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About Terminalxylem

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  1. This is a noble sentiment, but I’m not sure I agree. I want informed voters, and I believe too many people vote single issue or party line without much thought. Maybe I’m not giving people enough credit?
  2. Does an anonymous forum exist where opposing political viewpoints are treated with equal respect? Seems to me, one “side” or the other always dominates, and the other suffers a bit. That being said, the PSF is pretty benign in how badly it treats Trump supporters, at least by internet standards.
  3. I think it happens, but isn’t commonplace - most people are fairly fixed in their beliefs. During disputes, I’ve sometimes asked that question directly to other posters and people IRL. Every once in a while I’ll get answer, and sometimes it steers the discussion in a different direction. I also think about it regarding my own views on an issue. Absent a response, it’s a good cue to disengage.
  4. Mask science was, and still is imperfect. Same goes for other public health recs, as it’s nearly impossible to study things like optimal physical distancing, percent virus that is aerosolized, role of fomites, etc. Nearly all the recommendations were based on “expert opinion”, tradition and a smidge of experimental data. That’s not to say we haven’t learned a lot about SARS-CoV-2 in the last six months - it’s a novel infection, so just about everything we know about it is new. And while there still aren’t large scale prospective, randomized controlled trials showing NPIs work, we have enough observational, real world experience to use as a basis for policy.
  5. Please, please get one. With covid blowing up, we can’t afford any extra people getting hospitalized.
  6. As a participant in meaningful discussion, a few things must occur: 1. Refrain from insults, name-calling, snark, hostile emojis/laughing smiley or otherwise incendiary responses. Disagree nicely. 2. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong, or when there are gaps in your knowledge. None of us are infallible or all-knowing. 3. Even if you don’t agree 100%, acknowledge validity of opposing viewpoints. 4. Recognize when a discussion is nonproductive, and disengage from the back-and-forth. An “agree to disagree” emoji might help: 5. If all else fails, the ignore function helps. I try to minimize it, as I believe it contributes to the potential for an echo chamber, but unfortunately a few posters are insufferable. But this site really is pretty good at weeding out bad behavior. 6. Work on improving empathy. Ask yourself, “what would it take to accept an opposing viewpoint?” If the answer is nothing, there’s no good reason to argue IMO. To be clear, I do not abide by all these rules all the time. But I’m trying to do better, and hope others are as well.
  7. Obviously the polls aren’t perfect, but what better tool exists to predict election outcomes - what do you base your confidence in a Trump win?
  8. Fairly confident, though I think there is a decent chance voter suppression tactics (likely) or faithless electors (less likely) muck things up. And nearly certain Trump will contest the results, though I don’t think the courts will give him an illegitimate win.
  9. As @IvanKaramazov pointed out, the best predictive data we have suggests ~90% probability Biden wins. So perhaps a more reasonable guess would be 90-100%. But faith in the collective polls has nothing to do with living in an echo chamber. Admittedly, I added an extra 5%, because I’m a bit of a Pollyanna, and want to believe the American people recognize Trump’s presidency has been a disaster.
  10. Do you, or does anyone know of a person who supports one candidate but firmly (90%+) believes the opposition will win?
  11. Why unhealthy? I’m not especially interested in politics (though admittedly, Trump has inspired me to become more involved), and my quality of life won’t likely change based on the election results. I chose 95-100% because I believe Biden is virtually assured a win. I base this on polls, high voter turn out and an overall sense of fatigue for Trump’s antics.
  12. I’m not one of them, but it’s some combination of “mainstream” media/poll distrust compounded by availability and confirmation biases. People who support Trump tend to live in places with other Trump supporters and seek out/preselect media sources which build on narratives like the “shy” Trump voter, “silent majority”, gains in minority voters, etc. And 2016 certainly feeds into some of their beliefs. FTR, I’m one of the 95-100%, so feel free to point out the absurdity of this post if Biden loses.
  13. Strongly disagree. A clear, proactive plan consistent with public health recommendations, national mask mandate and deference to scientists would have saved tens of thousands, if not 100K+ lives. There’s no reason to believe Trump’s leadership is the best we can do, nor that culture is the sole determinate of pandemic outcomes.
  14. I try to stay off the obnoxious, insulting, kick ‘em when they’re down page.
  15. I chose to have my terminally ill pet euthanized, but it made me sad nonetheless. Worthy of sympathy? And he didn’t choose to lose his friend btw.