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#207- Can We Pull Back from the Brink?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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12 June 2020 22:21
 

In this episode of the podcast, Sam discusses the recent social protests and civil unrest, in light of what we know about racism and police violence in America

#207- Can We Pull Back from the Brink?


This thread is for listeners’ comments

 
 
Twissel
 
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13 June 2020 01:22
 

not Harris’s finest hour.

He is setting up a couple of Strawmen when talking about “Defund the Police”, and exaggerates the level of rioting/looting, especially given the amount of evidence that a lot of this violence comes from far-right radicals or even the police themselves.


His excuse of the killer of George Floyd are almost comically uninformed: Chauvin was a career officer who absolutely had to know better: he was not new to this. Furthermore, plenty of people told him what was happening, he had plenty of time the re-evaluate his actions. And, of course, Floyd was not resisting in any meaningful way - he was already in handcuffs.
Add to that that Chauvin and Floyd knew each other quite well, and it becomes really hard not to see a motive for him to seriously hurt Floyd beyond what was necessary to finalize the arrest.


I desperately hope that Harris is going to make a correction on this, because he is so far of the mark on this.


The police has seen budget increases, year after year, for decades, but that money does not go into training - seriously, Sam claiming that “defund the police” means less training is almost entirely disconnected from reality. Police Departments have spend billions of facing gear instead of training, and the training they do heavily skews towards violent conflict instead of deescalation.

You can call it Police Reform if you feel better about it, but there is no question that we need a Cold Start, where every single police officer’s conduct needs to be examined to see if they are actually fit to do the work that is being asked of them.

The expression “a few bad apples” in its full form is “spoil the barrel”.
We need to empty out the barrel, throw away the bad apples, wash the rest and scrub out the barrel before filling it up again.
Or whatever reform we try to implement will be for nothing.

[ Edited: 13 June 2020 02:00 by Twissel]
 
 
postpt451
 
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13 June 2020 11:02
 

This was a much-needed wake-up call, and courageous of Sam to broadcast in this “age of outrage”. I think user Twistle is missing the forest for the trees here, which is exactly the point that Sam is trying to make. The tragedy of George Floyd, as despicable as it was, and similar events in the past, have been amplified by social media and distorted our perceptions of reality. Now, these protests are detached from our actual problems, and distracting us from creating true evidence-based solutions for the world’s problems. Twistle and others can argue endlessly about the particulars of the George Floyd case, but what Sam is concerned about here is a much larger problem for society.

 
Twissel
 
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13 June 2020 13:42
 

You are going to try to fix the “larger problem” ?

Or try to fix what can be fixed, right now, while there is momentum?

 
 
Trumanhw
 
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Trumanhw
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13 June 2020 18:36
 

40 million blacks
• kill ~450 whites annually…
• feloniously assault 540,000 whites annually…

200 million whites
• kill ~200 blacks annually…
• feloniously assault ~50,000 blacks annually…

and about 10 unarmed blacks are killed by police annually.

But the REAL problem ... is the racism of white people.

Whites need to do special things to atone for their original sin.

If ONLY Christopher Hitchens were still around to clue Sam in to the confirmation bias he at least pretends to have in the new woke culture.

That’s right ... 1 black per MILLION whites is murdered annually.

But some how, racism ... and fuck Trump.

Trump IS an idiot. But claiming that racism of whites is the REAL problem today is proof if there ever were such a thing of Sams delusions.

I miss the 2000s ... when Sam made sense. But alas, aside from the Podcast about vaccines..? He’s literally gone NUTS!

Watch some Atheism is Unstoppable if you want to see someone offer some clarity. Devon Tracy actually makes MORE sense than Sam does, despite naming his own podcast “making sense.”

WAKE UP Sam!

Back to the details of police violence—which as Sam sees it is “racially motivated” ...
instead of being a product of Qualified Immunity and callousness towards ALL PEOPLE; not just blacks. (Jesus fucking christ, who cannot see that??)

Yes, obviously, we need to prosecute ANY cop who doesn’t protect people; whether it’s from other citizens or other cops.

