Blog Comments

  1. PeterL's Avatar
    Yes, ignorance is a problem there, but horses can be gotten to do things by receiving good treatment, but many people have a problem doing that.

    Actually, I don't think that the power sources for transportation would suffice for the present population.
  2. Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL
    Without motorized vehicles, there would be huge numbers of horses dragging freight and people around, and many of the drivers, etc. would abuse the animals.
    Yes, all of them, really. To make a horse go you have to show it who's boss, which unfortunately means whipping it or kicking it--with or without spurs. But enslaving horses is better than enslaving people to carry other people around on litters. And ask any farmer if he wants to go back to plowing fields with teams of animals. But most people are ignorant about the past, so technology becomes the bad guy.
  3. PeterL's Avatar
    Alternative history is a sub-genre of science fiction, and there is some great stuff in there, but eliminating personal transportation isn't something that has been done, because it would create so many other problems.

    And I just thought of one of the ways in which motorized transportation has been very good. Without motorized vehicles, there would be huge numbers of horses dragging freight and people around, and many of the drivers, etc. would abuse the animals.
  4. Pompey Bum's Avatar
    I agree. And It's a useless thing to speculate about besides. An engine that runs on flammable and combustible toxic waste (which itself produces toxic waste), to be used in a vehicle that responsible for far greater mortality rates than most diseases (at least in the West), would very likely be prohibited today. But today was made by that engine--the concept of place, the pattern of settlement, the reachability of employment, the greater availability of goods, asphalt roads and highways, patterns of crime and law enforcement, the decline (yes, decline) in casual drinking in comparison to previous centuries...Today is not yesterday. Not even close.

    And that's the real point. Speculative history is the same thing as historical fiction. The world got the internal combustion engine when it did, and "knowing how way leads to way" there's nothing we can do about it now--there's no going back nor should there be. And as far as the historical dangers of transportation you mention go, yes, there are a lot of bones on the bottom of that sea. Hand-wringing about this will get us nowhere. We need to go forward. Even a Model T knew that.
  5. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Healserv
    your right Peter I agree with you
    That's great. That means that there are at least two intelligent people. It's a pity that we aren't running the country.
  6. Healserv's Avatar
    your right Peter I agree with you
  7. MANICHAEAN's Avatar
    Interesting Subject

    Pompey Bum had posted a thread last week asking “How do you write?” I suppose at first sight that’s a reasonable request, as this is after all a Literature Forum, and one would suppose that there would be a fair percentage of Lit Netters that not only read widely, but also indulge in a bit of creative writing themselves. To me it’s as normal as breathing. I presumed all persons had a creative style which they expressed differently; whether it be through: writing, painting, cooking; even though sport, bodybuilding or dancing.

    Early man might have been too preoccupied regards basic survival to be really creative; though primitive cave paintings and the evolvement of basic inventions would prove me somewhat wrong.

    I suppose I’m basically saying that I had never even considered another human being not having a creative side, even those with little formal education.

    Would it have a physical aspect, derived from our genes or having been breast fed, whatever? Or is it there in everyone, but requires to be identified, nurtured and developed? I don’t know.

    When it comes to mental illness, I am not formally qualified to pass judgement. That being said, I am a writer and by definition a “watcher” of human behaviour over the last 75 years, and I always ask myself the question; that in cases of marginal, (not full blown) mental illness where and in what circumstances did it develop. Napoleon had a thing about his height, Hitler as a patriotic German was humiliated by his experiences in the trenches & in the defeat of Germany in the First World War. He needed a scapegoat. Someone to blame and the Jews were convenient; even though he was sincerely grateful to the Jewish doctor who treated his mother for breast cancer free of charge when he was penniless. Trump himself has a dark past: a brother who died through alcohol abuse, a dominant father ruthless in business, and something in the relationship with his mother that one can never quite put the finger upon. No wonder Putin cultivated, or controlled him through his past and existing weaknesses.
  8. PeterL's Avatar
    That's how the consumer part of the recovery starts, but the problem can be with the producers, who have closed facilities, gotten rid of workers, or even gone broke; in the 1930's after the Keynesian push and FDR's programs got individuals buying somewhat, the U.S. economy was dull and listless, until war production started for export after 1938. Without a push like that recovery can take a lot longer. And sometimes there is no recovery, as hadppened with the U.S. computer industry after the dotcom bust. The computer companies recovered by sending production to lower cost countries, but the workers never got equivalent jobs.

    We will have to wait to see what happens this time around.
  9. MANICHAEAN's Avatar
    I remember doing work on the trade cycle in the LSE back in 1963. If memory serves me correct, the recovery upwards, after an actual depression, comes when stocks are used up and have to be replenished. This gives the Keynesian boost to start it all over again.

    But I'm sure that the closer coordination & independence of Central Bank Governors today would provide the required stimulus anyway, to mitigate a rerun of the 1920's, despite Master Trump.

    By the way, you see now that our future king has attained a new regal title as "The Prince of Whales?"
  10. PeterL's Avatar
    I may have given Trump too much credit for thinking, but there might be a brain hidden away. He has made too much money from bankruptcy in the past for not to have been taught that going broke is good. I don't know what will happen or when, but the conditions have been set up for a serious recession.
  11. MANICHAEAN's Avatar
    I really wonder with the present incumbent if he has any clear thought out strategy at all. He will, as his past record shows, turn on a sixpence if his base starts raising serious concerns.

