The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

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bigato
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by bigato » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:02 am

latearlyFI, this is just another instance of the eternal fight between right and left tendencies, where people will just be dominated by their emotions and biases most of the time. What I don't think is being answered is, given a system that intrinsically tends to concentration of power in the hands of a few through capitalism and automation, what do you do with the resulting differences? Is it ok to just let it run its course? Meanwhile a sizable group of billionaires just signed a statement saying that they themselves are part of the problem and that they should be taxed.

Obviously it is cheaper to apply machines to a lot of repetitive labour and computers to even intelectual labours. You need less humans for that, so whoever owns the machines concentrates the power and resources. Scale it up and you quickly end up with a portion of people who have way more than they would ever be able to spend. Given limited resources since we are on a finite planet, that also means that a much bigger percentage of the population will be barely scrapping by, or actually struggling to survive. Is that the world we want to live in? Will it even be a safe place? Do you enjoy seeing other humans suffer because they don't happen to be born with a brain good enough for being a programmer? Should the rest of personalities become entrepreneurs? Is that fair to human nature? Or maybe the rest should become self-sufficient farmers? Except that billionaires are buying vast parcels of land that they will never be able to use and putting armed guards to guarantee people won't trespass.

It is an economics problem really. What do we do? Do we define a limite for how much one single person can acummulate? Do we tax the shit out of the obscenely rich and redistribute it somehow in a way that will lower the contrasts between the poor and the rich? How do we deal with the morals of people who think the poor are animals who are going to try to abuse any type of resource redistribution that we institute? They don't care it is *universal*, it just triggers them that poor people will get resources without *deserving* it. As if the resources weren't already taken from them to begin with, in the form of very rich people and corporations taking over land and resources and making it much more expensive or impossible to acquire.

latearlyFI
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by latearlyFI » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:18 am

bigato, well said!

I am a new US Citizen, and I was asked to choose a Political party when I registered in my state. I didn't know. So I've been on a mission to educate myself and talk to people so I can make an informed vote. I've been surprised mostly by the odd collection of issues that represent one side or the other, I mean why does guns correlate with abortion? And I've learned to be careful, people get really mad at you if you even mention liking a Democrat Policy where I live. I like and despise policies of both parties.

I wish we could discuss important issues separately without branding them with a political party. For example, little did I know that caring about the environment was political! I thought it was you know an environmental, earthling issue. Climate change policy should be based on science not politicking..

I think the automation of jobs should be an issue that both sides address. Eventually we'll have to anyway.

There was another article today about a company automating many white collar jobs away: -

https://www.marketscreener.com/ACCENTUR ... -28800182/

They at least are retraining. But I wonder if that will help.

I'm thinking becoming as self sufficient as possible is a good hedge, I started a Victory garden :)

IlliniDave
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:56 am

latearlyFI wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:18 am

I am a new US Citizen, and I was asked to choose a Political party when I registered in my state. I didn't know. So I've been on a mission to educate myself and talk to people so I can make an informed vote. I've been surprised mostly by the odd collection of issues that represent one side or the other, I mean why does guns correlate with abortion? And I've learned to be careful, people get really mad at you if you even mention liking a Democrat Policy where I live. I like and despise policies of both parties.

I wish we could discuss important issues separately without branding them with a political party. For example, little did I know that caring about the environment was political! I thought it was you know an environmental, earthling issue. Climate change policy should be based on science not politicking..
...
You shouldn't have to choose a party, being an "independent" is fine. I've never been a member of a political party.

Yeah, it would be nice to discuss things independent of politics. But UBI is a political strategy (even more so the so-called Freedom Dividend) so it's tough to avoid the overlap.

Caring about the environment is very apolitical. Whether to support federal government policies that will fundamentally alter our economic system and notions of freedom based on various doomsday scenario predictions is necessarily political, because the discussion at that point is about the government, more so than the issue(s).

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:39 pm

What I don't think is being answered is, given a system that intrinsically tends to concentration of power in the hands of a few through capitalism and automation, what do you do with the resulting differences?
All political and economic systems concentrate power and wealth into the hands of the few without exception. It's a flaw of any system run by humans. There's nothing that can be done with the difference because it will never cease to exist. You will never make everyone equally powerful because people behave differently which leads to differentiation in power. Name one system where power is equally distributed? It doesn't exist.

