Author Topic: Episode #710  (Read 3272 times)

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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2019, 10:34:50 PM »
I thought the rogues were remarkable controlled when discussing how my child (now 8yo) is going to die due to envinronmental disaster in the near future.

Did I miss something? I thought the rogues were certain the human race is going to solve all environmental problems with futuristic technology and live forever and colonize the galaxy.

I interpreteed the discussion that while they thought the death of insects was a cause of concern, they also considered the article from The Guardian to be sensationalist. But of course I might have misunderstood it.

It is quite obvious from the podcast and various interviews that Steve is pretty optimistic about our prospects of handling climate change. My impression is that he thinks there will be serious damage, but ultimately the world will get the problem under control, and our civilization will continue on pretty much like right now, but with green technologies, and a reduced human footprint on the environment.

Cara seems much less optimistic. I'd love for them to have a discussion on the podcast or on Steve's blog, outlining their reasons for their optimism and pessimism, respectively.

@brilligtove: Was your comment in relation to their discussion about the collapse of the insect population? Because I didn't perceive that discussion as "We're all going to die," I perceived it as just one more environmental problem among many. As Quetz notes, except for Cara (who IMO is the most level-headed of the bunch) the rogues seem to believe that technology will solve all our problems and humanity will survive to colonize space.

Yes, the insects. "Remarkably controlled" was code for "WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT ABOUT THE INSECTS DYING?!"
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2019, 10:49:51 PM »
I'm still confused why it's called a "trolley" problem. Surely it's a train?

A trolley car is a single car that runs on tracks and is powered by overhead electrical lines. A train has multiple cars and may be powered by an on-board engine or externally-supplied electricity. I remember trolley cars in L.A. when I was very little, before GM bought the system and dismantled it so people would have to buy automobiles. There was also a variation called the trolley bus, which had tires so it could pull over to the curb to pick up and drop off passengers, but still ran off of overhead power lines and so could not stray far from the lines.

There have probably been two-car trolleys, so the one-car/multi-car distinction gets blurry, but basically a trolley car was a single car that operated in a city the way busses do now. Being on a track allowed for scenarios where someone pulls a lever to re-direct the car onto another track, like a train. Another difference is that a train generally has many cars, not just one or two, and consists of one or more engines and separate passenger cars.

Kind of like what we would refer to as a tram, then. Melbourne is the only city in Australia that still runs trams. Thanks for the comprehensive explanation. It's still a little weird to me, but it's cultural.

For some strange reason, I immediately thought of the Australian film ‘Malcolm.’

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/malcolm

Such a trolley would plausibly be derailed by pushing a fat person in front of it.
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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2019, 03:28:10 AM »
The insect study has come under some scrutiny:
https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2019/02/16/insectageddon-is-a-great-story-but-what-are-the-facts/

In particular, the data was from a lit review obtain from searching for "insect decline", which is obviously not going to be representative of all observed insect populations.

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2019, 08:30:21 AM »

For some strange reason, I immediately thought of the Australian film ‘Malcolm.’

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/malcolm

Such a trolley would plausibly be derailed by pushing a fat person in front of it.

But the fat person grabs you and tosses you onto the tracks and saves his own life.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2019, 10:07:26 AM »
I thought the rogues were remarkable controlled when discussing how my child (now 8yo) is going to die due to envinronmental disaster in the near future.

Did I miss something? I thought the rogues were certain the human race is going to solve all environmental problems with futuristic technology and live forever and colonize the galaxy.

I interpreteed the discussion that while they thought the death of insects was a cause of concern, they also considered the article from The Guardian to be sensationalist. But of course I might have misunderstood it.

It is quite obvious from the podcast and various interviews that Steve is pretty optimistic about our prospects of handling climate change. My impression is that he thinks there will be serious damage, but ultimately the world will get the problem under control, and our civilization will continue on pretty much like right now, but with green technologies, and a reduced human footprint on the environment.

Cara seems much less optimistic. I'd love for them to have a discussion on the podcast or on Steve's blog, outlining their reasons for their optimism and pessimism, respectively.

