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Michael Archer

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Everything posted by Michael Archer

  1. Depends on the context. If the government decrees I can't own a car or limits the production of cars, that's cutting civil liberties. If the government decrees how many Doritos a store can sell to what people on whatever condition, that's cutting civil liberties.
  2. Yeah, I guess so. If you like South Park, that's fine; to each his own I guess. I just realized the irony of me criticizing South Park for being juvenile when I'm the guy that has a Rainbow Dash avatar. On the other hand, being "grown-up" doesn't mean making crude jokes...
  3. You're right Vampymid: America is a democracy. That's why American school children, every morning, pledge allegiance to the flag and to the democracy for which it stands. That's why Article IV, Section IV of America's constitution explicit says it's a democratic form of government and not a republican one. That's why when the Union Army marched against the traitors to the South in 1861, they sang the "Battle Hymn of the Democracy." Also, this is me, apparently, but I wouldn't read too much into it, since it says I'm a libertarian. (I'm clearly not):
  4. I think it would be nice that, if you saw a post by a certain user, you could click on that user's name in the post which will take you to their profile.
  5. LOL, Americans, your country is really declining. I shouldn't laugh though, it's only a matter of time before Canada follows suit.
  6. How dare you squander such great potential, City Interactive! You could've done so much with the sniping mechanics! Here's hoping Sniper Elite V2 (comes out tomorrow!) is better. COD 4 was absolutely phenomenal. COD4 2 was great. How could you make such an abomination after two great games?
  7. God, I fucking hate this show. Despite its *occasional* funny moment (e.g. Nigger guy, zombie episode), it's humor for twelve-year-olds. Family Guy--FUCKING FAMILY GUY--is a more mature show than South Park...and that's saying a lot! I can understand why people like show; it's just not for me.
  8. Today's xkcd made me really sad. I wouldn't have minded it so much had it not been for the mouse-over text. I'm sad at the fact that Randall Munroe, a man who is so deified on the internet, still holds credibility when he makes such stupid fucking scarecrow arguments. I mean, I wouldn't have minded it so much had Cyanide and Happiness made the same "joke," but XKCD has always had some semblance of seriousness (he frequently posts about his fianceé having cancer), but I considered XKCD to be more intellectual and smart; today, xkcd stopped being clever, and became immature, obnoxious, and stupid. And the worst part? Munroe is still considered to be "smart."
  9. As spine-shiveringly awesome as "This Day Aria" is, Pinkie's Smile Song is still better.
  10. 121: When you know who people are, despite the frequent avatar and name changes.
  11. Good luck with your taxes, Ross; I hope they don't fleece you too much! Also, I hope your donations aren't taxed. That's A LOT for a machinima director; Machinima.com doesn't mind that on top of your regular paycheck? Taxes are so goddamn complex, and I don't think it's fair that an individual like yourself can go to jail and literally not now what he did wrong (e.g. initialed instead of signed). Flat tax is looking better all the time, huh?
  12. Machinima.com sucks in general. I probably made an account here since Ross is one of the few machinima directors who is actually entertaining, makes me laugh, and doesn't squeeze humor out of applying real world logic to video game logic (well, maybe not so much for the last part!). It's good that one of Ross' series got the recognition it deserves.
  13. NC is hilarious. He makes me laugh 'till I cry quite frequently. His "The Room" review and his Tommy Wiseau impression made me almost suffocate from laughter.
