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Thread: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Well, you know what they say. If you don't need a nanny, you shouldn't act like a child. IMO, when people act like kids, they ought to be treated like them. I don't see why a Nanny State is a bad thing, when so many adults act like irresponsible, stupid children. People cannot really handle "freedom", nor do they really want that. They perform best under an illusion of self-direction and abundant choice and freedom, while they actually need and want structure, rules, and limitations in their lives. Adults NEED a nanny state. It's fundamental to the human psyche. Too much choice and freedom is bad for you, so what people say they want isn't really what they want. They just think they want "Freedom," because they don't know any better.

    When people have too much freedom, they hurt themselves, society, and then regret it later. But then it's too late.
    The problem here is that you are using an opinion. What one person finds hilarious another will find childish. For example: I think that South Park is the stupidest, most idiotic, most childish "cartoon" to EVER have existed, yet others obviously find it funny and worth watching. Is my opinion of it more valid than theirs? No it is not. My opinion should not effect some other persons enjoyment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    There certainly have been fat people throughout history, but there hasn't been the epidemic of obesity until recently. It's not that people have not been fat, but not on the scale and scope of today.
    Yes but people do not drink as much as they use to either. It sort of evens itself out.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Coronado View Post
    If you can't handle freedom, that's your problem. Check yourself into a nursing home if you're really serious about it.

    It doesn't give you the license to start revoking my freedom, though. Some of us are actually mature enough to deal with life.
    Most people can't. So therefore, policy must deal with statistical scope of the problem. Some people may be able to, but policy cannot be based on the few. They are bombarded by far too much choice and freedom to make reasonable decisions, which is why they often do not. If people could handle freedom and choices at the level we expect, we wouldn't have a massive obesity crisis.

    We also wouldn't see mass advertisement work so well if people would truely rational, or responsible enough, to handle that level of choice/freedom.

    Studies confirm the behaviour of masses of people. Even in educated college students, those who perform best are those with authoritative instructors who limit freedom and provide structure. Adults out of college are no different.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Most people can't. So therefore, policy must deal with statistical scope of the problem. Some people may be able to, but policy cannot be based on the few. They are bombarded by far too much choice and freedom to make reasonable decisions, which is why they often do not. If people could handle freedom and choices at the level we expect, we wouldn't have a massive obesity crisis.

    We also wouldn't see mass advertisement work so well if people would truely rational, or responsible enough, to handle that level of choice/freedom.

    Studies confirm the behaviour of masses of people. Even in educated college students, those who perform best are those with authoritative instructors who limit freedom and provide structure. Adults out of college are no different.
    Let me guess, you're one of those few people who can handle it, right? What a coincidence.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    The problem here is that you are using an opinion. What one person finds hilarious another will find childish. For example: I think that South Park is the stupidest, most idiotic, most childish "cartoon" to EVER have existed, yet others obviously find it funny and worth watching. Is my opinion of it more valid than theirs? No it is not. My opinion should not effect some other persons enjoyment.
    Well, true to an extent. Some things are a matter of taste, but not everything. Some behaviours really do objectively hurt oneself, and others by extension (directly or indirectly) and thus they become a public problem or nuisance. I don't think anyone should control somethng like South Park, because entertainment is just that, no matter how stupid. It has no objective, negative consequences to society. Smoking, alcholism, poor diet, etc all do. It puts stresses on the economic structure and healthcare networks. Obesity specifically does that, as well as puts extra strains on the transportation system. Fat people cost more to transport, and they have more environmentally unhealthy consumption.

    When people can't, or won't, act responsibly, someone needs to take the decision out of their hands. That's why I support the Fat Tax and price manipulations on food items to shape public behaviour. If people were rational, the issue wouldn't even exist.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Coronado View Post
    Let me guess, you're one of those few people who can handle it, right? What a coincidence.
    Not entirely, no, but I am better than a lot. I have my weaknesses. I recognize the problem, and my limitations and needs, which gives me an advantage. A lot of people don't understand what they don't know, don't know how to change, and don't know any better. That's what the State is for. To help people live better lives.

