Sometimes everybody is wrong

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CaliforniaDreamin
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Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby CaliforniaDreamin » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:11 am UTC

Sometimes everybody is wrong. Well, if not literally everybody, at least the overwhelming majority.

I have absolutely no definitive answer in mind because there must be countless answers to what I am about to ask you.

What do you believe to be true that everybody (+ or -) does not know or do properly?

I'll start the ball rolling, as it were, is, and ever will be... rolling, that is.

I have studied and worked in finance for several decades. What amazes me is that no money magazine, or newspaper that I have ever seen reports price to earnings ratios when they are negative. None. They are all wrong to do so. Every one of them. It's a terrible practice.

The P/E ratio is THE most fundamental and important yardstick of investing. It is how Wall Street talks not only about companies, and stocks, but entire MARKETS, from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to the Nasdaq, to the S&P 500. Historical norms of P/E are cited all the time, with 15 being roughly average over a long term.

But when companies are losing money, either the P/E is shown as a blank space or else "N.M" for "not meaningful."
Sorry, but a P/E of -90 is not nearly as bad as a P/E of -5. If you are going to lose $1.00 annually per share in two different companies, it is far better to lose only 1.1% of the company's total market valuation (-90) than 20% of it (-5). Numerical values give you much, much more than the lazy standard of " - ".

And now please offer your solution to a subject that everyone else has all wrong, preferably something of general knowledge and interest. I'd love to learn from you. There must be lots of these. Or not.

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Postby Felstaff » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:56 am UTC

I'm not sure there's too much, in the way of documented evidence, where everybody/overwhelming majority is wrong. I guess p'r'aps it's because many things are based on opinion, and where there's opinion there's all-out goddamned warring factions. (Look at a forum discussing "which is the best pokemon?" for instance) Oh, the dichotomy.

We were wrong about Pluto. It's not a planet. Thanks, scienticians, now we've got to change the damn mnemonic.
It's been five years, and nary a weapon of mass disruption has been located
But... Winnie Mandela must be a good person, shirley! Look who she married!
A watched pot does boil, mother.
I guess arming the Taliban in the 80s to covertly fight the Ruskies was, in retrospect, not a good thing.
I guess arming the [now dangerous faction] in the [C.20th decade] was, in retrospect, not a good thing.
I guess fighting the Crusades, to rid the world of Islam and liberate Jerusalem was, in retrospect, not a good thing.
I guess blindly sending 50,000 men to die a week in muddy trenches in France was, in retrospect, not a good thing.

My goodness, there must be a * around here somewhere. A disclaimer! Anything! In re of the last 4, three of them were caused by democratically elected governments. You voted for 'em, you share in their inglorious wrongness. (Also, I call those three points pawnage, not to be confused with pwnage.)

As far as your comment on financial shenaniganery and chicanery is concerned, my well-paid opinion (as a highly financial guy with lots of fidouchery know-how) is that, there's a reason banks and financial institutions don't give out negative financial information.

Because it, like, hurts them? and shtuff.

It's bad practice, yes, but also human nature. No-one's going to come into my fine toyshop if I advertise that we have an unfortunate infestation of roaches and I'm banging the cashieress in the ball-pit on a nightly basis instead of saying how wonderful my toys are.
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Re: SOMETIMES EVERYBODY* IS WRONG

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:34 am UTC

Keeping something at a particular temperature, like a geyser or underfloor heater,

So many people that I talk to seem to think that it uses less energy to keep a geyser at 80degrees over a time period because it constantly uses little bits of energy as oppposed to turning it on at the end of the time period, because it uses on big bit of energy which is obviously bigger than all the little bits. (note sarcasm)

This kind of thinking is so pervasive, everywhere.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby LikwidCirkel » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:09 pm UTC

That America is a democracy....


In real democracies, the government fears the people, but in the USA, it's the other way around! The government controls the people because they (and their corporate supporters) have the money and control of the media. Too many people think their vote will actually make a difference, but it's the same damn organization of dictators who will still be in power in the end, so it makes very little difference.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby MoonBuggy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:34 pm UTC

I wish people could find a better way of saying things like that (Likwid, this is by no means aimed at you personally, it's the general 'you'). I understand your passion, and that you believe in what you're saying. I often share a similar sentiment, to an extent at least. I've even probably said similar things in a similar way. Unfortunately, the fact is, you, I, we all, sound no different to any other person ranting on a street corner about how the communists are coming, or we're all going to hell, or the fascist government is controlling the media, or whatever. Nobody seems capable of getting a point that they're passionate about across to the world without overdoing it to the extent that they're lost in the noise of all the other rants.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby LikwidCirkel » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

I know that it's more or less an opinionated rant, but I strongly believe that it has more justification than ranting about religion or the greatness of communism. I'm hardly a fanatical protester type... in fact, I mostly support capitalism, although I admit that every system has its flaws.