  14. I guess if you think that an individual has the right to his own mind, and the product of his work, don't believe in intellectual property rights, and don't believe someone possesses his mind by right--rather, its purpose is to be used by other people, then I guess you're right. If you don't consider intellectual property theft a cost. I'd say that's a negative effect. Just because you think that you're entitled to someone else's work doesn't make you entitled. If you don't think they deserve to be paid, don't buy their property. In any case, they have a right to their own work and property and nothing anyone says, even if they're the majority, will change that. Bullseyeshit. I know some. By declaring that the author has no right to decide how his property is distributed and that you're entitled to his work, you've morally devalued the property. You don't believe the owner should be paid for it, therefore, it's not valuable. "If I know how to steal something without being caught, that makes it ok!" I actually don't believe that's their intent. Personally, I don't believe that the RIAA is thinking "we're supporting SOPA, because we want to take over the Internet, and thus, THE WORLD!" I think that they're just fed up that Congress isn't taking harsher action against pirates. Now, whether Congress responded appropriately, that's what this thread is about. Well, when you put it like that, it sounds stupid. When you put it as, "they sued a person who made an illegal copy of copyrighted material without the owner's express permission," it sounds better. I'm sure you loved those stores, and I'm not trying to offend you, but if you ask me, those stores went out of business ever since music became electronic. I don't support SOPA. I think the DMCA is a great document and I applaud efforts made by the government to protect intellectual property owners, as property owners have been getting the middle finger from a lot of society. I've been thinking about this and I haven't got an answer yet: is it really unreasonable to shut down a site while it's under investigation? On one hand, it may be necessary for the investigation; on the other hand, it might violate the "innocent until proven guilty" legal maxim. No, but you do have the right that if, you find probable cause, to obtain a search warrant, and for the government to raid the house, and for the person to stand trial for what they've done. It's true that there's a risk to damaging reputable sites, but I don't want to go there, since I feel this is kind of like asking, "We shouldn't outlaw X, because legitimate people may go to jail."
  15. If we're sharing Cracked articles, I thought that this article is very relevant. I don't really see how #3 and #1 factor into it, and I'm sure we can disagree with #1, but I thought the rest were pretty good. It's not a criticism of the movement so much--I think the author agrees with some of the movement's points--it's a criticism of the philosophy behind the movement. That's fair enough. I'm going to try to state your stance so accurately, that you'll respond with, "Yup, that's what I think." If I can't do that, then you're right and this can go nowhere: You support OWS because you agree with protesters that the government is doing their job poorly, if not at all. You believe its purpose is to make sure that each of its citizens have a basic standard of living, and that the government pays for this standard through taxes. You do not believe it is the government job to help businesses, and they should stop supporting businesses, and instead, tax them more to help the middle class; the middle class needs the help more than the businesses, if the businesses need them at all. The main goal of a government is to promote the common good for all its citizens, with a social safety net that makes sure that everyone's basic needs are satisfied. You believe that many businesses make money by exploiting their workers by not paying them enough, and it's up to the government to make sure that the workers get a fair pay and to regulate monopolists who exploit their workers; you support OWS, since it stands against these unfair business practices and urges the middle class and the government to take a stand against them. How's that? If I did well, then, if you'd be willing, you should state my position to see if I agree with it. I consider both communism and the social safety net to be different incarnations of the philosophy of altruism, which I ardently repudiate--as I've said before. I consider the social safety net to be a slippery slope. The reason for that is that I believe that a capitalist society needs strong philosophical and moral principles, in order to survive. I don't believe there's a healthy compromise between socialized services and capitalism for the same reason that I don't believe there's a healthy compromise between water and cyanide. Once you've violated the fundamental principles of the society, the concept of "rights", then they cease to become rights and become privileges. This is the reason why I think that the European Union and the United States are going bankrupt: they're deviating from the principles of liberalism that made them so great in the first place. Two things are needed for a crime to be committed: actus reus and mens rea. We don't convict the drunk driver for murder; rather, we convict him for drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter. The very mean person has mens rea, but no actus reus, so no crime is committed. That's the literal answer, anyway, although, I don't think that's really want you wanted. I think I meant to criticize what I perceived to be your attitude of "the theory's not that good, but the effects are good." Tell me if I'm misinterpreting this. I figured that's what you were saying. But this raises the question: doesn't that mean the theory is bad? If it doesn't work in practice, doesn't it mean it's a bad theory? Well, I guess that really depends on what you mean by "help". If you mean "help", as in, give food out at a soup kitchen so people can just barely survive for a day, but then go hungry in an hour, then I would say, yes: the government does more help. However, if you mean "help" as in making revolutionary technologies to make millions of people's lives easier, more affordable, more convenient, and give them the tools to make food for themselves and their family rather than just giving them a one-time meal, then I say that capitalists have done more good. I was referring to the part when you said "If [taxes] was optional for everyone, then the vast majority of people would stop paying for the services once they hit middle class or above. The poor would be too poor to contribute to the system, so they only people left would be only the most benevolent people at a certain income level or higher." I posted that essay on tape a while back and I explained how the government would still be funded without taxes. I know that you, like a lot of other people, will instantly reject the idea of a voluntarily funded government. To me, all that says is that the government has done such a good job of managing to convince the public that the rule of force is the only way to run a society, that you can't conceive of a government where that doesn't happen. Well, let's go back to the nineteenth century, which is the most capitalist that the United States has ever become. Before, under feudal monarchies, there was almost no middle class. In the nineteenth century, there was something like a three hundred percent population explosion since capitalism and the Industrial Revolution made unskilled laborers productive to the point where they and their family could survive. Life expectancy shot up dramatically. Yes, wages were low and living conditions were poor, but you have to understand that that wasn't created by capitalism: it came from the previous system. America was a very young country and it was still recovering. Again, this has to do again with your definition of "help." Capitalism certainly helped people become more productive and helped them help themselves. The problem with a welfare government and a social security net is that, although helping people is certainly noble, important contexts are evaded. Because, literally, the "common good," means "good for every individual," this raises the question "what good for what individuals?" Looking at your previous posts, I conclude that you don't really mean all individuals; you just mean people who need help. My issue is that the necessarily implies that one man's good is more important than another, since government action in this situation necessarily involves the use of force. This seems like a double-standard to me. Horrible implications of this is that, if some men deserve other men's work, the the working men have no right to their work, which means that the deserving men feed off of, what is quite literally, slave labor.
