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The Aging of X
Forum: Generation X
Last Post: Warren Dew
49 minutes ago
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the best songs ever: the ...
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music from the year you w...
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Is Terry McAuliffe the ma...
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  [Ready Player One] - next Prophet generation speculation?
Posted by: Lemanic - 07-23-2017, 07:45 AM - Forum: Entertainment and Media - Replies (10)

So as a guy who loves our work here, I got very moved by this trailer.

Would this be the next Prophet generation in action?

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  spammer GeorgeHarNon
Posted by: pbrower2a - 07-17-2017, 12:30 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (1)

It looks as if we have a prolific poster of new threads, and this fellow has surpassed even me in posting new threads. Before the next-newest one to have had anything new posted in this category for threads that have no obvious other place (Cubs win! alluding to how much has changed since the Chicago Cubs had been in a World Series, let alone won one) we have what looks like a plethora of spam threads.

I may have made some new threads in mistake, but ordinarily I have done so in good faith. The other guy? Just spam.

Obviously I welcome anyone who makes a contribution to these threads (yes, that includes in disagreement with me), but not spammers and trolls. I hope that the Threadmaster will give the spam threads the Forum equivalent of "ten years without the right of correspondence". That was a Stalinist euphemism for a death sentence against one of his real or imagined enemies.

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  Iraqi government forces take over in Mosul
Posted by: pbrower2a - 07-10-2017, 06:22 PM - Forum: Beyond America - Replies (2)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to Mosul on Sunday to declare victory during the final phase of the long campaign to drive the self-described Islamic State militants out of the city of Mosul.

Armed forces were still battling over the last part of the Old City under militant control on Sunday as Abadi congratulated Iraqi fighters and Baghdad residents celebrated by dancing in the streets. 

On Monday, the U.S.-led coalition that supported Iraq throughout the battle announced that fighters had managed to clear the rest of the city. “While there are still areas of the Old City of Mosul that must be backed-cleared of explosive devices and possible ISIS fighters in hiding, the Iraqi Security Forces have Mosul now firmly under their control,” the coalition said in a statement.

As the end of the battle neared, the destruction brought on by nine months of fierce fighting came into plain sight. 
Thousands of Mosul residents have lost their lives in the violence. Nearly a million people have been displaced. Entire districts have been leveled.


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  Capitalist Crisis
Posted by: Mikebert - 07-07-2017, 03:31 PM - Forum: Peter Turchin's Theroies - Replies (17)

My second published paper. This one is about the inequality turnaround of a century ago that was completed during the last 4T.
It does not yet bring the S&H theory into the mix, (this is for the third paper that I am still working on).


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  "Smart" phones make people into dumb proles
Posted by: X_4AD_84 - 06-29-2017, 11:14 AM - Forum: Technology - Replies (6)


The iPhone killed my inner nerd
iPhone 1, geek 0

'I used to run a full Active Directory with individual organizational units and push out group policies to manage my family’s local PCs. I had a proxy server set up to control web access, and revoked administrator rights to ensure my family never installed malicious software. All of our email went through my Exchange server, and I had a custom app that pulled mail from ISP and Hotmail POP3 accounts and filtered it through an assortment of anti-spam tools before it was allowed to hit an Exchange inbox. All of my family’s important documents were stored on a file server, backed up in a RAID array. I even used Zip drives for the really important stuff. I was a true IT administrator, and I was only 15.

'All of these PCs were built by hand, with custom cases, cooling configurations, and my own selection of processors or RAM. I laughed at the thought of having to buy a Toshiba or Packard Bell PC, and opted for AMD’s Athlon 64 processors. I’d build powerful gaming rigs and spend hours writing scripts to get a better field of view in games, or a slight advantage by squeezing out every single drop of performance by altering textures per map. I would enter contests and win better processors or RAM, upgrade my PC and push the older components down to my servers.

'These servers were so powerful at the time that I was able to get push email on my phone, something you couldn’t really do back in 2002 unless you were a business using BlackBerry devices. I’d sit smugly reading my emails on a train with my iPAQ or one of the original HTC Pocket PC devices with a stylus. I couldn’t download apps from an app store for these phones because those stores didn’t even exist yet. Instead, I’d find apps on the internet and load them on, modifying the registry along the way to tweak things. I used to spend hours browsing on XDA-Developers for the latest ROMs, downloading and installing them to tweak and test the latest software and firmware. It was an exciting time, and I miss it.'


'Even devices that we’d consider “traditional” computing have been impacted by the iPhone. Chromebooks are locked down with an app store, the iPad Pro continues to push what can be done with a tablet, and now Windows 10 S tries to answer both with an OS that only runs Windows Store apps. Windows 8, Chromebooks, and Android all probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the iPhone.