My other favourite is the idea that humans cannot live without eating meat. I don't think that the majority of people believe that anymore, but there's certainly still a good portion... even though evidence to the contrary is right in front of them.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

I have never, in my life, heard people consistently properly use figures of speech like, "I'd just as soon ___" or "spit and image" or "I couldn't care less."
People hear others saying things, and it sounds like 'I'd just assume' and they repeat it, without realizing that that doesn't make any goddamn sense.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:15 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:I have never, in my life, heard people consistently properly use figures of speech like, "I'd just as soon ___" or "spit and image" or "I couldn't care less."
People hear others saying things, and it sounds like 'I'd just assume' and they repeat it, without realizing that that doesn't make any goddamn sense.
GUH!
Drives me up a wall, I tell you.

For all intensive purposes, I think you're right.

(I was on the "wrong" side on that one until last year... I was 18.)
(If you're still in the dark: "for all intents and purposes")
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:45 am UTC

GRUHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I was trying to think of that one the whole time I was typing that post, too! That one is the worst!
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby ++$_ » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:34 am UTC

Everyone is wrong about Machiavelli, in that Machiavelli was not a Machiavellian.

Everyone is wrong about Nietzsche. Most people say he was a great philosopher. I say he was an idiot. Leo Tolstoy agrees with me ("Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal").

Everyone is wrong about how political campaigns should be covered in the media. At least, everyone in journalism is wrong about this.

Everyone is wrong about Jackson Pollock. He was not a great artist in any way.

Meaux_Pas wrote:I have never, in my life, heard people consistently properly use figures of speech like, "I'd just as soon ___" or "spit and image" or "I couldn't care less."
People hear others saying things, and it sounds like 'I'd just assume' and they repeat it, without realizing that that doesn't make any goddamn sense.
GUH!
Drives me up a wall, I tell you.
Meh, I could care less.

Actually, I could care less. This annoys me a good deal.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby btilly » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:10 am UTC

There are so many.

When your company goes public, you do not want a big "pop" in the stock price. The size of the pop is the amount of money that could have gone to the previous owners but didn't. Most of it went to people connected to the investment bankers who took it public.

Open source software licenses mean something. Read them. Make sure the one you're using means what you think it does. And don't bitch because someone else wants to use a license that is inconvenient for you.

Just because a kid can surf the web and install a driver doesn't make them a computer expert. Don't let the boss make his 14 year old into a sysadmin. Just don't.

The cool new programming technology isn't cool, and it isn't new. It resembles things that have already been done, and someone figured out how to do it right 20 years ago.

Working more hours doesn't mean that more gets done. For mentally intense work like programming, the maximum sustained productivity is somewhere between 35 and 45 hours a week. More than that and people will burn out and produce less.

Taking notes is counterproductive during math class. Study the material the night before. Show up and pay attention. Ask questions if you didn't figure it out the previous night and didn't figure it out when the professor tried to explain it. You'll learn a lot more.

Research into memory has found the following study pattern to be extremely effective for long-term recall. Study in half-hour periods. The first 20 minutes is spent studying. Take a 5 minute break. Review the first 20 minutes for 5 minutes. Move on to a different subject. Schedule subsequent reviews of that material the following day, week, and month. (If you really want it long term, your next two reviews can be in 6 months and 2 years.) Those times are chosen so that you're reviewing material right when you're on the forgetting part of the learning curve, which drives it into longer-term memory.

When you're impaired one of the first things to go is your ability to judge your level of impairment. This is true whether said impairment is due to alcohol, stroke, or chronic sleep deprivation.

Most people can convince themselves that they are OK on 6 hours of sleep a night. As judged by performance on ability tests, the vast majority are wrong.

That's enough for now.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:58 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:I have never, in my life, heard people consistently properly use figures of speech like, "I'd just as soon ___" or "spit and image" or "I couldn't care less."
People hear others saying things, and it sounds like 'I'd just assume' and they repeat it, without realizing that that doesn't make any goddamn sense.
GUH!
Drives me up a wall, I tell you.
Ah, I didn't understand what you were saying at first. "Spit and image" is actually "Spittin' image." It's still certainly not proper English, but it doesn't bother me much. I always catch people saying "I could care less" with "well, I'm glad you care some at least." I've never heard it said "intensive purposes."

