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Everything posted by Eiuol

  1. I think you would need a different movement. But yes, intellectual arguments against racism are very important. I don't think racism is a secondary symptom of the failure to be individualistic philosophically speaking. It's more like a belief thing that needs to be fixed before someone can become individualistic in their philosophy. The only way I've heard that a true racist (openly declaring blacks to be inferior for example) became more rational is direct persuasion. If you convince someone that racism is wrong, and successfully demonstrate to them that the ideas you identify as racist really are racist, then you convince them to be more individualistic. Broader philosophical arguments for individualism won't work until you can get someone to see why collectivism or racism on a perceptual level is wrong. I don't think it would work the other way, to talk about individualism on a very abstract level. Eventually you want to get there, but I don't think you can start there.
  2. I'm not aware of any looter making claims about anything at all. I've heard people making up justifications that connected to protesting, just as I've heard people making up narratives that the looters have an underlying leftist motive. But more or less, the connection isn't strong at all. The majority of looters maybe people who don't give a damn about politics, or property, or anything at all really. No motive other than opportunism. I am sure that some are anti-capitalists who want to destroy the constant private property, and some are part of a lynch mob, so nothing is really cohesive. Overall though, not in reference to anything or anyone in particular, I wish there was someone articulate and coordinated and principled in their approach as MLK. Such a person is an antidote to a mob mentality, and even preventive. Plus he brought about meaningful change. I think it's important to remember ETs point earlier, that many people are operating on emotion, even nonviolent protesters. Some sense of calm is necessary in order to bring about any principled change, or to get anyone to listen. In a way, that's the point of nonviolent protest. It's not that violence is inherently wrong, but that violence often pulls people away from rationality even if somehow the violence were justified.
  3. He wasn't killed by cops, and he was very specific about his civil disobedience, and very much against any loss of property or violent action. So I don't see why you bring up his name in relation to those people, or the connection you're trying to make between his protests and the hodgepodge here. It isn't difficult to condemn both property loss and the far worse examples of murder or manslaughter. I'm not sure if WhyNot is overgeneralizing to say that all protests related to this have looting involved. If he is, that's wrong. But he would be right to suggest that the looting and rioting didn't lead justice to prevail. That's not what it takes to be heard, because it doesn't work, but some form of protest can. You're from South Africa, you wouldn't know daily life either. It really isn't that far off with my experience with cops in the US that they are often callous and don't have much regard for how their actions affect other people. If you only mean to say that being killed by the police isn't daily life, it doesn't matter. Voluntary manslaughter and murder should not occur ever with the people who are supposed to prevent it (and why any law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than a civilian). Not all police of course, but probably most of them in the US.
  4. Just because the members of an organization or institution break the rules of that institution does not mean that the institution is free of all responsibility. An institution organization is responsible for the actions of its members, even when the members violate the rules of that organization. This isn't some strange and unique legal principle. For example, consider that an oil company would have rules against drinking on the job if you captained an oil tanker. Then imagine that someone really was drinking on the job, crashed into the shoreline, and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the water and all the property around it. The oil company would be liable. If everyone whose property was damaged sued the oil company, and won, you wouldn't then say that the trial was a sham, that only the drunken captain should pay damages for initiating force (causing property damage). Clearly, when under rational scrutiny, the "group of people" did not initiate the act, only the one individual performing the initiation of force. But the corporation is still responsible, no matter how many rules they have against drinking on the job and spilling oil! Honestly, it's very strange that when people disagree with you (2046 in this case), I have often seen you insinuate that people have an ulterior motive, or you use passive aggression with backhanded compliments ("the sage philosopher"). The conversation will be more interesting if you stop doing that and show a little more respect. Or if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. I think this is a good point. If justice matters, as it should, there needs to be justified retaliation. But in what ways are different police precincts responsible? Who should be retaliated against? Is it enough to simply charge one man with manslaughter or murder? It's certainly not a good idea to deny that responsibility extends beyond this one officer.
