2020 Status Check

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JasonL
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Re: 2020 Status Check

Post by JasonL »

Shem wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 18:39
JasonL wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 10:34 - My most optimistic thoughts are around the rate of innovation we saw in response to the pandemic even beyond the vaccine itself. We can still do stuff.
I'm simultaneously hopeful about the success, and concerned about the reaction it has garnered in society. I think it ties into my larger thoughts about how corrosive cynicism of the South Park style "caring about stuff sucks and is deeply suspicious" variety has been over the past few decades. There's a whole crop of people who have internalized the idea that the worst possible thing you can do is unselfconsciously care about changing anything, because caring is uncool at best and a gateway to fascist zealotry at worst.** You wind up with a giant mass of people at the center who are more or less occupied only with their lives, to the detriment of any sort of connection to their community. Meanwhile, increasing factions of people drift off into fringe lunacy like "natural" diet health crazes and 5G conspiracies, because there's just a subset of people who really want something to order their life, and if it's not the larger society, they'll find it where they can. People need meaning, and if the larger society tells them meaning it's for chumps, they'll find it somewhere else, and what they find will probably be varying degrees of hostile to civil society. And when they're the only people who actually care strongly enough to show up, you wind up with a lot of damage done on local levels where a few dozen crazies can really tip the balance towards "broken" before anyone else fully realizes what happened.

**I also think, looking at the past couple years of shows, that Parker and Stone are trying to retreat somewhat from this philosophy. Stuff like the global warming episode is a bit of a climbdown from where they used to be, even if it does often feel like a kid who realized they screwed up and feel bad, but are trying to fix it with as little repentance as possible.
Man do I have a different take on this, as one might expect. Activism sucks and is only tangentially related to caring. "Awareness" sucks and is not the same as caring either. The holding up of activist strategies as emblematic of real concern is a curse on our age, not the cynicism one might have about those actions. The missing ingredient is knowledge. Knowing how things work and angling toward a set of considered outcomes is harder than dank memes and retweets and even making that guy raise his fist.

I do share the view that people are invested in conspiracy to fill a meaning void, but the connection to south park cynicism I don't see. I actually see activists engaged in a very similar activity. Everything has to be about End Times. It's worse than it ever has been to be BIPOC. Sure. "They are hunting us like animals". Sure. I actually share the concern at the root of that sentiment but you went fcking bananas with it so you can embue it with meaning.

Connected to the south park view is the "I learned something today" which very often entails a view of meaning and action in the micro personal sense.
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JasonL
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Maybe catastrophism is the word I was looking for to connect activists and conspiracy types.
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Warren
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Pham Nuwen wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 07:41
Warren wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 00:27
Pham Nuwen wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 23:29 You mean that you are more open about what you already thought.
I'm trying not to think anything till I'm presented with something more than conjecture.
Very scientific of you. You should incorporate that into your daily life.
Too much hassle. If the cookie jar is empty I go straight to "That bitch ate the last cookie", no further evidence required.
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Shem
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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JasonL wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 09:10 I do share the view that people are invested in conspiracy to fill a meaning void, but the connection to south park cynicism I don't see. I actually see activists engaged in a very similar activity. Everything has to be about End Times. It's worse than it ever has been to be BIPOC. Sure. "They are hunting us like animals". Sure. I actually share the concern at the root of that sentiment but you went fcking bananas with it so you can embue it with meaning.
It's connected because the broad mass of people is the only means available to counterbalance the conspiracy mindset we're talking about. If you spend your time encouraging people in the middle to tune out of any kind of collective engagement with society, you wind up unilaterally disarming against the drive to conspiracy that's always going to be present. It's like hunter-gatherers fighting farmers. The gatherers have a healthier lifestyle and their way of life is in many ways better for the people in it, but none of that matters when the gatherers can't match the capacity the farmers can bring to bear as a function of their unity.
Connected to the south park view is the "I learned something today" which very often entails a view of meaning and action in the micro personal sense.
But this is exactly the Woke "everything is personal" mindset you hate when it's put to use by activists. The fundamental ideological basis of South Park is "collective action is for losers and zealots; only individual growth matters." And the people drowning out stuff like the BLM Manifesto (which was, agree or disagree with it, almost entirely concrete policy actions) with chasing down wrongthink are broadly in accord with that. For them, ending Qualified Immunity isn't what's important, what's important is making sure every individual learned something today, and is that much closer to a state of "not raising questions against the dominant narrative."
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JasonL
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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We exist in a common space but I'm less and less convinced we live in the same world.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 14:03 Unless the Dems win both seats in Georgia -- and I'm currently predicting they'll win only one seat, if that -
Out of curiosity, what makes you say that? I figure they'll either win both seats or neither; are you expecting something like, "People will vote for Ossoff but not Warnock because they think the latter is 'too extreme'?"
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Jadagul
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Jennifer wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 16:41
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 14:03 Unless the Dems win both seats in Georgia -- and I'm currently predicting they'll win only one seat, if that -
Out of curiosity, what makes you say that? I figure they'll either win both seats or neither; are you expecting something like, "People will vote for Ossoff but not Warnock because they think the latter is 'too extreme'?"
Nah, Warnock is in a better position than Ossoff; if it splits it's more likely to be Warnock-Perdue than Ossoff-Loeffler.

