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Thread: POTF 50 - Nominations

  1. #1

    Default POTF 50 - Nominations

    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!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    In some ways Rittenhouse is a victim. Of course he ultimately made the choice to pull the trigger, but he didn't get to that point by himself. He was taken advantage of by callous, cowardly adults who should have (and did) known better.

    Where are his militia buddies now? Are they going to help him once he's locked up?

    What about all of those right-wingers praising him in comments on articles about the case? Are their likes and upvotes going to do him any good in prison?

    What he needed was an adult in his life to tell him "Kyle, stop and think. Is it really worth it?

    Those people on your social media and in your militia putting you up to this, they don't really care about you. They see you only as a means to an end, cannon fodder in their dumb culture wars. They're not your friends. Once you're dead or in prison they'll forget all about you and go groom the next kid to fight their battles. They've probably already started.

    If someone is telling you to put yourself in a situation where you might be killed or kill someone else, you should ask why. And they'd better have a damn good reason, because your life is important. It's the only one you've got. If they can't give a clear reason why you should put yourself in such a situation beyond 'Because I don't like the way those people look or talk or think or pray.', you tell them to go to Hell. You tell them if they can't stand too share the planet with others, that's a problem with them and not everyone else. And you tell them that if their hatreds were so noble, so heroic and just and important, THEY would do the fighting instead of trying to send you to do it for them.

    No Kyle, if you do this you won't be a hero or a martyr or anything like that. You'll be a chump, rotting in a grave or a prison cell while those who urged you on move on to the next battle of their culture wars. They won't even remember who you were in a few years. And if you go to prison and get out in a few decades-at the very least-they won't be there to help you salvage what you can of your wasted life."

    Unfortunately Kyle didn't have anyone to tell him that, and so decided to throw his life away.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thesaurian View Post
    The people who teach your kids were well prepared for Rittenhouse to be acquitted. Surprise! It’s white people’s fault again. No, not the white people who threatened to kill him, only the white “vigilante murderer” who defended himself, and any other white person who disagrees with that label. His acquittal is (gasp) another manifestation of systemic white supremacism. Oh, and if you feel any empathy for him you’re a racist too.
    Despite last year's demonstrations supporting racial justice and substantive efforts at political reform, the system that devalues Black lives remains largely -- and powerfully -- intact.
    His protracted sobs -- and people's telling reactions to them -- spoke volumes about the moment America now finds itself in. Whether or not Rittenhouse is convicted, the perspective he represents -- galvanized by the anger, fear and prejudice of White Americans -- has already achieved its ends: normalizing a kind of racial privilege exposed, but far from extinguished, in the wake of George Floyd's murder last year.
    "I defended myself," Rittenhouse claimed during his testimony. If the jury believes these words, Rittenhouse will likely go free. His defense team has also made a motion for a mistrial with prejudice, meaning he couldn't be retried.
    If any of that happens, it will be to America's enduring shame.
    As the Left would have it, telling the truth under oath in America today is “an enduring shame.” The irony of the “systemic bias” that allegedly favors Rittenhouse is that his story has been and will continue to be written by a court of public opinion curated by his fiercest detractors, those who’ve decided he’s a Nazi terrorist from the moment the story broke - including the sitting POTUS - regardless of the facts.

    "POTUS" in post links to this:

  4. #4
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    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has been progressing a new piece of federal legislation - labelled the Religious Discrimination bill - that would "attempt to secure extra protections from state-based discrimination laws. In recent years, many states in Australia have passed, or are due to pass various pieces of legislation strengthening protections for minority views from discrimination - in the view of Mr Morrison's Federal Government, these pieces of law have come at the expense of individual's right to make statements of religious belief.

    What prompted the legal clarification?
    As is often the case, a high profile sports player is involved. Over a period of years, multi-sports professional Israel Folau made a series of judgemental public statements on LGBTQI and other issues via Twitter and other platforms. In response to each, his then employer, Rugby Australia, initiated code of conduct proceedings. First he was warned not to make similar statements again or risk being in breach of contract, later they culminated in the termination of his contract. The termination resulted in loss of direct earnings, as well as the cancellation of sponsorship arrangements - the ultimate value of which went into the tens of millions of dollars.