  5. This is probably the more important thing to think about. Whether or not burning down a police station in Minneapolis is retaliatory won't change the fact that such force wasn't proportional. What counts is that retaliation is even a question here. The behavior of law enforcement in recent history, in the past 50 years, suggest that there are problems with the very use of cops. Police have not always existed, it is not as if ancient Rome had police on patrol that would patrol neighborhoods. We certainly want law enforcement, yet abuse of power seems to be a constant issue for police. Perhaps it is related to being granted legal privilege to a huge host of tools of violence. That is bound to have psychological effects in a similar manner that affect people who work for authoritarian governments. Not that police in the US are part of an authoritarian government, but that being a police officer puts one under constant pressure of enforcing bad laws, and the fact that some laws incidentally protect police officers when they do wrong. The entire institution of police is problematic. But it is still important to analyze what exactly people responding to. If people are retaliating, even if that specific method of retaliation is immoral, it's for a reason.
  6. You didn't give an explanation to the parts that needed explaining. If you can't make it any simpler, you oversimplified it.
  7. Why do you keep saying that? That phrase is for essay writing, not conversations. What do you think a disagreement is? You think my premises are wrong. You didn't finish your line of reasoning. Note that I'm not using passive aggression to call you a moron. Thinking on a moron doesn't help your case when I already said I'm undecided if torching a police station was justified. Why insult me? Yes, the actions were unlawful, at least in the sense that attacking a police station is always against the law. But I don't think that's what you mean. If you mean unlawful only in the sense of initiation of force which is not retaliatory, that's not necessarily true. The whole point of you even responding to me is that you think it is initiation of force, and I think it is retaliatory (by being retaliatory, it still isn't necessarily justified). A police precinct is responsible for its officers. I clarified earlier that I was only referring to Minneapolis. In the same way the actions of one soldier justify actions against that soldier's army, the actions of one officer justify actions against that officer's precinct. In other words, initiation of force done by one officer means that force in response would be retaliatory. Acting outside of your authority isn't initiation of force, I don't know what you're talking about. This is true as far as a precinct in Atlanta, for example. Police departments across the country are not unified institutions across the board. Officers in Atlanta are not responsible for officers in Minneapolis.
  8. You said it didn't make sense to you, so I'm explaining why somebody might become a looter. There are of course all the other factors that lead someone to make looting a consideration. Imagine you are a person who is completely apolitical and has committed petty crime before. You recognize that people are protesting the killing of Michael Brown. While you don't really have hope from political change, and don't think politics really makes a difference to anything that goes on in the world, you recognize that this is an opportune time to go beyond petty theft and start looting TVs from Target. Other people have burned down a police car a few blocks away. Seeing that, you realize that you might be able to do something extreme as well. If someone can burn down a police car, imagine what you could steal when the cops are busy! Normally you wouldn't attempt to loot an entire store, but today, there are new opportunities. Just to be clear though, I don't think anything could justify the looting. It's not even retaliatory. It's just opportunism. Nothing more than that. I don't really know which part you disagree about.
  9. As I was saying, the circumstances have changed: observing one person acting in an extreme way can motivate you to also act in an extreme way. Your threshold for action would be lower. There's a theory in sociology related to this idea of lowering your thresholds for action when you see others taking extreme measures, regardless of why those other people took extreme measures. So you end up with a huge mix of different people rioting in different ways for different reasons for different objectives. It's not as if a riot is cohesive. The only thing I would say about a riot is that it is not guided by any principle. The only philosophical underpinning here is that there is none. Your question sounds more like "why does violent protest correlate so well with rioting, but not other forms of protest?" Probably because it is involved with such high emotion. Okay, my point is that either way, you have an explanation that's pretty straightforward. I want to say though, I don't think violent protest is effective in this situation. Nonviolent protest is very effective even towards violent individuals. Not because violence is inherently bad, but because psychologically speaking, the protesters remain in much better control of themselves, the other people don't respond to it by feeling inspired to take measures into their own hands, and responding nonviolence with violence only makes it clear who is violating rights (even to the people who aren't yet convinced of individual rights as a thing). Historically, we know it can work. Also, when I suggested that burning down down police station as retaliatory, I was referring to Minneapolis. I don't think burning down a police station in Atlanta would be retaliatory.
