Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by jeremywc

  1. Guns and gun control

    This mostly matches my line of thinking. Something else that occurred to me last night: I think most of our studies on mass violence are flawed in that they usually exclude those who have committed mass violence. For example, there have been studies that show that playing a violent video game doesn't cause you to want to go out and shoot people. But those studies are dealing with a "normal" group of individuals who would otherwise be categorized as mentally healthy. All that says to me is that most people have no intention of committing murder, which we already know through basic common sense. I don't think there's a common "murder" switch in every brain that is just sitting there waiting to get flipped when the proper prerequisites have been met. :-P
  2. Guns and gun control

    I think it clearly shows it provided a level of inspiration, it's not like it is an ambiguous statement. That phrase says, "I intend to emulate this scenario."
  3. Guns and gun control

    "It's gonna be like fucking Doom man - after the bombs explode." - Eric Harris That's enough for me.
  4. Guns and gun control

    Desensitization may not be the best word, then? I'll try again. I think for some people, violent media provides inspiration to act violently. A portion of those who are inspired will actually act upon those inspirations. But for the vast majority of people who consumer hyper-violent media, there isn't any lasting impact. My feelings on gun ownership are similar because I know that the vast majority of gun owners do not want to fire on another person. We have two major factions in the US. One argument says that limiting sources of inspiration for gun violence would decrease gun violence. The other argument says that limiting access to guns decreases the means of acting on those violent ideas. I think there are good elements of truth in both arguments. I lean towards limiting guns, but if someone told me the only way to accomplish that would be to also cut a few more gun fight scenes out of movies or video games, I could live with that. Another thing that occurred to me the other day was during the press conference where President Obama announced his gun control initiatives, he said that he intended to fund research on the impact that violent video games have on youth. It's interesting to me that he excluded any other forms of media, particularly movies. The gun industry certainly has a powerful lobby in Washington, but I find the omission of violent films from that research shows that there's an equally powerful film industry lobby at work. Both of them are happy to scape goat video games.
  5. Feminism

    I think there's value in what you're doing, it's just that you're really only going to get responses from people who disagree with you. You don't see a lot "I agree with everything you said" posts on the Internet because they just clutter everything up and there's only so many ways to say it. Karma systems like reddit's kind of address that, but they have their own problems. I haven't really contributed much in this thread because I don't think there is anything to add at this point that hasn't already been better stated. What I have taken away from it is a lot of good ways to further articulate the feelings I already had. So even when you're not getting much positive feedback, you should know that there are a lot of people reading what you say and taking it to heart.
  6. Guns and gun control

    Correct. It's a piece of the puzzle. Desensitization + easy access to firearms + other psychological factors = gun violence. I believe we're all in agreement on that. Following that line of thinking, taking two of those factors out the equation could lead to an even greater reduction in gun violence than removing just one?
  7. Guns and gun control

    I'm not completely convinced anymore that violent media doesn't lead to some level of desensitization. I don't think it's the root cause, but I do think it plays a factor. You could easily argue that a lot of countries that have stricter gun laws than America ALSO have stricter laws on violent media. Maybe that's also a contributing factor to their reduced gun violence? The best way to get something in politics is to give something up in return. This community is composed of people who consume a lot of media in all it's various forms, so we're naturally going to be "pro-media". But would you be willing to accept tighter restrictions on violent media or a unified, government controlled rating system in exchange for stricter gun laws? I'd consider it.
  8. Guns and gun control

    I understand line of thinking for gun safety education, I think it was beneficial for me. My dad taught me how to fire a rifle when I was about 13 or so, and it was a good education in respecting guns and treating them with care. You get a long speech about why guns are dangerous, about NEVER pointing a gun at anyone else, and then you fire it a few times so all of the information that was just dropped on you gets imprinted permanently. A lot of my friends and family had similar experiences. But I think the only reason any of that worked is because it came from someone I had utmost trust in. I'm not sure how we would build a successful program for gun safety at an institutional level. I think the only people who would walk away from a gun safety class and apply what they've learned are the ones we aren't worried about anyway. :-/
  9. Guns and gun control

    Like we needed another incident: This is about 15 minutes from me. I took a few classes at that campus when I first got out of high school. :-/
  10. Guns and gun control

    Sorry for the double post, but I thought an anecdote might shed some additional light on my line of thinking... A few years ago, someone broke into my house while we were sleeping. He stole some cash and a GPS out of my wife's purse. Nobody was harmed, but it was a very, very scary experience for us. We weren't exactly living in the best part of town. My wife was so un-nerved that she couldn't sleep for three days. I went to talk to my boss, who was in the Marines, because I was seriously considering purchasing a handgun for protection and wanted some advice. His political views can probably best be described as libertarian and he's probably the best boss I've ever had. He takes care of his employees and treats us like an extended family. His advice to me was to get a big dog and gave his recommendation on some breeds that were good with children. His reasoning was that I was probably just overreacting from a scary experience. Since I didn't have a history of being interested in gun ownership, I would probably quickly lapse on keeping up with the required work for owning a gun (regular target practice, cleaning & maintenance, etc) and it would end up doing me more harm than good if I was in an emergency situation. This was really responsible advice and we ended up finding a rescue dog at our local shelter.
  11. Guns and gun control

