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Chinese imperialism and future Australian sovereignty

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swoop42 Virgo

Whatcha gonna do when he comes for you?


Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Location: The 22

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:19 pm
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Buy ourselves a nuke or 50 and the delivery systems to land them in Beijing.

Problem solved.

P.S-Why do people always believe that we would need to rely on the USA for help should an invasion seem possible?

Surely the ties to mother England are even stronger?

Fighting and dying beside her citizens in two world wars should count for something.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:24 pm
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How much does it cost?
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sixpoints 



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Location: Lulie Street

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:32 pm
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Mugwump wrote:
Wokko wrote:
Lets hope China is never as warlike as our glorious Mother England. I bring you a world map showing the only countries Britain has NOT invaded (rest of the world is old school British pink).



Who left those white patches ? Lazy bastards.

Sweden?
How did they escape?
I demand an immediate Pommy invasion of Sweden. The Poms can fill their mortars with those friggen annoying Ikea Allen keys and send them back with interest.
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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:00 pm
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swoop42 wrote:
Buy ourselves a nuke or 50 and the delivery systems to land them in Beijing.

Problem solved.


I think some of you aren't seeing the big picture here. Chinese invasion is possible, but the far, far more likely threat is economic dependency followed by political dependency. To be frank, we're already well on the way there.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:30 am
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Mugwump wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
All he's really saying—and this goes for almost everything I've seen written on the topic—is that power can be dangerous and it's possible to speculate on the ways that might be so.

But he is doing the right thing by highlighting the destructive ignorance of the "the US will save us" fairy tale. This dominates the Australian psyche more than folkloric notions such as "mateship" and "bush life" could ever dream of.

There is no such thing as "good power"; power is only "good" when it is constrained in the same way that gravity is only "good" when the rooftop of the building has a guard rail around it. Power is a dumb force which has only one goal: Maintaining or enlarging itself. And that means the only game in town is balancing and countervailing power of any kind.

The US is just as likely to sacrifice faraway Australia or annex it and siphon off its resources as it is to protect Australia; the only determinant being which action is possible and perceived to be in the interests of maintaining its own power at the time.

It's time for people to let go of their Little Golden Book notions of "us" and "our history" and "those like us with their noble histories". Australia needs an agile, non-racist, rational foreign policy which engages all and favours nothing except an ongoing neutering of power whoever and wherever it is.


I disagree. Who wields power - their history, culture, beliefs and intentions - is vitally important. The power of Britain and the US in 1940 was essential to the survival of civilisation, and the power of the democracies is inherently a great deal more benign and progressive.

"Essential to the survival of civilisation"? How could Homo sapiens have done it without us?!

Power only looks "progressive" because it's wealthy, and wealth buys it the prosperity needed to be liberal. That of course doesn't mean it holds any new moral insight into the world whatsoever, which ought not surprise given we're all the same species, powerful or not. It's a circular logic which constantly deceives, though by now we surely have enough recorded instances of others indulging in the same thing to see beyond it.

It's the same old story; wealth is a top bloke - until the economy tightens.

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1061 



Joined: 06 Sep 2013


PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:51 am
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swoop42 wrote:
Buy ourselves a nuke or 50 and the delivery systems to land them in Beijing.

Problem solved.

P.S-Why do people always believe that we would need to rely on the USA for help should an invasion seem possible?

Surely the ties to mother England are even stronger?

Fighting and dying beside her citizens in two world wars should count for something.
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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:30 am
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pietillidie wrote:
Power only looks "progressive" because it's wealthy, and wealth buys it the prosperity needed to be liberal. That of course doesn't mean it holds any new moral insight into the world whatsoever, which ought not surprise given we're all the same species, powerful or not. It's a circular logic which constantly deceives, though by now we surely have enough recorded instances of others indulging in the same thing to see beyond it.

It's the same old story; wealth is a top bloke - until the economy tightens.


Doesn't culture play a role at all, though? I would contend that two countries with exactly the same average GDP (or whatever other measurement you like) could have vastly different governments and social structures. You might argue that they'll still have more or less the same amount of "progressiveness", but I don't think that's necessarily true. Different ideologies can produce much more or less oppressive societies.

Another point is that progress doesn't just happen organically. Power is not naturally benevolent. Wealth may create the conditions where progress is possible, but people still need to fight for it. That's essentially what I was arguing in the opening post: cultural change is coming. It may be better, it may be worse, but we need to be prepared to fight for the liberties that are most at risk.