(Warnock is consistently polling a bit better than Ossoff. Warnock performed better in the first round than Ossoff did under multiple plausible ways of evaluating that. Loeffler is a fake incumbent and doesn't have as much advantage as a real incumbent like Perdue.)
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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2020 has made me incredibly cynical and depressed about a lot of things. How quickly everyone, even most liberals, moved on from any kind of police reform or accountability. Yes, Black Lives Matter got some hop-ons of unrelated and stupid policy demands, but we had people getting thrown into vans, journalists getting shot and losing an eye, video after video of cops maliciously shoving or pepper-spraying helpless people, and ... nothing changes. And even Barack Obama is out there tsk-tsking that "Defund the Police" was a foolish "slogan." Fucking hell. I don't know how this is ever going to get better.

It filled me with even more loathing than I already had for jails and prisons. I don't know that in theory I am an abolitionist but in practice I am at the moment. Maybe there's a way to incarcerate people reasonably but this system is irredeemable. Burn every jail and prison to the fucking ground. Definitely burn ICE to the fucking ground. Send all the guards to live in a colony of exiles, like a bunch of lepers, except that lepers are human beings.

JD said it best about becoming cynical about individualism.

I'm more sympathetic than before, even though I still don't feel it myself very much, to that evolutionary trait where the monkey is happy if he has two bananas but when he sees another monkey with ten bananas he gets mad about only having two. When you have two bananas but baboons are circling threatening to take them, and the ten-banana monkey is high up in the tree unthreatened, the unfairness feels way more pointed. There's very little I can specifically point to in all the news and discourse and politics and policy I've seen, but it's all felt like it's done by upper middle class managers with telecommuting jobs, whose finances haven't been affected very much by the pandemic, not really acknowledging the significant gulf between them and people who ARE affected and are teetering on the edge and are very helpless and scared. I get now, a little bit, why people riot and build guillotines. (I do NOT have any sympathy for well-to-do liberals on Twitter joking about guillotines, though.)
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Jennifer
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Jadagul wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 17:05
Jennifer wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 16:41
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 14:03 Unless the Dems win both seats in Georgia -- and I'm currently predicting they'll win only one seat, if that -
Out of curiosity, what makes you say that? I figure they'll either win both seats or neither; are you expecting something like, "People will vote for Ossoff but not Warnock because they think the latter is 'too extreme'?"
Nah, Warnock is in a better position than Ossoff; if it splits it's more likely to be Warnock-Perdue than Ossoff-Loeffler.

