On understanding the pin head engineer, or what I mean by it..........

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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#1
Last night I decided to get a hamburger at a local chain and happened to turn on my local PBS station to hear a program I hadn't known about called the Hidden Brain. A psychiatrist was interview regarding his work on understanding why we have two hemisphere's of the brain and their relation to how we perceive reality in two fundamentally different ways. It is this difference of view that I have, in my opinion, struggled to communicate in various ways over the years and found the what I thought of as a highly developed and articulate enunciation of those differences to be highly informative and usefully clear. I found the psychiatrists name and looked him up and found the following lecture he did on the same subject on TED. I personally believe that the information presented has profound bearing on how we view things generally but in relevance here to politics. The information is highly organized and efficiently, that is to say, densely packed, perhaps overwhelmingly so, but if you're interested, see what you think:

https://www.ted.com/talks/iain_mcgilchrist_the_divided_brain

There is a podcast of the 2/10/19 Hidden Brain interview on KQED Radio that is longer.

Are we living in a pin head world?
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
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#2

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
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#3
For those interested in meaning or the Jordan Peterson thingi, this I thought was quite good:

 
Dec 18, 2010
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#4
Last night I decided to get a hamburger at a local chain and happened to turn on my local PBS station to hear a program I hadn't known about called the Hidden Brain. A psychiatrist was interview regarding his work on understanding why we have two hemisphere's of the brain and their relation to how we perceive reality in two fundamentally different ways. It is this difference of view that I have, in my opinion, struggled to communicate in various ways over the years and found the what I thought of as a highly developed and articulate enunciation of those differences to be highly informative and usefully clear. I found the psychiatrists name and looked him up and found the following lecture he did on the same subject on TED. I personally believe that the information presented has profound bearing on how we view things generally but in relevance here to politics. The information is highly organized and efficiently, that is to say, densely packed, perhaps overwhelmingly so, but if you're interested, see what you think:
Love your posts moonbeam XOOXXOO

Please, and for the love of GOD, learn what paragraph breaks are.

If we took your post and applied it to modern politics, then maybe we could analyze Trump derangement syndrome. This would include the supposed collusion with Russia to win the election, to him being a racist and sexist. There are various videos on youtube of people protesting Trump, and when exactly what Trump has done, they could not give an answer.

Another example are people who said they would vote for Hillary, and proclaimed how wonderful she was, yet could not name a single thing Hillary had accomplished.

Then there is the recent black face issue and outrage. People forget at one time it was socially acceptable to cover ones face in black. Should something that happened 40 years ago, and socially acceptable, cause outrage today? All they know is they should be outraged, but why are they outraged at something that happened 40 years ago?

People tend to put emotions before logic. When asked exactly to explain the foundation of their feelings on a topic are unable to do so. This puts them in an uncomfortable situation.

Maybe this goes back to our education system. Rather than teaching children to analyze the situation and for their own opinion, we look for teachers to teach us what we should believe. Once we finish high school and go to college, then professors teach students what they should believe. By the time we reach adulthood we have been conditioned to not think for ourselves, but to listen to others, such as the person in the talking box in the living room.

This could also go back to a childs desire to please those in control, such as parents and teachers. If we disobey, then we are scolded and disciplined. Through threat of punishment we give our desire to think for ourselves.

Once we reach adulthood we have gone through well over a decade of forced mind control at the hands of our parents, teachers, coaches... etc. The idea of free and critical thought is a foreign concept to most, as they regurgitate what the talking box tells us. The people on the talking box are placed in a position of authority by their social status, and millions of people fall in line to believe them.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#5
Thanks! I am no expert on Neuroscience, so I'm uncertain of the scientific veracity of his division between left and right brain. As he says, such pursuits have historically been plagued by pseudoscience. And in the end he is explicit that both hemispheres are required for e.g. creativity. I think most likely he is exploiting our modern Western scientific preference for concrete, narrowly defined, internally logically consistent models. Ironic really. He's illustrating our socially pathologic preference through indulging it.

