S02E15 – facial recognition, Dutch farmers, elitists, Putin, San Francisco & Seattle + bonus content

In this episode of Finding Common Battle Grounds, we went with a grab bag approach where the moderator, Tom, posed a number of questions and Josh and Ryan addressed them in turn. First up was whether facial recognition software that is being used by some corporations to track shoplifters is okay. We all agree that is a bit complicated, but probably okay for private corporations, less so for governments. We then discussed Dutch farmers and their protests against the changes that their government is forcing on them to address climate change. We agree that the intent of the politicians is good but that the politicians have not thought this through well enough. In a tangent, Ryan calls Josh out for labeling everyone he dislikes an elitist and asks Josh to finally define that term. It takes until the end of the episode before Josh admits that he really just means politicians (i.e., people who think they know what is best for everyone else and try to get power to make them do that). Ergo, Ryan, with his PhD and Tesla, is not an elitist. Tom then asks us whether Putin is a mad genius who planned a long-term, protracted war in Ukraine all along. We generally agree that was not his plan, but Putin does appear to be changing tactics now. Finally, we discuss the difficulties facing San Francisco, Seattle, and some other cities that have seen increases in crime rates. We don’t entirely agree on this point, with Josh suggesting that these cities will eventually turn into hell-holes like “Escape from New York” or “Mad Max” (okay; that’s a bit of an exaggeration) while Ryan points out that they are already trying to address the problems. And – BONUS content!

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