    The final straw, as it was, for Rugby Australia was a tweet Folau made in response to a law change in Tasmania, which made provision for individuals to amend the gender reported on their birth certificate: "The devil has blinded so many people in this world. Repent and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free". The seemingly personal statement on his feelings about the law change resulted in a predictable media storm, Folau doubled down on Instagram, posting a meme miss-quoting 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "WARNING Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES”. Folau's position was that he was making "statements of faith" and thus not discriminating as defined in his code of conduct. Rugby Australia, who were seeking to expand their game to attract LGBTQI players at the time, thought otherwise.

    During the public legal proceedings that followed his sacking, there was intense public debate over the nature of his statements, and whether an individual can, as a public facing representative of a business or organisation, express sentiments that go against the code of conduct of that organisation or business without consequence. The public debate reached fever pitch. But the ultimate compromise settlement between Rugby Australia and Folau placed blame on neither party and otherwise kept the settlement private. It left neither party entirely happy, and didn't resolve the issue in the eyes of the public.

    What's in the law
    The new legislation would seek to formalise and safeguard an individual's right to make genuine statements or expressions of religious belief. It would clarify exactly where and how statements of genuine faith can and can't be considered discriminatory. "For example, the bill says it wouldn't be discrimination if a religious primary school required all of its students and staff to practise its particular religion, meaning it could turn away people who don't." the same rules would apply to other institutions such as universities or hospitals which are owned or managed by a religious body and to those whom profess atheism or other variations of non-specific-religious belief. On the other hand, the new bill also clarifies what a statement of belief might legitimately be "It wants to make sure "statements of belief" are not considered discriminatory, as long as they don't threaten, intimidate, harass or vilify a person or would be considered malicious to a "reasonable person". An early draft of the bill, would have explicitly given protection to someone in Folau's place, who might be sacked for making a statement of belief. But that element has since been removed after significant public backlash from minority rights groups.

    Say no to gay cake.
    The case echoes the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court case in the US - which tested limits to the free exercise of religion where a business sought to actively discriminate whom they offered services to based on a religious belief. The supreme court ruled in favour of the business over the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and noted that the Commission had not been maintaining neutrality towards religious belief.

    The debate over the case in Australia has referenced the US Supreme Court decision. But while there are elements within Australia's various constitutional frameworks that reflect similar ethics to the First Amendment, most are conventions rather than specific rights - there is no direct parallel. The new legislation seeks to draw a clear line where a religious belief can and can't be the basis of discrimination - while ironically not addressing the specific circumstances that led to it's creation. It also doesn't address areas where its provisions might conflict other workplace legislation, and as such, may in reality achieve little. I'm not convinced the legislation is necessary, as the original Folau case resulted in a settlement which justified existing legal checks and balances, but as the Masterpiece Cakeshop case illustrated, when governments seek to over-control freedoms they do overreach and I'm wary of state laws to protect relatively recently enfranchised groups, if they disenfranchise others.

    A couple of questions:

    This is an international forum, and there are numerous examples of how religious freedoms are permitted or protected around the world. While the US Constitution is the most obvious example of the enshrinement of free expression, even there we're now seeing conversations that certainly weren't envisaged by its writers - it is still the living document that all others are compared to, and thanks to a robust courts system, will continue to be the benchmark. Are there better constitutional protections elsewhere?

    In general, how should we define the grey areas where one person's freedom of expression might actively harm or prevent another's?

    Should corporations and businesses have the right to influence what their spokespersons do or say in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Moscow didn't rebel though. Constantinople has overstepped time and time again and Moscow conceded again and again even where it didn't have to. There's no canonical right whatsoever for any patriarch to interfere in another patriarchate's jurisdiction, nor does Constantinople have any right to "revoke" the treaty from 1686. Nor is the canonical Ukrainian church in any way related to the Kiev Metropolites of old apart from having the capital in the same city.