'When I look at modern PCs, tablets, and phones now I’m surprised at the simplicity of them. Not all of them are perfect, but technology is rapidly turning into something in the background that’s accessible to everyone and doesn’t require hours of configuration. I miss the thrill of hacking away and tinkering, but as I shout to Alexa to turn off my lights at night I can’t help but appreciate just how easy everything is now.'


There is something indescribably sad about the last two paragraphs. Back in the heyday of the 80s and 90s, I recall thoughts regarding the digital divide. My thoughts were along the lines of "what can we do to bring the masses up to our level? How can we engage them, train them, and bring them to the table?"

Instead, what we've done is lowered to bar. We've made technology dumb, and, at first blush, "cheap," so that the "amigos" I see cleaning the office buildings now have supposed access. But what access do they have? What control do they have over their personal technology? Their apps? Their information? Does dumbing down technology for the masses really give them the information they need for power, or, does it actually result in a feedback loop leading us further into a state of low information? Furthermore, look at ownership. Who actually owns their technology as opposed to leasing it? Who actually owns their data and info?

I submit that "Smart" phones and the ecosystem which has evolved around technology over the past 10 - 15 years has moved the masses toward being dumb, dependent, low information proles. Things could have been so different. Maybe it is still possible, who knows.

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Tongue Oh California...
Posted by: Ragnarök_62 - 06-27-2017, 10:47 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (1)

[Image: 2017.06.27%20-%20Ag1_0.JPG]

Ok, probably an old GIF.  However, why do folks grow rice in California?  Really?!  [url="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice"] Rice [/url needs lots of water.  So, California, shoot for higher use plants like avocados and pistachios.  Unless, there's some odd water rights thingie or some long dusty, tax break for growing rice. It's like the federal tax break that farmers get here for not planting wheat. Yes, there's stupid tax breaks or a regulation that tells farmers to not plant stuff and the farmer gets reimbursed with a tax break, Line 105.  Enter value from EPA-1040 and copy that number here. Cool

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  Account pruning
Posted by: Webmaster - 06-26-2017, 01:05 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (3)

In an effort to reduce profile spam accounts who have a post count of zero will be deleted after 14 days.

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  Some ideas on the future
Posted by: eb44345 - 06-25-2017, 11:31 AM - Forum: The Future - Replies (28)

I'm new to this forum, but I wanted to throw some ideas out there.  I remember posting in a similar forum way back in 2006 and people back then thought that we were in a 4th turning.  I disagreed at the time and said it was still the 3rd turning.  Back then the argument was over where we are.  At least that debate is over now.  We are clearly in the Crisis 4th turning.

If you're reading this forum, clearly you understand that the established conventional wisdom is based on post-WW2 institutions/conventions, and we should be throwing that out the window.  By definition, fourth turnings re-make that.  I'm kind of an outside the box thinker and love thinking about where things are going.  For the 2016 presidential election, I was only wrong about 2 states (Wisconsin & New Hampshire) for the record, so I pay a lot of attention to politics but really try not to live in a bubble and stay realistic.  I had it at Trump 300, Clinton 238 going into election day.

For the 2018 midterms, the map is extremely favorable to Republicans because the Senators up for re-election are those who won in 2012 and before that in 2006.  Both 2006 and 2012 were very good Democratic years, so the map has a lot of them running for re-election.  That sets the stage for things we know.  We don't know what the political environment will be like.  Unless it's extremely unfavorable for the Republicans, then the Republicans will hold both the Senate and House. 

Additionally, 3 Supreme Court justices are advanced in age.  Breyer is 78.  Kennedy is 80.  Ginsburg is 84.  The average retirement age over the last 40 years has been 79.  It's quite likely 2 of them will step down and Trump will name their replacements.  Maybe only 1.  Maybe all three.

Currently, there are 4 liberals on the court and 3 conservatives with Kennedy a swing vote and Gorsuch an unknown.  If you look at his record, Kennedy is actually kind of libertarian, so liberals have the majority on social issues and conservatives usually do on economic issues (Roberts is a bit shaky sometimes - really only Alito and Thomas are solid conservatives, too early to tell where Gorsuch lies but most think he'll be a conservative).

But let's run through a scenario.  Say Kennedy steps down this year and Ginsburg does in 2019 when she's 86 due to poor health.  The Court is then a 6-3 majority for conservatives.  Let's say that Trump or maybe Pence wins re-election in 2020 primarily because of all the rage on the Left that middle america is sick of.  Or maybe the Democratic base nominates someone out of touch with the center of the country.  Imagine the reaction on the Left if all this has occurred: Trump has stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives, Republicans win in the 2018 midterms, Trump wins re-election in 2020, etc.

