[FoRK] The bee sting theory of poverty

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 20:20:10 PDT 2010


On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 9:52 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> Until you start attempting to define baseline or come up with practical
>> mechanisms, then it becomes nonsense.

Jeff Bone:
> Seems like these should be a good start:
>
>   * Clean, safe, & functional living space
>   * Food
>   * Basic business and exercise acceptable clothing
>   * Health care
>   * An education past high school
>   * Internet
>   * Outdoor play / exercise space (parks, trails, sidewalks)

Jeff has it completely right, here. There are at least two baselines
with respect to the question of thinking rationally. The first is a
matter of human physiology. Someone who is too cold, too weary, too
hungry, or too diseased will be impaired in their thinking. If you
doubt this, it's because you don't have much experience with those
states.

The second baseline is social. Someone who can't effectively interact
with others in their own society is cut off in a very basic way.
"Rationality" requires being able to listen to what others say, and
getting others to hear you.

One politician who doesn't understand this is Rand Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkumBcWAlrM

About 3:31 he says this: "It's hard for me to even fathom the
government would come and say that your child would have rights that
would supercede the rights of the adult." Well, fuck that. If you
don't feed, shelter, refrain from abusing, and minimally educate your
children, then child protective services should intervene. Children
are not property. Someone who doesn't understand that shouldn't run
for dog catcher. (Even dogs, which are property, are due some minimal
care from their owners.)

And at the start of that video, Paul demurs in answering how old the
earth is. At an alleged EDUCATION conference.

Paul gets my batshit crazy medal for the day. The criteria are
gender-neutral. ;-)



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