@brilligtove: Was your comment in relation to their discussion about the collapse of the insect population? Because I didn't perceive that discussion as "We're all going to die," I perceived it as just one more environmental problem among many. As Quetz notes, except for Cara (who IMO is the most level-headed of the bunch) the rogues seem to believe that technology will solve all our problems and humanity will survive to colonize space.

Yes, the insects. "Remarkably controlled" was code for "WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT ABOUT THE INSECTS DYING?!"

I got the impression that they didn't freak out because they did not regard the issue as insurmountable, or they didn't regard the collapse of the bugs as inevitable, or they thought the whole thing was over-hyped. Or it's just one more item in the The Universe Is Trying To Kill Us game. There are so many ways that our demise is inevitable that you just can't get too worked up over one more item added to the list. Why worry about the insects if five other civilization-ending events are going to happen first? That's kind of my view. But I think the rogues just see it as one more thing that technology will solve.


For some strange reason, I immediately thought of the Australian film ‘Malcolm.’

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/malcolm

Such a trolley would plausibly be derailed by pushing a fat person in front of it.

But the fat person grabs you and tosses you onto the tracks and saves his own life.

Exactly!
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online CarbShark

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Episode #710
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2019, 10:37:10 AM »
The way I heard the Trolly dilemma was you are the track switch control. If you do nothing it will plow into the crowd of people. If you pull the lever it will crash into one person on the other track.

Steve is right. The point of the dilemma is not the probability of whether your action will be effective. The question is if it’s ethical for you to to decide cause the trolly to kill one person or many?

Why does he have to be a fat man? Does that mean is life is not worth as much? That is offensive to fat people. (70% of the population )


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Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2019, 10:40:08 AM »
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem



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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2019, 01:38:01 PM »
I thought the rogues were remarkable controlled when discussing how my child (now 8yo) is going to die due to envinronmental disaster in the near future.

Did I miss something? I thought the rogues were certain the human race is going to solve all environmental problems with futuristic technology and live forever and colonize the galaxy.

I interpreteed the discussion that while they thought the death of insects was a cause of concern, they also considered the article from The Guardian to be sensationalist. But of course I might have misunderstood it.

It is quite obvious from the podcast and various interviews that Steve is pretty optimistic about our prospects of handling climate change. My impression is that he thinks there will be serious damage, but ultimately the world will get the problem under control, and our civilization will continue on pretty much like right now, but with green technologies, and a reduced human footprint on the environment.

Cara seems much less optimistic. I'd love for them to have a discussion on the podcast or on Steve's blog, outlining their reasons for their optimism and pessimism, respectively.

@brilligtove: Was your comment in relation to their discussion about the collapse of the insect population? Because I didn't perceive that discussion as "We're all going to die," I perceived it as just one more environmental problem among many. As Quetz notes, except for Cara (who IMO is the most level-headed of the bunch) the rogues seem to believe that technology will solve all our problems and humanity will survive to colonize space.

Yes, the insects. "Remarkably controlled" was code for "WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT ABOUT THE INSECTS DYING?!"

I got the impression that they didn't freak out because they did not regard the issue as insurmountable, or they didn't regard the collapse of the bugs as inevitable, or they thought the whole thing was over-hyped. Or it's just one more item in the The Universe Is Trying To Kill Us game. There are so many ways that our demise is inevitable that you just can't get too worked up over one more item added to the list. Why worry about the insects if five other civilization-ending events are going to happen first? That's kind of my view. But I think the rogues just see it as one more thing that technology will solve.


For some strange reason, I immediately thought of the Australian film ‘Malcolm.’

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/malcolm

Such a trolley would plausibly be derailed by pushing a fat person in front of it.

But the fat person grabs you and tosses you onto the tracks and saves his own life.

Exactly!

I recall the episode a while ago when they talked about climate denialists. It was probably when some American government agencies released a report that Trump stated he didn't believe in. I think it caught quite well how the rogues feel about climate change. Their approach was that sure, we will adapt, but it will be cheaper and less complicated to do it now, compared to later. They don't seem to view it as an apocalyptic event, but rather an economical question. Either we adapt now, and pay that price. Or we adapt later, and pay a much higher price. But it's not unmanageable either way. At least that was my impression of it.

