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Old 13th February 2019, 12:05 PM   #1
applecorped
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Panera Bread's Socialist 'Pay What You Want' Experiment Fails Miserably

https://pjmedia.com/trending/panera-...ils-miserably/


Panera Bread has shuttered the last of its ideologically driven "pay what you want" restaurants. The socialist-tinged ventures were called "Panera Cares" and the higher-ups have finally figured out that "caring" is not synonymous with "viable business model." On February 15, the final Panera Cares, located in Boston, will close.

“In many ways, this whole experiment is ultimately a test of humanity,” Shaich said in a TEDx talk later that year. “Would people pay for it? Would people come in and value it?” It appears the answer is a resounding no.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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What was socialist about the experiment?
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:13 PM   #3
applecorped
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
What was socialist about the experiment?
Why don't you go ask PJ media and let us know what you find out
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:23 PM   #4
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Didn't you write the title of your own thread?
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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I don't understand what its motivation was. It apparently had "the goal of raising awareness about food insecurity." WTF does that mean? Whatever it means I can't connect it with 'caring'.

What they should have done is donated 50% of their income to Africa and have a big LCD display outside scrolling the names of the people who had donated the most. People would have been falling over themselves to virtue signal with the biggest wad.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:39 PM   #6
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"Socialism" implies worker ownership of the means of production. There are a few collectively-owned restaurants and cafes across the country that fit the bill, some of which have been going for decades.

This I'd call Oprah capitalism. Trying to incorporate conscientiousness into your brand. That kind of thing. Can't say its failure implies much to me, beyond the obvious point that people won't pay more for a sandwich than they would at a better restaurant (which means a sliding scale is going to be a losing proposition, even if people are honest about it). But then the name of the place implies that the branding was always more important to Panera than the success of the model.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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Their bagels are passable, but the rest of their food ranges from the uninspired blah to the openly dreadful. The root of suffering is desire, and anybody desiring Panera deserves the subsequent suffering.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
https://pjmedia.com/trending/panera-...ils-miserably/


Panera Bread has shuttered the last of its ideologically driven "pay what you want" restaurants. The socialist-tinged ventures were called "Panera Cares" and the higher-ups have finally figured out that "caring" is not synonymous with "viable business model." On February 15, the final Panera Cares, located in Boston, will close.

“In many ways, this whole experiment is ultimately a test of humanity,” Shaich said in a TEDx talk later that year. “Would people pay for it? Would people come in and value it?” It appears the answer is a resounding no.
What specifically did you want to discuss about this article?÷
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I don't understand what its motivation was. It apparently had "the goal of raising awareness about food insecurity." WTF does that mean? Whatever it means I can't connect it with 'caring'.

What they should have done is donated 50% of their income to Africa and have a big LCD display outside scrolling the names of the people who had donated the most. People would have been falling over themselves to virtue signal with the biggest wad.
Your total comtempt for charity is noted.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Their bagels are passable, but the rest of their food ranges from the uninspired blah to the openly dreadful. The root of suffering is desire, and anybody desiring Panera deserves the subsequent suffering.
Agreed, except for the part where their bagels are passable. It's like half a step above Subway. Their slogan should be "Panera: because it's 2:30 in the morning and you're stuck in an airport."
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
"Socialism" implies worker ownership of the means of production.

That's the old definition. These days, it means "whatever economic policy the Conservative using the word doesn't like."

See also, "Nazis were Socialists; it's right in their name."
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Agreed, except for the part where their bagels are passable. It's like half a step above Subway. Their slogan should be "Panera: because it's 2:30 in the morning and you're stuck in an airport."
I possess an insatiable lust for bagels, particularly those with cheese in them, so my standards are low.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
What was socialist about the experiment?
Good question. Good luck with getting the answer.
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Your total comtempt for charity is noted.
Goodness, is it? Oh please don't note my total contempt for charity, or even my comtempt! Whatever can I do to persuade you not to! I'm so in a panic right now! #UnNote_My_Total_Contempt_for_Charity!
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Old 13th February 2019, 01:01 PM   #15
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You'll find few people with a greater distaste for Socialism (Or as I like to call it Passive Aggressive Communism or Communism that tells you how bad it feels about what it's doing) then me, and I even I find how much of a boogeyman it's becoming farcical and how... oddly the term is being used.

