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 Author Thread: NaNoWriMo starts this week
 Simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
 
NaNoWriMo starts this week
Posted: 10/30/2012 1:29:08 AM
My friend and I are going to have a go at it as well.
I doubt I'll ever feel 'ready' to start but I'm excited about just jumping in... it's a challenge.
What I come out with at the end may be just so much nonsense... but it's the journey that matters.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Profile review please
Posted: 7/9/2010 8:13:08 AM
This is the pot calling the kettle 'black'... but your pictures leave a bit to be desired... like, at least one of them could show you without sunglasses/hat/dirty intervening window... as it is I've got Jack Squat idea of what you look like.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 11 (view)
 
So I messed up...
Posted: 7/9/2010 7:56:41 AM
When I say 'reputation'... maybe this site has changed... but female friends on here used to tell me how they'd circulate about guys who were crude or obnoxious. A 'behind the scenes' sort of thing... similar to conversations I have with guys I know who visit this site.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 8 (view)
 
So I messed up...
Posted: 7/9/2010 7:09:12 AM
"she blocked you because she absolutely doesn't want to hear another word from you."
Well... yeah, I get that part. This wasn't a 'why did she block me!!!?' post...

I'm just over reacting because in all the years I've been on here (I used to spend a lot of time in the forums before they got scaled down) I've never had anyone react quite so... strongly.
At worst I'd just be ignored...
So I was just curious how obviously I'd 'crossed the line' because, like I say, when I wrote that I had NO such intentions. For all I know it might have been something else that set her off... my profile isn't exactly set to 'stun'.

There seems to be some diversity here to how people are interpreting what I wrote... so I'll just chock it up to my lame sense of humor and bad self-expression.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
So I messed up...
Posted: 7/8/2010 11:01:02 PM
So I messaged this woman on here.
She'd mentioned she was a 'huge animal lover' and I made a reference to making a 'snarky comment' about her "love for 'huge animals'"...
but being a dork I really didn't stop and think that there might be sexual connotations to that... I swear... I was focused on the wordplay of misconstruing her stated interest. I was thinking elephants and rhinos... giant sloths... silly but true.
Color me stupid.

Anyway, she said I'm a freak and blocked me...


I'm not the type to shove innuendo into introductory conversation so it's all kind of freaking me out... more than it should... but I don't want that reputation.
I've never been blocked by anyone on here before and it kind of tossed me for a loop...
Was that a 'sensitive' reaction to a relatively innocuous bit of jest?
Or was it overtly 'insensitive' of me?
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 27 (view)
 
I'm addicted to writing Fan Fiction!
Posted: 5/14/2010 6:50:19 PM
I was at a forum a while back where a creative writing professor was giving a talk about fan fiction and how she'd assign her students to write the stuff...
According to her it was a great way for an aspiring author to start out because the setting and characters were pretty much already in place and the writer could concentrate on plot/pacing/theme.
Since then I've often thought about trying it but there aren't any settings I'm particularly intrigued by... at least not enough to have me thinking of story ideas. Also, my contrary nature makes me too likely to want to be iconoclastic and tear big wholes through the tropes of whatever it is.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
What does this mean?
Posted: 1/31/2010 9:42:34 PM
Since my earliest days of being on the web I've chosen to give as much false information as I can when signing up for access/content. Unless it's an actual business transaction they've got no good reason for knowing anything more than my name... if that.
 Simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
 
Worried about my brother, any advice?
Posted: 1/26/2010 12:24:00 AM
I'm guessing that he doesn't really see much point in doing the work.
It doesn't matter what any one else tells him... about the consequences or benefits. As long as it's not valuable to him in some way he's not going to care... and all your reasons are... well, yours... not his.
Most of what got me through High School was social pressure to keep up with the other kids... a bit of competition. Even in college and grad school that was a significant motivator to do the work.

