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stoneunhinged
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...most:

religion and politics.

Homosexuality, guns, evolution, the Bible, liberalism and conservatism, bla bla bla.

I guess it's what most people want to talk about here. But frankly, I'm tired of it.

Back when I got addicted to the "Not very magical" forum, we used to have a lot of fun. That was years ago. There were legendary threads: Mike Doogan, the Frenches, the Eurovision song that we wrote together. And yes, other topics continually pop up. But a thread like, say, Gone With the Wind might have struck a chord and resulted in ten pages of fun and gags and double entendres as good-spirited nonsense. Mostly, it was friendly. These days a thread like that might get half a dozen posts.

But should someone decide to shoot up a school today, we'll go crazy until the mods delete the thread. We'll blame or defend guns, religion, the quality of schooling in America, Obamacare, whatever. It'll go to as many pages as the mods allow.

In some ways I like it. I like that America is a vibrant place with enthusiastic, loud, penetrating discussion. But it ALWAYS reveals unfriendliness.

Unfriendliness concerns me. Not personally, but as a thinker. When I put on my political philosophy hat, I start to get a wee bit concerned about how unfriendly debate here has become, because I wonder if it reflects an unfriendliness of debate in America. Since I haven't lived there for twenty years, I worry that America has changed, that it has gotten grumpy and hostile and unfriendly toward a diversity of opinion and experience and ideas.

But maybe it's just the Café.
Salguod Nairb
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I'm just one guy! I can only post so many animated gif's! I'm trying my best!
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landmark
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
...most:

religion and politics.

Homosexuality, guns, evolution, the Bible, liberalism and conservatism, bla bla bla.

I guess it's what most people want to talk about here. But frankly, I'm tired of it.

Back when I got addicted to the "Not very magical" forum, we used to have a lot of fun. That was years ago. There were legendary threads: Mike Doogan, the Frenches, the Eurovision song that we wrote together. And yes, other topics continually pop up. But a thread like, say, Gone With the Wind might have struck a chord and resulted in ten pages of fun and gags and double entendres as good-spirited nonsense. Mostly, it was friendly. These days a thread like that might get half a dozen posts.

But should someone decide to shoot up a school today, we'll go crazy until the mods delete the thread. We'll blame or defend guns, religion, the quality of schooling in America, Obamacare, whatever. It'll go to as many pages as the mods allow.

In some ways I like it. I like that America is a vibrant place with enthusiastic, loud, penetrating discussion. But it ALWAYS reveals unfriendliness.

Unfriendliness concerns me. Not personally, but as a thinker. When I put on my political philosophy hat, I start to get a wee bit concerned about how unfriendly debate here has become, because I wonder if it reflects an unfriendliness of debate in America. Since I haven't lived there for twenty years, I worry that America has changed, that it has gotten grumpy and hostile and unfriendly toward a diversity of opinion and experience and ideas.

But maybe it's just the Café.

No, it's America, Jeff.
As the inequality grows, the polarization grows.
Salguod Nairb
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I blame Facebook.
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0pus
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Not Facebook; Zuckerberg. He is the devil.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
...most:

religion and politics.

Homosexuality, guns, evolution, the Bible, liberalism and conservatism, bla bla bla.

I guess it's what most people want to talk about here. But frankly, I'm tired of it.

Back when I got addicted to the "Not very magical" forum, we used to have a lot of fun. That was years ago. There were legendary threads: Mike Doogan, the Frenches, the Eurovision song that we wrote together. And yes, other topics continually pop up. But a thread like, say, Gone With the Wind might have struck a chord and resulted in ten pages of fun and gags and double entendres as good-spirited nonsense. Mostly, it was friendly. These days a thread like that might get half a dozen posts.

But should someone decide to shoot up a school today, we'll go crazy until the mods delete the thread. We'll blame or defend guns, religion, the quality of schooling in America, Obamacare, whatever. It'll go to as many pages as the mods allow.

In some ways I like it. I like that America is a vibrant place with enthusiastic, loud, penetrating discussion. But it ALWAYS reveals unfriendliness.

Unfriendliness concerns me. Not personally, but as a thinker. When I put on my political philosophy hat, I start to get a wee bit concerned about how unfriendly debate here has become, because I wonder if it reflects an unfriendliness of debate in America. Since I haven't lived there for twenty years, I worry that America has changed, that it has gotten grumpy and hostile and unfriendly toward a diversity of opinion and experience and ideas.

But maybe it's just the Café.

No, it's America, Jeff.
As the inequality grows, the polarization grows.


Historically, I think we've been at least as polarized in the past as we are now.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
0pus
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Oh, re Zuckerberg. If you don't believe in the devil, he is the personification of evil. And if you like guns, he should be shot. If you don't like guns, he should be eliminated in some other, ecologically friendly way. If you are conservative, he has a distasteful social program; if you are liberal, he is an arch-conservative, abusive right-winger. There. I think I have covered enough bases for one post.
NYCTwister
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I think we are most passionate about those subjects because our spirituality defines us.

