There are 20 users with the 'Philosophy' People Tag.
The last 25 reviews from these users are below.

People tag: Philosophy

This page displays the most recent reviews by people who have tagged themselves with Philosophy.

Item & Rating
Comment
I don't think this is necessary. Most of the time, you can directly correlate the number of helpfuls one receives with the amount of time any reviewer spends on the site, but in general, the best reviewers land somewhere in the top 50. It's a barometer of the quality of a reviewers contributions to the site.

Recently the administration removed the "not helpful" button. Actually I have been away on a trip for 10 days and only returned to find the latest innovation. I have no problem with that, but replacing it with "funny" and "agree" is redundant. The idea of something being helpful encompasses a lot, including agreement with an opinion. It just isn't necessary in the broader view of things.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
There isn't a whole lot of originality out there. I have DirecTV: access to about 800 channels worth of programming. Almost all of it is garbage, just a lot of useless information that lacks substance or meaning. Some channels offer good programming, but it seems to me that most of the people who are producing TV shows make a product designed to entertain the lowest common denominator through "reality" TV shows. This medium though is a powerful one, powerful enough to create other social realities. It changes perceptions--that's why TV advertising is so effective; it creates demand for products that people don't really need or ever knew they wanted. But they see it on TV and it creates desire. Advertising is indeed one of the main purposes of TV.

We are a TV society. It's where we get most of our information. TV is however a passive medium, unlike the written word, where you interact with the material and possibly even make your own judgments on the matter. That's why Gutenbergs invention of the printing press was so revolutionary in nature; people no longer had a central authority, the church, doing the thinking for them. That invention eventually led to the Reformation and the Enlightenment. TV is designed to entertain, not inform. As such, the rules by which the public forum operates have been dramatically altered, especially over the past 20-40 years. The world of television makes it difficult, if not impossible, for individuals to take part in any sort of a national conversation about the issues at hand. Why? TV stations and networks are inaccessible to the individual, they're controlled by a small power elite (both conservative and liberal), and are uninterested in hearing editorial opinion from the viewers. There are significant barriers to entry in the marketplace of ideas with television, so in essence we don't get enough viewpoints to really make informed judgments on the issues. Take the debate to go to war with Iraq back in 2002. Was the American public exposed to all the information needed to make a decision to support or oppose the war? I personally don't think so. These are the real issues here.

This is ironic because TV is actually more accessible to more people than any source of information in human history. But here's the kicker; it's accessible in only one direction, you're not interacting with the information being given, for there is no true conversation on the issues going on. Compounding to the problem, the networks no longer invest a lot in their news division; so much of what passes for news these days is "info-tainment", lots of stuff about celebrity happenings, scandals, fabricated stories, fictional events and just the general tabloidization of the news, with the real substantive stuff getting little coverage. "If it thinks, it stinks" is the new adage in a lot of news departments. Journalists can't do their jobs because there is no money to do substantive investigations that might otherwise hold those in power to account. If we're not informed, how can we as a people, act as a check to the unmitigated power of the government? TV as a medium has great potential, but there are also great perils. The info-tainment mentality of news arguably led to a war where thousands of people have been killed in the Middle East. There are real consequences here. How we as a people make informed decisions if the places where most people get their information can't even give us accurate or relevant information?

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Hands down,the cutest thing I've ever seen.

- Rated by: rockerrreds (7)
The Seahawks will likely win the NFC West once again by default. Arizona might them a run for their money, and SF has a good enough defense to make a difference, but I still see Seattle as top dog here.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
50/1 is a bit high for a team that 0-6. The Rams have really been hit hard by injuries this year, so much so that what looked like a promising year will likely be a 2-14 effort, at best. They're mostly playing with backups and the backups to the backups!

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Starred my fav female,Larisa Oleynik.

- Rated by: rockerrreds (7)
I always used to watch this.

- Rated by: rockerrreds (7)
I loved that they had Marshall crenshaw on.

- Rated by: rockerrreds (7)
The Cayman's are a bit more expensive than some of the other islands in
the Caribbean, but there is no poverty on these islands, unlike places
like the Dominican Republic and the Windward islands.  Food and
lodging cost more, but the quality is good and the locals are
friendly.  Georgetown itself is a clean city with lots of shops
and banks.  The beaches are of a good quality, although be aware
that, especially along the 7 mile beach, that the shoreline drops off
very quick.  The Cayman trench, one of the deepest in the Atlantic
basin, is located right off shore.  Something interesting to do is
to take a submarine tour of the wall of the trench; the habit there is
very interesting and unique.  You can grab one of these tours
right on the harbor. 


