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The Forum > General Discussion > You deserve to be congratulated: we're not overdoing democracy

You deserve to be congratulated: we're not overdoing democracy

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In this podcast by Heterodox Academy (you might notice that we promote their work via the Domain email) Professor Robert Talissse claims that we can overdo democracy. https://heterodoxacademy.org/episode-71-robert-talisse-overdoing-democracy-why-we-must-put-politics-in-its-place/ By this they mean that while participation in group discussion and decision making is a civic virtue, when you start judging who you will talk to or do business with based on the other's political views you are poisoning democracy.

That's something I was conscious of as only a potential problem when we were designing On Line Opinion, but I now see that sort of intolerance and isolation everywhere. And I'd like to say that while things can get heated here, it is one of the only sites I visit on the net where you don't feel like you are in an echo chamber.

As the podcast says, it's not easy to talk to people you disagree with, and social media is making it easier not to have to do this, but we all persevere here, and for that I think you deserve to be congratulated. :)

But don't just slap each other on the back. I'm interested in feedback on the podcast as well (and for quoting purposes they also have a transcript at https://heterodoxacademy.org/071_roberttalisse_transcript/.
Posted by GrahamY, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 6:12:28 AM
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Graeme, I have not looked at the podcast yet; but it is my concern that to some "might is right", that is the majority rules. A true democracy allows the freedom of all opinions to be expressed and lives to be lived without intimidation from the majority, or from any minority either, Like a ruling class, dictator, or ideology. It is in the freedom of the individual, providing they are widely educated that inspired community development.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 6:55:31 AM
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Sorry for spelling your name incorrectly!
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 6:56:46 AM
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I have listened to enough of the podcast to get the gist of it. I am more of a reader than a listener. I will reserve judgement until I've read the book, which is available on Google Books for $17.85. The good thing about ebooks is that you can download a free sample to see if you want to continue with it.

I agree with what I did listen to. The effect of 'echo chambers' and their hardening of stances was mentioned.

I also agree that democracy/politics is overdone. Not long ago I saw a survey that found that young people refuse to go out with, or have any dealings at all with, people whose politics they don't like. That has to be either sick or sad; particularly when the only say most of us have is a single lousy vote every few years for a single person we will never even meet.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:23:59 AM
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Dear Josephus,

I think what you have a problem with is the recent decision by the majority to look after a minority by extending to them rights that had been denied them by what had been a majority: namely marriage.

Surely though this is one of the best examples of democracy performing a moral function, something that sets itself above 'the invisible hand' theory which postulates “through individual self-interest and freedom of production as well as consumption, the best interest of society, as a whole, are fulfilled.”

The majority sided with the minority without a clear 'self interest' motive. This type of outcome is what should be recognised and celebrated about our democracy.

Dear GrahamY,

In this same light I do have a question for you. You had written;

“By this they mean that while participation in group discussion and decision making is a civic virtue, when you start judging who you will talk to or do business with based on the other's political views you are poisoning democracy.”

I can't see where in the podcast that they mentioned the word 'business' yet you saw fit to include it in your remarks.

Perhaps it is because the topic of boycotts has been raised by our PM and was in the back of your mind.

It is my opinion that very large corporations have but their very big mitts around the issue of climate change and CO2 abatement, dragged it into the political arena, and spent a hell of a lot of money creating deeply polarising positions where there shouldn't be any. They have been the democracy poisoners.

Cont..
Posted by SteeleRedux, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:46:26 AM
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Cont..

Include the many millions of Palmer dollars that severely tainted this country's democracy during the last election then if the ordinary punter feels the need to voice his or her political opinion is via their wallet why should anyone seek to claim this is undermining democracy? It isn't, it is just an avenue of political expression that our capitalist system affords them.

If my bank were to fund new coal projects like Adani or Waratah Coal then I would cease doing business with them full stop.

This is the first year that I can remember where I will not have a bet on the cup. The business of racing needs to totally overhaul the way they treat the animals which support it before I will contemplate ever again contributing to their 'sport'.

You might call it my politics making those decisions for me but I would argue both issues have a rightful place above politics and that both are sound decisions given the evidence.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:47:02 AM
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I was really looking forward to watching
Q and A last night (4/11/2019). Fran Kelly
hosted a panel highlighting the
the Wheeler Centre's feminist ideas, Broadside
Festival, in Melbourne.

An all-woman panel discussed political uprisings,
ageism, violence against women, and so on.

By the time the episode finished my head was reeling.
I found one woman in particular to be very aggressive,
rude, and confrontational. Also her use of foul-language
was not endearing.

All in all there were some positive moments in the discussion
but the over all impression that I got was that I was not
sure that advocating aggression or violence was a solution
to the problems being discussed.

Watching this particular episode clearly showed me that
whether we read the opinions expressed on this forum, or
on the web in general - we do need more scrutiny of
people's voices and opinions. Some can be extreme to say
the least - and need to be questioned.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 11:05:32 AM
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Good on you, Foxy ! I watched a few minutes mid-way (after Yo-yo Ma's concert) and was reminded of something that someone might have said (maybe Marx ?), about Minerva's Owl, appearing only at dusk, in relation to arguments which have already been won, and yet like picking at a scab, some of the 'contestants' on Q&A went on and on about what are frankly old issues.

Thank you, Graham, you make OLO a beacon of genuine democratic discussion and exemplify what Talisse is on about:

http://heterodoxacademy.org/episode-71-robert-talisse-overdoing-democracy-why-we-must-put-politics-in-its-place/

I highly recommend it.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 11:27:04 AM
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Today more than ever political polarisation has become the norm rather than the exception in Australian politics. Yesterdays politics was confined to everyday bread and butter issues that could be clearly defined, the division of labour etc, issues that clearly divided along party lines. There was no need for any great discussion by the general populace or political parties of social justice issues such as gay marriage, rights of women etc, most from both sides of politics were like minded on these things, or they were not relevant to their everyday existence. Plus the fact minorities and women had no political voice, if they had issues no one was listening. Today social justice is far more of a concern, and with minorities being as vocal as they are, and aware of their rights they have become new political issues for political parties to deal with.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 11:32:25 AM
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Hi Foxy,

"we do need more scrutiny of
people's voices and opinions. Some can be extreme to say
the least - and need to be questioned."

