Random Politics Thread

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linguoboy
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-08-21, 20:03

Yasna wrote:Not perfect, but we can assume that a knowledge-based company which is one of the best performing in the history of mankind makes some excellent hiring decisions

We can also assume that it makes some terrible ones. I'm really not sure how anyone who lived through the dotcom bust can still carry around the idea that knowledge economy types are somehow less susceptible to cognitive biases than people in any other industry.

Yasna wrote:This goes back to the virtue signalling

There's that word again!


Same problem as above: Like you, he completely disregards the meat of Zunger's criticism--that Damore is not an expert on what makes a good engineer--and begs the question of whether the supposed sex-linked differences observed are even relevant.

Yasna wrote:He didn't give any numbers, so it could be just a tiny percentage of current employees who benefited from the lowered bar.

If it's really a "tiny percentage", why even bring it up? He clearly thought it was a substantial enough problem to wager his job on.

Yasna wrote:In any case, nothing like "publicly declaring a third of your fellow employees unqualified for their jobs". Not to mention Damore didn't do it publicly, but internally.

The point is that he still did it where a substantial number of those employees could see it. As others more versed in labour protections have pointed out, that's textbook "hostile environment" creation.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-08-21, 20:44

linguoboy wrote:There's that word again!

I included what I meant in parentheses to help you out...

Same problem as above: Like you, he completely disregards the meat of Zunger's criticism--that Damore is not an expert on what makes a good engineer--and begs the question of whether the supposed sex-linked differences observed are even relevant.

In senior level positions it becomes interesting, but in junior positions it's not even a question. Even Zunger doesn't argue that people skills are of central importance in junior positions, which is of course the level for which most hiring at Google is done.

If it's really a "tiny percentage", why even bring it up? He clearly thought it was a substantial enough problem to wager his job on.

His larger point was about thought diversity, and getting rid of the ideological echo chamber.

The point is that he still did it where a substantial number of those employees could see it. As others more versed in labour protections have pointed out, that's textbook "hostile environment" creation.

I think it's unfortunate that pointing out basic facts can create a hostile environment, but alas it did.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-08-27, 21:16

Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-05, 20:42

So the hottest political topic of the moment is the end of DACA. This is an Obama-era policy meant to deal with the issue of undocumented residents who were brought to the USA as children. Sixteen years ago, two senators (one Democrat and one Republican) proposed a law called the DREAM Act meant to legalise their status, but it has repeatedly failed to pass.

The Federal government is granted considerable leeway in determining which laws to enforce. DACA was essentially a declaration that prosecuting this class of immigration violations was low priority provided those concerned met other criteria (e.g. being law-abiding and enrolled in school or gainfully employed) and it sought to give some legal protection to "Dreamers" (a name derived from the failed DREAM Act). This required them to register for a Federal programme that tracked them and required them to periodically re-enroll.

Led by Texas, the Attorneys General of several US states have brought suit against the Federal government for its actions. This went to the Supreme Court last year, which was evenly split (due to a vacancy) and left a lower-court injunction in place which prevents any expansion of the programme. One of Trump's campaign promises was to end the programme and today he made good on that promise. In six months time, several hundred thousand Dreamers will become subject to possible deportation, subject to the whims of the law enforcement agencies operating where they live. And--remember--the Federal government has detailed files on them.

There is no rational humanitarian or economic reason to end DACA and even the legal case against it is shaky at best. Once again, two senators--one Democrat and one Republican--have reintroduced the DREAM Act legislation but it's unlikely to pass before March 5th, when DACA officially ends. Currently 800,000 individuals are enrolled in DACA. Most were 7 years old or younger when they came to the USA. Some have families of their own now (which are American citizens by virtue of having been born on US soil.)
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-06, 6:11

Ugh.

Meanwhile, apparently, most Indian ISIS recruits are well-educated Malayalees, apparently doctors, engineers, or MBAs, just like most Malayalees here.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-06, 9:13

I remember hearing a lot of ISIS foreign recruits are well-educated, and that engineers and doctors are vastly overrepresented among jihadi leadership.

Speaking of, I had no idea a quarter of Kerala's population was Muslim. Who knew.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-06, 9:30

Yeah, because the two major religious minorities in Kerala are Muslims and Christians. Of course, the majority of the population throughout the state is Hindu, but Christians are the biggest minority in southern Kerala, and Muslims are the biggest minority in the rest, I think (or at least definitely in northern Kerala). That's part of the reason why northern Kerala is so culturally different from us southerners. (Northern) Malayalee Muslim cuisine resembles North Indian cuisine a lot more than our cuisine does; I guess that shouldn't be terribly surprising, but it makes us so damn jealous. :P

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-20, 16:26

Aix, Espanya...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... rendum-row

The Catalan president has accused the Spanish government of effectively suspending the region’s autonomy and declaring a de facto state of emergency. Police officers raided Catalan government offices on Wednesday and arrested 12 senior officials in a bid to stop an independence referendum being held in less than two weeks’ time.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-09-20, 16:53

What I heard about the topic is the Spanish State seizing domains under the regional .cat TLD, and even sending cops to the registrar's office
https://twitter.com/puntcat/status/910446518494269440

That is certainly going to legitimise Spain's rule over the Catalan federal-but-not-really-federal state :whistle:
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-09-20, 18:31

Finally a European government is putting its foot down with these endless secessionist movements.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-20, 18:52

md0 wrote:That is certainly going to legitimise Spain's rule over the Catalan federal-but-not-really-federal state :whistle:


They pretty much stopped caring years ago. That's really the only reason it's even gotten this far IMO.

