Stafford Betty, Free Will in the Moment |572|

I asked a sage once, “If everything is preordained, why should we worry about our choices?”
”Do you know what is fated to occur?” he replied.
”No,” I answered.
”Then,” the sage said, “You have choice!”
Not being able to predict the future doesn't mean you have any conscious choice about your decisions. However it should be noted that the types of scientific experiments I mentioned can predict what decision you will make before you become aware of making that decision. Therefore if we define free will as the ability to make conscious choices, then free will is an illusion. There is no escaping it other than to go with some other definition of "free will".

But most people in my experience, see free will as precisely that — the ability to make conscious choices. Maybe you don't ( I don't know ). One way around it I've encountered is to look at free will as the agency of a being to make their own decisions regardless of whether or not they're aware that they're making them. Personally, I find that unsatisfactory — akin to some sort of legal loophole that weaseling lawyers use to get clients off the hook.

NOTE: I've run across some other attempts to debunk this view, but so far, none of them hold-up under scrutiny. They typically rely on the very shaky belief that thoughts and actions aren't dependent on neurological processes ( the old correlation doesn't mean causation argument ). To them I would say, show me a brain dead person who is exhibiting conscious thoughts and actions — not after the fact ( as in NDEs ), but in real-time while they're not registering any brain activity. It will never happen ( and I very rarely use the word "never" ).

NOTE: Of course this means that the universe will conspire to prove me wrong — and to that I say "Bring it on!" [[cb]]
 
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Agreed. I'm interviewing Bernardo kastrup tomorrow. do you know who he is?
Of course I know who he is, and last time I saw he's a complete dupe re Zelensky and the conflict in Ukraine.

After hearing that, his credibility plummeted in my view
 
Didn't want to come off as impolite there, but this topic makes my blood boil... A completely avoidable, genocidal war that Zelensky and his puppet masters such as the psychopath Victoria Nuland organised. Yet individuals such as Kastrup are so foolish or corrupt to believe that Zelensky is a good guy
 
Didn't want to come off as impolite there, but this topic makes my blood boil... A completely avoidable, genocidal war that Zelensky and his puppet masters such as the psychopath Victoria Nuland organised. Yet individuals such as Kastrup are so foolish or corrupt to believe that Zelensky is a good guy
In politics, it's not as simple as which one is the "good guy" and which one is the "bad guy". It's usually more a question of which politicians are better or worse relative to their competition. Is Zelensky worse than Yanukovych? You tell me.
 
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In politics, it's not as simple as which one is the "good guy" and which one is the "bad guy". It's usually more a question of which politicians are better or worse relative to their competition. Is Zelensky worse than Yanukovych? You tell me.
Just about anything would have been better than this disastrous war - which could easily spill over and turn into a nuclear conflict. As far as I can tell, Zelenski was fooled by his masters in the US to go along with this madness, and is now being driven mad by it all.

Because the West let the MSM censor its news, people have very little idea about what is going on and where it miight lead.

If you want to think in terms of bad guys, think the Neocons in the US (Victoria Nuland etc) and the idiots that allowed Biden to run for the presidency while being utterly incapacitated by dementia.

David
 
Didn't want to come off as impolite there, but this topic makes my blood boil... A completely avoidable, genocidal war that Zelensky and his puppet masters such as the psychopath Victoria Nuland organised. Yet individuals such as Kastrup are so foolish or corrupt to believe that Zelensky is a good guy
Usually takes two opponents to have a "war". Often both have degrees of culpability in the engagement of the conflict. Here its just Ukraine?

EDIT: I did listen to Putin's translated speech via the link you provided. Thanks again and it was refreshing to hear the source material directly. He raises a lot of criticisms against the West and the US in specific; worthy of consideration for sure. That said the speech was also chock full of typical politics, nationalistic appeals to support Putin's own hold on power, etc. If I was somehow to conclude from that speech that we've all been deceived by the MSM and that Putin is actually a good, honorable guy and the West/US are Satan incarnate..... I must have missed that part.
 
Usually takes two opponents to have a "war". Often both have degrees of culpability in the engagement of the conflict. Here its just Ukraine?
Like so many countries close the the old USSR, Ukraine has two factions (probably a simplification). Some speak Russian as their first language and tend to be on Moscow's side. The other lot favoured the West. The electred president prior to 2014 was Yanukovich, who sat on the fence on this issue - essentially pleasing both sides enough to stay in power and keep the country peaceful.

