Universal Basic Income: An Argument For EveryoneScott Santens is a UBI writer, activist, speaker, and policy consultant who has written for and appeared in dozens of media publications and shows, and has collaborated with a number of sitting politicians, political campaigns, and political organizations. He is widely regarded to be among the most influential, knowledgeable, and well-connected figures in the basic income community.Something I love about Santens' writing is his ability to speak in terms almost anyone can understand, by appealing to different vocations, interests, or life circumstances. If you are a UBI supporter looking for the right argument to convince someone you know, or if you are UBI-curious, or a skeptic, you will find this selection useful:Basic Income as Liquid Infrastructure: The Bruce Lee Argument for UBIAn Engineering Argument for Basic IncomeYou Have Been Drafted Into the Great Coronavirus War: The Argument for Emergency UBI as Conscription Pay for AllThe Monsters, Inc. Argument for Unconditional Basic IncomeUnconditional Basic Income is a Pigovian Subsidy for Unpaid WorkThe Tarantino Argument for Unconditional Basic IncomeDennis Explains 'The Implication' of Saying No: The Always Sunny Argument for UBIMay the Force Be With UBI: The Poverty Death Star Argument for Unconditional Basic IncomeA Basic Income Sermon for ChristiansA Guide to Basic Income: Frequently Asked Questions about UBI: Unconditional Basic Income 101What People Get Most Wrong About Unconditional Basic IncomeIf you think basic income is "free money" or socialism, think again"Yeah, but who's going to pay for it?" Alan Watts answers the BIG questionUnconditional Basic Income Would Fix a Major Flaw in MarketsUniversal Basic Income Will Accelerate Innovation by Reducing Our Fear of FailureWhy universal basic income instead of just lower taxes?https://americandreaming.substack.com
The Problem With Meritocracy
,Meritocracy refers to systems in which people are elevated into positions of success on the basis of their demonstrated abilities and merit. In principle, it sounds perfectly reasonable. The idea behind meritocracy at the macro scale is that people who are more productive, skilled, or effective deserve, among other things, a higher standard of living as reward. If you perform better, you should benefit more. That's fair, isn't it?But when examined, everything that leads to success or failure stems from causal factors outside any individual's conscious control. You did not choose your parents, upbringing, environment, or economic conditions. You don't choose your genes, your height, or your face. You cannot take credit for your natural talents, nor the ability to focus, work hard, or improve yourself. And you also cannot take credit for all the terrible things which might have befallen you, but didn't. To say nothing of nepotism and cronyism.Given this, the attempt to morally justify why some should live in comfort while others live in states of constant insecurity, stress, or even squalor, simply crumbles away. Everything in life comes down to luck. And this is a problem for meritocracy as we know it.To be clear, there's nothing wrong with meritocracy on the micro-level — within an organization, company, league, etc. We want professional sports teams to play the best players, we want the best films to win the awards, and we want to see effort, ingenuity, and dedication rewarded in the workplace. That isn't what I'm talking about. But meritocracy, when applied to an entire society, results in some living in extravagant luxury while others live hand to mouth, propped up by the lie that this distribution of resources and opportunity is "deserved."Inequality is omnipresent in humanity, just as it is in nature. There will always be disparities in talent and ability. This is what makes life interesting! What a dull place this would be if we all had the same talents, interests, and abilities. We should not want to erase the natural variance of human diversity. But we gravely err when we regard this diversity as though it were a kind of moral caste system, where the luckiest people somehow deserve their good luck, while the unluckiest people deserve their bad luck. Worse yet, when we confuse one's level of luck with their worth as a human being.If everything that went right for you in life — and everything that didn't go wrong — amounts to luck, in what sense is "deserving" even a coherent concept? What's that, you say? But you worked hard to get where you are? You were lucky to have been able to work hard! You are lucky to have been motivated and disciplined. You are lucky that you possessed the cognitive and physical wherewithal to persevere, that you were not stopped in your tracks by disease, injury, personal tragedy, or any of the countless unlucky things whose paths you avoided by sheer luck. Let's not delude ourselves, it's luck all the way down. Meritocracy is the lie society's winners tell themselves so that they can feel deserving rather than lucky. But the truth is that every successful, happy, or actualized person is in effect a lottery winner. And every unsuccessful, miserable, or unfulfilled person is the inverse. This is why poverty and all of its associated ill-effects are so grotesque — because it's all just luck.Meritocracy is the lie society's winners tell themselves so that they can feel deserving rather than lucky.Unlike the rest of nature, we have the capacity to transcend social Darwinism. We should not seek to control everything in the attempt collapse all disparity. Nor should we fixate on knocking the luckiest in society down a peg. That road leads to the kind of society no one wants to live in. That doesn't increase luck; it spreads bad luck to all. But we can raise the floor, and raise the aggregate level of luck for everyone. We have the power to implement luck-maximizing engines like universal basic income, which preserve everything we are right to appreciate about human variance, while ensuring that nobody, regardless of how bad their luck is, can fall below a certain level of resources and opportunity.The problem with meritocracy is that of any luck-based scheme where the stakes are too high. Who would want to stake their happiness, self-actualization, or quality of life on the spin of a roulette wheel or the cast of a pair of dice? Because that's what meritocracy is, in its current form. But a meritocracy where the stakes were lowered — where a losing spin doesn't lead to dire poverty, misery, and abject want; that is the kind of meritocracy that can work. And it requires no revolutions, no top-down restructuring of society, no heavy-handed coercion, nor an overnight rewriting of human nature. It doesn't require lowering the ceiling. It requires raising the floor.
