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Member Title:
Elder God
37 years old
December 10, 1986

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  1. Great Intellectuals, Good Debates

    20 November 2023 - 08:48 PM

    Something I really enjoy listening to on youtube when I have some free time or am doing some chores is listening to experts debate or maybe just soliloquy on subjects. Sometimes I learn something interesting or am exposed to an idea which I didnt previously know or dont always agree with but its good to be exposed to a different view. Its probably a good thing to have your own beliefs or convictions shaken now and then.

    A while ago I discovered Christopher Hitchens. Man is incredibly erudite and well spoken and while he and I agree on some things like religion he sometimes has beliefs that run counter to mine. He never fails to express them well though and you have to at least consider his view. This is a really good debate of him and Stephen Fry (who also is excellent in this) debating if the catholic church is a force for good in the world. TBH I feel this debate was a bit of a mismatch as their opponents a former British politician and a catholic cardinal are not professionals scholars and debaters which is essentially what Christopher Hitchens became.

    Jordan Peterson: What can I say I do not like this guy. I knew of him and heard of his baggage but was suprised when a women I was dating told me her psychologist recommended some of his books to her to help her deal with her past relationships was abusive. I was suprised by this since I understood his priamry cause of fame was in being a kind of motivational speaker for young men. So I got curious and listened to him for a while. For me, he comes across as an man who tries very hard to hide behind an aura of intellectualism. If he can seem smart enough and reasoned enough than surely what he is saying is profound. Not to say he is a fool but I find him inconsistent and often more flash than substance.

    Ricahrd Dawkwins: I enjoy his knowledge and insights in evolution which I do believe in and I enjoy his thoughts on religion which we often share. I feel that he sometimes comes across as unnecessarily hostile to religion, which for the most part seems to be something that Christopher Hitchens for example who while clearly against religion seems to manage to avoid.

    I can now easilly fall into the trap of listing many speakers who Richard Dawnkins and Chrstipher Hawkings clearly often interacted with in their circles. Sam Harris, Douglas Murray, Salman Rushdie etc. So in an efforts to expand to a wider field of topics and some new ideas and thoughts I havent heard before I thought I would ask you for any of your recommendations.

    Of course with a debate you get the opposing view point but I also notice you tend to get recommended debates that 'your side' wins because of the nature of the algorithm. Youtube and Instagram and any other such website shoudl allow you to create secondary accounts where you can input model personalities and see what the algorithm would recommend for such a person or they should allow you to create a clean slate every few months. It would be interesting to be able to switch between republican/Democrat, left/right, younger/older viewpoints for example. I suspect it would be very interesting for example if you could have X for example show you a particualr politicians algorithms feed for example but I digress.

    I also noted recently that I have an aversion to anyone who speaks overly impassioned. I realise I have an aversion to anyone who speaks overly loud or emotionally when they debate. Strangely this is the opposite effect intended by such displays and I suspect I may be a minority. There are degrees to this though I suppose and I also often feel that some people have an advantage or disadvantage based soley on the sound of their voice.

    So please share any debate in particular you find noteworthy on any topic, or just any person who you think its interesting to listen to.
  2. Do you have Student Debt?

    06 November 2023 - 11:12 PM

    I was recently speaking to a former colleague of mine and had considered him to be doing well financially. He makes 6 figures, recently bought a home worth slightly north of 500k USD (With a mortgage but I considered this a normal kind of debt to achieve home ownership). However he mentioned to me recently he has ~85k USD in student debt and that the debt had grown rather then go down over the past few years. This struck me as a huge financial red flag. I question the judgement of taking on such a large mortgage when he has such a large student debt unpaid and growing.

    Now I have been lucky in life in the sense that so far I have never had debt. Student debt is not as large an issue in South Africa and I have so far not taken on a mortgage. In part because I have not yet decided to put down such strong roots in a particular city in the USA and in part because I want to make sure that I have a sufficient down deposit and savings reserve to continue mortgage payments even if I found myself unemployed or under some other financial hardship.

    Now the main question I have if anyone is willing to discuss is I cant imagine the emotional toil or stress such a debt would have on me. I feel like I would struggle to enjoy life or spend money on a vacation for example if I knew I had tens of thousands of dollars in debt in my name. Especially if it was growing rather than shrinking. I also realize the strain of living on ramen noodles and pausing life for several years as I pay off such a debt for years would be unfeasible as well.

    Ramping up such high debt as a student in college or as a young professionals, I cant imagine. So this post isnt meant to debate student debt, the sytem etc I am just wondering for anyone who is going through it or went through it how it effected your mental health or day to day decision making.


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    01 Jan 2024 - 10:07
    always welcome mate
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    09 Dec 2023 - 20:36
    happy happy happy birthday dude
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    09 Dec 2022 - 15:05
    and again. Happy birthday you fake yank. :P
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    09 Dec 2021 - 19:56
    and another one
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    10 Dec 2020 - 11:12
    happy yankee doodle birthday
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    23 Jun 2020 - 15:30
    Congrats dude. I have a friend in SA who has been trying to get out for years, poor guy. Anyway, I *thought* you were paying a little more attention to US politics than you used to. You have always paid attention but there is a discernible difference...
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    22 Jun 2020 - 22:23
    Are you really in NYC now? When did you escape SA?
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    10 Dec 2019 - 08:11
    yet again
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    10 Dec 2018 - 08:42
    and again
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    10 Dec 2017 - 07:18
    Happy birthday
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