Swords into Plowshares

Read any good books lately?
Tom Palven
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Swords into Plowshares

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:09 am

If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:18 am

Off Topic

I'm reading the new biography of Joseph Goebbels, for the anti holocaust sub forum's reading list. Just before the war started, Goebbels promoted the slogan
"Butter makes people fat. Metal makes people strong"

The communists, in retaliation put out a hilarious series of posters of German families eating scrap iron. (The only image I could find of this poster was on a single from the punk rock group Siouxie and the Banshees.)
Siouxsie_Mittagessen.jpg
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Tom Palven » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:30 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Off Topic

I'm reading the new biography of Joseph Goebbels, for the anti holocaust sub forum's reading list. Just before the war started, Goebbels promoted the slogan
"Butter makes people fat. Metal makes people strong"

The communists, in retaliation put out a hilarious series of posters of German families eating scrap iron. (The only image I could find of this poster was on a single from the punk rock group Siouxie and the Banshees.)
Siouxsie_Mittagessen.jpg


:D

I wonder if that's where Lyndon Johnson got his "We can have guns and butter"?
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:32 am

Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Monster » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:35 am

When I was a child, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Those who turn their swords into plowshares will become the slaves of those who don't." That's an incredibly large amount of text for a bumper sticker, but yep, it was on a single bumper sticker. I tend to agree with the bumper sticker.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:41 am

Monster wrote:When I was a child, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Those who turn their swords into plowshares will become the slaves of those who don't." That's an incredibly large amount of text for a bumper sticker, but yep, it was on a single bumper sticker. I tend to agree with the bumper sticker.

My bumpersticker says "DANGER! I DRIVE LIKE YOU."
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Lausten » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:44 pm

Monster wrote:When I was a child, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Those who turn their swords into plowshares will become the slaves of those who don't." That's an incredibly large amount of text for a bumper sticker, but yep, it was on a single bumper sticker. I tend to agree with the bumper sticker.

Coulda just said, "might makes right".
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:57 am

Lausten wrote:
Monster wrote:When I was a child, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Those who turn their swords into plowshares will become the slaves of those who don't." That's an incredibly large amount of text for a bumper sticker, but yep, it was on a single bumper sticker. I tend to agree with the bumper sticker.

Coulda just said, "might makes right".

Nope, it could have just said "being defenseless makes you a victim."
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Lausten » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:29 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Lausten wrote:
Monster wrote:When I was a child, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Those who turn their swords into plowshares will become the slaves of those who don't." That's an incredibly large amount of text for a bumper sticker, but yep, it was on a single bumper sticker. I tend to agree with the bumper sticker.

Coulda just said, "might makes right".

Nope, it could have just said "being defenseless makes you a victim."

How about "nana nana boo boo you big wussy"
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:46 am

Countries that can't defend themselves often go under quickly in time of war. Denmark got rolled over in 1940, for example.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:12 pm

What does the Bible say?

The famous quote:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=KJV
Isaiah 2:4 wrote:... And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. ...


The other quote:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... rsion=AKJV
Joel 3:10 wrote:... beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruninghooks into spears:
let the weak say, I am strong. ...


Not really a contradiction.

The famous one is a prediction of what will happen when the Messiah comes, the other is what you should do right now. ;)
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Lausten » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:55 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Countries that can't defend themselves often go under quickly in time of war. Denmark got rolled over in 1940, for example.

Yeah, good idea, let's worry about somebody in wooden shoes 75 years ago and keep making more guns because we still don't quite have 1 gun for every man woman and child yet. Meanwhile a mother goes hungry so her child can eat. I can cite ridiculously meaningless data with the best of them.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Scott Mayers » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:11 pm

Where a crowd accepts any convention of compassion for acting 'good', all it takes is one person who disagrees and acts 'bad' to entice the fear to which will often favor the precipitation of more people to reset the balance between them. It sometimes acts in kind in reverse too. But I believe that unless we have a community that serves to prevent the degree of suffering that even some rouge minority may experience, the balance between some ideal 'good' and 'bad' will keep reconfirming its state.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:32 pm

Lausten wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Countries that can't defend themselves often go under quickly in time of war. Denmark got rolled over in 1940, for example.

Yeah, good idea, let's worry about somebody in wooden shoes 75 years ago and keep making more guns because we still don't quite have 1 gun for every man woman and child yet. Meanwhile a mother goes hungry so her child can eat. I can cite ridiculously meaningless data with the best of them.

History, it's a mother.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Lausten » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:35 am

There was an experiment done using game theory. A simple game was devised where you choose to cooperate or not. There was a short term gain for not cooperating but in the long run, if you stuck with that strategy, everyone ended up with less. The best strategy was to cooperate despite what your opponent and they would eventually start to trust you and see the mutual benefit.

A young Richard Dawkins explains using this new thing called a computer
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:02 am

Lausten wrote:There was an experiment done using game theory. A simple game was devised where you choose to cooperate or not. There was a short term gain for not cooperating but in the long run, if you stuck with that strategy, everyone ended up with less. The best strategy was to cooperate despite what your opponent and they would eventually start to trust you and see the mutual benefit.


We are taught this at law school under the title "Principled negotiations". If you place yourself in the other person's shoes and negotiate with an understanding of that person's goals and benefits , then everyone wins and principles are established to allow ongoing repeat business.

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:27 am

I don't have complete faith in the game theory model there. The WWI soldiers were as much preferring the peace to the suffering of the acts most out of fear and discomfort. But the very act of the generals to demand the unpredictable charges actually suggest that the way some events unfold unpredictably in reality foster a stronger backlash. This explains why a simple act of 'terrorism' is simple enough to generate more distrust than a kinder act which tends to get overlooked since we internalize what we favor as to be expected normally. Don't forget too, WWI began with a single assassination in circumstances that I'm still confused as to why it should trigger such a degree of anguish.

