My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

My programming language is better than yours 

re: [thread], pol 

re: [thread], pol 

re: [thread], pol 

re: [thread], pol 

re: [thread], pol 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism The balkanization of Balkan could be viewed more directly as evidence that people *believe* ethnostates to be more stable. But as social constructs are built on feedback loops, that may very well turn out to mean that they are, in fact, more stable. πŸ˜€

As I understand it though, the main problem with Yugoslavia was that the unifying force and idea was a personality cult around Tito, and the disintegration following his death was slower than might have been expected. A multi-ethnic state forged without force and with a more sustainable unifying idea than one person would stand a better chance.
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@clacke @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism
But to have a unifying force, don't you need common values? And once you have common values, doesn't it become a single culture?

@Wolf480pl
I'm a bit pessimistic on the future of the EU because the US, with a single common language and national back story, still at some point it almost disintegrated and was only saved by a brutal show of force. Also the north and south have gravitated into the blue team and the red team who still fight like cats and dogs.
@clacke @freakazoid @dazinism

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl The US did not end up in a civil war over cultural differences; it ended up in a civil war because the South was economically dependent on slavery, and the North was unwilling to share in the burden of weaning them off of it despite being just as responsible for it as the South. The "show of force" and reduction of states' rights has probably prevented a lot of conflict since then, but at huge cost and a missed opportunity to learn to live together better.

@Wolf480pl @clacke @dazinism @cjd The EU seems to have two main challenges: the Eurozone members have too much sovereignty to be able to share a single currency, and they haven't figured out how to handle refugees. Both require a central government that can redistribute wealth.

Racism is also obviously a huge issue, both against the people coming from the Middle East and North Africa as well as against eastern Europeans.

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl Brexit is obviously a big threat to the EU's future, depending on how it pans out. But it's also an opportunity for the EU to actually decide how departure should work, providing an "escape valve" that can prevent or mitigate future crises.

I had thought racism against Muslim's in France was a huge problem, but from looking at the Wikipedia page it tends to get overblown in the media here and Muslims integrate really well in France. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in

@freakazoid @Wolf480pl @clacke @dazinism
Based on my limited experience from Paris and the outer-lying region, I observe that a French person is a very particular thing. "Les enfants de la RΓ©publique" are something created by a very strict education system which begins very early. Here, there is such a thing as a French Muslim, a person who is indeed French but is also indeed Muslim. Not the same thing as a person who migrated here from a French territory.

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl On the red/blue team thing, the US has been far more politically divided in the past even since the civil war. I'm far more worried about the decline in perceived legitimacy of the federal government. But FDR was far more charismatic than Trump and at least as disdainful of the separation of powers. He tried to get a bill through Congress that would have let him appoint a bunch more judges to the Supreme Court.

plpol 

@cjd
IMO EU isn't supposed to be a single state. I'd rather it be an economical (and maybe millitary) alliance, aggregating the bargaining power of member states against giants like US, Russia, and China.

Haven't dug into it, but it looks like most of the major issues stem from the freedom of movement assumption. Now, I still think freedom of movement is a nice thing, but maybe we need to revisit its pros and cons, or tweak it a bit.
@clacke @freakazoid @dazinism

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @clacke @cjd Whether or not it's supposed to be a single state, it is. They have a parliament that passes far-reaching laws. They have a single currency and each member is allowed to issue debt that is considered (whether or not it's justified) to have the backing of the entire union. They have few to no internal border controls and strong(ish) external border controls. They are far more of a state than the US was under the Articles of Confederation.

@cjd @clacke @dazinism @Wolf480pl The EU has two clear choices given this fact: accept that they're a state, or accept that they've made themselves a state and undo that. The latter is probably a bad idea with Pax Americana on the way out.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
>They have a single currency

That's Eurozone, not the whole EU. Many EU countries do not have Euro as their currency.

> They have a parliament that passes far-reaching laws.

Which then need to be ratified by each member state's own parliament before they enter into force.

>They have few to no internal border controls and strong(ish) external border controls.

That's Schengen Area, not EU. It mostly overlaps, but there are countries outside of EU which are in Schengen, and EU members which are not in Schengen.