    It's kind of hard to explain how I feel, but I'll give it a shot. I feel that the height of American prosperity peaked somewhere in the 1960's during the Space Race. We got to this point where we doing so well, but all of our prosperity was centered around this power structure that was operated by affluent white males. It provided a lot of economic stability, but not necessarily a ton of equality. And we're kind of unique in that our population is widely diverse AND very large. People are naturally distrustful of others who come from outside what they consider to be their home cultural group. The civil rights and counterculture movements that started in the 60's were so important to breaking down these power structures, but rather than bringing us together, I think it has caused us to turn back into these cultural groups that we identify with. I don't think America at this point in time is a melting pot. It's more like different colored Lego bricks that have been mashed together. We have all these artificial boundaries we build between one another and we don't really try to work together so much as just try push others in the direction we want them to go. It creates *so* much tension and frustration. We're angry with one another all the time. We don't have discussions, we have shouting matches. And I worry that sooner or later we're going to stop trying to find common ground and just break down. That's why, even though I'm a pretty liberally minded person, I also think it's wrong to dehumanize conservatives (citizens, anwyay, not the politicians). They're good people who work hard every day, take care of their families, and do what they believe is right. I think it's destructive to make a blanket characterization of gun owners as mentally unstable. tl;dr - I think gun violence is a symptom of the anger we've been carrying in this country and I think most of that anger is born out of our completely inability to find common ground as of late. I hope that makes sense.
  12. Guns and gun control

    My argument is that guns are a piece of the problem, but not the entire problem.
  13. Guns and gun control

    Fire with fire. ;-) But you still didn't answer my question. I'm seriously interested in hearing what suggestions people have for increasing security in schools, especially in light of the measures Obama just announced. I think they were pretty good.
  14. Guns and gun control

    You're extrapolating my argument farther than I stated. I said "I think banning assault rifles would be an effective security control..." Past that, how exactly do you propose we prevent attacks in schools? EDIT: Also, holding up China as a model for good government has got to be one of the worst arguments ever. :-P
  15. Guns and gun control

    I didn't make the argument that everyone needs unrestricted access to all weapons. I was basically saying there will always be crazy people.
  16. Guns and gun control

    I live in Texas too and consider myself a pretty liberally minded person. The department I work in has many gun enthusiasts who own AR-15's. I don't personally think they need those AR-15's, but I would never classify any of them as mentally unstable. They're all responsible people, many ex-military, who take gun safety seriously. I feel completely safe around them both inside and outside of work. I think making a blanket statement like that harms the conversation because it's so quickly dismissed by the other side (with good reason). I kind of stand in the middle on the issue. I've been reading up lately on trust and risk modeling. Reviewing assault weapon laws makes sense in light of the shootings lately, but I hope no one believes that it's going to stop people from finding ways to exploit the trust models we build in society. All security systems are based on trust models. Some people are mentally wired in a way where they look to use those trust models to exploit security systems. And a small portion of them will try to do it in the most violent, dangerous manner possible. Our trust (and security) models are actually pretty effective and, as a whole, violent crime continues to drop over the course of human history. I think banning assault rifles would be an effective security control, but no matter what we do, there's always a rogue element of humanity that will do whatever it takes to harm others. :-(
  17. Things That Improve Your Life

    Qualys BrowserCheck is a nice little tool that will check your browser and plug-in versions and let you know if there are any known security vulnerabilities with those versions.
  18. eReaders - What is everyone's thoughts?

    I like the aesthetic of a physical book, especially nicely bound hard covers with quality type setting. But I find that it takes me longer to finish physical books because when I try to carry one with me between work or home, I frequently leave it where ever I'm not. Cloud syncing on Kindle and Google Books is just too convenient to pass up, so most of my book purchases are eBooks these days, unless it's a book I'm especially looking forward to.
  19. Haven't played the game, but that sounds another example of weird sexism to me. It's promoting this idea that you need to avoid out gay guys because all they want to do is grab your balls.
  20. 2013

    There are so many good games coming up next year. It's not looking good for the status of my backlog. I really hope Sony announces the PS4 and it looks compelling. Software support for the 360 has been so much better than the PS3, but I cannot stand the ad-riddled eye sore that the 360's dashboard has become. Anyway, here's my lists: AAA games from established studios: The Cave, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, WATCH_DOGS, and Telltale's Fables game Indie games: Clockwork Empires, Scrolls, Gone Home, Super Time Force, and Quadrilateral Cowboy And hopefully all the Kickstarter games I've backed: Planetary Annihilation, Double Fine Adventure, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Legend Of Dungeon, Full Bore, Sportsfriends, SpaceVenture, and Wasteland 2
  21. FTL

    Yea, Mantis get speed and attack bonuses and Rock have lots of HP. Those are probably the two best species for combat. Edit: FTLWiki is handy!
  22. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

    Wooo, nudity! How naked are we talking here? Full frontal or just a butt shot? Details are important... you know, for science.
  23. Steam Linux

    I had a friend growing up whose dad worked IT and preferred Amigas. At one point they had 3 Amigas in their house. One of my favorite memories is playing Star Control 2 all night on one while his brother ran some script he had hacked together that would dial into various BBS's and download pirated games.