As the polarization grows those issues become more important to us.

To me there is a certain feeling that we are running out of time to get things right. Some stay silent and some speak out more.

To be fair there have been a lot of good threads dealing with less weighty issues, but since they deal with finite subjects they tend to end more quickly.

The "Answer a question" and the "You're banned" threads are alive and well, showing no signs of dying.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
arthur stead
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A lot of potentially interesting threads often seem to dissolve into a hateful Left vs. Right debate. And I really abhor all this left/right divisiveness.

When you think about it, there's not much difference between Left and Right. For example, both sides want to murder people. The only difference is, the Left wants to do it before you're born (abortion), while the Right wants to do it after you've been alive for a while (capital punishment).
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George Ledo
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One of the things I've bee noticing over the years is an increase in the apparent preference for talking about problems instead of about possible solutions. I've seen it at work, I've seen it here, and I've seen it with friends.

I've sat through any number of production meetings where the tech director or someone else just sits there and talks about every single problem, issue, or challenge he sees: we don't have the budget for this, we don't have the time for that, we can't get the materials, "this" is going to require a lot of engineering, yadda yadda yadda. But not once, in over a dozen meetings, did this individual offer a solution or a suggestion. And then, taaa-daaa, when I jumped in and offered to discuss the issue, it went over like a lead Goodyear blimp.

Needless to say, those meetings would often make some of us want to get up, walk out, and go open a duck farm.

Back when I was in school, in math or science class, we would be assigned so many "problems" a night and expected to come back with the "solutions" the next day. So a problem, by definition, was something that required (or at least had) a solution. We didn't sit there talking about why Farmer Jones had to have apple and pear trees at the same time, or whether all his bushels were the same size, or got into arguments about whether he was a letist, rightist, or robber baron, what he used for fertilizer, what his daughter did with the traveling salesman, or how much he charged for the kumquats. Some kids probably did, just to avoid solving the "problem," but most of us just added up the apple and pear trees and came back with "fourteen."

IMHO, the majority of the issues that turn into personal attacks here become so because the opposing parties don't want to address the issue. It's easier (and requires less thinking) to say "You're full of it" than to say "Here's my idea."
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Salguod Nairb
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balducci
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:

Unfriendliness concerns me. Not personally, but as a thinker. When I put on my political philosophy hat, I start to get a wee bit concerned about how unfriendly debate here has become, because I wonder if it reflects an unfriendliness of debate in America. Since I haven't lived there for twenty years, I worry that America has changed, that it has gotten grumpy and hostile and unfriendly toward a diversity of opinion and experience and ideas.

Reminds me of something John Irving said in the article at a link below. It is an old article, but I just came across it this week (when I was trying to figure out whether the John Irving writing in some Canadian newspaper last week was the same as the American author John Irving. He was / is.)

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/boo......ion.html

"Self-criticism is something Americans have never been good at. If you want to smear somebody in the United States, one of the most successful ways to do it is to declare that they are not patriotic enough."

Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:

But maybe it's just the Café.

I don't know about that. Have you never heard this:

"In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake. That is why academic politics are so bitter."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayre%27s_law
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
Salguod Nairb
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We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
tommy
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The secret of peace and tranquility is to agree with everything. Maybe you should go and sit up in the mountain and do so with anyone that comes by and you will be happy.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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Let's talk about bottoms.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, balducci wrote:

"In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake. That is why academic politics are so bitter."


That's a difficult claim to evaluate, since in many cases the parties differ widely in their perceptions of the value of the issues at stake.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
arthur stead
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What's really tragic is how important we feel our opinions are, when all we're really doing is declaring and arguing our convictions with a handful of other anonymous individuals. LOL.
Arthur Stead
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Dougini
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Let's talk about bottoms.


(Homer Simpson Voice):"MMMMM! Bottoms!

https://bossip.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/vb4.jpg?w=700

Doug
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Historically, I think we've been at least as polarized in the past as we are now.


Indeed we have been. More so.

There was this, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caning_of_Charles_Sumner

Oh...and some of the 18th century political commentary was truly brutal, ruthless, and mean.

But maybe the idea of a "kinder, gentler" America wasn't such a bad one.

On the other hand, if we were nicer, we'd be like Canada.
imgic
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When I was a kids...we had dial up modems. We had to wait for squeaky tones so we could get onto the World Wide Internet Web. Then all we had was UserNet forums...none of this fancy Youbook and Facetube that you youngsters have today. And we were civil to one another...we were polite. We spoke of only things that had socially redeeming values. We didn't waste time posting pictures of our last bowl of cereal...

Those were the days...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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