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JayB

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

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Is this the public-(exept-me)-as-hapless-pawn-of-marketers meme again? It's consistent with a certain political perspective, but the scenario you're invoking seems at least as far fetched

 

Noting that the obscene amount of money spent every year in commercial propaganda leads to sales is "farfetched"? Apparently, you didn't go to business school.

 

Nope - no plans to either. You?

 

Is there something special about you that renders you immune to its effects and thereby permits you to exist as an autonomous dissident amongst the great grazing herd? If so, how did you acquire those qualities, and is this a status that others can attain independently?

 

 

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I'm not sure that you can make a logically consistent case for keeping climbing legal if you want to keep the consumption of cocaine, etc illegal on that basis.
But there is a critical difference between keeping something legal, and legalizing something, even disregarding the nature of the subjects. A "laissez-faire" mentality sounds perfectly fine for something that is already an equilibrated aspect of society, but I am wary of the inductive argument that this must also be the best way to liberate a currently restricted behavior. When deliberately changing conditions 'we' probably have a responsibility to buffer the inhumanities of the transition to this greater freedom. Of course nobody here is advocating instant deregulation of drug legalities and markets, but it is obviously more interesting to find something to argue about.

 

Also, as much as social darwinism offers a perfectly cruel and simple solution to problems like overeating and addiction, I'm not convinced that it's the best that we can do. And I find it particularly unsettling that the selective pressures that are weeding people out at present are not natural circumstances but rather highly engineered industries by which a few disproportionately wealthy deceitfully prey on their own society. Society may be perpetually ill because this is a necessary side-effect of (largely) private profits.

 

I agree with you on the first paragraph, but differ in that I think that the current state of affairs is much worse than the endpoint we'd reach if all drugs were currently produced, distributed, and sold like alcohol and nicotine.

 

 

The bit about selective pressures and disproportionately wealthy deceitfully preying on society bit is where I think I disagree with you the most, and consequently what I'm most curious about.

 

The first question that might help me better understand your perspective is - how do we know that the way that they live and the choices that they make aren't an accurate reflection of their true preferences? Even if there was an objective way to determine this - and I don't think there is - how would we determine who gets the power to determine what choices made on their behalf are acceptable, and where should the line be drawn concerning the freedoms that people have when choosing between various items available in the marketplace? I'm talking about goods and services that satisfy all of the existing rules that we have in place to prevent the sale of goods that are defective, adulterated, etc.

 

Moving onto the role of deceit in building wealth - do you really believe that this is the central mechanism by which people build commercial fortunes in a situations in which competition prevails? People get conned into buying a crappy product that doesn't satisfy their expectations...and they don't seek out available alternatives, but just keep buying the same thing over and over again? Is this model even possible in the absence of government intervention to create a protected cartel that it insulates from competition? Where competition prevails, are consumers really at the mercy of businesses, or is it the other way around? If it's the former, how is it that you have - evidently - managed to carve out a psychic niche for yourself as an informed, independent, and autonomous fellow that external observes can be confident is making choices that represent his true self interest, and isn't in need of an external authority to supervise his eating, etc?

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Is this the public-(exept-me)-as-hapless-pawn-of-marketers meme again? It's consistent with a certain political perspective, but the scenario you're invoking seems at least as far fetched

 

Noting that the obscene amount of money spent every year in commercial propaganda leads to sales is "farfetched"? Apparently, you didn't go to business school.

 

Nope - no plans to either. You?

 

 

Me neither, but again I don't need to go to school in order to take note of the obvious: manipulative commercial propaganda is necessary to get people to buy products they otherwise wouldn't buy because they don't need them.

 

 

Is there something special about you that renders you immune to its effects and thereby permits you to exist as an autonomous dissident amongst the great grazing herd? If so, how did you acquire those qualities, and is this a status that others can attain independently?

 

I know it is your greatest wish to portray people like me as elitists who only have disdain for the "great grazing herd", but this terminology is yours, not mine, and I only disdain the demagogues, not their victims. I am hardly alone in refusing unsustainable consumerism and people follow different path to reach the same conclusions so I fail to understand how your question would be relevant, except of course to shift the goal posts and not discuss the role of commercial propaganda in getting people to purchase stuff that is harmful to them and their environment.

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Is this the public-(exept-me)-as-hapless-pawn-of-marketers meme again? It's consistent with a certain political perspective, but the scenario you're invoking seems at least as far fetched

 

Noting that the obscene amount of money spent every year in commercial propaganda leads to sales is "farfetched"? Apparently, you didn't go to business school.

 

Nope - no plans to either. You?

 

 

Me neither, but again I don't need to go to school in order to take note of the obvious: manipulative commercial propaganda is necessary to get people to buy products they otherwise wouldn't buy because they don't need them.

