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  1. Today
  2. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    It's not silly when many of the decisions we vote for are based upon studies such as this.
  3. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    You assume that the society is significantly more than a million. You need to get your vision out of the Murica box for a min. So yes I can calculate in a split second what would happen to my culture should I allow 1 Million of us to be killed. No they're not just numbers as those other ones do not exist. Good on your last point. But then he'd just despise me.
  4. whYNOT

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Some spectacular racial stereotyping going on. Or else satire. I do not consider IQ an emotional issue.There are facts, one of which is that for every given individual, there are many others who have lesser intelligence and many others who have much higher. I advised getting over this fact and moving on. I'll repeat that one's (and others') IQ is way down on any list of objective priorities. Also there's the fact that, logically, there is at least some inheritable factor of native intelligence due to one's ethnicity. Again, nothing to get upset about or take undue esteem from. However, a lot of people will use these facts for their own agendas, for mass power in particular. They will not admit to it but evidently on the Left today, is the intention to "equalize" what and whom cannot be equalized. I.e. to 'redistribute human resources', one of which they stupidly and superficially assume to be intelligence, tacitly presuming upon a mystical phenomenon as the major cause, along with "privilege", of the gaining of wealth etc. by others. (It figures - most are skeptics and determinists). Therefore, a drive to egalitarianism. Which is ironically just another form of racist/groupist supremacism. Some group/race/collective must be brought down and others elevated. And here's both their sacrificial altruism and collectivism, both more toxic from the Left nowadays than I ever heard from the religious/conservative Right, in modern times.
  5. Watch this video of Chicago PD addressing the charges against Jussie Smollett. Note how the speaker accuses Jussie of damaging Chicago's reputation, and says nothing about the actor's real victims: MAGA Trump supporters. For weeks he accused his political rivals of the assault. Yet the policeman wholly evaded this issue and acted as if Jussie was some blight on Chicago. Nobody cares that this happened in Chicago. That's not the point at all. Also, he says Jussie perpetrated the hoax over dissatisfaction with his salary. So not only is this about Chicago over MAGA, it's about salary over racism. These political cops in Chicago are ridiculous, and they will get skewered by the political right. https://youtu.be/jILC_DP520E
  6. Now you're just being redundant. The first sentence of your post made it very clear that you're not interested in debate, negotiation, or any kind of rational interaction with your fellow human beings. P.S. I'm aware of the possibility that this is some kind of bit, and you're just impersonating a trumpie troll. I'm gonna go ahead and take it at face value anyway, see what happens. If you follow it up with frog pictures, whatever. You still deserve some hurt feelings, for thinking that's original enough to be worth bothering people with.
  7. I'm not gonna argue with you, but I will diagnose you, tell me where I'm wrong: 1. You never fought for your country. 2. You never really studied its history, and the magnitude of sheer slaughter and forfeit of life it took to make it happen. 3. You never really been in such a fight, or anything even close to it, for any purpose, let alone the cause of freedom...in fact, you don't have anything in your life that is of a significance comparable to such a fight 4. You gasp for significance. That's what everyone who wants to "change the world" on the biggest possible stage (national politics) wants. This is a direct consequence of point no. 3. This is what motivates all the social justice warriors, all the protesters, all the incompetent thinkers who have grand, nonsensical, self contradictory ideas, and declare "I don't want to debate". 5. What you're proposing challenges the principles at the core of your country's fundamental ideas. 6. Put two and two together, and guess what's really going on here: you're dissatisfied with your lack of significance, don't feel like taking personal responsibility for finding significance on a level it is realistically possible to find significance on, society as a whole is as good a thing to blame as any, and therefor you wanna destroy it. After all, it's not your creation, you've never invested anything into it, you can't really do anything to improve it (that would require a willingness to understand your fellow countrymen, and CONVINCE them), so what do you care: let's just destroy one of the great achievements of mankind, because who cares.
  8. MisterSwig

    The Trolley Problem

    Right, but I'm trying to establish a non-assumptive standard. Dreadrock is claiming that at some point the society's value itself rivals his own child's. So how do you calculate that value? How do you know when killing the plurality would destroy the value which is society? I'm suggesting that you can't know this through mere assumption or arbitrary assertion. Perhaps you yourself don't like society much and would slaughter billions to save your child, because you wouldn't want to live knowing you let your child die. Or maybe you value society so highly that you would kill your child for a mere couple, because the number two is greater than one. Even this choice depends on the particular context and personal values. Ultimately what I think it boils down to is whether you choose family or society. Which one is the greater value to you? If you had to completely destroy one, which one would it be?
  9. I'm going to pitch a Socialist Control Act idea and spread it around social media and chat rooms. It's inspired by historical laws against communism, such as the Communist Control Act of 1954. My purpose is to contribute to the reaction against socialism, both the globalist and nationalist varieties, and to promote capitalism. The focus therefore will be defending individual rights, particularly property rights, and calling for a ban on advocating socialism on the public streets and in government institutions. I'm not interested in debating whether this violates free speech rights. Been there, done that. But if you're sympathetic to my idea, I'd appreciate suggestions for clarifying the message and drafting succinct sentences to drop into various online forums. Thanks.
  10. Eiuol

