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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Because its getting increasingly harder to tell the difference between the two?
    Well, thinking that 1400 feet into the air is a long ways vertically is a fairly Floridian thing, since the place is hilariously flat and low-altitude.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    ...
    As a bio major, and someone who learns about history for fun, it bugs me a bit when people say things like this. Sure, it's a joke, but this simplification of what evolution by natural selection means, translated from descriptive to prescriptive, has become widespread in the past, damaging both society and its perception of the sciences.
    Yes it's a simplification of Darwin's Origin of Species (I've got a second edition in my bookcase), but it's not said as a joke.

    I believe legislation and/or regulation to prevent stupid people from harming themselves is detrimental to society in the long run. Legislation and/or regulation to protect innocent people from the acts of stupid people is not detrimental.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Yes it's a simplification of Darwin's Origin of Species (I've got a second edition in my bookcase), but it's not said as a joke.

    I believe legislation and/or regulation to prevent stupid people from harming themselves is detrimental to society in the long run. Legislation and/or regulation to protect innocent people from the acts of stupid people is not detrimental.
    That is, you believe everyone should be able to be stupid all they want, so long as it doesn't hurt other people? I can't say I agree per se, but that seems like a defensible position at least.
    Last edited by georgie_leech; 2017-11-29 at 12:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Hmm... I'd say that the ethical component (the 'should' bit) is defensible, but I'm not so sure about the factual part of the statement e.g. that its 'detrimental to society'. That implies a certain predicted outcome of applying those protections or removing them, which I don't think is borne out by actual evidence at least if the argument is that it's an evolutionary effect.

    At least in biology, things which weaken the effects of selection in ways that increase the diversity of strategies which can be non-lethally explored (as opposed to just reducing the strength of feedback) actually accelerate the pace of evolution - for example, the Baldwin effect is essentially about how things like learning or adaptation which allow the organism to compensate for a genetic disadvantage act to smooth the local structure of the fitness function and increase the ability to find advantages further from the local fitness optimum in successive generations.

    And that's just the evolutionary side of the story, which is honestly too slow regardless to be all that relevant to how well or poorly a society does in the modern age - the tasks societies solve change on a 20-30 year timescale, which is just a single human generation.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Yes it's a simplification of Darwin's Origin of Species (I've got a second edition in my bookcase), but it's not said as a joke.

    I believe legislation and/or regulation to prevent stupid people from harming themselves is detrimental to society in the long run. Legislation and/or regulation to protect innocent people from the acts of stupid people is not detrimental.
    It's worse than mere simplification. It makes the unspoken assumptions that:
    • All stupidity is (mostly?) genetic
    • The best (only?) way to reduce stupidity is to reduce the number of inherently-stupid people
    • Unregulated stupidity has a significant chance of causing death before reproductive age

    None seem plausible on closer inspection, and all would need to be near-certain for your logic to work.
    Not to mention that, as I'd mentioned, that's literally Social Darwinism, one of the greatest blights on society since slavery lost popularity. And not just because it was a contributing factor to several genocides--the philosophies and social policies it inspired are still dragging us down to this day.
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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    It's worse than mere simplification. It makes the unspoken assumptions that:
    • All stupidity is (mostly?) genetic
    • The best (only?) way to reduce stupidity is to reduce the number of inherently-stupid people
    • Unregulated stupidity has a significant chance of causing death before reproductive age

    None seem plausible on closer inspection, and all would need to be near-certain for your logic to work.
    Not to mention that, as I'd mentioned, that's literally Social Darwinism, one of the greatest blights on society since slavery lost popularity. And not just because it was a contributing factor to several genocides--the philosophies and social policies it inspired are still dragging us down to this day.
    Not to mention, that when stupid people take themselves out they frequently take other people with them who we would miss.

    I'm also extremely reluctant to classify any human being as "stupid". Everybody is stupid some times about some things. I was stupid last Sunday when I cut down a tree branch from my house -- three times as long as I was -- and tried to drag it to the woodpile unassisted. My heart nearly burst before my sometimes-much-smarter wife intervened and cut it up into more manageable chunks.

    Everyone is stupid about something, at least some of the time.