I believe all those that seek power over, or to influence others, others being us the mob, need to be scrutinised carefully. Sometimes what is perceived as extreme today, is ordinary tomorrow. Then with some issues there is no middle ground, the gay marriage vote for example, the extreme view was a yes vote, the only alternative was a no vote which simply maintained the statuesque, there was no moderate or middle ground of a maybe vote. Sometimes you have to be extreme, which is not always a bad thing.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 11:56:15 AM
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Dear Paul,

I'm going to try to get a hold of Robert Talisse's book.
I read the transcript that Graham gave. It got me interested
in reading more of what Talisse has to say.

Talisse seems to think of people as intellectual
inquirers - but are we? Do we
question or merely accept what we've been taught?
Do we really only prefer to stay in our comfort zones?

So many questions. But perhaps the book will clarify things
more for me.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 4:02:38 PM
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I have been away again, GY will listen tomorrow
See even you did not cut the s of so your link will work
Me? deeply concerned voters do not think enough about the issues they push for
EG Melbourne cup protests about horses suffering
IF and they will not, they ended racing, every race track horse training and breeding job would go
And even more [maybe hundreds of thousands?] of horses would go to the nackery
Coal? if we leave the market others never will, and we would see billions lost for zero results in matters climate
Posted by Belly, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 6:34:48 PM
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Americans, Robert Talisse included, seem to take it for granted that their country, the land of the free, and the home of the brave, is an unlimited democracy, and everyone believes it, me thinks not. It is at best a confined democracy, where those that engage in the noble democratic pursuit, provided they operate within the well defined boundaries, are free to do as they wish.

A hypothetical; through some strange chain of events and radical thinking both major US political parties adopted the policy of total disarmament, they are going to disband the armed forces, cut off all military spending etc etc. This is all going to be achieved through the democratic process, which is so sacrosanct it can not be overridden. I say this course of action would be so beyond the allowable bounds that the generals would step in and democracy would go out the window.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 7:00:01 PM
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Steel,
when a minority or a majority impose their views on others by law it is not democracy! When others are not free to express a differing opinion to a law, is a Totalitarian State. World Governments are moving toward total mind control of the population, one cannot have differing views.
People are being fined, or imprisoned or killed for holding a different view or social practise to a law imposed by a minorities practise.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 8:39:57 PM
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Examples of mass thinking dividing society; 1. Climate change connected to CO2 created by humans. 2. Donald Trump. 3. Brexit 4. Abortion.
When large businesses become involved in enforcing one side of an opinion that does not relate to their core business then it is destroying true democracy, and the right of personal freedoms.
Posted by Josephus, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:05:56 PM
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Hi Josephus,

"When large businesses become involved in enforcing one side of an opinion that does not relate to their core business then it is destroying true democracy, and the right of personal freedoms."

Exactly what happened with slavery in the United States, it was the Northern banks, insurance and shipping companies that through their business actions perpetuated slavery in the Southern states. Although their Northern investors were outwardly opposed to slavery.

It is donations to political parties from large corporations today that enforces their political will on society in general.
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 5:18:36 AM
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Paul,

Straw-man argument about the US disarming.

Here's another one: imagine if scientists could convert all coal into cheese - what might happen to the dairy industry ?

Hmmm ...... that's a tough one.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 8:38:35 AM
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The comments so far show that nobody has started reading the book. Just the first couple of chapters make clear that the author is suggesting that people should be able to intermingle without politics, and enjoy some of the things made possible by democracy in which politics is irrelevant.

The most evidence for bringing politics into everything is seen in the fact that "The past thirty years have seen the gradual decline of traditional sites of activity in which people cooperate together without regard for political affiliation" …. "workplaces, neighbourhoods, places of worship, households, and shared public spaces have become more politically homogeneous and more politically intoned".

Read the book.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 10:10:58 AM
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Wouldn't it be great if politicians would remember
that they are after all "public servants," and that
they were there to "serve" the public not their
party or toe the party line. What difference does it make
who comes up with policies - if they're good for the
country why not support them? Leave politics out of it.
Political parties should not be like football clubs -
to be supported no matter what.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 11:14:58 AM
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Hey Foxy,
"Wouldn't it be great if politicians would remember
that they are after all 'public servants,' and that
they were there to 'serve' the public not their
party or toe the party line."

I'm not 100% sure that's entirely true Foxy.
There's a Union Jack in the corner of our flag.
The national anthem for that includes this:

"Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen."

If you're sent to prison it's done behalf of 'the crown' not the people.

Who rules us?
'We' or 'She'?

How can one have democracy and royalty at the same time?

http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/abc-news-quashed-story-about-jeffrey-epstein-due-to-pressure-from-british-royal-family-video-suggests/ar-AAJUitj?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Royalty and religion have both probably gone past their best before date.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Thursday, 7 November 2019 5:42:35 AM
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Armchair Critic you are ignorant of the fact of history that the Crown in Australia stands for the People. The wearer of a crown is just a figurehead that represents the power is invested in the people and they, the people make the laws and on our behalf the figurehead accepts and signs on our behalf. That is to control the power of politicians against the people. You might want Marxist dictators, but we the people want freedom from control by Government.

Again you fail in understanding Christian faith it is based on informed individual conscience, the individual is self autonomous, held with equal justice and responsible for their action before a higher power than man or Government. Every effort to remove faith has led to mass murder, and that is a Marxist philosophy. The elite must control the minds of the people.
Posted by Josephus, Thursday, 7 November 2019 7:38:03 AM
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.

Dear Foxy,

.

You wrote :

« Wouldn't it be great if politicians would remember that they are after all "public servants," and that they were there to "serve" the public not their party or toe the party line »
.
How right you are, Foxy.

I think most of us agree with what Churchill said about democracy (that it's “the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”).

Many have tried to improve it, and many have failed.

John Locke is often considered to be the father of modern democracy. He developed his political theory in “Two Treatises of Civil Government” (1689). He placed sovereignty in the hands of the people and introduced the representative government.

I think the problem lies with the political party system and Locke’s “representative government”.

Under this system, political parties endorse their candidates for election to the legislature and, once elected, owe allegiance to the political party that endorsed them and are obliged to toe the party line. If not, they are excluded. The result is that political representation, per se, is not democratic at all.

Electoral representation is hijacked by the political parties for their personal benefit and the elected representatives become accountable to them instead of to the citizens of their electorate.

