Pledge Week

 

It’s Pledge Week, which means I get to bug you about subscribing. This site is free to everyone, but if we don’t get enough subscriptions I can’t keep doing it. We conduct rational discussions on current issues, mostly high tech, plus we try to find items of wide interest to educated people. By educated I don’t necessarily exclude academics, but many of you didn’t go that route. After all, when did the BYTE column, it was for users. Anyway, I bug you about subscribing when KUSC, the LA good music station, holds their pledge drive, but we don’t have advertising, and usually I leave you alone.

I’m not after eating money, and if you can’t afford to be one of my patrons, I still want you as a reader; but do consider subscribing if you have not, and if you haven’t renewed in a while this would be a good time to do it. http://www.jerrypournelle.com/paying.html . And you can help by telling others about this place -just post the latest entry to your social media resources. Thanks!

A Busy Weekend; The Largest Crowd; Rights and Diversity; and other important matters

Monday, January 23, 2017

John Glenn must surely have wondered, as all the astronauts weathered into geezers, how a great nation grew so impoverished in spirit.

Our heroes are old and stooped and wizened, but they are the only giants we have. Today, when we talk about Americans boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies’ bathroom. Progress.

Mark Steyn

If Republicans want to force through massive tax cuts, we will fight them tooth and nail.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.

James Burnham

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.

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Tomorrow I have a routine maintenance appointment out at Kaiser, and I’m going to drive myself. I’ll leave early enough that no hurry will be involved, and take large unobstructed streets. I drive fine and my glasses are good enough, and I feel up to it, and I think it is as well to be reasonably independent, so I didn’t arrange for a driver. I still won’t drive at night or on a freeway, although I have done both since the stroke, with no incidents; or rather, once when taking Roberta to the emergency room, at night, we encountered a street party requiring me to thread through crowds of revelers in the street, and I managed that nicely.

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CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Star Trek’ Fan Film

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/cbs-paramount-settle-lawsuit-star-trek-fan-film-966433

 

image

 

 

 

Alas, the settlement doesn’t tell us much about “fair use”, but it sure created work for lawyers, which probably helped the LA economy.

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Mr. Trump had a busy weekend and a busier Monday. His visit to the CIA went well, but then he wandered off track into talking about the crowds at his inauguration and various other ambiguous subjects; it’s hard to tell precisely what, because the traditional media are very selective in what they are reporting, and most of the so-called information comes from columnists who mix their contempt for Trump in with their factual reporting. The media score it as a Trump blunder, but then they score most things he does as silly, unwise, blustering, megalomaniac, or worse, so that it’s again impossible – for me anyway – to tease out what really happened. I approach the subject this way: Trump has often in the past shown he is crazy like a Fox. From the first day coming down that escalator and announcing he was a candidate, through the elimination one by one of 17 pretty well qualified Republican candidates, to his highly improbable nomination, and on to his impossible election as President; he has shown that he knows what he’s doing. I start with the view that he’s more in control of his actions than the media give him credit for. He also likes the win, even if it’s over trivial matters; but he’s what we used to call a good winner, usually, once that particular game is over.

Anyway, he is President, and his style is not in question any longer; it is what it is. He is not a professional politician, and didn’t run as one. One his first day he overturned a number of regulations, and froze non-defense hiring. That latter he had to do: the National Debt doubled in the last eight years; his predecessor spent more money than the 44 Presidents preceding him combined. (Yes, he had no control over some of that spending, but he made no real effort to stop it either.) The first thing is to stop the bleeding: if you are in a hole, stop digging. If government is too big, stop making it bigger. That he seems to be trying to do.

Now we’ll see if he can eliminate Bunny Inspectors. I doubt he has ever heard of them, but I hope he has someone looking for federal civil servants doing jobs that the federal government ought not be doing at all (even if they are done well; the government workers may be very competent at their jobs). One such job is federal licenses for stage magician rabbits, and pet rabbits sold as pets by kids in their back yards. I doubt these activities need regulating at all, but if they do surely it is a state matter, not the business of the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, to send Federal agents to magic shows to see if the magician uses a rabbit and to inspect the licenses of the magician if he does.

We’ve had our discussions of Free Trade here; Trump’s actions in that regard are ambiguous; the trade deals he has got us out of are huge and complex, not free trade whatever they are, and I for one have far more confidence in Trump’s ability to make a deal that I ever had in Kerry or Mrs. Clinton. They do seem to know how to marry well, but that is not an international deal with American jobs at stake. If there are deals to be made, I’d rather Trump were in charge of them than Mr. Obama.