    And if you're going beyond that to proposing society eliminate people with mental disabilities, well , A) I disagree B) that really isn't a useful topic for this forum, in my view.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    It's worse than mere simplification. It makes the unspoken assumption[s] that: All stupidity is (mostly?) genetic
    That's actually quite a stretch of what LordEntralis said. It just makes the assumption that stupidity is hereditary in some way and passed to the next generation. While that could be genetic, it could also just be a matter of education and parental influence.

    That being said...

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I believe legislation and/or regulation to prevent stupid people from harming themselves is detrimental to society in the long run. Legislation and/or regulation to protect innocent people from the acts of stupid people is not detrimental.
    You have clearly not considered the impact that people who do stupid harmful things yet don't end up killing themselves have on a public healthcare system...
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Leecros View Post
    The thing is...Many Most Basically all of them don't actually want to go prove their theory. They don't want to travel anywhere or go do some science to prove that they're right. They would rather believe that the rest of the world is believing in a lie and that they're in on the Real(!) Truth and those that do don't go nearly far enough with their "Research"
    I think not simply taking an elevator to that altitude and instead concocting this plan with the rocket is more likely indicative of some sort of psychological problem, especially when considered in conjuction with the flat-earth thing. This person is likely simply insane.

    EDIT:
    Either that or he's lying about being a flat-earther (which the details in the latter half of the article imply is a possibility) and it's a scam to fleece real flat-earthers out of their money (which I totally support provided that he takes the money and runs rather than stringing them along with false data in hopes of more money)

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by aspi View Post
    That's actually quite a stretch of what LordEntralis said. It just makes the assumption that stupidity is hereditary in some way and passed to the next generation. While that could be genetic, it could also just be a matter of education and parental influence.
    Alright, fine, it requires that stupidity is hereditary. But I don't think a significant part of stupidity is going to be inherited from parents. There are three reasons for that.
    1. One generation's stupidity serves as lessons for the next generation. My father did a lot of stupid stuff as a kid, he doesn't try to pretend otherwise. He told me and my brother about it, why it was stupid, and to learn from the mistakes of others instead of making them yourself. Weak, yes, but it shows that the relationship between the stupidity of parents and the stupidity of children is hardly simple.
    2. There are many kinds of stupidity. Even if we weeded out everyone who was stupid in a texting-while-driving or a smoking-in-bed way, we would still have people who are stupid in a refusing-to-leave-echo-chamber or a failing-to-account-for-long-term-consequences way.
    3. The best way to prevent stupidity isn't to stop anyone from being stupid ever. It's never going to work. All kids are stupid; they haven't had the time to learn to be smart. You could try to make them smarter by killing/letting die everyone who could give them stupid ideas, but even if that didn't kill everyone, it would probably still be less efficient (perhaps even less effective) than working to make sure they get more smart ideas.
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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    You're not considering things on a grand enough scale. Intelligence has to be in some degree hereditary or else 1.) every species on the planet would be equally smart AND 2.) No genetic brain condition [or indeed any genetic condition at all that was not induced by post-conception mutation of somatic cells] would have any effect on intelligence. Neither of these is even close to the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspi View Post
    You have clearly not considered the impact that people who do stupid harmful things yet don't end up killing themselves have on a public healthcare system...
    Actually, yes I have.

    And the connection is not simple or probably even possible to truly comprehend.

    For instance, go back to the 70's or so (I don't remember the exact years), Arizona did not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets and their were lots of deaths of motorcycle riders. Then in the 80's they passed a law requiring motorcycle riders wear helmets and the deaths went down. Hurray! Except the number of fewer deaths almost exactly matched the number of increased permanently disabled motorcycle riders (brain and spinal injuries). And guess which one is more expensive, a funeral or a permanent disability? And of course, it's not like motorcycle riders have a large percentage of healthcare and long-term disability insurance...

    So guess what? It's not too far of a stretch to see that taxpayers get to take care of many stupid people because a law kept them alive when if it had been their own choice, they would have died.

    So, some guy who has probably spent all of his available money to build a steam powered rocket, who might be a Flat Earther, probably doesn't have long-term insurance. Probably does not have federally mandated health insurance. If he launches, it's almost certain he is going to be injured or killed. (And may damage property other than his own.)

    Do I think I should have to pay for his medical costs and rehabilitation? Because he wants to get a 60 second thrill ride? No chance in hell. And I don't see why I should have to pay for such, but I do. So, I'm glad some government agency has told him no. But if he does launch, I hope he dies because I don't want to pay for his medical recovery, a funeral is expensive enough.

