Our Collapsing Civilization

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mharr
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby mharr » Tue May 22, 2018 2:05 am

Charlie's on a roll, today he's summing up the head-on collision of ecological, political and tech disasters that will probably wipe out half of the planet if we're lucky. Some optimism in the comments. https://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-s ... ntury.html

This thought in particular is cheerfully plausible:
Everyone is carrying a cell-phone with a video camera. If you're a racist you will eventually show up on Youtube, and eventually some enterprising Black entrepreneur will come up with a proper database of racist White people. Given proper curation of the database and a group of lawyers, it may prove to very easy to assemble a class-action suit out of Black/Asian/Brown people who are strangers to each other... all the minorities in a particular town who have been harassed by a particular cop, or whatever.

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Mongrel
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Tue May 22, 2018 3:11 am

Yes, the aggregate class-action suit is actually a good idea. The rest of it is rubbish.

Even someone as horrifically pessimistic as I used to be should pause before Stross' nightmare scenario, because it assumes that no one will be willing to do anything about it.

If you raise that point there's always something to handwave it like "Oh, well the internet will give us permanent mass surveillance, or the drone army will massacre folks out of sight out of mind, etc. etc.", but honestly no human system of oppression ever lacked internal opponents. For that sort of thing to work, you need the entire planet to regress en masse to - at MINIMUM - Chinese levels of autocracy and control and quite possibly North Korean levels. As your quote mentions, and as the last few years have proven, in a free society permanent mass surveillance goes both ways.

I mean, I still love to complain about things or make dire predictions of gloom, but Stross' scenario playing out for a large number of nations, much less the entire world, seems... unlikely?

Certainly I can still envision potential doom and gloom, but that's more likely to be masses of folks dying directly due to climate change (you don't need robots or modern analytics to kill refugees out of neglect - we're doing that just fine right now!). Or, alternately, a good-old-fahioned resource war, probably related to those old basic staples, land and water. Or both. In the latter scenario all you need is for someone to be willing to start chucking nukes and hey, there we go.

But again, I can see huge numbers of people refusing to go along with this. I think there's a gross underestimation of the impact of growing up in the world we've made is having on kids today. They know who to blame - rightly - and while they won't all respond in the best way, I think a huge number of them will. Just as children who grew up during the gilded age and the great depression fought to build more just societies, so too will the generations just coming up now.

That doesn't mean we won't still have a catastrophe - those who grew up in the gilded age ended up with WWI, and those who grew up in the Depression were stuck with WWII - but if that happens, it will be an actual conflict, not just some hopeless Orwellian cyberpunk dystopia with a robotic foot, stamping a QR code onto a human face, forever.
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Tue May 22, 2018 3:22 am

To add to that, imagine a scenario where Trump and the alt-right somehow successfully impose some sort of permanent Republican Empire on the US. Of the three outcomes of such an event which do you think is more likely?

1) Everyone just accepts it.
2) Americans who won't stand for injustice turn out to be such a tiny or timid minority, that they cannot possibly oppose their new overlords, so they accept it.
3) Americans who won't stand for injustice give up efforts to fight within the law which has only become progressively more twisted and start to get violent on a large scale, possibly leading to mass revolt or even a second civil war.

Also, today is not 1862. If the US descends into true civil war, who knows if the other powers of the world will stand by and watch as they did a century and a half ago? It's kind of pushing speculation, but it's not impossible that the US could end up as the central battleground of the next global war, with foreign powers from all around the world supporting various factions, with that being a potential vector for the war to expand to a global conflict (but absent other pressures, I would guess it would be more like Syria, where other countries come to meddle, but avoid direct expanding to direct conflict outside the chosen zone of conflict).

I speak of the US specifically here, because so much of the next century is going to hinge on the direction the US takes, and the US is VERY conflicted right now.
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mharr
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby mharr » Tue May 22, 2018 3:42 am

Naturally I hope you're right, but we're also living at the historical high water mark of wealth concentration and disparity, and that trend shows no sign of slowing. If resistance is all in the bottom half of society with no significant bajillionaire allies, it might be David Icke'd into ineffectiveness. I'm particularly concerned that the reaction to the public outing of Cambridge Analytica has been to double-down on right to be forgotten laws, which will turn mass surveillance back into a one way street.

Maybe it's just that you interact with a wider spectrum of people. I'm buried in Middle England here, surrounded by neighbours who think Trump and the Brexit vote were great victories for common sense civilisation. Meanwhile most of the younger folk I know are, as you say, "not responding in the best way". Violent revolution is no help if it can be twisted in upon itself.

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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Wed May 23, 2018 10:39 pm

JFC



http://kuow.org/post/she-says-her-activ ... ce-s-radar

Newly released public records suggest a prominent Northwest activist was targeted for deportation partly because she spoke out to the media. Lawyers say the documents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raise concerns about free speech.

