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3:00 PM
@Jez you think congresscritters are idiots. i think they are very smart people who know how to play to their audience
 
Jez
debatable.
 
@Jez Well, Dutch parliament is mostly university-educated. As are the ministers and the higher officials. Isn't it the same in England?
 
yes. that's why we're debating it :)
 
Jez
there was a similar debate about Bush. i say he really was that stupid.
 
user19161
Actually intelligence is not well-defined. Ultimately it boils down to what specific traits you want to measure in a test.
 
3:00 PM
i agree about bush
 
@JasperLoy True.
So do I.
 
user19161
Which Bush?
 
but in practice, close to 100% of gov't people are university educated. including bush jr, actually
 
Junior.
 
Jez
@Cerberus not really. although increasingly so, if only because vast numbers of the population are 'university-educated'
because virtually anything you learn in after 18 is a 'university' here
 
3:01 PM
He got an MBA from Harvard Business School, it seems.
 
user19161
I know stupid people with PhDs, really.
 
@Jez Isn't that about 15–20 %?
 
Jez
not sure, but Labour wanted 50%
prob higher than 20%
 
@JasperLoy Absolutely!
 
Jez
university educated doesnt mean intelligent. you can educate unintelligent people
 
3:03 PM
@Jez But it is not that far off. The more intelligent run the country, that is, those who have been trained in fields that result in higher IQ test scores.
 
Jez
@Cerberus depends what you mean by 'run the country'. When they're having to play to their audience of moronic grunts, the moronic grunts effectively run it
 
Well, to sum this discussion up, I don't see any country coming to an agreement on what counts as "intelligent" and how to regulate that with practical policies.
 
@Jez one man's "intelligent" is another man's "useless"
 
user19161
Even if intelligent ones run an organisation or country, their policies may not be properly implemented at the ground level. So you get paperwork leading to no results.
 
@Jez I was thinking of the state institutions, mainly parliament.
 
Jez
3:04 PM
@Cerberus so... having to play to their audience.
 
user19161
You need great people at the lower levels too.
 
Therefore I doubt intelligence would be a practicable criterion.
@Jez What do you mean?
 
Jez
in parliament they have to appear to do what their base wants
when their base is something other than the most intelligent, that's stupid stuff
like the war on drugs, and prayer rallies
and a day of prayer
 
user19161
Chaosgamer is missing out this discussion on politics.
 
@Jez True to some extent. They are supposed to have a mandate for four years and do whatever they please in that time.
 
Jez
3:07 PM
four more years!
 
@JasperLoy I'm missing the confusing discussion about everything else ;)
 
@Jez But that mandate doesn't always work that well, as you say.
 
user19161
For the first time in my country, 3 ministers were voted out.
 
user19161
It was shocking.
 
@JasperLoy Yeah I heard about the landslide elections.
@JasperLoy But the ruling party still has a firm majority, doesn't it?
 
Jez
3:08 PM
where is this
 
Singapore.
 
user19161
@Cerberus Yes indeed, as always.
 
Jez
ah
 
my disagreement with @Jez is so complete that i'm having a hard time articulating all of it. in the first place, he just assumes that all intelligent people agree with him, or enough of them agree that things will be run more to his liking if we can just keep the idiots from voting. this is unfounded
you also assume that the intelligent are unbiased and rational, when observation indicates the opposite, most of the time
 
Jez
even if I showed that they did, you'd just say my position is probably wrong
 
3:09 PM
that is, the intelligent are biased and irrational to exactly the same degree as the average voter, in the average case
 
Jez
not in my experience.
 
they may have different biases, but that proves next to nothing
 
@Jez All I'm saying is, in theory I might agree that it is better to have intelligent people in power than the opposite; but 1. I'm not sure it would solve many of the problems we have, and 2. I cannot see a practical way to regulate this new system of selecting people by intelligence.
 
Jez
your brain won't let you be so irrational if you know more about the world
on average
 
@Jez actually, the most sensible thing you've said was that you should just rule as dictator. that, at least, is an argument that doesn't depend on unfounded assumptions about how aweXome the intelligentia are and how stupid the proles are
 
3:11 PM
5
Q: What to do with repeated question types?

RhodriStackExchange is all about answering questions and spreading knowledge. However there comes a point where particular types of questions are getting asked repeatedly, despite being relatively easy to look up, that one wonders whether any actual learning is going on. What can or should we be doin...