    Edit: Oh, and can you guess how I feel about public health care? It works so well for Italy, we should just go for it!
    Last edited by LordEntrails; 2017-11-29 at 01:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Edit: Oh, and can you guess how I feel about public health care? It works so well for Italy, we should just go for it!


    Spoiler: Public healthcare rant
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    Public health care will depend on the country and the exact system, but everybody I know considers America's grudge against it idiotic. Here in the UK we've had the NHS for over 50 years now, and any direct attempt to kill it would be the death of the party that tried (heck, what the current government is doing is already getting people up in arms). We therefore consider any attempt the US government makes to remove Obamacare idiotic.

    Now I do have some grudges against exactly what the NHS provides, especially eye care (I call it 'a price tag on seeing', even though my eye problems are relatively minor), but public health health care is a must if I'm going to seriously consider moving somewhere.

    Free at the point of service is the key, if I'm in need of help I do not want to have to try to fill in forms and worry about if my insurance is going to cover it, I'd rather make my contribution to the running costs via general taxation and have it available when I need it. If I'm in an accident and go to A&E I might have to deal with the idiots who don't need to be there, but at least I don't have to provide insurance details.

    But in a system such as the UK's, if you don't like the service provided you can always opt to pay a company to deal with your healthcare. You'll still fund the NHS via general taxation, as you still have the ability to make use of it, but you don't have to do it. I've known people going private because the NHS is too overbooked to schedule the required appoints before they can transition within the next three years. The things that aren't subsidized by the NHS are generally things that aren't immediately life threatening and will allow you to have time to organise everything, and a relatively small subset of that. I know that at least sometimes the NHS will help you get private healthcare if they don't actually provide it, but I don't really understand the workings.

    The US seems to have this idea that it's healthcare model is significantly better than other countries, despite that not being objectively true (depending on exact circumstances it might be subjectively true). It just gets some of us used to decent public healthcare pissed off.


    No comment on stupid people being kept alive or allowed to kill themselves, that's a whole different kettle of fish and one that I'm not willing to get into debates of what's moral over.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quick thought.

    A problem with 'stupidity' here is the man isn't stupid. Not in the sense of having a disability, or having a sub-100 IQ.

    This is what happens with GIGO -- garbage in, garbage out. If you consider only flat-earth sources trustworthy, you're logically going to believe that no matter how insane your ideas appear to someone else. It's a flaw in one's thinking discipline, maybe even willful ignorance, but it's not stupidity.

    I don't think it's wise to outlaw people for believing crazy ideas, or to try to stop them, simply because it's not always easy for normal people to tell the difference between genius and crackpot. Once upon a time, building an aircraft that would fly at all was considered a crackpot idea. We should be grateful to the Wright Brothers and the other pioneers who went out and did stuff without having to ask permission from other people. Within reason, that is.

    Now I grant that in this case this is crackpot and not genius -- but many cases are not so clear-cut. I think it's better for human progress if we let people try their crazy schemes, within reason, rather than try to hold them back. Because even if there's only one genius among a hundred crackpots, that one genius often pays for the other ninety-nine and then some. Consider vaccines, for example. Injecting a human being with pig blood not only sounds like a crazy idea but it was utterly reprehensible back when the idea was first proposed. But that idea panned out, and paid for all the other crackpot ideas of the time which didn't work at all.

    I'd want the guy to take his rocket to some deserted island in the pacific and test it there so that if he DOES kill himself, at least he won't take anyone else with him. And if he does die ... well, he's 61. He's spent most of his life as a limo driver being a normal, boring, productive human being. And now he wants to do something crazy. And if he'd rather die on top of a steam-powered rocket than in a rest home , being so far gone he can't remember the faces of his family, well, I see no reason to stand in his way. Just so long as he doesn't take anyone else with him.

