Monday, 18 March 2019

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Should we always obey the law?

I read the following article:

Bigger Than The Law: Becoming More Ethical Than the Society You Grew Up In

Obviously what is lawful or illegal doesn't necessarily correlate with what is moral. However, that doesn't imply we ought to disobey the law where a law is unjust -- it's complicated.

Many years ago I read about someone working in a bank in Germany who was continually illegally transferring money from rich peoples' accounts to poor peoples' accounts, but taking none of this money for themselves.

Obviously this is illegal and needs to be punished, otherwise not punishing such behaviour would be carte blanche for people to disobey the law whenever they felt that some activity was moral even if illegal. The law has to be applied together with punishments, otherwise the whole fabric of the law is threatened. So, even if some action is moral, perhaps we ought not to do the moral thing if it involves disobeying the law.

On the other hand it seems clear to me that this bank worker did a very moral thing and that person is very much to be applauded. Indeed, it was sufficiently moral so as to overcome the deleterious effects on the legal system.

So that person did a very moral thing and the right thing, but nevertheless ought to be punished. There is no contradiction here. The best outcome would be if that person had never been discovered. I believe it was one of these poor people who complained about having too much money! sighs...

Problem here of course is the disgraceful inequality that capitalism generates.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

I hate the Windows 10 Mail App

Ugh . . I had an important email that someone had sent me, so I foolishly imagined that selecting the archive option would ensure I don't ever lose it. Well, not in the Windows 10 mail app that comes bundled with windows 10 ...

Here's what I thought would happen:

That it would copy the existing email and place the copy in some prominent archive folder for easy access.

What really happened:

Deletes the original email. Indeed, deletes it so thoroughly that it isn't either in the trash, deleted items, nor spam folders. Doesn't appear to even copy it as no archive folder seems to actually exist.

In short, it does the precise opposite of what you wished to do. Permanently deletes those important emails you wish to keep.

Fortunately, I use gmail so was still there on the gmail website. This time I've simply copied the text into a notepad file. Why the heck didn't I do this in the first place?? Do not trust Microsoft! Their software often seems to be designed by a malevolent despot designed for maximum annoyance and grief.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Class of 92

Just started reading this:

Class of 92 by Jason Ayres

A guy from the 2050's goes back in time to 1992.  He goes into a pub and it is £1.30 for a pint of "old peculiar".  (As an aside, Old Peculiar is vile!  I remember drinking a pint of it around 30 years ago -- never again.  Not as bad as wine though. There's only one drink worse than wine, and that's non-alcoholic wine.).  Anyway, at "Our Price" (does this shop still exist?  I guess not) chart CD's were being advertised at "just" £9.99 each.  CDs seven times the price of a pint? Guess the author has got these facts right.  People trying to make a profit knowing that people are replacing their vinyls! 

He says (or the time traveller says) there's no Internet in 1992? Pretty sure I referenced the Internet in this essay on the philosophy of science around that time. I paid someone to type it for me, and she put "Internat" by mistake, so I guess she hadn't heard of it though.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Someone Special

How often do we meet people and think, "wow, I've never met anyone quite like this guy or woman before". Very rarely do I meet someone like that. People tend to come as particular types who we can easily pigeonhole. Where are all the different, special, exciting people? 

Sunday, 30 December 2018

What makes a successful relationship?

I read the following:

My boyfriend and I are well matched, but I just don’t fancy him

I’m not convinced there’s enough “spark” and find myself inwardly picking apart his appearance and his unwavering devotion to me, which I find soppy and cloying.


Most of [my ex] boyfriends were narcissistic and made me feel insecure about my own attractiveness.

Many women tend to be physically attracted to alpha type men that are physical attractive, and are definitely not attracted to the cloying soppy men. However, the alpha males are precisely the type of men that tend not to be nice people. They are precisely the type of men that will tend to treat their girlfriends badly. That creates a dilemma.

Of course, the physical attraction won't last forever -- a few months at best. The most one can hope for in a long term relationship is that you become really good friends, that you emotionally bond and love each other, even though the physical attraction has somewhat diminished.

However, if someone initially irritates you, I suspect that it's probably best not to pursue the relationship in the hope it improves; it probably won't. She should try and find someone between these two extremes.

Instinctively I would say find someone who is a nice person, but who is genuine and frank and honest. Indeed, someone like me. But there's a problem as she also complains about the way he dresses, and mentions being insecure about her own attractiveness when her boyfriends are good looking. That suggests she's wrapped up in the idea of projecting an image to the world, being an actor. That she and her boyfriend should be good looking, respectable, successful, people so that other people will look up to them and admire them.

All this is utterly antithetical to how I view the world and other people. I find these pointless charades wearisome. All this social preening and pretence. Living your life as an actor. She would find someone like me, who shuns all this, utterly bizarre and bewildering as in "WTF is this weirdo??"

So it's a difficult one for her. The good looking alpha men are unlikely to lead to long term happiness. Neither will hooking up with soppy devoted men. But there again, hooking up to people like me would explode her mind.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

A comment on a video by Dr Feser

I originally made a comment on a talk by Dr. Ed Feser - The Immateriality of the Intellect.


Unfortunately, the comments have now been disabled deleting my comment and one other person's comment in the process since 2 days ago (and perhaps deleted other comments if any were published since then).  So I shall repeat my comment here:

I do not understand Dr. Feser's answer to the first question. He claims that the intellect is intimately tied to the brain; that our intellect needs the assistance of the brain. Hence, we wouldn't be able to think when in a disembodied state.

I'm unclear as to how this conclusion is reached. I do not believe the mind-body correlations establish any such thing. To use a quick analogy. When a man is in a house, in order to see the sky the house has to have windows, the windows need to be clean, the curtains open etc. So the house needs to be in a certain state in order to make it possible for the man to see the sky. However, the house plays no role in creating the man's vision. After all, the man can simply go outside and have a unrestricted view of the sky.

So it needs to be established that the mind-brain relationship is unlike this analogy; that the brain somehow plays a crucial role in actually creating our ability to think, not merely either allowing or suppressing such an ability.

His argument appears to be parasitic on the notion that psi (telepathy etc) doesn't exist -- hence we need our bodies to sense anything. I think though this is question-begging. In order to have a disembodied existence it seems to me that we all have to have a psi ability, but the brain suppresses this faculty in a comparable manner to how the state of the house might suppress the man's ability to see the sky. He provides no reasons for supposing the non-existence of psi and the rejection of it runs counter to the collective experience of humankind across virtually all cultures and throughout history, as well as the parapsychological research. Indeed, the outright rejection of any psi or or other "supernatural" aspects of reality appear to be more or less an aberration of modern western culture.

Poor penguin chicks

Penguin chicks rescued by unlikely hero. Thank heavens for the adult adelie. He did better than the useless cameraman!