 
Jez
I mean maybe I'd 'like' to believe that Jesus loves me, but I can't. Not possible.
 
user19161
@MrDisappointment And I thought he said he was going to quit. Looks like changed plans!
 
That question was 'defaced', by its owner, @Rhodri.
 
Jez
@Cerberus the practical way to regulate it is to set up the electoral system around an unchanging IQ test (unchanging algorithms, random seeding)
 
@JSBangs The best system would be one where only people with opinions like my own rules and they had a reliable way of sustaining this system until eternity.
 
Jez
3:12 PM
and have it be a severe offence to touch it
 
user19161
@Jez Wait, is this about politics or religion?
 
Jez
both
 
@Cerberus i think we can all agree about this
 
Jez
they're virtually inseparable
 
user19161
@Jez inseparable.
 
3:12 PM
@Jez It isn't that hard to train for an IQ test. The whole of society would come to revolve around mechanisms to fool it.
@JSBangs Then what is the problem?
 
Jez
the more motivated might work hard to do so. but maybe that's good; those people might do a better job of making decisions, being less lazy.
 
@Cerberus To eternity? I'm not sure that aligns well scientifically.
 
@Jez They would work hard to pass the test, not to become more intelligent.
@MrDisappointment Who said my system was scientifically sound?
 
Jez
yeah, im saying that maybe that is another good criterion for decision making
 
@Cerberus Jus' checking!
 
Jez
3:14 PM
those who work hard get power
why not?
 
@MrDisappointment Hehe.
 
@Kit A bit late, but congrats on the toddling!
 
Jez
hard work and/or intelligence = power
 
user19161
@Cerberus I think this is what is happening here. Students just practise lots of exam questions but don't really think anymore.
 
user19161
@Jez You need luck too.
 
Jez
3:15 PM
why?
 
user19161
@Jez Bacause things in life often don't go as planned.
 
@Jez I suppose hard-working people might perform better in government (or do they? is this scientifically proven? does introspection and reflection count as hard work? aren't many procrastinators extremely intelligent and excellent ministers?). But should it be given that much weight?
@JasperLoy Yeah that's exactly what I mean.
 
@JasperLoy this. the intelligent want to plan things, and are very committed to the idea that things can be analyzed, evaluated, and solutions can be planned. this is very often not the case in the real world.
 
@Martha indeed, it's good to hear she can walk. ;)
 
3:17 PM
@MattEllen what, @Kit just learned how to walk?
 
@JSBangs maybe, or maybe it is one of her offspring :D
 
interestingly, i was just reading this in my other tab, which seems relevant: antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2011/07/wicked-1.html
 
user19161
@JSBangs no, her kid.
 
@JSBangs Indeed. The first thing we'd need, before even considering this, is scientific proof that certain tranches of the more and less intelligent perform better and worse in government or parliament.
 
Jez
@Cerberus reducing religious influence alone would be a great step forward. what's the graph like re. intelligence v religious belief?
 
3:19 PM
@Cerberus i agree. governing is a skill which must be acquired, not a talent that the intelligent automatically just have
and the skill of governing can be acquired by a person of very moderate intelligence
 
@Jez Is it a proven fact that the religious perform so much worse in government? What about when they are a minority anyway?
@JSBangs I'm not sure. It may very well be somewhere in between.
 
@JSBangs Ha! I was born to rule. One day the Earth and all its souls shall be mine.
 
Jez
@Cerberus the ultra-religious, yes. check out ultra-religious state governments.
find me one that doesn't suck royally
 
In short, the current system works well enough. I don't want to risk this unless I can be 99.9 % sure that the alternative will be better on the long term, lest we engage in another terrible experiment like the Soviet Union.
 
@Jez Bhutan
 
3:22 PM
@Jez Well, but are they of practical interest to us now? We don't have those in Europe.
 
Jez
@JSBangs HDI: 0.619[4] (medium) (132nd)
not great
 
@Jez but your argument is entirely circular. good gov't = gov't i like = non-religious gov't (since you're not religious)
 
user19161
@MattEllen Look at my starred comment on the right currently. :)
 
@Jez what that measure, and why should i accept it as indicative of good gov't?
 
