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Forum Games / Re: Visual Counting
« Last post by DevoutCatalyst on Today at 03:53:09 PM »
Forum Games / Re: Visual Counting
« Last post by unixTechie on Today at 03:34:31 PM »
General Discussion / Re: Two questions about Perry DeAngelis
« Last post by Quetzalcoatl on Today at 03:18:50 PM »
I really don't know much about Perry but I do know he was born and lived in New England, where the confederate flag was definitely not a thing people celebrated.

The shirt has the word demo on it, and there are cars with numbers in the background.  I suspect this was a dukes of hazard reference.

from wikipedia
For several years in his late teens he competed in the local demolition derby, creating a persona called Dr. Demo.

I don't really know what that means, but if the memorial page decides to show him with that t-shirt, I thought it wouldn't be too controversial in that context.
General Discussion / Re: Two questions about Perry DeAngelis
« Last post by Quetzalcoatl on Today at 03:17:33 PM »
1. From what I have heard, Perry never had children, but in one of the images, he is right beside a woman who has recently given birth. Is that not his wife? Just by looking at the image, I would assume it is his wife and newly born child.

His obituary mentions no children.

DEANGELIS Perry J. DeAngelis, age 43, of Fairfield, beloved husband of Terry Wegener DeAngelis, passed away Sunday, August 19, 2007 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Born in Bridgeport, he was the son of Lawrence and Marie Cook DeAngelis of Easton and had resided in Fairfield for 20 years. Perry graduated from Joel Barlow High School and attended NYU. He was a property manager for 149 Deerfield St. LLC. He was co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society and was an avid gamer. In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his brother, Derald DeAngelis of Easton, his two sisters, Marie McCright of Ansonia, and Celeste Unfried of Monroe, and two nieces.

It does mention 2 sisters and 2 nieces. It may be a proud brother meeting his new niece in the picture. (Possibly)

Yeah, could very well be.
General Discussion / Re: Two questions about Perry DeAngelis
« Last post by Quetzalcoatl on Today at 03:09:57 PM »
It's possible to be a father without being married. *points at self* It's also possible to be in a relationship with a mother, without being married to her or being the father of her child.

Absolutely. But Perry was known to have been married to a Jehovah's Witness, and I think in the US it is pretty rare to give birth to a child as an unmarried couple.
You are referring to past American policies.

You're right, of course. Now that it is illegal to discriminate against people with non-white-person hair, at least in NYC, there are no racist policies, laws, or systemic practices. Canada and the US are the same.

I did not say the countries are completely alike. I said that when it comes to integration, both countries are (here) cited as successful at it, and in practice they seem to do it rather similarly. Might be because neither of them are nation-states.

I thought it was obvious that I meant that today they appear to do integration similarly. I did not keep 1962 or 1838 or any other year in mind, and it is not reasonable to expect me to account for every single year if we are speaking about today.

I don't think there have been any responses to the claim that the integrations in the US and Canada look rather similar except that Canada is good and the US is bad (and variants thereof), and references to various events that took place in the US decades or even centuries ago, that are not really strictly about integration in many cases in the first place.
Podcast Episodes / Re: Episode #710
« Last post by bachfiend on Today at 03:08:25 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.

The answer is not obvious at all because one must take into account the age and health and life expectancy of all involved, and also the chances of success of the transplants, and the life expectancy and expected quality of life of the recepients after the operations, as well as the health and life expectancy of the person with the ingrown toenails.

If the person with the toenails is young and healthy and has a family that loves them and the transplant recipients are bedridden and the surgeries would only extend their lives by a few months, the clear answer is no. But if the person with the toenails has only weeks to live anyway and is in uncontrollable pain and the transplant recipients are otherwise young and healthy and will live long and happy lives if they just get the organs, and the chances of complete success of the surgeries are 99%, then the clear answer is to do the transplants.

In actual fact, the situation will probably be neither of the above, so a lot more information is needed and the dilemma will elicit no truly useful information.

You might as well just ask "Would you kill one to save five?" Personally, I almost certainly would not have the courage to kill somebody even if I truely believed that doing so would be the "right" thing to do.

If you think that the ‘right’ answer could ever be yes, that on occasion it’s OK to kill one to save five, then I’ve got some bad news for you.  You’re a deeply flawed individual.  It’s never justified to kill one to save five, unless in a military setting.  For example, an officer shooting one of his men (which has happened), in order to prevent panic being spread in a crisis situation, which would cause increased battle deaths (an example was during the German Spring Offensive in 1918 - an officer shot one of his men who was attempting to run away, stopping the panic and causing the advancing Germans to be held and preventing later casualties).

Ha!!! I actually thought you were going to say that the "obvious" answer was yes. (Note please that I said I wouldn't have the courage to do it even if I thought the "correct" answer was yes.)

And FWIW, I believe that war is never justified. War is nothing but mass murder. The only difference between war and terrorism is that when governments do it they call it war, and when someone not part of a government's military does it, then people call it terrorism. But they're the same thing.

In my opinion, anyone who thinks there's ever any justification for killing civilians in war, is, to use your words, "deeply flawed." Governments have a very bland-sounding term for it: "collateral damage." But it's nothing but cold-blooded murder.

But isn't the whole point of the trolley problem to ask "Would you kill one to save five?"? And don't "normal" people (which I've never claimed to be) come down on both sides of that question? So if I'm "deeply flawed" for answering "No, I wouldn't, but I should," then I've got plenty of company.

I agree with you that war is never justified.  I agree with the fictional Rhett Butler  when he said that if you want to keep things as they are, then don’t go to war.  I agree that the killing of civilians is hardly ever justified, and I think that the Allied carpet bombing of German cities during  World War II was a war crime.  But the Allies had no other options if they wanted to support the Soviets who did almost all the fighting and sustaining most of the losses.

And the bombing did have a benefit.  It demonstrated to the Germans that they did lose World War II, unlike the false belief that they didn’t lose World War I except for the ‘stab in the back.’  Making the Germans one of the most pacific countries of the world (like the Japanese who suffered a similar fate).  And then another war crime was inflicted on the Germans with the forced expulsion of 12-14 ethnic Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Balkans and Hungary to the very diminished Germany territory, resulting in the death of around 500,000 Germans.  But it made the Germans becoming very charitable in accepting one million Syrian refugees in the current Syrian civil war.

But thinking that a doctor could ever be justified in killing one of his patients to save five of his other patients is deeply morally flawed.  You can’t do a calculation on life years saved.  Murder is murder, regardless.

Regarding, I’m not like most people.  I wouldn’t divert the trolley resulting in me not killing one person.  I’d consider that the five on the main track should be looking out for themselves and get out of the way.
Suggestions / Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Last post by Soldier of FORTRAN on Today at 02:50:51 PM »
Russian bots and anti vaccination pressure in social media.

Interviewing a Marketing / Social Media Marketing expert about this would be awesome. 

(Cyberpunk Dystopia is happening but we're getting the boring corporate one.)
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