If this were my kid the first place I'd look would be his friends... what sort of people are they, are they doing well in school... or are they an apathetic bunch as well.
Not that you can really change who his friends are... but maybe there are ways to encourage the healthier relationhips and discourage the ones that reinforce his disinterest in school.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 30 (view)
 
P.P.& Rapists
Posted: 11/10/2009 7:52:23 PM
From what I've read I would guess that children these days are no more likely to suffer from abuse then at any other point in history... in fact, probably less.
Also, from things I've read and witnessed... much of the trauma a victim of sexual abuse suffers is because of the way society reacts to that abuse. The injury gets reinforced rather than healed because so many people need to put on this show of freaking out about it rather than quietly dealing with what needs to be done.
I suspect these people who are so quick to call for executions have some issues of their own that could stand to be dealt with.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 17 (view)
 
V.....Y?
Posted: 11/10/2009 7:36:44 PM
Hollywood has always thrived on remakes, it's not a new thing.
Plenty of famous old movies are second or even third time go 'rounds of the same material. Sometimes even the same director would remake one of his earlier films.
It's always been a money game and the tried and true usually won out over the new and experimental.

IMHO the original V was dull as dirt... looked tired when it first hit the airwaves.
I most likely won't be watching this new one but I can't see that it has much of a challenge in besting its predecessor.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
 
The most Riveting 40 minutes on Health Care Reform..
Posted: 10/8/2009 5:19:18 PM
I'm pretty far to the left on most issues... but Keith Olbermann has let his ego outgrow his relevance... he's nothing but a blathering gasbag... no better than Limbaugh, Hannity or Beck.
I agree with most of his sentiments but the way he presents them embarrasses me...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 14 (view)
 
Are the U.S. public schools really that bad?
Posted: 10/8/2009 10:39:59 AM
The curriculum given to the high school kids in the USA is what students in my country would have learned in grade school.

... and also what students in the U.S. would have learned in grade schools of earlier generations. I looked at a lot of old textbooks and it's kind of amazing how much higher the expectations were.
Did kids get dumber? I doubt it.

Personally, I blame a LOT of what's happening on parents... parents who complain about their kids getting 'too much homework'... parents who complain about strict teachers and discipline... parents who won't lift a finger to make sure their kids are doing the work and valuing the free education they're getting. These same parents put a massive load on the shoulders of the teachers... basically expecting them to take up the slack for their own lousy parenting skills while at the same time discouraging them from taking any sort of real command over the classroom.

I've got a good bit of education under my belt and one thing I've learned is that teachers don't 'teach' you, they help you teach yourself. A bad teacher can't keep me from learning if that's what I want to do... a good teacher can't help me if I refuse to take part. Parents have the lion's share of the responsibility to see that their kids are focused on learning and take the time to do the work.
Heck, my parents saw to it that I knew basic math and how to read before I ever hit kindergarten... and that doesn't seem like a particularly amazing accomplishment.

Basically, I think the crisis is in parenting... much more so than the schools.
Our culture as a whole seems to have grown a lot less disciplined, a lot less curious... more interested in the voices that tell us how good we are and reinforce our ignorant beliefs vs. looking at the bigger picture.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Are the U.S. public schools really that bad?
Posted: 10/7/2009 10:42:17 PM
Watching the news channels tonight I've seen at least 3 people talking about how bad the public schools are.
I'm not so sure that the schools and teachers are the core problem. I'm not sure why they'd be so much worse all of a sudden when they seemed to work for us for many decades... or were our parents all a bunch of uneducated stooges as well?

I'm not saying public schools here are great... there are problems... but I've dealt with a number of students over the past few years and seen plenty of kids who are really sharp and well informed... impressive folks.

I also know kids who are just friggin' stumps... don't know anything except pop music and tv... not interested in anything else. Attached at the hip to cell phones and video games and functionally illiterate.

The difference between them that I always notice isn't their teachers... it's their parents (their most important teachers after all) and their environments (our culture is generally anti-intellectual).

The kids whose parents take part, pay attention, value education and do their best to help their kids stay focused... those are the parents of those sharp kids I've been meeting.
The dumb kids are the ones whose parents see parenting as a hassle, as 'cramping their style'... 'adults' who would rather be kids.
That's all just my opinion/experience though... I'm open to more information.

So, that's my question, are public school really so bad these days? or is there something else going on... are we expecting schools and teachers to do a job that is impossible without the support of good parents and a society that really values education?
A lot of the folks I see bashing the public school system are right-wing pot stirrers who I think have a vested interest in taking it down... in favor of some sort of privatized system... so I'm suspicious.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 13 (view)
 
What is with all of these girls who want a God Fearing man???
Posted: 9/14/2009 6:54:13 PM

why should you have to be afraid of God?

Read the Old Testament lately? God is a lean, mean, killing machine in those stories... him and his army of avenging angels ruling the Earth with an iron fist/bloody sword.
If you believe in that God then it is a pretty scary concept.