  10. Which one? "Check your premises" doesn't mean anything here, this is a conversation. I'm not sure if that use of force is proportional, but it is still retaliatory. DW, what's confusing or weird about my post?
  11. Rioters are not necessarily connected to protesters. Sometimes rioters are people who take advantage of a chaotic situation to do things they have been wanting to do for a long time. Another reason is that by seeing other people push the envelope, they are willing to push themselves to act in ways they would not normally, even if has nothing to do with why the other people are acting so extremely. So if a convenience store is set on fire, it is probably for unrelated reasons than why a police station was set on fire. They simply correlate with each other. What's inexplicable? If you're talking about stealing TVs, those are just the usual reasons why anybody steals anything. If you're talking about setting police stations on fire, that's retaliatory force. Force should be at least proportional. You wouldn't call an air strike to stop someone who stole your bench outside. You wouldn't mock someone and tell them to get up when you know you won't let them get up, if you aren't using more force than necessary. This isn't a case where we are utterly shocked that this use of force ended up with someone dying. The guy was completely subdued, there was no need to keep going.
  12. Yes, if you can talk you can breathe, but you might be able to say you can't breathe a few seconds before you stop breathing. But that's stupid to talk about. Do we really need some linguistic argument to understand that he was in severe medical distress? The category is police abuse, full stop. It might be justified, I haven't really decided, but it's a pretty simple connection between initiation of force to retaliatory force.
  13. Yeah, market prices really only identify what can be purchased. I think that wages are more about compensation and incentive psychologically speaking. Compensation and incentive are connected to an exchange of values: compensation for what the person is doing compared to what they would have been doing, incentive for continuing to work for you and continuing to trade with you. Assuming the person is doing the job as specified and doing it well, it's a good idea as an employer to be magnanimous as an incentive. The employer would become a desirable trading partner. If I were the employer, I would desire to allow them to have a certain kind of lifestyle, so I need to get some sense of market prices in real estate and food, with compensation as a baseline, and incentive as any money above that. There are other things to consider for rational value exchange, but as far as wages, I think this is enough. And of course, if people want to forgo a rational procedure, okay. Immoral, but that's their problem. And I hope they would not be in business long, because it has a negative impact on the market as a whole. You're right about the difficulty of figuring out what a dollar is worth in terms of time. The fact that the dollar is not linked to anything only makes this problem worse. Unsolvable even; not computable if you like information science terms like I do. So yeah, some commodity should be the basis, whether that something is gold, or something digital like computation power in a computer (which cryptocurrency aims to do). The best I can do given fiat currency is get some sense of the way people spend their money, despite how arbitrary the basis to it is. Sort of like how I know that many books on Amazon are often $10, but Barnes & Noble often sells the same books at $15. I won't be able to objectively determine the worth of a dollar to me, but at least I can get a sense of more and less and what I could get with that $10.