Then, the right will be emboldened to bring cases to the Supreme Court.  Things like right to work are imposed nationwide.  What's the response in California going to be?  You can definitely see a succession movement gaining a lot of steam around 2021.  What if they hold a referendum to secede?  What if Roe v Wade is overturned and riots ensue?  Should California actually secede the nation would take a hard turn to the right.  Absent California, there would be 483 electoral votes with 242 needed to win.  Should Republicans only need 242 then they would win a lot more often, and Democrats would be hopelessly in the minority in the House.  We might be looking at a situation where the Republicans become the dominant political party, which is the norm in American History (for one party to be dominant and the other to win occasionally).  But who knows, it all might backfire and Democrats could surge ahead to be the dominant party going forward.  Too early to say.

On other fronts, the way that university education runs is definitely going to change in this 4th turning/1st turning.  The model of everyone going to college established in the last 1st turning is not working.  The cost of a college education is so high while the value of it is lower and lower since it's becoming more widespread and dumbed down.  The internet is also a big factor.  You can learn more on the Internet for free than at school.  So this model of education might drastically change to something more workable with a lot fewer people going to college and the cost much lower than it is today.

Another wild card is Islamic terrorism.  Islam was a powerful empire for 1300 years until after world war 1 when it was defeated along with Germany.  Historically, Islam has always been a combined religious and political system.  The idea of separation of church and state is foreign to their culture.  Islam is trying to re-assert itself on the world stage, and the cultural depravity of the West is creating an opportunity for them.  Most Westerners apologize for their heritage, culture, and history, which projects weakness, particularly in Europe.  It's highly likely that terrorism will increase in frequency and intensity overs the remainder of this 4th turning, and then the public will demand action.

This might be the external threat that galvanizes the public to unite (65-70% of them anyways - don't expect the Left to go along) to confront this threat.  This crisis period is rapidly waking people up to the reality of the situation.  10 years ago everyone was saying that Islam is a religion of peace.  Today, most people sense that there is a problem.  Probably in another 10 years that idea might be laughable, especially in Europe.  America is more protected due to the oceans surrounding America.

Interesting times that we live in...

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  The Maelstrom of Violence
Posted by: pbrower2a - 06-18-2017, 12:54 PM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (106)

The attempted assassination of Representative Scalise suggests now that both people on sides of the political divide are now prone to violence. To be sure, the rhetoric worsened when Obama was President, and the Right was first to act violent.  But so far the Right has stopped at beatings, body-slamming, and other degrading abuses. But not shootings. The shooter had a list of Representatives in the self-described (and hypocritically named) Freedom Caucus.

James T. Hodgkinson had personal run-ins with the law that until recently had no connections to politics. People who knew him in the Sanders campaign thought him 'mellow, quiet, and reserved'. But electoral campaigns generally bring out the best in us, as there are people who might lead someone away from violent deeds. Besides, electioneering is ordinarily an exercise in optimism and not in despair.

I am guessing that should American elections become easy wins for Republicans and exercises in futility for Democrats, then American politics becomes as much a sham as politics in China. Republicans might allow Democrats to have some power in cities and a small number of states, but that will be it. Republicans will not lose any election that they aren't willing to lose. A key to getting ahead, as in getting a college education, a home loan, advancement beyond the third-lowest rank in the Armed Forces, a business loan, or having a chance at a non-menial job will be active participation in Republican-led youth groups. Don't like that? Maybe you might want to get a college scholarship in a country with a declining population.

I also can imagine that the Republican leadership will seek power in police repression, and that the State could try to establish the usual methods of suppressing opposition that one sees in fascist, Commie, and Ba'athist regimes: torture chambers, labor camps, execution pits, and abuse of psychiatry. Lobotomy, anyone? Hell, no!

I am not a violent person, but I am not going to any torture chamber, concentration camp, or lobotomy clinic. If things get bad enough, then I may take a wintertime hike in southern Arizona, letting a star be my guide: Achernar or Canopus near the horizon. In summer I might improvise a raft to cross into Canada, following Altair in the east or Capella in the north -- if taking a jetliner is out of the question.

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  Top 10 NEWS STORIES That Defined Generation X FOREVER
Posted by: taramarie - 06-14-2017, 12:32 AM - Forum: Generation X - Replies (1)

WOOOW! Shocked at how boomers are depicted here on how they treated xers. That is so different....

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