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Everything posted by ruveyn1

  1. Some of the scientific advance in the U.S. prior to the rise of Hitler in Germany was a direct result of state subsidize science in France and German. An American physicist who wanted to excel in quantum physics simple -had to go to Germany-. Quantum physics prior to Hitler was a German cottage industry. Our very own J. Robert. Oppenheimer (American) got his PhD in physics at Goetingen. Our later pre-eminence in science was in part the result of the purge of Jewish scientists in Europe. Thus we got Einstein, Teller, von Neuman and Fermi. What can I say? Thank you Adolph?
  2. I understand how a slate or a piece of paper can be blank. I do not see how to extend this attribute to the workings of a human brain.
  3. That was an example of a negative feedback control. There are plenty of negative feedback systems in nature without a scintilla of consciousness. It is the -principle- of negative feedback I was getting at. Here is a climatic negative feed-back loop. The earth gets warmer, the oceans evaporate off lots of water vapor, lots of clouds form. The clouds reflect the light of the sun back into space and that acts to cool of their earth. Evaporation and cloud formation moderate temperature increases. It is a cooling system that works by negative-feedback and there is not a bit of consciousness to it. ruveyn1
  4. Hobbes' basic thesis is that men living in a state of no law, each man doing as he sees fit will live in a state of perpetual war. There will be no industry, no culture and as Hobbes put it,. the life of man will be nasty, brutish and short. I concur with his assumption. Where there is no law or authority to deter violence the strong plunder, rape, injure and kill the weak. Look at Africa in the lawless countries. It is just as Hobbes presumed. So Hobbes thesis that an authority to impose constraints on the community is necessary for any kind of social peace and order is correct. A lawless land will become a desolation of destruction and woe.
  5. Law has its dark side, to be sure, but look at a country where there is no law. Somalia. I would want to live in anything like that. Without some kind of adjusting, adjudicating regulatory function to discourage really bad behavior we would be in for a world of pain. And here is a practical question: Without a central taxing authority how would we afford a defense against countries who are perfectly willing to steal from their citizens and subjects the money to make very heavy duty military material. Do you think we could maintain a sufficiently good Army on a voluntary subscription system?
  6. Consider the times in which Hobbes lived. The hundred years war that lasted 116 years and the mayhem that took place between Catholics and Protestants on the continent. Hobbes was empirically correct in his skepticism about natural "good behavior" between humans. Stephen Pinker has pointed out that per capita the world is much less violent now than it was during Hobbes time.
  7. There it is. The models are wrong. If we had a scientific theory that produce such poor predictions it would have been busted and discarded by now. But all we have are those damned models.
  8. The difference is in the body count. The principle is the same: kill the enemy and damn the collateral damage.
  9. The bigger the government (in either scope of function or geographical extent) the more incompetent it is.
  10. If there is such a thing as "natural moral law" why are there so many moral and ethical systems. In the realm of physical science you do not find that kind of variety. There are at most a few plausible systems. I agree that moral law is constrained by biological necessity. Any moral doctrine that precludes the maintaining and preservation of human life is bound to fail if for no other reason than its practicioners will become extinct. Even so, these biological constraints do not uniquely determine moral codes or even trim them down to a few.
  11. What is your working definition of "objective law"?
  12. You said: . But then this gets into trickier questions such as whether any perfectly rational country has ever existed, or whether one can exist, who really initiated the war, or how to divide blame for a war based on which side was more irrational than the other, and that's definitely beyond my level. I respond: If you say let he who is without sin cast the first stone, the sinners shall surely win. .
  13. "fine tuning" is an unfortunate phrase. It implies conscious adjustment. However adjustment and modification can occur with no consciousness. A negative feedback control loop functions strictly according to physical laws. Not an ounce of consciousness there.
  14. Wish all you will. Out there are people who regard their own judgement as supreme and will act on that assumption. That means that someone is going to make life miserable for others. The best way to handle this is for sane people to get together and establish a system of rules (i.e. law) and someone to enforce the law (without enforcement the law is worthless).
  15. Markets are not a magic bullet. Climate change is a physical problem and has to be addressed scientifically before it can be decided what steps (if any) are appropriate to take. First, there is little doubt that we live in a warming era. Since the end of the Little Ice Age (circa 1715 c.e.) the weather has been warming. Second, the next thing to determine is what are the major drivers of this warming trend. As a related question it behooves us to work out what human activities (if any) are driving this trend and how do they compare with natural drivers (such as orbital variation, variation of the tilt of the Earth's axis, cloud formation moderated by tertiary cosmic radiation). Are there countervailing trends due to natural drivers? Right now the biggest problem is that we do not have a real climate science. What we have are climate models. Unfortunately models have many adjustable parameters and with appropriate fiddling a model can be cooked up to fit any data. We are lacking a rigorous climate science. Why? Because climate is average weather and weather is a physical process based on chaotic dynamics, which our mathematical methods are not all that good at handling. Here is a snippet from the Wiki article on turbulence: Although it is possible to find some particular solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations governing fluid motion, all such solutions are unstable to finite perturbations at large Reynolds numbers. Sensitive dependence on the initial and boundary conditions makes fluid flow irregular both in time and in space so that a statistical description is needed. Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov proposed the first statistical theory of turbulence, based on the aforementioned notion of the energy cascade (an idea originally introduced by Richardson) and the concept of self-similarity. As a result, the Kolmogorov microscales were named after him. It is now known that the self-similarity is broken so the statistical description is presently modified.[3] Still, a complete description of turbulence remains one of the unsolved problems in physics. Until we have such a description, we do not have a rigorous science of weather and climate
  16. English Common Laws built up over centuries of prior judicial decisions. The kind of decisions that held sway indicate or where reflective of an underlying ethical understanding of how people should interact in a community. The decisions that subsequent judges agreed with held by stare decisis. Other decisions were over ruled in subsequent cases.
  17. What is your position on collateral damage and death during a war. Little children are blasted to gobbets by falling bombs. Has their -right- to life been violated?
  18. I agree with Hobbes. If there is no government or no authority then there will be strife a-aplenty and the evil strong will eat up the less strong or at least eat their lunch. Every human society that has ever existed and survived for any significant length of time has has some form of regulating behavior within the society to prevent widespread plunder and violence.
  19. A thermostat - furnace system will tune the ambient temperature to oscillate gently around its set point. No consciousness is necessary. All that is required is a negative-feedback regulating function.
  20. ruveyn1