(Warnock is consistently polling a bit better than Ossoff. Warnock performed better in the first round than Ossoff did under multiple plausible ways of evaluating that. Loeffler is a fake incumbent and doesn't have as much advantage as a real incumbent like Perdue.)
Fine, then reverse the question. (FWIW, I only chose Warnock rather than Ossoff for that example based on the thoroughly unscientific "Amount and quality of hilariously bad scare-tactic campaign ads I've seen on TV, here in one of the most populous voting districts in Georgia." Ossoff comes across as "generic booga-booga commiesocialist Democrat," whereas Warnock is made to look barely one step outside of "kill Whitey and all the blue-eyed devils, plus The Troops" territory, via some pretty egregious out-of-context quoting.)

Either way, I'm curious why DAR thinks there is going to be ANY sort of split, let alone a significant number/percentage of Georgia voters who will either divide their votes across party lines, choosing one Dem and one Rep, or cast only one senatorial vote out of the two allowed. I don't know who will win -- I'm hoping it's both Democrats, because the GOP needs a good hard smackdown -- but whichever party wins, I think they'll get both seats: both Reps or both Dems.
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JasonL
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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What will make you feel better about individualism is to contemplate the form of consensus these same people would accept.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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thoreau wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 11:24 I'm kind of where Number 6 is. I still believe in individualism, but American anti-masker individualism is all rights and zero responsibilities.
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Ellie wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 17:17 Burn every jail and prison to the fucking ground.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

Post by Eric the .5b »

Ellie wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 17:17(I do NOT have any sympathy for well-to-do liberals on Twitter joking about guillotines, though.)
I don't have any more sympathy for people joking about guillotines than I do for people joking about helicopter rides. Doubly so when some of those people laugh about one and act like the other is a credible threat.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Jennifer wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 17:39
Jadagul wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 17:05
Jennifer wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 16:41
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 14:03 Unless the Dems win both seats in Georgia -- and I'm currently predicting they'll win only one seat, if that -
Out of curiosity, what makes you say that? I figure they'll either win both seats or neither; are you expecting something like, "People will vote for Ossoff but not Warnock because they think the latter is 'too extreme'?"
Nah, Warnock is in a better position than Ossoff; if it splits it's more likely to be Warnock-Perdue than Ossoff-Loeffler.

(Warnock is consistently polling a bit better than Ossoff. Warnock performed better in the first round than Ossoff did under multiple plausible ways of evaluating that. Loeffler is a fake incumbent and doesn't have as much advantage as a real incumbent like Perdue.)
Fine, then reverse the question. (FWIW, I only chose Warnock rather than Ossoff for that example based on the thoroughly unscientific "Amount and quality of hilariously bad scare-tactic campaign ads I've seen on TV, here in one of the most populous voting districts in Georgia." Ossoff comes across as "generic booga-booga commiesocialist Democrat," whereas Warnock is made to look barely one step outside of "kill Whitey and all the blue-eyed devils, plus The Troops" territory, via some pretty egregious out-of-context quoting.)

Either way, I'm curious why DAR thinks there is going to be ANY sort of split, let alone a significant number/percentage of Georgia voters who will either divide their votes across party lines, choosing one Dem and one Rep, or cast only one senatorial vote out of the two allowed. I don't know who will win -- I'm hoping it's both Democrats, because the GOP needs a good hard smackdown -- but whichever party wins, I think they'll get both seats: both Reps or both Dems.
Honestly, I'd have to come up with an ex post facto explanation for my prediction, which I probably should have called a hunch, instead. Also, I was and still am giving more weight to "if that" than you might have inferred. I wouldn't be at all surprised if both Republicans won; I'd be curious, myself, if they split (who knows? one side played the race card better than the other?); and both surprised and more than a little worried if the Democrats took both seats. But, no, I have no data or complicated reasoning for my earlier remark or, for that matter, for this one.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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If you had told me a year ago that I would now be about a million times more cynical and blackpilled, I would have said that was impossible, yet here we are. The pandemic seems to have been almost a perfect demonstration that ideas like justice and desert were evolved so humans could pointlessly torture themselves when the only things that matter are luck and power.