As attested by the current “Brexit” saga in the UK, representative democracy is a de facto oligarchical regime. The elected representatives have thwarted implementation of the popular vote to leave the European Union.

Our political system must be reformed. We must stop the political parties from hijacking our democracy. We must ensure that our elected representatives are accountable to the citizens alone – all the citizens – not to the political parties.

To achieve this, we must redefine the role and legal status of political parties in Australia as well as the role and legal status of our elected representatives. This should then be made mandatory throughout the country at both state and federal levels.

The sovereignty of the people must prevail over all other rights and obligations.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:14:12 AM
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Dear AC, and Josephus,

Thank You for your comments.

As always they are appreciated.

However, I think that Banjo Paterson has explained
things much better than I did.

Dear Banjo Paterson,

Thank You for explaining things so well.

I find it frustrating when watching Question Time in
our Parliament or listening to politicians and the
answers they give when questioned by members of the
public. Repeating the party line over and over again.

I agree our system does need to be improved.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:26:26 AM
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First a note about presentism. Although the article isn't specific there's just a hint that they think of this phenomenon as new. To be fair they also suggest it is just greater than before. But new its not.

There's a famous story (famous at least among those who are studying the rise of Trumpism) of a NYT writer flummoxed by Nixon's 1972 win because she didn't know anyone who voted for him. And a recent article by a film reviewer talking about how uncomfortable he is in theatres with audiences who like films he and his allies have decreed they shouldn't like. To see the disconnect, check the relative ratings by reviewers and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

Australia, as far back as I can remember, has always had blue ribbon seats, where the voting indicates the region is homogenous in its views. Such places, even back in the 1970s, would have contained people who had no inkling of the other. And it still exists. Witness the anti-Adani mindset of the inner-city electorates who had no notion of how important mining jobs are to those 'others'. Ditto immigration. I've always felt the electorate would be a whole lot more informed if all the migrant facilities were located in places like Sydney's eastern suburbs or Adam Brandt's electorate. Instead they're stuck in 'bogan-ville' and the bogans are then ridiculed for being anti-immigrant.

But there's no doubt the separation of the electorate is greater now than at any previous time, although my impression is that this is more so in the USA than here. Equally there is little doubt that this is largely due to social media. Not just Facebook et al but the proliferation of blogs and news accumulators. With news outlets now captured by "27 year-olds who literally know nothing" news is massaged to suit the perceived audience. The current brouhaha is over ABC (American) admission that they had the goods on Epstein 3 years ago but suppressed it, presumably to help Hillary. But many won’t know that because even the admission is suppressed.
/cont
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:41:27 AM
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So we can be immersed in media but unknowingly get only half the story. And it’s a growing phenomenon, reinforced by the thinking that the 'other' is wrong and its therefore wrong to even listen to their views. People get into their preferred media and then refuse to countenance examining other views because they are clearly wrong. And if someone does hold those counter-views they are either fools or knaves. They couldn't possibly hold counter-views honestly. So we end up with Hillary's deplorables or Obama's gun-clingers. We see it also in the great global warming debates. To some (many?) those who don't buy the whole story don't disagree on the evidence or the interpretation of the evidence, they are paid by industry, or are in the industry or have some other nefarious reason to ignore and/or downplay the obvious truth.

This of course leads to the view that the 'other' is not just someone who holds different views, but someone who is to be ignored and someone to be denied any power.

Infuriatingly, the podcasts (I read the transcript - don't like podcasts) doesn't get into the issue of what is democracy. What is it that they think is under threat? To my thinking, democracy exists to do two things only. First it is a way for peaceful regime change. Governments inevitably become tired, out of touch or out of ideas. For most of human history, that was resolved with violence. Democracy provides a way for the peaceful transfer of power. But that relies on the good graces of both sides. The defeated group needs to accept the defeat as legitimate, that the new government is both legitimate and temporary. But with these divisions and utter ignorance of the other, that becomes much more problematic. Trump's win shocked coast America and they just couldn't and don't understand it. So they refused to accept it as legitimate and have spent 3 years trying to reverse it. I suspect a Trump defeat next year would see the same from the other side. This is the real and growing threat to democracy.
/cont
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:41:33 AM
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/cont
The second purpose of democracy is to protect the citizenry against arbitrary government interference. But again, when the other is 'deplorable', wrong and probably venal the victors are less likely to take much notice of their concerns.

While social media is undoubtedly a culprit here, its not the only one. We've always been divided so why all the angst now? I think the size of government, the way it reaches into almost every aspect of life, has a lot to do with it. Electoral outcomes these days are so much more consequential than in the past because a change in direction affects so many lives in much greater ways. Therefore the urge to protect power (or gain power) rises and the shock of loss is not just about your view not being accepted by the plurality but about your way of life within the community's way of life being threatened. In the days when the only consequence of an election was how much beer and fags would go up, the stakes weren't as high. Not now. Entire careers hang on outcomes and that breeds fanaticism.

So what is to be done? The podcast doesn't appear to have an answer because there probably isn't one. Smaller government? Well yes, but its not going to happen this side of the economic apocalypse. Better media? Well good luck with that. The private media has staked out its audience and plays to it and public media already thinks (mistakenly) it’s centrist so it’s not budging either. Better education so that citizens know and seek both sides? Imagine me smirking as I write that. No chance.

All of this is new, at least in regards to the extent of it. Society always takes a generation or two to adjust to these monumental changes. Facebook, Twitter et al are only really a decade or so old and its already suggested that the keyboard warriors are tiring of the battle. Just hang on and hope for the best and try to situate yourself so that you’re not in the path of the juggernaut.
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:41:41 AM
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Dear mhaze,

Welcome back.

You've been missed.

I trust that your procedure went well?

Are you OK?
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 7 November 2019 9:26:32 AM
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Banjo Paterson I agree with your reasoning, but there is one factor that makes anything else very difficult. The cost of government today.

Once upon a time, a time long past, most pollies elected were known to most of the constituents. Electorates had far fewer voters, who chose a highly regarded person, who most knew at least by reputation. Unfortunately we can't afford such small electorates today, with government so expensive.

It is even the same in local government elections. I find it very difficult to gather enough information on the candidates for even my ward of local council to make an informed choice.