    Ads don't fool me. So that puts me ahead of the game already. People fail at consuming rationally, which is why ads work in the first place. YOu cannot seriously assume things will work out if people are left to their own devices when they can't even navigate consumer products intelligently. There are millions of people who buy certain things purely because of medica rhetorical devices and propaganda. That's sad.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 09-23-10 at 12:47 AM.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Well, true to an extent. Some things are a matter of taste, but not everything. Some behaviours really do objectively hurt oneself, and others by extension (directly or indirectly) and thus they become a public problem or nuisance. I don't think anyone should control somethng like South Park, because entertainment is just that, no matter how stupid. It has no objective, negative consequences to society. Smoking, alcholism, poor diet, etc all do. It puts stresses on the economic structure and healthcare networks. Obesity specifically does that, as well as puts extra strains on the transportation system. Fat people cost more to transport, and they have more environmentally unhealthy consumption.

    When people can't, or won't, act responsibly, someone needs to take the decision out of their hands. That's why I support the Fat Tax and price manipulations on food items to shape public behaviour. If people were rational, the issue wouldn't even exist.
    Actually from my own experiances South Park is a detriment to society. Kids see it and think that it is OK to emulate such behavior. After all...if it is allowed on the air then certainly it is allowed for people to actually do it...right?

    Now here's a question for ya, what happens when a government becomes too controlling? IE, nanny state.
    I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer. ~ Kal'Stang

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Not entirely, no, but I am better than a lot. I have my weaknesses. I recognize the problem, and my limitations and needs, which gives me an advantage. A lot of people don't understand what they don't know, don't know how to change, and don't know any better. That's what the State is for. To help people live better lives.

    Ads don't fool me. So that puts me ahead of the game already. People fail at consuming rationally, which is why ads work in the first place. YOu cannot seriously assume things will work out if people are left to their own devices when they can't even navigate consumer products intelligently. There are millions of people who buy certain things purely because of medica rhetorical devices and propaganda. That's sad.
    Bold part: exactly. The State is there to help. Not control. When a government passes laws they are controlling what people may/may not do. That is not the type of help a government should provide. You yourself state that...

    A lot of people don't understand what they don't know, don't know how to change, and don't know any better.
    So instead of trying to control people why not try to educate them? Which would you prefer? Being controlled...or being educated?

    Since people started being educated there have been less people that smoke. If I remember correctly obesity has dropped..though it is still high. And drinking has dropped also. And not because of any bans.
    I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer. ~ Kal'Stang

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    Actually from my own experiances South Park is a detriment to society. Kids see it and think that it is OK to emulate such behavior. After all...if it is allowed on the air then certainly it is allowed for people to actually do it...right?

    Now here's a question for ya, what happens when a government becomes too controlling? IE, nanny state.
    Well, I am not sure there are any empirical studies that show South Park to be a serious detriment to public safety or health. Have you? I wouldn't say it's any worse than video games, which have yet to have any solid data showing they "cause" bad problems.

    When the government gets too controlling? Well, the only thing I would be concerned about is if the controls don't have the proper justifications or data to back them up. If there is excess control, control needs to be scaled back. But it's a balancing act. Sometimes, lesser controls work, but sometimes, you need stronger methods.

    I don't really have a problem with the concept of a Nanny State. My problem is that some policies don't fix anything or target issues inefficiently. That's why I propose a technocratc scheme for policy making. Policy ought to be made by experts, not politicians specifically.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 09-23-10 at 01:11 AM.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    Bold part: exactly. The State is there to help. Not control. When a government passes laws they are controlling what people may/may not do. That is not the type of help a government should provide. You yourself state that...
    Well, I think "help" is vague, and people require help along a continuum. For some things, I think the government should directly intervene and control, because other lesser methods are not working or would take too long. For other things that are not yet as serious, perhaps lesser strategies could work. Depends on how much time and how much harm you want to happen in the transition process from behaviour A to B. For many things, I do not belieive public "persuasion" and education will seriously change in time, so people need to have limitations set upon them. And not just limitations, but active strategies to shape behaviour (economic incentives, for example). They work better than education short-term.

