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Everything posted by mld

  1. Participation has been dropping for decades. There are a number of reasons for this, but very few that have an obvious solution. 1) It's expensive to travel the national circuit and attend the best camps. This means those with less money (for the most part, I'm interested in trends, not exceptions to the rule) seldom see the kind of competition that makes them better. 2) Wealthier people get better educations, meaning the reading comprehension and thinking skills needed to read (and understand) critical literature (or even high quality policy literature, for that matter) is more likely to occur in private schools and public schools with the sorts of homogeneous populations that allow for more accelerated instruction. If you've only been exposed to the best instruction, you have no idea how much some people struggle with even basic literacy, much less the sort of literacy needed to read Foucault or Deleuze. 3) The activity is so time-consuming that it prices out many lower income students who don't have the luxury of not having to hold down a part-time job. Less available time translates into less commitment. 4) The activity has become more and more specialized. It's not enough to have a fairly solid grasp of the topic and keep up with current events (as it used to be). Now one also has to have a grasp of a vast critical literature and be prepared for dozens of very specific politics scenarios that change from week to week. Asking for this level of commitment, reading, and intelligence is a hard sell to high school students. 5) This specialization has made hiring and retaining qualified coaches difficult in many areas. Similarly, unless one is lucky enough to debate near a college program, it's hard to find qualified judges. Both of these obviously impact the quality of debates. 6) There are more alternatives now. PF and Congress don't require nearly as much of a commitment, and even though the lines between policy and LD are blurring (and have been blurring for at least a decade), the round is still half as long, and the topics change often enough to prevent over-specialization. 7) The technical demands of flowing, speaking (including speaking at speed), and understanding how arguments interact is daunting. To ask high school students to engage in an activity in which they are probably going to suck for a year or two is, again, a hard sell-- especially since novice divisions are being phased out in many areas because of declining participation. In short, the activity (at the highest levels) has become more and more elite. How one could put that genie back in the bottle-- assuming it would even be a good idea to do so (and I, for one, do not think that it is)-- is anybody's guess.
  2. This was an interesting exchange, even if it might not have direct application to the position you are running, so I thought I'd post the link for those who are interested... http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/nov/15/pussy-riot-nadezhda-tolokonnikova-slavoj-zizek
  3. To clarify, Eichmann claimed to be following orders, but, as you point out, as a moral salve it doesn't hold quite hold water, and to be fair, Arendt doesn't buy it either. Whether she exaggerated the degree to which Eichmann saw himself as just another bureaucrat doing his duty (as opposed to being motivated by religious and racial hatred as some of her critics have contended), I still believe her essential point to be correct insofar as Eichmann clearly took pride not so much in the killings themselves, but in the administrative and technical problems that he had solved in making them possible. At the very least, it's an object lesson in how easy it is to be co-opted into a morally questionable system without necessarily being virulently supportive of the ends of the system itself. If you're interested in the mechanics of the Holocaust, the standard reference is Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews. Even in its abridged version, the amount of detail Hilberg documents in codifying the scope, dimension, and method of the genocide is astonishing.
  4. This is certainly one of the takeaway ideas of Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, though she would have disagreed with the main thesis, as the "banality of evil" seems to stem precisely from our lack of emotional engagement with our fellows. e.g., Eichmann's protestation that he was just following orders in the best and most efficient manner he could devise. One of the myths she is so anxious to puncture is that the Nazis were a bunch of psychopaths, somehow fundamentally different than you and me, though this idea's opposite (that there's an inner Nazi inside all of us) is rejected as well. Nonetheless, our own complicity in both the evil that befalls us and the evil that is perpetrated in our names is an idea that reoccurs throughout-- to the point that you become increasingly frustrated with human selfishness, greed, and willful moral blindness. I'm not suggesting, however, that Arendt would be helpful in cutting the Kritik, though I wish more people would read the book (as I would the works of Primo Levi), since what is so often taught in high schools and universities is the cartoon version of history where the moral of the story is always neat and tidy-- all the better to not really engage how such a thing was not only possible, but practically encouraged by our own failings as individuals and societies.