I don’t know what to make of the open war with the press, but it is, after all, only a recognition of an existing condition that prevails when the Democrats are not in the White House. Recall the lady reporter/columnist saying of one Republican President “I don’t see how he won at all. I don’t know a single person who voted for him.” She meant it, too. Literally.

So much for the first days.

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I remain dependent on patron and platinum subscriptions to maintain this place, because I must have enough income to have someone pretty well full time to help me look after Roberta; since the stroke I am simply not confident in my ability to do it.  That works, but it is an expense; it is time consuming to hustle for journalism income, which would mean neglecting this place. I can do it if I have to; and of course I have an income from my backlist, and I am working on three books. I’m not in danger of poverty, nor of neglecting my fiction. That goes slowly because minor interruptions take much longer to recover from when I am doing fiction as opposed to non-fiction.  

This remains a Public Site, free to all, without annoying advertisements, but it is supported by your patronage, which I greatly appreciate. If you have not subscribed, or cannot remember when last you did, this would be a good time. I don’t bug you often, but this IS pledge week…

 

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The large crowds of women marching in protest confuses me. With few exceptions, they were orderly – one observation is that they threw their trash in trash cans, not on the ground as many protest marches do. And they were certainly angry enough. But I couldn’t figure out what they want. Leave out Madonna’s dream of blowing up the White House; what do they actually want? Opinions vary. Some want someone else to pay for their contraceptives and abortions, but surely not all of them are in danger of unwanted pregnancy, and some are actually, if quietly, pro-life. Some want Trump to resign, but surely they don’t expect that result? And there are a lot of them, not all from areas won by Mrs. Clinton. And they put the trash in trashcans.

The next few days should be interesting.

For other speculation from the libertarian view, see https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/01/23/surviving-the-cult/

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Most Watched Inauguration in History?

Jerry,

I do not find it hard to believe the claims by the President’s Press Office that the recent Inauguration was the most watched in History.

Why do I say this?

First, we know that the Media has severe bias against Trump and it appears that any means will be used to undermine his Presidency.

Second, viewing habits have changed significantly since 2009. The use of TV ratings to measure the size of the actual viewing audience will grossly understate the size of the audience due to the wide spread use of streaming for viewing events in real time. One possible way to adjust for changes in the use of TV for viewing might be to look at the potential size of the TV audience and then calculate the percentage of viewers watching the event. I do not know what results this would produce, but it might actually support the “Alternate Facts” put forward by the President’s Press Office.

As long as Americans are severely divided we will fall short of our potential. The Media, were it unbiased, could play an important part in promoting Adult Behavior on both sides of the divide and, ultimately, assist in promoting cooperative steps to improving the lot of All Americans.

Bob Holmes

It is a question of fact and definition: who is present? The crowd? TV audience? Internet viewers? It was raining in Washington and no place for small children. I have no way to resolve the question, although I would not be shocked to find either side “won” the count if there were any way of making one. I do wonder why Mr. Trump cares – or appears to care – so much, but I suspect it is part of his distrust of the media.

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From Mr. Flynn, whose study of the classics is more complete than mine.

Rights, alienable or not?

Jerry
Justice was anciently defined as “the habit whereby a man renders to each one his due…” Since a virtue is defined by the good act proper to it, and a good act is in turn defined by its proper object, “jus” or “what is due to each man” has logical priority over the virtue of justice. Hence, “jus” is something much like the Enlightenment “right,” except for its vector. A “right” is something that I demand for myself; “jus” is what I owe to another. However, the former is rooted in the older meaning.
A right is something the defense of which is seen as natural, i.e., belongs to one’s nature. It is not something that you are guaranteed by an authority. Aristotle wrote that all pursue the good as they understand the good. All living things will, in the common course of nature, struggle to maintain their existence. To exist is a good, and the struggle to maintain existence is central to the theory of natural selection. Hence, the desire or impulse to defend one’s own life is both natural and primary, since without it, no other rights attach.
This does not mean that life is guaranteed, nor that it cannot be taken or surrendered in pursuit of a higher good, such as the well-being of society. But even the criminal is seen as legitimate in defending his life against a capital charge. Nor does one suppose that an enemy soldier is doing wrong by shooting back, although we may rather wish he didn’t.
Aquinas argued that human law ought not forbid every vice nor compel every virtue, citing Augustine’s dictum that if harlots were removed, the world would explode with lust. He noted that the death penalty might not be imposed even when justified when an unacceptable evil might result (e.g., killing the hostages along with the bandits) or when the adherents of the criminal are so numerous or well-armed as to incite insurrection by doing so. It would be in any case a last resort to a clear and present danger, precisely because taking a life is a deprivation of a natural good.
Aquinas grounded this in the fact that God permitted some evils for similar reasons, and this allowance for the freedom of the will lies at the root of the right to liberty. Aquinas uses the example of a judge depriving a robber of his liberty against allowing him his liberty to feed his family as the paradigm case of choosing the lesser of two evils.
The third such right, mentioned by William of Ockham, is the right to property. Again, a man defending his own property is seen as justified in doing so, even when the king’s tax collectors have the power to seize it.
And so on. Natural rights are those rooted in human nature. It is the right that is not alienable, not the thing itself. Life and liberty may easily be taken away, but the right to them cannot be taken away. Even a man “chained in prisons dark” may remain “in heart and conscience” free; and a man drowning in the ocean will nonetheless struggle to the end against his doom.

