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Topics - valvatica

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General Discussion / The job search
« on: July 09, 2010, 05:08:47 AM »
I was hesitant to post anything this personal, but I figured since LTHE sought advice about collections, this would be okay. If not, I won't be offended if it's removed.

I have been trying to find a job for the last 17 months, and on top of that my requests for unemployment are repeatedly denied (I am still trying to this day). My degree is in art but I've since found out it's essentially useless in landing me a job. So, I'm applying to everything I can think of (most hourly pay jobs). The more time goes on, the more I'm made to feel like it's my fault... that my resume doesn't have the precise wording needed... that I don't say the exact right words during the interview... that I don't do something right... etc. etc. I've been to enough resume building and mock interview classes to realize that if you ask 100 different people their opinion of your speaking abilities and resume wording, you'll get 100 different answers. I'm really, really tired of it. I'm asking for any job, minimum wage, no benefits, the lowest common denominator, because I'm really desperate here. I have full availability and can work any and all hours, so I'd think that'd be appealing to employers, but it doesn't look like they care.

I know magic can't happen, and I don't expect it to, but I figured someone here might know something I don't in regards to seeking employment.

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General Discussion / The 24 Types of Libertarian
« on: June 29, 2010, 11:05:25 PM »
http://www.leftycartoons.com/the-24-types-of-libertarian/

Don't worry, I've identified all the strawmen already but I did want to point out that associating Libertarians with incognito Republicans seems to be a common theme. Admittedly though, most of the types in the cartoon have nothing to do with libertarianism and easily apply to other political views of those who wish to co-opt the term libertarian.

This was posted on PZ Myer's blog by the way. I don't have the kind of endurance some of you have for posting comments; maybe this will be fun?

Update: Many people in the comments have said a virus appears when clicking on the link. Never happened with me, but just in case, someone in the comments uploaded the comic to an Image Shack link (can't remember which comment but go to the blog entry comments and it's there).

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General Discussion / Gems from the comments of Shane's latest videos
« on: March 14, 2010, 07:23:34 PM »
Many to choose from I know, but I'll start with one that isn't related to health care-- just a FAIL analogy:

beechgrovejoe (9 minutes ago)

"A single standard setting organization is always better than more than one.
Or I guess you haven't heard of the benefites of the internet."

Someone doesn't know just WHAT the Internet is! So the implication here is that the Internet is centralized? If that were the case, the entire World Wide Web would be inaccessible every time the "Internet" went down due to a brownout or hardware failure. The Internet is decentralized, jackass. Know what a server is? Know what server software is? Is there some "Internet headquarters" in some U.S. city? How do you fuck up that badly?

I'd post this as a reply but my YouTube account got a strike (I have to stop with my habit of mirroring videos that will put me on thin ice) and consequently I can't access it until March 18. On a side note, I can't begin to list all the people (atheists mainly) I've lost respect for just by their comments in these videos. Now I know why InTheEndIWasRight is so reluctant to associate with most of the YouTube atheists.

Oh, and in case he's wondering, ICANN and the W3 sets standards and oversee domain name registration. They don't really "control" the Internet.

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General Discussion / Thunderf00t still does text comments?
« on: February 25, 2010, 08:37:18 AM »
I thought Thunderf00t did text comments very sparingly after he became a regular content provider. He's debating FringeElements et al here:
http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=6eORxBKfnso&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3D6eORxBKfnso

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General Discussion / Voting in a false dichotomy of choices
« on: February 25, 2010, 04:24:07 AM »
In ProteanView's latest video I've been making the point about voting for NOBODY vs. NOT VOTING for anybody. Comments section here:
http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=-o5Z0RLeOYs&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3D-o5Z0RLeOYs

Basically I'm having to argue with people who think my voting for nobody is the same as being apathetic and not making the effort to vote. It's just another symptom of those who think that you HAVE to vote for one of the two clowns (or if there are more than two and they're still all clowns) or it doesn't count. You could argue it is the same effect as not voting, yes. It's an apathetic message to send across in my opinion, and that's why I least make the effort to vote rather than do nothing.

No need to participate in the said comments section, but I'd like to know your thoughts.

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General Discussion / Organic processes in The Selfish Gene
« on: February 20, 2010, 11:31:16 PM »
For those who've read The Selfish Gene (I'm in the middle of it currently) there's a section I found particularly interesting at the beginning of chapter 5 (starts around page 72 in the 1989 edition).

