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Old 01-25-2008, 11:37 PM   #1
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Ask the...

...well, I don't know what I am.

Not that I'm one to want to join a bandwagon, but, at the very least, I think some of you might be confounded by some of what I've written here lately in regards to politics, so I'll be happy to clarify my positions to anyone who would like to ask. Or feel free to ask anything, although I'd ask that it be a sincere, rather than silly, question. I don't have as much time to write as I used to!
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:23 AM   #2
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Let's get down to the marrow...

As far as gay rights, is there anyone you are voting for? Or do you feel like you have to compromise?
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:24 AM   #3
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what is the single most interesting thing you've found in your research of religions and philosophies?
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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What's your technique to get all those information, dates, names etc. stuck in your head? (do you say so, stuck in one's head?)
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
As far as gay rights, is there anyone you are voting for? Or do you feel like you have to compromise?
To get to the marrow, this is the issue that killed my once unwavering loyalty to the Democratic Party. If the party only really cares about that "core demographic" of "working class heterosexual families," then why should I, who isn't part of any of those demographics, continue to give my support unquestioningly?

Nevertheless, while my disappointment with the party directly stretches back to the 2004 election, with the disappointment that was John Kerry, I find the current incarnation of the Republican Party is far worse. I will not vote for the party of Christianist theocracy and anti-intellectual populism. They have made an absolute mockery of the secular Enlightenment values that founded our nation, have turned us into a global laughingstock, and I think it would be completely irresponsible to vote for the GOP for any reason, at this point.

The 2008 field of Democrats have been marginally better on this issue than in 2004, but I still think that they value evangelical Christians over gays, and that, if it meant getting more evangelicals in the fold, they would all still quite happily ignore us. At a cursory glance, I think I'd feel better voting for the British Conservative Party, under David Cameron, than I will voting Democratic in November. European "liberal conservatism" is certainly preferable to whatever kind of reactionary nonsense that's spewing out of the U.S. currently.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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melon, do you agree with hitler's views on bluray v hddvd?
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
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Originally posted by U2DMfan
what is the single most interesting thing you've found in your research of religions and philosophies?
Good question. I'd say that the most interesting aspect of all of this is that the history of religion seems quite closely tied to the history of linguistics. On one hand, we have the Semitic languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Ge'ez [Ethiopia], etc.) and religion, and on the other, we have Indo-European languages (Sanskrit [and most other Indian languages], Persian/Farsi, and most all European languages and religion.

I think the main reason that Judeo-Christianity has been as successful as it has been is that it benefited from Indo-European cultural encroachment (primarily through Persian and Greek cultural imperialism early on, then through the lenses of Roman and Germanic culture for the last 2,000 years) on Semitic culture to the point that it effectively lost its history. As such, the Biblical epics are often given more historical credence than one would assign to ancient Greek myths or the Norse Poetic Eddas, for instance, because we often have outside historical sources to flat out contradict what they have written, in certain circumstances.

Nevertheless, the beauty of linguistics is that there are some connections that can be made outside of written history. For instance, nearly all of the early "enemies" of the Israelis--Canaanites, Phoenicians, etc.--were part of the same extended Semitic family and pantheon, and it is likely that the progenitors of all of them came into Canaan out of Africa long ago into prehistory. Then, as centuries went on, the population grew, and they started differentiating from each other into separate cultures. As an aside, there is evidence that the Philistines were likely Indo-European in origin, perhaps being connected to the Sea Peoples.

Anyway, a thorough description of this subject would probably require hundreds, if not thousands, of pages, so I'll just leave it at this, for now.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
What's your technique to get all those information, dates, names etc. stuck in your head? (do you say so, stuck in one's head?)
A lot of it just comes down to repetition and what I'm interested in. For instance, there's certain subjects that come up in here repeatedly, and, as such, I have those arguments down with great detail.

On the other hand, I credit much of my success on having a decent foundation in Western philosophy and comparative religions. From there, if I don't know a specific detail, I often know exactly where to look to get that detail.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomerang96
melon, do you agree with hitler's views on bluray v hddvd?
Serious questions only!

(In practice, both formats are substantially similar, but overpriced. I think it will be a hard sell getting people to spend even more money on HD movies, particularly since a lot of people already think that regular DVDs cost too much. I like HD-DVD, because it doesn't have region coding, but Blu-Ray also has more home authoring drives and tools, so consumers will lose, no matter who wins.)
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Serious questions only!

(In practice, both formats are substantially similar, but overpriced. I think it will be a hard sell getting people to spend even more money on HD movies, particularly since a lot of people already think that regular DVDs cost too much. I like HD-DVD, because it doesn't have region coding, but Blu-Ray also has more home authoring drives and tools, so consumers will lose, no matter who wins.)
so basically what you're saying is that you agree with hitler on everything?



alrigh, enough of that.

let's see here...

have you heard about the new technology unveiled recently that portrays, for the first time, a high definition picture/moving picture in mid air, without any sort of backdrop?

it's like watching a movie in thin air.

if so, when will this be available to the mainstream? precise numbers, dates etc. demanded.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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Tomorrow, 3.45pm Eastern Time, but the company will file for bankruptcy 3.46pm Eastern Time due to low sales.