 

 

Is there something special about you that renders you immune to its effects and thereby permits you to exist as an autonomous dissident amongst the great grazing herd? If so, how did you acquire those qualities, and is this a status that others can attain independently?

 

I know it is your greatest wish to portray people like me as elitists who only have disdain for the "great grazing herd", but this terminology is yours, not mine, and I only disdain the demagogues, not their victims. I am hardly alone in refusing unsustainable consumerism and people follow different path to reach the same conclusions so I fail to understand how your question would be relevant, except of course to shift the goal posts and not discuss the role of commercial propaganda in getting people to purchase stuff that is harmful to them and their environment.

 

I won't repeat the questions I posted for Justin, who seems to share your perspective on this matter, but I hope that you'll consider them and respond, because I'm just as curious about how you think about these things.

 

For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

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dammit, and I was secretly really hoping this could rescue American business and the stock market

 

Better yet - we should invade another country and force them to open their markets to our drugs!

 

i bet you wear boxers

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102718056d.jpg

The Pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker.

 

Operating much like a pop-up toaster, this unique kitchen appliance lets you easily prepare two hot dogs (complete with toasted buns) in minutes. Its 660-watt electronic heating coil has time settings for heating hot dogs and buns to your taste preference. Crumb basket removes for cleaning. Plugs into AC. 8-1/2" H x 10-1/2" W x 5-1/4" D. (6 lbs.)

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

This kind of antisocial denial that private choices very often have far-ranging social effects has pretty much run its course as an idea about how real human societies work. You're becoming what the Bushies described as a "dead-ender".

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

You didn't take my position as granted. My position is that relentless commercial propaganda manipulates individuals into doing what they otherwise wouldn't do; therefore, the loss of freedom occurs when commercial interests control and distort human impulses in order to sell more junk. It's rather remarkable that repetitive manipulative techniques, which are otherwise branded as "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" suddenly become "informational advertising" when corporatists use them.

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

This kind of antisocial denial that private choices very often have far-ranging social effects has pretty much run its course as an idea about how real human societies work. You're becoming what the Bushies described as a "dead-ender".

 

The "wide ranging social effects" of private choices has never been in dispute, and I would have thought that this elementary point would have been obvious.

 

What's been under discussion has been the extent to which the reality of social effects that extend beyond the individual can be used as a justification for enforcing limits on the set of choices and behaviors that individuals can make. In the liberal tradition, the line has been drawn at those behaviors in which the direct risk and/or harm are confined to the individual. The central basis for protecting this sphere or individual rights been that allowing the state to cross this threshold is incompatible with the set of liberties that are necessary to maintain a social order predicated on the existence of a set of inalienable rights and liberties.

 

Anyone remember the old admonition about the risks associated with forsaking liberty for security?

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

You didn't take my position as granted. My position is that relentless commercial propaganda manipulates individuals into doing what they otherwise wouldn't do; therefore, the loss of freedom occurs when commercial interests control and distort human impulses in order to sell more junk. It's rather remarkable that repetitive manipulative techniques, which are otherwise branded as "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" suddenly become "informational advertising" when corporatists use them.

 

It's not clear to me that you can draw the lines that clearly. If someone mightn't have taken a trip to Costa Rica if they hadn't seen a brochure, or read a particular book if they hadn't seen an ad for it in a paper both qualify as things that people "might not have otherwise done" if not for marketing, but it's quite a leap to go from that concession to agreeing that:

 

1)Those outcomes, and zillions of others like them, constitute activities that are objectively harmful in any sense.

 

2)Outside observers can reliably determine what's objectively in another person's interest.

 

3)We should grant external authorities all powers necessary to restrict the information that people are exposed to, and the choices that they make in response to it - even if it were possible to demonstrate that conditions 1 and 2 were true.

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

You didn't take my position as granted. My position is that relentless commercial propaganda manipulates individuals into doing what they otherwise wouldn't do; therefore, the loss of freedom occurs when commercial interests control and distort human impulses in order to sell more junk. It's rather remarkable that repetitive manipulative techniques, which are otherwise branded as "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" suddenly become "informational advertising" when corporatists use them.

 

It's not clear to me that you can draw the lines that clearly. If someone mightn't have taken a trip to Costa Rica if they hadn't seen a brochure, or read a particular book if they hadn't seen an ad for it in a paper both qualify as things that people "might not have otherwise done" if not for marketing,

 

I drew the line at manipulating, distorting and controlling human impulses. Not at providing information.

 

but it's quite a leap to go from that concession to agreeing that:

 

1)Those outcomes, and zillions of others like them, constitute activities that are objectively harmful in any sense.

