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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day

a movie about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.

W.T.F?!

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Gladly.
Something is effective if it reaches the stated objective.
Something is efficient if it reaches the objective with less expense (of time/strength/resources) than any other option.
Something is good if it reaches the objective without causing harm to anyone whom we deem worthy of protection. (Notice the same discussion in http://talash.livejournal.com/390531.html?thread=629379)

You are excluding Palestinians and gun desirers from the ranks of those worthy of protection, which is ok, as long as you are prepared to explain your reasoning.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
talash

I'm not excluding Palestinians and gun desirers from the ranks of those worthy of protection; I just think that the potential victims of Palestinian terrorists and people not being careful enough with guns are more worthy of said protection than the aforementioned groups and that "society" in general deserves some protection as well. I also think that restricting guns and building a fence ultimately does less harm to a society than deaths of many innocent people as a result of failure to restrict them or build a fence respectively.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Why are some people more worthy of protection than others?
What is society, and why should we be mindful of it?
Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
talash

What is society, and why should we be mindful of it?

"society"-- any group of people whose members would agree that they belong to the group. any group of people needs protection because its members need protection (both from one another and from outside threats).

Why are some people more worthy of protection than others?

Because of what they are being protected from. e.g. "death" is more "worthy" protecting from than "liberty to buy a gun" (more "worthy"=I would rather not have the liberty to buy a gun freely than be a victim of a gun accident).

Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Not that I'm aware of.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

""society"-- any group of people whose members would agree that they belong to the group. any group of people needs protection because its members need protection (both from one another and from outside threats)."
This tells me that protecting the members is sufficient, and no special protection is needed for the society as separate from its members.

" "death" is more "worthy" protecting from than "liberty to buy a gun" "
I have the feeling that you are forgetting to multiply by the probabilities. Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

"Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Not that I'm aware of."
I listed some above.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
talash

This tells me that protecting the members is sufficient, and no special protection is needed for the society as separate from its members.

It's just more convenient, in this case, to look at a society level, just like to understand the actions of some ants it's more convenient to look at the whole anthive, because the actions of each individual ant are practically meaningless. Not strictly necessary in this case, but kinda helps (IIRC Hofstadter explains this kind of thing much better than I do in "Godel, Escher, Bach").

Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

Actually we do-- you need to be above a certain age and either have a license yourself or be buying the car for someone who has a license. This is rarely enforced, since I really haven't heard of cases where one buys a car without having a license to drive it, just for it to stand in his backyard, but yeah, theoretically you have to have a license, not to mention the obvious requirement to have a license to actually drive it.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

I do not find it helpful in cases of protection and rights to look at anything other than individuals.

"Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

Actually we do-- you need to be above a certain age and either have a license yourself or be buying the car for someone who has a license. "
OK, you live in a different society. Here it's ok to own as many cars as you like, the restrictions are on driving. I like it this way. Same with guns - I see no reason to restrict ownership as long as we restrict usage.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
talash

I do not find it helpful in cases of protection and rights to look at anything other than individuals.

then let's agree to disagree.

Here it's ok to own as many cars as you like, the restrictions are on driving

actually, afaik, it varies by state too; in any case you are going to have a difficulty buying a new car if you don't have a license (and i dare you to prove me wrong on that empirically).

and anyway, yeah-- the assumption with a car is that if you buy it, you probably need to drive it. same with guns: you buy it, you probably need or might sometime need to fire it (although i'm perfectly fine with people buying a gun to be used purely as a decoration, providing its firing mechanism will be disabled), for which you will need a license. So yeah, I think it is very logical to check that someone has such a license when the potentially dangerous item is sold.


Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Actually, I was never asked for my license when purchasing cars. However, I'm fine with your probable use assumption, and agree to restrict gun ownership to those who've proven themselves to be responsible by obtaining a license. As long as they are able to carry it, buy any kind of gun they want, and generally use it as they see fit as long as they cause no harm to others.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
talash

As long as they are able to carry it, buy any kind of gun they want, and generally use it as they see fit as long as they cause no harm to others.

http://talash.livejournal.com/390531.html?thread=638339#t638339

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
talash

Also, by your logic you cannot ever prohibit the ownership of any item even if it's potentially dangerous, or having any item in any public place because you can never have a proof someone is actually going to use it. E.g. by your logic you cannot prohibit taking a gun into a plane if someone claims he is in love with his gun and takes it absolutely everywhedre, because he is, presumably, a sane adult, you don't know if he's a terrorist or not and as long as he doesn't use the gun in the plane it should be ok (but yeah, severe punishments should be instituted for using a gun in a plane).

Or wait, doesn't anything here strike you as odd?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

No, not really. You see, "taking the gun on a plane" is use, not possession. And I'm fine with restrictions on use.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
talash

how about taking the gun to a street? taking the gun to your house? hanging a gun on a wall? using a gun as a dildo? a restriction which says: "you cannnot use a gun in any way at all"?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

You are trying to say that bringing a gun on a plane is possession, not use. Let's try it that way. We already have a precedent. Shall we say, that a gun may be brought into public spaces unloaded just as a dog may be brought into public spaces muzzled or a horse with a bag under its tail? This way we do not disturb possession, but make use impossible.

Of course, one could, if one wished to use it, bring bullets on board separately. One could also subject people bringing guns and bullets on board to extra scrutiny, perhaps charge them for a security attendant to sit next to them. Make the charge high enough, and the problem will disappear.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
talash

What if person A brought a gun, person B brought bullets and they would combine the two on board?. Or, better yet, if guns were difficult to practically use with the restrictions, bring a knife on board instead. Knives were enough for 911 terrorists, afaik.

Make the charge high enough, and the problem will disappea

Doesn't seem like terrorists have a shortage of money, really.

What I'm trying to imply is-- there are cases where possession may be inseparable from potential use and distinguishing between the two is impractical. I mean, do you really think what you suggest would be feasible, as opposed to the blatant "no, you don't need a gun on a plane and can't bring a gun to a plane" that you have today? I think not.