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The Legality of Discrimination

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Hi! Some of you may be aware of my criticism of the Encouraging Women in Linux Howto : http://www.advogato.org/person/shlomif/diary.html?start=130 This seemed
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 7, 2003
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      Hi!

      Some of you may be aware of my criticism of the "Encouraging Women in
      Linux Howto":

      http://www.advogato.org/person/shlomif/diary.html?start=130

      This seemed like a good idea at this time, but brought some criticism from
      fellow Haifuxers, and got me involved in a discussion with some members of
      the LinuxChix issues mailing list about men, women, whatever in between
      and Linux. I eventually posted a few corrections to my original post (read
      the subsequent entries), but was also overwhelmed by the amount of
      criticism I had to cope with.

      In any case, one of the issues that surfaced in my discussion at the
      "issues" mailing list was whether discrimination (against women, Black,
      Jews, gay, etc) was something that should be tried to be prevented
      legally. I believe the laws of a country cannot and must not discriminate
      against gender, race, etc. Likewise, public instuitions can also not
      enforce an anti-X (where X is Jews/Women/Homosexual/etc.) policy.

      However, I don't see enacting laws that prevent private organizations
      (such as companies or NPOs) to discriminate against individuals
      on an invididual basis. My reasons are as follows:

      1. It is perfectly legal to be a racist. My opinions on Jews, Women, Gay,
      Black, Fat people or whatever, are not something that can be enforced or
      should be enforced by the State at large. By all means I am free to hold
      these opinions, however harmful, and I am free to act in accordance to
      them. (as long as I don't do anything that is balantly illegal)

      Note that I'm not saying racism is not an irrational and immature mental
      and physical behaviour. It is, and it brings short term and long term harm
      for those that hold it. But it's still perfectly legitimate to have. Law
      should not enforce Morality.

      2. Aside from Racism per-ce there are also generalizations that apply to a
      certain minority. On average, an American Jew is more hard-working, more
      intelligent and more successful than a Christian American. On average,
      Black Americans are not as competent or successful as their white
      counterparts. These are facts, backed up by many statistics. Making a
      generalization based on them is not racist.

      A discrimination out of generalization does not necessarily constitute as
      Racism. In fact, such generalizations are often desirable to make sure
      values are protected, and that the generalized minorities actually take an
      active stand in correcting their situation. (or maintaining it if they are
      above average)

      3. An individual who is discriminated against and belong to such a
      minority, may or may not be discriminated because of his gender/race/etc.
      Furthermore, sometimes the discrimination may be sub-conscious or not
      intentional. Passing laws that prevent discrimination against underlings,
      (for example) may cause a lot of undesirable side-effects.

      One example, is a discriminated employee going against a perfectly
      enlightened boss, who did not realize he or she was discriminated or had a
      got non-racist reason for doing so. Another is incompetent workers
      of a minority trying to get jobs and then complaining about being
      discriminated against.

      Another is a racist (but otherwise perfectly productive) employer, who
      does not wish to employ workers of a certain minority, because he knows he
      will not treat them well. Being employed at such an establishment would be
      a bad thing for both the employer and the employee.

      4. There is the case of voluntary correcting discrimination. Like if you
      get an application from a Black person who presents himself as an
      exceptional black worker, and makes a very good impression. You might
      prefer hiring him instead of a white applicant with otherwise similar
      qualifications.


      ----------

      Like I said earlier, the Government should not enforce
      Morality. A government's job is to enforce Law and to prevent the
      application of initiatory force, coercion or fraud. Everything else is not
      something it should or need do. (albeit many left-winged people would
      claim otherwise).

      Trying to prevent discrimination constitutionally will not do good in the
      long run. Instead, it can provide fuel for harassing otherwise innocent
      people who are trying to live their lives, or otherwise try to
      actually correct things.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

      My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
      sense nonetheless.
    • Chen Shapira
      Hi, At his elaborated post, Shlomi managed to avoid the main issue. While racism is possible and will always be possible, and while it can be useful to
      Message 2 of 26 , Apr 7, 2003
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        Hi,

        At his elaborated post, Shlomi managed to avoid the main issue.
        While racism is possible and will always be possible, and while it can be
        useful to discriminate based on race and gender (Shlomi refered to well
        known statistics), discrimination has some very undesirable side effects to
        sociaty as a whole.

        1. Do you believe it should be legal to refuse to sell and rent homes to
        Arabs? Do you think Israel will benefit from having large Arab ghettos that
        they can't leave?
        Since we know that having large national ghettos is a problem to society
        (there are countless statistics about crime rate), I believe the goverment
        should outlaw this kind of discrimination.

        2. In the past, having a resturant with a big sign saying "Niggers are not
        welcome here" was perfectly legal in the US. I believe that the outlawing
        this actually *reduces* racism, because if you have blacks at school, at
        work and at the diner, you may actually figure out that they are human
        beings.


        The main issue is that part of the function of the goverment is to make the
        country a better place for its citizens. I believe that a non-discriminating
        country is a better place for the people who live there, regardless of its
        implications toward employers.

        You seem to think that people should have a basic right to be bigots and
        discriminate. I believe people have a basic right not to be discriminated,
        and that the goverment should enforce this right.
        People don't have the right to steal, rape and murder and they should not
        have the right to discriminate.


        ________________________________________________________________________
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      • Nadav Har'El
        ... Something similar to what you say here is what torn the United States into a civil war 140 years or so ago. The issue was whether states should be allowed
        Message 3 of 26 , Apr 7, 2003
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          On Mon, Apr 07, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "The Legality of Discrimination":
          > However, I don't see enacting laws that prevent private organizations
          > (such as companies or NPOs) to discriminate against individuals
          > on an invididual basis. My reasons are as follows:

          Something similar to what you say here is what torn the United States into
          a civil war 140 years or so ago.