I'd much rather believe that God is like a giant puppy... and all of outer space smells like puppy breath!
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2 (view)
 
long distance ,and people who judge others
Posted: 5/22/2009 10:55:41 PM
When you say they 'run for the hills'... what exactly do you mean?
Like... you meet them, everything is going fine... maybe something happening... then ZING! you mention you're a truck driver and they just shut down?
If it's like that then I'll agree and say it seems like a prejudice about your job...
I'll admit I've got my own set of assumptions about truck drivers... they're based on pretty much nothing but... well... here are a few:
Truck drivers listen to lots of country music and talk radio and and are mostly pretty conservative/Right Wing
Truck drivers often take various illicit stimulants to stay awake and keep their deadlines.
Truck drivers often develop hemorrhoids from sitting for so long in one position.
Truck drivers make good money but the lifestyle is hard on them and their families.

Like I said, ignorant prejudice... but we all have them about something or other.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
 
Right wing radio host gets waterboarded for 7 seconds. Admits it is torture
Posted: 5/22/2009 9:22:03 PM
Interesting video...
I'd never thought of Mancow as a 'right wing radio host'... but I hadn't really listened to him much. It's certainly admirable of him to go through with it and give his honest appraisal of the experience.
Hannity should man up or shut up.

Somehow I think most sane, honest people will own to waterboarding being torture...
Frankly I'd always assumed that our country tortured people from time to time... in some dark little room somewhere... when the folks in power thought it was necessary.
All this hullabaloo recently seems like it's just shining a light on a rat in the corner that's been there all along.
I doubt it's effective in getting reliable information... but great for behavior modification and 'brainwashing'.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 3 (view)
 
Fun things to do besides clubs/gambling...?
Posted: 5/21/2009 11:27:58 AM
There is plenty of theater going on... art shows... live music that's not in casinos.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/20/2009 6:43:28 PM
Usually the idea of any book getting trashed or burned is bad news... but in this case the military's reasoning makes sense. Even just storing the things in a warehouse, if news got out, could cause problems.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 62 (view)
 
Former strong McCain supporter, now supporting Obama. Heres why:
Posted: 9/19/2008 12:46:04 AM
Given the woman's stated political views I can't see why she was ever supporting Hillary Clinton to begin with... kind of kooky.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Obama Campaign Files Suit Over “Voter-Foreclosure” Plans
Posted: 9/18/2008 8:23:48 PM
I kind of assume McCain has nothing to do with it... that it's the contrivance of local entities and certain other groups...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 9 (view)
 
Obama Campaign Files Suit Over “Voter-Foreclosure” Plans
Posted: 9/18/2008 8:08:22 PM
I'd have to assume Democrats have tried to pull things... but I don't know specific examples.
Both parties have gerrymandered the voting maps to favor themselves in future elections.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 363 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/18/2008 5:34:28 PM

This is your attempt to link my scientific understanding to religion and I avoid that at all costs.

I'm not religious at all... so... no, I'm not talking about religion.

All I'm saying is that what you are talking about... time as the 4th dimension... that the future already exists out in 'timespace'... is based on THEORY...
Yes, Einstein believed that time is the 4th dimension... but there are others intelligent folks who are not so sure.

It's NOT a scientifically proven fact.
A lot of people believe that it is a possibility... maybe even a likelihood... but your presentation of it is every bit as arrogant as you make my denial out to be.


name one respectable alternative theory that is tested / testable

I'm not talking alternatives to the theory of relativity... I'm talking about competing theories as to the nature of time... as to the 4th dimension being time or not... and how it functions.
Here's a portion of such argument:
from http://www.iep.utm.edu/t/time.htm#SH4a


Is Only the Present Real?

Have past objects, such as dinosaurs, slipped out of existence? Is the past real? How about the future? Philosophers are divided into three camps on the question of the reality of the past, present, and future. The presentist viewpoint maintains that the past and the future are not real, and that only the present is real, so if a statement about the past is true, this is because some present facts make it true. Advocates of a growing past argue that, in addition to the present, the past is also real. Reality "grows" with the coming into being of determinate reality from an indeterminate or potential reality. "The world grows by accretion of facts," says Richard Jeffrey. Aristotle (in De Interpretatione, chapter 9) and C. D. Broad advocated a growing-past theory. Parmenides, Duns Scotus and A. N. Prior are presentists.

