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  Legacy of the 2010s
Posted by: beechnut79 - 03-27-2019, 06:38 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (35)

In just a little over nine months from now we will close the books on another decade. What will the legacy of the 2010s be? Its highs, its lows, its would've, could've and should'ves? This could be the decade that disproves at least some of the authors' theory. They identified a roughly 80-year saecular cycle, which would have made this decade coincide with the 1930s. Yet the 2010s were a far cry from the near universal misery of the earlier time. At its beginning we may have still felt the effects of the downturn of the closing years of the 00 decade, but nothing even closely resembling a second great depression occurred. Being a Chicago area person, one of the highlights has to be that of the Cubs winning the world series for the first time in over a century. Your thoughts here.

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  Will Brexit crash the economy?
Posted by: Eric the Green - 03-27-2019, 12:33 PM - Forum: Economics - Replies (2)

I don't know about you guys, but I am fortunate right now to have a little money to invest, and I am waiting to see how a hard Brexit will affect the economy. I don't want to "buy high and sell low" ya know! The deadline is now set for the end of March. What do you think?

Tristan of Australia says Brexit can't and shouldn't be reversed, and yet may crash the economy. I think it could at least unsettle things for a while. Britain is going to have to work out its trade relationships, which could suffer. Multi-national businesses may move, and those who had chosen London because it's a center of world finance and commerce may move too.

This could affect the US election too. Trump and all the other nationalists are partly responsible for the Brexit vote, by stirring up fear of refugees and national pride. Older British people long for the glory of the British Empire, just like Trump talks "make America great again," like Mussolini did in Italy in the thirties.

Yesterday there was a huge demonstration in favor of a revote, and polls show that remain would pass. 5 million people signed a petition for this. The notion that a revote is undemocratic is as silly as claiming that an election should not be held for prime minister after a no confidence vote. OF COURSE a revote is democratic; it's a vote! 

The issue is polarizing the UK people, no doubt. It is the greatest crisis there since WWII, according to journalists and reporters; it's a 4T brought on by the Arab Spring and the reaction to refugees, a problem I fortold. But I'm not sure whether the right thing will be done and a revote authorized or not. Time is running very short! And the 4T has a decade to run. Troubles may be just starting for the British and the UK, which could split up over this just like the USA might split up into red and blue.

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  Choosing your generation?
Posted by: Bill the Piper - 03-26-2019, 06:40 AM - Forum: Generations - Replies (14)

Is it ever an option?

I know it seems nonsensical, but for those born near the cusp, isn't choice a factor? I have been playing with the notion that generations overlap rather than having neat boundaries, so for people from these "grey areas" there must be some other factors apart from birth date.
Mark Zuckerberg and Amy Winehouse have been both born in 1984, but I see Zuckerberg as a millennial, while Amy as an Xer. From an older generation, we could point to Jimmy Carter who is more Silent-like despite being born in a supposed G.I. year.

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  Cuba vs. the USA on medicine
Posted by: pbrower2a - 03-19-2019, 07:04 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - No Replies

First things first: the Cuban economy is a wreck, and the political system is a monstrosity. Second, Cuba is not a good place in which to be a physician, at least from the standpoint of compensation (related to the state of the economy -- wrecked).

But longevity is about as high as in the USA, which suggests that something is right in a country in which about $813 per person is spent on medical care as opposed to $9403. I am guessing that a back pain that simulated a coronary cost Medicaid at least $4000, and maybe another grand in physical therapy. I should have gotten the physical therapy first and saved some medical costs. Maybe some good primary care might have saved some huge cost to the system. If you live in Michigan, you are paying for a bad system. But so it is in all states.

Quote:On public-access TV in 1985, Bernie Sanders defended an element of Fidel Castro’s regime: It was rarely mentioned that Castro provided health care to his country. Sanders grumbled that the same could not be said of then-President Reagan.
The comment came back to haunt Sanders in the wake of Castro’s death. On Sunday on ABC’s This Week, host Martha Raddatz played the old clip and then asked Sanders if he was aware that “this was a brutal dictatorship despite the romanticized version that some Americans have of Cuba.” She reminded Sanders that Castro rationed food and punished dissidents, then hit him with the big question: “So have you changed your view of Castro since 1985?”

