Some "progressives" are wildly anti-progress

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #1
    I always assumed that “progressive” is synonymous with progress. However, over the past few year I’ve noticed that many so-called "progressives" are more than intolerant of real progress in certain areas, and that I am one of the few genuine progressives.

    a. Genetic engineering and gene splicing promises to increase agricultural yields. However, “progressives” are genuinely terrified of genetic engineering, calling them “Frankenfoods” and other clever names. They advocate a return to low-yield seed strains of old.

    b. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and automations are all rapidly progressing technologies that promise all kinds of new efficiencies. However, “progressives” decry this new technology because it causes employment disruptions. A few examples follow.

    c. Atomic energy. The power of the atom could end climate change. However, “progressives” go into paroxysms of anti-nuke hysteria and spew bogus pseudo-science whenever the topic is mentioned.

    d. "Progressives” want to regulate the Internet with 1930s-era regulations.

    e. "Progressives" stubbornly cling to Social Security’s Roosevelt-era investment philosophies.

    f. Many "progressives" agitate against the manned-space program, preferring the money be spent on social programs.

    Now some enlightened progressives support some of these ideas; however, a real progressive should advocate progress in all areas, especially the scientific ones.
     
  2. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #2
    I suppose people have different definitions of progress.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    This just in ... People are complex.

    Film at eleven.
     
  4. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #4
    No they don't. English-speakers define progress as "moving forward," "advancing," or some such verbs.
     
  5. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #5
    There is doing things for the good of progress and then there's the Manhattan project. Now people are trying to stuff nuclear power back in the bottle.

    What say you?
     
  6. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #6
    The Manhattan Project was executed for the greatest of all goods: defeating Hitler's Germany.

    Nuclear power exists. You can't un-invent it or un-discover it.
     
  7. orestes1984, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    It's a perfect example of doing something without thinking of the end result which is a problem that continually manifests itself in science where ethics goes out the window and where basic philosophical principles aren't even taught at an academic level because people are too interested in creating a careers mill rather than the type of scientist who will think before he does.

    These are the worst kinds of scientists of the world and given philosophy is the root of science, for if our ancient philosphers never asked why in the first place we'd most likely still largely be livng under religious understandings, I find issue with this whole problem to begin with.
     
  8. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    #8
    Actually the project was initiated because we thought the Germans were developing their own nuclear weapons and we needed to counter that threat.

    Now that said, I personally support Nuclear fission power, at least in the near term. It's not perfect by any means, but it's much better than fossil fuels. And potentially more practical in places than solar or wind.
     
  9. orestes1984, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    "And so I'm left if I'm a modern scientist with a description of the situation" and no broader understanding.

    Spoken by one of the greatest scientific minds of the modern era.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E383eEA54DE

    As Feynmann says he understands how to do it, but he doesn't understand what he's doing or why. Being trained in philosophy at an undergraduate level this pains me greatly.
     
  10. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #10
    I'd submit that we're both saying the same thing.
     
  11. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Uh huh...

    I guess it depends on how you go about this. If you are modifying food to the point that it's not even real food any more, or that it has harmful side effects, I wouldn't call that "progress". "Progress" does not simply mean "different" or "more". If that's the case, then McDonald's is "progress" over pure beef because it still fills you up and has some portion of cow product in it, but it can be made much faster and cheaper.

    Did you forget to put the examples? Again, "progress" does not just mean different or more.

    Employing new technology that leaves millions unemployed and turns your country into a cesspit of despair is not progress. It's different. It's new technology. It has not progressed society.

    Hmmm...sounds much like the definition of coal and fracking supporters, but the other way around. I haven't seen much discussion on this one, so I don't have much to say here.

    Huh? What are you talking about?

    Instead of what? Credit default swaps? Other derivatives? High-risk stocks?

    Most of the people I saw clamoring about the waste of money on stuff such as space exploration were staunch conservatives. But, you know...okay.

    So, you need to define what progress means to you so we can all discuss based around that.
     
  12. orestes1984, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    The truth of history that it was German physicists that did it anyway and by the time of the end of World War II there was no need for the bomb. Unfortunately we live under its legacy.

    Which really sums that issue up in an ipso facto. answer without any further need of clarification that we went about doing anyway without the thinking about the consequences of the nuclear holocaust in Japan.

    Just like the people who used to say it was OK just to stand out there and watch the bombs go off, there is always the necessity to ask why before we do something and being progressive is not blindly doing something because you can. History also asks us why but unfortunately its always too late.
     
  13. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    #13
    No, because your sentence implies that it was built for offensive purposes, rather than as a deterrent. Many of the scientists involved with the project argued against it ever being used on a heavily populated city (let alone two).
     
  14. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #14
    Of course the atomic bomb was built for offensive purposes. We would have used it against Hitler's Germany if the Third Reich hadn't surrendered. We weren't trying to "deter" Hitler; we're trying to destroy Hitler's regime and win a war.

    That some of the scientists were against it's use is irrelevant.
     
  15. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    #15
    One of the hallmarx of progressivism, at least, as I know it, is a big long picture outlook. From that perspective, automation represents the means to produce short-life or disposable things, which wastes resources, pollutes a lot and puts pressure on landfills, incinerators, et al – that is the exact opposite of a good result. In addition, automation makes humans lazy, soft and dull-witted.