###
I have to disagree on the end of the Roman Republic. It was not a melting pot overwhelmed by an excess of Celts. The Republic collapsed well before citizenship was extended much beyond Rome itself and her close Latin allies. What brought the Public Thing low was the violence and chaos that overtook politics. They were trying to run a de facto Empire using a city council and the structure just couldn’t support it. Different politicians hired street gangs like those of Milo and Clodius to harass their opponents. There were assassinations and proscriptions; consuls and praetors leaving office were repeatedly hit with lawsuits over their conduct in office (making not-leaving-office a primary goal). Civil wars and coups d’etat. All this stoked demand for a strongman who would set things aright: Marius or Sulla, Pompey or Caesar, Antony or Octavian.
Mike

I must agree with your disagreement; I made a remark about the Republic that belongs better said about the later Empire. I defer to your analysis.

The Romans were unusual in that they tended to take their Latin conquests into the Republic rather than simply to rule over them; this was of great value in the Pyrrhus invasion when cities other than Rome remained loyal to Rome. I had this in mind, perhaps. The Romans, by their legends, descended from Trojan heroes; Troy came from a part of Asia Minor where Empires of diverse people were more common than nation-tribe-states, folkish people like the Israelites. The Hittites were an Empire, not a nation state. Etc. But that’s for another discussion.

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The Rights Debate

I see the fundamental divide between Progressives and Conservatives/Libertarians as how they view rights. There are. broadly speaking, two types of rights: negative and positive. Here are examples from the US Constitution.
Negative rights are things that can’t be done: searches without a warrant, censoring speech and the press, involuntary servitude, compelling testimony against oneself, taking away arms, quartering troops in peacetime, etc.
Positive rights are things that must be provided: a court system, defense counsel if you are indigent, jury trials, a republican form of government in your state, etc.
The progressives want to expand the positive rights to include health care, food, housing, education, internet access, and a lot more. Conservatives say no. The case against positive rights is simple: if the government must provide them, they can compel them with all the force of government. For example, if there are people without health care because it is too expensive, then tax some to pay for others to get it. If it continues to be too expensive, the government could set prices, set wages, compel doctors to work longer hours or come out of retirement, force doctors to move to “underserved” areas, etc. In short, government could treat health care like we did the armed forces in wartime. And this could be expanded to any of these other positive rights.

Edmund Hack

These are the sorts of questions that used to be discussed in 8th Grade Civics class, but now are not always given in Political Science 101; which is not to belittle the subject, but the schools and teachers.

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‘. . . Together with our Russian brothers, negotiate an honored but subordinate position for China and all other sub-civilizations and nations, forming the unified Empire of Man before going on to conquer the stars.’

<http://www.socialmatter.net/2017/01/23/crash-course-reactionary-geopolitics/>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

An interesting, if long, analysis. Roland cautions that you need to read the whole thing. You will almost certainly disagree with parts of it; but it is a way of thinking about reality that is often sadly lacking.

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Obama staffers get permanent federal jobs

https://federalsoup.com/articles/2017/01/20/agg-obama-staffers-get-permanent-federal-jobs.aspx?s=FD_230117

During his last days in office, former president Barack Obama made over 100 appointments before the new transition took over.

  • By FederalSoup Staff
  • Jan 20, 2017

During his last days in office, former president Barack Obama made over 100 appointments before the new transition took over, the New York Times reports.

President Donald Trump will retain 50 essential State Department and national security officials from the Obama administration, according to the report.

The Trump administration has named only 29 of his 660 executive department appointments, the report notes.