    To make it abundantly clear: One reason for the great schism with the pope was the pope's claim to have absolute authority over everyone and everything. The patriarch of Constantinople, by claiming to have the right to seize parishes all over the world, is now essentially claiming to do the same thing. This didn't even start with Ukraine, even my former parish had a case with the Constantinople patriarchate back when I was a kid, for the simple reason that Constantinople is aggressively hunting parishes from other patriarchates to gain further revenue streams. There can be no unity with such an entity. This is not about money, or politics for me. I cannot call Bartholomew Dimitrios Arhondonis patriarch of a church I want to be a part of.

    When Constantinople claimed control of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, it immediately went ahead to depose bishops and impose orders which the Moscow Patriarchate does not lay claim to, as the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox church has almost complete autonomy from Moscow yet also has the right to have a say in the Patriarchate's matters. Even the other uncanonical Ukrainian churches didn't exactly welcome the intervention from Istanbul. The other heretic patriarch, who split from the Moscow Patriarch after getting angry because his candidacy to become the patriarch of Moscow failed, isn't exactly happy that Constantinople essentially granted him legitimacy only to immediately take it away from him.

    The parishes, monasteries and bishops have for the most part been quite unwilling to switch church just like that. The way parishes "switch" to the uncanonical new church is by force and there are numerous examples I can point to.

    To say it's politics is accurate and yet also underplays the gravity and immorality of it all and doesn't stop it from still being a dogmatic issue as the very act itself is in breach with fundamental principles of orthodox Christianity. Breaking the communion with Istanbul was thus long overdue.
    But yes the stunt was essentially Poroshenko's attempt to have at least a nominal victory for his reelection campaign. Hence why his aggressively nationalistic slogan was "Army. Language. Faith." The Army part referring to his continued attempts at shelling civilian urban centers into submission, and the language part to the nationalistic government forcing its language on all minorities, which alone should be enough to disqualify Ukraine from joining the EU. You can see by the election results how the majority of people see this issue. Poroshenko's church creation gained him votes where the Uniates (=catholics) are strongest, and he completely and utterly failed where the orthodox church is at its strongest. The church goes that are supposed to be part of the Istanbul construct overwhelmingly voted against the impostors.

    But the will of the majority doesn't really matter when the oligarchy and the most aggressive part of the population are intent on imposing their will on the rest of the population through authoritarian and often violent matters. Be it the Army and Language parts of his slogan, or the "Faith" part.

    Here's btw. Poroshenko and his family painted as saints in his own private church. Should tell you all about his aspirations.

    Same goes for the Constantinople patriarchate. Obviously it's "just" money and power for them. Constantinople did in fact get a fat check from Ukraine after that. Nevermind that the Istanbul patriarchate, as it should be called, is completely under control not only of the Turkish government, but also entirely dependent on the good will of the USA, which can at any point in time block the revenue stream Constantinople gets from believers abroad.

    But it isn't just politics to me, nor is it that for a huge chunk of the sees that are nominally part of the see of Constantinople. Be it the very reluctant monks in Athos or the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe that broke with Istanbul over this and switched back to Moscow.

    And I will not accept the Turkish copy of pope Leo IX as part of my church either.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post

    Anyways, it's really difficult to do any kind of speculation here, I mean the real reach of the phenomenon is of course speculative, i.e. even about the Late Heavy Bombardment there's not unanimity in the scientific community, and that's supposedly one of the most important event of Earth's history. This is of course due to the lack of direct observation and historical documents (because of huge time scales) and only the biggest impacts left some marks which are still recognizable as of today (and not all of them anyways, since the oldest one have been most probably deleted by the tectonic movements), but in human scales even the average and small asteroids/comets have the potentiality to bring havoc to our civilization and possibly end it for good (mostly due to climate change than actual destruction caused by the impact, that is).