  14. "It's just a basic benchmark measure of living a basic life in a Western country (which can help determine what kind of wage you want to pay). I'm not so worried about the exact $15, but I think a living wage, whatever an economist determines that to be, is a good measure for estimating what I would like to pay full-time employees who do very basic labor." Many times I said the employer should offer a job based on the value he gets from the work performed. My claim is that below a certain point, an employer is failing to rationally appreciate the value he gets from the work performed. Absolutely. The only thing it has to do with is how I would like to compensate the person for the work they perform in such a way that they would like to continue working. This is poetic license. This is not what is meant by living wage in this discussion, is not at all how the terms have been defined. If you change the meaning of the terms as I have used them, it will sound like I'm saying something completely different. I'm not sure if you're acting in bad faith, or you honestly missed how we defined what I mean by living wage. I already said minimum-wage laws are immoral, so I don't know what you're talking about. I really don't. Minimum-wage laws should not exist. Minimum-wage laws are bad. I don't like minimum-wage laws. Yup! Earn that $15. How does this contradict anything I wrote? I think anyone performing a full-time job well has earned $15 an hour by rational standards. Really it's just sounding like you told me that I am irrational for saying that as an employer, I want to pay them $15 an hour. I know you didn't intend this, but you ended up undermining your own argument that an employer should pay the value they believe they received. I value the work at $15 an hour. You've been telling me that I shouldn't value the work at $15 an hour. If you think I'm rational to value their work at $15 an hour, you agree with me in principle, at least that my standards are worthwhile. If you think I am not rational to value their work at $15 an hour, then you should make that argument. If you think I am not rational to believe in minimum-wage laws, then you haven't read anything I wrote.
  15. Then that would be arbitrary! There would be no basis for the employer to offer $10 an hour, other than perhaps that it "felt right". If there is a basis, it should be rational. To be rational, one must do some kind of research or investigation into wages, such as what people expect, the value of your currency, everything that goes into determining the worth of something. Not only does this put you into a better position for negotiation, you are also better able to sensibly judge people and their value to you. I'm not saying anything about finding out what the market price is, this is all about finding the price you want to pay. We can't assume that the market price is unassailably rational. There are boom and bust cycles within capitalism and expected by Austrian economists. Someone more economically well read can add more details here. Whatever the more intimate details of that are, generally speaking, the fact that there is a boom and bust cycle shows that within capitalism there is room for error caused by innocent mistakes, and outright irrationality. I don't know what you mean. Maybe my next paragraph will clarify. If you're talking about spiritual values like DW mentioned, these are not subjective (based on how things feel). These are examples of irrelevant details that would not affect your calculation of what you determine the value of their labor to be. You seem to be mixing up so what I mean by determining what a living wage is, with determining the wage I would like to pay (or the wage that the employee wants). Living wage can only be determined by observation of transactions, as you were saying. The next step the rational employer should take when thinking about how they value their employees is figure out their other objectives, like employee retention, creative output, employee satisfaction, and so on. Force, not at all. Immoral, definitely. * I'm realizing now that one thing might be a little confusing. When I say "value" in this discussion, I'm referring to individual determinations about what something or someone is worth. When I say "market price", I'm referring to some kind of average about the monetary price people pay for something or for labor. A living wage would be based on several different market prices, including real estate and food.
  16. I don't think so, but I think this goes into an entirely different discussion about how to act with certainty. The value of contextual approaches to knowledge is that they make it possible to act with absolute certainty, while leaving the probabilistic stuff as irrelevant. In effect, any action you take should be done with certainty. If your actions are not taken with certainty, then you didn't take enough time to evaluate or appreciate the situation. If you can't really know what your tactics will do, and you're never quite sure what will happen, sure, then any negotiation tactic you use is no more or less moral than another. Not only that, but you would not be a good negotiator. I know you aren't saying that you can't know anything at all, so my idea is that you are still leaving too much room for guessing and uncertainty. Why do you keep bringing this up when I already told you I think minimum-wage laws are immoral? The quickest way I can reply to this part is that it doesn't seem like you are thinking of academic research in the right way. Many variables are taken into account, including the ones you mentioned. Some are left out because they are determined to be nonessential. Making such a calculation is not normative on its own. The calculation would be descriptive of how people live in the US. You could argue that the calculation is done incorrectly, or left out an important variable, but you couldn't say that the calculation is arbitrary. For the sake of our discussion, I'm suggesting that the minimum worth of a full-time employee (if the employer determines worth in a rational way) is what it would cost them to live a basic life here in the US. Pretending for a minute that I'm an employer: I've determined (through research and whatever else) that a basic life in the US is a good and reasonable benchmark for figuring out the worth of my full-time low skill labor employees. Some of my employees might say they only need $10 per hour, but I still really think their labor is worth $15 an hour by rational standards. That's what I value their work at, it's not intrinsic value. So, I offer them $15 an hour right off the bat. There is no rational reason that someone would negotiate a lower wage for themselves, unless they really felt that they were worth less than $15 an hour. In fact, if an employee reacted like "oh, you don't have to do that, I'm not that good of an employee!", I would insist that they take $15 an hour. In my mind, they would be giving into altruistic pressure that they have been taught. I wouldn't want employees thinking that way at my company.
