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26  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Income tax just too damn high at 30 percent on: July 02, 2014, 07:31:35 PM
Perhaps he is including all taxes, including state, sales, property and various VATs? "The State" isn't just federal income tax.

He has explicitly labeled the tax an 'income tax' in both the title of the thread and the OP. But we can use the principle of charity to reformulate his statement into something sensible, as you have done.

If we add in North Carolina income tax, he'd still have to make ~$250K to have an effective income tax rate of 30%. I'm too dumb to calculate an effective rate with any more types of tax added, so will leave it at that.
27  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Income tax just too damn high at 30 percent on: July 02, 2014, 03:18:54 PM
Falcon would have to make ~$494K in regular income to have an effective income tax rate of 30%, assuming he took the standard deduction/exemption.

I'll let others decide whether he is really making this much, or if his absolutely addled brain is causing him to spout nigh incoherent twaddle yet again.  Roll Eyes
28  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: July 02, 2014, 11:19:11 AM
So I took "contribute" in the more substantive sense. If all you mean is that the philosophy of language is of interest to linguistics, which regularly cites it and its practitioners in advancing linguistic theory, then I would have to grant you that.

Perhaps ironically, all we're doing is engaging in semantics regarding the word 'contribute.' We can both agree on the above, though.

You miss his point. That Russell's treatment of proper names is only true some of the time is the problem with it, and Kripke's possible worlds semantics for modal logic ("semantics" in the philosophical sense) shows this to be the case.  Lewis provided an alternative semantics with his counterpart theory.  

Are you referring to Kripke's argument that proper names are rigid designators and that as such, descriptions cannot function as names because they refer contingently? If so, I certainly grasp that -- it is surely Kripke's fundamental point. Nonetheless, Kripke himself asserts that his analysis pertains to "many or most" (N&N, p. 80) uses of names, not all of them: stipulative definitions like 'Jack the Ripper' do use their descriptive content to fix reference. That's the sole point I was making: Kripke's argument, if successful, relegates Russell's theory to a smaller set of successful instances of reference than was commonly supposed, rather than obviating it entirely.

And I still think that it's possible to amend Russell's Theory in light of Kripke's criticisms: utilizing rigidified descriptions, or developing a 'metadescriptivist' view where there is a 'called gonuclear' or 'referred to as gonuclear' predicate in the description associated with the name. This doesn't explain how said referring occurs, but I think that that should be an issue for pragmatics anyway, not semantics. But that is a different discussion.

That said,
The problem with Fodor is his non-physicalism, as stated.  Scientists these days are materialists, at least with respect to their specific fields, whatever their beliefs generally.  

Didn't Fodor famously argue for 'token physicalism'? That position, when applied to our current understanding of mind, entails that all mental states are brain states, just that they have some non-physical properties. What's wrong with that? Don't many cognitive scientists affirm the possibility of artificial or alien intelligence? If so, they seemingly implicitly agree with Fodor since whatever property makes a given mental state the same type of mental state between such entities, it won't be physical: after all, such entities have divergent physical properties (and thus wouldn't share any mental states if mental states' properties were all physical). At least according to one popular construal of the issue.

However, I'm with Wittgenstein, Hawking, and Weinberg in their view that philosophers generally play language games and have abdicated their historical role in understanding reality to science, to which they now make no material contributions of any kind.  

I certainly agree that philosophers tend to vastly overrate their importance in determining the nature of reality, especially those who I described as autists obsessively debating retrerche thought experiments -- as if one can discover any fundamental properties of reality by sitting in one's office and contemplating whether Jones with the coins in his pocket really knew whether he got the job or not.

Still, I think that there is some value in such activity: it is explicating the nature of our folk concepts, which is what we use to understand the world outside of science. I use the term 'ethnoscience' to refer to the study of the way we understand the world (different from the study of the way the world actually is) after Chomsky did as such, and I think that the aforementioned philosophical analysis of folk concepts falls under this heading.

And, as we agreed upon above, at least in one field scientists regularly consider philosophical input when it comes to theory advancement. But there is a lot of merit in the Wittgensteinian view you espouse, yeah.
29  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: July 01, 2014, 07:06:46 PM
The book you cite references Russell's work in the philosophy of language and it is as a contribution to that field that Russell's theory is characterized.