I'm interested to hear more about your claim that power "doesn't hold any new moral insight". Isn't that demonstrably untrue? How does this square with your claim that "progressiveness" is a privilege of wealthy societies?

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:36 pm
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David wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
Power only looks "progressive" because it's wealthy, and wealth buys it the prosperity needed to be liberal. That of course doesn't mean it holds any new moral insight into the world whatsoever, which ought not surprise given we're all the same species, powerful or not. It's a circular logic which constantly deceives, though by now we surely have enough recorded instances of others indulging in the same thing to see beyond it.

It's the same old story; wealth is a top bloke - until the economy tightens.


Doesn't culture play a role at all, though? I would contend that two countries with exactly the same average GDP (or whatever other measurement you like) could have vastly different governments and social structures. You might argue that they'll still have more or less the same amount of "progressiveness", but I don't think that's necessarily true. Different ideologies can produce much more or less oppressive societies.

Another point is that progress doesn't just happen organically. Power is not naturally benevolent. Wealth may create the conditions where progress is possible, but people still need to fight for it. That's essentially what I was arguing in the opening post: cultural change is coming. It may be better, it may be worse, but we need to be prepared to fight for the liberties that are most at risk.

I'm interested to hear more about your claim that power "doesn't hold any new moral insight". Isn't that demonstrably untrue? How does this square with your claim that "progressiveness" is a privilege of wealthy societies?

I actually agree with you; it's not about financial wealth. I see progressiveness as a by-product of "wealth", and "wealth" not simply as "financial capital" but as "total facility". "Facility" involves other sorts of things like fortuitous natural bounty, fortuitous geopolitical stability, the fortuitous avoidance of diease and natural disaster, and so on. Give people enough facility for long enough and they'll break the shackles.

Culture is a just a dumb mass inertia. It's a follower of all those contingencies.

This is very much from Chomsky; in the end the only fundamental hope is that the innate actually does shine bright. Give people facility and ultimately they will be more creative than destructive, dysfunction not withstanding.

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Last edited by pietillidie on Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:37 pm
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Some people think the mind works like a technology "Case Based Reasoning" or CBR.
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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:15 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
This is very much from Chomsky; in the end the only fundamental hope is that the innate actually does shine bright. Give people facility and ultimately they will be more creative than destructive, dysfunction not withstanding.


Hmm. I agree with everything else you're saying, but not sure how I feel about that. For me, human beings are essentially neutral—the base urge is self-interest. I don't know whether that translates to more creativity as opposed to destructiveness, but I don't see why one would be more prevalent than the other. We're only animals.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:46 am
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David wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
This is very much from Chomsky; in the end the only fundamental hope is that the innate actually does shine bright. Give people facility and ultimately they will be more creative than destructive, dysfunction not withstanding.


Hmm. I agree with everything else you're saying, but not sure how I feel about that. For me, human beings are essentially neutral—the base urge is self-interest. I don't know whether that translates to more creativity as opposed to destructiveness, but I don't see why one would be more prevalent than the other. We're only animals.

That's simply wrong. There is no "base" urge; there is a mix of drives, the newer set of which are highly social.

From memory, Chomsky doesn't say he "knows this fact", he says "we have to hope it's fact because otherwise there's nothing else". That is, there is simply no rational argument or evidence which bridges the gap between a futile existence and something more except to assume we have the innate capacity to detect some standard of "better".

He also thinks we're a mile away from being able to say anything scientific about the topic, which is why he places it in the realm of "hope" (he thinks modern behavioural biology is garbage science, BTW; as he incessantly says, we can't explain the cognition of bee and ant communication, yet we write papers assuming we understand human interaction and by extension human morality, which is simply laughable).

My way of putting it is this: I don't believe in the existence of god, but I hope in the existence of an innate good because there is no serious scientific and rational argument otherwise, and no gain even pretending otherwise as part of a fancy self help plan.

That's basically the end of reason as far as Chomsky goes, and I think he's pretty much got it right.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:28 am
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Bee and ant brains may seem less complex and thus easier to study, but the reality is that we're miles away from understanding any kind of bee or ant interiority. However advanced the science in this regard, we can't really imagine what it's like to think like an ant. Empirical observation of our own conscious experience and the fact of human communication actually make human behavioural studies easier, not harder.

I'm not sure if Chomsky has overlooked this or is simply trying to be provocative—of course it's a long way from an exact science and it is good to acknowledge our limitations, but we're hardly groping around in complete darkness when we have 7 billion potential research subjects to choose from, all of which can (under the right conditions) give fairly accurate accounts of what it's like to be themselves. That's far from trivial.