  16. Portray The Doctor at least once; it doesn't have to be for three seasons, or even one season, I'd be content with just a few canonical episodes. They could even write in something funny about my incarnation having an American accent. See Pripyat, Ukraine. See Centralia, Pennsylvania. Skydiving. Live to see the Friendship is Magic movie, when they decide to make it. Be able to quit my job and spend the rest of my life doing nothing. I'll add some more things when I can think of them; I'm too young to make a bucket list. I'm sorry if this sounds blunt, but unless you're a eunuch, that's lies, all of it. I'm not usually one to call bullshit on the internet--I guess I'm naive that way--but "doesn't care for sex?" I don't believe it. Is this just me not understanding you? Did you perhaps mean, "I, like everyone, want sex, but I don't want it that badly, to the point where I stop doing the things I like doing to do things that I don't like just to get some?" If so, I'm the same way.
  17. Awesome. Pure, unadulterated, awesome.
  18. I have to agree. Steam is by far the best anti-piracy measure a company has ever taken; its simplicity, the convenience, the sales, is enough to stop even the biggest rum-guzzling pirate from his dastardly plunderin'. I can see what you're saying, but it's flawed. It's true that he still has his property per se, but it was obtained by someone else in a manner that he did not approve. It's still stealing.
  19. Even the April Fool's PONY.MOVs are good. So, after my first impressions of My Little Dashie were "meh" when everyone was like "OMG, SO SAID!!!!!1111!!! :(" and I thought that, for the most part, it was competently written, I decided to read it again... I realized why I didn't cry: it's not sad. I did get a lump in my throat, but that's because I was emotionally moved, not sad. I don't know why people say it is. Read it yourself sometime, it's worth checking out. Here's what I thought. Doctor Who series 2 spoiler as well: Very glad to read the story a second time, and I can easily see myself reading it a third time in the future.