All theories of the "semantics of descriptions" are the work of philosophers, because the named topic is one in the philosophy of language, not in linguistics itself.  It is also false that the only viable alternative to Russell is Frege; there are competing theories by Saul Kripke, Ruth Barcan Marcus, and David Lewis.  The conventional wisdom is in fact that Kripke's new theory of reference, presented in his 1980 "Naming and Necessity", refutes Russell's theory, first published in "On Denoting" in 1905.  Russell's work was published in "Mind", a philosophical journal.  Further, because a linguistics text references it, does not make it a work in linguistics.  Similarly, because Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science, references the contributions to physics of Einstein and Newton in his "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (a work in the philosophy of science), that obviously does not mean that either Newtonian mechanics or Relativity are contributions to the philosophy of science.  

And many philosophy journals reference works in history, physics, linguistics, etc., but that just means that these works are relevant to what is being discussed; it does not make the works so referenced "contributions" to philosophy. The philosophy of language is relevant to linguistics, much as the philosophy of science is relevant to science.  But they are not the same subject, and contributions to one are not contributions to the other. NB, that none of the many published criticisms of "On Denoting" come from linguists, unless, as in the case of Robert Harnish, they hold a chair in both linguistics and philosophy (as did Noam Chomsky).  The fact that Russell's treatment of proper names was refuted by Kripke had no impact on linguistics.

1. Semantics is generally considered a branch of linguistics. Philosophers like Russell have made major contributions to semantics in the form of semantic theories for a variegated class of expressions, such as descriptions.

I've cited a popular linguistics textbook recognizing the contributions of Russell to semantics -- the book also asserts that semantics is a branch of linguistics, an uncontroversial claim -- thereby meeting your challenge to cite a single linguist (I cited a triplet) recognizing Russell as a contributor. I've pointed you toward hundreds of scholarly citations of Russell's work by linguists. I can direct you to recent linguistic work in semantics adjudicating between Fregean and Russellian theories of the semantics of descriptions, thereby affirming these theories' continued relevance to the field. (p.131) That I can do all of these things is highly suggestive of the fact that Russell in fact contributed to linguistics, whatever journal he originally published in. You haven't presented evidence to the contrary.

The same argument applies to all the other philosophers who I would assert have contributed to linguistics, e.g., Grice and Austin in pragmatics (another branch of linguistics).

2. Regarding citations: you're right, the fact that Russell's work is so widely cited by linguists doesn't by itself make it a work in linguistics. The fact that it is a work in semantics, a branch of linguistics, does. Independent of the label we apply to it, it is clearly a contribution to the scientific study of language, as evinced by (1).

3. Kripke attacked Russell's theory of descriptions as applied to names, and even then he recognized it would be true of names at least some of the time (see his discussion of 'Jack the Ripper'). He and the other philosophers you mention discuss names, whereas I am discussing Russell's semantic theory of descriptions more generally. Or did Lewis have some theory of descriptions I'm not aware of?

There is nothing obscure about Jerry Fodor.  He is justly famous.  As a philosopher, not a colleague of cognitive scientists, none of whom are mentalists in any sense.  They may indeed know of his work, but I believe all of them would characterize such work as contributions to the philosophy of mind, where the mentalist/materialist battle - long won by the physicalists in cognitive science - still rages. One of the many reasons why most scientists no longer take philosophy seriously.

Well, you're free to ask them whether, e.g., Modularity of Mind counts as a contribution to cognitive science or not.

Well, forgive me, but I presented my "definition" to clarify that I was not defining "contribution to science" in the narrow way which you suggested was the sense I meant.  You may have a different definition, but it surely cannot be just the production of empirical data.  You must agree with that, irrespective of any quibbles about my attempt at a broader and more accurate definition.  Which is the kind of definition I took you to mean when you touted the contributions to science of the philosophers you name.  None of whom made any such contributions.

We agree on this matter.
30  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: June 30, 2014, 06:20:44 PM
Please reference even one linguist who acknowledges Russell's contributions to his/her field. You are confusing linguistics with the philosophy of language.

In their popular introduction to linguistics, Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication, linguists Adrian Akmajian, Richard Demers, and Robert Harnish appropriately call Russell's Theory of Descriptions "by far the most influential theory of the semantics of definite descriptions," (p. 259) a fact anyone who has taken a few linguistics courses can confirm. Fittingly enough, the only viable alternative theory of the semantics of descriptions is also from a philosopher: Gottlob Frege (who, unlike Russell, thought that descriptions presupposed rather than asserted the existence of the entities described).