Opposing both presentism and the growing past theory, Bertrand Russell, J.J.C. Smart, W.V.O. Quine, Adolf Grünbaum, and Paul Horwich object to assigning special ontological status to the present. They say there is no objective ontological difference among the past, the present, and the future just as there is no ontological difference between here and there. Yes, we thank goodness that the pain is there rather than here, and past rather than present, but these differences are subjective, being dependent on our point of view. This ontology of time is called the block universe theory because it regards reality as a single block of spacetime with its time slices ordered by the temporally-before relation. It is mental perspectives only that divide the block into a past part, a present part, and a future part. The future, by the way, is the actual future, not all possible futures. William James coined the term "block universe," but the theory is also called "eternalism" and the "static theory of time."

Although presentists say dinosaurs are not real, whereas eternalists say that dinosaurs are as real as anything in the present, another camp of philosophers argue that the presentist-eternalist debate is merely verbal because each side is using the word "real" in a different sense; the presentist uses it in a tensed sense, whereas the eternalist uses it in an untensed sense.

The presentist and the advocate of the growing past will usually unite in opposition to the block universe (eternalism) on the grounds that it misses the special "open" character of the future and the equally significant point that the present is so much more vivid to a conscious being than is any other time-slice of spacetime. The advocates of the block universe counter that only the block universe can make sense of relativity's implication that, if people are in certain relative motions, an event in person A's present can be in person B's future and in person C's past. Presentism and the growing-past theories must suppose that this event is both real and unreal because it is real for A but not real for B. Surely that conclusion is unacceptable, they claim. Their two key assumptions here are that relativity does provide an accurate account of the spatiotemporal relations among events, and that if there is some frame of reference in which two events are simultaneous, then if one of the events is real, so is the other.

Opponents of the block universe charge that it does not provide an accurate account of the way things are because it leaves out "the now" or "the present." This metaphysical dispute was fueled by Einstein who said:

Since there exists in the four dimensional structure no longer any slices which represent "now" objectively...it appears more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.

Many philosophers, however, do not agree with Einstein.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 359 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/18/2008 4:11:15 PM
There is no supposition on my part. It is a matter of fact.

No, it's not.
You are arguing the point ASSUMING that Einstein's view of time is the only one... that there's no discussion over whether or not time is the 4th dimension... and ignoring the any possibility of quantum mechanical amendments to that theory.. such as multiple/branching futures.

You are really being asinine here.

Back at ya Chuckles!
You are proposing predestination... that the future/present/past exist all at the same point.
You might have free will to 'get what you want' but not the free will to 'want what you want'... free will and predestination existing simultaneously.

It's a philisophical/scientific argument... not a proven fact... not a fallacy.

I've got no issue with what you believe... no problem believing in the 4th dimension and others... only your attempt to promote it as 'proven fact' when it all rests on certain theories of which there are still respectable alternative viewpoints.

Either way it's pretty much got squat to do with abortion as an election issue.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 137 (view)
 
palestinian politics
Posted: 9/18/2008 12:21:52 PM
I thought the Jews referred to themselves as a 'race'? That it is a familial connection as much as a religious one...
I know plenty of Jewish people who are non-practicing but still identify themselves as 'Jews'.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 353 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/18/2008 11:51:34 AM
If you cannot grasp that fact – skip over my posts.

What I 'grasp' is that you have no 'facts'... you have suppositions based upon your particular outlook on the '4th dimension' and 'timespace' that are bringing you to a conclusion that there is no free will... that we are predestined to follow a path to a future that is already laid out for us.
Show me where THAT is a proven scientific 'fact'.

Even so... if there is no free will... then how is there a crime committed? 'Oh, your honor, I didn't want to kill that man... but see... I was pre-destined to do it... I had no choice!'
Moreover, if we don't have free will, then laws aren't necessary... though we are apparently predestined to write, enforce, and re-write them.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 350 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/18/2008 11:03:55 AM
Correct – we cannot see into the future. We don’t technically know if abortion is homicide every time, we just know it is the majority of the time.

By this line of thinking... anytime I am attracted to a woman and she rejects my advances... rejects the possibility of sex... of possible pregnancy and childbirth... she is potentially killing our 'timespace' lovechild.
Hell! It's not just that one death either... it's all the generations that would derive from that unborn lovechild!!!
Wonder what sort of creative pickup lines could be derived from that... 'Hey baby, you gotta help me stop a whole lotta murders!'
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 336 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/17/2008 8:44:10 PM

after a few 16-year-old girls were tried as an adult and put in jail for life for 1st degree premeditated murder, along with the person performing the procedure, we would see a drastic end to that nightmare.