  20. I checked the definition of wealth in the dictionary: "abundance of valuable material possessions or resources" Having two kidneys is not an abundance, it's normal. Same for two lungs and two eyes. Having less than two is considered a deficiency, even if you can survive with that. Moreover, I would argue that they're your own being rather than a possession you acquired through your efforts or given to you by others. I looked in the dictionary too, and that was definition number one. I was referring to definition number 4, which is: "all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value." But this is a semantics issue. Let's move on: I guess you're right when you say I'm sidestepping, but I figured the principles of my previous statements carried over to this one. I don't believe that the government's purpose is to make its citizens dependent on it--I don't think the government is supposed to baby us or be our nanny; I think the proper role of the government is what Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence: to secure our inalienable right to life, which the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness comes from. Note that he did not said that the government secures our right to happiness--he said that the government make sure that we're free to pursue happiness. If you live in North America, there will always be someone who needs it more than you. So if you really want the world to run on "from each, according to his ability; to each according to his need" (correct me if this is not your stance), then the North Americans and the Europeans should work as hard as they do now, while their efforts all get shipped to Africa. On a more important note, what if I said "no?" What if I said, "I do not recognize your need to food and water as a claim on my life and my effort. I do not recognize your lack of value and goods to supersede my actual value and goods?" Do you think I should be thrown in jail if I disagree with you? And who's to pay for the plumber if she can't? Who's to pay for the public transportation? I thought that this was not only funny, but it also demonstrated the power of political context-dropping. Yes, it's desirable for everyone to have a potato salad and that they all agree per se, but once they understand the only place it can come from (tax money), they're repulsed by it. What I'm saying is that, under this system, if I earned something through my hard work I do not have a right to my money; it can be taxed from me, so the remaining by I keep, not by right, but by privilege i.e. you're being nice by letting me keep the rest. However, if I didn't earn something, then I have the right to other people's earnings. That's not consonant with my sense of justice. That last part of your paragraph is debatable, but I want to address the second sentence. Why do you address the effects rather than the ideology? Every country needs a moral structure, and without a proper one, a country won't survive long. Do you feel that the ideology is well-intentioned, but the effects are good or vice-versa? Again, I'm trying to understand where you're coming from. "No threats of violence?" You mean, no threats of violence except for being thrown in prison for ten years? So your ideological part inevitably comes back to the selfishness vs. alturism again. You're saying the government is moral while the mafia isn't, because the former is altruistic while the latter is selfish? As I've said before, I don't consider altruism to be morally superior to selfishness, but more importantly, this also sidesteps a fundamental point: you say that for both groups, there is a "cost." Citizens are just a bunch of individuals, as I said before. So when you say that there's a cost, but varying degrees of beneficiaries, you must also imply that some beneficiaries are more important than others. Therefore, I have to choice but to conclude that the phrase "cost to some; better infra structure to all" is only used as an excuse to hold some men at the threat of force for the benefit of others. When you view it like this, it suddenly becomes clear why it's so possible for evil governments to exist so easily, while evil corporations a lot harder to exist (they do exist, but their acts of evil can not even compare to the acts of evil that governments in history have committed, since a business never can convincingly justify their use of force on other people, while a government can). In this case, the author is using argument from intimidation fallacy i.e. instead of actually addressing the "rich person's" points, he's ascribing a moral claim to them--he's saying "oh, it's wrong of you to feel that way. You're arrogant!" Also, hard work does not mean production. In a capitalist society, a person is payed depending on the quality and usefulness of his work. For example, I know that, as a kid, I would spend days working as hard as I can remember trying to dig a whole to China, while at the same time, a surgeon would be operating for two days straight, working at his capacity as well. There's a reason why as a kid digging to China--even though I've never worked harder in my life--I get paid nothing while the surgeon receives a six-figure income. That's ok for the author to disagree with certain business practices, but to compare them to mass-murderers? That's so absurd, that it becomes laughable the more someone tries to defend it. There are too many reasons why it's wrong but I'll give one: a businessman is accountable to thousands of people and if he pisses them off, he goes bankrupt; he also rewards things he deems to be positive and doesn't reward things he deems to be negative (investments, and whatnot). A dictator is accountable to no one but himself, and he punishes things that he deems negative, while not punishing things that he deems to be positive. This is a another problem of someone equating reason and force. I see: so the author is saying that we're children in the caring hands of the government? If this is government and society--a society where I'm treated like a child, and not like a free-thinking independent man--then I want no part of it. I'm thinking back to a certain episode of Doctor Who where the Daleks make a clone slave army from their own, mindless, DNA, but the Doctor mixes the DNA with his own, free-willed, Time Lord DNA. When the Dalek commander orders the troops to march out to war, one of them asks "why?" and the commander simply responds with "your place is not to question." i.e. Duty for Duty's sake. That's what I think about the concept of "duty." If one takes a "dutiful action" to be a moral action, then, in a nutshell, that simply means that there's supernatural morality that somehow abrogates all of reality. Whether it be God, fairies, or "duty", I don't believe in anything supernatural (although, it's probably a lot harder to take this sentence seriously, since I used Doctor Who as an example). But if you want to bring Kantian morality into the mix now, that I have no problem discussing. I don't know about accumulation of wealth, but production of wealth translates to someone working (careful with your words). Producing wealth is certainly accumulating wealth, but not necessarily vice-avers. Producing is the cause while wealth is the effect, and not the other way around. That's not to mention the rapes and the thievery that's going on.
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