  5. Let me preface this by stating that I find the entire idea suspect. The word for "suffering" in the Pali canon is duḥkha, a term much closer to "unease" or "anguish" in its most literal sense. Duḥkha is categorized into pain (self-explanatory), change (the fact that all pleasure is transitory, creating uncertainty and unease even within the experience of pleasure), and conditions (that pleasure and pain are intimately bound together). You group emptiness with anxiety and depression, but emptiness is the opposite of both, since anxiety and depression stem from attachment. Emptiness implies a cessation (Pali: nirodha) of desire, which is obviously the goal (at least in Theravada traditions), as the key to cessation of duḥkha is the non-occurrence of that which engenders duḥkha (taṇhÄ, or “desireâ€). If you mean, instead, “A sad feeling one gets when you don’t get what you want, feeling the lack of the thing you desire,†then use a term that is more precise. “Desire†in the Pali Canon is taṇhÄ, a word that literally means “thirst,†as one thirsts after pleasure. It is the root of duḥkha because it can never be finally satisfied. One can, after all, long for non-existence as much as long for existence. All beliefs, desires, and feelings stem from taṇhÄ, but in a world in constant flux (Pali: anicca), one can never hold onto the things one craves. Cessation of desire means losing the urge to hold onto things. The second part of your formulation, to “embrace suffering as we embrace the world around us as something we are all interconnected with†is wrong to the core, as one should be renouncing attachment, not embracing it, removing oneself from the cycle of rebirth (samsara) rather than accepting it (much less embracing it). Even in the Mahayana tradition, where the emphasis is not upon the personal realization of nirvÄṇa /nibbana, the great compassion one feels is not for the world as it is, but for the beings that inhabit it-- moving all to understand the truth (dhárma /dhamma), moving all to find enlightenment. You also imply that truth and value concepts are subjectively experienced, and therefore how we experience them depends upon how we view them. This is inaccurate. While the Buddha sees these ideas as relatively experienced (at least in the Sutta Nipata), they are still part of the causal pattern of the world (as the world consists not only of physical objects but volitions and desires). If one can pacify dispositions, however, along with the attainment of freedom (nirvÄṇa /nibbana), one can understand truth and falsehood as they really are. Truth, in other words, is experienced relatively only because we are limited by our own attachments. Dharma/dhamma, on the other hand, is eternal. You need to drop all mention of souls, over or otherwise, as Buddhism denies the existence of souls altogether. An oversoul is a concept much more in alignment with Jaina or Hindu beliefs. Ä€tman (Pali: Atta) is sometimes translated as “soul,†and perhaps that’s what you mean, though it really means “self†or “ego.†Most Buddhist traditions stress non-Ätman, certainly, but you equating it’s renunciation to achieving a collective and undifferentiated Ätman is simply erroneous, unless what you meant to say is that we are all united by our own potential to achieve Buddhahood (usually called "Buddha nature" in English)-- a positive theorization of Ätman (equated with true self) in some Mahayana traditions (especially Zen). Even then, however, awakening to one’s “true self†means a rejection of one’s “ego self.†A unity of Buddha nature/the world (a key concept in Zen-- a doctrine derived, in part, from the Lotus SÅ«tra), does not imply, in other words, a unity of identity (as identity is itself a manifestation of desire). Are you trying to make policy implications? Wouldn’t it make more sense to re-conceptualize the role of the ballot as an intellectual/individual advocacy on the part of the judge, abandoning altogether the fiction of policy making? It would certainly be more consistent with Buddhist ideas.
  6. It's probably a Spanos K, or at least that's what we used to call it at TX in the mid-1990s.
  7. mld

    Object Fiat

    I do not believe that one has to identify an actual policy making entity in order to see CPs as an opportunity cost to plan. Simply viewing the judge as the USFG (i.e., the actor in the resolution) limits the scope of CPs to predictable limits, keeps the idea of a forced choice, while eliminating the fiction of role-playing Congress, the executive, or the courts. It limits the debate, in other words, to the question of, "What should the USFG do about this problem?" which is obviously what the resolution demands. I don't want to hijack the thread to offer a theoretical defense of opportunity costs vs. best policy option (I'm too busy right now to actually debate it, anyway), but I believe an opportunity cost model to be a much more real world way of deciding issues (while admitting that no model is going to be a perfect fit). If (in number 2) you're talking about rounds that argue for a change in the role of the ballot into something other than a consideration of a counterfactual alternative to the status quo, then obviously traditional justifications for CPs would have to be altered to fit the circumstances of the round. I'm having a hard time envisioning a round, however, where negs are articulating the kinds of things you're talking about in (2) as a CP (as opposed to a critical argument-- a Kritik or performance). If this is not what you meant, I'm just not following your argument here.
