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Old 08-02-2015, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I would not embrace an argument which held that drones must be allowed because otherwise the above could not have been done in a cost effective manner.

Surrendering my privacy because to not do so represented an economic inconvenience to others, isn't something I support. While your community made a nice gesture of support, still, it was nothing more than a gesture. Gestures may come in numerous forms and if one of them requires knocking down privacy rights, then I believe that some alternative gesture which didn't set precedents regarding privacy would have served just as well.
What I am saying is that drones have actual legitimate uses and utility and the opposite to your argument is that they should not necessarily be prohibited because it is easy to concoct illegitimate uses. Drones can do things like thread rescue lines to people trapped in inaccessible places, surveil hostage situations with much reduced risk to law enforcement, and extend the feasible toolkit of legitimate videographers, too. The mechanism I proposed would protect personal privacy and require explicit permission to protected personal space. It could even be extended to simply blank or blur "virtually fenced" properties without actually inhibiting flight paths -- as Google Street View auto-blurs license plates and faces incidentally captured in its images.

Of course the problem is that the cat is out of the bag and society probably lacks the will to put something like this in place. The attitude seems to be that lack of enough people like the guy we're talking about taking explicit exception to drones (assuming they're even noticed at all) is implicit carte blanche to shoot away. And once a whole economy is built around this kind of promiscuous access ... and that has probably already happened ... it is considered de facto permission using the specious "nobody has complained yet" argument. A lot of our technology is like this, we don't realize the profound implications of this or that practice until the practice is already ingrained in the system and we are in some way dependent upon it or the interests who want the practice are sufficiently entrenched and powerful.

I guess my point of view reflects that I'm still a conservative at heart, in the long-forgotten meaning of "conservative": someone who believes in thoughtful, cautious change with respect for the law of unintended consequences, as opposed to someone who fears change of any kind, ever. Our society is more interested in keeping capitalists happy and awash in cash than in protecting individual rights, alas.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,033 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
A lot of our technology is like this, we don't realize the profound implications of this or that practice until the practice is already ingrained in the system and we are in some way dependent upon it or the interests who want the practice are sufficiently entrenched and powerful.

.
Very much akin to the scene in the original Jurassic Park where the Jeff Goldblum character comments that the developers were so caught up in the excitement of seeing what they could do, they never stopped to ask if they should do it.

The complaints in these situations typically arise from those impacted by the transition from the way it was before to whatever way has been crafted by the new technology. Down the road there will be generations born into a world where the new technology is already taken for granted and for them such complaints will seem like historical eccentricities, no different from anyone who ever raged against airplanes, telephones and horseless carriages.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Very much akin to the scene in the original Jurassic Park where the Jeff Goldblum character comments that the developers were so caught up in the excitement of seeing what they could do, they never stopped to ask if they should do it.

The complaints in these situations typically arise from those impacted by the transition from the way it was before to whatever way has been crafted by the new technology. Down the road there will be generations born into a world where the new technology is already taken for granted and for them such complaints will seem like historical eccentricities, no different from anyone who ever raged against airplanes, telephones and horseless carriages.
Except that although I for instance grew up not knowing what it was like before "horseless carriages", there is an objective argument to be made that they brought overall more advantages than disadvantages.

On the other hand I can't imagine someone 100 years from now not being P.O.'d that someone is trying to peep at them in the privacy of their own home, by whatever means. Even if the concept of the privacy of one's own home is so eroded by a century of invasive technology, even if the expectation of personal privacy is reduced to a pinprick, I can't imagine no one failing to resent it at some level in purely human terms. Whereas there's nothing to resent about cars if you consider the alternative of no cars. We can resent air pollution I suppose but that is no longer inherent to cars, but rather to our lack of will to switch to non-polluting technology.

It's an interesting question though. I've traveled to places on the planet where population density is very high and that plus inherent cultural forces have produced something very different from the "rugged individualist" mentality of the US and much of the West. I think of it as a "hive mind" ... where the people are respectful and deferential but willing to mindlessly sacrifice themselves when the "nest" is threatened, as the Vietnamese were during what they call the "American War".

Could our notions of privacy be actually excised given enough time and technology? Could we be truly okay in a world where there is no moment, not even taking a crap or a shower, when we are not potentially subject to some voyeurism or other? Interesting question. Such a future seems dystopian to us, but if you never knew anything else ... who knows?

And to keep this on topic, that is exactly how entrenched theism has produced a world where we accept a lot of nonsense and folderol just because it's all we know :-)
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:08 PM
 
39,162 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Very much akin to the scene in the original Jurassic Park where the Jeff Goldblum character comments that the developers were so caught up in the excitement of seeing what they could do, they never stopped to ask if they should do it.
I felt that the self righteous bighead was talking balls at the time and the reason is that we cannot "let I dare not wait" (or should that be weight?) upon "I would."

It is against our humanity to put a block on discovery because we are afraid that we cannot use it wisely. Bombs or power? Information or viruses? Useful uses of drones or intrusions? It is not the Thing that is to be blamed but the mis-uses. I love drones. I think they are great. But when they are used to trespass and spy on people who do not deserve to be trespassed and spied upon, the law should at least give some credit to the person who blew the thing away.

There may be a case for saying that he should have handled it differently. Though I don't know how. They don't paint the website on "Tell me how good my flying is!" Putting a slug thought its metal gizzard is what the law might call prompt and effective action.

The owners and operators of the drone were in the wrong and criticism of the response may be valid, but is not the bottom line.

I suppose this is a Test case. and like atomic power, the Internet, genetic research - we have a chance to get the initial decisions right so we don't have to go back and change them later.