I can't suggest an answer, but it is a growing problem.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 7 November 2019 10:28:35 AM
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I thought the content of the podcast to be benign.
In reality, the world is ruled by global corporations, which are imposing a strange secular morality, over world populations through coercive means such as dictating taste and choice of fashions. Also through censorship of literature (Amazon), and creating dictatorships geared against religions, especially Christian, (there is a Jewish conspiracy at work), which they percieve as ill-liberal.

And I could say much more on the subject, but would be wasting my time and breath here. But I'll conclude by stating, Democracy has long vanished from view.
Many above this post have well articulated the evidence to that.

I think the masses have chosen the easy road by accepting the brainwashing of mass and social media dictates. There can be no democracy as its capital is whittled away by thieving from the poor and dispossessed, below the evaporating middle class imagined societal line, and shunting the captured $ upwards through welfare bonuses given to the rich, by subsidies and tax cuts. I'm sure the Pitt Street farmers are behind further welfare directed to farmers, (lets ID who they really are) !

How would a consensus between the two groups be expected? After all, Trump rose from the ashes of the dispossessed. Is that democracy, or civil war?

Dan
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 7 November 2019 8:07:52 PM
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- Must Watch 3 Minute Video -

Princeton University - Does the Government Represent the People? (The Chart)
http://youtu.be/pi34kWz22Tk

The number of American voters for or against an idea has NO IMPACT on the likelihood that congress will make it law.
Put another way:
The preferences of the average American appear to have a miniscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact on public policy.

- So if you've ever felt that your opinion doesn't matter and that the government doesn't really care what you think, then you're right.

But there's a catch, this only accounts for the bottom 90% of income earners in America.
Economic elites, Business interests, people who can afford lobbyists, they're different.

If they want something, the government is much more likely to do it;
And when they don't, they have the power to completely block it from happening, no matter how much the rest of the country supports it.
They get what they want, and guess who ends up paying for it?
Posted by Armchair Critic, Friday, 8 November 2019 2:12:20 AM
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On the topic of typos of governing bodies, I wanted to present another type. It's mostly democratic, that the people who make the decisions get voted in by the people, but after that all the decisions are made by those voted into office. I'm only aware of it because it's the election process that my dad's religion has for local boards, and then up to national and international assemblies. Some things to note about it is that no campaigning is allowed. And the people chosen all start at the local level. After that local election those elected vote among themselves for which of them would go to the next level of communities. Like from a city consol to a state consol sort of thing. Probabley not perfect but in light of all the politicking and bickering that I see during election times for politicians this other way bakes a lot more sense to me.

Look it up yourselves.

https://bahaiteachings.org/universal-house-of-justice
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 8 November 2019 5:07:51 AM
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The Athenians we the only ones to have had a true democracy in which citizens took turns in running the State. We don't have that.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Friday, 8 November 2019 5:59:02 AM
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I somewhat agree DD; "the world is ruled by global corporations, which are imposing a strange secular morality, over world populations through coercive means such as dictating taste and choice of fashions".

"coercive means" implies the use of force, but do global corporations exert force to dictate taste and fashion? I agree GC's through political leverage have our, in reality theirs, political leadership commit to meeting their objectives. An example is where an oil rich state disbars the GC's from profiting from the states oil resource through nationalisation. Then the political leadership reacts in such a way to restore the profitability of the GC's at their behest. This could be done covertly through destabilisation of that unfriendly regime, or by direct action through military intervention.

"I (DD) think the masses have chosen the easy road by accepting the brainwashing of mass and social media dictates."

Without leadership there can be no collective mass free choice, the bulk of society just go along with the dictates of the political leadership. In a democracy if the mass don't like the dictates of the incumbents, this could be real, or it could be imparted to them though non representative powerful influences, the media play a big part in this, then at the ballot box they replace them with an alternative. In a dictatorship, or totalitarian state, where there is no ballot box mechanism, other means of replacement are found, such as the point of a gun.

"there is a Jewish conspiracy" seems to be a favourite hobby horse of the far right, but evidence of such is thin on the ground. Hitler believed in it, and we seen the consequences
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 8 November 2019 7:13:14 AM
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Paul with such a statement you have not moved on from the 1940s. It is the left that now promotes hatred of Jews.
Posted by Josephus, Friday, 8 November 2019 7:52:46 AM
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Paul with such a statement you are still in 1940, "there is a Jewish conspiracy" seems to be a favourite hobby horse of the far right, but evidence of such is thin on the ground. Hitler believed in it, and we seen the consequences. The Right are actually supporters of the State of Israel.
Posted by Josephus, Friday, 8 November 2019 7:55:06 AM
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Josephus, you take a simplistic line, if you are pro Palestinian and believe in their right to self determination, then by default you must hate the Jews, or precisely the Israelis. Not so, one is not dependent on the other. Criticism of the actions of the Israeli State does not extend to hatred of Jews.

Christians have a long history of hating Jews, has something changed? Your mob might claim not to hate Jews, but Christianity might be in some short term inter period of passive coexistence, even friendliness, but hatred might come to the fore once more very shortly. Christians in Europe went for long periods of passive coexistence with Jews, before turning on them and committing mass murder, the last time ended back in 1945.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 8 November 2019 9:02:17 AM
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Paul1405 and Josephus,

I want to say that I think Paul's right when he says Jewish conspiracy theories are associated with the far right.
But I also think Josephus is also right when he says support of Israel is generally associated with the right.

It's a tricky thing, and there is a crossover.
I think the issues why the right is generally supportive of Israel are freedom of religion, nationalism and the right to defend one's home and property;
- a large block of support of the right comes from from Christian Zionists.

(As opposed to the left - who support liberal and progressive agendas, immigrants and open borders)

But not all who identify as conservative support Israel.

The crossover point is here with Christians who don't support Israel.
'Trunews'

Nov 5, 2019 Transfer Agreement: How Hitler Armed Zionists to Conquer Palestine
http://youtu.be/U4vzR5OT3qY

If I entertain Jewish conspiracy stuff - this more or places me into a category of the far-right by default;
But that doesn't necessarily mean I support white supremacist ideology;

There are many just on the normal left now whose beliefs are arguably far more radical than mine.

And being more on the side of conservatives than progressives
(I dislike progressive ideology because I think they're fools helping the globalist agenda) doesn't necessarily mean I support all religious points of view.