  8. mld

    Object Fiat

    If the aff advantages are based in improvement in the Latin American economy, then an object fiated CP would be problematic for the aff. If the aff advantages are, on the other hand, a result of engagement, then the CP would not be competitive (as the aff would always maintain a comparative advantage, since a country can't engage with itself). The first solution, then, would seem to be to run an aff that is not approximately topical, i.e., one that does not treat the word "engagement" as synonymous with "investment" (or some related term). The real solution, I would argue, is to adopt an opportunity cost theoretical paradigm for evaluating CPs instead of a comparison of best policy options. At the very least, there should be (as a theoretical test) some notion of choice between two options (or else it isn't competitive), and there is no policy making entity who controls the domestic policies of multiple countries. The neg will disguise the lack of competition by running a disad as a net benefit, but I believe affs should be attacking such CPs on a theoretical level as well (just like they should with all CPs using international fiat, state government CPs, or consult CPs).
  9. Neg definitely has an advantage in LD. The times are set up in such a way that it incentivizes negs to spread affs out of the round. Even with the widespread acceptance of an offense/defense decision making paradigm, I'm not so sure this is the case in policy debate. The aff still has absolute control over the amount of work they put into their 2AC/1AR blocks, and a lot more of the round is (or should be) predictable. If you're halfway decent, for example, I don't see much excuse for losing to the same argument twice on the aff. If you're debating policy in more traditional areas, there's a marked side bias for the aff, but I'm not sure about the numbers of debaters in more traditional circuits (slower, less likely to see critical arguments, strong belief in presumption) versus more progressive circuits.
  10. While I agree that it does keep the flow neater, I would point out that there are sometimes very strategic reasons for breaking the 2AC order. It is irritating for the 1AR to sift through two flows (overview and proper) and, assuming that the overview actually includes new links or offense, it increases the chances that something important will be missed. You typically try to intentionally junk up the flow like this when 1) you don't really have good links, and you're trying to paper over this uncomfortable fact with lots of ink on the flow (note how I date myself with choice of metaphors), 2) you're facing an opponent that, all things being equal, is better than you, and you're hoping to balance out the disparity in skills by being shady, hoping for a small concession or the mishandling of sand-bagged offense, or 3) the 2A is solid, but the 1A is weak, and you're trying to spread him/her out of the round by tempting the 1AR into a line-by-line on both flows. In doing this, what typically happens is the 1AR sticks to the 2AC order and makes cross-applications or ignores the overview altogether. This gives the 2N some lee-way to claim important things were dropped, even if they weren't. Note I'm not advocating this as a day-to-day strategy or even suggesting it is successful most of the time, nor am I disputing that intentionally messing up the flow tends to alienate the judge (I should know).
  11. Speed. It was about ten years ago when I started hearing LDers speaking as quickly as a fast, competitive policy round. At first it was only a few travelling the national circuit, then all of sudden everyone was spreading (or trying to spread). Policy arguments. Ten years ago if you had talked about CPs, topicality, disads, or uniqueness to 85% of LDers, you would have gotten a puzzled stare. Also, in early LD the value was more important than the criterion; the shift to impacts stemming from the standard had already been made, but the value was still very important. This is much less true today. Critical arguments. Ten years ago you were more likely to hear LDers talk about Aristotle and Locke than Zizek or Foucault. This trend was already underway ten years ago, but it has certainly accelerated. Theory. LD has always been under-theorized, and it was about a decade ago that people started to wake up to this and exploit it. Miscellaneous burdens started appearing all over the flow. Theory arguments began to have standards for evaluation. The breakdown in the traditional value/value criterion structure. Rolling without both of these, both clearly labeled, would have translated into a loss on many circuits ten years ago. Decline of big picture debaters. Ten years ago pretty speakers who did a lot of grouping were still competitive at the highest levels of the activity. The shift was starting, however, to line-by-line debaters who could actually flow the round (LD flows used to be notoriously bad). One less minute of prep. This is huge, especially for preparing the 1AR. More straightforward case design. Even without cross-ex, you knew exactly where the offense was in the constructives. It was clearly labeled, and debaters typically had one clear path to victory. Offense is much more likely to disguised today, providing more flexibility in the rebuttal speeches. Today's debaters are more likely to write cases where they have two or three ways they can possibly win the round.