Sanders said he didn’t exactly remember the context for his comment (being 31 years ago) but that Cubans “do have a decent health-care system.”

Many consider it more than decent. After a visit to Havana in 2014, the director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan called for other countries to follow Cuba’s example in health care. Years before, the World Health Organization’s ranking of countries with “the fairest mechanism for health-system finance” put Cuba first among Latin American and Caribbean countries (and far ahead of the United States).

OK, so if you visit Cuba you might want to ride around in a 1950s vehicle in a country whose economic progress seems to have stalled in 1960. You do not want to visit its prisons for political offenders. But I would not want to visit Florence ADX, either.

If the physicians got honest pay, then the cost would be significantly higher, Remember: Cuba relies heavily upon general practicioners who are easier to train than the specialists who work largely in heroic struggles to undo the damage that years of bad habits impose on someone who eats too much fat, does not exercise, drinks too often and too much, and perhaps does street drugs. But -- Cuba does train lots of GPs, and that might keep the costs down.

Cuba has long had a nearly identical life expectancy to the United States, despite widespread poverty. The humanitarian-physician Paul Farmer notes in his book Pathologies of Power that there’s a saying in Cuba: “We live like poor people, but we die like rich people.” Farmer also notes that the rate of infant mortality in Cuba has been lower than in the Boston neighborhood of his own prestigious hospital, Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s.


Quote:In Cuba, health care is protected under the constitution as a fundamental human right. As a poor country, Cuba can’t afford to equivocate and waste money upholding that. This pressure seems to have created efficiency. Instead of pouring money into advanced medical technology, the system is forced to keep people healthy.

It’s largely done, as the BBC has reported, through an innovative approach to primary care. Family doctors work in clinics and care for everyone in the surrounding neighborhood. At least once a year, the doctor knocks on your front door (or elsewhere, if you prefer) for a check-up. More than the standard American ritual of listening to your heart and lungs and asking if you’ve noticed any blood coming out of you abnormally, these check-ups involve extensive questions about jobs and social lives and environment—information that’s aided by being right there in a person’s home.

Then the doctors put patients into risk categories and determine how often they need to be seen in the future. Unlike the often fragmented U.S. system where people bounce around between specialists and hospitals, Cuba fosters a holistic approach centered around on a relationship with a primary-care physician. Taxpayer investment in education about smoking, eating, and exercising comes directly from these family doctors—who people trust, and who can tailor recommendations.

Of course the United States constitution does not guarantee any right to medical care, food, or work. Such is up to the legislative process. The Cuban idea is to keep people from needing advanced, delicate technology. So exercise, don't smoke (except for those wonderful Cuban cigars that create no medical problems -- ha, ha!), don't overeat, drink in moderation if at all, stay active, and do not use street drugs. Or perhaps someone from a Comité de Defensa de la Revolución (the Cuban secret police) might pay an its own sort of house call.

Quote:The system requires around twice as many primary-care doctors per capita as we have in the U.S., made possible because the country also invested in medical education, creating in 1998 what U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called “the world’s most advanced medical school.” Cuba has become known for training not just domestic doctors, but those from around the world—and sending its doctors to help other, wealthier countries when needed. During the recent Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, more than 100 Cuban doctors and nurses were at the front lines.

Castro justified sending so much support with a brutally holistic understanding of disease as a global phenomenon. He wrote at the time: “By completing this task with maximum planning and efficiency, our people and sister peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America will be protected, preventing expansion of the epidemic, which has unfortunately already been introduced, and could spread, in the United States, which maintains many personal ties and interactions with the rest of the world.”
That spirit also underlies Cuba’s vaccination program, implemented in 1962, which has left the country with some of the world’s lowest rates of vaccine-preventable infectious disease.

The much wealthier U.S. also has vaccines and primary-care check-ups, of course. The key difference is that in Cuba, these things are mandatory. They’re seen as akin to doing routine maintenance on a car to keep the warranty valid. If the system is going to take care of people in dire situations, people must also let the system take care of them before those dire situations occur.

(Note that the house call is a much-deprecated practice in America as inefficient).

Quote:This is the opposite of the U.S., where people demand the former but forego the latter. There are costly barriers to primary care and preventive medicine, but showing up at an emergency room is easy.