As others I'd like someone to explain to me restaurant chain that makes 2.76 billion in revenue a year running a half social experiment half publicity stunt is "socialist." I very much doubt I will get anything beyond the standard loud angry incredulity.
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Old 13th February 2019, 01:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I possess an insatiable lust for bagels, particularly those with cheese in them, so my standards are low.
If there is a Pantara and a Noah's Bagles close to each other, you know which one I am choosing....
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Old 13th February 2019, 01:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You'll find few people with a greater distaste for Socialism (Or as I like to call it Passive Aggressive Communism or Communism that tells you how bad it feels about what it's doing) then me, and I even I find how much of a boogeyman it's becoming farcical and how... oddly the term is being used.

As others I'd like someone to explain to me restaurant chain that makes 2.76 billion in revenue a year running a half social experiment half publicity stunt is "socialist." I very much doubt I will get anything beyond the standard loud angry incredulity.
It has become a New MaCathyism , to be frank.
Other problem is the term "SOcialist" is so ill defined by both sides.
Just about any act of charity is considered socialist and evil by the Ayn Rand fanboys, for instance.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

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Old 13th February 2019, 07:37 PM   #18
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"Ideologically driven"?

It was an experiment and it went for 9 years. I wouldn't call it a "miserable failure".

If anyone is interested in neutral reporting on the topic:

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2...ant-experiment

(There's also a transcript here)
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Old 13th February 2019, 07:57 PM   #19
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I find Panera passable as long as you think of it in the right way. It's fast food. As such I think it's better than most other fast food.

I would note that quality varies, especially the coffee. Southern Paneras, like just about every place in the south, have awful coffee. Here in the North even the gas station coffee is at least drinkable, and Panera's is at least drinkable.

I'm sorry the experiment did not work. I didn't expect it to, but I don't see why that's anything for anyone to gloat over. Human nature not as good as we hoped? Sure enough, Sherlock.

In more cheerful news, in Rutland, Vermont, the Panera is right in front of a Hobby Lobby, and the latter is the one closing.
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Old 13th February 2019, 08:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
"Ideologically driven"?

It was an experiment and it went for 9 years. I wouldn't call it a "miserable failure".

If anyone is interested in neutral reporting on the topic:

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2...ant-experiment

(There's also a transcript here)
I've seen companies prop up failures more than once. I've seen miserable failures of a marriage that have lasted longer than this experiment.

Have you actually read the article? This thing was a clown show. They put in as much effort policing the needy as they did helping them. The main beneficiaries appear to have been lazy college students.

The whole thing reads like an ideological decision that was bad for business but couldn't be canceled without triggering some SJW somewhere on the board.
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Old 13th February 2019, 08:50 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
What was socialist about the experiment?
Seriously
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Old 13th February 2019, 08:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The main beneficiaries appear to have been lazy college students.
Oh no students got some free food while they were racking up their student loan debt
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Old 13th February 2019, 09:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I've seen companies prop up failures more than once. I've seen miserable failures of a marriage that have lasted longer than this experiment.

Have you actually read the article? This thing was a clown show. They put in as much effort policing the needy as they did helping them. The main beneficiaries appear to have been lazy college students.
I listened to the episode last month. Yeah, it turned out to be not sustainable without the main company making up the difference. I think the revenenues ended up around 85% of the costs and the for-profit wing of Panera, which has like 2000 stores, made up the difference for the half-a-dozen or so Panera Cares stores that couldn't break even. But making money wasn't really the point. They were seeing if this could be a model for feeding people who might otherwise go hungry. Am I surprised at the outcome? No, I am not. But I see no reason to piss all over them for trying.

