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Ad Hominem

Small amusement for a pedant:

"You're too intelligent to make an argument like that". -- This is not exactly an ad hominem attack.

First few days on a new social network are kind of busy. Google Plus is Google's other Orkut, and ordinarily I wouldn't be so interested in joining a new social network, except:

  • People will use it so I should be familiar with it
  • Maybe it won't become as awful as Facebook or as boring as Orkut
  • It has some video chat features. As Microsoft bought Skype, it makes sense to be looking at other videochat software, and I'm interested to see how browser-based versions of that will work out.
  • I want to see if Facebook has enough mindshare that not even Google can dislodge them.
Another common feeling in settling into a new social network: Social claustrophobia, as a new realm opens up where people need to figure out where their comfort levels sit with sharing of certain kinds of information.

Last night: Said goodbye-for-now to another set of friends. House on Haunted Hill, beer, tea. Zis brought up an issue - government fines for misbehaviour incentivise the institutions responsible to overprosecute. My ordinary solution for this would be to have fines go into the general coffers rather than the fining agency, in thought that that lack of proximity would help incentivise appropriate behaviour. Zis had a novel (but probably not that great) idea of having money recovered from fines be removed from circulation (as part of a larger idea about trackable, digital money).


I don't think it's really that novel? If the economists are correct about the way inflation and the money supply works, taking money and setting it on fire is essentially the same as distributing it to everyone in the world in proportion to the amount they hold already. The proportional bit there is the only thing that I think makes this less than socially optimal.