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The Sperm Count Crisis!

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:33 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:And notice that without any details given about my dictatorial plan, he just leaps to the conclusion that it must be unfair.
No, my conclusion is that some people will inevitably perceive whatever system to be unfair. When that happens, what will King Wagstaff do to satisfy them (or not)?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:He just assumes that any system wherein nobody is left to die because of the whims of the free market will naturally be unacceptable to... well... people like him, I guess.
Do you really believe what you've said right there?
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:38 am

ilikebeans wrote:Most people would have picked an earlier spot from Wags' post: "I'd require licenses for prospective parents which could only be obtained after IQ tests and an examination of financial records."

Says a ton about your priorities; but of course, it's nothing we didn't already know.
Thanks for the free psychoanalysis, I really value your opinion. But you're right, I could have quoted Wags' entire retarded passage, but I didn't think it was necessary. It's still sitting there for all to see. What irks me is the way that Wags just lays out his two-paragraph plan for world peace as if it were simple and obvious - "Well, I'd just make everybody share the food!"

Yeah, that'll work.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:01 am

I'll say again: Duh.

If you read my description of how I would act if I dominated the world (in which I described myself as despotic and dictatorial, no less) as a "plan", then you've got less of a grasp on reality than I previously thought, Arturo.

It's exactly this kind of disconnect that makes me not engage you seriously.

Oh, and what's with using the term "retarded" as an insult?
Ain't you the fella who tried to paint me as homophobic for using the word "cocksucker"?
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:18 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:If you read my description of how I would act if I dominated the world (in which I described myself as despotic and dictatorial, no less) as a "plan", then you've got less of a grasp on reality than I previously thought, Arturo.

For crap's sake, I understand that you are not serious about your "plan" to feed the world by dictatorial edict.

Going back to the post from which I pulled the initial quote, you said this:
What we are is a greedy, political species who can't pull our heads out of the ass of the free market long enough to start providing everyone with the readily available modern comforts outlined in Snoqueen's post.
That sounds like a pretty genuine opinion - or is this bit facetious too?
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:27 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Oh, and what's with using the term "retarded" as an insult?
Ain't you the fella who tried to paint me as homophobic for using the word "cocksucker"?
I'm not calling you a retard, I'm saying that your statement was retarded, as in "of sub-par intellectual quality". I know that you are not retarded or even below-average intelligence.

Yes, I was the one who called you out on "cocksucker". I have a problem when people use "cocksucker" as an insult or slur. Do you find it wrong or bad for people to suck a cock? It's not even necessarily a homophobia issue (although that's the context that's most common) - lots of straight people suck cocks and many of us cock-owners are very thankful for that. Anyway, I'll retract "retarded" from my vocabulary (because it's not the best word given the modern connotations) if you do the same for "cocksucker".
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:45 am

ArturoBandini wrote:Going back to the post from which I pulled the initial quote, you said this:
What we are is a greedy, political species who can't pull our heads out of the ass of the free market long enough to start providing everyone with the readily available modern comforts outlined in Snoqueen's post.
That sounds like a pretty genuine opinion - or is this bit facetious too?
It's 100% genuine.

But if you think I'm gonna get sucked into a conversation with you about it, you're nuttier than a squirrel dropping. We've been on that Tilt-A-Whirl a gazillion times already.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby DCB » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:
What we are is a greedy, political species who can't pull our heads out of the ass of the free market long enough to start providing everyone with the readily available modern comforts outlined in Snoqueen's post.
That sounds like a pretty genuine opinion - or is this bit facetious too?
It's 100% genuine.

Right. So saying we can just 'choose' to feed everyone is silly.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:15 am

You don't think politics and greed are choices?
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby rabble » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:38 pm

I think using the word "choose" implies that you had a hand in making the decision.

And I think it's a rationalization. Our species is not doing so great right now. If our current situation is really a choice, then there's always a chance we can change our minds. I am doubtful.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Uncle Fester » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:47 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I can't even bear to read through this thread in its entirety given how totally wrong one of the central premises is. I'm really tired of hearing people state unequivocally that the planet is overpopulated (or about to become so) given that's it's utter bullshit.

There is more than enough land, food, and energy for everyone. We suck at distribution, is all.


I noticed you left out the issue of WATER, not only for human consumption, but also for agriculture and sanitation.

According to water.org, 3.4 million people a year die from water-related disease, an amount akin to the population of Los Angeles.

You claim there is "plenty of land," but ignore the human footprint -- the amount of land required for each person to have enough food, potable water, and sanitation.

You claim the government can feed everybody, yet we are $16 trillion in debt and the government borrows 46 cents for each dollar it spends. One-fifth of the population is on the dole and are having more and more babies every day.

You don't mention a thing about the desirability of living on an overpopulated planet. You could probably stuff 50 people into your house and find enough food to keep them alive. But would you want to live this way? Could you live this way?
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby DCB » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:21 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You don't think politics and greed are choices?

