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Tdarcos
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Apeshit

Post by Tdarcos » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:36 pm

pinback wrote:GOIN' APESHIT SURE DOES!!
Speaking of apeshit, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO UPDATE YOUR FUCKING WEBSITE TO PUT SOME ACTUAL CONTENT ON IT?

There's more interesting stuff in my toilet when I've took a dump after two days (because I don't move much) than there is on your website.

My toilet with a roll of shit in the bowl has more to look at than your website!

Are you going to put some stuff up there or do I have to increase the comparison again?

I'm back, baby, and I'm gonna stop taking it from now on!


Visit My Site; now with more than 12,903,716% more content than Pinback's!
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Re: Apeshit

Post by pinback » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:27 am

Tdarcos wrote:
pinback wrote:GOIN' APESHIT SURE DOES!!
Speaking of apeshit, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO UPDATE YOUR FUCKING WEBSITE TO PUT SOME ACTUAL CONTENT ON IT?
I lost the most recent index.html, but I found one from a couple years ago, which has all the same, very very important, links to all the content.

Will I update it any time soon? Possibly!
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by pinback » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:34 am

Tdarcos wrote:What do you mean, 'the myth of Choice'?
I mean that your philosophy, along with most other philosophies, and along with the real-life moment to moment way that we appear to interact with the world, assumes that the world is populated by individuals, making decisions.

If you assume up front, as we have all tended to do since the frontal cortex developed, that we are individuals, making decisions, then everything you say makes total sense, and surely seems to be a valid way of approaching things like society (made up of individuals, making decisions) and government (individuals, making decisions) and other fun stuff like that.

What I am saying to you now is, that worldview, that the Earth is positively lousy with individuals, making decisions is an illusion, and there are no such things. I'm saying while it appears that you and I are individuals, making decisions, neither such thing exists, and no decisions are being made by anyone.

It's the simplest thing in the world to see, but it happens so fast (instantaneously, in fact) that we miss it.

You can start here: Next time you go to your favorite fast-food joint and you roll up to the drive-thru, once you've "made your decision", try to find out where the "me" was that decided it. Try to find the source of that choice, the thought "I'm goin' with the Western Bacon Chee today!" It's YOUR choice, right? So find the "you" that made the choice. The agent behind it all. The individual, making decisions.

Thank you for your time. Feel better.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by AArdvark » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:53 am

Well, that has to be the most interesting thing I have read all week. Will ponder this at length.




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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:02 am

I saw a comment on a different forum the other day that was interesting. General Electric paid no US tax last year. They received a tax credit of $3 billion.

I like it when people say "good for them, they found the loophole!" and then have a hard time with the mythical "welfare queen" that doesn't exist any more, seeing how the US's population has become stable except for immigration.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:18 am

Here's the article on GE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/busin ... ef=economy

I don't trust other sites to keep their articles up, so I'll quote it:

Actually, it's spread over 4 pages, so here's just the start of it:
G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
Published: March 24, 2011

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.

In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.

Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.

Yet many companies say the current level is so high it hobbles them in competing with foreign rivals. Even as the government faces a mounting budget deficit, the talk in Washington is about lower rates. President Obama has said he is considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system, with an eye to lowering the top rate, ending some tax subsidies and loopholes and generating the same amount of revenue. He has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes.

...

Over the last decade, G.E. has spent tens of millions of dollars to push for changes in tax law, from more generous depreciation schedules on jet engines to “green energy” credits for its wind turbines. But the most lucrative of these measures allows G.E. to operate a vast leasing and lending business abroad with profits that face little foreign taxes and no American taxes as long as the money remains overseas.

Company officials say that these measures are necessary for G.E. to compete against global rivals and that they are acting as responsible citizens. “G.E. is committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations,” said Anne Eisele, a spokeswoman. “We are committed to complying with tax rules and paying all legally obliged taxes. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to legally minimize our costs.”

The assortment of tax breaks G.E. has won in Washington has provided a significant short-term gain for the company’s executives and shareholders. While the financial crisis led G.E. to post a loss in the United States in 2009, regulatory filings show that in the last five years, G.E. has accumulated $26 billion in American profits, and received a net tax benefit from the I.R.S. of $4.1 billion.