Anyway, the validity of the science doesn't interest me near as much as the 2 fundamental points he makes. 1. That humans have parallel capacity to see the world in small, concrete, rational but myopic (or even fantastical) bits alongside a more intuitive and interpersonally aware appreciation; and 2. That Western society today has a clear overindulge of the former.

Those are 2 points which are fundamental to my view of the world, and I'm thankful for a model which makes this understanding more accessible.

More personally, I struggle to integrate the two when I am confronted with an intuitive observation which does not mesh with society's preference. When I seek to operationalize what I understand, myriad difficulties arise, and one of my hopes and discontents is for partnership to help describe what is understood but lacking symbolization.

This has helped me do a few things. One is to have more compassion for myself. Another is to understand better what to look for in seeking that partner. Another is to imagine there may be ways to practice that translation and improve.
 
Jun 23, 2004
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#6
I feel like my thick skull needs a second pass, or a third, to better absorb the relation between all the parts of his presentation. To try and grasp the implications therein.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
369
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#7
Once we reach adulthood we have gone through well over a decade of forced mind control at the hands of our parents, teachers, coaches... etc. The idea of free and critical thought is a foreign concept to most, as they regurgitate what the talking box tells us. The people on the talking box are placed in a position of authority by their social status, and millions of people fall in line to believe them.
Interesting stuff. Perhaps some of this isn't universal. I recall, in particular, my two senior high English teachers. They were gay, flamboyant and intellectual and the books I had to read and comment on were profound and among the best. I had to write essay after essay commenting on my opinion of this and that topic, always intellectually challenging, as to what I thought of it. I used to write and write and scratch out and rewrite into the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out how to say what I felt. I would read what I wrote and become frustrated with rage that what I wrote wasn't what I meant to say. I was simply full to the brim with feelings and thoughts I didn't know how to express.

But in all of it, what I was being asked to think for myself and learn how to express it and also to defend it with reason. In my view the newness in creativity is the act of expressing what was already there but not articulated, putting some kind of language to feeling. There is one question. What do you feel?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
369
126
#8
I feel like my thick skull needs a second pass, or a third, to better absorb the relation between all the parts of his presentation. To try and grasp the implications therein.
I would liken it to trying to swallow a manual rather than a red pill. It really does represent, though, I think, pretty much a synopsis of a person's life work to date. I know that personally, I will be adding this guy to my list of people to pay attention to.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
369
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#9
[interchange: Thanks! I am no expert on Neuroscience, so I'm uncertain of the scientific veracity of his division between left and right brain. As he says, such pursuits have historically been plagued by pseudoscience. And in the end he is explicit that both hemispheres are required for e.g. creativity. I think most likely he is exploiting our modern Western scientific preference for concrete, narrowly defined, internally logically consistent models. Ironic really. He's illustrating our socially pathologic preference through indulging it.

M: I think he also says as much regarding what you call ironic here. It seems we may have no choice when we attempt to 'grasp' or model things.

i: Anyway, the validity of the science doesn't interest me near as much as the 2 fundamental points he makes. 1. That humans have parallel capacity to see the world in small, concrete, rational but myopic (or even fantastical) bits alongside a more intuitive and interpersonally aware appreciation; and 2. That Western society today has a clear overindulge of the former.

M: I agree here too. I find it to be a profoundly important issue to come to grips with also because, as he says, the left brain seems to be entirely bereft of a real understanding of the big picture which means all those so overbalanced to the left hemisphere form of thinking are not going to see that fact.

i: Those are 2 points which are fundamental to my view of the world, and I'm thankful for a model which makes this understanding more accessible.

M: A long time ago I started to think of THE TRUTH as a 'who knows what' around which all philosophical and religious ideas revolve and that the coherence or proximity to which various formulations approximate it can be thought of in terms of concentric circles. Some formulations or models of reality are quite tight and some fall far from the mark, that the development of philosophical ideas, etc, have represent better and better ways to describe it.