    If we can establish a less wasteful socio-economic system with a less oppressive distribution of labor and wealth, the wonderful benefits of automation become much less attractive. And were robots get all the work, a failure in the system or a Gilligans Island situation leaves the people struggling ineptly to just get by. Losing brain and muscle tone is just never, ever, a good result if you can avoid it.
     
  16. APlotdevice, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040

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    #16
    The bomb would have never been built at all if not for the Einstein-Szilard letter. A letter drafted by two prominent physicists and signed by Albert Einstein, specifically warning President Roosevelt of a potential German atomic bomb. Einstein himself later regretted signing this letter because of how the bomb was ultimately used, saying that "had I known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing. "
     
  17. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    Progressives, I think, have always had a focus on improving conditions for human beings, not on advancing science as you seem to think. Advancing science can serve that goal, but it's not the goal itself.

    It's entirely understandable that they tend to believe that a dollar spent on social programs is likely to yield more benefit to people than a dollar spent on manned space exploration. I for one am not convinced that the ROI of current manned space flight exceeds the ROI of current unmanned space flight.

    What are you arguing would be a more progressive way to invest social security funds?
     
  19. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #19
    One size does not fit all. Your characterizations appear to be inaccurate and overly simplistic.

    A. Is not unique to progressives by any means.
    B. Where did you get this idea? Not on the mainstream progressive agenda.
    C. One group's progress represents a serious environmental threat to another group based on sound science, the problem of nuclear waste disposal. This issue may be resolved: thorium reactors.
    D. Have not heard of the progressive desire to regulate the net other than equal access.
    E. It's the principle that no citizen should have to work until they drop. This social welfare, better described as "wellbeing", remains a progressive idea to anyone who places value on the health of our civilization.
    F. There is a balance to be achieved and evaluation of the most economical way to achieve goals. People in space is outstanding as long as we have stable societies who can support such exploration and tremendous expense. We (humans) are proving that much can be achieved with probes and unmanned landers at a fraction of the cost of the systems required to support astronauts, but eventually they will come.
     
  20. orestes1984, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I haven't heard a single progressive thought on the matter of net neutrality that is in favor of applying the regulations that apply to the press to the internet, in fact most progressives I know of are pro net neutrality.

    Getting rid of government sponsored health care is actually anti-progressive and goes against the tenants of people like FDR and the New Deal healthcare reforms. Universal health care is about as progressive minded as one can get.

    The anti-communist agenda that killed it is about the most banally idiotic agenda that has ever been raised in the history of the United States and yet you still hear regressives bring up the same agenda each and every time a universal healthcare program is brought to the table. Taft was a moron, put simply, agenda setting America 70+ years of regressivness backwards over nationalistic jingoism.

    "Red-baiting" is a red herring argument that has been used by regressives. It has been used throughout the history of the United States to evoke fear and may continue to be used in these post Cold War times given the growth of Russia's power again by those who wish to inflame this debate, and manipulate regressives based on nothing that resembles any sense of reality.
     
  21. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #21
    And somehow that proves the atomic bomb wasn't an offensive weapon? :rolleyes:
     
  22. satcomer, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    satcomer macrumors 603

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    #22
    I am really starting to get annoyed at the rewriting of WW2 History to satisfy the anti nuke lobby.

    The Fire Bombing of Tokyo killed many more. It even toped all the victims of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki together!

    Heck I bet most here don't even know the last bombing of Japan was a firebombing run on Tokyo. It did have one benefit, it stopped military d'état to tried to stop the recording of the Emperor surrender to be played on radio.
     
  23. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #23
    It's nothing new. Many on the far left consider our use of nuclear weapons against Japan as a war crime.

    Me, I'm happy we dropped them. Otherwise, I might have never known my grandfather nor him live to the ripe old age of 89.
     
  24. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #24
    As others have commented, some of your issues are more complicated than you assume.

    Some people, like me, are quite nervous about the loss of biodiversity that genetic engineering, as practiced in the real world by, e.g. Monsanto, is bringing. Yes, some people are opposed to all genetic engineering, because it is, in principle, dangerous. But, lots more are opposed to the way it has been commercialized in the seed industry today.

    Who wouldn't be interested in "efficiency"? On the other hand, automation seems be associated with unemployment and stagnation of living standards for people below the median. Since the kind of "efficiency" that you are talking about is economic in nature, what do you propose to do about the resulting unemployment? This is a big deal. Unemployment is almost always bad.

    In my experience, progressives are most concerned about nuclear proliferation, something that early proponents or atomic energy generally ignored back in the "peaceful atom" days.

    There are also other costs. Consider the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    What progressives are you talking about and what do they want to do? Sources?

    Social Security is not about "investment". It is a pay-as-you-go system that is intended to be a safety net for the elderly. I hope to collect from you in a few years, and then, you can collect from your grandchildren. Please feel free to save and invest more in, say, an IRA or a 401k.

    What fraction of progressives are against space programs? Source? I suspect that your generalizations may be based on a small sample of your friends. And, therefore, may be statistically biased.

    All the progressives that I know personally are very in favor of science and science funding. That may be a biased sample, too. ;)
     
  25. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Nice generalizations. Everything is black and white i guess.

    Might as well use the most radical tea party nuts to represent every conservative person's views.
     

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