Dawkins is talking about a hypothetical case where a group of species has individuals that are either labeled "hawk" or "dove" based on their behaviors (no relation to the actual animals of those names). A hawk always fights, and never retreats until seriously injured. A dove will never fight. If it's a hawk vs. a dove, the hawk automatically wins. If it's a hawk vs. a hawk, the hawk who gets seriously injured before the other loses and thus the other wins. If it's a dove vs. a dove, they will have a stare-off/intimidation match and the one who grows tired and retreats first loses, and thus the other wins. There is no learning from past performances, and the other doesn't know what the other will do prior to the fight.

Dawkins developed an arbitrary point system and showed how the evolutionary trend would tend to oscillate if it ended up going to 100% doves or 100% hawks. The balanced ratio he found for the point system he gave was that the population would tend to be 7/12 hawks, 5/12 doves.

Now, humans are conscious in a way that animals aren't. Thus we can conspire or "plan" to be all hawks or all doves. Here's the main point of me posting this. If humans wanted to conspire to be all doves, it would in essence be unmatched points-wise compared to any other conspiracy, or all-hawks, or the natural 7:5 ratio. BUT, all it takes is one individual to screw things up... what Dawkins calls "treachery from within". Since this conspiracy to be all doves isn't organic, all it takes is one individual to be a hawk and to have the advantage on everyone else, spread his genes, etc. This seemed to draw parallels to statism when I thought about it. He expanded on this example by drawing the same conclusion about price-fixing, but it makes the same point as the hawk/dove scenario and thus no need to explain it here.

If it sounds confusing I'll try to explain better, but it really drove home what I've read here on the forums and elsewhere about things inevitably failing that aren't developed organically. Basically, even if everyone in a society agreed to be a certain way (resisting the urge not to be greedy, for instance) and fixes/regulations were instituted to reinforce that, as long as at least ONE person decides to take advantage of it, it's doomed.

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General Discussion / It does strike a nerve with me
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:01:07 AM »
Originally I was going to post this into the FightingAtheist thread but I decided it was better to make this its own thread, seeing how the point about dogmatism in the political arena but not in the science/religion/nature/whatever one can't be emphasized enough. Someone else here pointed out how with a lot of the political dogmatists (especially those who have an entire YouTube career and history on it), that even if they are eventually convinced otherwise and mentally don't accept their positions anymore, they've come too far to go back now. None of them are going to risk looking like they were idiots for being wrong. So I figured I'd bring up some info about myself in efforts to address this.

I supported the public option (though not universal health care) for awhile. While I don't know every single argument for either side just yet, I eventually found my position indefensible due to the number of times opponents would bring up the point about the HMO act and the proponents never answered it. A lot of the arguments I still think are rubbish (comparing it to rationing grocery store food... I mean not in a food stamps way), or people buying car insurance after an accident (a la HTWW). Though HTWW did point out regarding the public option: If it's voluntary, why even pay until you get sick? Why not just wait till it happens?

Regarding food stamps: I was on it for 3 months because there were no other options. I don't defend food stamps, I defend having had to be on it due to no other options at the time. I couldn't find a job anywhere and I'm a college grad (I guess minimum wage is to blame? among other things), no family or friends to help, and so on. Seeing the opinions of YouTubers like the hard-line Republicans, HTWW, or those who comment on TheModernMystic's videos repelled me from joining the non-bogus side for a good amount of time because the attitudes of those I saw disgusted me. "Poor people should be killed/die", "If you're on food stamps why are you at mommy and daddy's house using a computer you spoiled kid?", "you stole from my paycheck!"... assuming stuff without knowing me. First of all, I was well off prior to succumbing to a poor position, assholes. I wasn't poor right when the umbilical cord was snipped. I worked many jobs just like the rest of you! Claiming "I stole from your paycheck" is also rubbish. I worked all the years before I needed food stamps, so unless I never worked a day in my life, I "stole" from my own paycheck as well as yours. Third, I committed no crime. I went and applied legitimately, I showed all my past paychecks, work history, income, social security #, etc. Not a lot of room to con it IMO. Blame their stupid clerks who can't do basic math, not me. Fourth, I wasn't at "mommy and daddy's". I used my laptop most of the time (looking for work!!), and when I moved to a nearby town, used their work source stations with free computer access to find jobs.

Yes, it touches a nerve with me. Not with health care, but with the attitude that's SO prevalent among partisan and otherwise ignorant thinkers. In my quest for intellectual honesty it was hard to accept certain positions due to their having been soiled for me by idiots, but as I've always said I'd rather be right than be a fool for a lifetime. To this day the partisan thinkers still make me vomit in my mouth a little. I know you guys aren't partisan, but will still vouch for partisan thinkers if they have a point right. After all, "give credit where credit is due." I just can't stand that those kinds of people are big voices. I see it as doing more damage to the reputation of the position that political dogmatists (on the wrong side... the atheists) could have come to if it wasn't so soiled. Hell, I could have come to it sooner if it wasn't for these cretins ruining it for me. But maybe that's just my fault?