I'm my own person, I argue issues on their own merits and I don't particularly like any of the gang mentality.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Friday, 8 November 2019 12:40:30 PM
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Thanks for the welcome back Foxy.

Procedure wasn't as successful as hoped but not as bad as feared. Still above ground and I am starting a whole new research programme (teaching myself HTML and Visual basic for Apps) so in my mind I obviously expect to be around for a while yet.

But my typing fingers (all two of them) are in fine fettle, so beware (grin!).

eg Mr O writes "[The Athenians] had a true democracy in which citizens took turns in running the State". That's utter rubbish. The Athenians had some positions selected by lot - not rotation - but all the important posts were elected. Pericles, for example, occupied one of the top posts for 30 odd years and basically ran Athenian policy for all that time. So utter rubbish. But then pretty much Mr O's entire output is utter rubbish.

Thinking a little more about the issue at hand, just a few other points.

In the 1970s, there was a weekly newspaper called The National Times. Certainly the finest paper I've ever read. They used to have a system on important issues where competing views were aired side by side. Not people shouting at each other, but sober written argument. One person would put their view, generally getting a full page to provide all the detailed argument needed. Side by side others would put counter-views, equally lavishly detailed. Then each side would be given the chance to critique the other's points. The end result was a thorough canvassing of the issue with the paper taking no side and the reader fully informed or informed enough to do follow-up research.

Such a system would probably not work now. People aren't prepared to hear the other side and, since most people are now visual rather than literate, it would need to be done on-screen with the inevitable shouting match occurring. sigh

I still feel the solution is better education, or different education. Education that encouraged open research rather than blind adherence to the shibboleths of the day. But I have no idea how to get there from here.
Posted by mhaze, Friday, 8 November 2019 12:45:23 PM
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Paul, I have Orthodox Jewish relatives so how can I hate my brothers children. They have inherited their Judaism from their mother. Learn true Christians in Europe and England assisted Jews escape the Roman Catholic hate inherent in Nazi views of Jews. The Nazi German war against England and the Continent was Roman Catholicism influenced of Nazi's fight against other religions including Christian England. My Scottish English wife is a product of loosing her father to Nazi bombings.
Posted by Josephus, Friday, 8 November 2019 1:13:05 PM
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Josephus

"It is the left that now promotes hatred of Jews" Can you prove this?

You may consider me to be of the left, and although I believe the Israeli state is guilty of criminal acts against the Palestinian people, and dare say some sections of the Palestinian movement are also guilty of criminal acts against the Israelis. I do not promote hatred of Jews as a consequence.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 8 November 2019 5:50:40 PM
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Much hatred for the Jews sprang from what was known as replacement theology where sections of the 'church' wrongly thought they were the new Jews and that God was finished with those who rejected the Messiah.

By and large the most hatred now comes from the left of politics. They can see clearly that the God of Israel has fulfilled a number of prophecies by again bringing the Jews from all nations back home before His second return. Any rational person can see this regathering has never happened to another nation in history. It is yet another of the myriads of evidence of the God of Israel being the One true God. That is the thing the left hate the most although they hide behind the mask of concern for the made up Palestinian state. They have no rational reason for their hatred of Israel. History shows Jerusalem has been the spiritual home of the Jews for many centuries. Mohammed himself never visited Jerusalem except in some made up vision. The sort of science the left use to act out violence in the name of climate emergency. You know just ask Greta.
Posted by runner, Friday, 8 November 2019 6:04:23 PM
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mhaze is right. After all he has degrees in history.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Friday, 8 November 2019 6:50:03 PM
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Dear mhaze,

I'm so glad you're back. And that by the sound of it
you're doing well. I'm looking forward to more
fencing with you. You are a challenge - but well
worth it. (smile). And besides, you've taught me a
great deal.

Take care.
Posted by Foxy, Friday, 8 November 2019 7:05:21 PM
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Dear mhaze,

I think you would agree with me when I say that the reason you and I do not agree with anything is because you and I have absolutely nothing in common.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 9 November 2019 7:54:36 AM
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mhaze,

I'm glad you have the energy to put people right on ancient Greek democracy misunderstanding. I can't be bothered anymore.

This thread, like most others, has denigrated into a lot of pointless arguing totalling divorced from the subject of 'putting democracy/politics in their place'.

Graham Young gave us the opportunity to read a book by a modern philosopher on a matter important to all of us. There is no evidence that the opportunity has been taken up, given the irrelevant rambling and petty arguing that has followed.

I am halfway through the book; it contains enlightening, and alarming, information on how and why we are screwing things up. All sorts of negative things about America are bruited about, but it's the only place in the Anglosphere where there are useful academics who are genuinely concerned about democracy, the West and our survival. The rest of the West, including Australia, either never had the interest or have thrown in the towel
Posted by ttbn, Saturday, 9 November 2019 8:54:01 AM
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ttbn, For those of us who do not read books can you please give us a brief overview of the outline of the thesis.
Posted by Josephus, Saturday, 9 November 2019 9:02:00 AM
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Josephus,

Why on earth would I waste my time on people who do not read books? People who don't read are not interested in learning.
Posted by ttbn, Saturday, 9 November 2019 9:29:15 AM
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Unfortunately with today's advanced technology there's
many people who no longer rely on books for their
information. This is particularly a growing trend with
our young people - which is very concerning. I try to
give age-appropriate books to my grand-kids in an attempt
to encourage them to read. I've also read them stories
from a very young age and got them involved in Story-Times
at their local libraries.

As a result, they do have their favourite books -and fingers-
crossed this interest in reading will continue.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 9 November 2019 9:35:35 AM
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Dear Foxy,

Reading books is how we learn. It especially allows people to teach themselves.

Most people don't like reading because it takes effort and concentration plus skills in comprehension. These are the people who don't do humanities because they cannot get through the enormous reading load required for an Arts degree.

Unfortunately a lot of these people get some knowledge through media like Google, documentaries, etc., and they think they know a lot. I won't mention any names.

And then there are the ones who make out they are Arts grads - nudge nudge wink wink know who I mean.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 9 November 2019 11:53:43 AM
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Dear Josephus,

I would be too embarrassed to admit if I did not read books but kudos to you for having the guts to come out about it. And at least you don't go around pretending to be an Arts grad - nudge nudge wink wink know who I mean.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 9 November 2019 12:44:14 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

People don't read for a variety of reasons.
Whether its because they don't have the time,
that books are expensive, that they don't make
the right selections, or they prefer to watch
movies instead. The list of why they don't is
long. Some people just never get into the habit.