  17. What are you trying to ask me or point out? That passage is about minimum wage laws. I think ET was referring to the de facto (which doesn't involve force or laws) minimum wage that I've been talking about. But anyway, the number isn't arbitrary.
  18. Of course it is, but that's why we come up with general principles through which we can generalize across many conditions. All you're doing is saying everything I already know and agree with for the most part, which is fine, but we aren't getting anywhere. It hasn't led to "therefore, you are wrong because..." It's like you don't trust that I have read extensively about Objectivism, and don't see how I could possibly believe what I believe. So you go to explain the basics because it's as if you think anyone who understands the basics wouldn't believe what I believe. Instead of doing that, it's better to tell me if anything I said is incoherent, as well as in your own mind filling out how it is my ideas could fit together. Then once you see how they fit together, break it down and argue against it or tell me where it goes wrong. Besides, "negotiating tactic" and "trying to convince someone to [be altruistic]" are not mutually exclusive. No, and for egoistic ethics based on rational thought, gambling is exactly what we don't want to do at any moment in our life. Taking chances and guessing is the last thing we want. The aim is to follow principles which lead us to happiness in the long run. Social interaction is critical to very much what we do in life, so it is important to use the proper negotiating tactics. Some negotiating tactics work well in terms of getting what you want in the near term, including using those examples of manipulation that I gave you. But they aren't actually good for you in the long run, and not good for your moral character precisely because they are bad in the long run. It's not any different than the prudent predator issue. Everything in my prior posts explained why offering less than a living wage is essentially bad negotiation, a bad way to keep an employee, and doesn't promote value exchange very much. Wrap it all together, and the tactic is immoral. But the $15 used as a basis isn't arbitrary, it's just a basic benchmark measure of living a basic life in a Western country (which can help determine what kind of wage you want to pay). I'm not so worried about the exact $15, but I think a living wage, whatever an economist determines that to be, is a good measure for estimating what I would like to pay full-time employees who do very basic labor.
  19. Yeah, not sure why you brought it up? I can't see any good reason. I think that a guilt trip is only done to make a person feel bad, and no other reason. There is no benefit to oneself, besides perhaps enjoyment at hurting another person. I think it's motivated by secondhanded intentions: an attempt to dominate and show yourself as more powerful. Those are not rational objectives. At best, it's a waste of time. Spending time on the failures of others doesn't help yourself, unless you're trying to help the person learn something. But helping them learn something wouldn't be a guilt trip as I think of it. Not sure what point you're trying to illustrate. It's a job that requires almost no time at all, and the little time I do put in is well compensated by maintenance of the website. Perfectly reasonable trade to me, and reasonable valuation of my worth as a volunteer.