Maybe that approach is the most sensible one, I don't know. As I wrote earlier, I'd love to see some in-depth discussion and analysis of it.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2019, 02:14:51 PM »
Why does he have to be a fat man? Does that mean is life is not worth as much? That is offensive to fat people. (70% of the population )
I might be responding to a joke but....

Its a fat man when the problem is framed as you need someone big enough to stop the trolley.  If you just need to pull a lever to redirect the trolley, you no longer need a fat man. 

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2019, 02:21:48 PM »
The way I heard the Trolly dilemma was you are the track switch control. If you do nothing it will plow into the crowd of people. If you pull the lever it will crash into one person on the other track.

Steve is right. The point of the dilemma is not the probability of whether your action will be effective. The question is if it’s ethical for you to to decide cause the trolly to kill one person or many?

Why does he have to be a fat man? Does that mean is life is not worth as much? That is offensive to fat people. (70% of the population )

That's one version, and usually the first one given. But there are many variations. In one version you are on a bridge over the tracks. There is a fat person next to you. The trolley is about to plow into a crowd of school children standing on the track. Do you push the fat person onto the tracks to stop the trolley?  Presumably, a skinny person would not have enough mass to stop the trolley. That's why it's a fat person.

As noted above, though, there are several problems with this version of the dilemma: The fat person might push you off instead. Or you push him/her/them and miss the tracks, killing the person without stopping the trolley. Or the fat person derails the trolley killing all the passengers and several bystanders. Etc.

ETA: Ah.hell beat me to it.
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Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2019, 02:35:41 PM »
About the Alice Lee segment, the latest episode of "Victoria" (in the US, it's long past in Britain) features a Phrenologist who measures the cranium of young Bertie (Victoria's eventual successor) and finds him with a low potential for intellect.

The queen was not amused.
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Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2019, 02:46:16 PM »
As noted above, though, there are several problems with this version of the dilemma: The fat person might push you off instead. Or you push him/her/them and miss the tracks, killing the person without stopping the trolley. Or the fat person derails the trolley killing all the passengers and several bystanders. Etc.

As noted above, you are totally missing the point. The dilemma is based on taking action that will kill one person rather than taking no action an allowing multiple people to die.

To get fixed on the mechanics of the effectiveness of the method used to kill the one person and it's effectiveness of saving the others is avoiding the issue.

There's no reason the guy you kill by pushing onto the tracks has to be fat. He could be football player or a basketball player or you could just specify in the setup he was of sufficient size that you believed he could derail the trolly, or you could simply specify that if you pushed that person onto the tracks that would stop the trolly.

Whether intentional or not, they way it's being phrased is a little offensive.

So some percentage would not push a robot onto the tracks to save humans.

I wonder if a hypothetical robot fared better than a hypothetical fat man.
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Offline Zerowantuthri

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2019, 03:34:32 PM »
I'm surprised it has not been mentioned but Michael from VSauce performed the trolley experiment on his series Mind Field (paid YouTube series but this episode is free to watch).

I do not know if enough people were tested to be statistically significant but FWIW he found that most people freeze when confronted with the problem.  A few did flip the switch to save the five people which would lead to the death of the one person.  Most did not seemingly because they did not feel it was their decision to make.  They all recognized the problem but didn't flip the switch.

You can watch the episode here:



Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2019, 04:58:46 PM »
As noted above, though, there are several problems with this version of the dilemma: The fat person might push you off instead. Or you push him/her/them and miss the tracks, killing the person without stopping the trolley. Or the fat person derails the trolley killing all the passengers and several bystanders. Etc.

As noted above, you are totally missing the point. The dilemma is based on taking action that will kill one person rather than taking no action an allowing multiple people to die.

To get fixed on the mechanics of the effectiveness of the method used to kill the one person and it's effectiveness of saving the others is avoiding the issue.

There's no reason the guy you kill by pushing onto the tracks has to be fat. He could be football player or a basketball player or you could just specify in the setup he was of sufficient size that you believed he could derail the trolly, or you could simply specify that if you pushed that person onto the tracks that would stop the trolly.

