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Thread: POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

  1. #1

    Default POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thesaurian View Post
    Let’s assume your public office building is in an area that does allow trans to use the bathroom of their choice BUT there is only one trans (subject) in the area. Assume also that men must use the mens room and women must use the womens. First they decide to be a man and use the mens, but then decide to be a woman and use the womens. Later, they decide to be a man again, but they want to continue using the womens because it smells better and the graffiti is more uplifting spiritually.

    Question A: Given that gender is a social construct on a spectrum and objective reality may or may not actually exist, how does the bathroom attendant know which identity is the subject’s true self, legally speaking?
    Question B: How oppressed is the subject, intersectionally speaking?

    Since the answer to Question A requires at least a Master’s degree or above in Gender Studies to answer, it’s possible the bathroom attendant will simply murder the subject in frustration, determining that life in prison is the only way to escape crippling student loan debt and extremely limited career opportunities. These bathroom attendants may need to have qualified immunity from prosecution, or at least have their loans canceled, to avoid a total breakdown of society.

    Since the answer to Question B is “Yes,” it’s possible there may not be enough USD in circulation to both fund adequate reparations for the subject while also producing a full line of shows and podcasts about them on all available streaming services, and guaranteeing them a salaried, full time position as an activist and political fundraiser. The subject may need to be given a bank card with unlimited funds and a go pro to livestream their every move, thus minimizing overhead costs while ensuring there is adequate supply in the labor market for sectors outside of media and entertainment.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: POTF 47 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cope View Post
    This is a continuation of the discussion from another thread, regarding capitalism and the Second World War.



    The claim was not about what “would happen to every nation in the same position” (not every state would have repeatedly violated treaties, prosecuted multiple wars of aggression, executed business leaders for “defeatism” and refused to surrender until the govt district had been stormed). It was that the war economy, (and esp. total mobilization) could not reasonably be described as “capitalist”.

    As per my initial post, the expected fruits of Nazi imperialism (which both necessitated a centrally-planned economy and envisioned a vast land redistribution scheme) did constitute the backbone of the party’s “long-standing economic doctrine”. The NSDAP’s domination of the industrial sector (which was integral to this strategy) was so extensive that it cannot be said to have been under the control of market forces, much less operating privately.



    This has been written about elsewhere, so I’ll be brief:

    Both German fascism and Bolshevism were revolutionary, collectivist, totalitarian, authoritarian, imperialist, prophetic movements which despised the old elite, emerged from the ashes of the First World War and seized power by overthrowing fledgling democracies in their respective countries. Both claimed ownership over the idea of socialism.

    The suggestion that these parallels can simply be dismissed as coincidental or “Cold War propaganda” is untenable.



    The plan expresses the underlying themes of national socialism. It was the party’s “official statement of goals” throughout its existence, even if Hitler’s prioritization of short-term imperialism took precedence. It includes nationalist and anti-Semitic demands (namely that Jewish persons be stripped of citizenship) and proclaims the party’s opposition to the “Jewish materialist spirit”. That the Final Solution had not yet been conceived of does not mean that the anti-Semitic ideology which inspired it was absent in 1920.



    A systemic problem is one which affects the whole. Pointing to isolated examples of American corporate collaboration with the NSDAP is not an indictment of the entire system (liberal, market capitalism), particularly given the overwhelming culpability of statism in the humanitarian abuses of the 20th century. Naturally, the socialized/communal economy of the Soviet Union isn’t criticized for its complicity in Soviet crimes.



    It's interesting that Soviet Union is viewed as entitled to to collaborate with the NSDAP in “self-defence” (including on imperialist projects), but the same excuse is not afforded to German companies/subsidiaries many of which would likely have collapsed (if not worse) had they refused to cooperate with the NSDAP. Predictably the credit arrangement based on Reichsmarks between Nazi Germany and the USSR (which presumably counts as “capitalism”) is also overlooked.

    W/regard to the alleged defensiveness Stalin’s imperialism, the following should be noted:

    1. Soviet aggression prior to the war was not limited to the annexation of eastern Poland (where the regime perpetrated humanitarian crimes). It also included the invasion of Finland and the occupations of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.