All economic systems produce incentives. These incentives are constrained by the political framework they operate in. These constraints and incentives will affect how people behave in the pursuit of money.

When taxes seem punitive to an individual, they will seek the means to minimize it or seek other sources of revenue which bypass taxes (bartering, black market wages, tax shelters, etc.). A system that strips 90% of earnings after a certain income level will incentivize people to stop short of reaching that level to avoid paying what they consider unfair.

How would this effect employment, tax revenues, and innovation? How would the poor be effected if government collected less tax revenue under a misguided tax plan? There is a "sweet" spot for taxes - too much and you slow the economy and increase unemployment, too little and you start growing the deficit and reduce the amount of benefits that can be given to the poor. Economist on the left and right believe this - its not a single party belief.

bigato
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by bigato » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:03 pm

I don't think anybody here mentioned equal distribution, that's a strawman. You must agree that there are difference levels of contrast between countries and between different points in history. We probably also agree that the present tendency is towards concentration more than in other times and that it is possible to do something to alter it one way or another.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:16 pm

bigato wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:03 pm
I don't think anybody here mentioned equal distribution, that's a strawman.
Actually it's not a strawman argument. Any system that seeks to distribute outcomes without defining its inherit limits is a race toward forced equal distribution. To make my argument a strawman you have to define the limits of your redistribution of wealth. So how much of a difference are YOU willing to accept and how are you going to convince others that your limits should be the limit for everyone? And how will you force those who don't wish to redistribute their wealth to part with it? Because force or implied force will be the only means to do it. And as soon as you authorize people to use force to redistribute anything, you have now created another imbalance of force.
You must agree that there are difference levels of contrast between countries and between different points in history. We probably also agree that the present tendency is towards concentration more than in other times and that it is possible to do something to alter it one way or another.
Really? So today's imbalance is greater than the Roman emperors or the Prussian Czars? The dynasties of China were more balanced? Or the aristocracy of Europe pre Bastille day? Or perhaps when the Mayans were sacrificing human hearts to Quetzalcoatl was a more benevolent time? Or maybe Ancient Egypt with its inbred dynastic government was better? Or the victorian era was more equal when women suffrage didn't exist? Or the early 1900's when segregation was still legal and black people were getting lynched? In what era was life and imbalances better than today? How did I miss this era of Utopia and why didn't it persist?

daylen
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by daylen » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:31 pm

Incentives, power, symmetric consequences, wealth, and equality are all perfectly fine concepts to juggle around in a conversation as long as people agree on what counts. This is a measurement problem, and someone with a different measuring stick in the same topological space may appear radical or arrogant. What dimensions matter?

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:54 pm

daylen wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:31 pm
This is a measurement problem, and someone with a different measuring stick in the same topological space may appear radical or arrogant. What dimensions matter?
Good question. I'd settle for a system that uses actual results and criteria to gauge efficacy.

The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the poverty rate has fallen 2.5 percentage points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent. https://www.census.gov/library/publicat ... 0-263.html

LookingInward
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by LookingInward » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:38 am

Campitor wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:16 pm
Actually it's not a strawman argument. Any system that seeks to distribute outcomes without defining its inherit limits is a race toward forced equal distribution. To make my argument a strawman you have to define the limits of your redistribution of wealth. So how much of a difference are YOU willing to accept and how are you going to convince others that your limits should be the limit for everyone? And how will you force those who don't wish to redistribute their wealth to part with it? Because force or implied force will be the only means to do it. And as soon as you authorize people to use force to redistribute anything, you have now created another imbalance of force.
I would say the optimal level of redistribution is one where you don't have people talking much about inequality. Right now that is not the case, so there should be more redistribution in my opinion.

Taxes are, by definition, forced upon you. If you don't pay them, you go to jail. I've heard the argument that taxation is theft, but honestly, I don't see how we can have a decent society without it so I'll bite the bullet on possibly not being morally coherent. Rich people in Northern Europe don't seem to mind the high taxes that much. It's, among other things, a matter of culture. So if you want to walk towards less inequality, mentalities also have to be changed. Maybe we should discuss important moral problems in school instead of learning about dozens of different subjects most of us don't even care about or could learn later, if we are inclined to.