You can confirm the Theory's continuing influence by looking at how often "On Denoting" -- the paradigmatic presentation of the Theory -- is still cited by linguists to this day (yes, many of the citations linked to are philosophical journals. But many more are linguistic journals).

Fodor's 1983 book that presents his early ideas on the modularity of mind was part of a reaction against behaviorism and its materialistic consequences for the philosophy of mind (as such, he worked in opposition to such philosophers of mind as Gilbert Ryle). However, Fodor, unlike cognitive scientists, rejected physicalism entirely.  His mentalistic stance has not been part of neuroscience or cognitive science for at least half a century.  The language of thought is the most recent development of his representational/mentalistic theory of mind, which is likewise a contribution to the ongoing debate within philosophy between materialists like Dennett and modern mentalists like Chalmers.  Fodor, like Dennett, is a philosopher who uses the ideas of cognitive science, but has made no contributions to the subject himself.  The mentalist/materialist war that still rages within the philosophy of mind is viewed as irrelevant by modern cognitive scientists.

This is an interesting exposition. Fodor is generally considered the primary proponent of token physicalism, a doctrine which states (very roughly) that whilst any given concrete particular is physical, it may possess non-physical properties. Fodor applies this doctrine to the mind and suggests that whilst any particular mental state is a physical state, it will possess non-physical properties, viz., certain causal properties that relate it to other computational states of the brain. So you must have some stricter definition of 'physicalism' in mind when you assert that Fodor is a 'mentalist' rather than a physicalist. I agree with you, however, that this particular aspect of Fodor's work -- and philosophy of mind more generally -- doesn't impress cognitive scientists.

That said, I encourage any observers to browse through the 10,000+ citations of Fodor's Modularity of Mind and assess how many of them are bonafide cognitive scientific work vs. obscure philosophical work. In addition, feel free to ask any cognitive scientist about the work's influence (just email professors at your local department pretending to be an "interested student.").

As for Dennett, no I am not advancing the absurd notion that contributions to science are limited only to the production of experimental data.  That would eliminate both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, among others.  I am making the (obvious) point that a contribution to science implies extending an existing scientific theory in an original way, or else producing a new scientific theory, or providing scientific evidence that refutes such a theory.  Neither Russell, Fodor, nor Dennett has done any of that.

That's one way to define a contribution, sure. But to argue any further on this point is to engage in mere semantics: we will really just be asserting our preferred definitions of the word. So I will disengage on this point.
31  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: June 29, 2014, 09:21:48 PM
Much of this sounds like meta-contributions to hard science -- methods of comprehension and abstraction, not insignificant, tho -- rather than contributions to the corpus of that science.

If true, what's wrong with that?


Russell's theory of descriptions cuts no ice with linguists.  It is a (failed) attempt to explain how proper names work.  Fodor's absurd "language of thought" junk is ignored by neuroscientists, and Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" is aimed at debunking mentalistic myths that have plagued philosophy since the time of Descartes.  He uses the findings of modern cognitive science; he is not a contributor to them in any sense. 

Philosophy has become irrelevant to science, and no philosopher from the nineteenth century on has made any contribution to science whatsoever.

I'm rather sure that Russell's Theory of Descriptions is a semantic theory of, predictably enough, descriptions, though it is true that he applied it to proper names as well. Independent of the truth of the Theory -- and probably descriptions don't literally have quantificational structure -- it has spurred a century of productive debate and any linguist will recognize it as a contribution to their field (just ask).

I mentioned Fodor's modularity thesis and not his Language of Thought Hypothesis, though both are major contributions to the 'mind as computer' paradigm that is so widespread in cognitive science. Again, this is the case whether the hypotheses are true or not and can be confirmed by experts in the field. Your denial of this seems to hinge on the implicit claim that neuroscience is the only 'real' science of mind, a contentious claim.

Finally, while Dennett didn't "contribute" to the study of consciousness in any direct sense, he did synthesize cognitive science research in an interesting and productive manner. You might have an overly narrow definition of 'contribution' if only the production of experimental data counts as such, something it looks like you might be implicitly claiming.

Philosophy won't necessarily continue to contribute as it has in the above examples, but that it has as a contingent matter of fact seems to me undeniable.
32  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: June 29, 2014, 12:12:50 PM
No, not mad. Mostly because that shit doesn't happen. The science of physics, medicine, chemistry are all bring played out by physicists, doctors and chemists.

