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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 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.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Charge both A and B. Still better than the current system of restricting manicure scissors. And use the money for a personal security guard, which is more helpful than restricting guns anyway.

Yes, it would be feasible. It would also be difficult, which is why I started by distinguishing "efficient" from "good".

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
talash

I'm not saying restricting manicure scissors is good. That's just plain crazy. But yeah a gun is not manicure scissors and no, it wouldn't be feasible. If I were a terrorist and I could bring a gun and bullets into a plane, I'd find a thousand ways how to use them no even if there was an air marshal next to me. Example: A has gun. B has bullets. We have air marshals next to them. C, D, E, F, G and H don't have anything on them, but once on board they start to make a general mess. Whom do you think the security's attention will turn to? Yup. And then A and B will combine the gun and the bullets and fun will be had by all.

What I'm saying that yes, in this case restricting guns is more simple, efficient and yeah, good because it may, with a very high probability, prevent a lot of potential harm. What you're suggesting is complicated, not feasible and won't work.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

We would need a full-scale feasibility study. I believe it would work. Expensively. Admittedly, your way is more efficient. However, efficiency is not under discussion.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
talash

What is under discussion is what is called "common sense." And common sense says that 1. It wouldn't work 2. If it had some chance to work, it would be very, very expensive, like you yourself, admitted, and therefore make the ticket price much more expensive. 3. It would therefore not be "good" according to your own definition, because with higher ticket prices less people would (theoretically) be able to travel or would be able to do so less frequently, so their freedom of movement would be harmed. 3. You have a very good chance convincing people that the restrictions on manicure scissors are bad and should be abolished and there is a good chance that yes, eventually they will. But I just can't conceive a situation like you describe, in which the theoretical freedom of a handful of crazy people who (theoretically) prefer to have their guns with them on board (and probably don't even exist in practice) will be put above the real need of all the real people who travel by air to do so with reasonable safety (and no you're never going to convince me that aircraft safety with guns on board will ever be equal to safety without, for the mere reason that if there are no guns on board I can guarantee that no gun will be fired on board an aircraft, a thing that, try as I might, even with the best possible security I cannot guarantee 100% if guns and bullets are allowed) and at a reasonable price. and 4. Regardless of your beliefs the de-facto situation is that there are some things governments and societies think they can intervene in, even if they are done with full and informed consent of all the parties directly involved-- and for some strange reason most people agree that yes, in some cases societies and governments should indeed have such a right.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Common sense is usually neither. Please, let's stay away from cliches.

1. Unknown
2. Probable, but irrelevant
3. Freedom has nothing to do with "free". Expense is not a limitation of freedom.
4. "Crazy" in context is an ad-hominem argument. You know better than that. Or should. Because of this I will not respond to this point.
5. We were discussing a normative situation. Historically governments intervene in all sorts of things. It's a fact, and not under discussion. So what? This is an attempted argument ad verecundium, your second fallacy. Want to take a break and come back to this tomorrow?

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
talash

1. The only way to check this is to conduct an empirical experiment and I wouldn't do this if people's lives were at stake.
2+3. I think it does because if some basic services like basic food, clothing and yeah, transportation cost more than a working person can reasonably afford, then yeah, it impedes freedom.
4. delete "crazy", leave "a handful of people who probably don't even exist" and respond to the point please.
5. yeah, I should probably go to sleep, so with this I bid you good night.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

1. Not that you or I could conduct one in any case. Of course, we could go with historical precedents, but those are too uncertain.
2. Since when is a plane flight a "basic service" on the same level as food and clothing? And how, precisely, is freedom denied by starvation?
4. Any freedom impeded is impeded for all people, not just for those who currently care to use it.
5. Good night :)

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
talash

2. Since governments tend to provide all sorts of "services" for the taxpayers' money. Services like police, fire, health services and yeah, for some strange reason most governments have, for some odd reason, something called "ministry of transportation." Which regulates all sorts of stuff pertaining to, well, transportation, how much money goes to road maintenance, fuel prices and yeah, price of public transport as a function of that.

also, you can't have much freedom if you starve, so for some reason governments find it necessary to ensure you have some minimal amount of money to not.

3. You cannot have a society without impeding some freedoms of some people some of the time.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

2. I am not aware of any governments that provide planes as a public service to average citizens.
2.5 Freedom and starvation are not in any way connected. There are a number of reasons why some governments provide minimal insurance from starvation, but freedom is not one of these.
3. You cannot have an ideal society. This does not prevent me from considering which course of action in a particular case would bring the society closer to the ideal.
3.5 And btw, given the way you defined society above this statement is false.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
talash

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_airline

(not directly and less so today; still, aviation wouldn't have been the way it is without major government investments and efforts. and yeah, if you want to be an airline today, you still have to comply with tons of government rules and regulations,including price. and yeah, fuel price is regulated).

2.5. In Israel the basic law is that of "human dignity and freedom" and one is seen as inherently interrelated with another on the most basic level (the implicit assumption is that you cannot have one without another and vice versa). You are welcome to attempt to convince me those aren't connected.

3. Which leads me to the question: what is your ideal? That there be no intervention whatsoever in any affairs of any individual unless it is absolutely certain that he is going to hurt others?

3.5: refine definition: "any group of people who agree that they are members of the group, that imposes or may impose rules on those members".

4. In our non-ideal society some intervention from the government is, unfortunately, necessary. I'm interested what should be the limits on this sort of intervention.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

2. You're clutching at straws here. Planes are not buses. They aren't even subways. Nor is this important to your thesis.
3. That every individual be free to do anything he wishes as long as his actions do not harm other individuals.
3.5 Hmmm... so, a dissident is not a member of a society?
4. As low as possible.

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
talash

2. Explain the theoretical difference and provide arguments for it.
3. Define "harm."
3.5. Refine definition from "impose certain rules" to "impose certain rules or at least make a bona fide attempt to impose them"
4. Yes that is clear, but I'm interested in the actual value of "low".

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
talash

And, just for the record, on a not-quite-related note-- the word used for "dignity"-- "kavod"-- in that law-- like is the case with many words in hebrew also has several other meanings-- among them "honor,", "decency" and "respect"). So yeah, I guess that's one example of Sapir-Whorf in action. Also, you tend to hear "dignity" and "freedom" together so much in the context of discussing, mentioning or referring to this law in this country in the concept until it's almost axiomatic that the two concepts are closely interrelated. So yeah, you might have a very hard time convincing me otherwise ;)

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

What law? What dignity? Do you mean the welfare laws?
I'm not actually going to even try proving that dignity and freedom are unconnected. Proving a negative is a chump's game. If you want to play - prove the positive. :)

Thu, Sep. 10th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
talash

If you want to play - prove the positive

I won't. "Freedom and dignity are inherently interrelated" is an axiom for me. I must have something as an axiom, so I might as well have that, if anything.