  12. I love case debate; I really do, but I wonder whether encouraging more of it just sets high school debaters up for failure. Given the prevalence of people willing to vote on what they perceive to be a 1% chance of solvency (despite the fact that nobody, barring idiots of course, uses this decision making model in real life), I worry this sets up people for disappointment. As much as I would love to see a resurgence of people making actual inherency claims (status quo solves some percentage of harms, not plan is being done now), alternative causality arguments, and solvency take outs, I can almost hear the chorus of objectors intoning, "Where's the offense?" and opting out of the intellectual effort of honestly evaluating risk in the debate round. It's not that things were uniformly better in "the good old days" (defined here as the shift from specific strategies to generic strategies that seemed to reach a tipping point in the mid-to-late-1990s), but there was much more of a willingness to evaluate the degree to which mitigation of risk made endorsing a particular idea untenable (whether we're talking about an affirmative advantage or the internal links in a disad). Superior debaters can win bucking the prevailing trends, of course, but superior debaters can win with any strategy (because they are superior, not necessarily because their arguments are).
  13. This seems like a bit of a caricature of Buddhism to me. It's a cod-Theravada position, the kind of New Age, hippy drippy Buddhism popularized in the West before anybody really took the time to take a close look at how the religion is actually practiced in its place of origin. The alternative is to meditate, but the fact that you're advocating meditating to save the world completely misunderstands the First Noble Truth, viz. that life is dukkha (suffering); in other words the advocacy is make life better by doing X, but the idea that you can make life better in the first place entrenches dukkha, as it increases attachment, when the goal should be to let go. Badiner (whose quals are a bit suspect in the first place) seems to mostly get this (though claiming that the goal of samÄdhi, what he is calling "awareness", is to increase happiness makes me wonder), but the position wants to weigh the alternative like an impact (if we don't do this = bad stuff will happen); it's taking him out of context and a contradiction of the Third Noble Truth (which teaches that we should be letting go, not trying to preserve or save). As written, I believe the position turns itself. I'm also curious how eager teams will be to defend concepts like samsara and karma, which are assumed by any coherent Buddhist practice, or why anyone would be in a hurry to advocate positions in a round that can only be justified by faith, not reason (unless one's reasoning is circular). Maybe I'm just a grouchy old man, but this idea seems a little suspect from the start.
  14. It's a statistics blog. Silver uses a lot of indicators (with polling data comprising the majority) to create mathematic probabilities. Sam Wang is doing something similar at the Princeton Election Consortium (and has even better odds for Obama to win according to his model): http://election.princeton.edu/.
  15. Performance Debate Good Or Bad? Bad debating is bad. Good debating is good. There's really no other generalization one can make beyond this.
  16. Do these data really exist, or is someone just generalizing from their experience (what I suspect is really happening here)? Obviously trying to win a disadvantage alone is a poor strategy, but if you mitigate probability, risk, or magnitude of the aff, then you're in a good position to win with a disad. On a topic like this, I'd expect there are a good half-dozen generic solvency take-outs that could be blocked out to last all the way through the 2NR. Make the aff prove why they don't apply (since their first reaction will be to dismiss them out of hand). I realize the OP said in cases where he may not have a disad link, in which case I would roll with my favorite meatball K. I'm just interested in defending the disad/mitigate case strategy as a viable one, if for no other reason than I'd rather listen to this debate (which is still grounded in the topic literature) than a bad generic CP debate (which is usually won by the aff anyway-- generic CP answers are the first things small affs block out, since this is what they hear the most).
