Depending on what type of logic best tickles your noodle, you might prefer to hash out new ideas through debate. Live, in person argumentation, is not only able to get your heart rate up but it allows you to use your inductive reasoning skills to hone in on potential weaknesses in what your interlocutor is saying, which in turn helps you form ideas of your own.
As far as the greater scheme of political discourse goes, this topic is very much on the fringe. This debate is in the minutia, buried under the tumultuous back and forth of above ground politics. Furthermore, and perhaps because of that, it no longer fits on the left-right spectrum. We are going either up or down now.
Because of the circumstances, exploring the proper ethical and pragmatic boundaries of government, to this level of precision, seems like splitting hairs. This is being extremely nit-picky about the role ‘the state’ has to play in all of our lives. But ideas are important. For eons and eons the debate between agnosticism and full blown atheism must have felt similarly hollow. Perhaps more even so, because with the advent of the internet and the campaign of Ron Paul, these ideas are much, much easier to get exposed to. ______________________________________________________________
I hereby present that debate opportunity, albeit vicarious, with two of the heaviest hitters in the idea-sphere:
1) Peter Schiff vs. Stefan Molyneux (< 20 minutes)
- Peter Schiff: “CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc.” – Wikipedia
- Stefan Molyneux: “[B]logger, essayist, author, and host of the Freedomain Radio… He self-identifies as a full-time parent and philosopher.” – Wikipedia
Also, if that leaves you all dressed with up with no person to yell at, here is another debate featuring Stefan Molyneux. This video has pretty shit sound quality, so there is your disclaimer, but nonetheless, this exact video is known to be responsible for the ‘conversion’ of quite a few people. You would be surprised.
2a) Stefan Molyneux vs. Michael Badnarik (Bigger, longer, and cut just a little at the beginning)
- “Michael J. Badnarik: Software engineer, political figure, and former radio talk show host. He was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 elections.” – Wikipedia
Enjoy at the short term expense of your social life but at the long term benefit of your morality and your philosophical clarity. OnBoard, Johnteezey
This is a very contentious topic and I welcome and encourage discussion, but let’s keep it civil. The title of this article merely highlights the contentious nature of the topic.
There is a wiki-style page explaining why sequential downloading of BitTorrent files is bad. If you don’t understand it, go research it until you do, then come back here.
Let me preface by saying that I think BitTorrent (BT) technology is amazing and I have much respect for all those who helped it be created and maintained. I am not kicking the proverbial gift-horse in the mouth. I’m thankful for what I’ve got. I understand the issue of sequential downloading and how it is detrimental to the whole BT concept. Which is why I understand the heated discussion between people requesting the feature and people explaining why the feature is bad. I am not rehashing that debate.
What I want to do is try and intelligently think about the issue and discuss it, and to do so requires a paradigm-shift by those in the discussion. Think about the progression and proliferation of technology. Think about the concepts of supply and demand. Nobody disputes that zillions of BT users want sequential downloading (zillion = a lot). That means there is a huge demand for it. They might not understand BT technology enough to know why sequential downloading (herein referred do as SD) is bad for BT. But it’s easy to understand why there is a demand for it. If we take a broader look at the history of technological progression, almost always we see that when there is a huge demand for something but our technology is unable to supply that demand, there is great incentive to innovate and improve our technology to meet that demand.
And so my call to action is this: people may be stupid for wanting SD for BT. But the huge demand for it exists for a reason. Rather than telling people to “not want SD”, instead innovate and create to solve the problem. It may be that some innovation in BT technology solves the problem. Or it may be that BT will never be capable of successfully incorporating SD, in which case a new technology is needed. No doubt this problem will be eventually solved. But ignoring a demand does not make it go away. Neither does saying “there shouldn’t BE a demand.” The demand is there, and it must, and will, be supplied. You can argue about it until you’re blue in the face, but that’s the simple fact of the matter. It’s not easy to solve the problem, and I have much respect for the brilliant minds behind the technology. But pretending or insisting that a problem does not exist is not a solution to that problem. The problem remains. And hopefully soon, a solution will follow.
Many people these days are aware of problems with schools. It’s an extremely complex issue with no easy answer. So I’m not proposing anything or trying to make any kind of grand sweeping generalization, or claiming I know how to fix the problems. But I want to share with you a personal example of a deficiency in my education (through no fault of my own).
I always paid attention in history class (or at the very least read all the assigned reading and did all the assigned work). So while I may not be a history whiz, I should at least know some of the basics, right?
Today I was on wikipedia reading about the Industrial Revolution. I’ve heard the term before, but we never covered it in school. Someone may have mentioned it in passing, but I really knew nothing about it until I started reading about it today. In the opening paragraph, it states “Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.”
As I learned more about the Industrial Revolution, I began to see that this statement about the importance of the Industrial Revolution is not an exaggeration. Every single one of us lives the way we do because of what happened during the Industrial Revolution. I learned about economic growth. Mechanization. Worker exploitation. Labor unions. Collective bargaining. These things are huge. They matter, in a very direct and real sense. I’ve only skimmed the surface but now I at least have a foundation of knowledge about that subject. So many things in our every day lives are a direct result of global changes that took place during the Industrial Revolution, and having now learned the basics of it, I have a much better understanding of the world.
So what’s my point? Well, we’ve already talked about how we’re autodidacts. I just want to continue the conversation. There is so much to learn out there about the universe we live in. The more you learn, the more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that comprises our reality fit into place. Let your curiosity guide you. And know that there’s always so much more to be learned. You just have to teach it to yourself. It’s empowering.
EDIT 2011-10-16: The following videos about the future of education and how it can be changed for the better are both inspiring and jarring:
Both videos are TED talks regarding the current state of and the future of the educational system. In the first video, Salman Kahn (of Kahn Academy fame) talks about how he has begun working with schools to revolutionize teaching. The second video, which is a bit more bleak, has Bill Gates (of Microsoft fame) talking about the consequences of the budget cuts to education as well as the possibilities for fixing the problems.