The document in question, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, outlines why ICE served a deportation notice to Bellingham resident Maru Mora Villalpando in December.

The form, called an I-213, says Villapando overstayed her visa, that she has no criminal record, and that ICE learned about her through a newspaper article, in which Villalpando identified herself as undocumented.

Villalpando believes ICE’s motive is political.

“I think it’s very clear in the document that they labeled me as an anti-ICE protester,” Villalpando said during a press call Monday. “I think this is a clear attack on our organizing and our freedom of speech.”

The I-213 states Villalpando “has extensive involvement with anti-ICE protests and Latino advocacy programs.”
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 24, 2018 12:12 am

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics ... index.html

A Republican congressional candidate is facing a backlash after saying that Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year should not be able to register to vote in the state.

In a video uploaded to YouTube by the campaign of a Republican rival, John Ward -- a candidate in the GOP primary for Florida's 6th Congressional District -- is asked by a voter how he would respond to Puerto Ricans who have "moved either temporarily or permanently to Florida" when "they say that they need more help and that the aid to Puerto Rico is not enough."
Ward replied by saying, "First of all, I don't think they should be allowed to register to vote. It's not lost on me that, I think, the Democrat party's really hoping that they can change the voting registers in a lot of counties and districts, and I don't think they should be allowed to do that."

The candidate went on to say that "we should be looking to put the Puerto Ricans back in their homes. The idea that they can come to the mainland United States, I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but I think we should be thinking about it in terms of getting them back home and providing the capital and resources to rebuild Puerto Rico, which is, I honestly think, is where they belong."
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:06 pm

You know what? Just don't read any news about ICE if you want to sleep again. I don't even want to link the latest gut-wrenchingly horrifying articles.

JFC I wish there were literally ANYTHING I could do. Even interned Japanese during WWII were treated better than refugee seekers to the US are being treated today.
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:49 am

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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:33 pm

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beatbandito
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby beatbandito » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:19 pm

Okay I see the issue here, buuuuuut...

Is the actual purging an issue? I understand that 2 years can be a problem for people that only vote in presidential elections being caught off guard by it (and I'll try to take this seriously enough not to tangent into why I like the idea of people who can't even keep track of their state's major political events finding themselves unable to vote) but otherwise voter registry information is a fucking mess all over and if not easily abused, at least easily claimed to be a source of abuse.

So if this was a purge every five years, or included a way to easily confirm you still want to be an active voter without voting, would be be better? Or am I missing a point that's flying over my head?
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:10 pm

Ugh, could we make voting a mandatory civil service like jury duty already?

(The answer is lol, no, never, because racism)

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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:44 pm

beatbandito wrote:Okay I see the issue here, buuuuuut...

Is the actual purging an issue? I understand that 2 years can be a problem for people that only vote in presidential elections being caught off guard by it (and I'll try to take this seriously enough not to tangent into why I like the idea of people who can't even keep track of their state's major political events finding themselves unable to vote) but otherwise voter registry information is a fucking mess all over and if not easily abused, at least easily claimed to be a source of abuse.

So if this was a purge every five years, or included a way to easily confirm you still want to be an active voter without voting, would be be better? Or am I missing a point that's flying over my head?

Anyone who does not have a reliable address (no fixed address or just has to move a lot - which usually means vulnerable people), or who have difficulty getting their address recognized will never receive these notification cards.

So anyone so affected will be forced to aggressively maintain their registration or re-register, which, surprise surprise, will be more difficult for the poor to do because lol voter ID laws. Arguably, this is pushing about as hard up as you can get to a property requirement (or at least the ability to reliably pay rent at a stable, long-term address), without actually instituting one.

And that's before we even talk about the states where blatant shenanigans like "Oh but we really did send out those notices, we swear!", or "Oh you voted two elections ago? Hmmm it seems we had no record of that." WILL happen.

It's basically another Plessy v. Ferguson-type situation, where the law supposedly fair to all parties on paper, but manifestly won't be in actual practise.
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:02 pm

In a controversial case that involved the rights of illegal immigrants and their young children, a Guatemalan mother lost her effort today to get back the five-year old son who was taken away from her after her arrest on immigration charges and put up for adoption in Missouri despite her objections.

A Missouri judge ruled the boy should stay with the Missouri couple, Melinda and Seth Moser, who took him into their home five years ago while his mother was in federal custody, where she attempted in vain to oppose the adoption proceedings.

"Nobody could help me because I don't speak English," said Encarnacion Bail Romero in an interview with ABC News.

The child, born as Carlos but renamed Jamison by the Mosers, has been with his adoptive parents in Carthage, Missouri since the age of 11 months.

The judge said the biological mother had no rights to even see her child, according to the mother's lawyer.

Asked if the Mosers would allow Bail Romero to see the child, the Mosers' attorney, Joseph Hensley, said the couple was "not willing to comment on that at this time."