  17. ignore (not sure why it is multi-posting)
  18. I prefer that to the 4 minute 1AR sandwiched between 6 and 7 minute speeches. Alternatively, one could recognize that there is a side bias in the current setup and steal a minute from the NR and give it to the 1AR, or perhaps just give the 1AR another minute and call it a day. The irony, of course, is that LD was supposed to be the anecdote to speed debate, but the timing issues have helped push it further and further into the opposite direction (because it incentivizes fast, blippy NCs and 1ARs). I knew some kind of irrevocable threshold had been crossed a few years ago when I started hearing LD debates that were every bit as quick as fast policy rounds.
  19. The powers-that-be in LD need to re-examine a lot of things in the activity, but speech times should be #1 on the list. Adding the extra minute of prep a few years ago was a much needed reform, but it doesn't go far enough. The event needs to be restructured so that aff and neg get the same number of speeches, eliminating the ridiculous pressure on the 1AR. The current structure is premised on LD being a non-technical, big picture, conversational debate using easy to digest philosophical ideas, but top-level LD has not been that for at least a decade, nor is that genie going to be stuffed back in the bottle. Before you say this will never happen, recall that CX times have been tinkered with before (until the 1991-1992 season, rebuttals were four minutes, putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the 1AR to cover out of the block), and they've already tinkered with the LD prep. The system that exists now ill-serves everyone except those who still like to pretend LD is some sort of alternative to the "evils" of policy debate. The lines have blurred too much between the two activities for this to be a viable point of view.
  20. Prodhoun wrote: To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality. This is what an actual anarchist thinks about government. What is your plan? Have government ... (and Proudhon would have stopped you right there). Problem One: You don't dissolve government; you make it more attractive by making it seem less obtrusive (all the better to oppress us). This is problematic whether you are a market anarchist (which you seem to advocate) or an anarcho-syndicalist. You are not going to find a single solvency advocate within the anarchy literature. Problem Two: You aren't topical. Organizing a federal lottery is not topical action, and the effects of a federal lottery are not topical either (since they involve another actor). A related problem is you cannot fiat the private resurfacing companies will do anything with the money. Problem Three: The state does not dissolve itself. Anarchists are not gradualists or compromisers. They do not believe in an incremental reduction of statist power, nor is there any solvency mechanism by which the state would dissolve with half-measures, nor is there any incentive for the state to dissolve itself post-plan. Problem Four: You will lose to any position that uses the same literature base as you're proposing to use because they will always go farther than you. Whether it's some kind of Statism Kritik or even a cheesy Anarchy CP, if government is bad, less government than you can advocate will always be better. Even a Private Companies CP would be comparatively less government and offer better solvency (since you can't guarantee anybody would do anything with the money). Problem Five: Your plan is the status quo (minus the lottery). The government contracts work; it does not do it itself. Perhaps you intend to jettison the regulatory function of government as well, but minimum safety standards, etc. seem (on face) a good idea to most people, making this a tough sell. A semi-decent CP (of whatever variety) will always be able to guarantee safer, better built roads. That seems like a pretty solid net benefit to me. Problem Six: A better federal highway system, whether built by private companies or the federal government, makes government more efficient and facilitates oppression. Anarchists believe in de-centralization, not its opposite. You are wasting your time with this idea. If you really, really want to run anarchy on the aff on this resolution, critique the resolution, using the standard "Who will build the roads?" objection to anarchy as a metaphor for why government is not truly necessary. Argue that switch sides debate forcing you to affirm begs the question as to whether government is ever justified (instead of justified in this instance), increasing the hegemonic power of the state (whether you win or lose, since it will always implicitly justify the idea of the state). Argue that the only ethical stance is not to play by the rules, to opt out of the system.