    The table below shows a prevision, with time scales, for the small and average impacts (included airbursts, i.e. like the Tunguska event or the more recent Chelyabinsk event).

    The table above is sourced from Wikipedia, in this this page it is possible to find quite a lot of info about impact events, if one is curious to learn more.

    However, those are only the small and average ones, still they can indeed be very destructive and even the smallest ones can wreck anything locally: recently it has been proved that the city of Tall el-Hamman has been destroyed by an airbust explosion, sometimes around 3,600 year ago, and that might have inspired the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Imagine what the largest ones could do.

    It is speculated that asteroids larger than 5 km (which are big enough to cause long lasting, planetary effects) hit the Earth every 10 million years or so, while smaller ones (1 to 5) hit every 1 to 9 million of years. We all concur I guess that for our actual civilizations those figures are irrelevant, but they are not so of course on an evolutionary scale. As far as we know, anyways, none of such is in an orbit that will possibly cause it to hit the Earth is a relatively short period, none the less making any real prevision on a wider scale is impossible, because the variables are simply too much to calculate. Besides, as the recent passage of Oumuamua demonstrated, there are completely unpredictable dangers that we have very little chance to identify, lest defend from (this interstellar object, meaning coming from the space out of our solar system, was discovered when it was already at about 33 million km from Earth and already heading away from the Sun). Those interstellar asteroids are of the worst kind so to say, since they do not follow an orbit but they are actually only transiting in our system and therefore can come from and move to any possible direction.

    A similar case is represented by the Oort cloud objects. While the Cloud in itself is a speculation, it has solid scientific base, connected with Long period and Halley's type comets. These objects are even less predictable, since the time scale is on the order of millions of years and the causing events are still to be identified (they have been speculated though, main candidates are either the gravitational effects of the Galactic tide, or, more probably those of passing by nearby stars or even molecular clouds.

    Above is a gif of nearby solar systems, 3D glasses should be used to properly see it.

    Quoting wikipedia

    On a more fictional side, similar hypothesis have been made about the Nemesis star or the infamous Planet X.

    However, whatever the reason, those are probably the most dangerous objects that could hit the Earth, the more if the theory that sees them coming in swarms rather than singularly is correct.

    We really are surrounded, literally, by plenty of potential civilization destroyers and while I'm happy to see that small steps are taken to begin with, I remain that we are very far, thousands of years far, from being able to effectively protect ourselves from such dangers.

  6. #6

    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    It's true that the only two countries with a higher median disposable household income PPP than the US are Switzerland and Norway, although not by much. Interestingly, neither are EU countries. In the case of Norway, I'm fairly sure that the main difference between it and similar countries is that it has a lot of oil relative to its population size.

    My argument didn't at all rely on Albania and Greece. I mentioned the latter because alhoon is familiar with it and the former to drive home the absurdity of what he was inferring, but I also referenced the difference between the US and Germany. Median income for very poor US states like Alabama and Mississippi is about $33,500 before taxes based on 2018, which is still better than middle income European countries. In Italy, for example, median income before taxes that same year was $38,853 PPP, but whereas an American with that income will likely pay no tax and may even receive more credits than he/she owes, the Italian will (according to this) be paying well over 25% income tax.

    The difference in health insurance costs isn't even enough to make up the gap, especially considering the fact that Americans close to or below the poverty level pay little or nothing for health insurance, and that the median income PPP after taxes in most European countries is near or below what is considered poverty level in the US. In fact, median household disposable income is low enough in every European country except Switzerland to qualify for Medicaid (totally free healthcare) if they were in the US and had a household size of 4. Median household disposable income is low enough in Italy and Spain to qualify for Medicaid with a household of 2.