In the computer experiments, I question how the particular games were decided? How did they predetermine the distinct personality types AND how do they determine the distribution of these types across the population?

Matthew Ellard wrote:We are taught this at law school under the title "Principled negotiations". If you place yourself in the other person's shoes and negotiate with an understanding of that person's goals and benefits , then everyone wins and principles are established to allow ongoing repeat business.

This is a good rationale but is something that has to be agreed to in sincerity between parties. Also, I've found that from my experience, what I interpret as 'placing oneself in another's shoes' often gets interpreted differently. I presume this is to actually interpret another's actions based on their [the other person's] precise interpretation such that if you were to actually BE in someone else's shoes, you would identically do the same without question from that perspective. I've found some who argue that 'placing themselves in another person's shoes' means to play out their own interpreted act but merely be in the identical situation of the other. I am not quite sure how this last view is strongly taken by some of those I've discussed this with, yet they've been steadfast to that opinion!?

EDIT: That is, two parties may agree to the act of sympathy to or for another but disagree by definition of what being 'sympathetic' means.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:01 am

I'm presently viewing a doc by Jim AlKhalili, "Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity", where he discusses how Ben Franklin perceived how the Leydan jar seemed to allow great charges to be built up when grounded by the human hand as opposed to being insulated. He reasoned that, like accounting with its debits-and-credit balancing, the electricity would normally simply balance out within the water in the jar when insulated whereas, when it is grounded, the current allows excess build up on both the inside of the jar and the outside as the glass won't completely allow the full current to run through.

It reminds me of the problems that exist between people in a similar way. The differences in people's actual position of power, like wealth, act to create a 'voltage difference' where when the extremes are present, if they cannot balance out due to a barrier of resistance based on the current the difference prefers without resistance, the 'charges' build up, like a capacitor such that it takes only a minor incident from one end to create a strong spark. This is my analogy of the situation here. In electronics, they call the medium between the two charges, "dialectric" because it acts to allow some electric flow but is limited to the nature of its natural resistance. When the charge creates a current that is higher than this limit, it builds up that charge. The 'spark' gets created if one allows a non-resistant connection to ground. This suggests that while some may believe things like a mutual 'kindness' to exist, even where this may be slightly greater than the flow towards others being 'less kind', (or vice verse), this gets disproportionately built up on one end due to the natural environment resisting change (the 'dialectric') and so can easily get violently discharged when the side supplying the charge gets relieved too quickly.

So I believe that whether we discuss moral virtues between people or economics, the tendency is to have a balance of both 'good' and 'bad' factors. Perhaps it might be better to define these extremes as X and not-X to avoid implying whether X is 'good' or 'bad'. What do you think of my analogy? Doesn't this make better sense?
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:25 am

Need an example?

Given a population of people with originally 'equal' power, imagine the application of Adam Smith's proposed 'invisible hand' that he presumed was sufficient to create or assure fair value. Now, this acts as a 'current' of thought that gets applied in practice. Nature, however, acts like the jar's dialectric such that it resists change yet allows a current through it as long as the source of applied pressure is the same as its natural allowances. But human desires always step up a demand to be or have more than their present circumstances. This is because when things are too consistent for too long, we get bored of our present reality and so attempt to reach a better 'high' in life. Thus, when everyone is doing this, AND are capable (unlike the original conditions of nature prior to our civilization allows us to evolve biologically to), our demands always cause an acceleration in one direction, usually for our personal ideals that favor us. So the current continues to increase while nature remains constant.

This causes an increase favorable to the 'wealthier' side as such an ideal is shared by everyone similarly. The charge keeps building up until either the nature of the 'dialectric' breaks OR it is relieved upon a quick relatively non-resistant discharge to the ground. This can be represented by say one lone individual who takes a large 'dive' from their present wealth to poverty for some chance experience that was unnoticed and thus highly unresisted, like a missing loophole or lack of oversight. The shock created presents a noticeable effect on everyone as the wealthier become less trusted and lose to this effect while those on the bottom (the more impoverished) gain by the same amount until they balance each other out to what nature allows.

Our cultural or intellectual aptitudes exceed our biological adaptation to them and is why emotions still take a greater precedence. So things that emotionally favor us are not checked easily by our intellectual capacity because our biology prevents such quick evolutionary change. Thus, while this is still 'natural' overall, our pursuit of the technological advantages with such rapid growth also acts as a natural factor causing the imbalance between what we can achieve over what we are prepared to handle yet.
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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:32 am

Matthew Ellard wrote: We are taught this at law school under the title "Principled negotiations". If you place yourself in the other person's shoes and negotiate with an understanding of that person's goals and benefits , then everyone wins and principles are established to allow ongoing repeat business.

Scott Mayers wrote: This is a good rationale but is something that has to be agreed to in sincerity between parties.
You are 100% correct. It is rare to see "principled negotiations" in reality.

In reality there are older style business people who bully, threaten and use every trick in the book, when negotiating. In those scenarios, you simply convert to business letter exchanges, with no emotional content and "cut off" their opportunity to bully. If they keep bullying, well.....you probably don't want to get into business with them anyway. "Walking away" is also a rational business decision.

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:07 am

If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: Swords into Plowshares

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:43 am

Another review:
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015 ... -ron-paul/

I agree. Swords into Plowshares is a really solid little book that kick's ass and takes names.
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire


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