I'd say those are the result of each person making many different choices. Its unrealistic to assume they will all align in a radically different way.

Technically, it is true that everyone in the world could choose to make Prof. Wagstaff dicator of the world. Under this improbable scenario, you might very well accomplish the goal of distributing enough food to everyone in the world. But we both know that's not realistic.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:29 pm

rabble wrote:I think using the word "choose" implies that you had a hand in making the decision.
I'm still not sure I'm following this. Are you agreeing with me or DCB?

People choose to be greedy, whether it's our natural tendency as a species (which I think it is) or not. When you pursue wealth at someone else's expense (which is what we're talking about), you clearly could choose not to do so.

And certainly political views are man-made, not natural, constructions. Not sure how anyone could see that one differently, but I'm open to hearing arguments.

Uncle Fester wrote:I noticed you left out the issue of WATER, not only for human consumption, but also for agriculture and sanitation.
I would absolutely include water among those things which everyone should have access to.
Uncle Fester wrote:You claim there is "plenty of land," but ignore the human footprint -- the amount of land required for each person to have enough food, potable water, and sanitation.
I'm not ignoring anything. There is plenty of water on the planet too. Too much of it is, unfortunately, taken for granted by those who have the most easy access to it, and ends up wasted. Lots of ways we can curb the amount of water we currently use and plenty more ways we could access water which is currently unusable if we applied ourselves to that task. We don't, because it's not cost-effective. Which is what I said earlier: we have our heads up the ass of the free market at the expense of basic human necessities and dignity.

Uncle Fester wrote:You claim the government can feed everybody...
I didn't claim that. I said there's more than enough food in the world for everybody, which is a demonstrable fact. Pretending it's not true is your choice, but it doesn't have any bearing on the facts at hand (which were provided upthread in Snoqueen's link.) And I certainly never said it was the sole responsibility of the U.S. government to feed everybody, so the statistics you quoted are pretty much irrelevant to my argument. But if you want to talk about the U.S., by all means, as we're a shining example of greed and politics preventing us from doing right by our fellow humans. We're in debt because our priorities are completely out of whack, not because there isn't enough "stuff". We'd rather fight unnecessary wars than feed our citizens. We'd rather spend hundreds of millions to incarcerate people than to educate them. We'd rather continue policies which promote further damage to the environment then seriously invest in and promote cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. And so on.
Uncle Fester wrote:You don't mention a thing about the desirability of living on an overpopulated planet. You could probably stuff 50 people into your house and find enough food to keep them alive. But would you want to live this way? Could you live this way?
This argument again presumes that either there's not enough room and resources currently or that there won't be sometime in the near future. I maintain there's no good reason to believe this is so.
Plenty of room, plenty of resources, plenty of "stuff" to go around. It's just not going around, it's circling the drain of the free market.
And let me be clear: I'm in no way opposed to capitalism. It's wonderful for most stuff. But it's clearly failing when it comes to the basics.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby DCB » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:48 pm

jman111 wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I can't even bear to read through this thread in its entirety given how totally wrong one of the central premises is. I'm really tired of hearing people state unequivocally that the planet is overpopulated (or about to become so) given that's it's utter bullshit.

Well, studies of population dynamics in closed ecosystems have consistently supported the theory that the closed ecosystem known as Earth is, or will be, overpopulated.

The earth might be able to sustain 5 or 10 billion members of a single species for an indeterminate time. But at the cost of losing many more species at a catastrophic rate.
For the first time since the dinosaurs disappeared, humans are driving animals and plants to extinction faster than new species can evolve, one of the world's experts on biodiversity has warned.
...
Stuart said it was possible that the dramatic predictions of experts like the renowned Harvard biologist E O Wilson, that the rate of loss could reach 10,000 times the background rate in two decades, could be correct.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... ies-evolve

Map
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:58 pm

You guys keep coming up with variations on the same argument, which seems to me to boil down to this: Because we have been mismanaging our resources, we have no choice but to continue to do so.

I don't believe that's true because it's demonstrably false. I agree that humans are the most destructive species the world has ever known. But that's because we choose to continue acting against our own -- and the planet's -- best interests, all in the name of greed and politics.

Wisconsin is a perfect example of how this need not be so, given that over a century ago, we had come close to destroying all our forests. We recognized the problem and have since reversed it. So forgive me for not being a pessimist or a defeatist. Yes, if we as a species continue on the present course (driven by greed and politics) we are probably doomed. I have great faith in human ingenuity. Many of you clearly do not.
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Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby DCB » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:36 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You guys keep coming up with variations on the same argument, which seems to me to boil down to this: Because we have been mismanaging our resources, we have no choice but to continue to do so.

I'm saying the entire history of the human species is evidence that we inevitably will continue to do so.
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