Jez
@JSBangs true. I guess you have to make some value judgements about liberalism being good.
is just IS though.
 
3:23 PM
Most revolutions bring terrible destruction and little change in the long run. Consider the French and Russian Revolutions.
 
@JasperLoy I see. So I have competition! You shall be vanquished, crushed beneath my heel!
 
@Jez and i think that liberalism is bad. so there we go. (and note that by "liberalism" i mean classical liberalism and all of its children, so i include libertarianism and most of what calls itself conservativism these days)
 
Jez
[[File: UN Human Development Report 2010 1.PNG|thumb|right|400px|World map indicating the Human Development Index (based on 2010 data, published on the 4th of November, 2010) {|width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="background:transparent" |- |valign="top"| |valign="top"| |valign="top"| |}]] World map indicating the Human Development Index category by country([[2010): {|width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="background:transparent" |- |}]] The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank countries b...
 
user19161
@MattEllen heel. Get your spelling right first.
 
@JSBangs Then we disagree on this point.
 
Jez
3:24 PM
@JSBangs conservatives calling themselves liberals are deeply confused.
 
conservatives aren't calling themselves liberals. i'm calling the conservatives liberals, in that they are classical liberals in the tradition of Locke and Hume
but Locke and Hume were completely wrong about what constitutes human flourishing and good gov't
 
user19161
Well, liberal and conservative are also not well-defined...
 
@Jez WHAT IS THIS WHY ARE WE BELOW AMERICA
 
Jez
conservative: resist change. liberal: try to change for the better.
that's how I broadly see it.
 
@Cerberus hippies are not humanly developed :P
 
user19161
3:26 PM
@Jez Because good and bad is not well-defined.
 
most change is for the worse, so simply resisting change is a rational strategy in the absence of additional information
 
@JSBangs In the classical sense, aren't most Western countries very liberal? They have embraced most of the ideals of the 19th-century liberal in most respects.
 
user19161
@JSBangs This is deep.
 
Jez
@Cerberus good question. maybe because of the filthy levels of income in the USA, amongst the rich, pushing up the 'income' part
 
@Cerberus yes. too bad for us
 
3:26 PM
@Jez I disagree. If freedom is the status quo, a liberal is a conservative.
 
Jez
'most change is for the worse'?
 
@Jez the ultra-rich are actually too small in number to influence the overall income much
 
@JSBangs I agree. But your selective suffrage is change.
 
@Jez immutability is a powerful tool
 
Jez
@JSBangs top 20%, 85% wealth
seems like a lot to me
 
3:27 PM
@JSBangs So you want the government to punish our sexual and religious aberrations?
 
@Jez top 20% is not ultra-rich. ultra-rich is top 5%, or less
 
And keep those with little education in their places, instead of allowing them to progress?
My family has been rich for half a millennium. We aren't rich any more. But at least I am glad everybody else got the chance to become richer and more educated.
 
Jez
@JSBangs I said rich, not ultra-rich
I said ultra-religious earlier ;-)
 
user19161
Well, ultra- is also not well-defined.
 
@Jez well, ok. i'll have to check the numbers, but it'll possible that i'm in the top 20%... maybe.
how shall i atone for this sin?
 
3:30 PM
@Cerberus — Not only that, but you're even below Australia! Ouch!
 
user19161
@JSBangs Give more love to the world.
 
Jez
@JSBangs read what I wrote and whether i said it was a sin
 
@Robusto Man, this sucks. I am becoming so depressed that I will no doubt lower us yet another level.
 
@Robusto Very few hippies in Oz
 
user19161
@Cerberus Yes, without you Netherlands will lose the greatest philosopher in this century.
 
3:32 PM
@JasperLoy Nope. Just one happy man becoming sour.
 
Jul 29 at 13:29, by RegDwight
@JSBangs I am not quoting myself about not linking to that Wikipedia article on joke again again.
 
@Cerberus There's good money in stand up comedy, if you're bitter.
 
user19161
I just realised that Holland is different from Netherlands.
 
@JasperLoy it is?
 
@MattEllen Hehe. Well, I can get over it. For example, I could doubt that index.
 
user19161
3:34 PM
@JSBangs I think the former is a province of the latter in some terminology.
 
Jez
putting the USA high up is dodgy, i agree.
 