    2. The occupations of Poland provided the Soviet Union with no strategic advantage. On the contrary, Soviet losses in its western border region during the summer of 1941 were catastrophic. German forces advanced 320 km and encircled Minsk within days of launching Barbarossa. The Soviet Western Front suffered 400,000 losses, including 10,000 artillery pieces, 5000 tanks and 1500 aircraft in fewer than 3 weeks.

    3. On their return to Poland in 1944, the Red Army refused to assist the Polish Home Army in Warsaw, effectively facilitating the German garrison’s destruction of the resistance and the city. Remaining Polish freedom fighters/partisans (anti-fascists) were subsequently liquidated by the Bolsheviks.

    4. The Soviet Union constructed communist puppets in “liberated” eastern European countries, keeping them subjugated under Soviet imperialist rule until the empire’s collapse forty-five years later.
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  3. #3

    Default POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)



    --

    NB! Due to the competition having been on hold, all posts since June 8 2021 that meet the criteria and have not been nominated previously are eligible. Feel free to nominate any posts with merit that you remember reading over the summer.

    After this round, the competition will go back to the normal format with possible small policy changes that will be communicated if implemented.

    If you are unsure if your favorite post has been nominated before, do not worry. The staff will go through them before setting up the poll.

    --


    POTF is about recognising the very best posts, the best arguments and discourse in the D&D, and appropriately rewarding it.

    You shall progressively earn these medals once you achieve enough wins, but first you must be nominated in threads such as this one. And it works like this.

    Post of the Fortnight - Rules
    -Each user can nominate up to 2 posts per round, and the only valid form of nomination is by quoting with a link as shown below the chosen post in the PotF thread designated for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Looking forward to getting this kicked off for real!
    - Each 15 days there will be a new Nomination thread put up, and all the posts written during this period are considered eligible, if properly nominated. Exception are posts who are somewhat breaking the ToS; upon being acted by Moderation, they are always considered ineligible.

    - Remember: It is possible to nominate up to 2 posts each round of the competition; it is also possible to change a nomination anytime before the actual round of nominations ends.

    - There will be two competitions held every month, with a period for nominations followed by a period of voting. The submitted posts can be discussed in a dedicated space.

    - Only posts that have not participated in a previous poll and that have been published in the current period of given time in any section of the D&D area may be nominated.

    - The authors of the nominated post will be informed so they can withdraw the candidacy if that is their wish.

    - The maximum number of participating posts in the final vote will be ten. If more than ten nominations are submitted, seconded nominations will take priority. After seconded nominations are considered, earliest nominations will take priority. If the number of posts submitted to the contest is less than ten, the organizing committee may nominate posts if it considers it appropriate.

    -The members of the committee will never nominate a post belonging to one of them, but the rest of the users can nominate their posts (organizers posts), and vice versa.

    -In the event of a tie, both posts will be awarded and both posters will receive rep and 1 competition point.


    - Public or private messages asking for a vote for a candidate post are forbidden. Violators (and their posts) may not participate in the contest.

    - People are expected to consider the quality and structure of the post itself, more than the content of the same. While it's certainly impossible to completely split the two aspects when making our own opinion on a post, it remains intended, as also explained in the Competition Commentary Thread, that commenting and discussing on the content rather than on the form/structure of the post is considered off-topic for the purpose of this competition. You are free to nominate and vote for whatever reason you want, but what happens in public has to strictly follow up with the competition rules.


    A nominated post should:

    1. Be focused and relevant to the topic(s) being discussed.
    2. Demonstrate a well-developed, insightful and nuanced understanding of the topic(s) it is discussing.
    3. Be logically coherent, well organized and communicate its points effectively.
    4. Support its contentions with verifiable evidence, either in the form of links or references.
    5. Not be deliberately vexatious to other users.
    6. Not be composed of a copy/paste in its entirety.


    Good luck everyone!

  4. #4

    Default Re: POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

    Two posts from a previous round were moved here because of my intention to keep nominations to a more manageable number now that we have restarted the competition. Apologies for the inconvenience.

