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Posts posted by AquinasD

  1. I am deeply continental, but I have moved a little bit away from the postmodern tradition.


    She matters as a human being, and because I used to have her for my avatar all the time. 


    What is the book about?


    The book is about politics, ideology, social theory, and civilization.


    Though to be fair, it would probably be better to introduce you to its perspective through more introductory readings.

  2. Since you left, I have fallen in love with G.W.F. Hegel.


    What I really have to decide now is, being the new forum outlay does not display our denomination affiliations, if I keep the Catholic Christ avatar, or go back to Megan Fox, or maybe back to an adorable sapphic avatar. I just figured out that Megan Fox is a practicing Christian. Albeit a charismatic, but nobody is perfect.  ;)


    Since I've left? I find that hard to believe. I thought you were already continental.


    What does Megan Fox even matter, at least since the Transformers movies?


    Want to read a book I wrote? I'd ask you over PM, but I can't send you PM's for some reason.

  3. Food would be cheaper if it didn't have to travel so far to get from farm to table.

    Not necessarily, or even usually, the case.

    Compare the cost of transporting a bushel of wheat by horseback to train. The train could probably bring the same bushel of wheat 500 times further at the same cost.

    Or, compare the cost of growing wheat in Kansas to Hawaii. Per acre, Kansas can produce 5 times as much wheat. Further, Hawaii can produce certain fruits that Kansas cannot, such as pineapple. When we decide where to grow pineapple and wheat, we should look to maximize our production so that everyone can have more of what they want. We can ship wheat to Hawaii from Kansas cheaper than we can grow it there. Likewise, we can ship pineapple to Kansas cheaper than we can grow it there.

    Food would be cheaper if we didn't raise so much grain for animals but instead used that land to grow grain for people, or fruits, or vegetables.

    Sure, but realize that cheapness isn't necessarily the highest value. If I was trying to be as cheap as possible with my food consumption, I would eat nothing but ramen. But that is not very preferable, so I'll also eat rice, beans, salad, and meat. It may be more expensive, but it is also more satisfactory.

    Food would be cheaper if people decided to grow their own vegetables from seed.

    There are limited amount of hours in the week that I can (or am willing) to work. If I spend all my time constructing roads and someone else spends all their time growing vegetables, we will each have more vegetables to eat and more roads to drive on. Such is the advantage of division of labor and trade.

    Food would be more readily available in the long run if we had a sustainable action of farming in which we are not damaging the earth in the process, ruining heritage crops, and in which we possess the right to save seed from the crops that we grow (I'm looking at you, Monsanto!)

    You realize that the "right to save seeds from grown crops" is given up by the farmers who choose to buy Monsanto? And Monsanto's "ownership" of the advanced seed strains is protected by government intellectual property law?

    Remember what I said about "letting people figure things out for themselves?"

    GMO is not the answer to world hunger.

    No individual thing is the answer. At least, not probably. A magic hat that makes infinite amounts of rice pop into existence would go a long way.

    The answer is to farm the earth respectfully and with regards to the future. (Preserving the integrity of our land)

    Such is already the incentive of the farmers who own the land. Private ownership of the land is how you avoid tragedy of the commons.

    STOP throwing out so much food!!! (Day old bagels, dented fruit, etc. I was walking around an apple orchard the other day and was really upset at the amount of bruised apples on the ground -- why not make applesauce?)

    Once again, you're not taking into account costs. "Eating more efficiently" is costly; I need to give up more time to make it happen, I need to consume food I might not like, and so on. Why not make applesauce? Probably because, compared to the processes already in use by factories to make applesauce, it wouldn't be cost-effective. In other words, devoting more time to the applesauce production that's already in place, rather than having someone spend their time picking up apples that have fallen to the ground in an apple orchard that isn't geared towards making applesauce, would produce more applesauce. Would you have more applesauce, or less? I think that answers your question.

  4. Some people are hungry, yes; but I've heard more sources state that we have plenty of food, it is just unevenly distributed.

    Sure, but food should also be less costly. More food = cheaper food. Duh.

    Suppose people went back to growing at least some portion of their vegetables and consumed less meat?

    Suppose we just let people make their own decisions.

    ---------- Post added at 11:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:17 AM ----------

    But to go on about our so-called sentimentality, as though any testing were an egregious imposition on consumers, just isn't persuasive.

    I think you missed the beginning of what I said:

    if you maintain an extremely high burden of proof on establishing that GMO's will never have even the least bit of side effects, then doing such will be extremely costly

    It's not about saying people would refuse some level of testing, but that an extremely high burden of proof could be more costly. The benefits of such just aren't worth what we give up.