THIS IS NOT A PRODUCT OF RACISM: OR SLAVERY!  This is a product of indifference of police because they have NO CONSEQUENCES except one or two people who’re annually sacrificed of the near-million cops there are. But this has NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM. If anything, white cops are MORE APPREHENSIVE about attacking blacks than BLACK COPS are. (But that’s because quota hiring of blacks results in hiring and keeping people who’re DUMBER than the general population).

Why are police NOT prosecuted for things they should be…?

    —and—
Why are CITIZENS prosecuted for things which police are automatically assumed “justified” for doing ... such as, if someone tries to take their weapon away!

Tell me—can you IMAGINE a cop being charged for shooting someone who we KNOW was trying to disarm them..?

But a “jogger” was just “scared” ...??

WTF is wrong with Sam or other people who cannot make sense of things that are freaking OBVIOUS!?

Social justice is a stupid phrase. There’s just JUSTICE.

Those “teens” are never the problem ... right..?

The media doesn’t gerrymander the facts, omit certain things which don’t match their narrative ... and amplify those things which does—which then sends Woke Sam in to convulsions of wokeness to help us all fight the rampant racism.

PS, who here has heard a white person yell the N word at a black in the last 10 years..? 20 years…? And if you can think of someone who did..? I bet you know the one case you observed it.

There are often as many if not more whites protesting racism as there are blacks.

Do you think we’d ever see blacks protesting crimes by blacks against whites..?

Ironically, The Subway Vigilante might be the last instance the media captured in which blacks stood behind whites in the pursuit of the only type of justice there is.
I get that he at least said and believes he might have been motivated by racism! But the impulse of blacks to simply see a person defending himself, even if they were wrong, isn’t one we should ever expect today.

The media has convinced blacks to be as anti-white as we can possibly influence them to be.

It’s just amazing that someone as intelligent as Sam, who KNOWS the facts ... can’t see things for the way they are.

537,204 Blacks committed violent-interracial-felonies in 2018 ... out of the total of 593,598 crimes that year.
https://tinyurl.com/y2jqywot

  40 million blacks committed 537,204 interracial violent felonies…
200 million whites committed   56,394 interracial violent felonies…
but WHITE people are the problem…?

1 white per     75 blacks — is victim to an interracial violent felony.
1 black per 3,546 whites — is victim to an interracial violent felony.

200 million Whites ... kill ... ~200 Blacks
Ratio:  1 Black Murdered per MILLION White people

  40 million Blacks ... kill ...  ~480 Whites
Ratio:  1 White Murdered per 83,333 Blacks

1,000,000 / 83,333   or   12x

If:  1 / 75 people from ANY group are likely to attack you, it wouldn’t make you leery?

But it’s the racism of white people. Sure…

[ Edited: 13 June 2020 18:51 by Trumanhw]
 
lancedolan
 
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13 June 2020 19:09
 
Twissel - 13 June 2020 01:22 AM

... especially given the amount of evidence that a lot of this violence comes from far-right radicals or even the police themselves.

 

Care to share this? Hopefully in an appreciable amount? I’m always open to changing my mind, but searched diligently for these videos and have found 3, all of which are just white rioters that are assumed to be far right or police because…. they’re white? The impassioned BLM rioters burning down my home town are maybe half composed of whites. If you’re just going to share the video of the dude breaking a window at autozone… those rare videos seem like a drop in the bucket of overt rioting from BLM supporters that can be easily found in any direction. The rioters want to be heard as they riot, and want to explain that until black people feel safe, they’re going to destroy. I’ll get you started with this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZPeD2miyF8
This video is in my home town and I have old friends present where these familiar places burn. The rare and reticent condemnation of the rioting mixed among popular and confident support for the rioting is AN ACCURATE PICTURE of what’s going on here right now.

These videos aren’t anywhere near as hard to find or dubious in evidence as videos of “far-right or police force sabotaging peaceful protests.” I’m sorry but the evidence is stacked largely against your claim.

My experience right now is that virtually every liberal I know, and virtually every media source aside from fox I can find, supports the rioting as an understandable if not necessary reaction. To chalk up the rioting as a hijacking of peaceful protests is an either misguided or intellectually dishonest response; You’ve either not paid enough attention nor done the effort of getting as much exposure as possible, or you’re lying to yourself. Even if you have some really groundbreaking evidence to share, which could perhaps adjust my position slightly, it still competes with all this clear rioting by BLMers and all the overt and tacit support lent by other BLMers.