As part of what constitutes better and better, I see that as a moving target in two directions. The more we learn scientifically, the more information we have from sociology, neuroscience, psychology of varying kinds, etc, to draw from, and as our cultural outlook and preconceptions evolve, the more culture appropriate those models also relate.

We draw closer to the target and our angle of approach changes. I also find promise in the models these links offer.

i: More personally, I struggle to integrate the two when I am confronted with an intuitive observation which does not mesh with society's preference. When I seek to operationalize what I understand, myriad difficulties arise, and one of my hopes and discontents is for partnership to help describe what is understood but lacking symbolization.

M: As always, I struggle to integrate into my personal understanding the abstractions others use to put their personal experiences into generalizations to communicate. I might be able to better reply if I had an example of some intuitive observation you have made that doesn't mesh as you describe. I think I face something that sounds like that every time I mention that I believe we hate ourselves. Anyway..........

i: This has helped me do a few things. One is to have more compassion for myself. Another is to understand better what to look for in seeking that partner. Another is to imagine there may be ways to practice that translation and improve.

M: If I understand this for me it would go like this for my example: I wish there were a way I could collapse paradox for people who suffer, to say that to suffer is not to suffer so suffer more and not at the same time sound heartless and cruel. I regret also that I know of no safe place where a person who wishes to suffer can do so among those who have real understanding.
 
Apr 3, 2001
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#10
Maybe this goes back to our education system. Rather than teaching children to analyze the situation and for their own opinion, we look for teachers to teach us what we should believe. Once we finish high school and go to college, then professors teach students what they should believe. By the time we reach adulthood we have been conditioned to not think for ourselves, but to listen to others, such as the person in the talking box in the living room.

This could also go back to a childs desire to please those in control, such as parents and teachers. If we disobey, then we are scolded and disciplined. Through threat of punishment we give our desire to think for ourselves.

Once we reach adulthood we have gone through well over a decade of forced mind control at the hands of our parents, teachers, coaches... etc. The idea of free and critical thought is a foreign concept to most, as they regurgitate what the talking box tells us. The people on the talking box are placed in a position of authority by their social status, and millions of people fall in line to believe them.
It feels weird to read you post this after seeing your recent thread on taxes and job creation. Maybe you could read the responses, think about it critically, and post a thoughtful response of your own. Is it possible that you yourself have been conditioned to not think for yourself, but you are not self-aware of it? It could bear considering.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#11
People tend to put emotions before logic. When asked exactly to explain the foundation of their feelings on a topic are unable to do so. This puts them in an uncomfortable situation.
I find that last bit pivotal. Society is one where we don't find emotion and intuition is valid unless they are justified by an agreeable logical foundation.

What we see in behavioral response often includes making up a logical system that justifies our emotions even if that logical system is an extremely poor reflection of reality. And it's really hard to show someone those faults. Accepting that their logic is wrong would force them to accept their emotions as invalid. That is unless you also provide them alternative logic which validates their emotions.

Of course, most people who challenge the beliefs of others aren't exactly aiming to validate their underlying emotional experience. When you're trying to poke holes in the logic of a racist, who does so with empathy for the feelings that drove someone to develop their racism in the first place?

Maybe this goes back to our education system. Rather than teaching children to analyze the situation and for their own opinion, we look for teachers to teach us what we should believe. Once we finish high school and go to college, then professors teach students what they should believe. By the time we reach adulthood we have been conditioned to not think for ourselves, but to listen to others, such as the person in the talking box in the living room.

This could also go back to a childs desire to please those in control, such as parents and teachers. If we disobey, then we are scolded and disciplined. Through threat of punishment we give our desire to think for ourselves.

Once we reach adulthood we have gone through well over a decade of forced mind control at the hands of our parents, teachers, coaches... etc. The idea of free and critical thought is a foreign concept to most, as they regurgitate what the talking box tells us. The people on the talking box are placed in a position of authority by their social status, and millions of people fall in line to believe them.
I think your quest for why things are this way is a bit misguided. The "left brain" viewpoint is an extremely important part of good mental function. I think it's more prudent to recognize the imbalance and use your recognitions instead of etiological explanations as opportunity to modify things to help add more "right brain" viewpoints putting things more in balance.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#12
I find that last bit pivotal. Society is one where we don't find emotion and intuition is valid unless they are justified by an agreeable logical foundation.