The Americans supported protests in 2014 that ousted the president - despite him being properly elected - and placed something more akin to a junta in charge of the country. The Eastern provinces then tried to break away along with Crimea. The junta in Kiev then began to use their army to attack the parts of Ukraine that wanted to separate from Ukraine. At the point when it was thought that Crimea might also be attacked militarily, the Russians stepped in and offered the Crimeans a vote as to whether to simply join Russia. When faced with the risk of attack from Kiev, they obviously voted heavily in favour of joining Russia.

Meanwhile the other regions - such as Donetsk - were being periodically shelled by Ukraine for the sin of not wanting to be part of the country! Russia managed to broker the Minsk Agreements that were supposed to let the dissident parts of Ukraine exist peacefully within Ukraine, but these were soon violated.

That explains the build-up to the war that is now going on.

David
 
Like so many countries close the the old USSR, Ukraine has two factions (probably a simplification). Some speak Russian as their first language and tend to be on Moscow's side. The other lot favoured the West. The electred president prior to 2014 was Yanukovich, who sat on the fence on this issue - essentially pleasing both sides enough to stay in power and keep the country peaceful.

The Americans supported protests in 2014 that ousted the president - despite him being properly elected - and placed something more akin to a junta in charge of the country. The Eastern provinces then tried to break away along with Crimea. The junta in Kiev then began to use their army to attack the parts of Ukraine that wanted to separate from Ukraine. At the point when it was thought that Crimea might also be attacked militarily, the Russians stepped in and offered the Crimeans a vote as to whether to simply join Russia. When faced with the risk of attack from Kiev, they obviously voted heavily in favour of joining Russia.

Meanwhile the other regions - such as Donetsk - were being periodically shelled by Ukraine for the sin of not wanting to be part of the country! Russia managed to broker the Minsk Agreements that were supposed to let the dissident parts of Ukraine exist peacefully within Ukraine, but these were soon violated.

That explains the build-up to the war that is now going on.

David
Got it. So Putin participating and let's not forget initiating a conflict that has been killing people is morally justified in your view. And here I thought you were anti-war, anti-violence.

It takes two to tango and I wonder how you would ever really know if the narrative you've provided is objectively true.
 
Got it. So Putin participating and let's not forget initiating a conflict that has been killing people is morally justified in your view. And here I thought you were anti-war, anti-violence.

It takes two to tango and I wonder how you would ever really know if the narrative you've provided is objectively true.
“Initiating”
 
Got it. So Putin participating and let's not forget initiating a conflict that has been killing people is morally justified in your view. And here I thought you were anti-war, anti-violence.

It takes two to tango and I wonder how you would ever really know if the narrative you've provided is objectively true.

It does take two to tango, but if one side is shelling their opponents you can't really call it peace, can you?

I am anti-war and anti-violence, and I wish this war could be stopped.

As regards the truth of my narrative, some of it is enshrined in Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk_agreements

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_of_Crimea_in_the_Soviet_Union

David
 
It's interesting that you should bring those ideas up. I had the same thoughts myself. Ultimately I concluded that they just kick the can further down the road. In other words, if we assume that some information from the future is arriving in our subconscious, whatever decision arises out of that still happens entirely subconsciously. Even worse, it suggests that the future is predetermined, which also makes free will an illusion.

It seems you are misunderstanding my point a bit, JRM.

What I was talking about is not a relationship between conscious(ness) and unconscious(ness) in the volitional decision-making (this is a separate subtopic in the free will debate, and a rather interesting one), but the one of the mind-brain correlation and causation.

Your argument is essentially based on the notion that, if a specific pattern of a person's brain activity, undetected by the conscious layer of his or her mind, preceded the decision made within this conscious mind-layer on a temporal scale, this means that this brain activity is the cause of the decision being made in the mind (which is, subsequently, its effect). To this, I replied that it is possible that the causality may work reverse in the timeline, thus the future conscious decision can be the cause, and the brain activity in the past can be an effect.