    Go ahead and nominate!

  5. #5
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Evolutionary changes are the product changes in allele frequencies. Changes in allele frequencies can and do change with each generation. Therefore, evolutionary changes can be observed in human populations over the span of a single human lifetime. For example, selection against genetic variants associated with educational attainment can be observed in modern populations. Normally, this scale would be referred to as microevolution. Nevertheless, macroevolution is simply microevolution over the course of a longer period.

    We are not at all outside of the natural system. Your example of modern medical technology in no way insulates us from the consequences of evolution, it simply changes the selection parameters. In each generation, there are a number of de novo (new) mutations. The vast majority of these are either neutral or deleterious. Deleterious means that they have a negative impact on fitness. The build up of these deleterious mutations is referred to as a population's mutation load. Mutation load is removed from the gene pool via what is referred to as purifying selection. Meaning those with more deleterious mutations will have lower net reproductive success. Individuals or their children dying earlier because of health problems or because of bad choices are examples of purifying selection in action, but it can also be that people with more deleterious mutations are simply less attractive. Modern medicine, social safety nets, and birth control technology are all among factors that change up the parameters, but nevertheless, the process remains in place and constant. Currently, these factors appear to be selecting for less healthy, less intelligent, and more impulsive individuals, although there is probably a limit to how far that can go.

    The error in the thinking in these two posts is simply that it's too narrowly Darwinian. It was really only natural selection that Darwin contributed to the modern synthesis, upon which our current understanding of evolution is based:

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  6. #6
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    I think the censorship debate is a red herring. I tend to agree with Heathen, that censorship of speech can be counter productive and divisive, and in an environment where there is free and unfettered access to information, extreme perspectives tend to remain on the fringe.

    The real issue I see with social media in general, and Facebook in particular, is that there is a paradox at the heart of how they exist. That in order to be able to function, they need to profit. They don't exist for a social good. They aren't a town square. They are for profit enterprises. They profit from advertising. In order to profit, they need to generate interactions with advertisers. In order to generate interactions they have chosen to use algorithms to pick and choose what we see. They shape what we see in such a way as to promote interactions - which in turn allow them to better learn more about us in order to better target advertising for us to interact with. It is a loop. This lends the algorithm towards picking loud, brash, opinionated, emotion inciting content. This seriously blurs the line between us exercising free will and free speech, and them shaping our free will/speech.

    The moment they start shaping our experience in such a way so as to promote interaction, they have essentially removed any potential for a true free speech environment. What we are seeing now, is the result of this. That fringe speech has been artificially amplified by the algorithm because it prompts reactions (and interactions). Because fringe speech has been promoted, in order to reinstate a societal equilibrium where this speech would normally be filtered out by society, they are forced by society to censor - or at least appear to censor. This is a paradox that can't be resolved within the current monetisation structure. This unsolvable tension is at the heart of Haugen's comments.

    I don't see a solution to this problem. Social media can't be undone. It is here now. Without content filtering algorithms to maximise engagement, engagement on individual platforms tends to drift away over time as people look for the next exciting platform and fashion changes - and businesses don't exist to let their customer base drift away. This is why algorithmic filtering is introduced whenever big companies buy exciting new indie platforms (hello Instagram), or when indie startups need to monetise (Snapchat/Tik Tok). The algorithm keeps us in place, so they can serve us the adds that pay their bills. Subscription models might work, but not on the scale of Facebook - especially considering the potential democratising effect for those in poverty around the world to have payment-free access to social media. Advertising does work, but advertisers are vulnerable to attrition thanks to wasted money spent when there isn't an algorithm based feeder system in place. Alternative "not for profit" "free speech" platforms end up being havens for those most affected by censorship - those who would normally be filtered out by the societal equilibrium - and while in-principle 'free', in reality they lose the mundane, middle ground content that much of our societal discourse is actually made up of.