While Cuba’s situation is far from ideal, it serves as an elegant counterpoint to the three-trillion-dollar U.S. health-care system—which is controlled by corporations (privatized insurance, pharmaceutical, medical-device, and hospital systems) that drive people to pay exorbitant costs (either directly or through taxes). Cuba offers a dire reminder that efficient health care can be provided at much less cost to the people—when the focus is on primary care and prevention.


Much as I hate to say this, profit, or at least elite compensation, is the objective of American medicine.In our system, profits are an incentive to make things more expensive, including public services.

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  Do You Like Justin Bieber, or other pop stars?
Posted by: Eric the Green - 03-19-2019, 06:18 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (7)

Looking through the old thread on the archive today, I wondered if I could finally resurrect that thread, and if I and others could be more well-behaved in discussing it than we were then.

As for Justin Bieber, there are a relatively few songs and musical pieces that no matter how often or how long I listen to them, still move me and I still enjoy them to an amazing transcendent degree. That still applies to my favorite Bieber song, called "Pray." It' still linked in my signature line. Recognized or not, and some do recognize it, it is a timeless classic rising far above its time. I still love it, and like to share it, regardless of what the results of sharing it might be.

And I like a lot of his songs. Lately though, Bieber has been less productive, and I didn't like his recent album "Purpose" as consistently as his earlier albums, though it did contain my second-most favorite Bieber song, "What Do You Mean" 
https://youtu.be/DK_0jXPuIr0 And he says he's working on a new album, which I might reveal later in this thread.

But arguments won't convince anyone to like music. It depends on how it strikes you. Many older folks don't like teenage or twenty-aged pop stars, just as I tend not to like most of them, especially in the disco and bubblegum styles-- but some of them I do. And I generally don't find the heavy metal, rap, core punk and grunge styles any more listenable than some others find Bieber or the constellation of current and recent young pop stars associated with him or similar to him.

One of the arguments on the old thread, with Wayne Hurlbert '56, went especially badly, though we were fine on other threads. He made the statement that he would never like Bieber's music no matter what, that he liked it even less the more he heard him, and liked it even less the more I argued with him about it. I said that he and others were "wrong," which isn't the best method of discussion or persuasion, and not likely to lead in the right direction.

But forget Bieber, I wanted to say to him. Really. It's true. Usually when I hear a musical piece, the way it initially strikes me will stay with me, although I may get to know it better or get tired of it. Sometimes though, I hear things in a song or a musical work later on that I didn't hear before, and I change my mind about it. So, doesn't that happen to other people? Can you or myself really say about a piece of music, "I will never like it," as if you could never change your mind about it, or hear something else in it? Even if it's within a genre you don't like?

It's easy to say about music, there's no accounting for taste. But music is a phenomena, and we all hear the same pieces that are available to us. It is a more interesting question than that; it's harder to explain than that, why some people like a piece and others don't.

Do you like Justin Bieber? Perhaps more or less than before? Other pop stars? Or is it a hopeless and empty genre, always?

Fourth Turning Forum archive:

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  Presidential "Skipping" of Silents/Gen X
Posted by: jleagans - 03-18-2019, 12:57 PM - Forum: Theory Related Political Discussions - Replies (28)

Silent Generation never got a President.

Gen X is looking on track to do the same with only Beto announcing so far (Nikki Haley is my frontrunner to be a Gen X President).

Is it too early for Buttigieg to win?  He's coming across as the smartest of the candidates and most thought out (other than Warren), and without the polarization of Warren.  If elected he would be the youngest President ever (beating JFK by 3 years).  Is it too early for a Millennial, and the skip of Gen X (humorously this would also shut the door on the Bernie Sanders/Joe Biden Silent Generation last ditch effort to win one)?

My only issue with Buttigieg is that 1982 birthday is barrrrreellly Millennial.  Very cuspy and often included in Gen X.

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  Subreddits for Millennials on the fringe to rejoin the center
Posted by: sbarrera - 03-09-2019, 05:59 PM - Forum: The Millennial Generation - Replies (16)

Reddit has groups for Millennials who are raised on the fringe to rejoin the mainstream. For example-

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/ for exMormons.