 

Trump’s Nominees Face ‘Unprecedented’ Democrat Obstructionism

http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/22/trumps-nominees-face-unprecedented-democrat-obstructionism/?utm_source=TDS_Email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningBell&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTldRM05XVXhNMlE1TUdFeiIsInQiOiI2MUFrQWM4

Nk1mU3lwcTZieDZOcXJLU01DMFg0WDNvdzcwVmV1RFp4MWhCZGI4bEFWUGVpQ2hDNStyMEhhcnpcL2lQOGphQnJpQ2dJTjF4NUIwZX

dQS3NORkUwNXZaekpwZkZpVU9rSHMwaWp6amFkQVY3SkdldkxVWk9cL2JrT1wvQyJ9

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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Mail: A selected mixed bag, all interesting to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

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It’s late, and we know little since the inauguration. I have nothing I can quickly add to the discussion, so it’s a good time to catch up on mail. Most of it will get short shrift, I fear.

I’ll have a lot more of substance when we see what the President requests from Congress, what Congress does with that, and what Congress proposes. That will develop over time.

I will repeat, this is the time to subscribe if you have not renewed in a while. I can’t keep this place up without subscriptions, but it is the public radio model: it is free, and supported by your donations.

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Jerry:
Can’t recall last time I paid so I just did.
You may find this of interest:
<https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ancient-tree-sunspot-ongoing-million.html#nRlv&gt;
Ancient tree rings suggest sunspot cycles have been ongoing for 290 million years
January 20, 2017 by Bob Yirka
(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers affiliated with the Natural History Museum in Chemnitz and Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, both in Germany, has found evidence in ancient tree rings of a solar sunspot cycle millions of years ago similar to the one observed in more modern times. In their paper published in the journal Geology, Ludwig Luthardt and Ronny Rößler describe how they gathered an assortment of petrified tree samples from a region in Germany and used them to count sunspot cycles.
Scientists know that the sun undergoes a sunspot cycle of approximately 11 years—some spots appear, grow cooler and then slowly move toward the equator and eventually disappear—the changes to the sun spots cause changes to the brightness level of the sun—as the level waxes and wanes, plants here on Earth respond, growing more or less in a given year—this can be seen in the width of tree rings. In this new effort, the researchers gathered petrified tree samples from a region of Germany that was covered by lava during a volcanic eruption approximately 290 million years ago (during the Permian period), offering a historical record of sun activity.
—snip—
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ancient-tree-sunspot-ongoing-million.html#jCp
–Jim

No surprises, of course. And I remind you, the Earth has clearly been warmer in historical times than it is now; the most recent was the colonization of Greenland with dairy farmers; some of the farms are just emerging from under the ice.

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Subject : I paid but it is not important

Given that your column is one of my go to items whenever I can spare the time, it seemed niggardly not to contribute as you so subtly reminded us. So I splurged for platinum and find it well spent. As always.
On Gene Cernan, I hope he’s the most recent human to walk on the Moon, and not the last one, which would be sad indeed.
On politics, which seems well nigh inescapable these days, the polarization of the country can only be regretted, I realize this is by no means the first time. But the spitefulness, on both sides of the divide, is something to behold. It certainly helps no one.
In re convergence with Russia, countries have interests, they don’t have friends, no matter what people may think. If a meeting of the minds can be found with Putin so much the better as long as you don’t have to give up fundamental issues in exchange. People in Eastern Europe are deathly afraid of the Russians and do have motives to be.
My point is that it is too early to tell, we’ll just have to see how the whole tale unfolds and take note of the consequences. But as someone recently noted “si vis pacem, para bellum” no other choice.
Bringing back the draft might make people more conscious of the costs of war. And warier of what it entails.
All the best and keep on with your recovery.
Ariel

Thanks

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The Greatest Scientific Fraud of all Time

Dr. Pournelle,
I do not recall ever seeing a reference to the Manhattan Contrarian here at Chaos Manor. It is worth a visit if you have not already become familiar with the site….after all, how often does one come across rational discussion from the heart of deep, deep blue NYC?
There appeared a 12 part (so far) series on what is the Greatest Scientific Fraud of All Time. I most heartedly recommend your perusal of these essays. The are far too long to enclose in this email so I have consolidated links to them below:
How To Tell Who’s Lying To You: Climate Science Edition
What is the Greatest Scientific Fraud of all Time? (from the ManhattanContrarian.com)
Part I
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2013/7/18/what-is-the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part II
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/7/2/what-is-the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-ii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part III
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/2/9/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part IV
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/2/11/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iv?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part V
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/6/7/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iv?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VI
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/7/21/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-v?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/8/23/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-vii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VIII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/10/29/rfsa9vbsxlt2zlacglwufgt29mh0f1?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part IX
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/11/30/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-ix?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part X
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2016/7/20/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-x?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part XI
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/1/4/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-xi?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part XII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/1/18/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-xii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Very warm regards and best wishes to you and your lovely bride,
Larry Cunningham