Putting aside the fact that 'philosophy' only hardened into an academic discipline distinct from the sciences recently and that historically scientists have addressed philosophical as well as scientific issues -- thereby seemingly legitimating them -- contemporary philosophers have contributed extensively to science: ask any linguist about "that paradigm of philosophy," Russell's Theory of Descriptions, or any cognitive scientist about Fodor's modularity thesis or Dennett's theory of consciousness.

While it is true that a not insignificant chunk of the field is the dubious sort of philosophizing that fields various autists obsessively debating retrerché thought experiments ad infinitum, it is also true that there is much more to philosophizing than that -- hence all the scientific contributions.
33  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Re: Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: June 29, 2014, 10:17:48 AM
Bring an engineer and not a philosopher makes me want to dismiss this sentiment out of hand, but I am curious...is this because of the logic component of classic philosophy?

We wouldn't be referring to political philosophy.

Engineer crying, losing hoap.

U mad that us philosophy grads score higher on the GRE and make substantive contributions to science through theory development and the ethnoscientific, a priori conceptual analysis of folk concepts while u mash out code? U mad?
34  Getbig Main Boards / General Topics / Feminists Crying, Losing Hoap on: June 29, 2014, 01:53:02 AM
Average IQ of students by college major and gender ratio
http://www.randalolson.com/2014/06/25/average-iq-of-students-by-college-major-and-gender-ratio/

35  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: British SAS are the best in the world on: June 21, 2014, 11:48:44 PM
He served three years in the Pacific theater before getting his jaw blown off in battle.

...but NEVER talked about his personal experience, even with my dad.

Well, yeah.
36  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Rich Piana's IQ Dropped To Single Digits on: June 19, 2014, 09:44:16 PM
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp3axjWmdW0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp3axjWmdW0</a>

cliffs because getbiggers have precious lives and don't want to waste time on videos.

1.You can be as big as you want if you have the right mind set.

2.Rich Piana knows 100% natural guy who got 23 inches arms in prison.

3.Rich Piana admits he's been on steroids for 25 years.

Faulty presupposition identified: Bitch Piano of Peace ever had an IQ above 9.
37  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Was It Right To Remove Saddam? on: June 16, 2014, 11:32:46 AM
Simple: look at Cuba, North Korea, Iran from the moment the recent sanctions. Shortage of any kind (food, medicine, etc...) is always a great opportunity for dictators. People don't rebel when the situation is at its worse. French Revolution 101: you need an uppercoming (middle?) class to have a change in structure. My point being, as a reply to your first post, that what made Saddam friendly to the West is what a few years after made him our foe and that what is happening right now is not "happening because" he's no longer in charge but because he has been in charge for so long. I'm not saying the US have no responsability in this but his reign has been a major factor.

Can't our claims be consistent? Maybe Saddam's iron fist did successfully maintain the functional integrity of Iraq, and: the sanctions helped him in this endeavor, and his decisions have contributed to the current disarray upon his being removed from power.

At the very least, I suspect that we can agree that a serious option to consider is dissolving this colonial fiction and divvying the land along sectarian/ethnic lines: look at the relative peace and economic prosperity of the ethnically/religiously homogenous Kurdish region, for example (I'm sure there's more to the Kurds' success, but it's a start).
38  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Was It Right To Remove Saddam? on: June 13, 2014, 01:53:45 PM
But.........had the US left maybe a BDE of stuff and dudes around Bagdad, none of this would be happening. 1 Combat aviation BN with apaches and lift would be enough to have kept these guys inside Syria. With an ROE that allowed air to hit their camps, this could be avoided.

Strategically, does it necessarily make sense to prop up a dictatorial Iranian satellite (most experts agree that that is what the Shia-dominated Maliki regime is) in the region? Personally, would you want to die for it?

If you think Saddam was that, you are mistaken. Saddam was a puppet from the get-go and one of the most idiotic leaders in the region (far from Hafez El-Assad for example). The only thing that made his regime stable for more than ten years was the embargo after the Koweit war (which actually worsened the situation you describe at first in your post). His "decision" to attack Iran (backed by the US, GB, France, Saoudi Arabia and Koweit) was the dumbest move one can imagine. The situation the country is into right now is a direct consequence of his decisions.