Millennials raised by anti vaxxers have been looking to reddit for help-


Here is a subreddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/vaxxhappened/

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  6 Turnings
Posted by: Jessquo - 03-09-2019, 03:40 PM - Forum: Turnings - Replies (37)

.docx   6 turnings perhaps.docx (Size: 49.96 KB / Downloads: 11)
.docx   6 turnings perhaps.docx (Size: 49.96 KB / Downloads: 11) To Whom It May Concern,
In December I was conferred with the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Politics) from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. My Doctoral thesis is titled NETWORK HOMOGENISATION & PARTY DISENGAGEMENT - THE POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF POST-INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACIES: AN AUSTRALIAN CASE STUDY. I am particularly keen to conduct postdoctoral research into the political sociology of Anglo-American generational and historical cycles; scrutinising, modifying and expanding upon the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory. Attached are some of the initial thoughts/notes I have compiled regarding this topic. I have not officially begun my research and I am sure that my initial theory will change and develop overtime. However, at this stage I think there are six generational architypes and six turnings; not four. I do not believe Strauss and Howe correctly identified the start and end dates/years of the Saeculums and Turnings. The Saeculums I have identified have far more consistent lengths than those in Generations. The shortest saeculum is 77 years and the longest is 82 years. Contrastingly, the shortest saeculum in Generations is 71 years and the longest is 110. I cannot see any pattern prior to the year 1525: the beginning of the Papal Break unravelling. This is 90 years after the 1435 start date identified by Strauss and Howe. However, like Strauss and Howe I contend that there have been six full saeculums and an additional two turnings. Any constructive feedback would be great.


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  Is RACISM uniquely evil?
Posted by: Bill the Piper - 03-09-2019, 08:07 AM - Forum: Theory Related Political Discussions - Replies (5)

Colour of your skin has no relevance for ethics. But so does the football club you support. Or the type of music you enjoy. So why should racism be more evil than hating people for supporting another football club or listening to musical genre you despise?

When we think of racism, we usually think of its extreme manifestations like slavery. But there is, or used to be a lot of casual racism. One of my friends dislikes Jews, but has never assaulted any. My grandmother had this casual dislike for Blacks. Is such casual racism really that bad?

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  Bad bosses as a phenomenon
Posted by: pbrower2a - 03-07-2019, 02:56 PM - Forum: Economics - Replies (6)

How many of us have worked for a crappy boss? Too many, according to psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who explores how narcissists and megalomaniacs rise to the top and the ways we can escape bad bosses in his new book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and how to fix it).

Chamorro-Premuzic’s solution is two-pronged: Employees must be willing to leave companies with bad bosses at the helm, and managers must avoid promoting people who exhibit the traits of bad bosses. When HuffPost asked if that meant some larger course correction for us all, Chamorro-Premuzic didn’t flinch: “I’m explicitly, and vehemently, and passionately arguing that we should discriminate against incompetent men who want to become leaders,” he said.

The book’s headline-grabbing title came from an article of the same name that Chamorro-Premuzic wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 2013, as a response to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.

Sandberg’s thesis felt “over-simplistic, to kind of blame women for not being promoted more or showing off their ambition and broadcasting their drive,” according to Chamorro-Premuzic. So he set out to change the conversation around leadership.
“Instead of asking women to act more like incompetent men, we [should] actually improve our evaluation criteria and focus on actual talent,” Chamorro-Premuzic said. “I think positive discrimination done as early as possible can help us get there faster.”
When his Harvard article went viral, Chamorro-Premuzic recognized he could mine the topic more deeply. The result is a book that delves into the data and the psychology of why we often glorify style-over-substance leadership.

When Chamorro-Premuzic sat down recently with HuffPost’s Between You and Me, he talked about what he called the “Trump effect” on people’s perception of leadership in America and around the world. He suggested that our cultural understandings (or perhaps misunderstandings) can drive us to expect leaders to look and sound a certain way: narcissistic, over-confident, megalomaniacal and insecure.

“[It’s] how I would label the gap between what we look for in leaders and what we should look for,” Chamorro-Premuzic explained. “I mean, most of the people that are seen intuitively or unconsciously as leadership material, especially in corporate America, they look a lot like Donald Trump. They may be slightly less exaggerated versions of Trump, but they have a lot in common.”


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