Maybe it's lack of imagination, but I just don't see how one can argue agains't redistribution when you understand that you didn't choose to be born, where, to what parents, with that brain, etc. I've been in the radical libertarian camp in the past by the way and I am also also very skeptical of minimum wages and universal basic income. But i have to admit I still need to study more about the empirical best ways to reduce inequality

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:27 pm

LookingInward wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:38 am
I would say the optimal level of redistribution is one where you don't have people talking much about inequality. Right now that is not the case, so there should be more redistribution in my opinion.
So every time there's excessive talk about inequality people will be recipients of redistributed wealth. In short, when people complain they get money and when they stop complaining the money stops coming. Do you not see how this system will be coopted maliciously? This is honestly a terrible idea.
Taxes are, by definition, forced upon you. If you don't pay them, you go to jail. I've heard the argument that taxation is theft, but honestly, I don't see how we can have a decent society without it so I'll bite the bullet on possibly not being morally coherent. Rich people in Northern Europe don't seem to mind the high taxes that much. It's, among other things, a matter of culture.
If you combined the immigration rates of Northern Europe they wouldn't equal the immigration numbers of the United States. It's easy to redistribute money when it has a smaller population to cover. To make an accurate comparison on redistribution of Europe vs the US, you would need to combine the total population of Europe and then try to redistribute money equally among all member countries. Take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... yment_rate .

Look at the unemployment rate of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and Germany. Now compare that to the unemployment rate of everyone else and see if what the rich currently pay is sufficient to cover everyone.
So if you want to walk towards less inequality, mentalities also have to be changed. Maybe we should discuss important moral problems in school instead of learning about dozens of different subjects most of us don't even care about or could learn later, if we are inclined to.
So what subject would you cut and how would you convince everyone you're right?
Maybe it's lack of imagination, but I just don't see how one can argue agains't redistribution when you understand that you didn't choose to be born, where, to what parents, with that brain, etc. I've been in the radical libertarian camp in the past by the way and I am also also very skeptical of minimum wages and universal basic income. But i have to admit I still need to study more about the empirical best ways to reduce inequality
This redistribution problem has been with humans since the 1st human with only 1 coconut noticed that his friend had 2 coconuts. You don't choose to be born but you certainly are responsible for the choices you make thereafter. Choose poorly and you may have a rough life or choose wisely and perhaps you'll be better off than those that choose poorly. There are no guarantees in life. Life isn't fair and it will never be fair. It's a byproduct of being human and living in a chaotic universe.

daylen
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by daylen » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:20 pm

Campitor wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:27 pm
So every time there's excessive talk about inequality people will be recipients of redistributed wealth. In short, when people complain they get money and when they stop complaining the money stops coming. Do you not see how this system will be coopted maliciously? This is honestly a terrible idea.
Perhaps to implement at scale, but not everyone cares enough to signal/control what policy should be in their spare time. From the perspective of someone that actively avoids trying to trigger others it may be rational to pay attention to this measure. Violent crime is correlated with income inequality, not absolute income. People adapt to the absolute lifestyle standard and complain that they do not have the lifestyle their neighbor in the high-rise is signaling on social media. If a critical proportion of people start to feel unequal, then what is to stop a cascading effect where the whole system breaks. People respond to news of difference, not "objects".

I am in no way advocating for how society should be.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:56 pm

@daylen

That income inequality is correlated to crime as opposed to absolute income, indicates that no amount of equality will suffice except absolute equality. To achieve absolute equality would require a system so draconian that I would find the current threshold of crime preferable; especially when those numbers have been dropping consistently - https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... n-the-u-s/

Perhaps what is needed is less comparison to what someone else has and a deeper appreciation for what is already in hand. This doesn't mean we shouldn't be helping the poor or that the poor should be happy and just go away. What I'm trying to say is that our systems are run by humans so they will always be flawed. There will always be poverty because of choice, chance, and freedom. We should develop programs that help the poor climb out of poverty at the individual and multi-generational level. And we shouldn't be trying to burn down a system that has dragged so many out of poverty. Start squeezing the rich excessively and they will take their money, companies, and innovations elsewhere. What will happen to the poor and our poverty rates if that happens?

daylen
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by daylen » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:36 pm