  21. Data are clear. Sorry, this bugs the hell out of me for some reason. I don't necessarily disagree with your overall point. If alcohol is legal, weed probably should be too (since it is comparatively less dangerous). I also agree that it is a huge waste of time and resources to incarcerate people for a recreational drug with few (if any) adverse effects on anyone other than the user (e.g., nobody robs a liquor store to feed a marijuana habit). That said, if your position is marijuana is harmless you're probably fooling yourself. I say probably because I know a handful people who have used recreationally for years with no apparent ill effects, but I've known a lot more users who never amounted to much of anything, whose life seems to revolve around getting high. I'll grant this is almost certainly a correlation, and I'll also grant it is purely anecdotal. With people your age: over the years some of my best students have smoked occassionally (and one or two who smoked regularly), but the vast majority of the heavy users have been my C, D, and F students. Marijuana may not turn you into a heroin junkie down the road (at least I hope not, since this is a very bad scene indeed-- for those who haven't had the misfortune of watching someone they care about go down this road), but, based on my experience (limited, but probably more extensive than most), the rap that "marijuana saps motivation" seems true most of the time. Then there's the small problem of its illegality. If you are caught holding or using, bad things happen to you, and if you're over a certain age, the record of those bad things stay with you forever. It probably shouldn't be that way, but that's the reality of the situation. My advice (not that I think anyone is going to follow it) is not to smoke. A waste of money, certainly, but this money would much more likely be spent on weapons than feeding the world.
  22. That's quite a collection of completely unbiased sources of information. There's certainly a case to be made for decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana, but the claims of the crowd that views getting high as the solution to all of life's problems are just as ridiculous and hyperbolic as the claims of those who equate marijuana with heroin or crack.
  23. Then we have no real disagreement if you agree that human nature is contingent upon time and space. But that's not how the term is usually used. Haidt's core values would also apply to any society of social apes. At the point at which we're talking about "human nature" that is (seemingly) based in biology and would not be exclusive to humans, I believe we've lost any meaningful sense of the phrase. Your sample size is inadequate. Even assuming that art is mimetic (arguable), intellectuals are (by definition) not representative of society as a whole. Moreover, our society values certain ideas, so naturally we focus on the unbroken thread from which those ideas developed. Much more interesting is to look at the very real differences in outlook and culture and norms from even one hundred years ago, much less 2500. Try comparing our ideals and values, for example, to ancient Spartans instead of ancient Athenians and get back to me on how "human nature" has remained more or less constant. Or even better, what about the nomadic Asiatic or Germanic tribes operating at the periphery of ancient "civilization": how much do we have in common with them? There's no way to measure this, no God's eye vantage to gather these data. I'm not sure it would be very helpful anyone. To what purpose would you want identify a characteristic as human? To exclude those who fall upon a different place in a continuum of value? Even if a personal characteristic were legitimately open to censure, denying someone their humanity does not solve the problem (since it is a bandwagon appeal instead of an actual reason) and it is an evil unto itself (at least in the weak sense that our society values not causing others unnecessary pain). Uh, no. I said I don't believe in human nature (at least in the way that it's normally used, and you've already granted it's a contingent concept, so there's really little disagreement between us), and, even if there were such a thing, there's no way to verify it. I can make an inductive case for there no being a human nature, but I will never be able to deductively prove this, so your burden (truth value of my statement) is an unreasonable one (since the best I can ever do is establish it is unlikely there is a human nature). Actually, P&tMoN is about flaws in a correspondence theory of truth (in general). What I'm defending is a consequence of the argument, not Rorty's central concern. See Rorty's works for a more general reader (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity or Philosophy and Social Hope). You're not that far from his argument that one can recognize that your socially derived values are not absolutes and still defend them those values to the death. Perhaps you're a closet pragmatist (though I suspect you'd be more in sympathy with Peirce than Dewey).
  24. No, I mean it. Even if we share certain biological dispositions, almost by definition these are constantly fracturing into new and different forms-- some better adapted to their environment, some not. To say there is such a thing as human nature is to adhere to some conception of Platonic truth, and it is my contention that such a thing does not exist (or rather it's Rorty's, and I happen to agree). It would presume, for one thing, a static view of humanity from the cave man to today (which seems silly on face).There are no universals, and even if there were, we would be absolutely ill-equipped to discover them (amounting to the same thing). That said, in the weak sense of "There are certain norms that our society values, and these tend to show up in people who have internalized these ideals," I could go along with that definition of human nature, or the colloquial sense of "people of our culture, of our time."
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