You think so?
Maybe, I'm not so sure...
I do think you'd see people with money flying out to other countries with legal abortion to get their's done.
Lots of quicky-serve abortion clinics opening up in border towns just outside the U.S.
Maybe more women looking for ways to self-induce miscarriages... maybe more suicides.
Still not a pretty picture.

I think history shows that forcing people to do things they don't want to do will ALWAYS lead to some of them finding a way to do it anyways...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 333 (view)
 
Abortion Rights As Election Issue - The Truth
Posted: 9/17/2008 8:03:20 PM
I do think that a process begins at conception that is basically 'life'.
Sperm and eggs on their own don't qualify... but when combined... whammo!
It's still a matter of conjecture to me if that life is a 'human' life or not...
We have a lot of cultural assumptions that put place different identities on the unborn of whatever species.
When we eat eggs we don't say we are eating chicken...
If a woman abuses her body while she's pregnant and has a miscarriage we don't put her on trial as we would do with a woman who drowned her newborns.

Still, I do think that abortion is a form of murder... but a kind many of us have chosen to accept as a necessary evil at times... just like some of us accept the deaths in wars as necessary... or executing criminals as necessary.

Take war for example... we send people to die to keep our enemies at bay. Is it really a struggle to the death?
Are the people WE are killing really homicidal fiends any more than we are?
If we didn't fight would those enemies really come in and kill us all? Or would they more likely just take over and change our lifestyle... make us go to their churches... obey their dogma?
They'd change our lives but not necessarily take them away.
We think war (...and the massive amount of death and destruction that go along with it) is necessary because we want to preserve our way of life... our 'freedom'.
Isn't abortion the same thing on a smaller scale... I'm going to end this life so that the quality of my own is not adversely affected... so that I can maintain my freedom?

People who are for execution often try to say that they don't want to see their money going to the upkeep of some jailed villain... that they think the money would be better spent elsewhere. Maybe their real reasons are just a need for vengeance or 'justice'... to make them feel 'safe' again... so they can sleep... so they can feel comfortable.

I'm not saying those are good or bad reasons for killing people... they just don't seem like they are any more legitimate reasons for murder than the reasons individual women have for getting abortions... and it seems that most of the folks who are 'pro-life' have no problems with wars or executions... which are also basically murder for convenience and economic reasons.
I'd have a lot easier time agreeing with them if their argument at least tried to be consistent with their supposed beliefs in the sanctity of life.

In the same way I'd like to see certain pro-choice people own up that a life is being destroyed... however regrettably... rather than grasp at trying to 'prove' the fetus isn't really alive.
Standing up for the reproductive rights of the individual is fine... choosing legalized abortion over the nightmare we'd have if it was forced underground is fine too...
Just own up to the fact that 'something' is being killed.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 107 (view)
 
Changes to Forums.
Posted: 9/17/2008 12:54:57 PM

Isn't it possible that 2 people who both have a passion for discussing current events, or who have similar political opinions, or who enjoy discussing religion, may notice each other through those forums?

Agreed, heated discussion is great foreplay...
Most of the profiles people put on her don't really tell you jack squat about who they are... how many permutations of 'I want a man who doesn't play games and who is a gentleman' can you read before your eyes glaze over?
Any interest I've developed in women on this site has been strongly based on the quality of their forum posts... on seeing how their minds work and how they handle language.


In retrospect, does anyone know of another place where discussion of politics, world issues, and current events is welcomed?

I'd be interested in hearing about such places too.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 79 (view)
 
Changes to Forums.
Posted: 9/17/2008 10:54:27 AM
If the political forums had only been 'liberal' posters with an occasional conservative being shouted down I wouldn't have been coming to read them. I don't want some cheerleading forum full of povs I already agree with... I want to see what other folks are thinking and why they think that way.
Compared to other political discussion forums I've found this one was on the more balanced end.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 75 (view)
 
Changes to Forums.
Posted: 9/17/2008 10:43:52 AM
It seemed to me that lately the political forums had been gaining in conservative voices... not losing them... and that some of those new voices were fairly rational.
I wouldn't expect it to ever be a perfect balance... but except for a few nutters on either side most of the discussion was fairly on point and informative.