    Animal rights

    We model ourselves after other animals. Our teachers, our parents and our heroes.
  21. Learn from history. How did the Romans finally deal with Carthage? They leveled it to the ground. Delenda Cartago est! It is said of the Romans they create a desolation and call it peace. The Roman republic and empire lasted 1200 years. How long will the U.S. last? ruveyn
  22. Do you consider becoming reconciled to a bad thing, a good thing?
  23. Any means which secures our survival (and perhaps triumph) in the face of religious insanity are permissible. The object is to survive and that mean the object is to win the struggle. Victory or death. Victory AND death. Our victory, their death. It is as simple as that. The end (our survival) justifies the means (nuclear and even chemical weapons). When Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate General was asked what to do about the Yankees who put Fredricksburg VA to the torch, he answered simple: kill them. Kill them all. Playing by the Marquis of Queensbury rules against opponents who fight dirty is high stupidity. We not only want to sink to the level of our adversaries. We want to go lower still so that we attack them from below.
  24. According to Christian myth even the Angelic Beings require the rulership of God. One third of the Angels rebelled against God and were cast down from Heaven. Here is the thing. As long as there are egotistical beings who claim their own judgement as authority there will be strife. That was the point Hobbes made in arguing for the necessity of government. Two rational beings can look at the same events and facts of nature and come to not only differently conclusions, but contradictory conclusions. It happens all the time.
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