Creationist Attempts to Ignore Science Part IVPeer ReviewCreationist organizations make grand claims as to the number and credentials of people with scientific and technical degrees who have, in at least a few cases, had moderately respected careers in the selected disciple following the procedures within traditional science including submission of articles for peer review. They do not see the conflict in that these groups discredit the need for peer review on the one hand particularly when that would mean going outside of the closed, self-supporting sphere of their faith and then proclaiming it as proof of their correctness with on the other hand when it is restricted to that rather incestuous circle.What they also fail to recognize is that in the creationist camp preconceived ideas are the norm and are promoted with fervor as being the only plausible answer to the utter exclusion of all else. They begin with the predetermined conclusion and then attempt to hammer the existing evidence into a shape that gives the illusion of supporting it or more often ignoring, dismissing and rejecting everything that they cannot beat into submission. In science we make every effort to be objective knowing that we might fail which is why we rely on our peers to act as skeptical critics in order to ferret out our preconceptions and ensure that are conclusions are supported by the physical evidence and that our methods can be reproduced.They, creationists, seem to think that because we are human and prone to error that doing so intentionally is therefore a virtue. It is not, it is deception based on blind faith.A further point that must be taken into consideration is that it was the Discovery Institute, followed by other creationist organizations eager to get in on the ‘scam’, which created this endeavor they euphemistically and quite fraudulently call ‘creation science’ are not in any possible stretch of the imagination conducting anything that might be termed ‘science’. They cry loudly to be taken seriously, to have their work given the credit they claim it is due and be accepted on equal terms yet at every turn they avoid following the most basic guidelines of science regardless of their philosophical views, they make rhetorical arguments against the rules of science and use every opportunity to make the issue a political one rather than one of science.They do this because they already clearly understand and fully recognize that they are intentionally being dishonest, that they cannot support their claims with real evidence except by selecting and distorting what they choose to use and that outside their closed circle they will be dissected like a frog pinned to the lab table for their overtly deceptive practices.We, the scientific community, did not invite them into our house but we are willing to allow their participation if they can follow the rules that have served science and humanity well for almost four centuries advancing the human condition by leaps and bounds while their primitive mythology would mire us in the Dark Ages. That is simply how it is. Were we to try to force ourselves into the theology realm we would have to abide by the conditions already in force within that community. Rest assured that those working in rational, reality-based science have zero interest in doing such.One does not walk out onto the baseball field and demand to be allowed to use the bat against those in the field to stop them from tagging you out and suing the outfielders for trying to catch the ball in flight. That is in effect what creationists are asking for but couched in suggestive terms and using politics where they cannot play fairly.Rhetorical and contradictory arguments are not suitable exchanges for proper methodology, claims of repression and bias cannot be submitted in substitution for evidence and a closed system of prejudicial ‘research’ and ideological conformity is not a proper mechanism by which to gain widespread support and acceptance.There are other groups which adhere to many of these same tactics and they make fine company indeed for the religiously obsessed. Feel free to look into the activities of them if you doubt me. The groups I refer to are also ‘quasi-religious’ in nature yet they too attempt to claim that they are a science while ignoring utterly all aspects of that discipline. I am speaking of the ancient alien cult, the Bigfoot myth, the homeopathy faith, the paranormal religions and every other pseudoscience and conspiracy theory faiths walking the planet today.Who am I talking about?The proponents and disciples of the ancient alien mythology, the crypto-zoologists, the Atlantis/lost ancient civilization hunters and the UFO-logists just to name those most easily recognizable. All these groups claim scientific credibility yet they fail to present evidence in support of their ideas, they claim ‘special privilege’ rather than conform to accepted practices, they frequently resort to accusations of repression, conspiracy and entrenchment in response to criticism and immediately accept anything which promotes their cause whether it is a valid idea or not.Sound familiar?As long as creationists continue to cloak themselves in rhetoric, hide behind false claims of repression or conspiracy theories and refuse to follow the basic tenets of scientific methodology and critical review they will remain what they are. An extremely small though highly vocal and slightly obnoxious splinter group whose audience is limited to those already convinced simply because of the theological bias they extoll.There