Yasna wrote:Finally a European government is putting its foot down with these endless secessionist movements.


Care to elaborate? :|

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-20, 19:02

Saim wrote:
Yasna wrote:Finally a European government is putting its foot down with these endless secessionist movements.


Care to elaborate? :|

I guess he's thinking of Scotland, the ETA, Vlaams Belang, Lega Nord, and/or Sinn Féin?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-09-20, 19:12

Some secessionists simply think that the whole self-determination thing is only a right for themselves, and not for anyone else :ohwell:

Whether Catalonia, or Scotland, or Iraqi Kurdistan etc should be sovereign states is something I don't think I have a lot of say in, but barring post-nationalism, federalisation and free association is the way to patch a lot of the problems we inherited from the 19th centrury.

I am very inclined to think that symmetrical federalism in Spain, UK, and Turkey, would benefit those countries. We know from first-hand experience that symmetrical federalism is a historical necessity for Cyprus for one.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-20, 19:17

vijayjohn wrote:I guess he's thinking of Scotland, the ETA, Vlaams Belang, Lega Nord, and/or Sinn Féin?


Oh I understand there are other secessionist movements, I'm just wondering what his game plan is. Like, what good could possibly come of this? How is the State supposed to win now?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-09-20, 19:23

Saim wrote:Care to elaborate? :|

Europe is becoming weaker and weaker as it fragments ever more. That makes it child's play for strong countries like the US and Russia to manipulate it. That's not to say secession is never justified, but Catalonia is not exactly being brutalized in modern day Spain. In fact it's thriving.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-20, 19:49

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:Care to elaborate? :|

Europe is becoming weaker and weaker as it fragments ever more. That makes it child's play for strong countries like the US and Russia to manipulate it. That's not to say secession is never justified, but Catalonia is not exactly being brutalized in modern day Spain. In fact it's thriving.


So the solution is to stop people from voting?
How is Catalonia not being brutalised if its autonomy is being dismantled as we speak?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-20, 20:24

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:Care to elaborate? :|

Europe is becoming weaker and weaker as it fragments ever more. That makes it child's play for strong countries like the US and Russia to manipulate it. That's not to say secession is never justified, but Catalonia is not exactly being brutalized in modern day Spain. In fact it's thriving.

So secession is only justified when some vague standard of oppression is met? The simple desire of people to freely choose who they associate themselves with politically isn't sufficient?
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-20, 21:38

Saim wrote:How is Catalonia not being brutalised if its autonomy is being dismantled as we speak?

Direct quote from the Reuters article on the raids:

"Spain’s finance ministry has taken over the region’s finances to prevent the use of public money to organize the vote.

But the central government must tread a fine line in enforcing the law in the region without seeming heavy-handed."

It's like, did the person who wrote the second sentence even look at the first one?
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-09-20, 21:54

Saim wrote:So the solution is to stop people from voting?
How is Catalonia not being brutalised if its autonomy is being dismantled as we speak?

I imagine the outrage would be far greater if Spain stepped in AFTER a successful independence vote, so taking action now does seem more sensible to me. Catalonia's autonomy has been partially suspended only because of its drive for independence. There are consequences for trying to tear a nation apart.

linguoboy wrote:So secession is only justified when some vague standard of oppression is met?

It's a very complex issue which I wouldn't dare reduce to one maxim. But in this particular case I have no trouble understanding and sympathizing with Spain's response.

The simple desire of people to freely choose who they associate themselves with politically isn't sufficient?

Absolutely not. I think you would agree if you followed the practical implications of such a right to their logical conclusion. Start with endless numbers of local polities blackmailing their nation. Think powerful states trying to divide and conquer other states even more than is currently the case. Imagine the insecurity and hostility if China convinced a Chinatown in the US to secede from the US and join China, or if the US did something similar to a town next to Moscow. It's a recipe for chaos.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-20, 22:22

Yasna wrote:There are consequences for trying to tear a nation apart.

Spare me. Is this a political debate or a telenovela?

"I can't live with you any more, Mom. I'm leaving."
"Why are you trying to tear this family apart!"

If Spain's authoritarian response pushes other regions towards secession, whose fault is that?

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The simple desire of people to freely choose who they associate themselves with politically isn't sufficient?

Absolutely not. I think you would agree if you followed the practical implications of such a right to their logical conclusion. Start with endless numbers of local polities blackmailing their nation. Think powerful states trying to divide and conquer other states even more than is currently the case. Imagine the insecurity and hostility if China convinced a Chinatown in the US to secede from the US and join China, or if the US did something similar to a town next to Moscow. It's a recipe for chaos.

Or for the formation of a world order that is less wedded to the notion of the nation-state.

What would China have to gain from convincing a Chinatown to secede? Sure, it would like to see the US weakened politically but it craves stability in order to serve its economic goals and a move like that would completely undermine them.

Organising a referendum like this, let alone winning it, are just not as simple as you seem to think. Look at the example of Quebec. Canadians bitch about it winning concessions from Ottawa, but does it really punch much above its political weight? When push comes to shove, its citizens have ultimately concluded that the perks of independence pale next to the difficulties and uncertainties. And why? Because the Canadian government is open to negotiation and compromise and is not going to send in tanks to stop them. It's the same in Scotland. But these enlightened models don't suit the centrists in the Spanish state so here we are.
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