An interesting subject; I hesitate to call the Global Warming debate a fraud; certainly many of its adherents are sincere, but in my judgment mistaken, particularly on how accurately we can measure temperatures now, and how much error was in prior measurements, from a few decades to centuries ago.

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Smithsonian Mag 2011: 10 myths about NASA

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-enduring-myths-about-the-us-space-program-1969206/?c=y&page=1

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do people want the same things

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I just ran across an interesting article on the BBC web site:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways
A quote:
“Until recently, scientists had largely ignored the global diversity of thinking. In 2010, an influential article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences reported that the vast majority of psychological subjects had been “western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic”, or ‘Weird’ for short. Nearly 70% were American, and most were undergraduate students hoping to gain pocket money or course credits by giving up their time to take part in these experiments.
The tacit assumption had been that this select group of people could represent universal truths about human nature – that all people are basically the same. …”
Interesting…
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

I would certainly put much of “social science” up as candidate for the greatest scientific frauds of all time. See my Voodoo Sciences essay.

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I’m happy

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/01/20/army-picks-sig-sauers-p320-handgun-to-replace-m9-service-pistol.html

J

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AI for Conversation

This is good news. If we could make an AI as smart or smarter than I am then I would pay for it and converse with it quite frequently……

I would want it to have access to everything and I’d want to talk with it for long periods of time just for the sake of talking. The possibilities are amazing…

<.>

Computers can already hold a massive amount of instantly-retrievable data in a manner that puts most humans to shame, but getting them to actually display intelligence is an entirely different challenge. A team of researchers from Northwestern University just made a huge stride towards that goal with a computational model that actually outperforms the average American adult in a standard intelligence test.

</>

https://bgr.com/2017/01/19/ai-smarter-than-humans-northwestern/

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

We do not yet have an AI I would spend much time talking to, but look up Eliza to see how popular it can be…

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rights and fairness

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I don’t much disagree with Mr. White’s definition of “rights,” though it does occur to me that “life and liberty” are nouns. But the issue which concerns me is: how do we identify those rights? To take my earlier example: we assert a right to life and liberty, and yet concede that these rights can be abrogated by law. If they are “inalienable rights,” then we should not make that concession. Or, to take a more contentious example: the assertion is made that there is a “right” to same-gender marriages. I do not agree. The problem is: how do we make the case, on either side? Unless we can appeal to some absolute standard which is also generally *agreed* to be absolute, I’m not sure it’s doable. So I’m inclined to think that an assertion of “rights” is more of a goal than an achievement. If that’s true, I don’t see much value either in asserting a “right” to health care or in asserting a “right” not to pay for someone else’s care. We’ll have to make the decision on other grounds, since I don’t think we can make this ground stable.
The strongest case I see at present against some form of universal health care is the “States’ Rights” constitutional case you make. I’m thinking about that.
On a related issue: there was an article in the (London) Times two days ago by Daniel Finkelstein about “fairness” that I found provocative. The title was “Why the left will never understand populism.” The article summarized recent behavioral studies. Here’s a quote:
“… how we co-operate with each other and why. Their interest is not in identifying a superior idea of fairness or making judgments about what we should think is or is not fair. They are seeking to discover what we actually, right or wrong, do think. This work has led to the powerful, and increasingly widely discussed, idea of reciprocal altruism. We co-operate with people not out of some vague niceness, but because it is good evolutionary strategy. If I do a favour for you you will do me one back. The left traditionally stresses equality and the fairness of equal shares. And, indeed, people are concerned about equity and the way think are shared out. But the new thinking points beyond equality, to the idea of reciprocity.”
What I’ve seen, is that rather ordinary people are capable of great generosity within a community of mutual support; but this evaporates if people think they’re being taken advantage of. This holds true across a variety of political persuasions. Consider welfare, for example. The objection is made: why should I provide an income for someone who *refuses* to work? One of the things at issue seems indeed to be reciprocity. Or, elsewhere on the political spectrum: fury seems to be aroused, not by people who become fabulously wealthy through hard work, but by people whose “cunning plots” wreck the economy while they sail off on their yachts. Again, reciprocity.
I’m not sure how, or whether, this affects health care. But it does help me think about the question of “fairness.” And I suspect it correlates with Mr. Hackett’s observation: “rational design assumes that people in power actually care about society vs what they can extract from society for themselves and their family/tribe/mafia of supporters…” I also agree, as a matter of public policy quite apart from rights, entitlements, or fairness, that “We must always remember that we live in a thoroughly-armed and quickly-armed society, and throwing any slice of any bell curve ‘to the wolves’ may have the most unexpectedly catastrophic consequences.”
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