Whether Saddam was "idiotic" or not, the power structure he built and led maintained the functional integrity of the colonial fiction known as Iraq for a quarter of a century -- and seemingly would have continued to do so absent Western intervention -- in addition to serving as a bulwark against a rising Iran, our putative opponent in the region. Look at what happened the moment we dissolved that power structure: is this not evidence that it was preserving a modicum of stability?

He was also clearly amenable to Western influence as evinced by our relationship with him right up until his invasion of Kuwait.

Can you clarify why you think the 1990's sanctions enhanced stability in Iraq?

39  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Was It Right To Remove Saddam? on: June 12, 2014, 05:07:30 PM
Iraq is plagued with tribalist and sectarian strife, an uneducated population constrained by limited cognitive competences, weak institutions, and no effective force for internal security, among other things.

The country's only hope is a strong-willed military man who can take control and mobilize support, maintaining order via distinctly non-democratic means and yet who will be amenable to Western influence if only for pragmatic reasons. Hmm -- that sounds familiar for some reason.
40  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Disturbing Facebook Posts from Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl on: June 11, 2014, 09:27:13 PM
Bergdahl writing, posts show frustration, struggle
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/11/bergdahl-writing-facebook/10356075/

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — In Facebook posts written before he vanished from his military base in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl spoke of his frustration with the world and his desire to change the status quo.

He criticized unnamed military commanders and government leaders and mused about whether it was the place of the artist, the soldier or the general to stop violence and "change the minds of fools."

In his personal writings, he seemed to focus his frustrations on himself and his struggle to maintain his mental stability.

Together, the writings paint a portrait of a young man who was dealing with two conflicts — one fought with bullets and bombs outside his compound, the other fought within himself.

Bergdahl's Facebook page was found by The Associated Press Wednesday, and it was suspended by Facebook for a violation of its terms a short time later. Bergdahl opened the page under the name "Wandering Monk." His last post was made May 22, 2009, a few weeks before he was taken prisoner:

"I don't take kindly to disrespect. not on the internet, not in person, not in a grocery store parking lot, not in like at walmart, not in a restaurant, not at the beach, not at the dry cleaners... anywhere.

ppl talk about the 'pussyfication' of America, yet they run their mouths thinking they won't get slapped and get their arm broken in front of their friends.

spent many yrs in a place where if you talk slick and say something out of line to somebody, you know that when you say it, you better be ready for what happens. most ppl here in the 'real world', aren't ready for what could happen.. and run their mouths like the world is a make believe cartoon. despite wearing nice slacks, polished shoes and a nice shirt, the guy you steal that parking spot from at the grocery store and proceed to flip off, may have just gotten out of prison and will have no problem identifying they bitch in you and proceed to teach you a lesson by taking you down to the ground and kicking out your teeth before you even know what happened.

the guy who's willing to go the furthest, wins. if you're not willing to go all the way, it's best you keep your mouth shut and move on, and make it to the next day."

Bergdahl, the only U.S. soldier held captive in Afghanistan, was recently released after five years as a prisoner of the Taliban. In exchange, the U.S. released five detainees from a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The circumstances surrounding the prisoner swap and Bergdahl's capture in 2009 have raised a national debate, with Bergdahl's supporters and friends joyous at his rescue, and some members of Congress — and some of his own platoon members — calling him a deserter.

Mary Robinson, a Facebook friend of Bergdahl, worked with him in a massage center and tea house near his home when Bergdahl was in high school. Robinson said she didn't know why Bergdahl chose the Wandering Monk moniker.

"He was really, really grounded. He was curious. He wasn't one who was partying as some kids do," Robinson said while verifying it was Bergdahl's Facebook page. "He was going over there with all the good intentions of serving his country."
41  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: June 11, 2014, 08:26:02 PM
U.E could go to 4%, wouldn't matter much if it's due to further drops in yhe LPR.

As for the charts....deleverageing was due, for the most part, to bankruptcy and liquidation. Even with the drop the level is still very high. The savings rate has plummeted over the last year as the chart indicates. It's at a level not seen in 7-8 years so I'm not sure how that can be construed as a positive. Especially when you see any rise in consumer spending offset with drops in the savings rate. The heart of the consumer is barely beating, just look at the poor holiday spending and retail earnings.

All this after massive intervention and attempts to re-bubble everything. That's a dead economy, if it isn't it's damn close.

I took the liberty of calling this a technical recession because of the negative GDP print and the .1% print for Q4 which was only positive because of government spending.

