On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM, Paul Tanner <upprho@gmail.com> wrote:

<< SNIP >>
> I'm not sure how to get out of this mess.

We're in this mess because of how people voted - enough people voted
for enough conservatives over time to kill some progressive laws that
served us well, those laws created under great progressives like
Franklin Roosevelt.

Voting is a quite distant form of control, more like the remote control channel changer.  Once you pick a channel, unless you're involved with TV production and programming choices, you're just a passive viewer who needs a "take what you get" attitude.  Of course people change channels a lot, many times a minute sometimes, whereas voting for a US president happens only every four years.  There's no way this 2 and 4 year voting cycle, by itself, makes the wheels of government turn.  If most people think their only duty / obligation to share governance is the mere act of voting, then democracy dies (was dead long ago).

Note: If you have voted for the more conservative Republican
alternative when you vote, then you have partly caused this mess.

I'd say all the presidents since Eisenhower have been trapped in the post WW2 system for priming the economy, which is / was through defense contracting, with the pork distributed to all 50 states in exchange for various levels of cooperation.  The state interstate highway system was originally part of this same budget (NASA too), as their original justification was defense. 

However I think today we more honestly see the military as a jobs program.  In the times following WW2, 'Report from Iron Mountain' satirically mocked the idea that a large standing military was primarily about providing jobs -- that was considered a subversive / cynical view.  Nowadays, people are much more willing to acknowledge that George Orwell was right:  a state of perpetual warfare and defense spending keeps a lot of people fed and clothed. 

Soldiering is an alternative to poverty and relies on institutionalized (socialized) wealth.  Living on the USS Enterprise with Internet and computer games beats living on food stamps and hanging out in bars in Baltimore.  Forward base camps in Afghanistan feature steak and lobster, though often overcooked.

The only way to get out of this mess is to have enough people vote for
the most progressive alternative over enough election cycles, to
change the laws back to the progressive side, to keep going.


> This discussion takes me back to Paul's pathetic attempts to have us think
> the USA could ever be like Sweden,

I'm only talking about voting: I'm talking only about whether people
vote for more liberal or the most liberal or more conservative or the
most conservative candidate.

Voting might just be how people fool themselves into thinking they're doing their part for democracy.  They pull a little lever once every two or four years and think that's the sum total of their contribution.

Partly why I want to refocus to the campus level (school level) is I want people to actually participate in the day to day workings of their group, and without thinking they have to go to Washington DC in the process.  Start developing those democratic reflexes early.  Learn to cook together, share knives and appliances, plan meals.  Home economics but for institutional servings not always "nuclear family" with mom making Chex Party Mix.[tm]

My arguing that people should vote and my wanting them to vote for the
most progressive candidate among all the given choices says nothing as
to whether I would think that enough people would vote in such a way
over enough election cycles to cause the US to have the same type of
laws as the Scandinavians.

It's not just about "laws".  You can have all the laws on the books but if you don't have police to enforce them or budget to implement them, then they're just nice rules for a society that only exists on paper.

To have universal health care at a high standard, you need way more than "laws" and way more than "money":  you need a lot of highly trained health care workers with equipment and facilities, happy enough practicing health care to want to contribute their professional services.

If the US has too brain-dead a STEM curriculum to create the needed health caring "army" and instead devotes its resources to building prisons and military bases, then all the pretty laws in the world won't make up for that deficit. 

It's not like you can just suddenly write a check and get a million new brain surgeons.  There's no turning on a dime.  There's such a thing as inertia (momentum).  We're talking physics, laws of nature.

Those who do a thorough analysis may come to the conclusion that high living standards (including high quality health care) for the average American is a missed opportunity.  No matter what the voters say today, no matter what laws are passed, it's simply too late to start building all the clinics and hospitals those boomers would need, let alone their progeny.

Americans are aging and didn't save for old age.  They squandered their treasure on elective wars etc., then polluted their skies, water and food to where illnesses were endemic, diabetes on the rise.  There was just no way, by 2012, to change the trends, no matter who became president, no matter what Congress chose.  You have to remember the laws of physics.  Prisons can't be turned into hospitals with the wave of a magic wand.

If the USA had wanted to have been like Sweden, it wouldn't have invaded Vietnam and Cambodia, which is when Swedes told the Americans they were like Nazis and ambassadors were withdrawn (since put back).  Had the boomers wanted a pleasant retirement and good health care, the investments were needed then, as befitting a Great Society. 

After so many roads not taken, it's just not possible to repair the damage and many boomers will die at a younger age than they would have, and in general just live more miserably.  There's no way to vote themselves out of their fate.  They would have needed to be smarter long ago, like Sweden was.  Instead, they behaved like losers and now will reap what they've sewn.
My promoting that people should vote and vote most progressive is
pathetic simply because you think that it will never happen? Yes? Then

I'm thinking DC's laws don't trump the laws of physics.  You can't just wave a magic wand to make more doctors.  Dollar bills are not magic wands either.  Vote all you like, make all the laws you like, if you still eat like a pig (not you personally) and smoke like a chimney (not you personally), you'll be dead before 60 (not you personally) and not amount of "voting" is likely to change that.

As a nation, you're feeble, dim-witted, violent and cruel.  What makes you think you can just "snap out of it"?  Pulling some voting lever?  And even if you do snap out of it, what makes you think it's not too late?
how is your arguing for your type of curriculum and view of
mathematics any different? Do you actually think that it is any more
likely that the USA will adopt your very different type of curriculum
than people here will vote for enough progressives enough times to
result in a more progressive set of laws? With respect to your
ridicule and your use of "pathetic" here: Fair is fair.

I think in niches, new curricula do gain a foothold.  It's not all or nothing.  It's actually within the military itself that a lot of this understanding has grown.  The geodesic dome was a pet project of both Marines and NORAD types (the radomes along the DEW line).  Fuller was a Navy guy and a lot of his friends and associates were DoD and/or Russian spies or whatever.  Khrushchev was effusive about the geodesic dome in Kabul.  Princeton philosophy already does Wittgenstein (no, I don't buy the Cornish thesis he was KGB (cite 'The Jew of Linz' e.g. Wikipedia)). 

The open source movement is big and making deeper inroads into education all the time.  Oregon is cross-fertilizing with Asia.  Singapore Math might have more about tetrahedrons soon.  The simplex has a brighter future in some maths than others.  Chemistry and crystallography already have some awareness of these alternative treatments of the CCP / FCC.  I bet a lot of what I'm into is already being taught at West Point.  I should ask around more maybe. More about the network MathFuture (Google Group).  Space to add a link:


> where intelligent policies prevail.  Such
> civilizations require a level of socialization that Americans just haven't
> demonstrated at any point in their history.  Vote all you want, campaign all
> you want, but when the average social IQ is what it is... you go with the
> army you've got.

Are you saying that social IQ level is made evident by whether and how
one votes - vote for a progressive, the social IQ is high, vote for a
conservative, the social IQ is low? You have to be saying this since
the only way to obtain the laws of progressive Norway is to have
enough people vote and vote progressive as possible over enough
election cycles, as I said above.