Please notice that the unconscious(ness) - or subconscious(ness), as you name it - is not mentioned in my argument at all: two participants of it, so to say, are the person's conscious decision and his / her physiological brain activity. And - this is the most crucial point! - the latter has no relation whatsoever to the personal mind at all, neither to the conscious mind nor to the unconscious one. It is not "subconscious" or "unconscious"; it is outside of the individual mind, and external to it.

This does not mean that it is completely outside of ANY mind, however: it is only a person's intra-consciousness to that this activity is externalised, but there is consciousness beyond the individual. The elimininative idealist I am, I maintain that any brain activity - as well as all phenomena psysiological and physical in general - are creations of the collective inter-consciousness, the influx of innumerable individual minds working together. But being within-the-mind for the totality of the conscious subjects inhabiting embodied state of existence, it remains outside-the-mind - and thus outside-the-unconsciousness as well - for a particular individuum.

And, in such dual "conscious decision - brain activity" relation, the inversion of causation changes everything: now it is the conscious decision that directly causes the brain activity via psychokinesis / mind-matter interaction (even if the latter name is a bit misleading: so-called "matter" is just a subspecies of mind).

As well the predetermination of future - where do you see it? If a decision is freely willed in the trans-temporal extraphysical world(s), it may manifest itself in any moment of the physical world's temporal sequence; the moment of the apparent "present" is not priveleged in this regard at all (just think, your "present" is the "future" for those in the "past" and the "past" for those in the "future"). This coming-from-outside-of-time decision than reshapes the whole timeline, from the most ancient past to the most distant future, fully recreating the whole "physical" universe to conform to it, so it may manifest itself within it. And this works for all conscious living beings, not just for humans; when a mouse decides in which direction to run away as it is spotted by an angry human in the kitchen, it recreates the whole universe by its own Will as well; it turns into the universe in that Mouse A willed to run in the Direction B - while, were this mouse to will its movement differently, everyone would live in the different universe.

It is just because the changes brought in each of these countless willful decisions are miniscule enough to remain unnoticeable to nearly everyone but the conscious subjects directly involved - such as a retreating mouse and a furious human in the example - that the illusions of the apparent unity and seeming continuity of the "physical world" (just a transient shared experience created by the intersection and fusion of uncountable individual consciousnesses, as I said already) maintain themselves further, the the embodied conscious subjects may proceed in their faith that they live in the same "physical universe" each moment of their bodily lives - while they live in countless "physical universes", created and annihilated and created anew each moment.

So, the moment a human makes a conscious decision, a universe is reborn across the whole timeline to conform to it - which includes a specific brain activity being manifested in the past, to allow the extraphysical decision that are being manifested in the future (only manifested, not made - it is being made entirely outside of timeline) to corellate with the "physical world" and thus integrate itself in it.
 
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Your argument is essentially based on the notion ...
I would prefer to call it logic rather than a "notion".
... that, if a specific pattern of a person's brain activity, undetected by the conscious layer of his or her mind, preceded the decision made within this conscious mind-layer on a temporal scale, this means that this brain activity is the cause of the decision being made in the mind (which is, subsequently, its effect).
Not quite. The evidence is that that decisions aren't made within the "conscious mind-layer". It's that they're already made before the conscious mind is aware of them. Consciousness is more like us surfing a wave where everything that makes it happen, happens below the surface. That experience appears to have a feedback effect, which is then also processed subconsciously, resulting in the next element of behavior.
To this, I replied that it is possible that the causality may work reverse in the timeline,
It's not possible for causality to work in reverse — unless you can run time backwards. The decision to pick up the glass always precedes the behavior, It's never the other way around, and the elements of the decision making process happen in rapid succession. Thoughts don't just suddenly form across the brain's neural network perfectly simultaneously.

I suppose that one could retreat to the position that it's not our brain-body systems that are responsible for our behavior, and that some other mystical force is behind it all, which makes our brain-body systems illusions to deceive us into thinking we're something other than what we really are — usually described as some sort of "spirit being". If that's where you want to take this, we might as well go back to having witch doctors run things.
... thus the future conscious decision can be the cause, and the brain activity in the past can be an effect.
That's not how causality works. You are of course free to engage in sci-fi like speculation that the future has already been decided, and that it can be run in reverse like a film, but then that would also prove that there's no free will.
 