But critics say the use of so many shelters amounts to corporate welfare, allowing G.E. not just to avoid taxes on profitable overseas lending but also to amass tax credits and write-offs that can be used to reduce taxes on billions of dollars of profit from domestic manufacturing. They say that the assertive tax avoidance of multinationals like G.E. not only shortchanges the Treasury, but also harms the economy by discouraging investment and hiring in the United States.
So fucking sickening. I don't know how any self-respecting human being that has the power to see that and not work to change the way tax law works can live with themselves, but we elect people to the House that literally took BP's side during the oil spill last year.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:33 pm

pinback wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:What do you mean, 'the myth of Choice'?
I mean that your philosophy, along with most other philosophies, and along with the real-life moment to moment way that we appear to interact with the world, assumes that the world is populated by individuals, making decisions.
I know exactly what you mean, and I figured that one out. The following is from a posting I did on Usenet back in October:

http://tinyurl.com/4bt28nf

The axiom of "existence exists" is self-proving because you cannot argue against it without using its concepts. As soon as you open your mouth to make the argument, you prove your own existence to do so.

I will proceed to make a base argument as what is definitely provable and what is not.

I exist. I know this because I receive sense impressions of the world around me. I could not know anything without this world doing so. What this world is, is to me an external environment consisting of the general appearance as we usually perceive it to be consisting of other people and various objects and events.

My existence is axiomatic and conditional; it exists until my life ends, but it need not be proven (to me) because it is self-proving. The existence of the external world is axiomatic and unconditional, it need not be proven because it is self-proving.

Even if I am imagining all of you and everything, and I am alone in the universe - while I believe that to be highly unlikely - that part of my brain would exist to create the illusion.

So there are two things that are axiomatic and self-proving, that I exist and there is a world around me or something creating it.

A stronger argument against me self-creating the outside world and it actually existing is I would have to invent everything from scratch with no knowledge of anything; I would have no basis to create it.

But it does not mean what I see is what is really there; anyone who's watched The Matrix can blow away that argument faster than you can say "Fields... Endless fields." Someone could be feeding me sense impressions to make me think the world is what I think it is.

But they would exist so the argument still stands. Notwithstanding John Meyer's opinions.*

I exist, and something else exists that appears to be "the real world" exists. These are self-proving axioms and the only ones I can guarantee are correct. That there is a universe around me is self-proving, the actual content of that universe is not. The content of the universe as it is to me is something which I have to make a "leap of faith" to believe in. That it is still a very tiny leap and is basically a small step to do so, it is still something I can only "believe in", I have to take it on faith because I cannot unequivocably prove it.

So existence is proven - in fact, is self proving - because you can't not use it to argue otherwise. The existence of something other than myself is proven because I couldn't have this conversation otherwise.

"I don't know much.. and that may be, all I need to know."
- Aaron Neville, "Don't know much"

* Welcome to the real world she said to me / Condescendingly... / I just found out / There's no such thing as the real world / Just a lie you got to rise above
- John Mayer, "No Such Thing"
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Post by pinback » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:01 pm

Tdarcos wrote:
pinback wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:What do you mean, 'the myth of Choice'?
I mean that your philosophy, along with most other philosophies, and along with the real-life moment to moment way that we appear to interact with the world, assumes that the world is populated by individuals, making decisions.
I know exactly what you mean,
Not really. You're talking about something else. I don't have the time to give this enough time right now, so I'll do a short version:
I know this because I receive sense impressions of the world around me.
Right here, you can find the myth seeping in. For this is not really the myth of choice, it's the myth of an individual self who could make one.

Without a doubt, there are sense impressions. However, it is only in retrospect that the mind creates a "me" character and assigns ownership to it. My sense impressions. My thoughts. My decisions.

Your task is to find that mysterious "me", to which everything in "your" life is attached to. And if you find there to be nothing, you see that all of those thoughts and sense impressions and decisions were not instigated by or delegated to an individual. Not mine.

They simply arose, and there was nobody anywhere to which they belonged.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:21 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Here's the article on GE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/busin ... ef=economy

I don't trust other sites to keep their articles up, so I'll quote it:

Actually, it's spread over 4 pages, so here's just the start of it:
G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
Published: March 24, 2011
Jonsey, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that you can do anything legal to cut your taxes as low as you can figure out. “[t]he legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted.” Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U. S. 465, 469 (1935).

If G.E. has the lawyers to figure out how to get away with paying nothing, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'd do the same thing if I was advising someone, if I can cut their taxes (legally) to zero, I'd do it. For some people it works better to have them overpay then get a refund. My brother is notorious for not saving anything, so I've got him overpaying by about $150 a month - a lot of money for someone who only makes about $20,000 a year - so that when he files his return he gets a big check for about $1,800 back.

