mental dullness.  I find what Pyron said to be far more insulting and aggressive than what cortana said.  Even if he called me specifically "misinformed", the word only casts aspersions on my source and my belief on the source, not on my intelligence.  I think the rebuke of cortana was very unfair compared to what the moderators here let Pyron get away with.  I can understand not wanting to deal with a problem, but that doesn't explain this eagerness to pounce on other people who are causing far less of a problem.

[1] stupid. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved November 25, 2008, from website:

Serious Business / Re: Florida High School Keeps KKK Founder's Name
« on: November 25, 2008, 02:27:07 AM »
First off, you act like mixed raced born children are not ever the victim of racism.
I'm sorry you misinterpreted what I wrote, but I don't believe that at all.  I'm just saying that, when people cannot tell or guess what percentages the majority of people might be, we lose the capability of being able to tell the difference between races, so we cannot be racist.  I never meant to imply that mixes don't get victimized by the racially determinate today, but that's because the majority hasn't quite shifted yet.  Also, people with racial backgrounds like Keanu Reeves, Tia Carrere, Dean Cain, Lou Diamond Phillips, Barack Obama, etc., seem very unlikely to be racist themselves.  What race or mix of races could they discriminate against?  Furthermore, as Hollywood puts more and more mixes on the screen, that also starts breaking down people's attempts to jump to conclusions about racial background.

Now someone that is white comes upon them... or black. Will the mixed race people not be racist towards them?
No, because nobody can tell if they're mixed or not.  Even if they look "purebred" to us today, it's just a frame of mind we were taught.  When the majority is some form of mixed, people will stop making assumptions about racial ancestry because we'll see more and more cases like this:

For your theory to even be plausible it would take thousands upon thousands of years to happen
With the Internet and ease of global travel, I'd estimate closer to a hundred.  If everybody actually aimed for having mixed children, it only takes 30 years.  In 2000 for Santa Clara County, over 15% of the population already does not identify with any of white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Hispanic / Latino.

Racism appears due to intolerance to something that they are not.
Technically, that's closer to the lines of "discrimination", "elitism", or "bigotry".  I completely agree that discrimination, elitism, and bigotry will not go away as long as people care about their values.  Racism is more specific.

If someone is half white and black, why wouldn't they be racist towards someone half asian half hispanic.
Because they look no more alike or more different from each other than the half-white/half-asian and half-black/half-hispanic, not to mention all the quarters, eighths, and sixteenths that already exist out there.  There won't be enough people of similar racial background to form enough of a critical mass to overcome other differences.  Instead of white vs black vs Asian, etc., it'll become easier to determine jock vs nerd or what not.

Serious Business / Re: 700 Billion Dollar Bailout
« on: November 25, 2008, 01:28:26 AM »
There's no gold in vaults backing up the pieces of paper? The world will disagree, and the forts holding the gold would also disagree. For every dollar bill that exists in the US, there has to be an equal amount in storage by the US gov't.
These days, Santa Claus is more real than the gold standard.  The gold reserves are just reserves and do not back up the pieces of paper.  The idea that every dollar bill is backed up by an equal amount of gold has been outdated since 1971 at the latest.  Look up "gold standard" and "fiat money".  We've been more off than on the gold standard since 1914.  For example, says, 'Almost every country, including the United States, is on a system of fiat money, which the glossary defines as "money that is intrinsically useless; is used only as a medium of exchange".'

If we follow what you are saying. A gov't can just print an unlimited amount of money, and spread it amongst the people, never reaching an economical down fall.
The first part is true: governments can just print unlimited amounts of money.  The "never reaching an economic downfall" part is utterly false.  That's what makes them think hard before printing money.  Unfortunately, it doesn't stop them.

What money is an issue, here's more, and we'll just pretend that things are better. This causes multiple problems though. This will further drop the value, since the value is unimportant due to the representation not meaning anything... and this also leads to the gov't losing absolutely all integrity and worth.
Yes, exactly.  It's based on faith in an integrity and worth that may already no longer exist.  The only reason we haven't crashed is that none of the other influential countries are on the gold standard either, so countries prop our currency up partly because they have some belief in us and partly because they're also scared about what would happen if people lost faith in the US.  When the US government puts too much money into circulation at once, other governments often match to keep the US dollar from collapsing.

*Side note... I wonder where you're getting a lot of these misconceptions from*
A combination of economics courses and recent news articles about the bailout.  I take both sources with a grain of salt, but I don't think it's any worse of a basis for discussion than other people have, and it's more reasonable than a belief in the gold standard.

Serious Business / Re: Florida High School Keeps KKK Founder's Name
« on: November 24, 2008, 06:21:08 PM »
Thank you for addressing my point!

The rest of the world is also not insulated from each other either.  Imperial Europeans did a good job of spreading white seeds everywhere and bringing back lots of diversity into Europe.  South America didn't seem to have the same racial problems we did, and many of them seem very highly mixed already.  For those who believe in Evolution, it can be argued that Evolution is a force for genetic diversity.  Whether people believe in the Bible or Evolution, there are no such things as purebreds because we're all from the same ancestors.  Even if purebreds do exist, it's not possible to spot a purebred vs. someone whose genes randomly all turned on in a certain pattern matching that of an ex-race.  There have been cases of biological siblings from different apparent races: See "Status: Authentic" at this link:

It's only physical separation that created the races.  With global travel becoming so easy and the Internet to connect people, it's only a matter of time before races are no longer distinguishable from each other.

I admit that your definition of the "foreseeable future" is very different from mine, but I think far-future certainties are much more easily foreseen than the ones in the near future.  All human beings alive today will eventually die.  That is certain and foreseeable.  The sun will also eventually die, and the earth will die with it.  I agree humans evolving beyond racial separation won't be "soon", and I hold a rather low probability that people here will live to see it personally, but it's a tiny drop in the bucket in terms of evolution.

I would also distinguish "cultural elitism" from "racism".  I can certainly foresee people discriminating against each other for speaking with certain accents or wearing certain culture-specific clothing (or symbols), but that's not strictly "racism".  "Elitism", "discrimination", and "bigotry" will exist as long as people have values they care about, but they will stop taking the form of "racism" specifically.

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