Drone legislation ought not to start with a message that Joe public cannot do anything about a mechanical George McFly peering though his bedroom window for fear that his ass will be hauled off to jail.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Yes. The collateral damage aspect was mentioned. The gunman swore that he fired into the air and Mythbusters did a programme to disprove the claim that a falling bullet can kill or even injure.

Myth? Are they unaware of the annual casualties from "happy fire" in those third world nations which use the discharge of arms to celebrate events?

Quote:
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders.[4] In Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says.[5] Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire

38 dead....and its a myth? That must be a comfort to their widows and orphans.

I was in Hawaii for a New Year in the early '80's and recall vividly how the tv news was telling people that they had better not indulge in any clandestine "happy fire" and talking about the fines which would occur if you did, and talking about the people who had been injured or killed in the past by illegal celebratory fire. Apparently they sure believed that it wasn't a myth.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:18 PM
 
39,162 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Myth? Are they unaware of the annual casualties from "happy fire" in those third world nations which use the discharge of arms to celebrate events?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire

38 dead....and its a myth? That must be a comfort to their widows and orphans.

I was in Hawaii for a New Year in the early '80's and recall vividly how the tv news was telling people that they had better not indulge in any clandestine "happy fire" and talking about the fines which would occur if you did, and talking about the people who had been injured or killed in the past by illegal celebratory fire. Apparently they sure believed that it wasn't a myth.
Well - I am sure that they would accept a call to object to their findings and retest with a corrected series of test based on verification of these reports of happy -fire injuries. We are glad to be proven wrong, if it means errors are corrected.

P.s "Bullets fired into the air maintain their lethal capability when they eventually fall back down. busted / plausible / confirmed
In the case of a bullet fired at a precisely vertical angle (something extremely difficult for a human being to duplicate), the bullet would tumble, lose its spin, and fall at a much slower speed due to terminal velocity and is therefore rendered less than lethal on impact. However, if a bullet is fired upward at a non-vertical angle (a far more probable possibility), it will maintain its spin and will reach a high enough speed to be lethal on impact. Because of this potentiality, firing a gun into the air is illegal in most states, and even in the states that it is legal, it is not recommended by the police. Also the MythBusters were able to identify two people who had been injured by falling bullets, one of them fatally injured. To date, this is the only myth to receive all three ratings at the same time."


Grateful for your correction.
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,033 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Well - I am sure that they would accept a call to object to their findings and retest with a corrected series of test based on verification of these reports of happy -fire injuries. We are glad to be proven wrong, if it means errors are corrected.

.
I've never seen the program. Do they ever have episodes where what they were investigating turns out to be substantive rather than a myth?

My background is academic and I tend not to automatically trust the findings of an investigation which is also a television program competing for everyone's entertainment dollars along with movies, concerts and monster truck rallies. If you have a program called "Mythbusters" you have pre-obligated yourself to discovering that something is actually a myth regardless of what has been previously believed. That of course does not mean that they are not unearthing myths, but it does dispose them toward a single conclusive outcome rather than being open to finding the opposite.

The consequence is that if they decide to look into happy fire, it is not going to be worth their while unless it turns out to be a myth. If it is on the level, then they have wasted their time. Thus they begin highly motivated to discover that things are myths rather than real. Zeal may triumph over truth.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:47 PM
 
39,162 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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You can never tell whether there is going to be anything in one of these claims. Sometimes what seems plausible turns out not to work no matter how hard they try (like getting electrocuted peeing on a live rail) and sometimes what seems absurd does sometimes give results. Sometimes just a bit of fun like finding a way you can polish a turd and sometimes of real importance - like debunking the arguments against the Moon landings.

When you think, if it was always going to be a debunk - why watch? And people do call in to argue that a test was flawed and they will sometimes re-do it.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:38 PM
 
39,162 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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I wondered where to post it - here as much as anywhere. I watched an Atheist experience video recently where a guy called Mohammed phoned the show from Alexandria in Egypt.

He talked about what it is like for Atheists in Egypt, and how there is such a need for a show like theirs. There was another Muslim from Manchester 'phoned in to talk about how Muslims are questioning their faith and trying to find a way out. It is required watching for those of us - Brits especially - who see Muslims portrayed only as monolithic fanatics being a breeding ground for IS troops.

There may be more chance of reason and sanity in the Islamic world than I imagined. It was the same for us back in the 80's when I first became active and aware. The need was for a community, a voice, a forum, and support. Now it seems Islam is at this stage. And you cannot raid and shoot up the Internet.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,033 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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We have seen numerous cases of posters on this board deconstructing Pascal's Wager and showing it to be the stacked deck, false premise challenge that it actually is. It never struck me as especially wise or cunning, yet it has had a long shelf life.

This puts me to mind of other famous challenges which have also been around forever despite what I see as easy and obvious solutions.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Well, obviously the egg came first, an egg laid by a creature that was close to being a modern chicken and whose genes provided the mutation which completed the modern chicken. Why is this in any sort of dispute?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?

This I have never understood why it is even asked. Of course it makes a sound. The creation of a sound is not in any manner dependent upon there being an audience for it. Asking this seems to me to be akin to asking if no one is looking at it, is water still wet?

Then there is the ersatz profundity class, as in:
What is the sound of one hand clapping?

My brother came across that quote in the dedication page of a J.D. Salinger novel and seemed to find it amazingly meaningful, he started including it in cards and after his signature on things. Of course the sound of one hand clapping is no sound because it isn't clapping, two hands are required to clap them.


Any other conventional wisdom, inspirational slogan or famed philosophical questions which you find as empty and vacuous as the above examples?
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