Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Virtue in Vanillity

That's the motto of a good sysadmin.

So, I recently got two strange emails...First,an email I got at my work address, and my reply:

> Well 'HI' so obviously you tend to believe that you are a robotic god ! that
> HUMANS do not have a say in their future, but you must realise that more you
> realise your future, so do millions of normal people
> e.g loss of jobs , loss of income .Who is going to pay for this BRAND NEW
> world,
> (guess what not you )

What are you talking about?

And then, I get this:

Dear user, the management of mailing system wants to let you know

Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper using in next
three days, if you are still wishing to use it, please, resign your
account information.

For further details see the attach.

Best wishes,
The team

I know this is spam -- I got it at work too, but when I first got it,I got a chuckle, thinking.. gosh, apparently is now a team, ratherthan just me. Heh. It is irritating how many people might be convinced bythat kind of thing though, and then if they open the attachment, and are onwindows, they'll probably be infected with who knows what..

Leon had a fun post attacking Nozick'sAnarchy, State, and Utopia, a Libertarian work of philosophy. Heelaborates a bit on it, but his overall attack on Nozick is direct andnice. It's funny how, having been a big-L libertarian for all those years,libertarian philosophy now just pisses me off. I guess, having been one, Ican unleash the inner doubts and arguments I held on anyone who presentssuch stuff to me... *shrug* .. Nozick's work is interestingly argued, buthis point of view where 'there are no reasonable value configurations but myown', tied with a kind of hidden moral absolutism, seem very problematic to me.

Speaking of which, I was browsing around on Amazon, having seen an interestingreview of a book in a magazine earlier today, and saw a Star Trek book tiedto Star Trek 2. I was curious, browzed to it, and read anabsolutely awful review by someone named Lee Carlson.. no, the review didn'tsay the book was horrible, but rather, it was full of the most ridiculousclaptrap. A quote:

As with most Star Trek stories, this one has a strange admixture of optimism and cynicism. And, despite the enormous statistical evidence to the contrary, the Star Trek view of history paints the human being as a brutal, inconsiderate savage, who only occasionally exhibits compassion and reason. Indeed, this is exemplified by the character Seven, who has no confidence in the efficacy of the human mind to be able to resolve social, economic, and political problems. In addition, the view of intelligence in the Star Trek series is quite narrow. The reader is supposed to believe that Khan has superior intelligence, in spite of his zeal to use violence to achieve his ends. But the initiation of force by any individual is never a sign of intelligence, but rather of stupidity. The character of Spock, who is quoted in the book as saying that "superior intelligence breeds superior ambition", to warn against the use of genetic engineering to create Khan-like monsters, is also another example of the restricted view of human intelligence in the Star Trek series. Emotions are thought of as having a disruptive, irrational effect on the human ability to reason effectively, instead of a set of natural processes that assist in the estimation and mental concentration of the human mind.

Apparently, this bozo has collected "statistical evidence" on .. feh...And of course, .. yes, "the initiation of force by any individual is nevera sign of intelligence.." .. ahuh. The guy's confusing values with intelligence.This does remind me of the 'non-aggression principle', a bit of libertarian.. well.. look below.Amazon has him as one of their top 100 reviewers. I checked out some of his otherreviews.. He does a lot of rote summarizing of books, and has some otherproblems in his other reviews... oh well. I was amused to find that he revieweda book written by one of my previous bosses in OSU's AI Lab.

Back to the non-aggression principle, it's defined simply as"No one may initiate force against anyone else". Like much philosophy, itsounds pretty benign, simple, and nice prima facie. However, it suffersfrom some pretty severe problems without a lot of additional, contentiousdefinition work. One of the joys of modern society is that people can uniteunder a banner while disagreeing on what it means -- some fine details areexpected to be contentious, but a sufficiently vague banner might attractpeople with widely different ideas about the meanings of the terms. Imagine,for example, a group called "Citizens for Justice". Who could be againstjustice? What does justice mean? Oh, we'll talk about that later.. in themeantime, are you with us or against us? At best, what they do is spotlighta particular range of things as being interesting, and crowd out ideas ofsociety that don't even think along those axes. Ahh, but I digress.1) What does force mean, for purpose of this phrase?2) What does it mean to initiate force?3) Who counts as a person, under this system?

Various attempts have been made, often torturously, to define thesethings. They usually end up doing some pretty severe dancing in orderto reach the conclusions they want..

This isn't surprising..The FBI wants backdoors to all electronic protocols so they canmore easily tap your communications. Fun phrase:

The introduction of new services that did not support a backdoor for police would be outlawed, and companies would be given 15 months tomake sure that existing services comply.
.Of course, they're going to lose -- without shutting down the internet,there really isn't a way to stop people from using crypto. And, of course,open source is no doubt rather scary for them, as it's easy to remove backdoorsfrom an open system.

Apparently, there might be some work to revive the draft.Fortunately, I'm too old, at least by the way the laws currently stand, toneed to worry too much about finding a way to dodge the draft.I did, however, find an interesting page about classifications of people eligible fordraft.. And of course, religious reasons are given privilege over philosophicalreasons to not be a consciencious objector. Pfui.


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