- Rated by: abichara (55)
There isn't much to do in Bridgetown, but the island itself is very pleasant. The best beaches are just north of Bridgetown, that's the place to stay. Try to do a circle island tour; there are a few nice areas throughout the island. The north-east shore is one of a my favorite spots on the island. The island is also dotted with lots of caves. They have one which is the largest in the Caribbean; an electric train takes visitors down to see it. The stalagmites there are quite a sight to see. Also, being that the island is owned by Britain, people drive on the left side on the road. Indeed, the culture itself seems to more defined by British influences than a lot of other islands in the Caribbean.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Montego Bay is a rough city, although its not as bad as Kingston. The main tourist area seems rather run down, with people constantly trying to force you buy things, whether it be t-shirts, marijuana, or shot glasses. Generally, the poverty level seems rather high, although the beaches are okay. I'd suggest going to Negril in Jamaica for good beaches.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
The old town has lots of interesting colonial buildings.  It makes
for an interesting half day of touring.  There are a few churches,
shops and restaurants within the old city walls.  Try to take a
tour of the old fort; it is one of the largest in the Caribbean. 
The beaches in the city proper, including Isla Verde are only so-so,
although the party scene isn't bad.  Try to see the countryside,
including El Yunque, a national park which houses a rainforest and lots
of waterfalls.  The western and southern part of the island facing
the Caribbean has very good beaches.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Gravel doesn't stand a chance of getting elected, but at least he livens up some of the debates. As the resident truth teller of the Democratic field, he keeps the frontrunners honest, which the other candidates are afraid to do because they want a shot at the Vice Presidency, at the very least. Sure, some of Gravel's ideas are a little out there, or not functional, but at the least he plays an important role in the nomination process. BTW, he was a former Senator from Alaska during the 1970's who played a significant role in ending the military draft in the US. He was defeated for re-election in 1980, the same year Ronald Reagan was elected President. He, along with several other liberal Senators lost re-election that year to conservatives running on Reagan's coattails.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
This is too intrusive and such a policy would be way too costly to implement anyways. I agree that food products with lots of high fructose corn syrup, a cheaper but more concentrated sugar used by most of the big food producers, has a detrimental effect on our health. That said, this is an issue that is best left to local parent groups and the school districts that actually contract out the suppliers for school cafeteria lunches. By demanding healthier food products, parents can force the administrators to reassess the situation. Such a strategy has been relatively successful in many school districts. Indeed, some recent studies indicate that districts which have gone with a more healthier diet, lower in sugar and saturated fats, have students that weigh significantly less and are in better physical shape. This fact has provided parents sufficient motivation to lobby school districts for new cafeteria meals and has forced the politicians to cast an eye on this issue. This attention will likely slowly force the big food producers to start marketing healthier foods. But they will only change in reaction to market demand, hence it is up to the consumer to decide that a healthier diet is in their interests. We sure don't need more central government to advance this objective! In fact, that would probably be counterintuitive.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Given the Dolphins putrid start this year, perhaps it would be interesting to ask if Saban saw this coming before he left to Alabama? Miami has gone from having the 4th ranked defense last year to 30th this year. This was fairly unanticipated; the teams defense has gone from experienced to old very fast! This drop in production on defense can probably be attributed to the loss of several key interior linemen to free agency. This is why they can't stop the run at all. Perhaps we should also ask if Saban was the brains behind the defense too. They did lose a few linemen, but the veteran core remains intact, so its probably a question of coaching. Either way, it is clear that the Dolphins losing Saban has had a significant impact, even if the Miami fans who revile him will not admit it. On the upside, the offense has improved, but only marginally so.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
I have recently become aware of the many complaints that have been lodged against the site owners. I've been on this site for seven years now and frankly this has always been a place where you can fairly express your opinions. The history of RIA has had its up and downs, various flamewars and other assorted conflicts. Castlebee is right: the ones who last are the ones who have a thicker skin about them. A lot of people don't like being criticized for their opinions, and many less enjoy expressing them in a public forum. You have to accept that you will be questioned and even trashed every once in a while: this is the internet after all. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. All things considered, the moderator/owner really keeps things in check with regards to internet trolls. That's important, for you want an environment where intelligent discussion can be had. No moderator can always be successful at it, because not all opinions are created equally, but the team which runs RIA is pretty successful at managing the site overall.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
I said it then and I say it now: this has to be one of the dumbest moves of the year. I know that GM A.J. Smith and Schottenheimer had issues involving personnel choices. One can only imagine that Smith used the Chargers loss to the Patriots last year as a pretext to convince the ownership to dump Schottenheimer for Norv Turner, who has never won consistently with teams similarly loaded with talent with the Redskins and to a lesser degree, Oakland.