What we see in behavioral response often includes making up a logical system that justifies our emotions even if that logical system is an extremely poor reflection of reality. And it's really hard to show someone those faults. Accepting that their logic is wrong would force them to accept their emotions as invalid. That is unless you also provide them alternative logic which validates their emotions.
That often escapes me. I feel that people require you to explain not only why something is wrong, but, to also give the "solution" or "correction". If you don't provide the latter then the former is seen as invalid.

I believe I the trouble I have comes from how I perceive the world. For me, I don't need to fill empty space. I can't figure out if that is a delusion on their part, or, if I'm missing something that they have that drives that desire.

Of course, most people who challenge the beliefs of others aren't exactly aiming to validate their underlying emotional experience. When you're trying to poke holes in the logic of a racist, who does so with empathy for the feelings that drove someone to develop their racism in the first place?
Is that not just a lack of maturity though? If you want to end racism because of the damage it causes to the world, why add more damage to the world? The net effect seems to have no reduction in damage.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#13
Is that not just a lack of maturity though? If you want to end racism because of the damage it causes to the world, why add more damage to the world? The net effect seems to have no reduction in damage.
You're too much of an idealist. If people's only desire was to end racism then we wouldn't have this problem.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#14
You're too much of an idealist. If people's only desire was to end racism then we wouldn't have this problem.
Oh, you are just saying that they use "fighting racism" as an excuse to be angry/violent?
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#15
I think he also says as much regarding what you call ironic here. It seems we may have no choice when we attempt to 'grasp' or model things.
Agreed.

I agree here too. I find it to be a profoundly important issue to come to grips with also because, as he says, the left brain seems to be entirely bereft of a real understanding of the big picture which means all those so overbalanced to the left hemisphere form of thinking are not going to see that fact.
Thankfully almost everyone has both hemispheres even if they are imbalanced. So the task isn't impossible, just hard.

A long time ago I started to think of THE TRUTH as a 'who knows what' around which all philosophical and religious ideas revolve and that the coherence or proximity to which various formulations approximate it can be thought of in terms of concentric circles. Some formulations or models of reality are quite tight and some fall far from the mark, that the development of philosophical ideas, etc, have represent better and better ways to describe it.

As part of what constitutes better and better, I see that as a moving target in two directions. The more we learn scientifically, the more information we have from sociology, neuroscience, psychology of varying kinds, etc, to draw from, and as our cultural outlook and preconceptions evolve, the more culture appropriate those models also relate.

We draw closer to the target and our angle of approach changes. I also find promise in the models these links offer.
I really like your description. It also exposed within me a bias within my "left brain" models. I tend to "grasp", see more logical validity in, and have more knowledge of scientific disciplines as opposed to philosophy and religion. But I think you're right. There are many disciplines which have attempted to approximate in their own way the same basic human phenomena which need to be felt to be actually understood.

As always, I struggle to integrate into my personal understanding the abstractions others use to put their personal experiences into generalizations to communicate. I might be able to better reply if I had an example of some intuitive observation you have made that doesn't mesh as you describe. I think I face something that sounds like that every time I mention that I believe we hate ourselves. Anyway..........
I think this is a side effect of the "left brain" bias I describe above with your own bias pointing in a different direction. We probably understand the same "right brain" thing, but we are stuck trying to communicate it using approximations generated by our "left brain".

If you notice in McGilchrist's talk, he talks about context being a "right brain" activity. I think that's really important here. If we were communicating in person, there'd be a ton more context. I'd have a better model of how your mind works by your age, appearance, facial expression, body language, etc. and so would you. All that would help us build a more accurate shared meaning together. In the absence of those cues, the normal human tendency is to assume people are entering the conversation with the same context understanding that you have. This is obviously often very far from the case.

