Search found 313 matches

by Nem
Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it
Replies: 33
Views: 11850

Re: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it

To what extent is an attack on a strongly held belief an attack on the person who holds it? This happens a lot in politics, religion, race, etc. As people, we tend to associate ourselves with strongly held beliefs, so someone attacking them is like a personal attack. I don't think it is at all, in ...
by Nem
Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Civilian-enforced traffic laws
Replies: 60
Views: 16902

Re: Civilian-enforced traffic laws

I suppose if you had a video clip showing clear, conclusive evidence it might work - for example, someone running a red light - but we already have traffic cams for that. Speeding would be very difficult to do... I suppose you could follow the person and demonstrate that you're pacing them at speed...
by Nem
Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:35 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Civilian-enforced traffic laws
Replies: 60
Views: 16902

Re: Civilian-enforced traffic laws

I suppose if you had a video clip showing clear, conclusive evidence it might work - for example, someone running a red light - but we already have traffic cams for that. Speeding would be very difficult to do... I suppose you could follow the person and demonstrate that you're pacing them at speed...
by Nem
Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1390: "Research Ethics"
Replies: 69
Views: 15924

Re: 1390: "Research Ethics"

These are only US rules... Anyway, requirements 3 and 4 don't seem met in this case, not that it matters if it wasn't approved in the first place. The ethics committee seems obligatory, regardless of what they decide regarding informed concent. I was mostly responding to your thought that it was in...
by Nem
Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1390: "Research Ethics"
Replies: 69
Views: 15924

Re: 1390: "Research Ethics"

I think the requirements to get approval of an medical, psychology, animal ethics committee (whichever may be relevant) should be required regardless of what entity performs the research, it's completely irrelevant to the subjects who does the research (except insofar they, as members of society, b...
by Nem
Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Right, because all accidents are 100% unavoidable. Whether they are or they aren't, you shouldn't be paying a fine for an accident that wasn't your fault. Granted there's sometimes non-trivial logistics involved in being set up to prove that (someone cuts in front of you and slams their brakes on h...
by Nem
Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

A jail system seems reasonable. It's a little less "let's fuck you over for forever", less wasteful, and doesn't introduce perverse incentives. We have something similar with the wheel locking systems they clamp on over your tire. That should suffice technically, and even a short period o...
by Nem
Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: [Ethics] An Ethics implant
Replies: 71
Views: 14246

Re: [Ethics] An Ethics implant

It seems more likely that society will despise the moral eunuchs who willingly chose to sacrifice their humanity to the control of the machine. They might, but between society's displeasure and eating, I'm thinking eating is going to win. It needn't be required, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be...
by Nem
Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:29 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Not to be overly skeptical, but 1.3%? That's...not realistic. Well, I don't have any proof I can offer you. But I think... there's probably at least two ways you can drive after your test: One is to just drive around - assume that you've passed your test and you know how to drive, and just pray tha...
by Nem
Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:23 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: [Ethics] An Ethics implant
Replies: 71
Views: 14246

Re: [Ethics] An Ethics implant

So if we had an ethically defensible set of laws (or simply restrict what the implant covers and let the legal system handle the rest), that would be acceptable? No. I mean even if we assume we have Magi-Tech, and even if we assume the incredibly unlikely event that we all, or a majority, agree tha...
by Nem
Sat May 31, 2014 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

The stuff about scrapping offenders cars is rather silly, and I suspect that's why no one else has mentioned it. Ownership and possession are two different things. I don't have a drivers licence, but there's nothing stopping me from owning 50 cars if I have the space for them. I'm only ...
by Nem
Sat May 31, 2014 10:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

People won't do this. It is taught. The written test in my state touches all these and more. Then, it's not taught. A written test is not a substitute for teaching what is a physical and observational skill. And the longer the written test is, the worse that is. It would be like claiming you'd taug...
by Nem
Fri May 30, 2014 8:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

The right way to have flexibility is by having flexible laws, not by adding yet another layer of arbitrariness to strict laws. But to be clear: my main gripe is that you are suggesting all the time that the current limits are obviously too low (to the point of saying it's ok to break it if one know...
by Nem
Fri May 30, 2014 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