Turner is a good offensive coordinator/assistant head coach, but he lacks organizational ability, which in football entails understanding the nuances of how all 3 stages of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) interrelate. Schottenheimer may have been more conservative, but he was more of a true HC than Turner. Many of San Diego's current troubles can be attributed to poor coaching.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Like most financial busts, the recent crisis in the sub-prime mortgage lending market has its roots in "easy money". I personally know quite a few people who are currently in foreclosure due to an inability to pay their mortgage on their homes. Problem is many people took out loans at a time when interest rates were at an all-time low. Many bought into flexible rates, where the amount that they pay on their mortgage is tied to current interest rates. With rates on the way up, many have found that they can't pay their monthly mortgages on time. Basically, a lot of people got into homes that they couldn't normally afford. Broadly speaking, the genesis of this crisis is with the Federal Reserve. As with asset bubbles and investment crazes in the past, the fuel for the current housing market has its roots in Fed manipulating the monetary supply. They were keeping interest rates artificially low. Consumers, acting on these rates, looked to consume. Homebuilders saw this as a signal to stock up on inventory, and build they did.

Some Macroeconomics 101 might be needed here: The Federal Reserve, which is the Central Bank here in the US, stimulates the economy by playing with fed funds rate and the discount rates, which are used as benchmarks throughout the economy. The interest rate is the price of time. Basically the value of a dollar today won't be the same as a dollar next year. Just like prices in the market, interest rates send certain signals to businesses to take certain actions. Interest rate reduction has two effects: it makes long terms projects that are capital intensive cheaper to undertake and it encourages consumption over saving. When Alan Greenspan chaired the Fed, the funds rate was so low that real interest rates (that is the nominal interest rate minus inflation) was negative, a relatively rare situation. With a negative interest rate, someone who saves money will actually lose it!

Now, the Fed continues to increase the money supply. Economists estimate that the price of money (M3) has risen at a rate of 12% over the past 8 years, which is much faster than it has grown over 30 year span. In short, the price of money as set by the market doesn't correlate with interest rates that are being set and have been set by the Fed over the past few years. They have been inflating the money supply to encourage spending. But printing more money has a similar analogy to maxing out your credit cards: you don't have the money to spend, but you spend it anyways. We as a nation are essentially maxing out our credit. How are we going to cover our debts long term?

Millions of people now find themselves stuck in a bad financial situation that is really not their fault. This situation in the housing market is a result of the manipulation of the monetary supply, mortgage markets, and the interest rate. Further regulation of the mortgage brokers, banks, lenders and credit rating agencies won't improve the current situation. The economic intervention which the Fed undertakes, which is akin to price controls in the private sector, will not solve the problem. In fact, it will add to the problem. The problem is that we have an inflationary monetary policy. There needs to be a free market element to the way interest rates are set. The Fed has really contributed to the crisis because the policies they've set have made many Americans take on more debt than they can afford.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
This is probably one of the most important issues on the agenda today. The cost of health care continues to rise, leaving many people unable to afford health insurance. Those who have insurance, along with their doctors, have to deal with this dysfunctional system of "managed care" and third party providers who act as "gatekeepers". Many of the Presidential candidates are floating reform ideas, some are better than others in general.

However, most of the health care "reforms" will either only make marginal changes to the current system or will only make the problem worse. They all fail to address the fundamental problem: government relies excessively on third party payers. Laws promoting the HMO's came about originally as a means to control the rapidly increasing cost of health care, but this managed care system has only taken control of health care decisions away from the doctor and the patient.

The predominance of third party payers means that there is no real market out there for individual health insurance policies, thus those whose employers cannot offer them insurance either have to pay exorbitant prices or must do without health insurance. Since most providers cater to those with insurance, it is very difficult for those who don't have benefits to find a policy that best fits their needs. The market for health care is very highly distorted and includes hidden costs that are unnecessary and excessive.

The uninsured usually turn to government funded health care, or they just use the local emergency room as their primary care doctor. The result is declining health care for the uninsured and an increased burden on taxpayer funded systems. I think the only way to restore some balance to the system is to essentially return control of health care to the individual. It sounds revolutionary, but the truth is, we need to simplify the health care system, and remove some of those hidden costs. You can do this through a variety of means: the government can provide tax deductions for health care expenses. This cost can be made fully deductible against your wage and income taxes through a few simple changes to the tax code. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are also another idea that's out there. Any American should be able sign up for these HSA's as a means to pay for the cost of health care, or their insurance premiums. Any unused funds that accrue in these accounts can be rolled over through the use of flexible savings accounts, thus lowering the cost of health care for everyone in the long term. Reducing costs will mean that government programs can improve the range and quality of coverage that low income groups receive. The key is reducing third payer costs.