 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Who got one of the Obsession DVD's in their Sunday Paper?
Posted: 9/16/2008 6:06:48 PM
We got one in our newspaper this weekend... I've kept it to the side... I might try watching it late some night... just so I can argue about it with my fundy friends.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 15 (view)
 
'Investment' vs. 'Gambling'?
Posted: 9/16/2008 1:20:32 PM
Thanks Wantasmart1, that's a good summary of what I've been assuming about Wall Street lately.
I'm not confident I'm accurate in that belief but I really think that it's at least part of the truth.
A lot of my opinions formed while I was reading Dough Henwood's book 'Wall Street'
http://www.wallstreetthebook.com/

I guess that, when I was growing up, it seemed like the economy and the stock market were known quantities... nearly scientific in the certainty of how things worked... how predictable outcomes came from quantifiable stimuli.
Now it seems as if they just as much a matter of opinion as sports or politics... superstition and prejudice mixed with a small amount of actual science/knowledge.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 394 (view)
 
Sarah Palin's 17 year old pregnant daughter!
Posted: 9/15/2008 7:49:29 PM

I think the real irony is that pro"choicers" make this into such a big deal. It's Bristol Palin's CHOICE to not have an abortion...

I think that is exactly why it is a 'big deal' to a lot of people... the girl's choice is a choice her mother would, conceivably, like to deny to all women in the U.S.... and that that potential agenda goes hand in hand with her supposed desire to promote 'abstinence only' sex education.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
'Investment' vs. 'Gambling'?
Posted: 9/15/2008 7:24:33 PM
The other thread about buying stocks put another question into my head...

What is the real distinction between 'investment' and 'gambling'?

Now... I know that when you buy stock in a company you are supposedly part owner in that company... that each share represents a portion of that company's 'value'... it's equipment, holdings, money... whatever.
I'm assuming I'm not incorrect on that, but that there are variations depending on the stock.

When you 'bet' on a horse you don't, in any supposition, own a part of that horse.

But... I also know that you can't just walk in and trade in your stock for one of the company's assests... like a computer or a desk or a company car. Owning the stock doesn't get you keys to the front door or even much of a say-so in how the company is run.
Unless you own a lot of stock in the company you're not necessarily of any real significance to the day-to-day operations.

If the company goes bankrupt SOME of the stockholders MIGHT get some money from the liquidation of the company assets... after the company creditors are payed off... but I'm guessing this won't satisfy them that they got their 'investment' back.
A lot of shareholders won't own the right kind of stock... or enough of it... to really see any of that.

So...
In most all the ways I look at it, most 'investors' (especially the 'day trader' variety) are no different than gamblers...
not the kind that sit in front of slot machines (they're just sad)... but maybe the type who bet on sports or horse racing... they have information, do the research, and bet their money on a profitable outcome.

Not that 'gambling' is somehow evil or wrong... but it doesn't have the same honorable reputation as 'investing' does...
The main argument I'd imagine is that an 'investment' equates to a kind of ownership... and that you are helping to fund a business.
But if that 'ownership' doesn't really give you much of any rights toward the company you invest in...
and if, as discussed in another thread, the money you 'invest' when you buy a stock from a broker doesn't go to the company (the company having made it's one time profit off that stock when it was first issued)... I'm not sure I see how 'investing' is inherently different than 'gambling'... and so... again... what is the REAL difference.

I do know that some 'investors' are very well informed and the odds of them seeing a profit are greatly increased because of their research... but I live in Vegas and I can show you rooms full of guys who bet on sports/ponies who put in a lot of research too and narrow the odds as well. Both groups are putting their money behind suppositions and educated guesses... both groups can make a profit or lose their shirts because of unforseen circumstances.

Sometimes when I watch the nightly news, and I see the economy's welfare linked so strongly to how the stock market is doing... I'm tempted to think that it's like the economy is riding on the fluctuations of a huge sports-book.
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 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 21 (view)
 
Economic question
Posted: 9/15/2008 6:57:57 PM
Str8talk pretty much cleared up my quandry...
When they say that they depend on their shareholder for their capital they are meaning that the actions of the shareholders... buying or sellling... driving the stock value up or down... can effect the further availability of capital for the company.
The original article I quoted had me confused because they made it sound like a more direct association.

