Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Freeman Essay #93: “The State is the Source of Rights?

CH regurtigates old posts. Freeman Essay #93: “The State is the Source of Rights? contains some mistakes about Hobbes - the same one everyone makes - but also an interesting discussion on the source(s) of Rights and the source of Law. the discussion there is largely focussed around DB's - interesting - interest in Libertarianism, but coming from that it is also possible to look more fundamentally at rights. I plan to expand this at some point, but for now I'll just quote my comment:

Your discussion of law-from-govt isn't terribly convincing, but I think that is less interesting than the question of rights, so I'll comment on that. I think a more coherent view of "rights" is the (Hobbesian) idea that in a "state of nature" everyone has a right to everything (unlike Hobbes, you don't provide a coherent defn of "rights"). Accepting a government (whether a formally constituted one or even your merchants court) means losing some of your freedom of action (aka rights) in exchange, presumably, for law-n-order. On that view a govt is, intrinsically, not a "source" of rights by its very nature. It is something that naturally removes rights, and this is only to be expected. Your Dec of Indy says "all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable...", which is the same thing: those rights pre-date govt.

Those not subject to confiscation could still be used illegally

A comment at Commonsense Firearm Regulation (found via CH):

> those not subject to confiscation could still be used illegally
This doesn't really make sense as an objection. Most (I didn't check this, but I think it is true, including the most recent) mass shootings with AR-15s involve youngish people buying newish AR-15s. Taking out all the legal ones - most obviously including those in gun shops - would significantly raise the barrier to acquiring them. AFAIK, in general, school-type mass shootings don't involve criminals; so, ironically, you're not terribly worried about criminals possessing these weapons (for these purposes).

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Your assessment is inevitably worthless

Late to the party, but I don't see anyone making the obvious point. You say:
"I am not at all familiar with how Wikipedia applies its guidelines, but I would have guessed that..."
Which essentially means, you don't know what you're talking about. If you don't understand wiki's guidelines for notability, or how they are applied, you[r] assessment is inevitably worthless. How addicted to your own opinion do you have to be not to realise that?

Sunday, 4 February 2018

God You are right, I should look elsewhere this is very boring

Nathan has left a new comment on your post "Men spake from God being moved by the Holy Ghost /...": 

You are right, I should look elsewhere this is very boring.

I think the problem is that you choose to direct conversations in THE MOST boring direction possible. 

You are not playful with conversation, you don't use it as an opportunity to explore concepts, or to expand an understanding of something. 

So rather than explore the question of how regulation becomes Law (and therefore different and apparently better) you would rather discuss that you didn't literally say regulation is bad.

Posted by Nathan to Stoat at 9:57 pm

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

IPCC Communication handbook

IPCC Communication handbook at RC. I could have been more cynical but contented myself with:

1 and 6 fail the “does the negative make sense” test.
4 seems doomed to generate those stupid stories that focus on some bloke wot has seen see rise over his lifetime, oh yes, and have zero scientific content.
2 seems a bit dubious; abstract ideas are valuable and powerful. 

And the exciting follow up:

William Connolley says:
> 17: Radge Havers says: WC @ ~ 3: 1 and 6 fail the “does the negative make sense” test: Huh? How so?
Try their negative:
not-1: Be an unconfident communicator
not-6: Use the least effective visual communication
These make no sense. Which is a hint that the “positive” or original versions are largely vacuous.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018


Trolling (no, not really, I just like to see if people are capable of thinking) on Twitter (arch):

Bess Kalb: When my great grandmother came to America from her shithole, she ended up creating two physicians, a professor, four attorneys, a Harvard economics Phd, an MIT-trained engineer, and a mouthy little bitch who harassed the racist President until he blocked on Twitter.

Me: Hey, that's great. But doesn't it kinda prove his point? Would she have created two physicians, etc etc, if she'd stayed in the shithole?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Soc Flop

CIP has a series of posts based on Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle (p. 364). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.. Kindle Edition; the latest being Soc Flop. As you can tell, he isn't impressed. To prove my credentials, in 2015 I said the Republic, I think it was. Anyway, that’s a despicable piece of propaganda masquerading as philosophy or the wordy windbagging twaddle of Plato from 2012.

My comment which is long enough to preserve is:
My impression is that Soc/Plat is reasonably good on the negatives: using questions to expose flaws in the opponents reasoning and ideas. But poor when attempting to put forward his own ideas as positives. Which ends up making the questioning seem cheap: it turns out that exposing at least a minor flaw in someone else's ideas is really not that hard; building something able to withstand close questions is difficult.
And to be sort-of fair it is the questioning that he is remembered for; no-one actually remembers the city-state-building in the Republic (and if they do remember it, they hate it).
There is also (sorry, I'm getting carried away, stop me when you're bored) possibly a very big philosophical error in all this, if you believe Popper's analysis. It's also quite subtle so I may get it wrong. It's in TOSAIE vol 1 I think. His point is that definitions - like "what is a puppy?" - in the hands of Plato turns into the Ideal Form of the Puppy, in order to explain how we all see young dogs and all these disparate objects are recognised as a puppy. Popper asserts that instead that it should be read in reverse, as a description. This does away with any need for Ideals, but it also implies that focussing on the meaning of a word - like "the Good" - becomes as pointless as focussing on the True Meaning of the word Puppy.
I find I've touched on this before; Justice and Injustice.