    The Trolley Problem

    Didn't you already answer this yourself? I mean, you'd be more likely to kill somebody who is a brilliant doctor or something like that. More versus less. And anyway, I think you have it backwards. He was talking about letting a child die if it meant saving a million people.
  11. MisterSwig

    Reblogged:Thank You, Dr. Williams

    It's not a wake-up call. It's a declaration of war. The time for talk is over. We need a Socialist Control Act. Our predecessors had the right idea when they passed the Communist Control Act. We have no obligation to tolerate anti-rights activists in the public and in the government.
  12. It is good to see someone prominent answer -- albeit indirectly -- the frequent assertion by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that she is morally right. Walter Williams reflects on what Frederic Bastiat, a French economist who greatly admired America, might think of our country today. Williams first notes Bastiat's clear thinking on the matter of detecting legalized theft: He said: "See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."Williams then notes how far we have fallen: Image of Bastiat via Wikipedia (public domain).What then should we call it when two-thirds to three-quarters of a $4 trillion-plus federal budget can be described as Congress taking the property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? Where do you think Congress gets the billions upon billions of dollars for business and farmer handouts? What about the billions handed out for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing allowances and thousands of other handouts? There's no Santa Claus or tooth fairy giving Congress the money, and members of Congress are not spending their own money. The only way Congress can give one American $1 is to first take it from another American. What if I privately took the property of one American to give to another American to help him out? I'm guessing and hoping you'd call it theft and seek to jail me. When Congress does the same thing, it's still theft. The only difference is that it's legalized theft. However, legality alone does not establish morality. Slavery was legal; was it moral? Nazi, Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal, but were they moral? We are in bad shape now, in terms of how common plunder is. But this pales in comparison to the "Green New Deal" this congresswoman recently proposed. The Boston Herald tries to puts a number on what that would entail: Taxing the rich won't come close to covering the costs of the Green New Deal, which includes a bunch of socialist policies that have nothing to do with climate change. Manhattan Institute budget expert Brian Riedl has calculated the 10-year costs using liberal and nonpartisan sources. The results are stunning: $32 trillion for a single-payer health care plan; $6.8 trillion for a government jobs guarantee; $2 trillion for education, medical leave, job training and retirement security; and between $5 trillion and $40 trillion to fund universal basic income to support those who are "unwilling" to work. (The final price depends on how "universal" it is.) Grand total? Between $46 trillion and $81 trillion.It is true that this would leave us destitute, but many observers argue that any smaller move in that direction would look acceptable by comparison, and that this may be the point. But theft is wrong be it of a penny or a fortune, no matter who does it. The Green New Deal is a wake-up call, but not of the kind the self-proclaimed socialist says it is. Our country has become so accustomed to legalized theft that we will spend the foreseeable future discussing how much of it we will have to endure -- until and unless we challenge the all-too-often unquestioned assumption that it is okay for the government to steal from private citizens. -- CAVLink to Original
  13. MisterSwig

    The Trolley Problem

    I think there is a critical problem here. You cannot possibly assess the value of the million without knowing whether their deaths would result in the collapse of the rest of society. For example, among the million might be a set of individuals necessary to stop an extinction-level threat in the future. You have to assume that society can continue to your satisfaction despite the loss of the million. And if you arbitrarily make that assumption, why not slaughter a billion? Or a trillion? After all, they're just numbers now. It's not actually the number that's relevant. It's the effect on society in relation to your life. And I don't think you could possibly calculate that effect, especially not in the seconds you would have to make a decision at the lever. If he were raised to be rational, he would not accept unearned guilt. He's not the one who killed a million people.
  14. Yesterday
  15. Eiuol

