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Comment author: danlowlite 11 July 2011 09:36:33PM 0 points [-]

Just a typo alert:

"But if my taste in pizza changes, that changes the consequneces of eating, which changes the moral justification, and so the moral judgment changes as well."


In response to comment by danlowlite on Lonely Dissent
Comment author: Ender 22 June 2011 02:12:48AM *  0 points [-]

Actually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time.

In response to comment by Ender on Lonely Dissent
Comment author: danlowlite 23 June 2011 01:46:58PM 0 points [-]

OK. I'll follow up. They might want to, but what events would that trigger? The benefits might be clear, but for what costs?

Firstly, you would add another person to the population pool. That addition, in and of itself, is probably a negligible effect. Humans do this with some regularity. It is unlikely that the addition of one specific historical figure would push us over some theoretical tipping point.

What would be a greater cost would be one of rights: does the resurrected "owe" anything for being plucked from history, financially or metaphorically? What psychological toll might be exacted on an 200's era Roman slave when he shows up in Chicago in 2023? Assuming he could even grasp what had happened and learn a modern language, how is he to provide for himself? If he cannot, who? The historian, perhaps. What a decidedly high-risk research proposal: what if your resurrection is a boring fool?

Sure, I think it'd be neat to interview Hannibal or Twain or any number of folks from the past, I just think it might be a bad idea.

Probably reading into the idea a bit much at this point...

Comment author: MBlume 05 March 2011 06:12:49PM 6 points [-]

Holy shit, I just went to TV Tropes, read one page, and came back. How did that just happen, exactly?

Comment author: danlowlite 07 March 2011 02:59:01PM 11 points [-]

It would be a miracle.

Comment author: Psy-Kosh 03 March 2011 04:28:25AM 18 points [-]

More precisely, an uncertain value of 'dead'.

Comment author: danlowlite 04 March 2011 03:06:00PM *  11 points [-]

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What's that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Comment author: Jafraldo_Menendez 28 November 2007 05:49:44AM 3 points [-]

I bought my brother a huge gold buttplug for $250 (top of the line) rather than a medium range coat from The North Face.

Comment author: danlowlite 24 February 2011 05:17:42PM 0 points [-]

Depending on the mass of the former, it might have been a better deal in material costs.

Comment author: Gray_Area 25 November 2007 11:52:12AM 1 point [-]

Every computer programmer, indeed anybody who uses computers extensively has been surprised by computers. Despite being deterministic, a personal computer taken as a whole (hardware, operating system, software running on top of the operating system, network protocols creating the internet, etc. etc.) is too large for a single mind to understand. We have partial theories of how computers work, but of course partial theories sometimes fail and this produces surprise.

This is not a new development. I have only a partial theory of how my car works, but in the old days people only had a partial theory of how a horse works. Even a technology as simple and old as a knife still follows non-trivial physics and so can surprise us (can you predict when a given knife will shatter?). Ultimately, most objects, man-made or not are 'black boxes.'

Comment author: danlowlite 15 February 2011 03:04:21PM *  1 point [-]

Material sciences can give us an estimate on the shattering of a given material given certain criteria.

Just because you do not know specific things about it doesn't make it a black box. Of course, that doesn't make the problems with complex systems disappear, it just exposes our ignorance. Which is not a new point here.

Comment author: bigjeff5 30 January 2011 09:51:45PM -1 points [-]

Curiosity could be built-in, I don't see the problem with that.

It seems to be built-in for humans - we don't learn to be curious, though we can learn not to be.

Comment author: danlowlite 31 January 2011 02:27:52PM 1 point [-]

It could be built in. I agree. But the child is curious about it's texture and taste than how the pieces fit together. I had to show my child a puzzle and solve it in front of her to get her to understand it.

Then she took off with it. YMMV.

Good point, though.

In response to Fake Morality
Comment author: Caledonian2 09 November 2007 01:34:02AM 1 point [-]

There's really no downside to letting people use the bathroom more often. It doesn't harm me at all if my neighbor decides to violate the stricture.

If the punishment for murder is removed, or the belief that murder will be punished ceases to be generally retained, then it is entirely likely that my neighbor may wish to murder *me*, and that decision has lots of consequences that concern me greatly.

People who believe that societal indoctrination is necessary to get people to accept certain principles, and that religion is an essential part of that indoctrination, will object to the removal of the threat of god-punishment. Without that threat, they believe societal habit alone won't be enough to keep them safe.

They may be right - when societal controls are relaxed, people act pretty nastily towards each other. Primates are nasty beings.

In response to comment by Caledonian2 on Fake Morality
Comment author: danlowlite 28 January 2011 04:58:49PM *  2 points [-]

If your neighbor uses the bathroom more often, they use more water (not only by flushing, which may be considered inevitable), but by washing their hands perhaps more than necessary (going to the bathroom twice instead of once) and using anti-bacterial soap, which could lead to stronger, resistant bacteria. Of course, the use of said soap might result a long-term difficulty and the results would not be immediately apparent. So not only must an act have consequences, but those consequences must be reasonably immediate and apparent (and, as stated in Eliezer's main post, necessarily negative). A current human morality system could not track the actions and the consequences.

An omniscient god (or being) would be able to measure the harm. Further it would be able to track the consequences of ones actions. My use of anti-bacterial soap could cause a MRSA infection in someone else and kill them.

I do not think anyone (except aforementioned omniscient being) would be able to say I caused that infection on purpose. And yet, that person is still dead. A key here is intention. But unfortunately, we can harm and even kill others without intending to and yet we are held responsible. I would rarely think, say, a drunk driver would intend to get into an accident, but we punish them anyway because they intentionally increased the risk we all experience on the road.

But that risk (one that includes drunk drivers) is something we all assume, anyway. So wouldn't an accident victim also be culpable. That seems distasteful.

So, an immoral action must have a negative consequence that is reasonably immediate and apparent and must have been done intentionally, or at least without an undue amount of risk outside normally applicable ranges.

But that's probably not right. Does it exclude god? No, because that belief isn't necessary. It doesn't exclude unicorns, either.

I guess the gist of what I'm saying is that you need to be careful with your soap.

Comment author: danlowlite 17 December 2010 10:08:17PM *  0 points [-]

This is very cool. I know that's just in my head, but now I just want a half-silvered mirror to test this with my kids.

In response to Feeling Rational
Comment author: pseudonymous 26 April 2007 09:34:33PM 1 point [-]

It seems to me that social consensus accepts expression of strong feelings by women, just not by men.

Traditionaly, women were thought inferior to men precisely because they were thought to have stronger feelings.

It is not thought wise to have anyone "emotional" in any position of importance.

But "emotional" is usually interpreted to mean that your feelings are easily swayed.

Comment author: danlowlite 09 December 2010 10:38:03PM *  0 points [-]

"It is not thought wise to have anyone 'emotional' in any position of importance."

By whom? People who would like to "be able to have a beer" with a President?

I think Vassar is a little more accurate here, but that people only apply the lack of emotion within a narrow field that relates to their specialty at work. It would not be beyond the pale to see someone cheering enthusiastically for a sports team, for example.

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