@ btilly
Your last five things are actually incredibly useful knowledge. I'm very surprised it's not common knowledge. Even if the numbers were off (I'm not saying they are at all) they should have been figured out and spread around a long time ago. I already knew the sustained productivity one, but most people I know have never heard of it. I also know the taking notes in math one, but I thought that that was perhaps just me. And the sleep one is one of my most annoying misconceptions ever. Maybe I should take it to that thread, too. A few people can actually do with as little as 4 hours. 6 is considered average (apparently incorrectly). Many (most?) people need 8-9 hours. And that's just adults (20+ I think). Teenagers still need more sleep I believe.

To add my own from recent discussions, science can make no comment on the supernatural. Further, it makes no sense to use supernatural beliefs as answers to science. I just don't get why so many otherwise intelligent people try to use one to argue the other.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:20 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:GRUHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I was trying to think of that one the whole time I was typing that post, too! That one is the worst!


The worst? Well, I got a whole nother story for you...
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:35 pm UTC

theonlyjett wrote:To add my own from recent discussions, science can make no comment on the supernatural.


Well, only in some cases. If you claim that ghosts have given you magic powers that make your cells immune to radiation, we can certainly test that belief. Perhaps we ought to rephrase that as "science can only comment on physical phenomena". If you claim that physical phenomena emerge from supernatural entities, we can comment on the physical phenomena. On the other hand, many supernatural beliefs do not make such claims, and those cannot tested scientifically.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Mr. Beck » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

George Orwell wrote:Perhaps a lunatic is simply a minority of one.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:55 pm UTC

One word: smoking. "x million people can't be wrong"?
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Re: SOMETIMES EVERYBODY* IS WRONG

Postby CaliforniaDreamin » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Keeping something at a particular temperature, like a geyser or underfloor heater,

So many people that I talk to seem to think that it uses less energy to keep a geyser at 80degrees over a time period because it constantly uses little bits of energy as oppposed to turning it on at the end of the time period, because it uses on big bit of energy which is obviously bigger than all the little bits. (note sarcasm)

This kind of thinking is so pervasive, everywhere.


Then too, so many people think that insuperable statistical events such as original polypeptide synthesis is much, much easier if you break all the steps down into LEETLE BITTY TEENY steps, all ten million gajillion of them.

This kind of inane thinking is so pervasive, everywhere.....

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby CaliforniaDreamin » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

LikwidCirkel wrote:That America is a democracy....


In real democracies, the government fears the people, but in the USA, it's the other way around! The government controls the people because they (and their corporate supporters) have the money and control of the media. Too many people think their vote will actually make a difference, but it's the same damn organization of dictators who will still be in power in the end, so it makes very little difference.



Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean everybody isn't out to get you.....

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby CaliforniaDreamin » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:25 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:"Truth is always singular."


"Always" is like totally plural.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Felstaff » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

Point o' info for California'Dreamin: Double Posting is gen'r'ly frowned upon. I think triple (or 'treble') posting is 50% more frowned upon. Unless it is for a.) comic effect or b.) something terribly, terribly important where one post simply won't suffice.

Jus' fer future jiggles: the 'edit' button is preferred more than the 'post reply'. Here, take this brochure.


For On-Topic goodness: Everyone thought my friend and I building our own hang-glider would end in tears. Well, it didn't. The test pilot did not shed a single one, even as his arm broke in two places.


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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby akashra » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

CaliforniaDreamin wrote:What do you believe to be true that everybody (+ or -) does not know or do properly?

Myth: Communism = bad (Truth: Communism can work).
Myth: Democracy is a good system (Reality: Democracy is a seriously flawed system. Simple fact is, what's popular is NOT always right).

It's like my life mission lately to beat this into people sadly brainwashed by US propoganda to believe 'Communism = bad'. No, it's not bad. PEOPLE are bad, corrupt governments are bad, that doesn't make a system of government bad.

Myth: Atheists can't be moral because they have no god.
Reality: It's the religious ones who are actually less moral because they need to fall back onto the threat of punishment to keep them in line, whereas a nontheist will do so just because it's the right thing to do, with no reward or punishment.