From my ground view of what’s happening in my community… You seem uninformed, friend. Of course I mean that without insult.

Twissel - 13 June 2020 01:22 AM


His excuse of the killer of George Floyd are almost comically uninformed: Chauvin was a career officer who absolutely had to know better: he was not new to this. Furthermore, plenty of people told him what was happening, he had plenty of time the re-evaluate his actions. And, of course, Floyd was not resisting in any meaningful way - he was already in handcuffs.
Add to that that Chauvin and Floyd knew each other quite well, and it becomes really hard not to see a motive for him to seriously hurt Floyd beyond what was necessary to finalize the arrest.

I desperately hope that Harris is going to make a correction on this, because he is so far of the mark on this.

What was the “excuse” that sam made, which is comically uninformed?

The nearest thing to an excuse I can come up with, purely in pursuit of intellectual honesty and trying to understand your position, is that Sam merely stated that the officer wasn’t intending to kill George. But this is true, and I’m sure you know this. If Chauvin was intending to kill Floyd, then he was intending to do it on camera surrounded by witnesses. That’s crazy. It’s clear Chauvin was happily dispensing careless and dangerous harm, but not harm he thought for one second would KILL the guy. This point is not comically uninformed or even somewhat uninformed. It SHOULD be uncontroversial. Unintentional Manslaughter exists in our legal system for exactly this purpose. Perhaps it just feels spooky that Sam makes this point. Why would Sam do ANYTHING that sounds like a defense of this guy? It’s worth noting; the narrative sold to the black community is that they’re being hunted and *intentionally* killed by racist white cops. This isn’t always the narrative, but it often is. This narrative led to the death of 5 innocent cops in 2016 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_shooting_of_Dallas_police_officers). When a narrative is false and is costing lives, it’s worthwhile to dispute. It’s step 1 in unwinding the confusion. This point from Sam is uncomfortable and I applaude his bravery to make it in this toxic climate.

Aside from that, Sam stated unequivocally that the treatment by Chauvin was horrendous and inexcusable. You may be thinking of separate points in the podcast when Sam tries to empathize the mortal dilemma officers have during a struggle when a gun is at their side and part of that struggle?? If so, Sam made none of those points relevant to the Chauvin Flyod case… Sam made it clear as day that he finds the whole thing disgusting and inexcusable as anybody else, with only 2 clarifications that he finds salient in finding a social solution: There’s no way the cop knew he was killing Floyd, and we don’t *actually* have a lens into his mind to know whether he would have done the same thing to a white person. We know that last point because cops *DO* this to white people just as often as blacks. Here’s the competing anecdote Sam used for illustration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c-E_i8Q5G0&feature=emb_logo

So again, I just don’t understand what mistake you’re suggesting Sam made here. Happy to hear, though, and potentially change my mind.

Twissel - 13 June 2020 01:22 AM


The police has seen budget increases, year after year, for decades, but that money does not go into training - seriously, Sam claiming that “defund the police” means less training is almost entirely disconnected from reality. Police Departments have spend billions of facing gear instead of training, and the training they do heavily skews towards violent conflict instead of deescalation.

You have a great point: we could increase training while also decreasing budget. Taking Sam’s words literally, this may be a point he can improve on. However, I interpreted Sam’s words very differently.

Sam’s mind may not have been on a defunded “police system” at all, and instead on the new “community-led” public safety approach being voted in to replace the police system ENTIRELY in my hometown right now. I felt that his mind was on the the very real potential for a lack of training there. As a MN citizen, and someone who has had people enter my family’s house at night, once with guns even, I’m scrambling to learn as much as I can about how this new community-led approach might keep my loved ones alive and the answers I can find don’t inspire confidence whatsoever. While the proposed system does include much healthier and empathetic approach to domestic crisis, it doesn’t sound anything like an increase in training for critical violent emergencies. I’m hopeful that this community-led approach really might solve a lot of the unreasonable harassment I’ve received at the hands of cocksure LEOs in MN, as well as whatever harassment others receive… But Sam’s concerns about moving to a less trained implementation sounds like fully justified fears to me. Fully. Are your local officials, right down the road, also talking of replacing your entire police system with a “community-led” approach? If not, have you really had such a calm and safe life from random crime that this doesn’t terrify you?