Otherwise, I don't personally see anything scientific about asserting an innate 'good' unless it's simply a characteristic or characteristics that you've arbitrarily deigned as such. Are mountain lions 'good'? Are amoeba? It seems like a nonsensical line of discussion.

I think rejection of superstition entails an acknowledgement that life is futile, to an extent. For me, the trick is to embrace the futility and enjoy it while it lasts (and try to make it enjoyable for as many other people as possible, because it feels good (read: serves my own self-interest)).

Oh dear. How do we get back onto Asia-Pacific power axes and geopolitical relationships from here? Where's Chomsky when you need him? Wink

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Between London and Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:38 am
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"Give people enough facility for long enough and they'll break the shackles". is essentially a theological argument. As long as they have not broken the shackles, then they haven't, apparently, got enough facility. It's like Russell's celestial teapot : always out there, even if you never find it. Yet many societies have had comparable facility and achieved very different outcomes because they chose different forms of power politics.

I have read before Chomsky's comment on bee and ant "cognition". I think the categorical absurdity of the statement tells one all one needs to know about Chomsky. He got lucky busting the absurd behaviourist paradigm of language development, and since then he's been a chiseller on behalf of any totalitarian, genocidal or fascist ideology as long as it opposed Western interests. Milosevic ? Faurisson, the Holocaust-denier ? He can be found defending the interests of any anti-democrat, anywhere, anytime. Fortunately he lives in a country which believes in his right to do that.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:44 am
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Mugwump wrote:
Yet many societies have had comparable facility and achieved very different outcomes because they chose different forms of power politics.

Comparable facility? You say that with a degree of confidence which tells me you don't understand the complexity of the phenomena you purport to be able to compare.

The best and brightest in our midst struggle to even define "culture", let alone provide a taxonomy of "cultures" good enough to compare their degree of "facility" (yet another extremely abstract idea) at any particular point in time.

Your comments on Chomsky are childish rot and demonstrate you have no knowledge of his technical writings. I couldn't give a stuff about his politics or any low-level ad hominem YouTube-level debate concerning him; that's of no interest to me.

I only have one interest in this particular context, namely his later thinking on cognitive philosophy. This is a technical argument you would do well to research in depth so you can pass serious comment on it.

David wrote:
Bee and ant brains may seem less complex and thus easier to study, but the reality is that we're miles away from understanding any kind of bee or ant interiority. However advanced the science in this regard, we can't really imagine what it's like to think like an ant. Empirical observation of our own conscious experience and the fact of human communication actually make human behavioural studies easier, not harder.

I'm not sure if Chomsky has overlooked this or is simply trying to be provocative—of course it's a long way from an exact science and it is good to acknowledge our limitations, but we're hardly groping around in complete darkness when we have 7 billion potential research subjects to choose from, all of which can (under the right conditions) give fairly accurate accounts of what it's like to be themselves. That's far from trivial.

Otherwise, I don't personally see anything scientific about asserting an innate 'good' unless it's simply a characteristic or characteristics that you've arbitrarily deigned as such. Are mountain lions 'good'? Are amoeba? It seems like a nonsensical line of discussion.

First, we are groping around like buffoons on this because (a) studying our own minds with our own minds creates an obvious feedback problem, and (b) we have nothing even close to certain to say about the topic.

Second, you've misread me; go back and read it again. It's not a scientific argument; it's overtly non-scientific because it has hit the wall. Or do you think if only you try hard enough you're going to find scientific evidence of "meaning"?

It's much like the free will problem. We only pretend we have it because we lack the cognitive architecture to act outside that assumption. We don't wake up and say, "Hmm, I think I'm going to act as if I don't have free will today!" Yet we know the concept itself makes no rational sense according to our normal global assumptions such as linearity.

Or, in the context of this discussion, we have to assume some kernel of "meaning" not because science has discovered "meaning", but because imagining "non-meaning" is not a cognitive option. You can't wake up and say, "Hmm, I think I won't create meaning today!"

This is a technical argument Chomsky has got dead right. Ducks can't do calculus and horses don't write novels by virtue of their biological constraints. Likewise, even the great WE have to accept that many of these things might simply be beyond the limits of our own biology no matter how strain ourselves thinking about them.

That's not to discourage efforts of finding answers to these things, but it is to say that all we've done so far is put lipstick on a pig.

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Last edited by pietillidie on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:48 am
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Do you want another one?
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