  20. I don't think guilt tripping is much of the moral thing to do, that's all. It could be just persuasion, but I would say that if someone thinks those guilt tripping points are valid, they are trying to use an altruistic basis of morality. I think that trying to go below $15 an hour is a lot like the first or third example. On the one hand, using one's own judgment to figure out a general range about the worth of someone's work, but at the same time deliberately trying to convince a person to trade a greater value for a lesser value (for all the reasons I stated earlier). In other words, asking a person to sacrifice themselves to you. This applies to the de facto minimum-wage because I don't see any good reason to say that a full-time employee is worth less than $15 an hour. (Emphasis on de facto, as in there is no legal consequence). I would say the purpose of morality deals with important issues like life. Living a good life requires a certain moral character. By living life with a good moral character, moral action will show even through minor day-to-day actions. I'm not familiar with the passage you are talking about, so I can't comment on that.
  21. Examples of (immoral) manipulation that aren't aggression: "You are a lazy bum, you better take this job if you know what's good for you, no one else would take you on. Everyone knows you are a worthless employee, so you should be grateful that I'm giving you $5 to work full-time." "You have to take this job, your family needs it. You should feel bad if you don't take the job, even if you don't like it. Your family needs it. You owe it to them." "But I need you to work for me! Don't you care about me? I can't afford to pay that. In difficult times like this, we need to make sacrifices for each other. You should make some sacrifices for me. Wouldn't you feel bad if you cause my business to fail?"
  22. I mean, I don't disagree with anything you wrote, I was trying to convey at least the same thing in the previous post directed at you. Not all immoral forms of manipulation are aggression though.
  23. As far as protests in general go, it's weird to me that Musk has been unfairly demonized for wanting to reopen his own factories. Even the article you linked isn't completely accurate, suggesting that Musk would be reopening his factory without a plan in place. He actually does have a plan, but I've seen many people ignore his plan entirely, or flat-out not trust anything he said. https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-anti-pandemic-plan-deaf-ears-anti-elon-musk-narrative
  24. Can you read the rest of the paragraph before immediately compiling your response? I really don't know how you got from "if a person is paid less than living wage, then they would need another job" to "you should pay them enough so that they only need one job". The second part of my argument is that "they would be less effective workers", it has nothing to do with making a calculation based on their need. My basis is that they would be less effective workers. If you don't think it's true that they would be less effective workers, then make that argument. I said multiple times that my context is "full-time employees in the US". A summer vacation job in a kitchen is more than likely a part-time job. But anyway, even if the kid was okay with that, if it was a full-time job, yes, I think the kid should be paid $15 an hour. If I were the employer, I would pay the kid $15 an hour if it was full-time. Well yeah, I never argued that someone should not be allowed to accept any job at any wage they want. Besides, the job is probably part-time. If it was full-time, I would advise the student to look for a better job where his employee appreciates him or ask for a better wage. What about him? I would still value his work at $15 an hour if we are talking about a job like in the article. Because my valuation of full-time labor isn't based on need. I would advise them to negotiate a better wage based on being underappreciated, or else they should leave that company. I didn't make a claim about how many jobs a person should have. They can have as many as they want, and this is morally fine. I didn't make a claim about how many hours a week someone is allowed to devote to their work. They can work as many as they want, and this is morally fine. I didn't make a claim about how much a couple should earn or should have. I don't really care what they need. Definitely. I've been saying this the whole time. But morally speaking, an employer should not take advantage of their employees or potential employees. An employer should pay their employees what they think their employees are worth also. As long as there is no manipulation, it's all good. I'm wondering, have you ever had a job where you felt underappreciated so you quit or decided to look for another job?
  25. You said he couldn't oppose it on ethical grounds, so I asked why not. I don't think going it alone would be a reason not to, not to mention that he would get support if he asked anyway. I would support him if he made some statement along the lines of "this violation of the constitutional rights of people in the US must stop". I support Elon Musk for saying that, and I would support Trump if he did that. I respect people more when they're willing to go it alone. I don't think it would be bad if the protesters asked Trump for help (because he isn't helping them right now) rather than saying they support Trump (even though he hasn't done anything to help them yet). You didn't disagree that he has compromised on individual rights, and you didn't correct me, so I don't know what you mean.
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