Anyhow, I’m wide open to anything you have to say, but not a single one of your criticisms of Sam landed, for me.

[ Edited: 13 June 2020 19:54 by lancedolan]
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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13 June 2020 19:14
 

Trumanhw:
I’m not sure what your issue with Harris is?  In what way is he “woke” on this issue?  He basically stated that this entire narrative of racist police killing black men is a delusion.

 
lancedolan
 
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13 June 2020 19:20
 

I’m not sure Trumanhw listened to the podcast. He either skipped the 2nd half or didn’t understand what he was listening to, which is of course perfectly forgivable.

 
Censure
 
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15 June 2020 08:40
 

I think it’s alarming that the statistics indicate that ~50% of murders and ~50% of victims of murders in America are black. It would certainly imply that police would necessarily be interacting with the black community multiple times more often than should be expected based on their population level (thus, they would necessarily be over-represented in any police violence statistics). This is an especially troubling statistic because it doesn’t have the same liabilities that police violence statistics have (self-reporting, voluntary adherence). I do worry, however, about the implications of our plea deal system and how often it works against individuals in minority groups. How many black Americans cop to a lesser murder plea just because no other options are economically or socially viable for them? How many of those people are actually innocent (and not just “legally” not guilty)? Is it just as easy to find a White american guilty of a crime, like murder, as a Black one?

It seems that even statistics as closely tracked as murder may have huge liabilities that impact racial communities differently… thus complicating any conclusions we may tend to draw from them.

[ Edited: 15 June 2020 08:42 by Censure]
 
czrpb
 
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15 June 2020 09:23
 

@Twissel—excellent! good luck, just posting so you know others agree.

https://medium.com/@OfcrACab/confessions-of-a-former-bastard-cop-bb14d17bc759

 
drachma
 
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15 June 2020 14:52
 

@twissel thank you. I appreciate Sam’s message, but this was hard to listen to. We should be rational and base our attitudes on facts. that much we can agree on. But there were some serious problems with Sam’s representation here.

problems I had with Sam’s statements. I largely agree with a lot of it, but he made several remarks that were incredibly tone deaf.

1. “people are actually getting fired for posting #AllLivesMatter” - sam says this incredulously and as if the mere statement “All Lives Matter” is just a neutral grouping of 3 innocent words that nobody could disagree with. Yes, the slogan “all lives matter” is intentionally agreeable, but we all know it’s made to be agreeable so that it purposely undermines and misrepresents the #blacklivesmatter movement. Words have context, and this set of words has a particularly strong context. It is well known as being “against” the BLM movement. So even though it is literally agreeable, the extremely well known connotation is very disagreeable. So to act in surprise about why people could possibly be upset about someone tweeting #alllivesmatter in the current context is just as bad-faith as the rest of the arguments he’s complaining about. This struck me as virtue-signalling about his neutrality and literalism and it comes off very poorly. Deliberately taking charged phrases at face-value is the EXACT game that the alt-right plays with sloganeering.

2. “defund the police” - 100% agree with @Twissel here, this is another poor straw-man. People calling for “defund the police” aren’t literally asking for the complete abolition of some kind of policing institution. I don’t think people are seriously calling for a lawless, police-less state. Furthermore, “defund the police” is not “defund the police completely.” Calls to defund the police are getting at several points -
  a. the thing twissel mentioned, that the police are not spending funding on proper training and instead spending it on militarization, especially equipment. if they can’t spend their budget in a way that helps people, then we need to cut their budget until we figure out a better system to get the funds to the things they need to go do
  b. Defund the police addresses the old problem of “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” If you defund the police, then they will be forced to focus on using the police only for those problems where police are needed. They will be forced to be more efficient and deliberate as to where to apply policing. It will stop the police from being the first solution to every nonviolent problem. This frees up funds for municipalities to solve those other problems with tools other than the police. If you INCREASE police budgets (especially without adding institutional mechanisms to direct those funds away from weapons and towards de-escalation training, officer salaries and higher quality personnel, etc) then they will just expand their use of already ineffective and violent tactics.
  c. “Defund the police” is not saying “defund the police completely.” It is a statement that our values as a society should not be to attack every single problem with a weaponized squad and a jail cell. But that maybe if we put our money into different community services it would result in solving more problems with less violence. It is literally a call to de-escalate. It is not a call for anarchy.