Myth: Mother Teresa was a good person.
Myth: Everything Hitler did was bad.
Myth: Drugs are bad, mmmkay.
Myth: In modern software, we don't need to worry about writing efficient code because processors are so fast (oh, how this one makes me cringe).
Fact: Microsoft aren't nearly as bad as people make them out to be, in many situations (not saying they're always good, of course. But there's some serious FUD out there).
Myth: Linux is suitable to run servers on (oh dear god make it stop already. Unless you can explain to me, without reference, how BSD and Linux handle file descriptors, sockets and pipes differently from oneanother, you are forbidden from expressing an opinion on this topic. That means you, 2nd year CompSci student who can't shut up about how Linux is great and XP is a POS.).

Try convincing 98% of the population on those ones :/
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Verator » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:04 am UTC

Lyke, Columbus discovered America!
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby bbctol » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:17 am UTC

akashra wrote:
CaliforniaDreamin wrote:What do you believe to be true that everybody (+ or -) does not know or do properly?

Myth: Communism = bad (Truth: Communism can work).
Myth: Democracy is a good system (Reality: Democracy is a seriously flawed system. Simple fact is, what's popular is NOT always right).

It's like my life mission lately to beat this into people sadly brainwashed by US propoganda to believe 'Communism = bad'. No, it's not bad. PEOPLE are bad, corrupt governments are bad, that doesn't make a system of government bad.

And a system that allows for corrupt governments is bad. Furthermore, while democracy has serious flaws, it's still an excellent system (obligatory w. churchill quote here).

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Verator » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:29 am UTC

Democracy is the worst form of government ever devised, except for all the ones to come before it? or something of the such.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby akashra » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:38 am UTC

Oh no, because your own US representative democracy isn't corrupt at all :) Nor is that of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Britain, Turkey, Poland, Russia...
hmm.
I'm seeing a pattern here.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby muteKi » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:59 am UTC

akashra wrote:Reality: It's the religious ones who are actually less moral because they need to fall back onto the threat of punishment to keep them in line, whereas a nontheist will do so just because it's the right thing to do, with no reward or punishment.


I don't think most people are religious out of fear -- at least, nobody that I would call "religious".


It's more than just silly arm-waving, you know.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby functionally_stupid » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:10 am UTC

*growls* Communism is a nice idea, but it does not work in the real world on a large scale. Tiny little communes of likeminded people can survive just fine, but if you try to run anything larger than a village using communism, you're fucking out of luck. In reality, people are selfish little shits who fail to see the big picture and consistently do stupid things for stupid reasons. The vast majority of humans are only empathic enough to want to protect and ensure the health of people they love; beyond that emotional/hormonal circle, they simply don't give a shit and will happily exploit/mistreat/abuse strangers. Unless they are being directed and forced into patterns by an alpha personality or extraordinarily charismatic person (and people who are like that are frequently completely insane in at least some way), they fall apart into petty bickering and inanity. Most people are not as nice or as good as they think they are; they answer "yes" if you ask them whether they'd help a starving person, and then they walk right by homeless people. They are shallow, insipid little bottomfeeders with insecurity complexes and a desperate need for positive attention; under their easily-sated base needs for entertainment, food, water, shelter, and sex, and underneath their largely fabricated self-images, they are bestial and violent.

But this doesn't make them bad.

Just human.

Hell, I *like* humans. Charming little creatures, despite their faults. They get so terribly flustered and upset by the silliest of things - it's really rather adorable.

Argh. I'm going to censor myself here, and just say that people who argue about which form of government is best - or even exhibit a preference for one over the other - just annoy me. Because *all forms of government fail eventually*. Government is not a permanent thing; cultures rise and fall. Entropy is an inherent quality of the system. Fortunately, humans are a regenerating sort of creature; when the old government collapses and the old cultures die, we make some new ones. When an old star dies, a new one happens. When this universe dies, hopefully, a new one will happen. Don't get stuck clinging to one set of patterns or another - once they fail, make a new one, and ride it out to the end, and then rebuild again, all the while making things better and better. Learn from the past, damn it. Improve yourselves!
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby bbctol » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:14 am UTC

akashra wrote:Oh no, because your own US representative democracy isn't corrupt at all :) Nor is that of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Britain, Turkey, Poland, Russia...
hmm.
I'm seeing a pattern here.

Give me an example of a country with a different system of government than democracy (any time in history) that was less corrupt and more free than the United States. Again, yes, democracy has major flaws, but every other system devised has even greater ones.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Mr. Beck » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:15 am UTC

CaliforniaDreamin wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:"Truth is always singular."


"Always" is like totally plural.