@Campitor This leads me into wondering just how malleable humans are with respect to various aspects of our social network. Living in a city as opposed to a small town surely has a large effect on how language is used. Of course, the degree of local clustering correlates with political outlook. The polar extremes of universalism in metropolitan areas and particularism in rural areas are probably emergent from the scale of our civilization. As an individual, one of the more important considerations is how much should be assumed and potentially control for when navigating the complexities of everyday life. Especially considering we do not have as much control of our own minds as we like to think.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:42 am

bigato wrote:Given limited resources since we are on a finite planet, that also means that a much bigger percentage of the population will be barely scrapping by, or actually struggling to survive. Is that the world we want to live in? Will it even be a safe place? Do you enjoy seeing other humans suffer because they don't happen to be born with a brain good enough for being a programmer? Should the rest of personalities become entrepreneurs? Is that fair to human nature? Or maybe the rest should become self-sufficient farmers? Except that billionaires are buying vast parcels of land that they will never be able to use and putting armed guards to guarantee people won't trespass.
Right, but don't forget that some of them could also choose to trade sexual favors with members of the Calorie King Class (But, I guess that could count as "entrepreneurial.") Beyond land ownership, I would argue that zoning codes often function as an unfair tax upon the poor. For instance, I could be attempting to live as a self-sufficient permaculturist this summer upon the lots that I own, if it weren't for the zoning code that prohibits living in a camper within the city limits. Beyond avoiding the possibility of increasing violence and crime if many people do not have adequate income, the wealthy are also avoiding the risks inherent due to such possibilities as fire or disease or possibility that their kids might fraternize with losers vectors when living in close proximity to people with inadequate, or less than ideal, means of support. (I think it would be cool if in the future everybody could be a programmer, an entrepreneur, and a farmer. You don't need a 135 IQ to do some programming. I play robot programming game with 5 year old children, and most of them get it.)

Anyways, I started reading "The Technology Trap" and the author offers a good deal of interesting history of incidents of "machine smashing" by members of various guilds and government edicts against development of technologies in favor of full employment. Frey notes that one critical differentiation when considering new technology is whether it is "enabling" or "replacing." For instance, the microscope and the internet would be "enabling" technologies that allow humans to do things they never could do before, and so lead to many new opportunities. A self-driving truck, an automatic burger flipper, or a sex robot are "replacing" technologies that simply serve to use machines to do things humans can readily do themselves.
It is easy to oversimplify history. However, if there is one predominant factor underlying economic and social change over the past two centuries, it is surely the advancement of technology. Without technological change, "capital accumulation would amount to piling wooden plows on top of wooden plows," to borrow Evsey Domar's phrase. Economists estimate that over 80 percent of the income differences between rich and poor countries can be explained by differential rates of technology adoption."


However, Frey also offers clear evidence that a good deal of ingenious technology was invented well before the advent of the industrial revolution. He suggests that political and social developments, particularly the rise of competition at the level of nation states in global trade, needed to be in place before incentive to develop machinery beyond the level of design on paper was sufficient. An alternate explanation for this delay in development of known technologies, which I touched on earlier in this thread, offered by Charles Hall in "Energy and the Wealth of Nations" was the availability of cheap, dense fossil fuel energy sources.
Campitor wrote:And the only incentives businesses have to stop automation is to make hiring humans the cheaper alternative again. I don't see that happening.
I would suggest that this will happen exactly at the juncture where humans once again become cheaper than "replacement" technology due to depletion of cheap dense energy sources with which to "feed" the machines. I hope that this might happen without great consequent loss of "enabling" technology.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:12 am

@daylen

I believe the mind is like a computer in many ways. How a computer functions is determined by its programming. A computer cannot alter its function without altering its programming. I believe humans are the same way within limits that are not as narrow as some perceive. If a person spends their time programming their brain to envy those who have more, they will upregulate the function of unhappiness and helplessness. If they replace this programming with more constructive behaviors such as learning, stoicism, frugality, skill building, etc., they will optimize their function towards empowerment and identification of opportunities that lead to multiple avenues of success.