It's a personal choice. I've always encouraged my
children and grand-children to read. And I found
that it is important to try to instill this habit
in them from an earlier age. Plus, picking the right
books for them has also been important to get them
interested. As have visits to libraries.

Anyway, I hesitate in passing judgements on others
regarding reading habits. Since more people do lead such
busy lives nowadays - often full-time employment has
left them little time for reading. So we do need to
understand people's habits in the context of their
social lives as well.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 9 November 2019 12:57:52 PM
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Dear Foxy,

Problem is some of them end up on The Forum pretending to be Arts grads - nudge nudge wink wink know who I mean.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 9 November 2019 1:21:46 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

Numerous studies have shown that there is little or
no relationship between educational achievement
and job performance or productivity.

The fact is that a degree does not necessarily give
you the skills required to be productive.
Most people pick up the necessary skills on the job
and not in the classroom. Especially as far as an Arts
degree is concerned - its only the first step in one's
education and training. People who graduate with an
Arts degree actually work in fields they consider
unrelated to their major subjects.

Few people make a fuss these days over an Arts degree.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 9 November 2019 2:29:10 PM
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Dear Foxy,

An Arts degree is not a vocational degree qualifying for a job. It is a scholarly degree for those who want to study the humanities.

I did an engineering degree for a prospective employer but my three Arts degrees I did for myself, in fields that I had a particular fascination with and wanted to pursue throughout my life.

The people I run across who do not place importance on an Arts degree are those who do not have one themselves. That's alright with me as long as they can accept that I see them as basically ignorant people.

At least I don't go around pretending to have an Arts degree or pretend to have knowledge in the humanities, which is not what I can say for the greater number of people on The Forum - nudge nudge wink wink know who I mean in particular. Shame on those people who pretend to be something they're not, as well as criticising subject areas they have no qualifications in just because they want to be something other than what they really are.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 9 November 2019 4:11:21 PM
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Misopinionated,

Three Arts degrees - wow, you must be triply useless :)

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Saturday, 9 November 2019 5:37:02 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

Traditionally,many people went to university to study
academic subjects that interested them, in order to
develop and broaden their minds. Do you really think
that's true today?

Today, the consensus seems to be that many people
go to university to study vocational subjects in the
hopes of enhancing their job prospects.

Twenty years ago, half the undergrads intended to major
in the liberal arts - the natural sciences, social sciences,
and humanities - but today it may surprise you as to how things
have changed.

Today one of the most popular fields is business; many
under grads now choose this single field for their major,
and graduate business schools have shown a large increase
in enrollments . Today a major reason for attending
university seems to be - "to be able to make more money."

As for what people get out of an Arts degree?
Well lets take you as a case in point.
Do you have great communication skills, problem solving
skills, and the ability to assimilate new knowledge?

No offense but your constant use of:

"wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you know who I mean" -
is not a very good indicator.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 9 November 2019 5:38:59 PM
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Dear Foxy,

The phrase 'nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean?' was made famous by Eric Idle in the Monty Python productions. Goodness gracious, you don't think I made it up by myself!

If you don't like it then I will stop using it and just say Loudmouth is pretending to be an Arts grad. Better?

I see you share the great misunderstanding about Arts degrees that most people have. It's only been in the last century that Arts has become restricted to the humanities. There was a time when universities only awarded either a BA or a BSc. A person could do his/her studies under either depending on which one they preferred to be awarded. This resulted in odd mixes like a BSc in accountancy, an MA in engineering, or a BA in architecture. In the medieval period there was just the BA and it's only been in the last century that universities have started to award specialist degrees eg BEng, BArch, BBus, LLM, etc due to the influence of modernity and rationalisation. So yes there was a time when everyone seemed to have an Arts degree but nowadays Arts is generally restricted to the scholarly pursuits of anthropology, history, sociology, archaeology, etc. I did a BE because I needed a job and then pursued my BA and two MAs because I wanted to study humankind and it's societies and cultures across the great expanse of human history.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 6:29:26 AM
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Foxy,

Yes, I'm doing fine. Not out of the woods yet but I can see the edge of the forest from where I sit - or actually lay.

I agree with you about reading. Its becoming a lost art. Audio books for christ sake!. Videos on important issues!. I said earlier I read the transcript Graham linked rather than the podcast. I really don't like podcasts. I prefer to read which gives me a chance to stop and ponder when an important or interesting point is made.

Luckily my kids are also readers. My daughter got the bug from Harry Potter. I read her the first two and when and then she was old enough to read the rest. We were always among the first in line to buy the next volume as it was released.

But the problems society has now are, I feel, at least party due to people no longer seeing the need or allocating the time to view things from all angles. Podcast, videos, tweets etc push views without context. People get and accept opinion without the need for pesky facts or nuance.

Its a worry. On the other hand, I always take the long view. This is a new phenomena and these things take a generation or two to resolve or settle into society. If society gets through these growing pains, it'll come out the other side renewed and democracy invigorated. I just can't see the path ahead at the moment.
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 10 November 2019 7:09:50 AM
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Mr O writes: "mhaze is right. After all he has degrees in history."

No, he's right because he has a reverence for the facts. Pontificating on those things on which you are utterly ignorant is rarely a good look.

"the reason you and I do not agree with anything is because you and I have absolutely nothing in common."

No the reason is that, if I agreed with you, I be wrong too!

" Shame on those people who pretend to be something they're not, as well as criticising subject areas they have no qualifications in just because they want to be something other than what they really are."

In all your 'studies' did you ever come across the notion of Psychological projection? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 10 November 2019 7:20:47 AM
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Hi Foxy and Mr O,

The quote of the day;

"Einstein plus an idiot is smarter than Einstein on his own."

Two things I have noticed on the Forum, one is the derision of those here that are formally educated, along with derision of the educators as well. Secondly there is a tendency to be super critical and dismissive of books and their authors. The guilty party to this are the Usual Suspects, the Grumpy Old Men from the hard right, we all know who they are.

Knowledge is the most dangerous weapon in the world, more powerful than an atomic bomb.