If I understand this for me it would go like this for my example: I wish there were a way I could collapse paradox for people who suffer, to say that to suffer is not to suffer so suffer more and not at the same time sound heartless and cruel. I regret also that I know of no safe place where a person who wishes to suffer can do so among those who have real understanding.
Maybe that last part can change.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#16
Oh, you are just saying that they use "fighting racism" as an excuse to be angry/violent?
No. I don't think that the anger/violence are the aims. They are the tools. If you went a step further, what do you think people might accomplish by using anger/violence under the guise of fighting racism?

I'd also caution about use of the word "excuse". That implies people have only one goal. If you notice, I used the words "people's only desire".
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#17
No. I don't think that the anger/violence are the aims. They are the tools. If you went a step further, what do you think people might accomplish by using anger/violence under the guise of fighting racism?

I'd also caution about use of the word "excuse". That implies people have only one goal. If you notice, I used the words "people's only desire".
Not sure I understand. I see people wanting to end racism where they can use anger and violence to try and somehow reduce or end it. I also see people using racism as their excuse for anger and or violence because it justifies.

The excuse I often hear is that we had to use violence in WWII to stop the Nazis then, so it has to be done now. That appears to be them justifying actions to use violence to force out the bad ideas, and or kill the people that cannot be cured. In a very horrible way its an attempt to better the world with the removal of racism.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
5,323
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#18
Not sure I understand. I see people wanting to end racism where they can use anger and violence to try and somehow reduce or end it. I also see people using racism as their excuse for anger and or violence because it justifies.

The excuse I often hear is that we had to use violence in WWII to stop the Nazis then, so it has to be done now. That appears to be them justifying actions to use violence to force out the bad ideas, and or kill the people that cannot be cured. In a very horrible way its an attempt to better the world with the removal of racism.
As @Moonbeam says, all hate is self-hate.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
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#19
Not sure I understand. I see people wanting to end racism where they can use anger and violence to try and somehow reduce or end it. I also see people using racism as their excuse for anger and or violence because it justifies.

The excuse I often hear is that we had to use violence in WWII to stop the Nazis then, so it has to be done now. That appears to be them justifying actions to use violence to force out the bad ideas, and or kill the people that cannot be cured. In a very horrible way its an attempt to better the world with the removal of racism.
I look at it this way:

A racist looks at the other, in this case based on their race, and sees evil in them. There is always a massive amount of evidence that people are evil, and one of the best ways to make people become evil is to expect that of them.

This means that the evil that the racist see in the other race when they are exposed and harmed by that racism becomes more and more true justifying the validity of the racism in the racists mind.

Those who hate racists and want them removed from the world know that if the racism would stop the need to act out the evil expected of the so called inferior race would go away and the actual evil they manifest would be mitigated.

To hate a race and to hate racism are just two faces of the same thing, opposite faces of hate. The solution does not lie on that continuum. It lies in the higher understanding of the futility of hate and surrender to love. The racist and the racist hater are both asleep.

We can say, similarly, that seeing the flaws in a race or a racist is left brain thinking and the rage and anger on both sides is caused by the frustration of their so called good intentions, to save us either from the evil of the other race or the damage racism does to those to whom it is directed.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
369
126
#20
As @Moonbeam says, all hate is self-hate.
Indeed! The abhorrence of evil comes about when the self is split apart, the shadow, evil self that gets repressed, and the false self that attaches to some notion of false good. Evil is when the self identifies only with the good, eats of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, and rejects the self that walked without shame in the Garden.
 
Dec 18, 2010
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#21
It feels weird to read you post this after seeing your recent thread on taxes and job creation. Maybe you could read the responses, think about it critically, and post a thoughtful response of your own. Is it possible that you yourself have been conditioned to not think for yourself, but you are not self-aware of it? It could bear considering.
Does not do any good when people already have their minds made up. Once someone is convinced we need to tax companies and job creators, it is almost impossible to change their minds. All they see is "free stuff."

I have 15 years experience working in factories, specifically welding shops that built parts of refineries and oilfields. Some of the companies thrived, while others struggled, and a couple went bankrupt.