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Exercising my Free Will in the Moment to post an idea I just had two seconds ago, for which I will provide no furtherance or implementation assistance whatsoever except in the way of ideas/suggestions in the event that it tracks with someone else who would want to see it happen..

"Skeptiko Forum Members Conversations"
Could name it something like "Skeptitians"(as in from the lands of Skeptika) or "Skepticians" (as in certified skeptikal practitioners). Obviously wouldn't go that route with he naming if Alex thought it was lame.

The thought was if someone had a or was interested in creating a dedicated platform to hold discussions and post them.

No worries if nobody tracks to the idea whatsoever. just an off the cuff idea. You guys know my mind is an endless faucet of wonderful ideas..

But the reason this idea popped us is because of the recurring thoughts hitting me in the forum about "Man I'd like to hear those two talk it out"... Or "I'd like to debate so and so about such and such."

That is all. carry on.
 
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I had to delete a couple.

looked like you were trolling. seems like you are sometimes unaware... but you're doing it.

I find that insulting my friend.
To suggest I'm trolling, means you're in my head.
Even though I have never trolled anyone in my life.
J
 
I would prefer to call it logic rather than a "notion".

But it is not "logic", it is nothing but a set of arbitrary notions - or, to say better, assumptions - that precede your argument; assumptions that you have internalised so deeply that you are appararently unable to think without invoking them as the starting points of any concept you formulate.

Of course, to be fair, these assumptions are not entirely arbitrary - they are partially based on the observations of the behaviour of purely physical systems, ones with that consciousness does not interact (at least, not to the degree significant enough to become easily detectable). And, as long as strictly physical systems are concerned, your assumptions are effective - entirely physical causality is indeed fully linear, going only from the past to the future, and never in reverse.

Your assumptions become totally arbitrary, however, when you start projecting the principles of the physical functioning on the extraphysical phenomena like consciousness and unconsciousness - which, existing beyond the physical, are not subject to any regularities characteristic to the physical systems.

They are totally arbitrary as well for the cases of psychic-physical interaction, where the psychic part of the interacting system can brutally intervene into the working of the physical part, violating and alterating the regularities (so-called "laws of physics") governing it, tearing the physical causation apart und turning it upside down.

Your problem seems to be, you are apparently unable to even imagine something (or someone) extraphysical, existing outside of physical word and its regularities yet able to intervene in this world to shatter and twist it according to its Will.

Not quite. The evidence is that that decisions aren't made within the "conscious mind-layer". It's that they're already made before the conscious mind is aware of them. Consciousness is more like us surfing a wave where everything that makes it happen, happens below the surface. That experience appears to have a feedback effect, which is then also processed subconsciously, resulting in the next element of behavior.

As I said before, the interaction between (currently) conscious and (currently) unconscious parts of the mind in regards to volition is a different topic, largely independent of the problem of mind-matter interaction (even if it does have certain interesting intersections).

Anyway, your physicalist epiphenomenalism is utterly meaningless for anyone who does not share your basic assumptions. I don't.

It's not possible for causality to work in reverse — unless you can run time backwards. The decision to pick up the glass always precedes the behavior, It's never the other way around, and the elements of the decision making process happen in rapid succession. Thoughts don't just suddenly form across the brain's neural network perfectly simultaneously.

Not possible PHYSICALLY, you mean. Well, what is not possible physically is possible EXTRAPHYSICALLY - and, thus, also in the cases of the interaction between extraphysical and physical, in that the latter is forced to function contrary to its own regularities (so-called "laws of physics").

Such interaction happens in every "paranormal" psychic phenomenon, such as precognition and presentiment. It also happens during "normal" psychic phenomena as well, such as making decisions.

And time does not "run backwards", of course - extraphysical influences can simply act independently of, and contrary to, time and space, affecting the events that precede the apparent interaction moment on the physical timeline. They, as well as the effects produced by them in the physical universe, are not subject to any physical limitations whatsoever.

I suppose that one could retreat to the position that it's not our brain-body systems that are responsible for our behavior, and that some other mystical force is behind it all, which makes our brain-body systems illusions to deceive us into thinking we're something other than what we really are — usually described as some sort of "spirit being". If that's where you want to take this, we might as well go back to having witch doctors run things.

