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(Huffington Post)   Despite what mass media and your gut tells you, historically, the world has never had it this peaceful   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 109
    More: Interesting, Global Conflict, Steven Pinker, better angels, IQ tests, hair salon, statistics  
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3627 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Jan 2013 at 10:56 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-31 02:23:09 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: Slaves2Darkness: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

Not BS. US defense spending and the way we use our military to police the world has created global peace. The last time Europe was at peace this long was when the Romans ruled it. The only true hot spots in the world are places the US really does not give a shiat about. Africa, most of the Middle East, parts of Asia, parts of South America.

So your thesis is that the places that we "do give a shiat about" aren't going to war with one another out of fear that the US will come in and make war upon the war-makers?

Alright, I'm willing to be sold on this idea, if you can back it up. What facts are you bringing to the table to support your thesis? And please don't say, "Well, have there been any big wars in those places?", because that's question begging, magic rock territory.


Korea, the Taiwan Strait, Israel and Iran
 
2013-01-31 02:26:16 PM

StrangeQ: This bothers me to an almost irrational level.  I don't even have kids yet, but I feel like there are confrontations looming on the horizon between me and the schoolboards when I let them know just how idiotic their policies have become.


Right there with you.

Besides the fact that the policies are stupid, this must SUCK for the kids. Not only does it teach them to live in fear, but don't they get to socialize anymore? The morning bus stop was a HUB of kid social interaction when I was a kid.  If they had told me to stay on my own driveway and ignore the kids on either side of me I probably would have ignored them. Now they just stand there like little robots (or wait in an idling SUV).
 
2013-01-31 02:31:50 PM

J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.


Well how exactly are you gonna define "peace"? If we just define it as "the lack of war", then, well...     we'd have to say there's a lot more peace these days too wouldn't we? It seems like cherry-picking for you to point to the absolute amount of war without also looking at the absolute amount of "peace"...
 
2013-01-31 03:14:07 PM

J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.


i18.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-31 03:22:00 PM

J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.


Is there more war than ever, though? And the lack of war doesn't mean peace.

I don't necessarily think things are worse now. Should we return to Vietnam and Afghanistan (Soviets)? What about before that, during WWII? What about before that, with the British Empire? There wasn't as much war then, but I sure wouldn't say its lack of war meant there was peace. When is this time in history when things were good?
 
2013-01-31 03:24:31 PM

J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.



What makes you think "in actuality there is more war than ever"? How on Earth did you draw that conclusion from "the rates are declining" and "the population is increasing". Those two facts don't by themselves tell you if the overall amount is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.

Based on your invented fact, I'm guessing that the article's accurate description of the declining rates didn't match what you had in your head, so you grasped at straws to make it seem like they're hiding something.

Please let us know if you have an actual criticism of the articles methodology, or some actual facts to bring to the table.
 
2013-01-31 03:29:05 PM

Slaves2Darkness: Slaves2Darkness: Mugato: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

I'll bite. Who exactly are we threatened by? And before you say terrorists, there isn't a dollar amount that will stop some guy with a dirty bomb hooked up to a cell phone.

It is not who we are threatened by, it is who we can threaten. The US military, just by existing keeps the lid on a lot of ugly shiat, because it can destroy anybody. Sure a lot of Middle-East and African countries are experiencing war, but face it really just don't give a shiat about those countries. Even then we do tend to offer air support to the side we like, especially when the other side does not have an air force worth mentioning.

Look at Asia, do you really think China plays as nicely as it does with Japan because it fears Japan?

One other thing worth mentioning, do you really think the US would be the worlds reserve currency if it could not back it up militarily?


But do we really have to spend the amount we do?
 
2013-01-31 03:35:13 PM
Re: american military causing peace through merely existing:

Allow me to quote ludwig rochaus definition of realpolitik: the study of the powers that shape maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world.

If scientific advance and progressive government were enough, rome never would have fallen. Historys full of smart people getting whacked by militant people
 
2013-01-31 03:43:49 PM

Rude Turnip: It has to be said: suck it, anarcho-capitalists. This is why no one wants to live in your primitive fantasy land.


What about communists whose end goal is the dissolution of party politics and eventually all government when the proletariat assumed power and all are equal?

Anyone want to live in my anarcho-communist fantasy?
 
2013-01-31 03:50:08 PM

SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.


The Bubonic Plague would like a word with you.
 