 

We could find zillions of outcomes that are harmful, and you'd probably agree that many are harmful.

 

 

2)Outside observers can reliably determine what's objectively in another person's interest.

 

if observers can identify some propaganda as brainwashing, they certainly can determine what isn't in another person's interest.

 

3)We should grant external authorities all powers necessary to restrict the information that people are exposed to, and the choices that they make in response to it - even if it were possible to demonstrate that conditions 1 and 2 were true.

 

I didn't "grant external authorities all powers necessary to restrict the information that people are exposed to", but it is remarkable that you don't think it is already case insofar the corporate media only communicates "information" that furthers it own interests.

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For the sake of discussion, let's take your position as granted. Don't sane adults have a right to engage in activities that put their lives, health, etc at risk if they so choose, so long as the way that they do so confines the direct risk and potential harm to themselves? Isn't there an argument for preserving the right to engage in risky/harmful behavior so long as it satisfies the above test?

 

You didn't take my position as granted. My position is that relentless commercial propaganda manipulates individuals into doing what they otherwise wouldn't do; therefore, the loss of freedom occurs when commercial interests control and distort human impulses in order to sell more junk. It's rather remarkable that repetitive manipulative techniques, which are otherwise branded as "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" suddenly become "informational advertising" when corporatists use them.

 

It's not clear to me that you can draw the lines that clearly. If someone mightn't have taken a trip to Costa Rica if they hadn't seen a brochure, or read a particular book if they hadn't seen an ad for it in a paper both qualify as things that people "might not have otherwise done" if not for marketing,

 

I drew the line at manipulating, distorting and controlling human impulses. Not at providing information.

 

but it's quite a leap to go from that concession to agreeing that:

 

1)Those outcomes, and zillions of others like them, constitute activities that are objectively harmful in any sense.

 

We could find zillions of outcomes that are harmful, and you'd probably agree that many are harmful.

 

 

2)Outside observers can reliably determine what's objectively in another person's interest.

 

if observers can identify some propaganda as brainwashing, they certainly can determine what isn't in another person's interest.

 

3)We should grant external authorities all powers necessary to restrict the information that people are exposed to, and the choices that they make in response to it - even if it were possible to demonstrate that conditions 1 and 2 were true.

 

I didn't "grant external authorities all powers necessary to restrict the information that people are exposed to", but it is remarkable that you don't think it is already case insofar the corporate media only communicates "information" that furthers it own interests.

 

Even if we accept that it's possible to draw a clear line between information and propaganda/brain-washing/etc in all cases, who or what is the "they" in the second to last response, and what mechanisms of enforcement and coercion should the "they" in question be granted to insure that people they're responsible for supervising don't make choices that "they" have determined are not in their self-interest?

 

With regards to the last point, I'd certainly agree that every entity in society that disseminates information does so with an eye to advancing its own interests, including actors ranging from GM to GreenPeace to the government. Even if you agree with the far-from-certain proposition that their doing so always results in outcomes that are inconsistent with the interests of others - it's far from certain that granting the only party in society with the capacity to arrest, imprison, dispossess, detain, others the power to make and enforce such determinations will serve to advance the interests of those outside the government. Do the risks inherent in granting the only realistic "they" in question these powers not present risks that are far graver than the potential benefits?

 

 

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I didn't grant anyone "the capacity to arrest, imprison, dispossess, detain" (besides to the judicial and police institutions through my elected officials). I only showed that your so-called freedom amounted to the freedom of plutocrats to manipulate, distort and control human impulses, which is nothing more than commercial propaganda that you otherwise have no problem identifying in some instances. Between corporocracy masquerading as the pursuit of free will (the so-called libertarian model) and democracy by and for the people, it is a no-brainer.

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I didn't grant anyone "the capacity to arrest, imprison, dispossess, detain" (besides to the judicial and police institutions through my elected officials). I only showed that your so-called freedom amounted to the freedom of plutocrats to manipulate, distort and control human impulses, which is nothing more than commercial propaganda that you otherwise have no problem identifying in some instances. Between corporocracy masquerading as the pursuit of free will (the so-called libertarian model) and democracy by and for the people, it is a no-brainer.

 

Nope, you didn't grant them - those are all powers that the one and only entity likely to enforce the kinds of restrictions that you are evidently in favor of.

 

It's clear that advertising is only one mode of knowledge transmission that has the potential to lead individuals into making choices that others deem contrary to their self interest. Clubs, religions, schools, sewing circles, gossip, etc - singling out advertising that meets existing rules against fraud, etc seems a bit arbitrary. If exposure to other modes of communication also put people at risk for making choices contrary to their externally determined self interest, what argument can you make against granting the same entity to power to restrict any means of disseminating information that meets your "known to be harmful to their self-interest" test? If you argue against doing so, I hope you'll be careful enough to construct an argument that isn't at odds with your position on advertising.