Being an eliminative idealist, I don't think our brains and bodies, as well as any "material" or "physical" things in general, even exist in any substantial and objective sense, being indeed just persistent illusions born out of interaction between multiutudes of minds.

But, as long as we are stuck in these illusions, we can and should study their regularities, so it would be possible for us to formulate pragmatic models (known as "natural sciences") that we can use in our daily dealing with them.

We just shouldn't forget these models are just these - models, pragmatically useful to a certain extent and within certain limitations; they are not fundamental, ultimate explanations of our existence. No models are, really - not even the ones that are dealing with the extraphysical. Totality of existence transcends all models and any modelling.

So, medical doctors and witch doctors can and should both exist, since both can provide useful advice and assistance in certain cases - and unable to provide them in other ones. There must be many different avenues of knowledge and practice. I call it "pragmatic multiepistemicism".

That's not how causality works. You are of course free to engage in sci-fi like speculation that the future has already been decided, and that it can be run in reverse like a film, but then that would also prove that there's no free will.

Again: purely physical causality does not work this way, indeed, but, as long as mind intervenes, "laws of physics" are no longer working, instead "physical" phenomena are controlled and directed by the mind's Will. And mind can bend "matter" according to its Will in the ways that "matter" alone, without interaction with mind, is not capable of performing... but, as soon as mind-matter interaction starts, all limits of "physically (im)possible" are erased.
 
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But it is not "logic", it is nothing but a set of arbitrary notions - or, to say better, assumptions - that precede your argument; assumptions that you have internalised so deeply that you are appararently unable to think without invoking them as the starting points of any concept you formulate.
That's not the case. I'm talking about evidence from scientific measurement and observation, not "notions" or "assumptions". The only assumption I've made is that the evidence is accurate. On that point I conceded that it's possible that the evidence might be in error, but because it's been run numerous times in different ways, all with the same results, it seems unlikely to me that it's the result of highly improbable sheer coincidence.
Of course, to be fair, these assumptions are not entirely arbitrary - they are partially based on the observations of the behaviour of purely physical systems, ones with that consciousness does not interact (at least, not to the degree significant enough to become easily detectable). And, as long as strictly physical systems are concerned, your assumptions are effective - entirely physical causality is indeed fully linear, going only from the past to the future, and never in reverse.
Glad you decided to be "fair".
Your assumptions become totally arbitrary, however, when you start projecting the principles of the physical functioning on the extraphysical phenomena like consciousness and unconsciousness - which, existing beyond the physical, are not subject to any regularities characteristic to the physical systems.
You're assuming that consciousness is an "extraphysical phenomenon" without a clear definition of what that means. I could make an assumption about what you think it means — but you know how I don't like making assumptions.
They are totally arbitrary as well for the cases of psychic-physical interaction, where the psychic part of the interacting system can brutally intervene into the working of the physical part, violating and alterating the regularities (so-called "laws of physics") governing it, tearing the physical causation apart und turning it upside down.
Logically, if something can affect or be detected by a physical system then that something must be physical as well. Therefore, given that consciousness is detected by our physical systems, it too must be a physical phenomena — just not one that we fully understand.
Your problem ...
My problem? What about your problem [[cb]]
... seems to be, you are apparently unable to even imagine something (or someone) extraphysical, existing outside of physical word and its regularities yet able to intervene in this world to shatter and twist it according to its Will.
I can certainly "imagine" some sort of "extraphysical" world. Of course I can imagine unicorns too. My view of the "physical" is a version of the philosophical position known as physicalism, where the only things that aren't physical are abstract ideas — and in some sense, maybe those are too. Whatever the case, I don't think consciousness is just an abstract idea. I think it is extant in the physical world.