I'm afraid you haven't addressed many of the points I've raised. I don't necessarily blame you: it's a casual bodybuilding board and not everybody wants to engage in in-depth arguments on complex economic matters.

Less forgivable, however, is your confusing the initial 0.1% first quarter 2014 growth estimate with the fourth quarter 2013 growth rate, which was 2.6%. We are in no sense in a recession, 'technical' or otherwise.

Reality will soon arbitrate between our divergent opinions: data collected over the next year and a half, while being decidedly non-demonstrative, is probably going to make one of us look foolish in retrospect (beginning perhaps as early as the July Q2 growth estimates). Good luck!
42  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you pay for a guaranteed healthy baby? on: June 09, 2014, 01:50:53 PM
Who are humans to decide on which religion is the best?

There have been countless religions on this earth. All of which are equally as important as the people who follow it. Belief is a blessing and a curse.

Who are humans to decide on which theory of the shape of the earth is the best?

There have been many theories of the shape of the earth -- flat earthianity, spheram, oblate spheroidaism. All of which are as equally important as the people who follow them. Belief is a blessing and a curse.

DERP
43  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Any of you guys use Tinder?dat ass on: June 09, 2014, 01:46:58 PM


I'm not big on asses, but I could definitely go for those big pale legs.
44  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you pay for a guaranteed healthy baby? on: June 09, 2014, 01:39:26 PM
Lol!!!!  Grin It's more about a money vs. morals question. How much would you be willing to pay for a perfectly healthy newborn?

'How much would you be willing to pay?' is a different question than the one you originally proposed.

Prima facie, your original question is moronic: "If you could afford an extremely desirable item, would you purchase it?" Assuming that it isn't controversial to partially define extremely desirable items as items one would purchase if they were affordable, the question is vacuous.

One way to make your jumbled posts interesting (+ non-moronic, non-vacuous) is to place them in the context of a wider issue: is it "moral" to wrest control of our destinies from purely biological processes via the utilization of ever more advanced technologies? There are surely some who uphold what we might call a 'purity principle' whereby they reject some or all forms of tinkering with nature for the purposes of enhancement. But it seems to me a rather extreme stance to deny children the chance at an illness-free start to life and thereby increase the probability of their suffering just because it would require modifying the natural world a bit.
45  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Girls Can't Accept a Man's Decisions to Stay Single on: June 06, 2014, 12:41:47 AM
I created a somewhat similar thread. The difference is - I'm not single and have a good relathionship going on.

Epic gay lisp detected. Nice try attempting to slip a 'straight' post into the bunch, niggle loving buttboy.
46  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 31, 2014, 01:55:58 PM
.

Claim (ii) is what I take to be a reasonable projection of the performance of the labor market and GDP growth relative to commonly held expectations. I'd rather not write an essay defending the claim, so will instead have to be content with saying:

i) my point about the increase in inventories imminent in the second quarter is very basic economics and isn't really debatable;

ii) I don't understand which 4th quarter data you're looking at to suggest we are in a recession;

iii) we clearly have different projections -- rather than waste effort assessing the projections now, let's submit them to the tribune of empirical reality and see what nature decides, judging their relative merits for us;

iv) I think that your reasoning about economic affairs has been overly colored by the Great Recession, and suggesting that my post in any way reeks of political apologism implies that you have read too many Soul Crusher posts -- a proven way to kill brain cells. My claims have nothing to do with anyone in power and make no judgment of the efficacy of Obama Administration policy;

AND

v) we should make our projections more specific so that nature might judge them properly: I project that 2nd quarter 2014 GDP growth will be greater than or equal to 3% and will clearly show an increase in inventories, and I project that unemployment will be lower than the Federal Reserve's estimate of 5.5% by the end of 2015.

We can also put some skin in the game: I bet $300 (pathetic, yes) on the 3% bet; we can have a neutral third party -- I'd prefer a mod like OMR -- hold the funds until 30 July when the provisional estimate gets released.
47  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 31, 2014, 01:14:59 PM
.

I made two claims: i) the economic conditions you mentioned as comprising the 'real economy' save wage growth are in fact improving, hence rendering the claim that the economy is "dead" hyperbole; and, ii) the labor market and GDP growth are liable to improve more quickly than many suppose due to a conjunction of inventory replenishment in the 2nd quarter and an uptick in small business hiring over the next year and a half.