2013-01-31 04:10:46 PM

Slaves2Darkness: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

Not BS. US defense spending and the way we use our military to police the world has created global peace. The last time Europe was at peace this long was when the Romans ruled it. The only true hot spots in the world are places the US really does not give a shiat about. Africa, most of the Middle East, parts of Asia, parts of South America.


I wonder what parts of Europe, after the devastation of WWII, would willingly go full throttle anymore?  I know there are centuries long grudges and shiat like that, but after the 40's, I can't imagine it would get very far no matter who was the "bad guy".


/not a history major
 
2013-01-31 04:11:06 PM
www.paulchefurka.ca

Population rises exponentially. Unless deaths from violence also rise exponentially, then the rate of violent deaths is going to fall. Nearly half of humanity lives in either China or India. As long as those countries remain peaceful, the world average will look low.

everybodylookattheirpants: Can't much of this be explained by the fact that Europe is having an unprecedented stretch of not killing one another?


The answer is China. If you think European wars are bad, you should see what happens when the Chinese decide to fight it out amongst themselves, which happens every so often.
 
2013-01-31 04:23:54 PM

Mugato: Slaves2Darkness: Slaves2Darkness: Mugato: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

I'll bite. Who exactly are we threatened by? And before you say terrorists, there isn't a dollar amount that will stop some guy with a dirty bomb hooked up to a cell phone.

It is not who we are threatened by, it is who we can threaten. The US military, just by existing keeps the lid on a lot of ugly shiat, because it can destroy anybody. Sure a lot of Middle-East and African countries are experiencing war, but face it really just don't give a shiat about those countries. Even then we do tend to offer air support to the side we like, especially when the other side does not have an air force worth mentioning.

Look at Asia, do you really think China plays as nicely as it does with Japan because it fears Japan?

One other thing worth mentioning, do you really think the US would be the worlds reserve currency if it could not back it up militarily?

But do we really have to spend the amount we do?




It certainly looks that way.
 
2013-01-31 04:50:29 PM

Lord Dimwit: Some 'Splainin' To Do: Slaves2Darkness: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

Not BS. US defense spending and the way we use our military to police the world has created global peace. The last time Europe was at peace this long was when the Romans ruled it. The only true hot spots in the world are places the US really does not give a shiat about. Africa, most of the Middle East, parts of Asia, parts of South America.

So your thesis is that the places that we "do give a shiat about" aren't going to war with one another out of fear that the US will come in and make war upon the war-makers?

Alright, I'm willing to be sold on this idea, if you can back it up. What facts are you bringing to the table to support your thesis? And please don't say, "Well, have there been any big wars in those places?", because that's question begging, magic rock territory.

Korea, the Taiwan Strait, Israel and Iran


Korea has been in an armed stand-off since the 50s. Granted, our presence there helps to ensure it doesn't re-escalate, so I'll grant that as an example of Pax Americana in action.  Taiwan? Okay, but only if we throw Tibet in as a  counter-example.

The Israel and Iran items? I don't see much evidence that our presence has ensured a reduction of conflict considering that both regions have had numerous wars and skirmishes over the last several decades.  Iran is an especially strange example to me given that our funding of Iraw in the Iran/Iraq way served, if anything, to escalate conflict in the area and which also, more or less, led to our eventually involvement in two gulf wars.

The problem that I'm having with your claim is that you are making a lot of assertions and you're backing up those assertions with a (small) list of places that, arguably at best, haven't been in as much conflict as they otherwise might have been (assuming numerous conterfactuals).  What you haven't been doing is providing evidence that Pax Americana is behind the overall reduction in global conflict, and that's even after your caveat that it doesn't apply to places that we "don't give a shiat about", which is, frankly, a pretty damned big exception that you're granting yourself.

Like I said, I'm amenable to being convinced. I don't really have a strong opinion to the contrary, but I think you can understand why I'd like to be swayed by stronger evidence than what you've offered us.
 
2013-01-31 04:55:28 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: Lord Dimwit: Some 'Splainin' To Do: Slaves2Darkness: robbiex0r: Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.

Not sure if serious. But I'm going to give you a 8/10, because I'm fairly certain you know this is BS, and people will bite anyway.

Not BS. US defense spending and the way we use our military to police the world has created global peace. The last time Europe was at peace this long was when the Romans ruled it. The only true hot spots in the world are places the US really does not give a shiat about. Africa, most of the Middle East, parts of Asia, parts of South America.