 

I'm also still curious about the mechanisms that you'd like to external agent determining and enforcing an choices that are in an individual's self interest use to make such distinction and impose them. E.g. how to distinguish someone duped into making a given decision by a corporocracy and someone who is making a choice consistent with real, objectively identifiable free will? Also, if a choice can be empirically determined to be driven by authentic free will, but has also been determined to be objective counter to the said person's self-interest, what would you still be comfortable for the external-self-interest-determiner using its power to prevent him from acting?

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The 800 pound gorilla in the room being, of course, that the free rein given this narrow notion of freedom and liberty by political and corporate elites during the last 30 years has made America demonstrably dumber, fatter, more unequal, more aggressive, polluted, and suspicious.

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Then again, I know history doesn't really jibe with the brand of hermetically sealed parlor puzzles you like to construct here.

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I didn't grant anyone "the capacity to arrest, imprison, dispossess, detain" (besides to the judicial and police institutions through my elected officials). I only showed that your so-called freedom amounted to the freedom of plutocrats to manipulate, distort and control human impulses, which is nothing more than commercial propaganda that you otherwise have no problem identifying in some instances. Between corporocracy masquerading as the pursuit of free will (the so-called libertarian model) and democracy by and for the people, it is a no-brainer.

 

Nope, you didn't grant them - those are all powers that the one and only entity likely to enforce the kinds of restrictions that you are evidently in favor of.

 

I never talked about restrictions even though restrictions already do exist (despite your behaving as if it were impossible) such as in adverts for children and regarding subliminal advertising. Furthermore, if anyone is for restrictions it is likely to be you for I suspect you want to keep the control of media in the hands of the highest bidder, i.e. mega-corporations, all in the name of “freedom” of course.

 

It's clear that advertising is only one mode of knowledge transmission that has the potential to lead individuals into making choices that others deem contrary to their self interest. Clubs, religions, schools, sewing circles, gossip, etc - singling out advertising that meets existing rules against fraud, etc seems a bit arbitrary. If exposure to other modes of communication also put people at risk for making choices contrary to their externally determined self interest, what argument can you make against granting the same entity to power to restrict any means of disseminating information that meets your "known to be harmful to their self-interest" test? If you argue against doing so, I hope you'll be careful enough to construct an argument that isn't at odds with your position on advertising.

 

 

Clubs, religion, sewing circles etc ... don’t have a virtual monopoly on coming into your home and brain uninvited to keep repeating the same manipulative messages.

 

I'm also still curious about the mechanisms that you'd like to external agent determining and enforcing an choices that are in an individual's self interest use to make such distinction and impose them. E.g. how to distinguish someone duped into making a given decision by a corporocracy and someone who is making a choice consistent with real, objectively identifiable free will? Also, if a choice can be empirically determined to be driven by authentic free will, but has also been determined to be objective counter to the said person's self-interest, what would you still be comfortable for the external-self-interest-determiner using its power to prevent him from acting?

 

There is no need for anyone to make such distinctions and any solution has to account for the role of media in society. I haven’t given lots of thought to this topic but off hand I’d say it should involve the break up media conglomerates and the enabling of media that do not resort to advertising techniques distorting perception, cognition, motivation, etc …

 

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Is there something special about you that renders you immune to its effects and thereby permits you to exist as an autonomous dissident amongst the great grazing herd? If so, how did you acquire those qualities, and is this a status that others can attain independently?

 

:cry: you aren't really arguing for educated masses, are you? Doesn't this financial crisis show that even the experts are fucking retarded?

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Some food for thought from Douglas Rushkoff. Especially like the part about the myth of individuality.

 

 

[video:youtube]sOBWhVe68os

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Good stuff. The greatest myth about individuality is that individual diversity should provide the main rationale for our societal model whereas, in fact, we are mostly similar and our fundamental needs are overwhemingly the same.

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102718056d.jpg

The Pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker.

 

Operating much like a pop-up toaster, this unique kitchen appliance lets you easily prepare two hot dogs (complete with toasted buns) in minutes. Its 660-watt electronic heating coil has time settings for heating hot dogs and buns to your taste preference. Crumb basket removes for cleaning. Plugs into AC. 8-1/2" H x 10-1/2" W x 5-1/4" D. (6 lbs.)

 

Scoured SkyMall and couldn't find one a these. Fuckers.

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Good stuff. The greatest myth about individuality is that individual diversity should provide the main rationale for our societal model whereas, in fact, we are mostly similar and our fundamental needs are overwhemingly the same.

 

you really are a commie

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Wow, great comeback. You really blew his argument out of the water. Nice work.

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