@Cerberus can you guys just change your name to Dutchistan so that we can get over that ridiculous Holland/Netherlands/Dutch confusion?
 
Jez
tons of people in the USA are not happy. the million+ in jail for a start.
 
@Cerberus That is a good idea!
 
@JasperLoy Holland is a historical county. But it was the largest and richest region of the country when we became independent, and hence it is often used as a pars pro toto.
@JSBangs But we thrive on that confusion!
Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam are all in Holland proper.
 
user19161
3:36 PM
They should rename Hollandaise to Netherlandaise.
 
@Cerberus — Greece is even more "historical" than Holland. And it's currently circling the drain in the EEU. So what's your point?
 
*Néerlandaise
@Robusto My point was that I wanted to explain why Holland came to be used as a name for the entire country.
 
Jez
@JSBangs they can at least be glad they're not a part of the UK/England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Great Britain clusterfuck
 
Greece might have become the name for Europe. except that it hasn't.
 
@Cerberus — I'm more interested in why Hollandaise came to be used as a name for a French sauce.
 
user19161
3:38 PM
@Jez Yes I was confused by that too, as well as Australia, Australasia, New Zealand, Oceania.
 
@Robusto Yeah I have wondered about that as well. But I think often things are named after other countries even though in reality they have little to do with those.
 
@JasperLoy typically GB = England, Scotland and Wales; UK = GB + Northern Ireland; Common Wealth = places where QEII is head of state.
 
@MattEllen And she rules!
 
Totally
 
@Cerberus: It looks like Norway is the only top-tier country in Europe. Dem Vikings rules again!
 
user19161
3:40 PM
@MattEllen And Ireland=Northern Ireland + Republic of Ireland
 
Oh and Iceland.
 
@Robusto They just have heaps of oil money, that's the only difference.
 
@JasperLoy yes
 
@Cerberus the best answer i can give to what i mean is this link: frontporchrepublic.com/2011/07/… (too hard to elaborate in chat)
@Cerberus their index over-weights money. that's the biggest problem
 
@Cerberus — Holy moley, even Sarah Palin's Alaska beats the Dutch. They don't even go to school there.
 
3:41 PM
@JSBangs Probably...
What about free time, for example?
 
Jez
@JSBangs a third is supposedly life expectancy and a third is education, though. given that, i don't know how the US is anywhere near the top.
 
How much vacation does the average American or Asian guy have?
 
user19161
@Jez It's top in the hamburgers and fries.
 
@Jez we live a long time, and we send way too many people to college. that's unsurprising, then
 
Jez
@JSBangs do you? do you?
didn't think you did.
 
3:42 PM
@Cerberus — Not enough. Hey, I'd trade some of our HDI for socialized medicine and longer vacations. In a heartbeat I would.
 
Jez
with obesity, life expectancy is on the fall. US's HDI rating will plummet
 
@Jez i don't understand what you're trying to say here
 
@Robusto Tell that to Palin, your future pres!
 
user19161
@Cerberus Really? I love obama!
 
@Robusto i like vacations, but our economy is structured in such a way as to prevent the gov't from mandating that very easily
 
3:44 PM
@JasperLoy So does everyone outside America.
 
Jez
why do people still like Obama?
 
He is more European.
 
@Cerberus — I'll throw in Palin and her whole family, plus Michelle Bachmann! you're not gonna get a better deal than that from Australia.
 
Jez
@Cerberus ahem, no.
european?!!?!
haha
 
user19161
@Jez He just makes a lot of sense to me, and he's a leftie like me!
 
Jez
3:44 PM
Obama is Bush, with half-black skin and more articulate.
Obama is NOT a leftie.
 
no, @Cerb is right. obama is a genius at getting the foreign press to adore him, and like it or not the foreign elites are a major consumer of american policy
 
Jez
he's like any other Democrat; very conservative.
 
@Jez — True dat. Huge disappointment, that one.
 
@Robusto We'll see about that! Australia has lots of internet censoring that might weigh a lot in the HDI scale, or whatever it's called. Censoring = less confusion, after all!
 
user19161
@Jez Huh, I mean left-handed. He's not?
 
Jez
3:45 PM
ohh i see. lol maybe he is left-handed
 
i'm wondering whether @Jez is a socialist or a libertarian, now
 
Jez
or should i say.... sinister
;-)
 
user19161
@Jez Indeed he is, at least my TV says so!
 