So your thesis is that the places that we "do give a shiat about" aren't going to war with one another out of fear that the US will come in and make war upon the war-makers?

Alright, I'm willing to be sold on this idea, if you can back it up. What facts are you bringing to the table to support your thesis? And please don't say, "Well, have there been any big wars in those places?", because that's question begging, magic rock territory.

Korea, the Taiwan Strait, Israel and Iran

Korea has been in an armed stand-off since the 50s. Granted, our presence there helps to ensure it doesn't re-escalate, so I'll grant that as an example of Pax Americana in action.  Taiwan? Okay, but only if we throw Tibet in as a  counter-example.

The Israel and Iran items? I don't see much evidence that our presence has ensured a reduction of conflict considering that both regions have had numerous wars and skirmishes over the last several decades.  Iran is an especially strange example to me given that our funding of Iraw in the Iran/Iraq way served, if anything, to escalate conflict in the area and which also, more or less, led to our eventually involvement in two gulf wars.

The problem that I'm having with your claim is that you are making a lot of assertions and you're backing up those assertions wi ...


I don't think Tibet is a good counterexample - the government of the United States doesn't really care too much about Tibet and China knows it.

Israel is an excellent example, I think. Israel would've attacked Iraq had we not told them not to during the first Iraq war and the only reason why Iran hasn't made a move against Israel (or to a lesser degree, Saudi Arabia who they hate almost as much) is because of American military presence.

The list of locations is relatively small because the list of places we care about relative to the whole world is pretty small. It's actually a good way to look at it: where does the United States not care much about what happens? Central Africa and south-central Asia, and those two areas are the most violent on the planet. Contrast that to places that the United States does care about, like Taiwan and Korea, that could very easily turn into wars but don't.
 
2013-01-31 05:12:56 PM
give me doughnuts

Despite the constant shrill shrieking of media types, children are safer out of doors now than the average farker was back in the days of Commodore-64s and Missile Command.

Sadly parents who let their children outside are not.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/tammy-cooper-texas-mom-arre st ed-kids-unsupervised-video_n_1900113.html

// here's to hoping these brave officers get the parade they so richly deserve.
ww3.hdnux.com
 
2013-01-31 05:54:06 PM

draypresct: What makes you think "in actuality there is more war than ever"?


Things like this, or  this. To say this is an age of peace compared to the past is flat out ridiculous.

Not only were there fewer conflicts in the past, but they simply couldn't mobilize and support as many troops in previous ages, so armies were smaller and conflicts were shorter. Not to mention the scale of destruction was nothing compared to what it is now.
 
2013-01-31 05:54:31 PM

J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.


Have any thing to back this statement up? A quick glance of History would seem to indicate this statement is complete fallacy. Lets see, the Successor Kingdoms, First unification of China,the fall of the Roman Empire, The Dark ages, Napoleonic Wars, WW 1, WW 2, just off the top of my head. All periods of History which involved massive loss of life across huge portions of the world.
 
2013-01-31 05:54:54 PM

GAT_00: Generation_D: Its true.  I haven't seen a Highwayman in years.   I can walk around without a sidearm almost everywhere.

On the other hand, rural guys who can't fit into the big city and wind up shooting innocent people to get even, we've had several of those in recent years*

Over all we're safer, but random asswits with assault weapons is probably at an all time high now.


* Cafe Racer massacre; Kyle Huff's massacre; the Jewish Legal Foundation massacre .. 3 high profile Seattle crimes where a lone misfit asshat (2 white, one islamic) decided it was every one else's fault but his own that life sucked, and took out revenge on innocent people, armed to the teeth.  Kyle Huff shot up a house party that had teenagers, Cafe Racer's killer had 10:30 am bistro customers and staff, and the Jewish Legal Foundation (his name was Haq) killer had office workers who had never met the shooter.  Haq's parents were high pressure "Y U No Get A" types, and Haq was a failure at life engineering student dropout who dad had pulled strings to get out of misdemeanors before.

In all 3, massive amounts of personal weaponry were the difference between a lone dipsh*t and five to 10 dead innocent people.

Thanks for a typically American answer by redefining a more peaceful world as false because of a singular American act.


Arguably, it was the American acts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that have lead to this more peaceful time.
 
2013-01-31 05:58:06 PM

Nunya_Bizness: J. Frank Parnell: SkittlesAreYum: How is that not reasonable? The world's population is (so far at least) always increasing. If you don't account for that your results are meaningless.