    The Trolley Problem

    It was a joke. Besides, it's silly to think what you think you would do would always match what you actually do. Anything about moral psychology research reveals that as much as people can imagine a scenario, the vast majority of people fail to predict their own behavior.
  16. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    Hahaha. I'm saying that at some point, which I arbitrarily measured at 1 Mil, a particular society's value rivals that of my offspring, whom I'm ironically raising to be a productive member of. Also, how would he feel, after he's grown up, when he finds out that 90% of his heritage and culture was sacrificed for him?
  17. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    Those are irrelevant. All we require is the decision AS IF it were real. It was well thought out and it worked. Most did not switch the tracks and they claim to in all surveys.
  18. Computer security Bruce Schneier wrote some time ago about how easy it can be to accuse others of misjudging risks, even though most people actually have a good intuition about risk: You may have excellent mountaineering advice, but I can safely ignore it. (Image by aatlas, via Pixabay, license). This struck me as I listened to yet another conference presenter complaining about security awareness training. He was talking about the difficulty of getting employees at his company to actually follow his security policies... "We have to make people understand the risks," he said. It seems to me that his co-workers understand the risks better than he does. They know what the real risks are at work, and that they all revolve around not getting the job done. Those risks are real and tangible, and employees feel them all the time. The risks of not following security procedures are much less real. Maybe the employee will get caught, but probably not. And even if he does get caught, the penalties aren't serious. Given this accurate risk analysis, any rational employee will regularly circumvent security to get his or her job done. That's what the company rewards, and that's what the company actually wants. "Fire someone who breaks security procedure, quickly and publicly," I suggested to the presenter. "That'll increase security awareness faster than any of your posters or lectures or newsletters." If the risks are real, people will get it.Coming across this post again after listening to one of Alex Epstein's podcasts on human flourishing provoked my mind to make an interesting connection. (I don't specifically recall which one(s) this was -- my time for listening is currently limited mostly to time I set aside for running errands around town.) One of Epstein's major themes is how to evaluate the many claims to knowledge that one encounters, and two obstacles that he has named to doing so are (a) experts don't explain things well, and (b) the importance of many such claims are exaggerated. Here, we have an expert quite possibly not being clear enough about an explanation (about, to be fair, a topic that is difficult to begin with) addressing an audience jaded by lots of bad and or over-hyped security advice. Schneier's advice cuts through both problems, and he ends his post by basically advising computer security professionals to be sure they understand risk from their audience's perspective before giving their recommendations. This is good communications advice, but it can also be turned around and made into good thinking advice regarding claims to new knowledge one encounters. As with any claim, one should try to evaluate it as knowledge by asking oneself how well it integrates (or doesn't) with the rest of one's knowledge. But, assuming the claim is knowledge, how urgent is acting on it? That depends on integrating it within the full context of the rest of one's values. It can be easy to get carried away with new knowledge and forget to do this -- to assess one's own risk of not applying the knowledge. (The most obvious costs of unnecessarily acting on new knowledge are wasted time and effort.) If your primary use of a pen drive is to transfer music or video files between a couple of devices you own, the urgency of encrypting the data is probably zero -- if you work in a nuclear power plant, and use one at all, it is almost certainly for work, and you probably should be fired for it not being encrypted. With any claim to knowledge, one faces two questions: (1) Is it true? and (2) How important is it? -- CAVLink to Original
  19. MisterSwig

    The Trolley Problem

    Are you saying the nominal value of 1 million human traders might surpass the value of your child, and that's why you'd let your child die? If you're comfortable slaughtering 999,999 people, why not 1 million?
  20. Eiuol

    The Trolley Problem

    With real blood, real pain, and real bodies?
  21. MisterSwig

    The Trolley Problem

    Exactly. In real life there is always a context. In addition to the environmental context, there is also the personal. Who are you, and who are the children? What if I'm a spy in cold war Soviet Union and I'm trying to escape with a secret that will topple the communist network in Eastern Europe? I think I'm mowing down the kids. But if I'm a regular old fart coming back from the hospital in my home town, I'll probably go off the cliff. Context matters. Moral choice fantasies have absolutely no meaning outside a serious context. All you're doing is creating dogma.
  22. Last week
  23. StrictlyLogical

    The Trolley Problem

    The truth such "hypotheticals" reveals is that people like to think morality is only about choosing between sacrificing yourself or sacrificing others, so they manufacture a "situation" where those are the only choices. Of course, the set up is intended to imply (at least at the subconscious level) that non-altruism is akin to murder. Reality is not "jiggered" to force you to make a choice of sacrifices. Morality is about living. In almost any situation, it would require omniscience to validate with any certainty that your choices ARE limited. Since you are fallible and given that life is on the line, it would be IMMORAL simply to give up and kill yourself or the kids... i.e. the immorality would be to take any action which does not seek to save BOTH you and the kids. Trying some other action even in the face of near certainty of failure. E.G. steering back and forth to cause the car to roll over or slow down... trying to put it into a low gear / park or reverse... steer up against into the mountain to reduce your speed. But you know as I do, the type of person who poses these hypotheticals would not be happy with your answer.. they don't care about cars, gears, steering, or mountains... they just want to you answer whether you will sacrifice yourself or sacrifice others and then label you a martyr or a villain.
  24. Doug Morris