Foxy, both myself and "T" are very pleased with Brisbane City Library, they have a dozen or more well stocked outlets around the city and suburbs. Using the PC at home, or in the local branch we can access a big collection of books, DVD's etc from all branches, only 80c to get something transferred in 2 or 3 days, allowed up to 20 items at a time for a month. Better than my local back in Sydney, they could never find anything. Like to read one book a week, usually non-fiction, this coming week its non fiction 'The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee' - David Treuer. The following week I'll switch to a bit of fiction 'The Memory Weaver' - Jane Kirkpatrick.

I suggest our Grumpy Old Men, with so much time on their hands join their local library, never too late to broaden ones horizons, books tend to do that. Recently in a post one of the lads said "I never read books!" like as if it was an honour not to do so.
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 10 November 2019 7:39:18 AM
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Dear mhaze,

So you are telling us that you do not have degrees in history.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 8:05:39 AM
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Dear Paul 1405,

Your Grumpy Old Men are Grumpy Old Men on The Forum simply because the internet came along and took them out of the pub. Otherwise they would still be Grumpy Old Men sitting on bar stools arguing with other Grumpy Old Men all of whom think they know everything and keep making things up as they go along. And they all hate people who are not Grumpy Old Men and don't sit on bar stools in a pub making out that they know everything.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 8:12:09 AM
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"So you are telling us that you do not have degrees in history."

Where did I say that? What a dill.

Look Mr O, you made a claim about the Athenian constitution which was utterly wrong. Who knows where you got it - Mad Magazine, Readers Digest? But utterly wrong.

Anyone with passing knowledge of Plato or Plutarch or Thucydides or Aristophanes or Sophocles or even Herodotus would know it was wrong. A ten minute check on Wikipedia or myriad other sites would have shown it to be wrong.

No need for a degree in this or that.Just basic general knowledge or a desire to check it out before blurting it out.

But you still felt A-OK with making the moronic claim. And then, when called out, simply move on to other moronic claims. Just once, just once, own up and offer to do better next time.

Oh, any thoughts on Psychological projection? You should check it out. It would help with your self-reflection.
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 10 November 2019 10:25:19 AM
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Paul,

During my convalescence I read a marvellous book that I'd recommend- but only if you've got your heart pills nearby.

"War before Civilisation" by Lawrence H. Keeley. Subtitled "the Myth of the Peaceful Savage".

Any book which has more than half its space devoted to footnotes and links to evidence and citations gets my vote
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 10 November 2019 10:38:56 AM
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Dear mhaze,

It doesn't bother me if you don't have a degree in history. I've got an MA specialising in Graeco-Roman history and that's what matters most. Like I said earlier, we have absolutely nothing in common.

So I'll stick to my comment on Athenian democracy, which is grounded in my formal postgraduate training in Ancient History at Sydney University. Which of course you don't recognise because it's not the way you do things or some other such thing like that.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 1:53:56 PM
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mhaze, we should not stir Mr O as he is sensitive and has poor self image, and needs to prove his credentials are the knowledge of his Marxist socialist lecturers. He is the typical new University graduate that is not familiar with Greek logical deduction and believes the old guard got it wrong. I wonder if he will tell us when he graduated with the latest knowledge?

The fact is I read books of my interests all the time. I have in fact a library of over 3,000 books and have over the years disposed of over 6,000 books. I have mastered many fields, and have received accolades for those achievements.
Posted by Josephus, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:00:34 PM
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" I've got an MA specialising in Graeco-Roman history and that's what matters most."

Oh dear Mr O you really are pathetic. Just making up accreditation every time your challenged because you have no idea how to argue the facts.

We do have one thing in common....we both know you're full of it.
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:03:39 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

People with tertiary qualifications don't normally
find it necessary to continue to brag about them.
Don't get me wrong, completing an educational goal is
something to be proud of. I'm proud of what I've
accomplished. However most of us tend to move on.
We know that piece of paper isn't everything.
Earning a degree is commendable - but it doesn't
define us. What makes a difference is what we do
with the education we've received.

Your consistent focus on degrees makes me suspect that
its an armour you're using to cover an insecurity.
How about instead of bragging about where you've been
you focus on working towards where you're going -
or want to be.

That would be more impressive.

BTW: I am familiar with Monty Python. And I've also
been on the staff of several universities. Both here
and overseas. Just thought you should know.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:05:54 PM
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Dear Foxy,

I have no problem with someone citing their qualifications to support his or her position. mhaze stated that I am wrong about Athenian democracy so I simply responded by showing that I have formal training in ancient history to support my position.

When I apply for a job as an engineer and the interviewer asks to see my qualifications should I tell him it's irrelevant and he should move on because 'we know that piece of paper isn't everything.' I don't think so. The piece of paper is evidence that one has training, knowledge and skills in a particular field.

If someone tells me they know something then he or she should be able to demonstrate to me that he or she can support his or her claim. Having that piece of paper demonstrates to me that he or she is knowledgeable in a particular field.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:40:38 PM
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yesterday;
ttbn, For those of us who do not read books can you please give us a brief overview of the outline of the thesis.
Posted by Josephus, Saturday, 9 November 2019 9:02:00 AM

today;
The fact is I read books of my interests all the time. I have in fact a library of over 3,000 books and have over the years disposed of over 6,000 books. I have mastered many fields, and have received accolades for those achievements.
Posted by Josephus, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:00:34 PM

Taken up reading now Jose, got yourself a library as well in the last 24 hours. (pointing index finger down throat).
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 10 November 2019 3:53:48 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

I don't understand why you need to brag about
your education, how many degrees you have, and so on.
You are not applying for a job here.
Nor is it necessary for you to put other people down.
And you do that consistently on this forum to people
you don't know. I am merely pointing out to you
a very unnecessary trait that you exhibit here.
You're not impressing anyone.

Instead of telling us about your degrees it would
simply suffice for you to back up with evidence
whatever claims you're making on subjects.
Your degrees are of no interest to most of us. Facts
backed by evidence are what adds clout to discussions
and - give credibility.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 10 November 2019 4:07:53 PM
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Dear mhaze,

Are there any more like you at home?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 4:09:43 PM
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Dear Foxy,

I'm just here for the commentary, not the knowledge. If I want knowledge on a topic I'll search out the relevant literature.