It's unreasonable because they pretend there is more peace than ever before, when in actuality there is more war than ever, and they're just hiding that detail under population statistics.

If they said something like "each persons chances of being killed in combat are smaller than ever!" then it would be a reasonable conclusion to make using per capita statistics.

Have any thing to back this statement up? A quick glance of History would seem to indicate this statement is complete fallacy. Lets see, the Successor Kingdoms, First unification of China,the fall of the Roman Empire, The Dark ages, Napoleonic Wars, WW 1, WW 2, just off the top of my head. All periods of History which involved massive loss of life across huge portions of the world.


The Mongol conquests killed literally one out of every five people on the planet over the span of about 200 years, and several Chinese civil wars have killed more than one out of every ten people on the planet.
 
2013-01-31 05:58:59 PM

BgJonson79: GAT_00: Generation_D: Its true.  I haven't seen a Highwayman in years.   I can walk around without a sidearm almost everywhere.

On the other hand, rural guys who can't fit into the big city and wind up shooting innocent people to get even, we've had several of those in recent years*

Over all we're safer, but random asswits with assault weapons is probably at an all time high now.


* Cafe Racer massacre; Kyle Huff's massacre; the Jewish Legal Foundation massacre .. 3 high profile Seattle crimes where a lone misfit asshat (2 white, one islamic) decided it was every one else's fault but his own that life sucked, and took out revenge on innocent people, armed to the teeth.  Kyle Huff shot up a house party that had teenagers, Cafe Racer's killer had 10:30 am bistro customers and staff, and the Jewish Legal Foundation (his name was Haq) killer had office workers who had never met the shooter.  Haq's parents were high pressure "Y U No Get A" types, and Haq was a failure at life engineering student dropout who dad had pulled strings to get out of misdemeanors before.

In all 3, massive amounts of personal weaponry were the difference between a lone dipsh*t and five to 10 dead innocent people.

Thanks for a typically American answer by redefining a more peaceful world as false because of a singular American act.

Arguably, it was the American acts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that have lead to this more peaceful time.


In some ways, yeah. Also the arming of the USSR with nuclear weapons - full scale war between the superpowers became unthinkable, because it very literally would've been the last war ever fought.
 
2013-01-31 06:09:02 PM

J. Frank Parnell: draypresct: What makes you think "in actuality there is more war than ever"?

Things like this,


"According to Harrison and Wolf, this increase in the frequency of pairwise conflicts can be explained by two principal factors: economic growth and the proliferation of borders. The number of countries has thus almost quadrupled since 1870, rising from 47 countries in 1870 to 187 in 2001. "


"Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example)."

Damn, humans other than JFP and obviously me are disgustingly evil
 
2013-01-31 06:09:39 PM
It's the Pax. It's in everything now.

Just wait a few more years for the Reavers to start appearing.
 
2013-01-31 06:14:48 PM

Lord Dimwit: The Mongol conquests killed literally one out of every five people on the planet over the span of about 200 years, and several Chinese civil wars have killed more than one out of every ten people on the planet.


Genghis Khan is said to have killed around 2.5 million. Global population was smaller back then, and there are only estimates as to what it was. Some people put that at 25% of the world population.

Won't even look up the Chinese civil wars because i don't think it'll make any difference. I've already backed up my claim enough. I know Mao Zedong is supposed to have killed somewhere around 100 million, though.
 
2013-01-31 06:19:57 PM

LewDux: "Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example)."

Damn, humans other than JFP and obviously me are disgustingly evil


Yeah, 250,000 people dying in 10 different modern wars that took place over one year is nothing compared to 2.5 million dying at the hands of Genghis Khan over his entire life.
 
2013-01-31 06:37:33 PM

J. Frank Parnell: draypresct: What makes you think "in actuality there is more war than ever"?

Things like this, or  this. To say this is an age of peace compared to the past is flat out ridiculous.

Not only were there fewer conflicts in the past, but they simply couldn't mobilize and support as many troops in previous ages, so armies were smaller and conflicts were shorter. Not to mention the scale of destruction was nothing compared to what it is now.


The original article is statistics of violence, not declarations of war, sadly its not the same thing. Both of the articles you linked concern battles and war, not death by violence, also neither studies take into account any wars or battles before 1000 AD.Just from what recorded history survived and what information was available to historians. With the world becoming more connected information of this type is way easier to gather. Regarding scale of destruction that may be a valid point though, citizens of Carthage or Baghdad after the Mongols might disagree with you.
 