It turns out, probably food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. that just operate as straight-up charities are a better solution than some kind of hybrid between a restaurant for paying customers and a charity to feed the homeless and destitute. Keep them seperate. Each has its own purpose, and they don't really mix very well.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The whole thing reads like an ideological decision that was bad for business but couldn't be canceled without triggering some SJW somewhere on the board.
The idea came from the CEO and founder himself, an entreprenuer and capitalist. You can call him an SJW but he's also a successful and wealthy businessman.
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Old 13th February 2019, 10:47 PM   #24
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The CEO of Panera is outspokenly liberal, his experiment openly experimental, and though it's easy to criticize the effort for having gone wrong, and to criticize him for his optimistic hope that it would not, the use of conservative code words to suggest that it was continued to avoid "triggering some SJW somewhere" suggests itself an unwillingness to think for oneself. REally, you can do better than that.
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Old 14th February 2019, 12:10 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
"Socialism" implies worker ownership of the means of production. There are a few collectively-owned restaurants and cafes across the country that fit the bill, some of which have been going for decades.

Please don't scare the people that live in the fox news bubble with reality.
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Old 14th February 2019, 01:01 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
That's the old definition. These days, it means "whatever economic policy the Conservative using the word doesn't like."

See also, "Nazis were Socialists; it's right in their name."

Reminds me of an old Spitting Image sketch:

Thatcher: “Rich people giving money to poor people? You know what we call that.”

Cabinet member: “Er, charity, Prime Minister?”

Thatcher: “COMMUNISM!”
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Old 14th February 2019, 03:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Have you actually read the article? This thing was a clown show. They put in as much effort policing the needy as they did helping them. The main beneficiaries appear to have been lazy college students.

The whole thing reads like an ideological decision that was bad for business but couldn't be canceled without triggering some SJW somewhere on the board.
It's a policy usually advocated by the US right. Why do you associate the decision with SJWs?
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Old 14th February 2019, 03:33 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
It's a policy usually advocated by the US right. Why do you associate the decision with SJWs?
Duh, because it failed.

Succes: mighty captain of industry proves that corporate charity is much better than government spending on the poor.

Failure: lol libtard SJW socialist, you're weak.
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Old 14th February 2019, 04:07 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
It's a policy usually advocated by the US right. Why do you associate the decision with SJWs?

Yeah, that was odd. I thought taxes were evil but rich, generous men would make charitable donations and al will be gravy was practically a US right wing* pillar?






*bollocks term
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Old 14th February 2019, 05:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I think the revenenues ended up around 85% of the costs
That's a lot better than I would have thought.
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Old 14th February 2019, 05:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Your total comtempt for charity is noted.
The contempt isn't for charity, but for naivety.

That store wasn't supposed to be a charity. Or more specifically, it wasn't supposed to be charity on the part of Panera. That's why they're closing it down. It was only supposed to be charity on the part of their customers, but the customers didn't play along. And Panera is unwilling to run it as charity themselves, especially when a lot of that charity is for people who aren't actually in real need. All of this was easily predictable.

Honest-to-goodness charities like soup kitchens are a completely different thing, and I don't think anyone here would be criticizing them.
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Old 14th February 2019, 05:57 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
It's a policy usually advocated by the US right. Why do you associate the decision with SJWs?
Conservatives frequently favor private charity. But that typically involves giving to the genuinely needy, not to affluent college students. Panera failed as a charity because those who might potentially pay extra knew that other people were going to exploit the system, which is exactly what happened. That provides a strong disincentive to do so.
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Old 14th February 2019, 06:28 AM   #33
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I always questioned the sustainability of such a model. I mean, how many paying customers are going to want to be in close proximity to the homeless?

I don't intend to come across as dehumanizing, and I have tremendous empathy for those who are living on the streets of Boston, but I wouldn't want to spend an extended period of time close to most of the homeless people I see around the city. Many are obviously suffering from some combination of untreated mental illness and drug abuse and exhibit a wide variety of anti-social behavior.

Call me elitist, but I don't want to eat next to some guy who is having an loud argument with himself and can be smelled from across the room.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:10 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I always questioned the sustainability of such a model. I mean, how many paying customers are going to want to be in close proximity to the homeless?

I don't intend to come across as dehumanizing, and I have tremendous empathy for those who are living on the streets of Boston, but I wouldn't want to spend an extended period of time close to most of the homeless people I see around the city. Many are obviously suffering from some combination of untreated mental illness and drug abuse and exhibit a wide variety of anti-social behavior.