3. I would like Sam to address the “plausible deniability” that he gives for the George Floyd murder. It’s nice to give people the benefit of the doubt. This seems like going too far. Sure we should consider the possibility that he didn’t intend to murder someone on camera… but in a situation so brazen, we should also consider the possibility that he DID intend to murder someone and felt as though his power as a police officer and protection from the department would override any video evidence from onlookers. Sam gives 0 time to considering the latter.

4. Often what rubs me the wrong way about these sorts of discussions is what is left UNsaid. In all of his statistics about black representation in crime statistics and using the phrase “black-on-black crime” - Sam, you KNOW this phrase has become a racist dog-whistle by now, right? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you were intentionally using phrases you know would be “triggering” to get people to check their gut reactions… But seriously, your solution to “stepping back from the brink” is trolling with racist phrases? Not the most well thought out move in my opinion, but I digress…
  a. anyways, what you forgot to talk about when reciting all of these statistics about poverty, inequality, even reparations, and finally black crime, is NOT ONCE did you mention the link between poverty and crime. Maybe this connection is so obvious to you that you didn’t mention it. But the fact that you did SO MUCH prefacing and qualifying before you make these statements, but never utter even one sentence such as “black crime is disproportionately bigger because crime is overwhelmingly correlated to economic status, which I just got done mentioning is probably due to a lack of generational wealth caused by slavery and institutional racism, and therefore fixing wealth inequality would go a long way towards creating this postracial world I just got done alluding to with hair-color.” Simply including one mention of this fact would tie things together and make your entire message come across much better. But you didn’t. And that silence is deafening.
  b. by the way, “black on black crime” is a dog-whistle precisely because it is always used out-of-context. It’s not because that crime doesn’t exist. I’m not denying that blacks are disproportionately criminals and victims. I’m saying that the phrase is a racist phrase, used frequently by racists, and it is racist precisely because it ignores the economic context and turns what is truly an economic effect and claims it is a racial effect. In the race-blind world you dream about at the end of the episode, really the phrase black-on-black crime wouldn’t exist. It would be poor-on-poor crime. But again it would be unfair for the rich to tastelessly repeat that phrase to make the point of “hey there’s no problems with wealth inequality because the poors commit crime on themselves!” which is what the general connotation of this phrase is taken to mean.

I have been reading and listening for years, but I had to make an account just because this podcast hit so many wrong notes. Please do a part 2 and get someone to dissect this point by point. There’s a lot to agree about at the heart of the discussion, but there is a WHOLE lot wrong with the way you presented it. Having someone who can eloquently comb through it point-by-point I think could be a learning experience for everyone.

to be rational is not to ignore context and connotation because “haha literalism.” To be rational is to understand context and connotation, and not to talk around them or through them or past them but to consider them, bring them out into the light and dissect them. I am afraid you have ignored a lot of context in your presentation here and abused many connotations in favor of intentionally “triggering” but then failed to address the reason for those triggers and instead kind of just paved over it with “haha facts.” I think the phrase “you’re not wrong, you’re just an asshole” applies here. We don’t have to be assholes to get people to listen to reason.

and i realize it’s hard to just put yourself out there up for scrutiny so props for that and for setting the example. we should be able to discuss. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t have made this podcast. and if your “errors” were genuinely because of misunderstanding then we should all recognize that. Now take the next step and have a conversation with someone who might disagree on these points. Show us how to have a rational discussion with people we THINK we might disagree with. Show us how to state an opinion and then maybe revise what we didn’t realize was so wrong with it. Show us how to talk to a person who is different from us and come to a mutual understanding of one another’s ideas, whether misguided or correct.

Also I apologize for the horrendous grammar in this post. There is a lot going on here and there is always a LOT to unpack with issues like these. It’s hard to do it in a quick internet post.

[ Edited: 15 June 2020 15:29 by drachma]
 
Crukstrom
 
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15 June 2020 23:07
 

Wonderfully comprehensive summary of the situation. Of course it’s impossible to keep everyone happy if indeed there could be anything happy about any of this.