I've never thought of stocks as 'loans'... it seems the company doesn't necessarily 'owe' you anything... though by prior agreement you might get dividends or somesuch.
As far as I know, unless the company goes under, the only way to get back the money you paid for the stock is to sell it... hoping it sells for the price you paid or better.

In a way I'm having trouble seeing this as true 'investment'... I think I'd have to own a lot of stock before I'd feel like I was part owner in a business... even then I'm not sure I'd feel I'd 'invested' so much as 'gambled'... betting money on a horse I think has a good chance to win.

Str8talk is also correct that if I'm going to figure this stuff out I'm going to have to track down a few experts...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 33 (view)
 
OJ SIMPSON TRIAL
Posted: 9/15/2008 3:57:48 PM
I notice the Goldmans are capitalizing off the upcoming trial circus by being on The View this morning to promote the 'If I Did It' book Simpson 'wrote'... but they got the rights to.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 12 (view)
 
Pakistani solders given orders to kill US invaders.
Posted: 9/15/2008 3:49:05 PM
Modest,
I think to a lot of people in the U.S. India is somehow vaguely associated with being 'spiritual' and 'enlightened'... whereas Pakistan is 'Moslem!!!'
So it's understandable that we get upset when we picture all those nice Ghandi-types getting pushed around by the guys who blew us up on 9/11 (!!!)

 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Pakistani solders given orders to kill US invaders.
Posted: 9/15/2008 2:58:21 PM
One country's 'invaders' are another country's 'heroic warriors against international terrorism'.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 35 (view)
 
As I said Obama will institute Chicago-style corruption on a national scale...
Posted: 9/15/2008 2:52:50 PM
Again,
The title of this thread and the initial post are misleading and false.
There are no facts supporting the OP's innuendo that Obama is personally somehow behind some sort of voter fraud.
If there even is some sort of voter fraud.

Even if there was... tying the candidate to every craven act by his supporters would lead to any and all candidates being hung out to dry.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 6 (view)
 
Economic question
Posted: 9/15/2008 2:39:50 PM
Wantasmart1,

Ok... things are still a bit unclear to me here.
You said:



Investors buy company stock. In return, the company gets liquid funds (cash, "capital) from the investor in exchange for an ownership share in stock.

The company then uses that capital for infrastructure as well as income generation as liquid investments and operating capital. If you generate a profitable income your stockholders make money in the form of dividends and higher stock value.
If you don't generate profitable income, your stockholders become disillusioned, turn in their stock certificates and take their money out of the company.


Ok... let me see if I can simplify my confusion here...
A guy starts a company. He sells stock/shares in that company in order to generate capital to fund his operation... buy equipment and office space and whatever.
So he sells those shares and the money comes in and he buys the stuff he needs and gets to work.
Meanwhile, those stocks/shares he sold are now being traded... the initial people have sold them to other folks.
My understanding is that those sales, that trading... even if the value doubles from the initial sale price... generates no further income for the issuing company. They can only sell one share one time.
(they could release some more stock or split shares or something... but that's a different matter).
But you said
your stockholders become disillusioned, turn in their stock certificates and take their money out of the company.

That sounds like you are saying that the stockholders can show up and ask for the value of the stock from the company somehow... though I don't think that's what you mean.
(I know in a liquidation that some stockholder interests get paid off but I don't think that's what you are referring to either).

If that initial company has sold its initial shares... and for whatever reason the stockholders decide to sell off all the stock... how does that effect the actual operation of the issuing company (outside of a board firing a CEO or somesuch).
Isn't the stock, once it's sold, over and done with as far as generating cash for the issuer?

I know stock prices are viewed as being symbolic of the relative health of a company... but how do they continue to generate capital for the issuing company after they are sold to the first investors?
Again, this is the part that confuses me from the original article:

they are to a great extent dependent on their shareholders for capital.