Jez
@JSBangs I'm economically centrist, and socially liberal.
on the political compass thing
 
user19161
These terms don't mean nothin.
 
3:47 PM
@Jez — There is no such thing as centrism in American politics. Not anymore.
 
Jez
@JasperLoy right; they mean something.
@Robusto mainstream american politics.
your politics is fucked. i'm kind of hoping the USA will crash soon so it can rebuild and fix itself.
 
Be careful what you wish for.
 
@Jez it's very likely that any kind of crash in the US would result in a hard rightward turn
 
Germany "crashed" during the Weimar Republic, and look what it got them.
 
@Robusto yeah, they might end up with me in charge
 
Jez
3:49 PM
@JSBangs not likely. it can't go anymore right.
 
and I will use all your souls to power my infernal machine to conquer the heavens
 
@Jez do you seriously think that? you haven't seen nothing yet
 
Jez
the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
 
user19161
@MattEllen heavens, get your spelling right first.
 
@Jez — You might be surprised. Never misunderestimate the stupidity of the electorate.
 
3:49 PM
from this side of the pond, the far right in europe is actually more powerful than the far right in america
 
Jez
i say that's already screwed
 
@Jez this is a huge problem
 
Jez
ok, well put it another way: that right-swing would be part of the crash.
the rise would partly be defined by the end of right-wing extremism
 
@JasperLoy I always get that one wrong. It's cos of how I pronounce it.
 
user19161
@MattEllen Then that's a weird way of pronouncing it, whatever it is.
 
Jez
3:51 PM
@MattEllen I thought he meant heathens
 
@Jez :D I suppose you pronounce thief feef?
 
user19161
@Robusto Well, we are all stupid in different ways and on different days.
 
@Jez But the damage...
I hate revolutions.
 
Jez
is inevitable
 
Name one revolution that worked out well in the medium-long term.
 
3:53 PM
@Cerberus yeah, I get really dizzy after a few
 
@MattEllen Exactly. And you might get tossed out and land on your face.
 
user19161
@MattEllen You must spin the other way then.
 
Jez
@Cerberus the fall of Nazi Germany. at least until they decided to go stupid again with nuclear.
 
@Cerberus the american revolution worked out pretty well, but that's because it hardly changed anything except the very top of the political power structure
 
@Jez I'm not sure I'd call that a revolution: the government change was enforced by external powers and through military defeat.
 
3:54 PM
@Jez i don't think that invasion and occupation by a foreign power counts as a revolution
and even the occupation part didn't turn out so well for the East Germans
 
user19161
@JSBangs It counts as invasion.
 
@JSBangs Yeah, is that a revolution?
 
Jez
what about a nice civil war then?
that might be good if the sensible people win
 
A war of independence, rather.
 
you might as well refer to the US invasion/occupation of Iraq as a "revolution"
 
user19161
3:55 PM
It can be seen as a revolution if we see the world as one.
 
@Jez we've had one of those in the US, and while arguably the sensible people "won", it's still hard to describe the short-to-medium term outcome as a really happy one
 
I call a revolution a development in which the fabric of society is forcefully altered: many important institutions are destroyed (not changed), and many civilians are directly affected. And the force comes from within.
@Jez But the destruction...
 
@Cerberus you sound like a conservative :) -- arguing for slow, incremental change that leaves intact most of the existing institutions
 
Jez
@JSBangs the question is, can you afford not to have a civil war?
 
@JSBangs Well, perhaps so. But wouldn't a conservative want very little change at all, if any?
 
3:58 PM
@Jez possibly not. the american civil war was probably a necessary evil, but that doesn't make it not evil
 
@Jez — We already had a Civil War. It was a bloody disaster.
 
I expect you all to have solved the world's problems when I get back.
 
@MattEllen — What if one of those problems turns out to be you, and we don't let you back in?
 
The English attacks on Germany were very evil. Necessary, but, oh, the destruction. It is just too much to even think about it. The bombing of Lübeck makes my heart bleed.
 
Jez
@Robusto As opposed to watching the country not-so-slowly slide into ignorant illiberal religious rule, which isn't a disaster.
 
3:59 PM
@Robusto Hey! Matt is our future God, so better be nice.
 

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