Whether intentional or not, they way it's being phrased is a little offensive.

I'll let you argue that with the creator of the trolley dilemma series. You asked why the man had to be fat. You, of course, are free to try to push a football linebacker off the bridge instead if you like. Good luck with that, though. The more muscle he has, the more likely it is that you're the one who's getting thrown off the bridge. Perhaps the reason it's a fat man is to improve your chances of throwing him off without getting thrown off yourself instead.

As for "getting hung up on the mechanics," the whole point is to create a relistic-sounding scenario. Otherwise there wouldn't have to be a trolley at all. You could just ask "Would you kill one person to save five?" The trolley exists to give some context to the dilemma, but if the scenario is not realistic, the player won't take it seriously and you get no useful data from the experiment.

As for being offensive, the whole thing is insulting to school children, assuming they're too stupid to get off the tracks when the trolley is coming. And it's offensive to skeptics to insist that we need to accept the premise without question. And it's insulting to trolley drivers to suggest that they are incompetent and need our help stopping their trolleys. And it's insulting to the passengers on the trolley to imply that their lives are not important enough to consider when deciding whether or not to wreck the trolley. And it's insulting to skinny people to suggest that they're not worthy of being used as trolley-stoppers.
Daniel
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #710
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2019, 05:22:05 PM »
As noted above, though, there are several problems with this version of the dilemma: The fat person might push you off instead. Or you push him/her/them and miss the tracks, killing the person without stopping the trolley. Or the fat person derails the trolley killing all the passengers and several bystanders. Etc.

As noted above, you are totally missing the point. The dilemma is based on taking action that will kill one person rather than taking no action an allowing multiple people to die.

To get fixed on the mechanics of the effectiveness of the method used to kill the one person and it's effectiveness of saving the others is avoiding the issue.

There's no reason the guy you kill by pushing onto the tracks has to be fat. He could be football player or a basketball player or you could just specify in the setup he was of sufficient size that you believed he could derail the trolly, or you could simply specify that if you pushed that person onto the tracks that would stop the trolly.

Whether intentional or not, they way it's being phrased is a little offensive.

I'll let you argue that with the creator of the trolley dilemma series. You asked why the man had to be fat. You, of course, are free to try to push a football linebacker off the bridge instead if you like. Good luck with that, though. The more muscle he has, the more likely it is that you're the one who's getting thrown off the bridge. Perhaps the reason it's a fat man is to improve your chances of throwing him off without getting thrown off yourself instead.

As for "getting hung up on the mechanics," the whole point is to create a relistic-sounding scenario. Otherwise there wouldn't have to be a trolley at all. You could just ask "Would you kill one person to save five?" The trolley exists to give some context to the dilemma, but if the scenario is not realistic, the player won't take it seriously and you get no useful data from the experiment.

As for being offensive, the whole thing is insulting to school children, assuming they're too stupid to get off the tracks when the trolley is coming. And it's offensive to skeptics to insist that we need to accept the premise without question. And it's insulting to trolley drivers to suggest that they are incompetent and need our help stopping their trolleys. And it's insulting to the passengers on the trolley to imply that their lives are not important enough to consider when deciding whether or not to wreck the trolley. And it's insulting to skinny people to suggest that they're not worthy of being used as trolley-stoppers.

There are many variants of the trolley problem.  They’re all designed to test whether acts of commission (diverting a runaway trolley) are judged more harshly than acts of omission (allowing a runaway trolley to run into a larger number of people).

Most people judge acts of commission more harshly than acts of omission.

Another scenario would be to imagine you’re a world class surgeon.  You’ve just seen 5 patients who are going to die unless they receive organ transplants (two kidney, two liver and one heart) very very soon (which isn’t going to happen because donors for transplants are in very short supply).  Your sixth patient is being seen for ingrown toenails, but you realise he would be a perfect donor for your previous five patients.

Would you sacrifice him to save your previous five patients?  Would you commit an act of commission by killing one to save five, when the act of omission condemned five people to death?

The answer’s pretty obvious.
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