2013-01-31 06:48:05 PM
If total casualties to war/conflict over your average year were much higher in the past than they are now, they wouldn't have to resort to per capita stats to make their claim.

I'll just leave it at that.
 
2013-01-31 06:49:24 PM
from the article:  "As we get smarter, we try to think up better ways of getting everyone to turn their swords into plowshares at the same time"

gatherer.wizards.com
 
2013-01-31 06:57:24 PM

J. Frank Parnell: If total casualties to war/conflict over your average year were much higher in the past than they are now, they wouldn't have to resort to per capita stats to make their claim.

I'll just leave it at that.


OK but the article is the world is becoming less violent, not fewer deaths from war. You are removing criminal acts of violence, in which case you may be correct, but that is not what the article is.

_ Murder in European countries has steadily fallen from near 100 per 100,000 people in the 14th and 15th centuries to about 1 per 100,000 people now.
_ Murder within families. The U.S. rate of husbands being killed by their wives has dropped from 1.2 per 100,000 in 1976 to just 0.2. For wives killed by their husbands, the rate has slipped from 1.4 to 0.8 over the same time period.
_ Rape in the United States is down 80 percent since 1973. Lynchings, which used to occur at a rate of 150 a year, have disappeared.
_ Discrimination against blacks and gays is down, as is capital punishment, the spanking of children, and child abuse.
 
2013-01-31 07:05:22 PM

Bad_Seed: [www.paulchefurka.ca image 637x458]

Population rises exponentially. Unless deaths from violence also rise exponentially, then the rate of violent deaths is going to fall. Nearly half of humanity lives in either China or India. As long as those countries remain peaceful, the world average will look low.

everybodylookattheirpants: Can't much of this be explained by the fact that Europe is having an unprecedented stretch of not killing one another?

The answer is China. If you think European wars are bad, you should see what happens when the Chinese decide to fight it out amongst themselves, which happens every so often.


So.. You are saying...the answer is...more people?  Typical people nut.
 
2013-01-31 07:12:43 PM

Egoy3k: give me doughnuts: Despite the constant shrill shrieking of media types, children are safer out of doors now than the average farker was back in the days of Commodore-64s and Missile Command.

It's sad to think of all the kids these days who don't get the opportunity to explore and do dangerous stuff on their own outside. You know the sort of stuff I got to do as a kid. I'm only 28 but when I was a kid we would hop on our bikes and disappear for the day and nobody questioned it. We'd come back bruised and cut from biking in the woods, climbing rocks, and basically just being kids and my mother would get pissed at us, not for getting hurt or anything but for getting blood or dirt on our clothes. In fact the only time I spent around the house in the summer was bad weather or if I had soccer and needed a drive to the field.


I grew up in the heart of Chicago but things were the same for me.

Mom:  "Finished breakfast?  Then get out of my hair.  Be home by sundown and don't make me come looking for you."  "Don't get arrested or hurt" was implied in that last instruction.

In middle school, my pals and I often biked 50 miles or more from home, just exploring.  Mom never raised an eyebrow when she heard where I'd been.

Adults didn't hassle us for simply existing.  Hell, we wandered around O'Hare Intl. like it was a mall, checking out shops and watching takeoffs and landings.

Worst trouble I got into was when I fell down a deep, tight hole on a construction site - drilled for a concrete pillar, I think.  But my pals found a rope, hauled me out in half an hour, and we continued our sojourn.  Mom saw the cut by my eye, asked what happened, nodded at my lie, and told me to "put something on it."  I chose Bactine.

Today, there would have been 5 fire trucks, 90 cops, TV crews, an ambulance ride, a night in the hospital "out of an abundance of caution" and a bill to make Mom weep in despair.

When my son reached middle school I gave him a bus pass, route map, and a Denver tourist guide.  He never made me come looking for him, either (except for that night he sneaked out to the ICP concert).  I gave him a cheap cellphone, not as a tether but only to use if he needed me; payphones were getting rare by then.

/bought him a bike, but Mr. ADHD left it on a bus bike rack after two weeks
 
2013-01-31 07:25:22 PM

SpectroBoy: the freakin school bus stops at EACH INDIVIDUAL DRIVEWAY, even for adjacent yards, because "parents" have convinced themselves there are white vans full of pedophiles scooping up children in giant fishing nets. It was determined that it was "to dangerous" for kids to walk a few yards over at a common driveway and wait for the bus in a group.