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @clacke @cjd I can't find evidence of a ratification process beyond passing the Council (55% of states representing 65% of the population) and Parliament. Members get latitude in how they actually implement legislation via their own internal legislation, but that's the most I can find. It's more authority than the central government had under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles required unanimity.

...

@cjd @clacke @dazinism @Wolf480pl The fact that the Eurozone, EU, and Schengen are not the same thing just means it's a dysfunctional state, not that it's not a state ;-)

I think we can at least agree that they're in an unstable region of configuration space right now, and something needs to change. I think that restricting internal freedom of movement or trade would be economically devastating and essentially take Europe out of the running as a world power.

@freakazoid @dazinism @clacke @cjd

With regard to freedom of movement - I don't know enough about economics to be able to assess how bad it'd be to restrict it.

As for freedom of trade - I think you're the first one here to suggest restricting it, and I think you can have freedom of trade without being a single state, and with each member having their own currency.

Also, I don't think being able to pick and choose some of the EU-related treaties without accepting other ones would necessarily be an unstable configuration.

And even if some models are impractical to implement in EU right now, I'd like to explore the configuration space in an abstract way, to see what configurations are theoretically possible.

@Wolf480pl @cjd @clacke @dazinism AFAICT the instability comes from having a common currency without automatic wealth transfers, which can result in deflation and potentially default within individual member states.

One can definitely have freedom of trade without a common currency, but having your own currency means you can do the equivalent of enacting tariffs by devaluing your currency. With restrictions on tariffs, the likely outcome is competitive devaluation.

@dazinism @clacke @cjd @Wolf480pl In fact, something similar happened in the US under the Articles, only with external tariffs instead of currencies: states couldn't charge tariffs on trade among themselves, but they could charge tariffs on goods coming from outside. But the goods would just come in through whatever state had the lowest tariffs, so it was a race to the bottom. This was one of the biggest impetuses behind the Constitutional Convention.

@freakazoid @dazinism @clacke @cjd

Hm... in Poland we recently had deflation for a moment. But we're not in Eurozone. We still have our own currency... so why are we not devaluing our currency to create the effect of tarrifs? (if we did that, we'd have inflation, right?)

@Wolf480pl @cjd @clacke @dazinism It's an interesting question. The NBP seems unwilling to drop their benchmark interest rate below 1.5% for whatever reason. Poland has a significantly lower debt to GDP ratio, including for private debt, than even Germany, so maybe they didn't consider a couple years of deflation to be that big a problem?

1.5% is still a pretty low rate historically, though; it was a record low for the NBP. And the Zloty did drop 11% against the dollar during that period.

@Wolf480pl @cjd @clacke @dazinism Actually I guess it was about 27% against the dollar, but it was relatively stable against the Euro, so it seems like things in Poland may have been affected more by what was going on with the rest of Europe than anything else.

Devaluation is hard to define with modern fiat currencies. Lowering interest rates has the effect of discouraging holding of it, plus the way central banks lower rates is by increasing the supply, usually by buying government debt.

@dazinism @clacke @cjd @Wolf480pl If you define the value of a currency by CPI, then by definition it wasn't devalued. But CPI looks at a specific set of prices. It appears to have been declining food and energy prices that caused Poland's deflation, not declining wages. Unemployment appears to have peaked in Poland just before the inflation started and has declined ever since. Which may actually be the reason the NBP didn't feel the need to lower rates further.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
pretty sure there were at least 2 cases of Polish parliament refusing to implement some EU directive, but I don't remember off the top of my head, so maybe I'm wrong.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
ACTA may've been one of those cases, but I'm not sure if it went through Europarliament, or if treaties like this go through a different path.

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @clacke @cjd There are apparently several different paths. I was going by Wikipedia's description of the "Ordinary Legislative Procedure". "Regulations" take effect directly, while "Directives" need to be implemented by each national parliament, but are still binding AFAICT. Modifications to the Treaty of Lisbon, and I think international agreements like ACTA, need to be ratified by national parliaments.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @cjd @clacke Specific values need to be shared. "Culture" is not a binary thing; you don't either have a single or different cultures. You have sets of values with different levels of compatibility. There are also values that are required to live with people who don't have all the same values as you. These values tend to develop over time as groups with differnt values live alongside one another.

@freakazoid
And then these values suddenly disappear if you give people "social media".
@clacke @cjd @dazinism

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