He'd never have the discipline to do that directly. I tried having him have a credit union account and an automatic debit from his check with the credit union for his drug store - which by coincidence is Internal Revenue Service Employees Federal Credit Union - but he constantly kept dipping into it and never saved anything. This way he's forced to save the money because he never sees it.

This is in addition to making sure he has short term disability, long term disability and a 401(K) plan. On a few dollars a week over the past few years, his pension plan is within $5,000 of having $100,000.

I'm very proud of what I've done for him.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:46 pm

pinback wrote:They simply arose, and there was nobody anywhere to which they belonged.
I think what you're trying to argue is we are not individuals, that we are just pieces of a larger whole, something like the Founders from Star Trek:Deep Space 9.

Let me ask you something: there are basically two opinions, that humans are deterministic, or that humans have free will. Determinism would basically say we don't have any control over what we are doing. Free will, of course, is the opposite.

So there's two questions here: (1) Do you think (or are you arguing for the purpose of this discussion) that we aren't individuals?

(2) Are we deterministic or do we have free will?
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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:14 am

Tdarcos wrote:there are basically two opinions
Let's see what we can do about that!
Determinism would basically say we don't have any control over what we are doing. Free will, of course, is the opposite.
I would say that both of these opinions ("we are deterministic", "we have free will") are attempting to describe something that doesn't exist.

It certainly appears to exist. But then you went to the drive-thru, and tried to find "me", and couldn't. And once you couldn't find "me", you also couldn't find "you".

And then "we" just vanished into nothingness.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:38 am

pinback wrote:And then "we" just vanished into nothingness.
Okay, first of all, are you trying to argue that you and I are part of a larger "whole" entity, or are you trying to argue that we don't exist at all?

I do exist, and I know where I am, more or less. Somewhere between my ears and behind my eyes. Beyond that I can't be more precise, but I'm in there somewhere!

If that's not what you're arguing, I got no idea what you're saying, and it sounds like nonsense. You wanna argue nonsense, go peddle it someplace else, I have enough brain damage in my life, I don't need any more!

I'm not going to accept or debate that I don't exist, any more than I would accept or debate whether it's a good idea to accept counterfeit money, forged checks, or ones drawn on closed accounts.

You wanna argue you don't exist, fine, then I don't have to listen to you!

Otherwise, if you have a completely different idea, please explain it, because I haven't got the slightest fucking clue what you're talking about.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:56 am

pinback wrote:It certainly appears to exist. But then you went to the drive-thru and tried to find "me", and couldn't.
Well, of course I couldn't find you. I don't have a car. I can't go to a drive through. You're in Oregon, I'm in Maryland, we're nowhere near each other.

And if you don't exist, then I want my 800 bucks back that I paid you for the computer thought I bought from you ten years ago!
Last edited by Tdarcos on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:56 am

You're not doing the exercises, goddammit!

Look, stop right now. Is there a bird or a car horn or some shit making noise outside? If not, pretend there is for the purposes of this exercise.

The mind describes this as: "I hear a car horn." A subject and an object.

But look close. Is there someone hearing the sound of a car horn? Or is there just the sound of a car horn?
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Post by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:13 am

pinback wrote:You're not doing the exercises, goddammit!
You didn't say it was an exercise, Ben. You didn't say anything. I'm supposed to know this because...?
pinback wrote:Look, stop right now. Is there a bird or a car horn or some shit making noise outside? If not, pretend there is for the purposes of this exercise.

The mind describes this as: "I hear a car horn." A subject and an object.

But look close. Is there someone hearing the sound of a car horn? Or is there just the sound of a car horn?
If you want to play that game, fine. I don't hear anything outside. I live in a very quiet neighborhood despite living on a major U.S. highway. I don't know what's out there because my drapes are closed and I can't see anything.

I still don't get your point. But I'll try. Now, there are noises which apparently are coming outside of my room. These noises, as my senses tell me, sound like they are outside of my room on the street. From prior experience the sound is that of one or more vehicles rolling along the roadway past this building, i.e. traffic noise. I am the one hearing it. Plus anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle passing by my house.

However, since I can't see it the sound could simply be someone transmitting the equivalent sound from a speaker outside.