Must be a lot of closet pedophilic parents in that affluent rural CT town of yours.

The district's brake maintenance bill must be huge.  I imagine the squeaking & gear-grinding make every schoolday seem like garbage pickup day.
 
2013-01-31 07:25:22 PM

Nunya_Bizness: You are removing criminal acts of violence, in which case you may be correct, but that is not what the article is.


I'll agree citizens are becoming more peaceful while governments become more violent. And there are more citizens by a wide margin than there ever was before.

Generally the word peace is used as the opposite of war, instead of, say, muggings. The opposite of crime is more often order or lawfulness. But you are correct.
 
2013-01-31 07:28:55 PM

SpectroBoy: StrangeQ: This bothers me to an almost irrational level.  I don't even have kids yet, but I feel like there are confrontations looming on the horizon between me and the schoolboards when I let them know just how idiotic their policies have become.

Right there with you.

Besides the fact that the policies are stupid, this must SUCK for the kids. Not only does it teach them to live in fear, but don't they get to socialize anymore? The morning bus stop was a HUB of kid social interaction when I was a kid.  If they had told me to stay on my own driveway and ignore the kids on either side of me I probably would have ignored them. Now they just stand there like little robots (or wait in an idling SUV).


You guys could run for school board seats, y'know.

But yeah, school boards suck.  Even Mark Twain got that.

"God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board."
 
2013-01-31 07:33:59 PM

J. Frank Parnell: Smidge204: Actually perfectly reasonable, even if the total number of people affected by violence has increased, if the number affected per capita is lower then you, as an individual, are less likely to be affected.

Yes, per capita there is less violence. But it does not prove there are less people being killed and less violence overall than ever before, like the article tries to claim.


The actual numbers are also lower. I've read two of three books mentioned and researched their sources.

Compare airplane deaths to automobile deaths. You don't hear about 99.99% of automobile deaths, but every plane crash is on the home page. So, people are convinced that planes aren't save.
 
2013-01-31 07:50:50 PM
Sure, if you don't count the many people who die every day due to the vast and cruel structural violence imposed by a flawed social and economic system.
 
2013-01-31 07:56:07 PM

J. Frank Parnell: LewDux: "Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example)."

Damn, humans other than JFP and obviously me are disgustingly evil

Yeah, 250,000 people dying in 10 different modern wars that took place over one year is nothing compared to 2.5 million dying at the hands of Genghis Khan over his entire life.


Just out of curiosity what year are you referring too here? It is pretty rare in modern armies post WW2 to sustain that kind of casualty rate, or is this including civilian casualties?
 
2013-01-31 08:05:53 PM

J. Frank Parnell: LewDux: "Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example)."

Damn, humans other than JFP and obviously me are disgustingly evil

Yeah, 250,000 people dying in 10 different modern wars that took place over one year is nothing compared to 2.5 million dying at the hands of Genghis Khan over his entire life.


It is when you consider that the Mongols wiped out whole peoples systematically.
 
2013-01-31 08:21:58 PM
Taking the global average per year (from a recent study) of people violently killed in armed conflict (50K) and those killed indirectly from the same conflicts (200K) it would 40 years to equal the average number of people killed during a year in WWII (10 million average per year).

Take into account the world is more than 3 times more populous (7 billion vs. 2.3 in 1940) that makes the difference even more striking.

For further comparison roughly 3 million were killed on average during WWI.  This is also with a much smaller population.

Even with a spike from the conflict in Iraq, it doesn't begin to approach the number of casualties either by percentage or number of wars in the past.
 
2013-01-31 08:28:56 PM
Can anyone say anything intelligent about how a teenager with an IQ of 100 today would have an IQ of 118 in 1950 and 130, um, whenever the article said?

Seems unlikely that people are getting much smarter. Are we just getting better at taking IQ tests?

Seriously, I'd like to learn a bit more about this.
 
2013-01-31 08:29:24 PM

Nunya_Bizness: Just out of curiosity what year are you referring too here?


Was just making the point that more frequent conflicts with less casualties add up. The 250,000 number wasn't attached to any particular thing.

Might have had one big war (by their standards) every 50 or so years further back in history, but now we have dozens of conflicts per year, and we're much better at killing.
 