    It should also be clear that I'm talking about median income (not average, not per capita), which is the center point of the bell curve, and thus is representative of the middle class in a given country.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by [URL=""
    Muizer[/URL]]Oh that. The 'god created the universe 6000 years ago exactly as if it were billions of years old' theory does not hold, because the only way to create the universe exactly as if it were billions of years old would be for it to be billions of years old. The 'fake' past would either be detectable as such or it wouldn't be fake by scientific standards. And all you have to gainsay it is testimony? Testimony that by its own rules could as easily have been faked. For all you know, god created the world yesterday. You wouldn't be able to tell. And this you cannot but accept as a possibility, because it is exactly what must have happened to all the creatures that sprung into life out of nowhere 6000 years ago. Just like you are sitting reading this, those creatures would have been convinced of the reality of yesterday's meal. You assume you have a past, that your saviour was in it, while you admit that at some point in the past there were people who science tells us were pretty much exactly like you sprung into existence out of nowhere. Pushed to its ultimate conclusion, you would entirely untether yourself from the reality around you today. You cannot, of course, which is why your position is fundamentally inconsistent, arguably hypocritical, and definitely entirely arbitrary.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kissaki View Post
    Which countries are you looking at, in that case? Because although the percentiles do naturally vary from one country to the next, they show the same in each country: women are more likely to work part time than men, women have a greater preference towards the public sector than men, women are more likely to be the stay-at-home parent than men, women are more likely to be single parents than men. I am not aware of any country where the ratio for any of these are reversed.

    You kinda sorta did, you know, when you said it would help create gender parity - in reply to me saying that a one-sided focus would not achieve much.

    Testosterone does have a pretty major effect, though. You cited testosterone as contributing only risk tolerance before, but this is a very incomplete picture. Male risk tolerance is especially tied to the fact that the male brain develops more slowly than the female - specifically the prefrontal cortex, which deals with risk assessment. But this is hardly the only part of the human brain which is sexually dimorphic. The brain has been the subject of extensive study, but I am not aware of any study that concludes the only gender difference is tolerance for risk taking.

    No, that's too simple. Being physically stronger means, theoretically, that the physically strong get to decide which work is "manly work" and which can be left to the women. But assuming it were this simple, how come men have always chosen the same?

    In practice, we have to go back to the mesolithic at least in order to see physical strength as the dominating factor. Because, after all, men do not only dominate women because of the physical disparity, but other men as well. But from the neolithic onwards, when prestige occupations relied less and less on physical strength, we do not see men strong-arming their way to the top. Well, metaphorically that still happens, but physical strength does not account for social mobility - and hasn't for many thousand years. In fact, physically strong men tend to be perfectly happy with socially modest roles, doing manual labour. The military, the police and the fire departments are also predominately male to this day, though it is not power or money that attracts men to these professions.

    Also, it is worth noting that while men do indeed dominate the most privileged positions in society, they also dominate the least privileged positions of society. If it were as simple as "social mobility is tied to physical strength", then you'd expect women at the bottom, because the weakest women do tend to be weaker than the weakest men.

    Personally, I would rather point to a more traditional reason why gender roles have developed pretty much the same all over the world. Because no matter what role you feel physical strength has played, it still begs the question: why are men physically stronger than women? Women are shorter than men, have smaller feet, smaller hands, smaller noses, softer facial features, less muscle tone... and permanent breasts. There isn't any practical reason for this, and the same degree of sexual dimorphism is not to be found in most other mammals. Each of these features only serve to make women appear more vulnerable, which in turn serves to trigger protective instincts. We might have evolved this way because of our social nature - sure, there are other social animals as well, but with complex brains come complex societies, and the message "I'm so small and vulnerable, won't one of you big boys come and protect me" is one way to ensure a guy sticks around - by appealing to his protective instincts. Permanent breasts feature into this beacause they are a signal of infertility, however temporary - a turn-off, by all rights. Yet when every adult female has them, whether they are with young or not, then they do not become an incentive for the male to move on to other, fertile females instead. Somehow, consequently, breasts instead become a source of attraction. And this will naturally affect behavioural patterns.