    ETA:
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    Last edited by pendell; 2017-11-29 at 06:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    You're not considering things on a grand enough scale. Intelligence has to be in some degree hereditary or else 1.) every species on the planet would be equally smart AND 2.) No genetic brain condition [or indeed any genetic condition at all that was not induced by post-conception mutation of somatic cells] would have any effect on intelligence. Neither of these is even close to the case.
    Well duh. I thought the context of the conversation made it clear that we were specifically talking about humanity, where heredity is only a small component of intelligence.
    Also, the idea of letting people with genetic conditions affecting intelligence kill themselves off is basically lazy eugenics. If you're not fine with eugenics, you may wish to consider that.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Not doing good is not the same as actively doing evil. And in any case that wasn;t my point, my point was merely that it has a hereditary component, period with no thought or care for implications (which brings up another point, judging by the last argument your argument that it isn't hereditary seems to be based at least partly on an appeal to consequence)

    Furthermmore the animal refrence is relevant to humans, you don't get from early proto-primates in the paleocene to humans without intelligence being hereditary, and you certainly don't get from early proto-primates to multiple primate species of varying intelligence without intelligence being hereditary)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Yes it's a simplification of Darwin's Origin of Species (I've got a second edition in my bookcase), but it's not said as a joke.

    I believe legislation and/or regulation to prevent stupid people from harming themselves is detrimental to society in the long run. Legislation and/or regulation to protect innocent people from the acts of stupid people is not detrimental.
    Personally I feel that pompous, arrogant, intellect worshiping eugenicists are much more dangerous. Not to mention unpleasant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1dominator View Post
    Personally I feel that pompous, arrogant, intellect worshiping eugenicists are much more dangerous. Not to mention unpleasant.
    Wow, nice vocabulary. You really tried to burned me with that one.

    But then you really have no idea what I'm like and I know your not talking about me. Besides, personal attacks are not allowed on this forum, even when you use nice vocabulary.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Not doing good is not the same as actively doing evil. And in any case that wasn;t my point, my point was merely that it has a hereditary component, period with no thought or care for implications (which brings up another point, judging by the last argument your argument that it isn't hereditary seems to be based at least partly on an appeal to consequence)
    Erm...no? It's not based on "If X wasn't true, Y would be true, therefore X is true"; it's more "If X wasn't true, Y would be true, but it's not, therefore X is true".

    Furthermmore the animal refrence is relevant to humans, you don't get from early proto-primates in the paleocene to humans without intelligence being hereditary, and you certainly don't get from early proto-primates to multiple primate species of varying intelligence without intelligence being hereditary)
    Considering that we're talking about modern Homo sapiens, and not about letting australopithicines stupicide themselves to death, this still isn't relevant!
    I never said that heredity wasn't any component of intelligence, merely that it wasn't a significant component of intelligence (when comparing two modern humans). Moreover, I pointed out a couple of other required assumptions for Social Darwinism via stupidice to work, which I've disputed and nobody has defended. Even if stupidity is 100% hereditary, you still require an inability for past stupidity/intelligence to affect the world in any non-hereditary way and for letting stupid people kill themselves be an effective (or, arguably, the most effective) way to reduce stupidity, neither of which people have tried to defend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post


    [spoiler=Public healthcare rant]Public health care will depend on the country and the exact system, but everybody I know considers America's grudge against it idiotic.
    It's not so much idiotic as it is morally reprehensible. The core premise is sound. This premise, when stripped of doubletalk, amounts to "if poor people were able to afford healthcare rich people would have to wait longer see the doctor, due to more people being ahead of them". This eventuality, however, is only a bad thing if one subscribes to a mammonist value system in which the lives and time of the rich are for some reason worth more than those of the poor.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Look, the mathematical models are very clear. Eugenics don't even work for simple, mendelian dominant-recessive genetics. On anything massively quantitative and multi-locus distributed, like intelligence, it's never going to make an impact. Additionally, I'd argue that stupidity is due to education and environment much more than due to genetics.

    Plus, you know, this entire discussion is stupid and likely to get someone banned soon.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Before condemning stupidity: We are in an era of unprecedented sharing of information and misinformation. We are also in an era of relatively high standards of living so that defining our sense of individualism has begun to be very high on our priority list. That leads to fanaticism about certain "tags" and beliefs since the more tags you have, a more "defined" character you have.

    So, it's not inconceivable that there will be more people vocally defending (which is the important part) inherently wrong beliefs or points of view than any era we had before. This doesn't mean people are getting stupider. Statistically we probably are getting even "smarter" due to the increase of the need of information we need to process as a species to keep up with technology.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Look, the mathematical models are very clear. Eugenics don't even work for simple, mendelian dominant-recessive genetics. On anything massively quantitative and multi-locus distributed, like intelligence, it's never going to make an impact. Additionally, I'd argue that stupidity is due to education and environment much more than due to genetics.