No, not overreacting. Look at this: I'm not a big fan of strict adherence to the law. Listen. If speed limit fines are used by stupid government as some kind of ninja tax, the concept of speed limits is not to blame. The way of enforcing it is. Preferring a flexible approach is not the same as want...
by Nem
Fri May 30, 2014 9:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

That conclusion would follow only if we all agreed that the ends justify the means, and that the possibility of exoneration, pardon, or parole was non-existent. However, if those two both applied, then the death penalty would be easily interchangeable with life in prison, and it would be ethical to...
by Nem
Wed May 28, 2014 11:23 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Speed limits save lives. You're twice as likely to survive as a pedestrian if hit at 30mph rather than 40, and four times as likely to survive if hit at 20mph rather than 30. Speed limits also reduce congestion and make vehicular accidents less likely. That says nothing about how people would drive...
by Nem
Wed May 28, 2014 10:47 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

And, more to the point, is it MORE ethical to put someone in a coma for 25 years than it would be to execute them? For them? Possibly. Depends whether they go more 'nuts' when they get out. For society? Possibly. Depends how expensive it is and what the risks of them re-offending are. Suppose you p...
by Nem
Mon May 26, 2014 1:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

For me, and I suspect a lot of other people, the answer is that it depend on the trade-offs. If you put someone in a coma for 25 years and it saves two people's lives (with no other effect - just for illustrative purposes)... dang right you should do it. Is it okay? I dunno, I'd feel bad about it, b...
by Nem
Mon May 26, 2014 1:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

I'm not a big fan of strict adherence to the law. If that sort of thing came about I can see people getting done because they were a couple of miles over for a minute or so while they were paying attention to the road rather than their speedo. Less of sane enforcement of the law and more a magical '...
by Nem
Sat May 24, 2014 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society
Replies: 97
Views: 20862

Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Everything should benefit society - and, as a general principle, all individuals within a society should will it so, since it's more likely that they'll be among the benefited than the harmed. When you start getting down to talking about the specifics individuals are likely to be less collectively m...
by Nem
Tue May 20, 2014 9:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

It is one of the tens of millions of pieces of minutia that makes up the sum total of who you are. In effect every man, women and child you knew would be in a real sense, dead. Changed by 25 years of experience you won't have. Imagine in one moment that everyone you know was gone. One of the reason...
by Nem
Sun May 18, 2014 11:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

There was quite a bit of change in twenty five years. If he had a baby when he left it would be an adult now. Countries would have changed borders. Alliances shifted as well as language. If you lived through it is one thing. Even if you were in a supermax for 25 years. But to go to sleep one minute...
by Nem
Sun May 18, 2014 10:28 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic
Replies: 63
Views: 14145

Re: Ethics of keeping violent offenders catatonic

Plus, rehabilitation and reintegration would be a necessity rather than an annoyance, simply because the loss of connections and familiarity with the world would require re-education. Why? They were not a well integrated part of society before, why would they wish to be one now? Why not simply take...
by Nem
Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:33 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Marriage
Replies: 132
Views: 25549

Re: Definition of Marriage

While I actually agree with this idea generally, I think there is a good point that many of the benefits accrued by marriage require that other people, or other institutions recognize it as such. It isn't, really, just a contract between two individuals--it's a contract between two individuals and ...
by Nem
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:44 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Marriage
Replies: 132
Views: 25549

Re: Definition of Marriage

Since quite a few people want to discuss this, to clean up the other threads, I made a thread. What should the definition of marriage be? Not a legal institution, would have to be my answer. No special privileges, no special limitations. You want to get married, go to your priest, or your Wicca cir...
by Nem
Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Leadership
Replies: 69
Views: 17547

Re: Leadership

Of the things you've listed, Only energy, water and housing could in any way be considered noncompetitive. Food for instance. Let's say I'm buying a staple carb. I garuantee you have at least two supermarkets and at least two grocery shops within reasonable distance of you. All of them will sell at...
by Nem
Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:35 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Leadership
Replies: 69
Views: 17547