2013-01-31 08:37:27 PM

Fano: J. Frank Parnell: LewDux: "Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example)."

Damn, humans other than JFP and obviously me are disgustingly evil

Yeah, 250,000 people dying in 10 different modern wars that took place over one year is nothing compared to 2.5 million dying at the hands of Genghis Khan over his entire life.

It is when you consider that the Mongols wiped out whole peoples systematically.


This was the thing that made this story obvious for me.  Today we have rules of engagement in war for who can be targeted, who can't etc.  The Mongols rules of engagement were:  1.  Kill everyone in the city.  Loot the city.  2. Leave.  3.  Three days later, send a party back to the city to kill anyone that was hiding or faking death, or those that were away while the massacre was going on.

The Mongols wiped out kingdoms in campaigns that they considered so trivial that they barely get mention in their own written history during the era.
 
2013-01-31 08:43:03 PM

J. Frank Parnell: If total casualties to war/conflict over your average year were much higher in the past than they are now, they wouldn't have to resort to per capita stats to make their claim.

I'll just leave it at that.


Raw stats are far less useful than per capita. We would expect to see more conflict as the population increases. More people = more chances for violence

What's the point in saying twice as many people were killed if the population went up by a factor of 10? All you're really saying is that there are more people. An increase in violence is just a function of population which isn't an interesting observation.
 
2013-01-31 08:53:41 PM

Baryogenesis: What's the point in saying twice as many people were killed if the population went up by a factor of 10? All you're really saying is that there are more people. An increase in violence is just a function of population which isn't an interesting observation.


Exactly.  A comparison would be the number of murders in Lincoln, Nebraska vs. the number of murders in New York City.  in 2011 500 or so people were murdered in NYC.  This was a low number.  This would be a staggering number for Lincoln, which had 3 in 2011.  Which is higher?  Actually NYC's is by a factor of 4.
 
2013-01-31 09:59:10 PM
You don't need to fire a single bullet to take over a country anymore.

Coldest thing I ever saw was how China almost took over Laos. Not a single bullet needed.

China offered to run a high-speed rail through Laos. Nevermind how absurd that would be given that most of Laos is mountainous and pretty much impossible from a railroad perspective, and there is exactly zero economic use for that.

The deal was that China had a 7 kilometer preferred economic zone on either side of the railway THAT WOULD NEVER BE BUILT where the Chinese could settle their own people and shops.

Lemme think here...

This was absolutely brilliant. And China knows this to be a winning strategy. Basically taking over a nation without a shop fired. All on the up-and-up. They almost took over a country with the stroke of a pen. Look up "Laos Landscape" on google images to see how practical a high-speed rail would be.

Fortunately, or perhaps sadly, someone figured out what was going on and a few high-level figures got hanged. But DAMN! That could have been the sweetest colonization ever.
 
2013-01-31 10:04:11 PM

enemy of the state: Can anyone say anything intelligent about how a teenager with an IQ of 100 today would have an IQ of 118 in 1950 and 130, um, whenever the article said?

Seems unlikely that people are getting much smarter. Are we just getting better at taking IQ tests?

Seriously, I'd like to learn a bit more about this.


Not sure if serious.jpg

It is known as the Flynn effectand it appears to have run its course in developed countries, at least among the affluent.  Improved nutrition, reduced environmental lead, better pre-natal care (mostly mommy laying off the martinis for nine months) and lower incidence of childhood diseases like the measles seem to be the most likely causes.
 
2013-01-31 10:29:30 PM
i'd also ask if various westerners had to fark with various easterners,

As satisfying a it may be to dick-waggle and say "I've got the biggest defense industry!" It may just be that it would suck to be sucked into  a war. I think we/d all lose in in any sort of world war.
 
2013-02-01 01:33:33 AM
And it would be even more peaceful if we cut our military spending down to $50 billion per year and stopped selling/giving weapons to every psycho dictator-wannabe on the planet.
 
2013-02-01 01:39:01 AM

Slaves2Darkness: StoPPeRmobile: Pax Americana

It is what 700+ billion dollars buys. We could reduce our military spending, but then say bye bye to peace.


Ridiculous. The US has a long history of supporting dictators and violent criminal groups, overthrowing democracies, starting wars, arming terrorists and generally making the world a much more violent place.
 
2013-02-01 06:27:25 AM
Old article is old unless another nut killed 69 youths last July.
 
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