are an extremely few institutions which subscribe to the publications produced by these groups, there are almost no references in scientific publications regarding their so-called ‘creation science’ and the world in general pays them very little heed other than the frequent ridicule by certain persons whose enjoy slapping down such low hanging fruit. Thus, they and their devotees are limited to extolling their opinions, for they can hardly be called anything else, in venues such as YouTube or through their self-promoting websites.All the rhetorical argumentation in the world cannot explain this away or the simple fact that little in science particularly that related to new paleontological and cosmological discoveries goes unnoticed by the media. Yet in the past few years the biggest if not only item deemed worthy of coverage by the global media regarding the creationist camp was when Bill Nye accepted an invitation to ‘debate’ the subject with the closed minded religious fanatic who has built a monstrosity in Kentucky using tax incentives, hundreds of engineers and laborers as well as modern machinery to prop up his claim that a 600 year old man with no such construction experience and his three sons living in a semi-arid region with few trees could do the same by hand in a couple of years.One has to wonder why this is.Of course, they can and endlessly do offer a conspiracy of repression idea, the claim that all the media outlets are either in league with scientists or that they are atheists perhaps but that doesn’t explain the entire story. Such as the question of why countries with a far greater tie to other religions such as Israel or Brazil cover these discoveries but not creationism for example. These are states which openly proclaim their religious affiliation so why do they not openly support or at least direct their media services to cover such creationist actions?However, the single most telling aspect as to why these groups refuse to abide or even consider following the guidelines within science or even the law for that matter can be found in the public statements and written proclamations of both their leaders, their leading advocates and the organizations themselves. They have declared without reservation and even with pride that they possess the only and absolute truth of the universe.For example, in the mission statement of Ken Ham’s Creation.com and his Answers in Genesis organization’s website it states, “The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant (sic – without flaw, error or contradiction) throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs (sic – of which none actually exist making this an openly deception). It is the supreme authority, not only in all matters of faith and conduct, but in everything it teaches (sic – including whatever Ham wishes to include because that is his personal belief even if nothing of the kind exists in scripture such as ‘marriage being between ONE man and ONE woman’). Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.” It further states, “Facts are always subject to interpretation by fallible people (sic -something creationists always attempt to sell to cover their bias and prejudice against all that dares disagree with them) who do not possess all information (sic – such as Ham himself although as he seems to believe he is ‘the mouthpiece of god’ he feels he can just decide whatever he likes). By definition, therefore, no interpretation of facts in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record (sic – according to Ham’s interpretation of scripture above and beyond anyone else within the greater domain of christianity).”These ideas are mirrored in various forms throughout the creationist realm and show just what these people are. Absolutists who have no desire to conduct open and fair debate, who use the appearance of science to disguise their true intent which is to usurp knowledge for mythology and who will use any tactic they can to promote their ideas regardless of the ethics even as they claim ‘the higher moral ground’.And yet their devotees cry out that they are being misused, that they are not being given a fair chance and that they are the victims of persecutions because of their beliefs.Are they being misused because they are asked to follow the rules of a discipline, they bullied their way into?Are they not being given a fair chance because they are being prevented from teaching a disguised religious doctrine in public schools in direct violation of the law as well as the civil rights and freedoms of those school children whose families do not want their education usurped by a baseless mythology rather than a sound scientific education which will aid them in attending a decent university and gaining valued employment?Are they being persecuted because they are not allowed to claim their mythology is a fact while excluding all others from doing so in an arena that does allow such in any form?Or are they actually attempting to hijack the system in order to gain supremacy over both science and the body politic to enforce their single ideology on everyone?Or are they in fact attempting to force their views onto everyone else in violation of the same rights they demand be protected while trying to repress all other points of view by claiming ‘divine right’?I think that as a reasonable, rational person having read this treatise without exploding in a fit of religious rage for have the actions of your favored ‘prophet and demagogic grifter’ exposed you likely have already reached a decent conclusion.