'We're extremely happy about the decision," said Hensley, who also noted that the decision "really puts the biological mom in a difficult decision in terms of staying in this country."

The ruling today reaffirmed the original decision by another Missouri judge who terminated the parental rights of Bail Romero, stating that "illegally smuggling herself into the country is not a lifestyle that can provide any stability for the child."


JFC, burn this fucker alive.
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mharr
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby mharr » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:30 pm

http://www.hensleyforjudge.com

[American Dream Leave it to Beaver style group photo]
“Experience, Knowledge and Dedication – Working for Your Family”

...

Service:
Dina is active in the children’s ministry at Carterville Christian Church. Joe has served on several area boards, including the Board of Directors for the Joplin Y, and was a founding member of the Board of Directors for Crimestoppers. Joe and Dina worked as Big Brother/Big Sister volunteers for several years. Joe currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Webb City R-7 Schools Foundation, Inc. Joe speaks regularly and is a contributor to area groups on the topic of orphans, foster care, and adoption. He also teaches other attorneys in the areas of adoption and domestic law.

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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:27 pm

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McDohl
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby McDohl » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:32 pm

Kennedy retiring at the end of July.

Well, been nice knowing you.

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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:50 pm

Globe: Algeria has been dumping thousands of migrants in the Sahara to die.


This is an important thing, more important that most other things; like the drought in California that scared everyone a few years back.

It's a flash forward. A preview, unmitigated, of what's coming.

Because as global warming continues, more and more refugee migrants are going to continue fleeing areas affected by it (and by affected, I mean increased violence and corruption, which, yes, is directly affected by global warming, which, yes, causes a lack of water, which causes a lack of food, which causes violence, terrorism, and increased corruption)

It's ingenious, really, the UN putting pressure on the Northern African countries to displace the refugees before they can make it to Europe. Obviously them actually making it to Europe causes a lot more PR problems when they inevitably fuck them over (either by kicking them out or by oppressing them once they make it in) so having the Third World do the dirty work before they get anywhere near "The Civilized World" gives us a nice buffer between what the world is like instead of having it literally show up on our doorstep, desperate for things we do not want to give them, like food, water, and a living. I mean, Trump and his Mexican Wall is the same fucking thing. It's simply people looking to move from one area that sucks to another area that doesn't suck, and the people who are in the area that doesn't suck fucking the migrants over.

(Fun fact; whenever Scott Adams or some other fuckhead talks about how "poor people should just move out of the bad areas into better areas, duhhhhhh", you can just reply "They do. We rob them, and then kill them, their women, and their babies when they do.")

Remember. The Global Water Crisis is coming. I maintain, and have maintained since about 2005, that it is the most important thing.
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:55 pm

Friday wrote:
Globe: Algeria has been dumping thousands of migrants in the Sahara to die.


This is an important thing, more important that most other things; like the drought in California that scared everyone a few years back.

It's a flash forward. A preview, unmitigated, of what's coming.

Because as global warming continues, more and more refugee migrants are going to continue fleeing areas affected by it (and by affected, I mean increased violence and corruption, which, yes, is directly affected by global warming, which, yes, causes a lack of water, which causes a lack of food, which causes violence, terrorism, and increased corruption)

It's ingenious, really, the UN putting pressure on the Northern African countries to displace the refugees before they can make it to Europe. Obviously them actually making it to Europe causes a lot more PR problems when they inevitably fuck them over (either by kicking them out or by oppressing them once they make it in) so having the Third World do the dirty work before they get anywhere near "The Civilized World" gives us a nice buffer between what the world is like instead of having it literally show up on our doorstep, desperate for things we do not want to give them, like food, water, and a living. I mean, Trump and his Mexican Wall is the same fucking thing. It's simply people looking to move from one area that sucks to another area that doesn't suck, and the people who are in the area that doesn't suck fucking the migrants over.

(Fun fact; whenever Scott Adams or some other fuckhead talks about how "poor people should just move out of the bad areas into better areas, duhhhhhh", you can just reply "They do. We kill them when they do.")

Remember. The Global Water Crisis is coming. I maintain, and have maintained since about 2005, that it is the most important thing.

Agree. Massive migration and climate-change death is coming and western nations are already doing their damnedest to keep it away from their shores.
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Friday
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:57 pm

Remember when the California drought ended because we got massive rainfall the following year and everyone wiped their brow and said "whew, that was a close one!"

I actually think that was one of the dumbest fucking things our collective Society has ever done, ever. The Water Crisis is literally the worst problem we have ever faced since that guy solved mass world starvation by inventing a new kind of wheat and saved billions of lives.

Not kidding.

(Also Mongrel you quoted me before I was done editing my post)
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Re: Our Collapsing Civilization

Postby pacobird » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:04 pm

Reminder: Anthony Kennedy sucks, has always sucked, was always going to retire during a GOP presidency, and we're better off without him.
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