    Education won't suddenly cure obesity, and the problem is serious enough to warrent stop-gap nanny controls alongside education. Environmental protection is another area where controls are necessary, because even when properly educated, people don't care when they are on the front lines shopping, eating, etc. People will go for what's cheap and convenient. No amount of education will change that any time soon. People who claim to be green aren't even as green as they percieve themselves to be. Someone needs to step in. People often have a hard time evaluating their own status or changing behaviour, but an outside force that has no interest or stake directly in their lives will not have such a problem.


    So instead of trying to control people why not try to educate them? Which would you prefer? Being controlled...or being educated?
    Obviously, the preferable one is to be educated, but I'd also love to be a millionaire. Never going to happen, though. Education can only do so much, and it takes a long, long time. By then, we'd all be dead.

    Since people started being educated there have been less people that smoke. If I remember correctly obesity has dropped..though it is still high. And drinking has dropped also. And not because of any bans.
    Yes, education was partially effective. But it took an enormous boatload of time, money, and legal battles. But recent studies have shown that the best type of education isn't even factual, it's emotional. For example, people do not respond nearly as well to statistical data or reasoned analysis of the harms of smoking. They DO respond to how smoking will impact sexual performance or looks.

    If you want to wait forever for education and mass marketing to slowly change behaviour, okay,but price manipulations, taxation, regulation of product quality/content I think will work faster in the meantime as you do the teaching. I am not proposing to really ban anything. That's not the type of controls I have in mind. But I realize that people are lazy, resistant to education, or any change in behaviour, which involves effort and inconvenience. In those cases, control must be from the top down. Voluntarism may work eventually, but we don't always have that kind of time.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    But here's the thing. The government is suppose to be "of the people". Not just a select group of people that happen to save it money because they are more healthy than others.
    But isn't it the people who want cigarettes banned from public places? And it isn't it a representative government? Because I don't think the government would lift a finger if a consensus of the people didn't want it and lobby their representives in government to get it. And while some non-smokers say they dont care, I don't see them calling their congressman to protest the banning of cigarettes. And smokers, well they don't really voice their protest either because they know the risk to smoking and so they must recognize the right of others to breath clean air. You yourself respect and recognize their right over yours, simply by being a considerate smoker.

    Please consider my argument as an excercise as I'm just trying out this line of reasoning and welcome your rebuttals.

    And what you seem to be advocating here is a nanny state government. Yet the US is suppose to be about freedom. Freedom and a nanny state government is not compatible. Yeah it may be stupid to smoke or drink or eat until you're 500lbs, but that is a persons right.
    Well, of course and people should always have that right to do whatever they want with their own body. But those same people can't expect businesses to invest in a community whose labor pool is either morbidly obese, chronically ill from smoking, high on pot, or drunk all the time if the business won't get a fair day's labor in return for the cost of wages and benefits they have to pay. So essentially, if a large portion of the population are making poor health choices, it can effect the entire community because businesses won't want to locate and invest there. Contrary to popular belief, taxes aren't the highest cost of operating a business, paying for labor is.


    Also, what you said in your post is not what has been shown to be true in reality. People have smoked cigarettes, been obese, done drugs, and drank alchohol for centuries. Yet society has not been destabilized because of it.
    Well, it's kinda happening now in a large section of SLC called West Valley where a good portion of the population is either morbidly obese or hooked on meth and as a consequence few businesses want to locate there. Which means the people either aren't working at legitimate jobs or they're working at low skill jobs for low wages. And as a consequence of that, the tax base is low and so their schools aren't getting the funding they need, and the crime rate, domestic violence and teen pregnacy has gone up. Now I don't know if the obesity and meth problem came first because of the lack of education and low wages or visa versa but it all seems to be connected, imo.

    So I'm just thinking that we as a society and more broadly as a nation that we do have the choice: to exercise our right to be obese, cronically ill and live a substandard life or we can strive to be a more competitive labor force with other nations and keep our higher standard of living.

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