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Jeff Stahler for October 31, 2015

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    Odon  about 6 years ago

    Should the Republican candidates indeed set up their own debates it will be interesting to see how they excuse the lack of substance at the end of the night.

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    Flash Gordon  about 6 years ago

    “2 plus 2 equals 4.” “No, 2 times 2 equals 4.”“Oh. Wait, what?”

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    lonecat  about 6 years ago

    The media are part of what Althusser calls the “ideological state apparatus”:“Because Althusser held that a person’s desires, choices, intentions, preferences, judgements, and so forth are the products of social practices, he believed it necessary to conceive of how society makes the individual in its own image. Within capitalist societies, the human individual is generally regarded as a subject endowed with the property of being a self-conscious, “responsible” agent whose actions can be explained by his or her beliefs and thoughts. For Althusser, however, a person’s capacity for perceiving him or herself in this way is not innate or given. Rather, it is acquired within the structure of established social practices, which impose on individuals the role (forme) of a subject. Social practices both determine the characteristics of the individual and give him or her an idea of the range of properties that he or she can have, and of the limits of each individual. Althusser argues that many of our roles and activities are given to us by social practice: for example, the production of steelworkers is a part of economic practice, while the production of lawyers is part of politico-legal practice. However, other characteristics of individuals, such as their beliefs about the good life or their metaphysical reflections on the nature of the self, do not easily fit into these categories.

    In Althusser’s view, our values, desires, and preferences are inculcated in us by ideological practice, the sphere which has the defining property of constituting individuals as subjects. Ideological practice consists of an assortment of institutions called “Ideological State Apparatuses” (ISAs), which include the family, the media, religious organisations, and most importantly in capitalist societies, the education system, as well as the received ideas that they propagate. There is, however, no single ISA that produces in us the belief that we are self-conscious agents. Instead, we derive this belief in the course of learning what it is to be a daughter, a schoolchild, black, a steelworker, a councillor, and so forth."

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    superposition  about 6 years ago

    It is scary (not just on Halloween) that we have no quants or math majors in, or running for. office. To attempt to manage the economic needs of the country (and actually balance the budget), there needs to be leadership that is very familiar with the complexities of math and science …. yet, again, our binary political system fails us. Giant egos and lust for power are no substitute for intelligence.http://politicalwire.com/2015/01/06/just-two-scientists-left-in-congress/

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    lonecat  about 6 years ago

    Mr. Trump: Mr. Trump, when you are president, how big would the US economy be?Mr. Trump: It would be HUGE!!

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    KEA  about 6 years ago

    the problem is… ‘news’ is now entertainment, because actual news doesn’t make money

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    lonecat  about 6 years ago

    and @Beau NoboThanks to both of you for interesting and informative contributions. I wish there were more of these here.I certain agree that people can make choices, but I would also argue that there are limits to what one can choose. Some of these limits are out of awareness, and therefore hard to fight against.I’m certainly not an Althusserian, but I think he makes a few valuable points, and the concept of Ideological State Apparatus I find useful. It helps to explain a lot of what goes on in school, for example, and some of the reasons that its so hard to be truly innovative. And it helps to explain the limits within which the media work.

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    doverdan  about 6 years ago

    Democratic debate planning includes keeping Larry Lessig out at all costs. He has some REAL points to make, and is more of an outsider than Trump or Carson. .His ideas would tend to end our either/or two party system. The top organizational bosses of both parties hate his plans for a more representative democratic republic. That he quickly raised over a million from small donations has scared them.

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    leweclectic  about 6 years ago

    I blame mainstream parenting—or lack thereof—and the defunding of public education through the monstrous creation of so called “Schools of Choice” that are no more than private schools funded by public tax dollars. Wake-up America and vote Bernie Sanders.

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