I might seem to be bragging about my qualifications but at least I'm being honest about my background and not concealing anything. And most importantly I only claim to have knowledge in areas I have training in. Which is a lot more than I can say about most people.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 4:42:49 PM
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Hi Foxy, I'll have you know my 3 degrees in Mesopotamian Architecture allowed me after 7 years of diligent application find my true calling in life, and appropriate employment. Its all thanks to Professor Stinkenhymer from the world renowned University of Doshenburg Finnland, you are familiar with the work of Professor Stinkenhymer at his 'Institute of Learning' at Doshenburg. My 3 degrees, were obtained at great expense on my parents part.

Down here at Macca's we are one big happy family. There is Sebastian who has several degrees concerning the life cycle of the three toed sloth, these degrees has given Seb the ability to operate the fry cooker, and there is Cynthia with an honours degree in sand degradation in the Kalahari Desert doing our slurpees and thick shakes, something she would not have been able to achieve without all those years of dedicated study in her chosen field. My degrees have given me that personal confidence to be able to communicate with customers on an intellectual level, I am forever asking people for a deep and meaningful discourse with the call of; "Any cookies with that order?"
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 10 November 2019 5:27:35 PM
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Dear Paul 1405,

I thought you were one of the smart ones and here you go proving that I was wrong. I'm definitely having a very bad day on The Forum
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 10 November 2019 6:05:14 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

If you're here for the commentary - then stick to it.

"The secret of being a bore is to tell everything."
(Voltaire).

Dear Paul,

You made me spill my coffee. (smile).

Kudos.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 10 November 2019 6:09:14 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

Don't take things so seriously.
No one else does. (smile).

Cheer up!
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 10 November 2019 6:12:00 PM
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That's right Mr O.

I'm not taking the piss out of you, just a bit of a laugh. Poor old mhaze was sent off to the knackery where they performed a frontal lobotomy or some such thing on the poor old fellas rectum. Now he's home in bed with a nurse....named Ralph! Lets cut the old fella a half an inch of slack, and wish him a speedy recovery. Speedy recovery mhaze.

Its as Foxy said, "Don't take things so seriously. No one else does. (smile).

He said Cheer up, things could get worse! So I cheered up...and sure enough things got worse!
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 10 November 2019 7:18:20 PM
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"mhaze stated that I am wrong about Athenian democracy so I simply responded by showing that I have formal training in ancient history to support my position."

Well, anyone even vaguely familiar with the facts would, rather than relying on fictitious credentials, offer up facts to "support my position."

But you didn't offer even a passing attempt to offer any supporting data. Not even a passing attempt.

Foxy is way to kind. We all know that Mr O is simply conjuring up these degrees as an alternative to actual factual argument.

I'm very protective of my privacy and therefore don't put out too much identifying information. But just this once.... I have two years at Sydney Uni studying 5th century BC Greece and one year learning, or trying to learn (sigh!), the ancient Greek language.

What Mr O said about Athenian democracy is simply, utterly wrong but the type of things some people get from uninformed pop culture. At the very least, the very least, for what he said to be true, he'd need to explain how it was that Perikles was able to lead Athens for 3 decades, not to mention extend terms for Thermistokles, Kleon, Nikias and Thrasybulus and many others.

BTW I'm done with Mr O. He's a fool and not worth my attention.
Posted by mhaze, Monday, 11 November 2019 7:46:23 AM
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There's that old saying about - the more you learn
the more you realise how little you know. Or words
to that affect.

There's always something we can learn from each other.
And I'm still finding that after all these many years
on the forum - people can still surprise me. I've
gotten so many pre-judgements that I've made so very
wrong. Also - giving people some lee way often helps.
After all this is only an opinion forum and we often
tend to only see things from our own point of view.
But that's all right. As long as we're not too dogmatic.
Otherwise then it's a total breakdown of communication.

I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching here. Merely
blabbering out a few thoughts. Bear with me. As it's
been pointed out to me so many times - I don't always
get things right. But on the other side of the coin -
how boring would that be - if I was to do it all the time.

Enjoy your day folks - and lets all remember to be kind
to each other. None of us are perfect.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 11 November 2019 8:20:39 AM
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Kaliméra mhaze,

"I have two years at Sydney Uni studying 5th century BC Greece and one year learning, or trying to learn (sigh!), the ancient Greek language"

Gee, mhaze just what we are looking for! How are you at doing souvlaki's? Greek language you say, wow... there's an opening at our Marrickville store joining Con and Sadie! Go Pan-Hellenic, that's what I say!
Posted by Paul1405, Monday, 11 November 2019 8:51:43 AM
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Dear Paul,

You really are having fun aren't you?

Well it's great to tease - however, learning
foreign languages is not easy neither is
studying ancient history. I can still recall
In English Lit. when we were given an assignment
on the epic poem "Beowulf." Written in Old
English - it was quite a challenge to decipher.
Thank Goodness for the help of student notes.

Also, my regret to this day is that I let my knowledge
of the Russian language slide. I used to speak it fluently
as a child (Gran was Russian)
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 11 November 2019 9:04:25 AM
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Speaking ancient Greek is as much help in modern Athens as speaking Latin is in modern Rome.

But I can, at a pinch, read things like Thukydides in the original.
And since I on learned with reference to Xenophon's Anabasis I'm extremely conversant with that heroic tale.

It helps me understand the nuance many historians argue over as regards the ancient sources.
Posted by mhaze, Monday, 11 November 2019 4:43:42 PM
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Paul,
I had a great belly laugh at your and friends degrees, was not sure I was laughing or crying!

I have no degrees, left school at fifteen, but spent one year translating the book of Mark in Classical Greek to English as a part of Curriculum. Several years ago wrote a 240 page commentary on a 600 BC? paleo Hebrew text containing over 100 Ammonite words. I wrote it because the English commentaries I was reading failed to understand the message. The English had been translated from a Classical Greek translation and . You learn how too with available resources.
Posted by Josephus, Monday, 11 November 2019 9:05:20 PM
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I have to admire anyone who has the patience to study
the ancient histories and languages. Kudos!
From my own limited experience and growing up and
admiring my mother's ability to be able to read the
old texts (in both Cyrillic - Russian, and archaic German)
I know how hard it must be.

Therefore your abilities are indeed something you can justly
be proud of.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 12 November 2019 9:17:37 AM
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