Without some general on rights and obligations, the only way for a state to survive is to have an absolute ruler; the Roman Republic fell to that need. Republics, including Rome which took in all kinds and made the Citizens, survived as a Republic until its Melting Pot became overloaded. The legend of the Rape of the Sabines gave one character to the Republic, and elected officials and the Twelve Tables of the Law were enough; but when unassimilated diversity overwhelmed unity, an Emperor was needed…

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Fred is at it again…

http://fredoneverything.org/sidestepping-the-military-leviathan-make-money-not-war/

“Greater trade between Europe and the eastern part of the continent means less influence for Washington. It means potentially very much less influence. European nations have much to gain by trading with the incomprehensibly large markets, current and arriving, between Poland the the Pacific. They have nothing to gain by remaining as sepoy states under American control. Their businessmen know it.”

“The Empire can not afford to lose control of Europe’s governments, which will happen if heavy trade is allowed to develop with the Three Bugbears. Thus Washington’s hostility to all three—a hostility whose chief effect, note, has been to drive them together against America. Not good. The first rule of empires is Don’t let your enemies unite.”

“NY Professor Says Algebra Is Too Hard, Schools Should Drop It.” On fairness, America leads in safe spaces, trigger warnings, puzzled diversity, and whimpering Snowflakes. Watch out, Beijing.”

And there is more…

Charles Brumbelow

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Universities Go Insane on God!

Alright, this is the part where we’ve lost cabin pressure and the

oxygen is about to deploy. I’ll be sure to fix my own mask before

helping others:

<.>

Another day, another university’s religion program bogged down by political correctness. Earlier this week, we reported on how two top divinity schools are suggesting gender-neutral pronouns for God — and now one of the top colleges in the nation has students asking about whether God is a racist.

Specifically, Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College is offering a religion class this semester titled, “Is God a White Supremacist?”

</>

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/prestigious-swarthmore-college-offers-class-asking-is-god-a-white-supremacist/

So, Jesus the Christ is Jewish (or Black according to a certain conspiracy theory that amuses me) but certainly not “white” — whatever that is. And Jesus the Christ serves a “white supremacist”

God.

Is this some way for the university to make people think that white

folks are god? I can’t understand how you could even form the

question if you have even a passing familiarity with the most cursory facts related to Christianity! This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in my life!

I suppose the solution, then, is to worship the Devil since he must be

tolerant, inclusive, and he celebrates diversity. You know, I hate

to say it, but if I were Christian and I really believed some of the stuff that Christians say then I would likely be very unsettled by what I’m reading and writing.

I think this goes too far. I think that, in the same way that we would be concerned if a professor of Christianity were to start preaching from his academic chair that we must show some concern for this because this professor is actually advocating for a Satanic point of view. And that might be fine if you’re working with a Christian who is out of balance and needs to be brought back to center. But, this is a university; not a church.

And I do not want to see our universities become more like churches than they already became.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

And the need for an emperor grows as agreements on rights and entitlements becomes more diverse. And we pay teachers to undermine fundamental beliefs. That has never turned out well in the past, but our academics are much wiser than our ancestors.

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Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening | Mosaic

Interesting how good the effects can be when parents and the community are actively involved in making things better.

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

https://mosaicscience.com/story/iceland-prevent-teen-substance-abuse?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

John Harlow

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Scott Pruitt Provides an Opportunity to Rein in a Rogue Agency

 

Jan. 19, 2017

Good morning from Washington, where Scott Pruitt, picked by Donald Trump to head the EPA, pushes back on liberals’ romance with red tape. Fred Lucas reports on Pruitt’s confirmation hearing, while Nick Loris foresees comeuppance for a rogue agency. Tom Price, the man Trump wants to deliver us from Obamacare, says he’ll look out for all Americans. Melissa Quinn has that story. Plus: Kelsey Harkness with a video report on the Women’s March, and Lee Edwards on the hope of Inauguration Day.

 

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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