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Frustration

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Apr. 7th, 2004 | 03:15 pm

One of the big frustrations in my life is I've spent a great deal of time acquiring information about the state of the world. When I try talking there are two common responses. First is to tell me to be quiet as it's too depressing to face, the other is that after listening to me for a bit, they tell me that they can't believe what I'm saying is true and then ignore me.

Rarely does anyone ever debate me. They rarely provide any contradictory information or take the time to poke holes in my logic.

For instance once I ended up debating with a socialist to try and figure out how if they actually had a revolution they were going to prevent the abuses of power that happened under Stalin. She eventually ended the conversation saying that I was an intelligent woman and that I could continue inventing arguments for the rest of the evening and so we should stop. I found that answer rather intellectually unsatisfying.

I think that there are enough environmental and economic catastrophes facing us that I really do need some dialog to come up with solutions. Just because it's unpleasant is no reason to avoid dealing with it--and that is an incredibly unpopular attitude.

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Comments {10}

(Deleted comment)

Diane Trout

Re: A Friend Will Debate With You

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 12:44 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it's just challenging to meet the right people. Also I unfortunately am given to some fanaticism, which can make me a bit annoying to deal with.

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pacotelic

(no subject)

from: pacotelic
date: Apr. 7th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
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I agree, one worry I have about moving into smart growth organizations is the putative low diversity of opinion. Imay have to play devil's advocate to keep form going insane. I'm not interested in the whole Marxist history line, but am very interested in environment issues. What's your bag?

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 12:43 am (UTC)
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My first environmental passion was disliking the automobile. I grew up in los angeles and got to enjoy the miserable air quality and culture of alienation that the automobile engenders.

Later I became vegetarian and then vegan because of learning how humanity is pushing the limits of our current agricultural capacity. Not only are we exceeding our limits because of population growth we're also loosing farm land to sprawling cities (because of the car) and depleting underground aquifers.

I also worry energy issues. There's the problems of CO2 emissions caused by our societies dependence on fossil fuel. There's also the question about how much longer our society can be run on fossil fuels, as the hubbert analysis suggests that the supply and demand curves for gasoline will be diverging soon. (Production will fall which opens the question of how elastic the demand for oil is.)

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Apr. 7th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC)
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well, i would be frustrated too if i had such responses!

[what does stalin have to do with socialism, anyway?]

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 12:37 am (UTC)
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I'd attended a study group of theirs for a period of time which covered some of the history of the russian revolution. In their opinion stalin had hijacked the revolution and was the personality that turned an idealistic revolution into a police state.

So since they were still advocating an anti-capitalist revolution I was wondering why they thought their revolution would be different.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 02:51 am (UTC)
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ah, i see. to me stalin has as much to do with true socialism as, i don't know, two other unrelated things. :-)

by the way, have you had a chance to read those gardening books? did you enjoy them?

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Nafees

(no subject)

from: nogbogfrog
date: Apr. 7th, 2004 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Almost all of your solutions rely on being able to educate the masses. Not something that has succeeded. Let's forget for a moment that you want people to stop eating meat (chances of which are equal to the chances of my wish to convince people to devolve back to monkeys).

The mechanism of support for your conjecture is based on mass education. It's based on centrally planned economies for billions of people. How successful have such efforts been in the past? Why should we let you try it out on us?

It's like the old math joke where mathematicians figure out how to increase milk production by 500%, and their proof starts with: "Assume a spherical cow".

-n

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 12:59 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure about the centrally planned economy. I do think that the laissez-faire capitalism that the neo-cons and/or libertarians like to push would rapidly destroy the middle class. I found the essay Free Market Debunked insightful.

I was also introduced to parecon which is an anarchisticly planned economy. It at least sounded plausible.

Some level of mass education can be done, literacy is far more common now than two hundred years ago. Countries that educate their teens about birth control have fewer teenage pregnancies.

The two most common things I argue for are eat no meat, and drive less. I acknowledge that I'd be being more effective if I was arguing for eating less meat instead. Though I sometimes feel like economic forces will push those issues on most people anyway.

The hubbert peak will drive gas prices up until enough people can't afford it to bring us back down under available supply. The decreasing grain harvest and per capita decrease in potable water will increase the cost of meat.

I'm just arguing for vegetarian/veganism now as I think they're the more ethical choice.

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Nafees

(no subject)

from: nogbogfrog
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)
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I think we could argue that the middle class is dead already, or irreconcilably put in it's place. This is the cause of problems in third world countries. So preach on.

The hubbert model hasn't fit worldwide statistics since the '70s. But the general idea I suppose is sound. But even if it were dead on accurate, which still means sustainable energy growth until '10-'20, the catastrophe would probably not occur. The price of gas at the consumer level will force adoption of alternative energy sources long before the "end". It would likely happen in a completely laissez-faire economy.

Just remember. Jesus died for your sins. ;)

-n

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her other side

(no subject)

from: saltbox
date: Apr. 8th, 2004 06:29 am (UTC)
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Rarely does anyone ever debate me. They rarely provide any contradictory information or take the time to poke holes in my logic.

Funny, I'm in the opposite situation. Because I basically debate for a living, in my "free time" I prefer (mostly) agreeable rallying cries. On the environment, that is. Because I don't debate literature for a living, I'm still happy with a good literature debate in my free time.

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