None of the people in positions of power who made affirmative decisions that resulted in additional suffering and death will face particular consequences for those decisions. None of the doctors who hysterically told the general public that it was too stupid to figure out how to don and doff masks were more likely to get the virus and suffer ARDS than the nonexperts who started sewing masks for themselves and the general public last March. Reporters for the paper of record who spent last February first arguing against staying at home because it hurt the same people whose lives are most subsidized by the state, then getting and spreading COVID themselves, haven't apologized for how many people they harmed, and express no remorse -- instead, they're getting exactly what they always wanted, the destruction of selective public schooling programs in NYC and across the country.

Literally the stupidest thing I've done in the past ten years, possibly ever, was stocking up on enough supplies early last February to be fully locked down ourselves for months. If I hadn't done that, I could have experienced all kinds of collective emotions founded on the year's idiotic media narratives. I could have enjoyed it when my colleagues admired Governor Cuomo and scorned DeSantis, instead of knowing how completely baseless and retarded those sentiments were. I could have thought it was reasonable that people didn't know there was a huge outbreak across the country in February. There was no benefit to being ready when others weren't, because they just dragged the whole country into a months-long outbreak.

Our governments are studiously avoiding doing meaningful contact tracing, because it might reveal that politically favored activities like having large families are dangerous and expensive for others.

Our beaches were closed all summer. More than one quarter of entire park closure. Meanwhile, people going to multi-hundred-person illegal parties get sent home afterward, not jailed, not centrally quarantined, and not even fined. My taxes are going up, and will go up pegged to inflation going forward, even as those people haven't had their assets liquidated to pay the city's bills.

Oh, and now the vaccine rollout is going insanely slow because no one actually cares about anything and absolutely nothing matters.

Literally the dumbest thing you can do as a person is be quote-unquote responsible. My life is an endless succession of paying other people to abuse children I wish they had just aborted. And every piece of this is just continuing to get worse and go in the direction opposite to my values. And that's without even getting into the rampant and insane promotion of racism by the left.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Are you younguns taking notes? THIS is how you rant.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Don't do that to the young uns. They can't dunk like LeBron either.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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nicole wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 08:48 I could have thought it was reasonable that people didn't know there was a huge outbreak across the country in February.
Not sure what country you're reporting from, but here in the United States there were 100 confirmed cases in seven states on March 2nd.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
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Shem
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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JasonL wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 11:42
dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
If it involves shooting foreigners, we're still top of the heap.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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JasonL wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 11:42
dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
Even external threats require internal bargaining.
Even natural disasters are fodder for political football now.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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Shem wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 13:54
JasonL wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 11:42
dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
If it involves shooting foreigners, we're still top of the heap.
This. Because the Reds love it, so do a lot of Blues, and the ancient Blues running the party still think it's 1968 and don't want to be called hippies.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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thoreau wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 14:04
Shem wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 13:54
JasonL wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 11:42
dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
If it involves shooting foreigners, we're still top of the heap.
This. Because the Reds love it, so do a lot of Blues, and the ancient Blues running the party still think it's 1968 and don't want to be called hippies.
Especially non-white foreigners, not that any of them since WWII has actually been a serious threat to the U.S.
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Re: 2020 Status Check

Post by Warren »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 14:55
thoreau wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 14:04
Shem wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 13:54
JasonL wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 11:42
dead_elvis wrote: 30 Dec 2020, 10:23 2020 killed any hope I had that the country could come together in a crisis. That patriotism here could ever be redirected in a positive direction.
I expect we still can for well defined and visible external threats. If it takes any amount of internal bargaining we are screwed.
If it involves shooting foreigners, we're still top of the heap.
This. Because the Reds love it, so do a lot of Blues, and the ancient Blues running the party still think it's 1968 and don't want to be called hippies.
Especially non-white foreigners, not that any of them since WWII has actually been a serious threat to the U.S.
You don't think the Chi-Coms or North Korea poses a serious threat?
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Re: 2020 Status Check

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If Jack Nicholson weren't guarding that fence line in Cuba who knows how many North Koreans might be roaming our streets and raping our daughters!
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