But the difficult part of reprogramming oneself is twofold: 1) You first must come to the conclusion that you have suboptimal programming; 2) You then must go through the effort of trying to alter the programming. Both require honesty, self assessment, and action. We need to realize that it's easier to bend ourselves than it is to bend reality to fit our personal nature. Our reality can begin to change once we've mastered ourselves to a certain degree. People have put the cart before the horse and have convinced themselves its the horses fault that the cart goes astray. And those that know better reinforce the cart before the horse mentality because its cognitively and politically expedient.

daylen
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by daylen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:02 am

Sure, that is a fine way to model mental processing, and to a large extent I agree with you. I just do not think it is anywhere close to the whole picture. Our genetic hardware sets the bounds. We have more flexibility than all other animals to change with cultural adaptation but this is highly constrained on most time-scales. Personality theory documents these longer-term invariants that are not apparent without deliberation over comparable time-periods. People like to think they can change their programming (and by extension others can too), but this is within a narrow scope and peaks between ages 15-25. Genetic evolution is a conservative process that slowly integrates new adaptations and currently our high-level processing is heavily guided by more primitive/proven low-level processing.

On a more speculative note, I think(*) that our conscious experience is reflective of how the external reality updates and not how it actually is. Reality is the territory, and the map we draw is from news of difference. The accumulative differences are quickly assimilated into our unconscious and are only ever brought back into the light with another difference. In this sense, our minds construct a hierarchical representation of reality by its derivatives. The processing required to understand the underlying functionality at the very least requires integrating the map we draw. Attentive memory is just a tiny sampling at any point in time, therefore this is a lengthy endeavor that tends to neglect error bounds.

All I am basically saying is that trying to control human behavior is not much more hopeful than controlling a market. In addition, the focal of our control is like a thin ring centered on ourselves and peaking at our conscious. Paying attention to processes closer to the self widens the ring, and paying attention to processes further away shrink the ring. Either way there are several assumptions going into it about how the inside (self+home+...) or outside will stay the same.

I do not know how this applies to policy asides from my own lack of participation in higher-order organization.

(*) Based on reading Bateson and spending many hours each day pondering.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:20 am

People like to think they can change their programming (and by extension others can too), but this is within a narrow scope and peaks between ages 15-25.


Odd how that age group correlates to the biggest transitions in life - from high school,through college, to job acquisition, and for some marriage. In other words, changes in environment forced changes in programming. What if these forced transitions occurred at a later age? I think this analysis would change. And even minimal changes in programming can have large effects as they are magnified by concurrent and subsequent actions.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:34 am

According to the Enneagram, the Artist (roughly INFP) suffers the most from the vice of Envy, whereas the Scientist (roughly INTJ) suffers the most from the vice of Greed. Therefore, if making use of wetware model of cognition, maybe quite low serotonin levels combined with moderately high dopamine levels and not unrelated inherently high verbal skills would be most likely causation of "Fuck the Rich!" mentality. However, I would note that the type most likely to be wealthy is the ENTJ, whose vice is Power (desire to lower naturally uncomfortably high cortisol levels through control mechanisms? The poor puppies almost always need someone kind to pat them to sleep :( ) , so there's likely always a bit of "pot calling the kettle" in these kinds of debates.

daylen
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by daylen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:47 am

There is evidence that plasticity can extend far beyond that time period, but for what? This circles back around to the discussion about how certain human features like creativity are distributed by a power law in the population. A scale can be drawn so that anyone is on top indicating that everyone else must change. Change is always relative to something else in our minds. We see how others 'should' change more easily than ourselves because we fear what we may find in ourselves. With good reason, self-assessment can lead to under-confidence and in-action.

The only thing that doesn't really seem to change is how our minds work and subject-predicate-object logic. Not everything neatly fits into the pervasive cause-effect paradigm and gaps are forever present.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:04 am

As a dopamine-ridden ENTP, I actively seek change, but with that given, I would note that the events of "starting my own business" in my 30s, and "marrying somebody from a very different culture" in my 40s were plasticity-increasing. I think my mild-mannered hobby of species identification/photography is also plasticity increasing, because it makes you think about what it would be like to be a member of another species. When you think about how members of other species might behave fairly frequently, you start thinking about other humans as members of a species that behaves in certain ways, and you become less judgmental or more practical minded. As in "Oh, look at how the Polish Millet is out-competing the Domestic Garlic in this patch of ground." and "Oh, look at how the humans who can't get jobs are burning down the shopping mall on the swank side of town."

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