Re: Leadership

If productivity grows, you spend less on labor, then the cost to produce that product drops. Still a net win for the economy. Prices *should* drop as a result if this is a competitive environment. What areas of business would actually constitute a competitive environment now though? You've presente...
by Nem
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:53 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Leadership
Replies: 69
Views: 17547

Re: Leadership

The best leader is he who has to "lead" least. That means he's set up the team and processes such that they do not require constant intervention. Mmm, I think that's probably a general truth. The people who achieve the greatest desired effect with the least effort seem liable to be the be...
by Nem
Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Leadership
Replies: 69
Views: 17547

Re: Leadership

It depends on the surrounding organisation. A good leader, in terms of getting things done, is someone who makes the best use of the talents in their team to achieve the objective (preferably one to which everyone's aligned - at one level of abstraction up from the rest of this post, I suppose you c...
by Nem
Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:38 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Privacy in public spaces
Replies: 32
Views: 9910

Re: Privacy in public spaces

Argument for cracking radio being legal: It's gonna happen sooner or later if it's possible at a reasonable degree of investment, all you're doing by making it illegal is encouraging that the people with malign intent be among the first to do so. (Indeed, I often suspect that the world could benefit...
by Nem
Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

The idea that GGGN, "honestly applied" is sufficient is a "No True Scotsman" fallacy. GGGN is itself a fallacy, irrespective of whether it is "honestly applied". This is why. If there is no way to order "good", there is no way to select "greatest good&qu...
by Nem
Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Holy moving goalposts, Batman! Your original 'A system that outputs what most people would decide if they were perfectly rational actors with all the pertinent information.' is a far cry from this new modified criteria that relies on people's values. If you originally meant 'A system that outputs w...
by Nem
Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

It's totally unworkable in principle. We could probably agree on some things about the measure of "good" - i.e. it is better to have a steak dinner than to die in a fire, or it is better to throw up than to listen to disco music, but the fundamental principle under which this is based is ...
by Nem
Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:46 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

That's a really, really bad definition. A benevolent autocrat could be an ideal democracy under that criteria. I just don't see how that could possibly ever work out. But yes, if you had some magical person sitting up on a hill somewhere who could fulfil those criteria that would be a democracy. Vo...
by Nem
Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Tax percentage calculations
Replies: 32
Views: 10480

Re: Tax percentage calculations

You barely pay anything. Lemme guess, you pay less than 1/3 of your total income/capital gains in taxes from state and federal taxes. 20% VAT, 40% income tax on earnings, 40% on anything from savings, 32.5% on dividends. National Insurance.... whatever fuel duty is these days - around 50% of the co...
by Nem
Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Tax percentage calculations
Replies: 32
Views: 10480

Re: Tax percentage calculations

Would it make more sense to use one method consistently? If what you're interested in is having a clear system, yes. Ideally the only interface that someone need have with the tax system is how much money they receive sans anything covered under exemptions. Which would be entirely doable if everyth...
by Nem
Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

It's a wrong ideal. It is a place to start from, sure. It's a good direction to go, in a broad sense, sure. But the details matter. I've been part of several situations where a minority was basically disenfranchised by majority rule. It's ok if it's a different minority each time, (them's the break...
by Nem
Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

That is too simplistic to be useful. It leads to disenfranchising the minorities, sometimes 100% of the time. This continues until there is a revolution... one that is successful, where an opressed minority imposes its will on the majority, leading to a better result. There are many examples of thi...
by Nem
Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Well, I don't know exactly what your standards are, though I imagine I'd disagree if you listed them. Ideal democracy? 'A system that outputs what most people would decide if they were perfectly rational actors with all the pertinent information.' Democracies are assessed in my mind in terms of how...
by Nem
Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:28 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 55650

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

There is also a marketplace of sorts at work - parents are generally aware of the need for a good education, and in areas where parent's aren't so aware of that, the government isn't very supportive of it either. It seems to me that societal interactions in general provide a force in the right dire...

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