Some thoughts:

  The average person watching viral videos of police shootings on cable news or online might conclude that black lives don’t seem to actually matter hence the BLM movement. To the “all lives matter” folks, please notice the lack of the word “only” in the phrase “black lives matter”.

I too find it hard to believe that Chauvin Intended to end Floyd’s life during that arrest. I see it as criminally reckless police behavior.

Fuck the police, unless you need them, then fuck them just not quite so much.

Passion, anger, adrenaline, dopamine, next thing you know, a mob Is running amok.

Thank you Sam, I think you did a very good job on this and I hear it as a voice of reason.

 
czrpb
 
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15 June 2020 23:53
 

@drachma : nice! seems like a major goal of sam’s nowadays is to police (ha!) the left.

so sad.

#samsjumpedtheshark

https://theintercept.com/2020/06/03/obama-george-floyd/

drachma - 15 June 2020 02:52 PM

@twissel thank you. I appreciate Sam’s message, but this was hard to listen to. We should be rational and base our attitudes on facts. that much we can agree on. But there were some serious problems with Sam’s representation here.
  . . .

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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16 June 2020 07:26
 

I thought this was a well composed presentation and all together on the level. Imagine the appeal of an exclusive forum thread where the price of admission was being okay and on-board with The Boss’s position as articulated here. I’m in, as I suspect many other patrons would also be. Think of how many voices that would shut out.

It would be an oasis of reasoning where serious suggestions could be critiqued and realistic solutions could be conjured. We could bask in the loftiness of it. Until we hit the wall of ‘then what?’.

What wall? I’ll let The Boss describe it…

”… people I can’t figure out how to talk to. Much less persuade.”

(After reading a quote citing ‘fear of the other’)

“I’ll tell you the fear of the other that does seem warranted everywhere, right now…
It is ‘the other’ who has rendered him or herself incapable of dialogue. It’s the other who will not listen to reason… who has no interest in facts… who can’t join a conversation that converges on the truth because he knows in advance what the truth must be.

“We should fear the other who thinks that dogmatism and cognitive bias aren’t something to be corrected for because they are the very foundations of his epistemology. We should fear the other who can’t distinguish activism from journalism. Or politics from science. Or worse, can make these distinctions but refuses to. And we’re all capable of becoming this person if only for minutes or hours at a time.

“This is a bug in our operating system and not a feature and we have to continually correct for it.”

Here is where I want to get off the bus and give it a push. We fear what we don’t understand. We do not understand the operating system and fear the others who are using it differently and in a way that we find baffling and unforgivable. It is not a bug or even a feature. It is the nature of our operating system and the manner of its continued emergence.

Here is the line, that to my eye, is the screaming loud clue.

”…can’t join a conversation that converges on the truth because he knows in advance what the truth must be.”

If ‘in advance’ is traded for ‘sooner’, this line would be a glimpse of what is really going on. It is not about the quality of anyone’s argument. It has more to do with how we perceive information and the utterances of others.

What The Boss and others who generally agree have done with their operating systems has torn them away from those who have not done the same or have been trained to operate differently. It is forgivable. Or will be, when we understand that we are one half of the problem. Until then, we can be afraid of where this is heading.

 
 
diding
 
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16 June 2020 09:43
 

When I say All Lives Matter, that’s exactly what I mean.  I’ve never drawn a Venn Diagram but if I did, I’m sure that Black Lives Matter would fit completely inside All Lives Matter.  As far as Abolishing the Police:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-abolish-defund-police.html

It’s like the thing with ISIS.  They say why they hate us and why they want to kill us in black and white with pictures, but some people will say “That’s not what they really want.” Sounds like revealed wisdom to me.  This word “Triggered”; seems to me like what we used to call “Disagree”. As in, “That guy Triggered” (Disagreed) with me.”  Disagreeing with someone might just make them feel attacked and cause a swelling of uncomfortable feels to arise.  Too bad.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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17 June 2020 00:18
 

It was amusing, if tragic to hear Sam admonish us to be wary of the bias planted by social media and then proceed to bite down on a half a dozen social media conspiracies.

 
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