My point is, I can understand why politically-dogmatic atheists wouldn't want to embrace intellectual honesty. On the same note though, I don't want to be represented by clowns like Fox News, or Limbaugh, or Steven Crowder. It's hard to make an argument about healthcare or the poor and successfully convince people to switch sides, because to them it means embracing what certain clowns like 024redrum believe (who made the kinds of comments to me I showed you above).

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General Discussion / Instant-Runoff Voting
« on: January 28, 2010, 12:45:36 PM »
I searched through Shane's videos and this forum, but found nothing on the subject. For, or against, Instant-Runoff Voting? I've heard only good arguments for it and thus far support it. I don't really know what the downsides to it would be. It certainly seems better than plurality voting.

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General Discussion / Latest Supreme Court decision
« on: January 23, 2010, 11:04:51 PM »

I know that a corporation is a legally-protected entity, that corporatism is the problem and not the free market, etc. ... what are your guys' thoughts on this? Are you outraged by this decision or is it an exaggeration by Democrats/liberals?

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General Discussion / "How's everyone doing?"
« on: December 09, 2009, 07:45:08 AM »
"..... good, well FUCK YOU!"  :P

I love that George Carlin line. I'm new here and want to introduce myself (I also have a channel on YouTube by the same name) briefly. As my channel says, I'm here to learn what I can.

I'm an atheist, and I've been lurking on a lot of the goings-on in the YouTube community, as well as the recent MasterGhostKnight/LoR quarrel, and even here at the Bogosity forums to get a taste for what it's about. My primary motivation for finally registering here is from Shane's points in a few of his videos about intelligent people and skeptics "turning it all off and becoming dogmatists in the political arena." Myself, I can't pin down my political affiliation yet because there's a lot I don't know and can't comment about. I officially rank right between Liberal and Libertarian on that smallest political quiz, the last time I took it. Political affiliation is something I've bounced around between for quite some time, my first taste of it in high school being a naive teenager and adoring nuts like Savage, Hannity (not so much Rush...) etc. I was never religious or used God for arguments, I merely identified with them for stupid miscellaneous reasons. Though I hated how there was such a following of religious people. I would find myself grinding my teeth while dumbass callers, forum posters and such would spout their religious bullshit as rationale for their viewpoints, instead of making convincing arguments as to why they supported those viewpoints. Needless to say, I grew out of that.

Later on I grew more liberal, while still questioning things on both sides of the aisle. I knew what Libertarianism was even then, but I knew about people like Boortz (don't know this forum's opinion of him) and how it seemed like the Libertarian party was infested with turncoat Republicans, so I just kept away from it. Later on than that, I joined YouTube and learned all I could about science, evolution, creationism/ID etc. I saw how just about all the "sane" science/evolution people were de facto liberals but it didn't phase me as being strange in any way. Eventually I realized I was atheist (I kinda was all along, but I never really substantiated it until recently). Then recently, I found Shane's videos, and was surprised that I found someone who packed the same punch and impatience for stupid religious and creationist bullshit as Thunderf00t et al, yet was libertarian. I watched all the videos by Shane eventually and started to question in my head a lot of the non-science content of the big YouTubers' videos (the political stuff). Mind you, I haven't dared comment on any political points on the science YouTubers' videos, a) because I don't know enough and b) because it's futile.

So here I am, eager to learn. I will ask questions and contribute where I can, but I realize my own ignorance and wish to do what I can to improve it. I don't want to be a dogmatist in the political arena, and it's real easy to be when assholes like HowTheWorldWorks ruin it for me in terms of letting my frustration over most of his viewpoints get the better of me by remaining completely liberal. It's funny, because his subscriber base is filled with people who adore him simply because they're fundamentalist Christians and Creationist nuts. He makes an explicit effort not to talk about social or scientific matters, which I see as a type of dishonesty because it's obvious his goal is money (YT partnership) and bigger subscriber base. I don't know what he identifies as politically (just conservative, or Libertarian?), but he knows that if he took the shanedk approach and was open about his views on abortion, homosexuality, creationism etc. he wouldn't have the kinds of subscribers he has now, most of whom are mainly subscribed to him because of their belief that he is what he isn't. For all I know most of his viewpoints are the same as shanedk, yet Shane is willing to be open about what he accepts and believes. At least when religious nuts and creationists hate Shane, they can hate him for what he is. With HTWW, that's not the case. Anyway that's too much about HTWW already but I hope it's clear the points I'm trying to make.

I look forward to getting the most out of this forum :) Don't take what I say as a definitive stance on my part (especially any political views); I want to learn what I can.

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