To be off-topic, I was referring to "always" in the temporal sense, not the subjectoral (?). Look here.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby thisisdavid » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:42 am UTC

http://firedoglake.com/2008/03/23/mccai ... -criminal/

Front page of digg, more misinformed McCain bashing

"According to the latest Federal Election Commission report, John McCain has now spent $58.4 million dollars. McCain applied for public financing, and according to FEC chairman David Mason (in a letter to McCain), he can't withdraw without permission of the FEC. So he is now legally in violation of campaign finance law."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but McCain hasn't taken public financing. Declining public funds is one of his campaign strategies, so why are internet warriors calling for his indictment when he hasn't broken any fund matching limits since he isn't accepting the FEC money?

"has now spent $58.4 million in his primary bid, surpassing the $50 million limit he would have faced if he participated in the public financing system he had been certified to join."

astonishingly enough the above AP quote is more accurate than the blogs that are so self-righteous about MSM bias. Had McCain taken federal funds, he would be in violation of their rules. Good thing he didn't, right?
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Nebulae » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:24 am UTC

functionally_stupid wrote:*growls* Communism is a nice idea, but it does not work in the real world on a large scale. Tiny little communes of likeminded people can survive just fine, but if you try to run anything larger than a village using communism, you're fucking out of luck. In reality, people are selfish little shits who fail to see the big picture and consistently do stupid things for stupid reasons. The vast majority of humans are only empathic enough to want to protect and ensure the health of people they love; beyond that emotional/hormonal circle, they simply don't give a shit and will happily exploit/mistreat/abuse strangers. Unless they are being directed and forced into patterns by an alpha personality or extraordinarily charismatic person (and people who are like that are frequently completely insane in at least some way), they fall apart into petty bickering and inanity. Most people are not as nice or as good as they think they are; they answer "yes" if you ask them whether they'd help a starving person, and then they walk right by homeless people. They are shallow, insipid little bottomfeeders with insecurity complexes and a desperate need for positive attention; under their easily-sated base needs for entertainment, food, water, shelter, and sex, and underneath their largely fabricated self-images, they are bestial and violent.

But this doesn't make them bad.

Just human.

That's an awfully pessimistic view of humanity you've got there. Optimism!

(I know it's very possible to be both optimistic and real, but I think you've gone way past the"real" territory and into the "overly pessimistic," in your perception of humanity)

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby evilbeanfiend » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:00 pm UTC

functionally_stupid wrote:*growls* Communism is a nice idea, but it does not work in the real world on a large scale.


tbh i'm not sure we have enough data to conclude that, it certainly isn't a panacea however.

on the other side, of course all representative democracies have corruption in them, all governments everywhere have had corruption. the idea is to have a system that functions, in the long run, adequately despite corruption.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Ours » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:58 pm UTC

In order to state the quality of a government system one should define its unit of measure.
Imho the amount of corruption is not a good idea. Corruption is certainly not directly linked to the type of government. It is an illegal act in any system. Fighting corruption is rather dependent on investigation, control mechanisms, prosecution and punishment. Although there might be a certain precondition given by the government system, variation by implementation is high. (A democracy chooses to not spend money on law enforcement, a dictator sets up 1984 and uses execution to punish corrupt officials).

To get back to the topic:
I hate it if media makes and hypes topics without even trying to be objective and people fall for that. This leads way to often to people being so wrong.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Rat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:07 pm UTC

edit: this is probably the least thought out post i've ever made so i'm taking it out
long story short: get over yourself F_S



on topic: "mcdonalds makes people fat"
you know what REALLY grinds my gears? i cant fucking SUPER SIZE MY MCDONALDS!
is that guy who made super size me dead yet? because if not he's next on my list...

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby wery67564 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

That america will last forever.
That having a government is always the best option.
That pollution and global warming are completely unrelated but happening events.

My three favorite things to hear people say.

*edited to say: see how easy that was f_s, and I didn't even use this:

Misanthropy!

But i really don't have a problem with people...

postnoted to the person below me, the truth needs not swayage.
Last edited by wery67564 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:04 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Lycur » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

That one line snippets can express one's viewpoint in such a way that someone who doesn't already agree with one's position can be swayed.

That absolutes are ever right.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Dep » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

In response to the US not lasting forever, yeah that's kinda obvious. The common solution for any problem any government faces is to add levels of complexity, i.e., additional laws and regulations, which reduce returns on any type of capital (not necessarily monetary, can include natural resources, workforce, etc). Increasing complexity results in increased fragility, which eventually results in the wholesale destruction of the entire system. There is a lot of theory out there on how to combat such trends, such as adaptive management principles that try to maintain systems in the sweet spot between poverty and rigidity traps, but the chances of them getting implemented in any currently existing government at a level that they can affect its long term survival are low.

