Dave Day

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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
Yes, an interesting conversation. Because you used the term 'apartheid' in your title Pat seemed to want to stick with that term and the period when it was used. As I saw it though, you were talking about the impact of apartheid on society. As such, apartheid was just a period when there was a legal name given to institutionalised and government sponsored racism. As such it was just a short period of time within a greater historical period. I think Pat was right in as much as when white landowners and businesses were taken over by black Africans, expertise was lost. However, it seemed crazy to me to blame blacks for suffering in servitude to whites for many generations and not having the skills to run farms and businesses. I have a feeling that what might be needed is a co-operative society. I don't necessarily mean the whole town, but a group of people who bring their assets together to improve life for everyone. A secular group made up of people suffering from medical conditions, their families, volunteers, and members of the wider community. If anyone has any expertise or experience then they should share their skills with the wider community. A little simplistic maybe, but in the UK local communities have set up their own community lending groups to stop loan sharks driving people into unaffordable debt. There are more ideas, but it is difficult to make recommendations or give ideas without knowing specifics. In general, subsistence and self-reliance might be the best thing to aim for. I'm not sure how helpful any of this is.
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
So, you can google dictionary definitions, but 'conjecture' has more meaning than the simple definition you copied from the dictionary. You failed to make any point about what I said. I invited you to do so, but having failed to do so, I guess you're unable or unwilling to tackle the points I made 'head-on'. In a scientific approach one often makes conjectures, then tests their veracity. Maybe you'd like to do that with my conjectures and statements... if you can? You've taken a very narrow view of apartheid... a dictionary definition, a legal definition and refused to look at apartheid in a historical context. Doing so might have allowed us to have had a more meaningful conversation instead of which you seem to have preferred to ignore the points I made and engaged in thinly disguised insults. To be honest I'm somewhat disappointed that you took such a course of action. I thought that I could spect better from you.
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
Conjecture has it's uses, even in critical thinking. If you have a substantial point to make about my conjecture then please make it, but in general terms my conjecture, as you call it, describes what has largely happened on three continents with three distinct peoples. Only in general terms, but reasonably accurately all the same. I think I'm looking at the problem in a historical context and not just looking at the last few decades when Mandela and the ANC were in power in South Africa. I think we'll have to agree to differ if you're only prepared to look at a narrow period of history.
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
Apartheid to me would just seem to be a continuation of oppression of black Africans, just under a new name, so no, it doesn't just go back as far as the 1940's. Capitalism benefits the rich and powerful and generally makes the less wealthy even less wealthy over time. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider, and people are not getting happier. The 'happiest' societies are those with the smallest disparity between richest and poorest. Putting an economic value on everything is unhelpful. It's not always apropriate. The baby born in the prison is entirely relevant. We can all adapt, but the baby born in prison is disadvantaged from the outset compared to those who have lived outside the prison when it comes to making sense of the oath side world. Black Africans aren't the only people to have suffered great injustices and cruelty, had land stolen, then been told several generations later that they're just a bunch of uneducated, unemployed drunks who didn't apreciate what they had when they had it because they didn't have a capitalist society and a standing army with modern equipment and weapons to fight for what was theirs. Maybe we should remember what we did to some of these societies before we criticise them for not being as economically savvy as some of us think that they should be?
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
But Pat, wasn't there racism long before there were unions, or even black workers? It seems to me that you're talking about the recent past and ignoring what went on before. There was a lot of fighting and stealing of tribal lands long before blacks worked for whites, and that was long before unions, of any kind. You say that economic freedom is the answer. Do you mean capitalism? Is seems to me that capitalism didn't do much to defeat racism and isn't likely to have much effect now. Capitalism and racism can operate completely independently of each other. Black Africans have been disadvantaged for so long that they're unlikely to suddenly benefit from capitalism now. It's like the story of the baby born in prison. The baby grows into a child, and eventually an adult. It knows nothing of the world outside the cell. One day, the cell door is left open. Does the person leave, or might they stay inside the cell, frightened to venture into the unknown? I think you can apply this to African, or anyone else, deprived of so much. Then you hand it all over to them and criticise them for not knowing how to use resources. I also think that reducing everything to the lowest common denominator (money) isn't particularly good for any society. It's not always good to put a price on something. In the context of the original question, shouldn't emotional and physical wellbeing take precedence over economics, especially when the economic power is in the hands of others? Moves to become independent of at least some economic forces might be better than joining in?
