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paulkienitz

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,078

About Me

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

Journal Archives

yep... freedom and rights are for them, but not for you

A lot of people have been puzzled by the paradox of American conservatism, which is where the rhetoric of liberty is loudest but where moves to savagely curtail people's freedoms meet little resistance, as we are seeing right now in Texas. The solution of the paradox comes when you understand that it's not about which principles they want to support, but which people they want to support. Liberty and rights are sacred for Real Americans, but don't apply to minorities, foreigners, gays, feminists, atheists or others not qualified to count as Real Americans. And this constitutes fascism, which is rooted in the desire that one culture should be privileged above other cultures by the power of the state, so that members of the chosen culture have rights which other people do not have.

and "libertarianism" has largely been an intellectual smokescreen to disguise fascism

The core of conservatism in America -- the ethos that keeps the right wing unified across hundreds of issues -- is that "real Americans" are deserving of prosperity and social rewards, whereas all others unlike them should be excluded or punished or repressed. And a lot of self-described libertarians are lying when they claim otherwise about their own agendas.

self-defense against anti-maskers

People who don't like masks or vaccines are also often people who defend such practices as armed self-defense and standing your ground. Maybe they'd get the message if we treated maskless assholes as the dangerous threats they are, and used weapons to make them keep their distance. I suggest a seven foot spear, or at least a pointy stick.

I would say that ideological fanaticism can function as an equivalent of mental illness

even when no medical dysfunction is present.

The right in general and Trump in particular have been demanding of their followers for a long time that they be willing to put dogma above data, to believe their ears rather than their eyes. After decades of inculcation into this mindset, in parallel with similar efforts by evangelical preachers to breed their own kind of purblind fanaticism, we have a large population of people who are willing to act entirely as if they are mentally ill, when they aren't.

Trump transformed the GOP... but not by very much

Before Trump, the Republican party was defined by a philosophy of small government, low taxes, free enterprise, and individual responsibility. After Trump, everyone not willing to accept being blatantly lied to, or to accept overt bigotry, has been driven out. The GOP is now defined by cruelty, graft, corruption, violence, insurgency, white supremacy, rejection of basic public health policy, and gargantuan amounts of gaslighting bullshit in place of any discussion of facts.

Though a rather extreme transformation on paper, it has made astonishingly little difference in practice to who is and is not a member of the Republican party.

Trump went digging beneath the surface of the small-government individual-liberty party to find the subterranean layers of racism, corruption, and fascism. He sure didn't have to dig very far.

Just 'cause the likes of Sachs are the bad guys doesn't make these redditors good guys.

Fuck all market manipulators, and the whole practice of speculative betting in general. Tax every trade, bring stability, and use stocks for investing in actual long term revenue and growth. We need to turn off the bubble machine.

the GOP wants insanity to be the ultimate white privilege

The GOP stands for nothing but privilege anymore. They defend rich people who want to be privileged above working people, white people who want to be privileged above minorities, and kooks who want their chosen belief systems to be privileged above reality itself.

We could go on at length about other privileges they support men over women, Christian over nonchristian, native born over foreign, straight over LGBT+, rural over urban... but the one that has now come to truly define conservative America is the attitude that once one of them chooses loyalty to a religious or ideological belief system, they should then somehow be granted exemption from reality checks.

"collective faith" is what gave value to every past bubble.

Bitcoin could not have been more perfectly designed to produce worthless bubbles if it had been overtly created for that explicit purpose, and that is indeed what it does. It inflicts numerous costs on society and has yet to provide a benefit except to crooks and gamblers. And it will eventually go the way of all bubbles, especially since quantum decryption is not far off. There are cryptocurrencies which have some level of security against quantum algorithms, but bitcoin is not one of them.

Like I said, the redditors are no less parasitic than the wall streeters

Sure, we cheer when some shitposters manage to screw privileged bankers, but look at the broader picture. They created a stock bubble that blew up, and then popped, and the results are exactly the same as when anyone else creates a bubble: the canny ones get out early and make a fat parasitic profit without having contributed a damn thing to society, while all the enthusiasts who see the bubble in the news get converted from stakeholders to bagholders.

We need to treat the entire practice of stock speculation and daytrading as an evil to be stopped. Short or long doesn't matter, banker or citizen doesn't matter, NOBODY should be making their money this way. Tax every trade.

YES. I am so tired of all the poor-mouthing when it comes to public investment.

We are the wealthiest society that has ever existed and ought to act like it.
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