- Rated by: abichara (55)
It really is a shame. Ricky Williams is a very talented runner, and frankly, his infractions are minor compared to what others in the NFL have done in recent times. Names that come to my mind at the moment include Michael Vick, Leonard Little, Albert Haynesworth, and Pacman Jones. And Ricky Williams, who's actually a very peaceful guy, belongs on that list? I don't think so. He's been struggling with drug dependence and depression for years, and he's tried to get off marijuana as a means to treat his mental issues. But, if you know anyone who has had similar struggles, they'll tell you that its very hard. I think the punishment doesn't fit the bill personally. If he was caught doing a performance enhancing drug that would give a competitive advantage over other players, then perhaps it might be an issue. But occasionally doing marijuana, or even a lot of marijuana, doesn't make a difference in that case. Let the man run.



- Rated by: abichara (55)
This guy has had a pretty surprising political career. Elected in late 1970's as Cleveland's youngest mayor, Kucinich went on to have a disasterous term in office. At one point, he even had to post police officers at a Cleveland Indians game where he was slated to throw the first pitch. Kucinich was receiving death threats because his office supporting a vast array of unpopular measures. He was kicked out of office by the voters in 1980 and subsequent to that spent a lot of time drifting. He even lived in his car for a time. In 1996, he made a political comeback and was elected a Congressman, a remarkable feat considering everything.

I don't think he can be elected President though. His views are too left wing for the Democratic party and the nation at large. His foreign policy views in particular are a little too naive. He would be swallowed up within 6 months if he takes over.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Edwards is trying to position himself as the Bobby Kennedy of 2008: a former hawk who has become a war critic. But there's a problem, this isn't 1968 and Iraq is a different from Vietnam, contrary to what both Democrats and even Republicans like George Bush are saying. Different context, different political circumstances are at play here. Edwards himself doesn't have the political following that Bobby Kennedy did, nor does have the raw, native instincts for politics that he did. Edwards is a lightweight who underperformed as the VP nominee for the Democrats in 2004. I doubt the Democrats will hand him the nomination.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Obama is running to establish himself as a household name for the next time he decides to run. I think it's fairly clear that he won't be the nominee. He has some support, but the party establishment isn't behind him. He has raised some money from the grass-roots, but the big money is behind Hillary. She will likely be the nominee. Obama is not without his political talents, but Hillary operation on the ground is clearly superior. She can owe that to her husband's 8 years in the White House. That gives her an advantage in many things, from dealing with candidate forums to raising money. Obama will score a second place win in the national polls and possibly a win in South Carolina. But he will have to wait his turn.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
Politics in general doesn't attract people of good moral fiber. In fact, the majority are mediocrities. Guess why scandal is a part of political life? Yes, here and there you find a truly devoted public servant, but the majority are either glory hogs or incompetents. Sometimes they are a combination of both. With political position comes power, and that's something that not everyone can handle properly or ethically. Reality is, when you have to pick from a field of duds, the odds that you'll get one is pretty high. And this has always been the case. How many of our presidents can you legitimately say have been great leaders? Some like Truman and even Lincoln overperformed after prior low expectations, but you'll find, outside of the founders, that great leaders only come along once in a while. Examples include the Roosevelts, Lincoln, and even to an extent Eisenhower and Reagan. These are people who make history; they arent merely a part of it. Not only that, but these are people who are acutely aware of their own role in history.

Given the current field of candidates, I don't anticipate that any of them have the will or gumption to do a good job. The challenges are great, but where are the leaders who can make things happen? When Hillary is seen as the giant of this race, we know that there is a dearth of leadership here.

Leadership is inclusive of many things: vision, organizational competence, and a willingness to compromise when need be. Which candidates in the field have demonstrated these qualities when need be? Some are better than others, but the top contenders, including Giuliani and Hillary have polarizing leadership styles. Some of our greatest leaders have elisited great emotion on either side, but they have one thing that the current crop of leaders don't have, and it's a willingness to compromise and re-examine their own views when need be. Such a situation has led to political stalemate in recent years between the parties. With domestic and foreign challenges on deck, that's not a place we need to be. Hillary and the Republican candidates represent as such politics as usual.

- Rated by: abichara (55)
I in general don't have a lot of complaints about how RIA is managed. Frankly, the owners of the site can do it however way they want to. Sure, it's right that users can complain to the admin. about problems, but they can do what they want.

I have only one problem though: whenever someone leaves the site, I believe that their weblists should not disappear off too with them. Many of us over time have left comments on lists that have been lost. I estimate that I've lost over time about 500 total ratings from weblists from users that have decided to leave the site. That isn't right in my view. Certainly anyboby can leave when they want, but the weblists should remain as property of the site. Users can make them, but only with the caveat that they know that they can't be deleted when you leave the site. Its only fair that users should know that their ratings won't be deleted on a whim.

- Rated by: abichara (55)