    I just don't know how to solve the paradox. I don't think turning private corporations into arbiters of free speech is the solution, but realistically, they already are. Certainly it would be good for society to have more transparency over how these corporations decide what we see. But I don't have any real solutions.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: POTF 49 Nomination - 2nd and Final Summer Edition (please see the original post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    In spite of what Guderian or Liddell-Hart like to claim, the Blitzkrieg was not a doctrine (at least not at that stage), the rapid success was much more of an accident. And the use of tanks for rapid exploitation was something considered by all countries, e.g. by the Brits with their light cruiser tanks, but France focused on the comparably slower paced rumbling tanks because they were preparing for a defensive war.
    It's often portrayed like this even today, but that isn't exactly true. The reality was that the French were TRYING to cause a replay of WWI, and failed. They didn't expect the Ardennes to be completely impenetrable, the hills were in fact discussed as a potential attack vector many times over, including e.g. by Churchill and Alphonse Georges during a visit of the former to Paris in August 39. More on that later.

    Actually, not really. Though you're forgiven for thinking that, since this is how we're usually talking about that subject even today.

    The French and British absolutely knew they had time on their side and also knew that the Germans (like in WWI) would try to be as fast as possible in their opening strike. They did not expect the Germans to be THAT quick, but then again, neither did German High Command. But we'll get to that.

    A key factor people keep forgetting is that there's a huge gap in time when the French were developing their strategy for the next war and when the Germans did it.
    The French did it in the 10s and 20s, and they had the following paradigms to work with:
    • knowing that the next war wouldn't happen the next day or next year, but rather at some uncertain point in a hard to predict long term future, they could not assume that the UK, the US or Poland would exist to help.
    • Due to geographic considerations, the only thing guaranteed was that a German attack on France would always drag Belgium into it. France thus could expect the alliance with Belgium to hold true.
    • A war on French soil was to be avoided as much as possible
    • France was severely outnumbered by the Germans: 39mil vs 59 mil, with the German population growing much faster than that of France. For 1935 they could expect 184000 conscription aged Frenchmen to be outnumbered 3:1 by 464000 Germans.
    • Navies are a built strategy. You don't create a new navy over night. And given that the French surely couldn't expect the British to support the Germans, a naval blockade of resource hungry Germany was all but guaranteed.
    • This means that for a war lasting too long, Germany would inevitably lose (and yup, they ran out of oil 1941/1942 iirc).
    • For the short term, France would be in severe trouble however, and have to be creative.
    • In WWI, forts, such as those at Verdun, had played a key role in WWI. Nothing significant had changed in that aspect. You couldn't simply charge tanks at forts in WW2 either. This assumption held unequivocally true. The Maginot line held and did what it was supposed to do. It forced the war towards the northwest, and the bad rep it keeps getting is very undeserved.
    • What France wanted to avoid unter all circumstances was a war in home territory. They preferred to fight elsewhere. If not Germany, then Belgium would do.
    • The plan was for the defensive line to be in Belgium at the Meuse and the Prince-Albert-Kanal.
    • The plan was sound, except for the fact that the Rhineland crisis had caused the Belgians to end their alliance with the French and declaring neutrality.
    • As a result, France couldn't enter Belgium before the Germans had started their offensive. They had to hurry and barely managed to dig in at the Dijle when the break-through happened. The Belgians meanwhile got wiped out further north east at the old planned defensive lines.
    • Clearly the French tried to compensate for the loss of initiative by sending as many forces into Belgium to be able to seize the necessary positions. Hence why they had no reserves to counteract the German move.
    • Contrary to what is claimed by e.g. the OP and memed on so often, the western allies did not completely forget about the Ardennes. The expectations based on earlier tank versions, which indeed would have had a terrible time in the forrested hills, had become outdated with newer tank models, but the French and British were aware of that. A possible attack through the Ardennes was discussed by Churchill with Alphonse Georges in August 1939.
      The Ardennes were kept as a bulge outside the allied lines for a reason. Having defensive lines run through it wasn't worth the headaches that'd cause.
    • The reason such an attack was still dismissed, was because the terrain was still unforgiving, would cause significant issues with logistics (which it indeed did). We know from hindsight that they did a huge mistake. The reason why they made that mistake was that they forgot to ask themselves a very significant question: "We know the Germans are forced to win the war ASAP. What risks will become viable by our countermeasures to what we expect them to do?"
    • The Germans were essentially naked in the hills, if we disregard the tree cover from air detection. They made a huge gamble, hence why they chose that option fairly late. The French failed to consider that in preparing for the conventional scenario fairly well, they created the circumstances making the gamble of going through the middle fairly worthwhile.
    • But much more significant was the mistake that they did not have a fallback plan and did not keep reserves. This failure is much less excusable even when we keep in mind that we're talking with the benefit of hindsight, but we also criticise that forgetting WHY the French neglected that in the first place: They wanted to have a strong defensive position outside of France ASAP. The cause for the need to rush were as said before diplomatic and due to the mishandling of the Rhineland crisis.
    • Next we have to remember that the Germans did indeed plan for a conventional attack across the plains for a very long time. They very clearly saw the same risks and issues as the French did. The Germans changed their plans fairly late.
      The Germans also had the advantage that the French had prepared for the war much longer than they had (a bizarre advantage, I'll admit). They were thus clearly aware of what the French were trying to do, and had been able to mold their Wehrmacht and operational doctrines with this in mind.
    • It is also unfair to the French given that the German high command itself was very surprised at its own success.
    • A perfect storm of other very significant issues plagued the French. The most inexcusable one was the very bad decision making system they had. French generals were unreachable for days.
    • The oft repeated reasoning (here again by swabian in a post that manages to be completely false) that the Germans were somehow fighting more ferociously than the French in the tactical sense does not really hold true. Tactical issues weren't the cause for the French collapse at all. It was failure at the operational and strategic levels. The French weren't passive because they were covering in fear. They were passive because they couldn't assess and react to new information fast enough before the situation had already completely changed. Nor did the Germans fight this war as a Vernichtungskrieg as they did in the east. The west was considered civilised.
    • I honestly can't agree with Cheney's proposal of an intelligence failure. An intelligence failure necessitates that others somehow performed better. Throughout the war, and excluding the very successful allied code breaking operations, for which there simply hadn't been enough time in 1940 (which makes it unjustified criticising them on those grounds), all sides proved quite incapable to predict enemy maneuvers. There are countless examples for pretty much every country.
      The Western allies also had to contend with the fact that they each had independent intelligence services and thus did not share all information with one another, and each had their own decision making apparatus, with their own interests, visions and goals; and whilst information was shared like in the Mechelen incident, it wasn't done as much as it could have been.