    Plus, you know, this entire discussion is stupid and likely to get someone banned soon.
    Well , before it does, I'd like to hear more about the bolded part. Can you point me towards any links or research ? I despise eugenics for nonscientific reasons, but this is the first I've ever heard it just flat doesn't work, even from a practical perspective.

    Meanwhile, this whole thread makes me think of this:



    Giant in the Playground. Where every conversation eventually turns to something like this. Or alignment discussions.

    Respectfully,

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    Last edited by pendell; 2017-11-30 at 06:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Giant in the Playground. Where every conversation eventually turns to something like this. Or alignment discussions.
    Sometimes it's both. *cough* Vaarsuvius casting Familicide *cough*

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Honestly, it's a rabbit hole I'd rather not go down again, even for the dry scientific literature. But we covered some of it in a lecture at university once. I think it was Quantitative Genetics II. We certainly talked about Eugenics too in Philosophy of Science.

    Anyway, one of the main reason is that for many genetic problems, there's often a lot more asymptomatic carriers than actual cases of the disease, so just taking cases that present symptoms out of the population does very little.

    Meanwhile, for quantitative traits (anything that has many, sometimes hundreds, of genes influencing it in different ways), we usually only manage to find a few general "risk factors", say, for cancer risk. Even eliminating all the known risk factors will only move the general population maaaaybe a few percent in one or the other direction on a wide enough distribution.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Well , before it does, I'd like to hear more about the bolded part. Can you point me towards any links or research ? I despise eugenics for nonscientific reasons, but this is the first I've ever heard it just flat doesn't work, even from a practical perspective.
    You don't need to know much at all about biology to grok why eugenics is impractical, just think of the logistics of first sorting and then eliminating enough people to have a real effect. No actual eugenics system that has ever existed got even close to fullfilling both criteria at once. For example, in Nazi Germany the doctors got swamped with so many cases that they didn't actually have time to go over them, leading to diagnoses becoming largely arbitrary. You could just read history of "Aktion T4" to learn all the ways in which an eugenics program can fail, and then try to figure out all the ways to avoid those pitfalls.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Eugenics: The thickest bureaucracy of Soviet Russia and the darkest logistics of Nazi Germany, combined in one terrible policy!
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    We did it here in the US, as well. Tens of thousands of (mostly) women were sterilized without their consent in the 20th century, continuing into the 1960's and 70's.
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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Well , before it does, I'd like to hear more about the bolded part. Can you point me towards any links or research ? I despise eugenics for nonscientific reasons, but this is the first I've ever heard it just flat doesn't work, even from a practical perspective.
    Seconded on both parts. It's evil but I see no reason why it shouldn't work.

    Especially since it sure seems to work on show dogs and farm animals.

    Any practical problem would more likely resemble the problems faced in dog breeding and animal husbandry, resulting from shallow goals that haven't been thought all the way through and that have bad side-effects, rather than resulting from an inability to actually achieve those goals. Like breeding a dog with big cute eyes that...oops they've fallen out, call a vetrinarian.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    We did it here in the US, as well. Tens of thousands of (mostly) women were sterilized without their consent in the 20th century, continuing into the 1960's and 70's.
    While non-consensual sterilization is obviously a heinous crime, don't ignore the effects of consensual sterilization. On another forum a black texan member decided to research his family tree (mostly for his daughters) and found his own basically disappeared thanks to a single texas doctor paying black patients to be sterilized (this must have been well up to the 60s/70s).

    Don't expect mad genocidal dreams to ever go away.

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    Default Re: Of Freemasons, Flat Earth and Steampunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Seconded on both parts. It's evil but I see no reason why it shouldn't work.

    Especially since it sure seems to work on show dogs and farm animals.

    Any practical problem would more likely resemble the problems faced in dog breeding and animal husbandry, resulting from shallow goals that haven't been thought all the way through and that have bad side-effects, rather than resulting from an inability to actually achieve those goals. Like breeding a dog with big cute eyes that...oops they've fallen out, call a vetrinarian.
    Well, note that the claim of fact was actually more specific than 'would it be possible to selectively breed to induce a shift in some particular quantitative trait in humans?'. It was specifically that regulations protect people from risk would automatically select against intelligence in a way that would matter for a society (e.g. on timescales relevant for a society).

    There's all sorts of ways that doesn't hold up, which have already been pointed out.
    Last edited by NichG; 2017-11-30 at 12:05 PM.

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