If a 'shareholder' is someone who has already bought stock... how does he continue to be a source of 'capital'... or does he?
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Global Warming and Tropical Storms
Posted: 9/15/2008 10:39:38 AM
I do believe in 'Global Climate Change' and that it is at least partially driven/aggravated by human industry... but I'm really skeptical that the hurricanes we are seeing are being directly caused/worsened by it.
It's more likely to me that since we are all hearing this 'climate change' stuff these days we are sensitized to it and are inclined to 'see' its effects in things that seem bad/worse when they are really just part of ordinary climate cycles.
Basically we forget a bad hurricane of 20 years ago and then wonder why the recent ones seem so much worse... when really they aren't.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 46 (view)
 
CNBC basically just said we are all F**KED.
Posted: 9/15/2008 10:33:19 AM
I'm struggling to understand the current economic debacle... everyone is running around blaming everyone else... there's very little clarity.
Something I do know is that many people I know are in debt... have been in debt for years... have been living beyond their means for years and slowly driving up their debt.
I now know three families who have been forced to move out of their homes... one because the owner was flipping properties and got caught with his pants down... another who was renting one of that owner's properties and had to leave when it went into foreclosure... and a third who moved in to a house with a mortgage she obviously couldn't afford.

So I'm thinking... if this is the current culture... if so many people I know are living so outside their means... I'm assuming that there is a lot of that everywhere... at all levels... that a LOT of people have been in denial about the reality of their funding... and that goes for corporations as well.
It's not the majority of my friends who are in trouble... but for the ones that are, their combined debt would probably be enough to drag down ALL my friends.

I'm wondering if the microcosm... microeconomics... are a good reflection of the macro.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Economic question
Posted: 9/15/2008 10:18:22 AM
This quote from a Q&A I was just reading about the failure of Lehman Bros. in The Guardian :



What are the risks for other banks?
Share prices have tumbled and are likely to fall further as investors take flight from a sector that appears to be run by a group of bankers who are in denial about the extent of their mistakes and the problems their firms now face.

A flight of investors will make their situation worse because they are to a great extent dependent on their shareholders for capital. The capital provided by shareholders is the bedrock for their lending and without it they cannot continue trading.


The bit I'm not clear about here is the second part... about investors being a source of capital for the company.
I had been under the impression that, except for the initial stock offering, all the trading of stocks that goes on is not really generating money for the issuing company.
Unless the company generates new stock, or sells shares it had withheld... there is no new 'investment' revenue generated from stockholders.
That was how I thought it worked.
This article suggests that the company is getting money from shareholders though...
How does that work?

I'm trying to understand the current economy situation but I'm missing some basic information about how this 'investment' thing works.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2 (view)
 
As I said Obama will institute Chicago-style corruption on a national scale...
Posted: 9/14/2008 5:28:35 PM
And the evidence, even if this is true, that Obama himself has anything to do with it is...?
Just insinuation and innuendo and hot air I'd bet...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 16 (view)
 
How much of the partisan division in our country has to do with the issue of abortion?
Posted: 9/12/2008 12:30:08 AM
I thought this was a fairly revealing article:

http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

People seem very willing to see their own abortion in a different light than those that OTHER people are having.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2106 (view)
 
It looks like McCain's VP pick is Sarah Palin
Posted: 9/12/2008 12:03:15 AM

"She knows more about energy than probably anybody else in the Unites States. She is governor of a state [pause] that 20 percent of America's energy supply comes from there."
- John "So do I" McCain


Regardless of the number and what it was meant to represent... saying this woman 'knows more about energy than probably anybody else in the United States' is just a plain dumb...
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 110 (view)
 
ABC's Charles Gibson lands First interview with Sarah Palin
Posted: 9/11/2008 11:39:38 PM

I clicked on an old youtube interview of her right after the gibson interview, and the difference in her style was remarkable.

Yes, if you go on YouTube and watch her old interview with Charlie Rose it's like a totally different person... there she's talking about Alaska... something she knows about and has her own REAL opinions about... rather than a bunch of coached stances and talking points.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 31 (view)
 
What Change is really possible?
Posted: 9/11/2008 11:19:36 PM
There will never be real change in this country as long as the "status quo" continues to get elected.

And people will continue voting for the 'status quo' as long as they basically feel safe... as long as the cable tv and the internet connection keep humming along... as long as the lights are on and there are places to buy cheap drinks and a hamburger.
People like to complain... but most don't think things are bad enough to gamble on drastic changes.
 simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 28 (view)
 
What Change is really possible?
Posted: 9/11/2008 11:09:14 PM
I don't really expect either of them to really be able to pull off much of what they say they claim they want to do...
Earmarks aren't going anywhere, the deficit will still be there, a lot of people will still be uninsured...
Most of my concerns are over who get's brought into power with them... who gets put onto the Supreme Court... who will do a better job of getting our reputation with the rest of the world back where it used to be.
 
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