Delta M

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Delta M
Posted about 2 years ago
What are some realistic and creative ways to reduce wealth inequality?
Remove wealth as a monetary concept (cash, gold, diamonds, etc) and reimagine wealth as the stuff of life: clean water, nutrition, safety, scientific knowledge. One can accumulate monetary items such as gold, and the more one acquires the more one is capable of acquiring, but why is gold valuable? What does gold actually benefit the individual who owns it, except that it is given a worth, a value by someone else who themselves wishes to own it? You can not drink gold, nor eat it, nor protect yourself with it, so as a basis of wealth, it is baffling and useless. Gold is only that which people wish to have, it has no other use as wealth apart from being desired. Now, gold has functional uses, especially in electronics, but as a basis of wealth it is really quite useless. Remove the concept of ownership of wealth and instead let people work towards the idea that what benefits them will also benefit those around them, and what benefits those around them benefits themselves as well. Then it is not the idea of gaining wealth for yourself, which its by nature is depriving another of that same wealth, but that gaining wealth by extension gives wealth to others. By creating access to clean water, all can benefit. By helping to create bountiful harvests of food, all can benefit. By working towards a safer society for yourself, you create a safer society for everyone - all can benefit. By exploring and creating knowledge, all can benefit. If we could see these things as the true wealth, as things which truly give us all a better life, then perhaps the petty fight over gold could at last be relegated to the past as humanity's struggle out of the 'dark ages' into a truly "civilized" culture. Imagine a world in which the scientist and the student, the farmer and the well-driller, are the celebrities that everyone looks up to, the ones who create real wealth for all to enjoy. Is this likely? Probably not. But it is possible. If we could only do away with 'money'.
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Delta M
Posted about 2 years ago
A deceptively simple question: What is, was, and will always be impossible to occur?
Perhaps Triangles can't have 4 sides, but a triangle can have 3 90* angles. But it also depends on how you define a 'side'. A triangle has three 'sides' and a face, which could argued to also be a side looking head-on. Sometimes it isn't about trying to be sneaky to get around a definition, but approaching a problem in a way that perhaps has never been approached before. You may still be wrong, but at least you didn't just accept things without trying yourself. Part of the beauty of science isn't in getting the right answer, but in using the right tools to get there. We may always be wrong. We may label something impossible simply because we lack the knowledge necessary to take the final steps. We may find that the impossible is merely waiting for the right person to look at it in the right way to redefine it as not only possible, but probably, and simple once it's seen right.
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Delta M
Posted about 2 years ago
How can society become more accepting of people as a whole, instead of the european standard of beauty?
"The European style of dress with the huge back bustle is an attempt to copy the backsides of african women" I'm afraid this isn't true. The bustle was born out of the huge skirts that were popular before it. When the large skirt started to fade out of fashion, many people could not afford to simply go out and buy whole new wardrobes, so all that fabric was gathered up and became the 'bustle'. Later dresses were deliberately made to have the bustle shape, but it started just a place to put the excess fabric. Obviously fashion has quite often sought to either accentuate or "create" a body feature that has come into style - whether it be large bust, tiny waist, tiny feet, or large behind - but there is no evidence that the bustle was specifically to mimic *African* features. Despite what seems to be your assertion, there are many, many African women who do not have large behinds, who are very tall and slender. In many cultures, paler skin was (and is) equated with wealth because if you were rich enough not to work in the fields, your skin was naturally lighter. Today, people with very white skin tan to turn darker, as this is seen as more beautiful. Being plump also used to be equated with not just wealth, but health. If you were rich enough to eat well, you were likely to be healthier and plumper. Today, being slim is equated with being healthy. Beauty does change through the generations and across cultures. I think the real danger of the "beauty industry" today isn't that it sets a standard, but that it has in fact set an unreal standard. Models aren't even 'good enough', and their pictures are edited, touched up, smoothed out, and altered until the person in the picture is not a person who actually exists. The problem with the standards of beauty today is they are no longer seen as simply epitomes of beauty to be enjoyed, but that they are rulers to which women and yes, sometimes men, are actually held up to and judged. Individualism is lost.
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Delta M
Posted about 2 years ago
What's the point of novels?
This brings to mind one of my dearly loved quotes by Neil Gaiman, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” They teach us something about ourselves and our place in the world. They touch our emotions and stir our dreams. They way we react to what we've read is as personal as the way the author wrote what they felt, no two books are written the same, and no two readings of the same book are read the same. Stories - all stories - be they any length in any medium, from novels to flash fiction, from bedtime fairy tales to spoken elder circles - stories are important because they are an expression of human soul. They take someone else's experiences and make them your own, they reach across time and space, bridging generations and nations and cultures. Even if dragons don't exist, it's important to teach that they can be beaten. To quote again, Terry Pratchett sums it up as, "Humans need fantasy to be human." I truly believe that. Novels are proof that we are still human.
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Delta M
Posted about 2 years ago
Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration
Is there a site where you can just enter captchas at random? Not signing up for anything, just helping digitize the books? I'd do that in my idle time - waiting for a bus, sitting in a doctor's office waiting room... Am I the only one who thinks the idea of doing this is so spectacular I want to do it just to do it and not part of getting something else?