Claim (i) pertains to the relative improvement in the economy, not about whether the economy is where it should be, could be, or would be (with different policy), etc. Therefore, citing metrics indicating that the economy isn't where it should be don't even begin to address my claim.

My argument for (i) was: If the economic conditions comprising the 'real economy' are improving, then it is hyperbole to label the economy 'dead'; the economic conditions comprising the 'real economy' are improving; therefore, is it hyperbole to label the economy 'dead'.

We don't want to get bogged down in semantics by debating whether the label 'dead' is appropriate or not, and it's clear that our disagreement boils down to the truth of premise 2 -- whether the economy is improving or not. So that's obviously where we need to focus attention.

Let's take the most salient metrics you rebutted me on. The facts -- mere facts -- are that U6 unemployment is down by nearly a third from its peak 4 years ago and that most of the decline in labor force participation since then has been driven by retirements and disabilities. This study makes the latter point, but even without a study we could have figured it out: since U6 includes discouraged workers, we wouldn't see a nearly one-third drop in U6 if discouraged workers were driving down the labor participation rate over the same period.

Unfortunately, you seem intent on demonstrating that the economy isn't where it should be, something that we more or less agree about. Meanwhile, the charts you post are evidence for the claim that I actually made: the savings rate chart evinces a 33% higher savings rate from the beginning of the Great Recession; what it leaves out is that savings rates were negative starting in the second quarter of 2005 (thus making the relative improvement even more significant). And the leverage chart evinces similar, albeit less significant, directionality. it also ignores the relative cost of administering that (declining) leverage, which is what I referred to in my original post. I used 1980 because that is as far back as that particular dataset goes.

Are these metrics where they should be? I have no clue. Luckily, this is literally irrelevant to my claim that they are all evincing gradual improvement.
48  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 30, 2014, 09:04:52 PM
You should replace Jay Carney as Obama's press secretary. You're either delusional or a shill pretending to know what he's talking about.

Can you even begin to address the arguments presented?

Right now you're coming off as a joke ass prole who never took econ101.
49  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: And people wonder why the population keep ... on: May 30, 2014, 05:14:23 PM
Hard to make a legitimate point with soundbites taken from internet posters/pictures.  Accuracy is in question.  No context. 

That would require thinking, which is difficult.

When a person still can't even utilize "its" versus "it's" correctly, it isn't reasonable to expect them to provide coherent (yet alone cogent) analyses of complex economic phenomena.
50  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 30, 2014, 05:07:59 PM
Good question.

Buyers, sellers, job creation, wage growth, business start ups succeeding, investment, saving etc that drives growth. That's not to say that there wasn't large growth of credit and easy/insane Fed driven monetary policy, but at least there was a sturdy foundation.

The last 10 years, maybe more have been based completely on cheap debt, consumers leveraging themselves to the hilt, using cheap credit and leverage to pull forward multiple decades of demand, housing bubble, stock bubble, QE and all the other easy "injectables" to keep a patient flat lining alive.

1. Stagnant wages and the long term effects of the Federal Reserve's QE policy are compelling issues. But most aspects of the 'real economy' as defined above are gradually improving: jobs are being created, investment is up, savings rates are positive again, and after a healthy period of deleveraging, households are spending proportionally less of their disposable income on debt than anytime since 1980. All of this leads one to think that declaring the whole enterprise 'dead' is a rhetorical flourish.

2. It might not be wise to judge the recovery from the Great Recession in full quite yet, since it is, after all, still ongoing. Here are two points of optimism for the near-term:

i) the revised 1st quarter GDP estimate indicates that GDP declined largely because of dwindling inventories. ECON101 teaches us that a drop in inventories is an indication that not enough was produced and that therefore, production will increase in the following period as a result. It would be very surprising if 2nd quarter GDP growth was below 3%, let alone negative. And I'll bet money on that.

ii) Historically, the job market has recovered from recessions via a process known as 'cyclical upgrading,' where the unemployment rate is first driven down by a large amount due to small business hiring, then driven down a slight bit more by large company hiring (there are relatively fewer jobs in the latter).

So far, unemployment has been driven down a slight bit by large company hiring, but the small business phase has not kicked in. Sentiment in the small business world is changing, however, with more and more small businesses expressing the intent to hire. This suggests that the small business hiring phase of the recovery is still imminent, the consequences of which are a larger than expected drop in unemployment within the next 1.5 years.
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