The invisible selfThe invisible selfIt dwells where the horizon endsPulsating with air and waterDissipated in droplets of wet sandIt is all and it is nothingThe self that’s free and never restsIn torrents of time like a spectreIt travels, beyond the gate of death Sliding through the rays of sunlightIt shifts its ever perfect shapeAwake, it dreams foreverIt's the world, reflecting in itself
More abut that EARN IT craphttps://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/fkzfzq/reject_the_antiencryption_bill_these_senators_are/
Another bill to killhttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/earn-it-bill-governments-not-so-secret-plan-scan-every-message-online
#Deep-Thinkers Not-So-Grand Re-Opening!The permissions seem to have gotten reset while I was gone, so the group has been closed. I fixed everything up and made some changes while I was at it, so the group is officially open again. I can't dedicate a ton of time to this, but what I can do is give the group more flexibility and give the members a bit more power. Sorry I let this die again, but hopefully this helps! *What's New?* I've reopened automatic membership approval, and I've made submissions to most folders automatically approved as well. (Please report inappropriate submissions if you see them in the groups gallery, I will try to keep an eye on the feed but I wont be very active. If i get reports on something I will investigate and act accordingly.) I have turned the "Contributor" role into a voting role for the folders that need approval, and any member who can remain objective and refrain from abusing their vote is welcome to become a Contributor. I've opened extremely limited submissions to the Featured folder, and made those submissions subject to vote. It is intended as a collection of what the active community considers to be the best philosophical works in the groups gallery.
Transitional Hadrosaur DiscoveredPaleontologist Elizabeth Freedman Fowler has unearthed a hadrosaur called Probrachylophosaurus bergei which appears to be a transitional form between Acristavus and Brachylophosaurus: http://www.themarysue.com/new-hadrosaur-dinosaur-missing-link/
So that's another transitional fossil to add to the list. Of course, I doubt the Ken Hams of this world will acknowledge it.
Not Even Wrong"There is a scientific term which I really like that is “not even wrong,” and these are ideas that are so far off the mark they’re not even worth discussing. I’m worried about participating or giving oxygen to ideas that are not even wrong lest I lend them a credibility as something that’s debatable."
"Not even wrong." That's an incredibly useful phrase that is applicable to many situations.
Creation Science Hits a New LowSo, I've been out of the YEC loop for a while now, but apparently it's gotten pretty weird recently because the "floating forest theory" is a thing now: http://www.godofevolution.com/friday-fun-requiem-for-a-brain-and-the-natural-historian-goes-too-far/
The "theory", or rather, groundless hypothesis suggests that a Eurasia-sized antidiluvian floating forest accounts for the trillions of tons of coal buried underground, which could have only been made from more trees than have ever been on Earth’s dry land at any one time.
This just... there are no words that I can think of to adequately argue against this idea because it so obviously does not come from any place of reason or evidence. The floating forest is not supported anywhere in science or in scripture. This only drives home the point that critics of YEC have been trying to communicate for years: that creationists are really not promoting a Biblical worldview, but a completely fabricated mythology. They may as well just admit
Google may be screwed at lasthttps://happygamer.com/people-are-starting-to-request-google-become-nationalized-and-deemed-a-public-utility-37016/
After banning people for emoji useage I shed no tears for these SJWs
MLK's philosophies on nonviolent activismI was just remembering how I would share this journal every February, whether because it is Black History Month or Valentines day (maybe both or something else?) but I just love how MLK's ideas on effective change making are intertwined with philosophy on kindness and love. You probably haven't heard from me for a while since I stopped being very active, but I wanted to pop by to share this. Does any of this apply to the recent tragedy in Parkland? How do you feel that these teachings are received today, and do they apply to the modern issues of today? I'm curious to know your thoughts.
Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom
By Martin Luther King Jr.
Whole article here: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1426
Selected quotes from the article:
"I am convinced that for practical as well as moral reasons, nonviolence offers the only road to freedom for my people. Violence as a strategy for social change in America is nonexistent. All the sound and fury seems but
Journalists Exposed By WikiLeaks 2 Cover WhiteHousCNBC chief political correspondent and New York Times political writer John Harwood demonstrated clear partisanship in his many email exchanges with Podesta.
Harwood told Podesta to “watch out” for Dr. Ben Carson during the Republican primary. “Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general,” Harwood warned, including video clips of Carson’s political positions.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/02/journalists-exposed-by-wikileaks-will-now-cover-trump-white-house/#ixzz4UddIOBQU
Creationism to take over America?I haven't been commenting on the US election here because I'd like to keep the group apolitical, but here is a bit of news that should be troubling for all of us, regardless of political leanings: A Young Earth Creationist could be America's new Secretary of Education: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/young-earth-creationist-ben-carson-americas-secretary-education/
"Trump is sorting out his cabinet positions right now, and there are some reports out there that Dr Ben Carson could be the new Secretary of Education."
Carson is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church which traditionally adheres to YEC views and originated the idea that the fossil record was formed during Noah's flood. Carson also denies the Big Bang and has voiced similarly unfounded views about recorded history, such as his bizarre claim that Egypt's pyramids were grain silos commissioned by Joseph of the book of Genesis (despite overwhelming documented evidence to the contrary).
This certainly does not
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