    This was the case for early man, and the physical signals (and the instincts that go with them) are the same today. Women are not in the same helpless situation today as they would have been 12,000 years ago, but that does not mean that the protection element is removed from gender dynamics. It still means that men want to protect women, and women seek the protection of men, speaking generally. Women still look for financial security when considering a potential partner, but men do not consider this at all when looking for a woman. Oh, you'll find exceptions, I'm sure - but generally, what I said is true. And as all individuals - of all species - tend towards the path of least resistance, this means that so long as these instincts are in play, this gender disparity will also be reflected in the career choices we make.

    I should add that this is not my field of study (my education is in supply chain management), and that the above is very much my own take on what I have studied in an amateur capacity. But I believe it is sound - stands to reason, otherwise I wouldn't have written it

    Not so much a shift, as merely bridging the gap. There has been subjugation in the past, absolutely - and certainly present cultures are not stain-free of the past. But men and women have not been barred from any career choice for many decades now. We have had affirmative action for about 50 years, and the world is well accustomed to seeing women in every profession. Even Pakistan has had a female head of state. To suggest women are being held back in the West is without merit. There are societal pressures, but these are made by every member of society - including women. In Western countries, these pressures are not only not enforced by the government, but often actively opposed. So you certainly can't blame it on men in power enforcing the status quo. You can make an argument for that in many places in the world (including the aforementioned Pakistan), but not the West.
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    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    They Sold Their Souls - Page 8 (

    Quote Originally Posted by basics View Post

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  10. #10

    Default Re: POTF 50 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    The general rule of thumb is to take own military casualty reports as the minimum of the range, and enemy reports on my casualties as the maximum. The same rule is true in reverse for civilian casualties. It is logical when facing existential threats and the need to maintain morale in increasingly desperate scenarios, for this to occur. Ukraine needs the West to believe that there is a chance of survival, and that Russia is committing atrocities - both to maintain investment in their cause. Both are probably true to an extent. We are getting enough social media footage to be certain that Russian casualties are high, but we're getting nothing at all on Ukrainian casualties, which speaks to really effective and disciplined control over the media space on both sides - In the early days Russia had reason to downplay casualties entirely on both sides.

    We have two races going on now, and casualty reports are integral to both.

    The first race is for public opinion in Russia. At the moment Putin is keeping a lid on protests, but if they're losing even a quarter of the claimed 5-6000 troops, that's still 200 a day. If it is anywhere near that, it is still a shockingly high rate if it's at the high end, that's worse than Chechnya. And soon the funerals are going to start adding up to the point where they can't be hidden any more. The popular narrative will change within Russia from "we're doing a security operation in far away Donbas" to "I think we're doing a full scale war and a lot of people are dying" - which will come with questions about how narrative two came from one. This race will continue even if Ukraine's resistance collapses and an insurgency eventuates. It is a locked-in and ongoing cost.

    The second race is that of the impact on civilians in Ukraine. Right now the world is shocked, but that's nothing compared to the pressure to act on world leaders once the perception that this is a war against ordinary people sets in. It's like Yugoslavia all over on steroids. The failings to prevent genocide in Bosnia gave significant free reign to Western Governments to act more decisively later on, especially once the Kosovo situation came up. Every shopping mall we see go up here will put increasing pressure on governments to act.

    In both races, Putin is up against the clock. If the rumours of the invasion timeline are true, his planners accounted for 2 weeks to complete the operation. If the economic cost has already superseded their expectations (and again this is a locked in cost that won't go away with a cease fire), that clock is probably ticking faster now. Ukraine is playing the same game. Their clock is ticking too - Putin has to wrap things up fast, Ukraine have to hold out as long as possible. Their only victory pathway that gives them territorial integrity is if Putin's clock runs out.

    So the politics around casualties are really important here...
    Of these facts there cannot be any shadow of doubt: for instance, that civil society was renovated in every part by Christian institutions; that in the strength of that renewal the human race was lifted up to better things-nay, that it was brought back from death to life, and to so excellent a life that nothing more perfect had been known before, or will come to be known in the ages that have yet to be. - Pope Leo XIII

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