    I used to like Guderian, but I can only advice you to not trust anything he (or most German generals for that matter) writes. Most people pretty up their autobiography, but with Wehrmacht generals desperate to justify their defeats and clear themselves of war crimes it's just ridiculous. Guderian in particular did not have the dominating role in inventing blitzkrieg which he managed to make the world believe.
    The "the bomber will always get through" doctrine that saw bombers as world ending weapons had been discussed across the world by that time. The Germans thus had a strong bomber force as well. What they didn't have, however, was the abundance of resources (->fuel especially) the British could offer. Nevertheless as proven by the battle of Britain, the Germans did initially make significant strides in that area and were ahead of the allies in their use of air power in 1940.
    Fun fact side note: In terms of motorisation, the Germans were at their peak during Fall Gelb. They had to demotorise later on because of lack of fuel.


    EDIT: One final point I feel like I should point out:

    Like stated earlier the French focused on defense for very justified reasons. They were outnumbered significantly. What no one really talks about, however, is how this gave the Wehrmacht an incredible amount of freedom when it came to their own defenses. The French focus on defense was so absolute (they went as much all in as the Germans did on the offense), that the Germans could keep their defensive operations at a total minimum, as one could see during "la drôle de guerre" (which btw. also gets misrepresented a fair deal) when the Germans were completely free to deal with Poland simply because the French had very little in terms of offensive capabilities, and also in that the significant resources invested in the Maginot-Line also reassured the Germans that they didn't have to expect any significant offensives from that direction either.

    For all their challenges, the Germans had their fair share of advantages going into the war too. Hence why they went into the war in the first place (apart from the issue that they absolutely hadn't expected the French and British to declare war on them at all).

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