Call me elitist, but I don't want to eat next to some guy who is having an loud argument with himself and can be smelled from across the room.

You like the results of a broken aspect of society to be out of sight and out of mind?
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:17 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Conservatives frequently favor private charity. But that typically involves giving to the genuinely needy, not to affluent college students.
Not the case. Wealthy conservative donors are the lifeblood of many colleges. Wealthy donors give money in droves to a multitude of causes that are not "the needy" including a number that benefit affluent college students.

The conservative essence is that contribution is by choice.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:24 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
You like the results of a broken aspect of society to be out of sight and out of mind?
I think most people could be convinced to support kitchens for the needy, but few would take joy in actually eating in them.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:34 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
You like the results of a broken aspect of society to be out of sight and out of mind?
There's.... a factor in how societies work when you have freedom that I think get's lost in a lot of discussions, the simple fact that people's non-enjoyment of something cannot usually be overturned because the thing that causes them to enjoy the thing has a valid reason.

Let's say on hot summer afternoons I go to the pool because I find it relaxing and enjoyable. One day while floating lazily in the cool water, a turd floats past me. At this point the reason I go to the pool, to relax and enjoy myself, is no longer valid. I will leave the pool.

Now, and here's where the problem lies, if someone comes up to me and explains to me in perfectly calm, perfectly valid ways that someone in the pool has a condition that caused the turd, that they have every right to use the pool, that they meant no harm and are actually very sorry that they ruined my enjoyment and let's say that I agree, not begrudgingly accept but actually agree 100%, I understand completely and I hold the person zero ill will.

Here's where things get complicated. I'm gonna still gonna leave the pool. Because the fact that I no longer enjoy the pool didn't change because the thing that ruined my enjoyment of the pool is still there, it didn't go away because it's reason for being there is valid nor because I understood it to be valid.

Often time we have discussions where it kind of gets to this point, where one side is basically sitting there not understanding why one side in the discussion didn't just magically come around after they carefully and thoughtfully explained to them why there was a valid reason for the thing that is making them not want to do something as if that's the same thing as convincing them to keep doing it.

And this becomes an issue where no one wins sometimes. If 20 people are in the pool and 19 of them leave because 1 person took a turd in it and 1 customer isn't enough to run a pool... then nobody gets to use the pool because there isn't going to be a pool anymore and no amount of "But the turd in the water isn't anyone's fault" will change that.

Turds don't become less smelly when there's a valid reason they are there.

The "Turd" is a metaphor for an awful lot of things.
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Last edited by JoeMorgue; 14th February 2019 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:35 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Call me elitist, but I don't want to eat next to some guy who is having an loud argument with himself and can be smelled from across the room.
That's what my wife said before she left me.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:46 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's.... a factor in how societies work when you have freedom that I think get's lost in a lot of discussions, the simple fact that people's non-enjoyment of something cannot usually be overturned because the thing that causes them to enjoy the thing has a valid reason.

Let's say on hot summer afternoons I go to the pool because I find it relaxing and enjoyable. One day while floating lazily in the cool water, a turd floats past me. At this point the reason I go to the pool, to relax and enjoy myself, is no longer valid. I will leave the pool.

Now, and here's where the problem lies, if someone comes up to me and explains to me in perfectly calm, perfectly valid ways that someone in the pool has a condition that caused the turd, that they have every right to use the pool, that they meant no harm and are actually very sorry that they ruined my enjoyment and let's say that I agree, not begrudgingly accept but actually agree 100%, I understand completely and I hold the person zero ill will.
Here's where your analogy breaks down. I don't believe the homeless man represents an ill individual, but more a broken swimming pol that can't be fixed because all the money's over there at the private pool and nobody wants to pay for this pool so all the **** can float merrily in it.


Your analogy above insists that the disgusted swimmer isn't part of the system that allows the **** in the pool. I think we're all responsible for the **** in the pool and we shouldn't complain when we see it cos it's still there when we don't.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:48 AM   #40
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"I'm not allowed a single moment of personal enjoyment until I fix every problem in the world" is a far less persuasive argument then you seem to think it is.

I'm not swimming in a pool with a turd floating in it with a smile on my face just because I personally haven't cured IBS yet.
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