Logically, If consciousness weren't part of the physical world, then our physical selves wouldn't be able to detect or interact with it. But we do, and just because we haven't figured out the rest yet doesn't make it "extraphysical" — unless your view of what constitutes the physical arbitrarily divides consciousness out — but I see no valid reasoning for doing so.
As I said before, the interaction between (currently) conscious and (currently) unconscious parts of the mind in regards to volition is a different topic, largely independent of the problem of mind-matter interaction (even if it does have certain interesting intersections). Anyway, your physicalist epiphenomenalism is utterly meaningless for anyone who does not share your basic assumptions. I don't.
Again, I'm not making assumptions. I'm referring to scientifically valid evidence. If you don't want to "share" in that evidence, that's entirely up to you.
Not possible PHYSICALLY, you mean. Well, what is not possible physically is possible EXTRAPHYSICALLY - and, thus, also in the cases of the interaction between extraphysical and physical, in that the latter is forced to function contrary to its own regularities (so-called "laws of physics").
Again, if there can be interaction between two things, they must be part of the same system. So by definition anything extra, ( beyond ), physical is not part of the set of the physical, and therefore cannot be detected by anything physical. You need to get that in perspective or your position won't evolove.
Such interaction happens in every "paranormal" psychic phenomenon, such as precognition and presentiment. It also happens during "normal" psychic phenomena as well, such as making decisions.
If there is interaction between two phenomena, then they're both are part of the same fundamental reality. So either we go with that reality being physical or we go with some other model e.g. Idealism ( which is nonsense ).
And time does not "run backwards", of course - extraphysical influences can simply act independently of, and contrary to, time and space, affecting the events that precede the apparent interaction moment on the physical timeline. They, as well as the effects produced by them in the physical universe, are not subject to any physical limitations whatsoever.
Same problem as described above. Unless you have a fuzzy self-serving definitions of "extraphysical and physical", then the two are by definition mutually exclusive sets, and therefore no interaction between them is possible.
Being an eliminative idealist, I don't think our brains and bodies, as well as any "material" or "physical" things in general, even exist in any substantial and objective sense, being indeed just persistent illusions born out of interaction between multiutudes of minds.
I wish you'd said that in the first place — it explains a lot ( don't take the "nonsense" comment above personally )
But, as long as we are stuck in these illusions, we can and should study their regularities, so it would be possible for us to formulate pragmatic models (known as "natural sciences") that we can use in our daily dealing with them.

We just shouldn't forget these models are just these - models, pragmatically useful to a certain extent and within certain limitations; they are not fundamental, ultimate explanations of our existence. No models are, really - not even the ones that are dealing with the extraphysical. Totality of existence transcends all models and any modelling.
Your point about models is well taken. The math heads and model builders seem to get it into their heads that math and models are the same as the real world, and then they use their authority as experts to sell it to the rest of us.
So, medical doctors and witch doctors can and should both exist, since both can provide useful advice and assistance in certain cases - and unable to provide them in other ones. There must be many different avenues of knowledge and practice. I call it " pragmatic multiepistemicism".
Okay — you go to the witch doctor. I'll stick with my MD.
Again: purely physical causality does not work this way, indeed, but, as long as mind intervenes, "laws of physics" are no longer working, instead "physical" phenomena are controlled and directed by the mind's Will. And mind can bend "matter" according to its Will in the ways that "matter" alone, without interaction with mind, is not capable of performing... but, as soon as mind-matter interaction starts, all limits of "physically (im)possible" are erased.
Not buying it. But it's been a good discussion. For now I'll stick to my version of physicalism, which is way out there at the far end of that spectrum bordering on naturalism. I have no way to prove idealism isn't the way things are, but like I said above, IMO it's nonsense ( to me ). I just don't see the phenomena of consciousness preceding the beings that experience it. For me, Nature is the fundamental construct.
 
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I wonder how you would ever really know if the narrative you've provided is objectively true.

Did you watch Oliver Stone's documentary Ukraine on Fire?
You can literally see Victoria Nuland handing out cookies to the usurpers in Kiev in 2014...
That's just one of many examples of direct evidence, straight from the horse's mouth. Watch the documentary
 
PS My patience has run out communicating with people here who aren't providing specific evidence, who use politically correct buzzwords, and who expect attention even though they provide little value in return.

Until that obviously changes, I'm not going to reply to such people.
 
PS My patience has run out communicating with people here who aren't providing specific evidence, who use politically correct buzzwords, and who expect attention even though they provide little value in return.

Until that obviously changes, I'm not going to reply to such people.
Careful not to take them for granted. You can’t practice racket ball without a nice strong flat wall ;) jk
I’ve seen enough genuine good faith from everyone here to all-but retire the word Troll. That said, It’s a tough balance, and we do gotta take a break or switch things up when get the feeling we’re talking at a wall.
 
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