Companies need money to innovate, create new products, employ workers... etc. Taxing profits interferes in so many ways it is difficult for people to imagine. Every dollar the government takes, means one less dollar for employees, research and development... etc.

I have seen refineries experiment with shell and tube heat exchangers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The experiment lasted a few months, was studied, and the heat exchanger was tweaked for better results.

One place I worked spent months developing a new way to weld metal parts. The company spent tens of thousands of dollars doing stainless overlay of carbon steel tube sheets. There were a couple of welders involved in the project who spent months under the direction of welding engineers to develop a viable welding procedure. Some of the experiments did not work. All of the equipment the company had custom built, the time, labor, material.... had to be paid for somehow.

You really think taxing companies and job creators will prompt people to develop, innovate, and invest into research? I doubt it.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
63,565
369
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#22
Does not do any good when people already have their minds made up. Once someone is convinced we need to tax companies and job creators, it is almost impossible to change their minds. All they see is "free stuff."

I have 15 years experience working in factories, specifically welding shops that built parts of refineries and oilfields. Some of the companies thrived, while others struggled, and a couple went bankrupt.

Companies need money to innovate, create new products, employ workers... etc. Taxing profits interferes in so many ways it is difficult for people to imagine. Every dollar the government takes, means one less dollar for employees, research and development... etc.

I have seen refineries experiment with shell and tube heat exchangers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The experiment lasted a few months, was studied, and the heat exchanger was tweaked for better results.

One place I worked spent months developing a new way to weld metal parts. The company spent tens of thousands of dollars doing stainless overlay of carbon steel tube sheets. There were a couple of welders involved in the project who spent months under the direction of welding engineers to develop a viable welding procedure. Some of the experiments did not work. All of the equipment the company had custom built, the time, labor, material.... had to be paid for somehow.

You really think taxing companies and job creators will prompt people to develop, innovate, and invest into research? I doubt it.
Once you make up your mind that taxation of businesses is about free stuff and that has cost one his or her opportunity to have a job it becomes pretty hard to change that person’s mind about what may really be going on.

One time Mulla Nasrudin lost the key to his house and the neighbors found him combing his grass down on his knees. When they came to help they asked where he thought he dropped it and he replied, “In the house.” The next question I think, if your right hemisphere is functioning at all would be, “ Then why are you looking for it out here in the yard?” The Mulla answered, “There is more light here.”
 
Apr 3, 2001
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#23
Does not do any good when people already have their minds made up. Once someone is convinced we need to tax companies and job creators, it is almost impossible to change their minds. All they see is "free stuff."

I have 15 years experience working in factories, specifically welding shops that built parts of refineries and oilfields. Some of the companies thrived, while others struggled, and a couple went bankrupt.

Companies need money to innovate, create new products, employ workers... etc. Taxing profits interferes in so many ways it is difficult for people to imagine. Every dollar the government takes, means one less dollar for employees, research and development... etc.

I have seen refineries experiment with shell and tube heat exchangers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The experiment lasted a few months, was studied, and the heat exchanger was tweaked for better results.

One place I worked spent months developing a new way to weld metal parts. The company spent tens of thousands of dollars doing stainless overlay of carbon steel tube sheets. There were a couple of welders involved in the project who spent months under the direction of welding engineers to develop a viable welding procedure. Some of the experiments did not work. All of the equipment the company had custom built, the time, labor, material.... had to be paid for somehow.

You really think taxing companies and job creators will prompt people to develop, innovate, and invest into research? I doubt it.
I kindly re-extend my invitation to post your thoughts in that thread. As Moonie pointed out, you've clearly already made up your mind, and have done so using a skewed thinking process that diverges from reality. Please read that thread, show you're actually open to reconsidering the facts, or shut up about how "other people" can't think for themselves (hint: the short version is that they are NOT taxing the money that is reinvested into the company--money spent paying employees, for research and development, etc).

[edit] Nevermind, I see you did go back to the thread, but it does still appear that your mind is firmly made up despite the actual facts of the situation.
 
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