    Intriguing comment "another possibility is that he is trying to hand financial primacy to Putin." Surely not, one would say, but with this guy there is always that small nagging doubt of his relationship with the Russian Bear. Too many reports of: Soviet banking support in the past, huddled negotiations, and deference to their leader.
  12. PeterL's Avatar
    The next one will be about starting depressions. That's something tht everyone wants to do,, odn't it?
  13. PeterL's Avatar
    The Economist has similar concerns.
  14. PeterL's Avatar
    "p.s. I wonder how many of those comfortably housed and fed in mental institutions or town farms were black?"

    The figures probably are available online for what that
    s worth.
  15. Ecurb's Avatar
    I'll grant that I wasn't paying much attention to crime statistics during the Eisenhower administration. Nonetheless, I don't seem to fear "shopping bag ladies" as much as you do. Maybe if I were attacked as regularly as you have been, I would feel differently, but I doubt it.

    I will continue to "think what I like", and what I like to believe is those things that are supported by evidence. As I suspected, you want to return to the 1950s, an era during which (if you lived in certain states) you would not have been forced to suffer the indignity of using public toilets used by "negroes" (as they were then called). Nor would you have gone to public schools with them, lived in neighborhoods with them, or allowed them to vote.

    Do you really think that all those Southern black folks who were poorly educated in segregated schools were well housed? Do you really think crime in black neighborhoods back then was more accurately chronicled than it is today? Do you really think Southern blacks had highly-paid jobs that have since been shipped off to China? Come on now, Peter.

    A quick google search confirms that black unemployment (as well as overall unemployment) is at an all-time low (although comparable statistics have been kept only since 1972). Maybe homelessness, poverty and unemployment among Southern black people interests you as little as homelessness, poverty and unemployment among the Chinese. I'll bet unemployed southern blacks in the 1950s weren't wandering the streets of Amherst, offending your delicate sensibilities. Perhaps it has occurred to you that there are several reasons those horrid "shopping bag ladies" might be less evident, one of which is that the police might roust and arrest them for the terrible crime of being homeless and offending the sensibilities of reputable citizens like you, Peter. The reason the homeless are more visible today than in the past is that they are given more freedom by the police, not that there are more of them.

    p.s. I wonder how many of those comfortably housed and fed in mental institutions or town farms were black?
  16. PeterL's Avatar
    I suppose that someone who gets his news from Fox might have those opinions, but If you had been paying attention during the Eisenhower administration, then you might have noticed that there were no "shopping bag ladies" wandering around; they were housed in lunatic asylums, if they weren't at the local town farm. While neither sirtuation was ideal, the residents of such places were comfortably housed and well fed, and they were not abused, as might happen on the streets now. When MIchel Foucault came out with his book about the abuses of the mentally ill, he had no relevant experience; he was simply expressing his ideological position. "Madness and Civilization" had as much basis in the real world as did his "The Order of Things"; that is none at all. Foucault should have called his books fiction, but no there a greater factual basis in much fiction.

    Apparently, you are unacquainted with how crimes are reported. Not all crimes make it into the statistics. Only crimes that the police feel like pursuing are recorded as such. And there is a similar matter with workforce participation. A few decades ago anyone who was looking for work was counted as part of the workforce, but these days some classes of people who are looking for work are excluded, and that includes anyone over 65, except those who are currently employed=, and there are other groups.

    Think what you like.
  17. Ecurb's Avatar
    Oh for that halcyon American past, when we locked the mentally ill in "hospitals" so that they wouldn't bother honest, hard-working citizens like Peter. Those were the days when (although unemployment rates were higher than they are now) all Americans had good jobs, and those evil Chinese simply starved to death or died in floods, as is proper.

    Of course Peter's ideas run contrary to what the current American administration puts forth

    It's too bad that Peter has suffered from "several" violent attacks in recent years. That hardly contradicts the statistical evidence that crime rates have dropped dramatically in the past several decades. Peter goes on to say, "And maybe after we become accustomed to having the mentally ill in hospitals instead of trying to hold down normal jobs we will notice some of the people who presently go on to commit mass murders and other unacceptable behavior." Or "maybe" not. It seems to me that locking the mentally ill in hospitals might make it LESS likely that we "notice" them, which is precisely what Peter wants. In any event, we already lock up several millions of our citizens. Locking up more of them because they MIGHT commit crimes in the future seems unethical and cowardly.
    Updated 04-15-2019 at 07:26 AM by PeterL (clarity)
  18. AuntShecky's Avatar
    I'm sorry this repeated.
  19. AuntShecky's Avatar
    I would prefer to have so-called "standard" time all year rather than Daylight Saving Time (Good for you for avoiding the common, inexplicable error of including an "s" on "Saving." Full disclosure: Years ago, my short story on the topic included that error. It might still be on the NitLet!)

    In any event, morning darkness is typical around the Winer Solstice but it's not fun in the Spring. And how weird is it to have daylight when it's 7 p.m. -- nd snowing!
  20. LaLeLu's Avatar
    Don't know about IQ, but I wish I had Toni Morrison's talent.
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