  5. No, it just proves that more sufficient testing is necessary before using a gm crop.

    There is nothing without a cost. Proving a negative in cases like this can be virtually impossible, and if you maintain an extremely high burden of proof on establishing that GMO's will never have even the least bit of side effects (and being able to separate this from relevant genetic and environmental factors in your sample/population studies), then doing such will be extremely costly. You must take into account what we give up in order to gain a sentimentally satisfactory "proof" that GMO's will never, ever hurt anybody in the least way.

    In the meanwhile, we know certain things like this;

    GMO's can raise crop yields by 10%, and are especially effective in regions susceptible to pests.

    People need food to live.

    There is a substantial population for whom food is incredibly scarce.

    Now, I can grant that a steady diet of carcinogenic oats that might give you cancer in 40 years is less preferable than a steady diet without such oats, but I also reckon that developing cancer over 40 years of living is preferable to dying immediately. And this is assuming the worst case scenario with GMO's.

    Life is not without risks. I think this just needs to be accepted, and we shouldn't be irrational about risks because SCIENCE IS MESSING WITH OUR VEGETABLES. I'm willing to bet, based on the data gathered so far by the hundreds of studies that have so far not shown any negative correlations between GMO's and health, that GMO's do not pose a risk substantial enough to fricking lose our minds about. You're more likely to choke on a GMO than to die by GMO-induced cancer.

    As to the study in question, I'm sure the study will either be refuted on grounds of being completely irrelevant (i.e. they weren't testing the effects of GMO crops in the first place) or else that the results can't be repeated (i.e. the results were either anomalous or maybe even fraudulent).

  6. I am a staunch believer in industrial policy, which distorts price signals through government interventionism. It was successful in East Asia. In other words, I view the idea that distorted price signals are harmful to be an act of faith. One I do not hold. Do not feel like arguing this, though. Read post-Keynesian theory if you are interested.

    "Was successful" meaning what? There was over-investment which eventually led to rapid market restructuring which was a sign that capital was not being placed in its most effective place? Gee, sounds like a real success, if that's what you're trying to do.

    You keep calling my view "faith" but you won't even defend it! I can lay out my views in plain without a problem, but you keep referring me to this vague collection of "post-Keynesians" like its your gospel. You're undermining any interest I might have in trying to understand these ideas, since the impression I'm receiving is that you're completely disconnected from reality.

  7. Meh, I find no good evidence that price signals actually function like laissez-faire economists suggest. It is an unproven claim, and therefore I do not care to respond.

    So you are saying that you know how to correctly balance between the demand and supply of everyone and everything in economies comprising quadrillions of individual variables? If not, then what? What remains unproven, what else needs to be proven, how are prices formed?

  8. Even if everything she said is correct, she only had self-serving intentions. She doesn't care about Australia's economy, or the well being of workers, or how much people invest into Australia, unless it helps her make even more money. That's the only reason she wants lower taxes and a lower minimum wage.

    So what? Markets operate effectively when people can signal their own self-interests to others, so that others may provide to buyers what they're selling, and know what to sell. Whether what they're selling is land, minerals, or labor, people are brought together in the market by the ability to signal and act on those incentives conducive to people acting with self-interest. So long as she isn't insisting that she have the opportunity to increase her wealth by coercive means (unlike those demanding greater welfare of various forms), and what she says is true, what are you opposing? Lower taxes would make people better off, and a lower (or nonexistent) minimum wage would also make people better off. Everything she said was correct, and people's knee jerk reactions that involves pointing out how she has interests of her own or that there are exceptions to her generalized solution misses the point.

  9. The American Revolution, which in our society is generally considered righteous, was fought over emancipation from an Imperial Power. So our Founding Fathers traded many, many human lives for self-rule. I do not doubt most Americans who are pro-life support the American Revolution. Yet, when somebody like Marissa/Opalecent puts forth the argument that banning abortion would do more harm than good, pro-life proponents are up in arms admonishing, "How could you be so utilitarian?"

    Did anybody even make that objection? I must have missed it.

  10. In short, you're right, winning is not the end of the game. Winning fairly at one's best against an opponent at his best is the end of the game.

    But playing the best strategy is playing one's best. Would you consider it "good sportsmanship" for players to simply ignore the advantages to be had that comes from playing by the rules? I mean, its like a chess grand master choosing to ignore the castling rule.