Bringing communism into that thought process, communism has the direct result of dropping loads of complexity onto the system. This is the inevitable result of attempting to remove the most effective means of automatically establishing equilibria within the system: trade. Obviously trade still happens within communism, but the idea of communism is to closely manage the distribution of goods and services, so essentially you're replacing a system using individual, self regulating trade based on needs and wants with artificial human-derived complexity. It may work in theory, but it is also primed for extremely quick collapse.

--Dep, armchair analyst of civilization collapse

Edit: just finished reading the post by wery and noticed:
wery67564 wrote:That having a government is always the best option.

*facepalm* Sigh. Are you really serious?

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Lumpy » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

astonishingly enough the above AP quote is more accurate than the blogs that are so self-righteous about MSM bias. Had McCain taken federal funds, he would be in violation of their rules. Good thing he didn't, right?


He hasn't taken federal funds, but another part of public financing law is that you can't withdraw from it if you try to gain an advantage with it by using it as a security or fallback for your private financing method. If the FEC had a quorum, they would have to investigate this before declaring him withdrawn from public financing. Given this, whether he actually accepted the money may not be a factor. He has also used his public financing status as recently as the Ohio contest to automatically get on the ballot instead of rounding up signatures via petition as he normally would.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby Yakk » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

CaliforniaDreamin wrote:The P/E ratio is THE most fundamental and important yardstick of investing. It is how Wall Street talks not only about companies, and stocks, but entire MARKETS, from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to the Nasdaq, to the S&P 500. Historical norms of P/E are cited all the time, with 15 being roughly average over a long term.

But when companies are losing money, either the P/E is shown as a blank space or else "N.M" for "not meaningful."
Sorry, but a P/E of -90 is not nearly as bad as a P/E of -5. If you are going to lose $1.00 annually per share in two different companies, it is far better to lose only 1.1% of the company's total market valuation (-90) than 20% of it (-5). Numerical values give you much, much more than the lazy standard of " - ".


The problem is P/E is upside down in a sense, with a massive break around 0.

1 billion dollar company, making 100 million, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0, -10, -20, -30, -40, -50, -100.

P/E looks like 10, 20, 25, 33, 40, 100, infinity, -100, -40, -33, -25, -20, -10.

See a problem?

E/P meanwhile: 10%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 0%, -1%, -2%, -3%, -4%, -5%, -10%.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Sometimes everybody is wrong

Postby ASmileWithoutACat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

@f_s: Weeeeeeeell... yes. On a large scale, communism sucks.

On the other hand, so does democracy. In fact, as far as I can tell (disclaimer: I am a Comp. Sci. student; these are most definitely dilettantish opinions. Take them for what they are), any system of government fails when expanded beyond small-village (or maybe large-town; I'm thinking Greek polis) size. My personal theory is that this is because our brains only model the needs of so many other animals, and once a person or a group becomes responsible for more others than they can... concretely, for lack of a better word... imagine, there begins to be a bias towards the group they do know... and when the group in power becomes big enough to be its own separate and complete group, it starts to act in its own interest, so that the people a government is supposed to benefit are neglected, if necessary, in order to maintain the government itself. Essentially, the ruling group becomes a high-level social organism concerned with its own survival; this organism does not incorporate the public as more than a distant and fairly expendable part of its being.

I suppose one might get around this with a system in which a small number of people capable of considering the needs of everyone were in charge. Such people are rather rare, though... some people can empathize with a larger group than others, but one the size of an entire country, most of the members of which they've never even heard of, let alone met? You find the saints/demigods, and I'll get the revolution started when you bring them back, k?

Meh. The universe (and by extension, human society) is a closed system that can only keep running for a given length of time. The eventual collapse is inevitable, but why worry? As I was discussing with a friend yesterday- yeah, we're going to hell in a handbasket. It's a hell of an amusing handbasket, though; we might as well enjoy ourselves on the trip...

That was a damnably long post to not have an actual contribution at the end of it, so...

This may not be everybody, but certainly a lot of people where I live:
Everyone goes to church. Or at least they believe in God. Or some gods. Or something. Deeeeeep down, even atheists believe in some higher power.
Effectively, they seem to believe either:
(a) there are no real atheists.
or
(b) atheists are deeply flawed and missing some essential part of human nature.
You know it's all beginning
To feel like pretending...

Happy yesterday to all!


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