Thanks for clarifying, melon. I used to have a pretty good memory for things I was interested in, but sometimes I feel like I have lost most already.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Thanks for clarifying, melon. I used to have a pretty good memory for things I was interested in, but sometimes I feel like I have lost most already.
So what are you interested in?

(I guess I'm allowed to ask questions in my own "ask" thread. )
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:05 AM   #13
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Are you still considering moving to Canada someday?
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomerang96
have you heard about the new technology unveiled recently that portrays, for the first time, a high definition picture/moving picture in mid air, without any sort of backdrop?

it's like watching a movie in thin air.

if so, when will this be available to the mainstream? precise numbers, dates etc. demanded.
I haven't heard of this, actually. I do remember something about experiments in this arena. If you have any sources to share, as a technology geek, I'd be happy to read it!
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:15 AM   #15
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Are you still considering moving to Canada someday?
Yes, and if all goes as planned, my permanent residency should be approved in March.

I bear no real ill-will towards the U.S., but I can't live as a second-class citizen forever. Plus, considering that I have no legal mechanism to bring my partner to America, since we're run by religious fanatics and cowards here, I really don't have much choice.

I'm also nervous about the prospect of looking for a job there...heh.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:19 AM   #16
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Originally posted by melon


So what are you interested in?

(I guess I'm allowed to ask questions in my own "ask" thread. )
Sure you are.

My greatest interest used to be history, and I still like very much to read about everything related to that. However, I've never been so keen on remembering all the years and dates and often are not sure whether I'm mixing things up. I'm certainly lacking a lot of detail.
But I loved it in school and usually was the only student that participated, so it was basically a conversation between me and the teacher. I also have the suspicion that my fellow students weren't too unhappy about it.

I later changed for a school that focused on economics in order to get my A-levels (Abitur) and since then I'm mainly interested in economics. Now I'm about to finish my third semester and want to focus on economic development, environmental economics, world trade and such. This is one of the reasons why I'll spend a semester in Montana later this year.

And I think I have a healthy interest in politics, which is also in many ways connected to both history and economics.

As you say, many things stuck through repetition, so maybe I should focus on that part, and perhaps spend less time on this forum, although it's a great source to gather information.
On a good note, reading on this forums has improved my English more than school could ever have.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:29 AM   #17
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Yes, and if all goes as planned, my permanent residency should be approved in March.
Awesome, congrats! Whereabouts are you heading?
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:34 AM   #18
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Combine those history, economics, and politics together with classical and modern Western philosophy, and I imagine that would make you quite unstoppable, intellectually. I make mention of philosophy here, only because I stumbled upon it quite late in my academic career, and it made such a difference, to me, that I wish I had encountered it at least ten years prior to when I did. And I still have a lot to learn!

This forum is good in moderation, I'd say, because it was actually quite helpful for me, as a form of repetition. I am quite a vigorous debater, as many have noticed.

Good luck with your studies, though, and good luck with Montana. I have a feeling, though, that it won't be much at all like Berlin!
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:38 AM   #19
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Awesome, congrats! Whereabouts are you heading?
Toronto, which is nice, if only because I'm not terribly far away from where I'm living right now. It should help make it a smoother transition for me.

I already go there several times a year as it is, and I quite like it there. It may not have the sheer activity of NYC, by any stretch of the imagination, but Toronto seems to do a great job of combining urban life with livability.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Combine those history, economics, and politics together with classical and modern Western philosophy, and I imagine that would make you quite unstoppable, intellectually. I make mention of philosophy here, only because I stumbled upon it quite late in my academic career, and it made such a difference, to me, that I wish I had encountered it at least ten years prior to when I did. And I still have a lot to learn!

This forum is good in moderation, I'd say, because it was actually quite helpful for me, as a form of repetition. I am quite a vigorous debater, as many have noticed.

Good luck with your studies, though, and good luck with Montana. I have a feeling, though, that it won't be much at all like Berlin!
I did have some philosophy classes in school, and though it's certainly quite interesting I didn't feel like I was very good in analysing such texts. It would certainly be a challenge to take on, and I'm sure I will have to do some reading especially of economical philosophers in order to get a deeper grasp on the concepts modern economic theories are still drawn from. It's definitely important for discussions in that field, and though many of the concepts and theories have been debunked by reality there always are aspects that those people got right. And it's also good to see where they are wrong, especially as some people are following their concepts so blindly and sometimes even ignore reality.

Philosophy is a vast field, and starting with the likes of Aristotle, Plato, or later philosophers like Kant and Nietzsche in school may do philosophy a disservice in attracting young people. It's like starting with probability or geometry in maths.

It's great to read sophisticated arguments like yours. For one thing, it's a challenging yet very understandable level of English, and on the other part it's nice to see a well-crafted, based in logic and facts kind of argument containing a lot of information. Certainly something to aspire.

Montana is bigger than Germany and has just one million inhabitants. It will be a change, but luckily I grew up in a small village in the north of Germany, so it won't be the first time for me to be living in a rather provinial surrounding.
Certainly a difference, besides being another country, will be that this is a larger university, the University of Montana in Missoula with 13,000 students (here it's just 5,000) and studying at US universities is a lot different than at German universities.
From what I've seen so far it's really nothing like Berlin, and I'm very looking forward to it.
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