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
I'm really no authority on this, but there has been some good work done by at least one Social Service here in the UK that decided to take a holistic aparoach to social issues such as you're describing. Some of hat I might mention may not be applicable to your situation, but it may give you a taster. The day starts with social workers entering the apartment of one of the families that they're working with. The apartment is owned and run by the local authority. The social workers make sure that the parents have the children up, breakfasted, washed and dressed and off to school on time. Later, when th parents have returned from the school run they talk to them about any issues they had overnight, or with getting ready that morning. They then help the adults in the family look for jobs, apply for jobs, and attend interviews. They also help with social, health, and domestic issues. Everything from settling arguments between children, how to organise a weekly budget, how to make friends and avoid confrontations with neighbours, family planning... and so it goes on... whatever is needed. The support goes on at intervals throughout the day right up until after children are put to bed. All this may seem expensive, but in Britain it costs somewhere between £1000 to £2000 per week to keep a person in prison. Their family then may need significant support whilst they are in prison. It's much more cost effective to have social workers helping families than dealing with the aftermath of dysfunctional families, including crime, substance abuse, anti-social behaviour, unemployment, etc. Much of this may not be relevant to your situation, but it might give you ideas for a framework with which to start?
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
There are deformed communities in Africa due to apartheid which are currently victims of alcoholism and aids, how can such people be helped?
Your question seems to be about the wider issues, beyond obvious healthcare needs of those with alcohol dependency issues and those suffering from AIDS. I think everyone needs purpose in life, and to feel that any effort in life is at least on occasion rewarded and that life is at least reasonably fair for everyone. Apartheid did much to make even the concept of a fair society a very difficult thing to imagine, let along something that could be done in practice. However, if you look at some psychological research into behaviour, there are some clues as to how we can help people who suffer as you've described in your question. Firstly, in one experiment rats are given an opiate or opiate-like drug mixed with a very sweet sugary substance that they can drink. Rats locked in cages tend to become addicts, even to the point where they starve themselves to death and only drink the sugary, drug-laden liquid. In the same experiment another group of rats were given the same food, water, and drug-laden sugary drink, if they wanted it. Now, the sugary drink on it's own is very attractive to rats, so they really want it. However, this second group of rats were allowed to run around in a large enclosure, free to mate and have offspring which they could raise, and generally had a much better environment. This group of rats avoided the drugs. A few tried it once, but didn't take the drug again as it stopped them from being able to interact effectively with the rest of the rat community. Second example... Jurassic Park. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but the idea for the book came from elephants originally, not dinosaurs. Groups of elephants were culled, and the youngsters raised without adult elephants to guide them. They became aggressive and violent. Many communities have families where there just isn't someone to lead the family in a constructive, balanced way. Teaching social skills, promoting fairness, education, and productive employment is a good start.
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
Should TED be more discerning?
Well, for one, I'd only watch it if you have tine to kill and don't mind wasting your time. If I was to promote a talk, it would be Dan Dennett's talk he gave in response to Rick Warren. From Dan Dennett's talk you can get a good overview of what Rick Warren said and a measured response from a much respected philosopher. Choice is yours, Greg!
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Dave Day
Posted 9 months ago
Should TED be more discerning?
Memes can take on a life of their own and religion/religious memes are no different. Just because a meme survives, doesn't mean that it's sensible, logical, beneficial (necessarily), etc. I can think of few reasons why it might be beneficial to sacrifice one's own child/children to appease imaginary gods. However, this was a popular idea for much longer than any existing religion I can think of that's around at the moment. The best antidote to religion may be for people to have to choose. E.g., you have tuberculosis, you can be prayed for and have any religious ceremony you like to help heal you, or you can have antibiotics and other modern medical interventions and treatments to heal you, now choose! I think the problem is human psychology. We're not always honest, logical, rational, etc. If we were forced to choose between science or religion (at least in some instances) but couldn't have both, then maybe we'd believe and act differently to the way we do at present. I think religious people want to have their cake and eat it too. Too many people get treatment at the doctors, or in hospital (for instance) but then thank 'God' when they get healed! Not very rational, nor very fair in my opinion. I'm sure they'd think differently though.