    The Trolley Problem

    Somebody challenged me once with the following. You're driving a car down a mountain road. The brakes fail. You can steer but not slow or stop. You are approaching a bridge packed with kids. Your choices are steer for the bridge and mow down the kids or steer to the side and be killed yourself. He indicated he wouldn't have any respect for anyone whose choice was to steer for the bridge. I tried to explain that this was an abnormal situation with no fully satisfactory outcome and he said he would be perfectly satisfied to steer to the side and die. He had a military background. I don't know to what extent that entered into it.
  25. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. -- Narcotics Anonymous The folks over at 99% Invisible have fallen into the above-mentioned trap regarding the folly of post-1970's recycling, in an interesting piece about a documentary that may have led to China's recent ban on imports of foreign "recyclables." The film, Plastic China, portrays the squalor of some of the modern rag-pickers this craze has produced: Image via Wikipedia. The movie provides a grim look at the actual process of breaking down materials, in an informal recycling facility. It shows the families cutting up plastic, melting, soaking it and turning it into a sludge -- then turning it into hardened pellets. The little girl washes her face in the gray plastic-polluted water and eats fish that have choked on bits of plastic. They live and work (and eat and sleep) near a plastic-shredding machine, inhaling dust and microparticles that are byproducts of the process. The whole village is enveloped in plastic detritus.At the intersection of our current technology levels and the value of these materials to the furtherance of human life (i.e., the lack thereof), this is exactly what saving everything we possibly can takes. The mask of respectability of recycling has finally been tugged at. Hooray! But recycling is only one person in the unholy trinity still being worshiped at 99 Percent Invisible: Somewhere along the way, key parts of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra got lost. We have lost track of reducing and reusing. Single-use products including straws, bags, cups and bottles are a big part of the problem, as are items made of multiple different materials (particularly ones that are hard to pull back apart, like toothpaste tubes).And so, predictably, just as one nation is stepping back from the abyss of wasted time that is modern recycling, they call for us to double down on the folly by doing more of the grunt work of recycling here and wasting even more money and effort kowtowing to the other two. They -- and we -- would do well instead to consider the work of John Tierney, who also notes that some of the packaging we're supposed to "reduce" keeps food from spoiling, among other things. But I am getting ahead of myself, and I must first give the angels of 99 Percent Invisible their due, so to speak. I heartily agree with the conclusion of this article: In the end, Operation National Sword Could be a wake-up call. But only if producers, consumers, and governments tune in and listen.It is, but not in the narrow sense of saving a mantra at all costs. As I noted early last year, "around the 1970s, hippies changed the goal of recycling from benefiting human life to preserving the natural world." It's time to ask ourselves the same question the Chinese seem to have asked themselves when they saw a poor girl's life being wasted and degraded by this barbaric rite of slow human sacrifice: Why should we recycle? This is an important question, and the quality of your life depends on it. -- CAV Link to Original
  26. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    This is a very good reply. To apply this to in first person, in that situation, I would know the difference between causation and choice. The first choice is - "Do I get involved or not?" Not - "Who should die?" After I correctly absolve myself from blame (should I choose not to get involved, I then embark on deciding the first choice. Here is where self interest enters the equation. If it were turned around and the train was naturally heading for 1 person, with 5 on the other track, but that 1 person was my child, I would get involved and I would switch. But not so fast. Is there a number above 5 that I would do nothing and let it remain on my child's track? 100? No. 1000? No. 10000? No. 100000? No. 1 Million? Maybe. Depends upon which country I'm in. America? No. My home country? Hmm. Now we're getting into serious grey area. Without skin in the game, and back to the original model - train headed toward 5 with 1 on the other track. If we increase it to 1 hundred thousand people (big train), would I switch? I very well might. People have nominal value. Society is valuable for traders. Humans are traders. To believe that there is no number that would cause you to get involved to rescue - is naïveté. ____ That being said, here are some interesting stats on the topic. Overwhelmingly, when asked about the trolley problem, most said that they would pull the lever. A real life trolley situation was designed (you can find it on youtube). The majority of test subjects did nothing at let the 5 die.
  27. dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    You action caused the death of an innocent person. Regardless of the reason. You intent was also to kill the innocent, so you cannot claim ignorance or accident.
  28. softwareNerd

    National Borders

    Do you take any of those points seriously? People who make those points are either rationalizing or using them to try win an argument. Their real argument is that they don't want more than a certain number of immigrants each year, because it dilutes existing culture and brings competition for jobs.
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