Or if the composition of the external universe is not as I perceive it to be, then either it's the other part of my mind fabricating the sound, or the entity that has me in a pod doing so. I already conceded the point that while the universe beyond me is real, what I perceive the universe to be conceivably might not be.

So I still don't get your point.
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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:18 am

Why do you refuse to do the exercises?

Once you make your "choice" of which sandwich you want, you're assigning ownership of that thought to an "I". You think there's something in there, a "mini-me" between your ears and your eyes that you call "me" that you think created that thought, and with which you identify.

All I'm asking you to do is investigate that moment, and find out if that "mini-me" to which we attach everything in "our" lives (my thoughts, my feelings, my elbow, my skin, my past, my future, etc.) is really there, pulling the levers and pressing the buttons and controlling your life...

...or did the thought "western bacon chee" just pop out of nowhere, into your brain, out of your mouth, and then down your massive gullet?

Just investigate. That's all I ask.
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Post by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:50 am

pinback wrote:You think there's something in there, a "mini-me" between your ears and your eyes that you call "me" that you think created that thought, and with which you identify.
Are you trying to do something like "where does the light come from when you turn on a bulb?"
pinback wrote:Just investigate. That's all I ask.
The brain has various chemical functions; presumably when one or more molecules went by as various thoughts occur the various groups of brain cells recognize them and imprint an idea.

I felt hungry, probably because my cells needed nourishment. That sent a signal to my brain, and when some of the signal chemicals went through, some of the cells in my brain were triggered to react to those chemicals, whereupon they started processing the signal to send a message to request a particular food.

Think of a guy on an assembly line, he only reacts to the orange pyramids, not to any balls or to pyramids of any other color. When he notices an orange pyramid, he sends out a new signal, possibly a green square, the pyramid indicating I'm hungry, the green square indicating a vote for a particular food. Several million of these send out votes and the vast majority win.

If it's compatible, you really enjoy what you had, it's quite possible that's why some meals are more satisfying than others.

A biochemical change triggers a messenger cell to transmit a message. That's the best I can give you.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:24 am

Tdarcos wrote:If G.E. has the lawyers to figure out how to get away with paying nothing, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'd do the same thing if I was advising someone, if I can cut their taxes (legally) to zero, I'd do it. For some people it works better to have them overpay then get a refund. My brother is notorious for not saving anything, so I've got him overpaying by about $150 a month - a lot of money for someone who only makes about $20,000 a year - so that when he files his return he gets a big check for about $1,800 back.
This is where our philosophies differ. I believe a corporation like GE, which has clearly prospered by doing business with Americans, and in America, should be saying to the government, "Hey, you've maintained order well enough to where we can make billions. How can we best give back?"

Instead, General Electric benefits from the fact that the US isn't in complete anarchy, so they can sell their beaten brass. They benefit from a stable base of customers. But like leeches, they take and take and literally give nothing in return.

It's despicable. It shows them to be without dignity. I would be ashamed if I took and took from the United States and gave nothing in return. GE (specifically, the board) have no pride, no honor, and no dignity.

I see no moral reason why Americans shouldn't steal everything they can from General Electric. General Electric refuses to pay taxes. They shouldn't benefit from the laws set up in the US since they give absolutely nothing back, and are in a place to do so.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 am

Also: straw man.
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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Tdarcos wrote:
pinback wrote:You think there's something in there, a "mini-me" between your ears and your eyes that you call "me" that you think created that thought, and with which you identify.
Are you trying to do something like "where does the light come from when you turn on a bulb?"
pinback wrote:Just investigate. That's all I ask.
The brain has various chemical functions; presumably when one or more molecules went by as various thoughts occur the various groups of brain cells recognize them and imprint an idea.

I felt hungry, probably because my cells needed nourishment. That sent a signal to my brain, and when some of the signal chemicals went through, some of the cells in my brain were triggered to react to those chemicals, whereupon they started processing the signal to send a message to request a particular food.

Think of a guy on an assembly line, he only reacts to the orange pyramids, not to any balls or to pyramids of any other color. When he notices an orange pyramid, he sends out a new signal, possibly a green square, the pyramid indicating I'm hungry, the green square indicating a vote for a particular food. Several million of these send out votes and the vast majority win.

If it's compatible, you really enjoy what you had, it's quite possible that's why some meals are more satisfying than others.

A biochemical change triggers a messenger cell to transmit a message. That's the best I can give you.
STRAW MAN!!
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