          The issue was whether states should be allowed to pass their own racist laws,
          or whether federal rules should be passed to prohibit various racist
          behaviors in all states. The southern states had "good" points why the
          federal government should not enforce equality rules: these things did not
          previously appear in the constitution (the 1787 federal constitution was
          not as "enlightened" as the 1776 declaration of independence or the
          constitutions of some of the individual states), and they were against the
          "tradition" where descrimination was common and accepted. Southern states
          claimed that their well-being depended on slavery, and that slavery in
          one state is confined only to it, and does not harm people in other states
          so the federal government should not intervene. Also, they claim that some
          states should not try to impose their moral standards over others - because
          these things are just that, moral standards, not laws that already existed.

          I'm sure you understand why what the southern states said was legal (in fact,
          I believe the "legal" truth was on their side, not the north's) it was not
          moral. You are confusing "legal" with "moral". We should aspire for "legal"
          to becoming closer to "moral", but we're not there yet, and 1860s America
          was much, much, further and therefore it's easier to learn from it.

          By the way, there's was an excellent book published last year, a collection
          of articles in Hebrew about "Demoracy in America", including excellent
          discussions of the American constitution, racism, womens' rights movement
          (the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, the 1872 Susan B. Anthony trial, etc.),
          fundumentalism, etc., and I believe we have a lot to learn from this book.
          One important thing to notice is how perverted the legal system can be,
          and how the courts are not always "liberal" as one imagines (in some cases,
          it's even the opposite).

          > Note that I'm not saying racism is not an irrational and immature mental
          > and physical behaviour. It is, and it brings short term and long term harm
          > for those that hold it. But it's still perfectly legitimate to have. Law
          > should not enforce Morality.

          If your society is immoral and you want to change it, you do need to pass
          laws *forcing* various entities like states, cities and down to schools,
          cafiterias, etc., to act according to what you decide that must be changed.

          An excellent example is the deterioration of civil rights in the southern US
          from the 1880s to the 1950s. The only way for the federal government to crush
          once and for all the segregation and the "equal but seperate" farce was to
          make laws, and send the national guard to enforce them, regardless of the
          protests of governors (like Wallace, imach shmo), mayors, local sheriffs,
          schoolmasters, etc.

          Check out, for example,
          http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/articlearchives/honormlk/integrat.htm


          > One example, is a discriminated employee going against a perfectly
          > enlightened boss, who did not realize he or she was discriminated or had a
          > got non-racist reason for doing so. Another is incompetent workers
          > of a minority trying to get jobs and then complaining about being
          > discriminated against.

          You can say that about any law. A disgruntled employee can complain about
          his or her employer for sexual harassment, stealing, intellectual propery
          issues, forfeiting pay, or whatever - but he or shee will have to prove
          it in court. Hopefully the court should see through hollow allegations
          and find the real truth.

          For example, a University with 10,000 students and not a single black
          student will find it very hard to explain why this happened (statistics
          on highschool scores should show that, perhaps, it should have gotten
          a mere 100 blacks, but it's hard to explain where a number of big fat
          zero came from. And in 1963 Alabama, this number was a big fat zero,
          and governor Wallace was fighting president Kennedy to keep it this way).

          > Another is a racist (but otherwise perfectly productive) employer, who
          > does not wish to employ workers of a certain minority, because he knows he
          > will not treat them well. Being employed at such an establishment would be
          > a bad thing for both the employer and the employee.

          This sounds like a bad excuse...
          It's almost like saying that a parent who believes he is a bad parent should
          be allowed to abandon his children, or even kill them. No, he has the *duty*
          to look after his children, not the right to abandon or kill them.

          > Like I said earlier, the Government should not enforce
          > Morality.

          Shlomi, you probably aren't aware of the horrible extent of moral decay
          a country or parts of it can deteriorate to. Sometimes to correct that,
          the only thing that could work is new laws.

          > A government's job is to enforce Law and to prevent the
          > application of initiatory force, coercion or fraud.

          This is a very narrow view of the government's duties.

          The American decleration of independence (July 4, 1776) puts it nicely
          (sorry for all the American history lectures in one post :)):

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
          that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
          that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That
          to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
          their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any
          Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
          the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
          laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such
          form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
          Happiness.

          The 1848 Seneca Falls decleration (which is the most important document of
          the American women's rights movement) contains words very similar to this,
          with "men" changed to "men and women", of course.

          Government should be a tool the people use to improve their own wellbeing.
          "People" here means everyone, not a ruling race, sex, people with a lot
          of money, or anything of that sort. Being an employer with a lot of money
          does not give you the right to ruin other people's chance for life, liberty
          or hapinness, and the people institute a government to help them make sure
          that such things do not happen.

          > Trying to prevent discrimination constitutionally will not do good in the
          > long run.

          I believe the examples I showed above, of American blacks and women,
          contradicts this.

          > My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
          > sense nonetheless.

          :)

          --
          Nadav Har'El | Monday, Apr 7 2003, 6 Nisan 5763
          nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
          Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |What's the difference between roast beef
          http://nadav.harel.org.il |and pea soup? Anyone can roast beef.
        • Shlomi Fish
          Nadav, I was quite appaled for your post. I dare say that you should check out the definition of Liberalism (true Liberalism, not modern day liberals who
          Message 4 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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            Nadav, I was quite appaled for your post. I dare say that you should
            check out the definition of Liberalism (true Liberalism, not modern day
            "liberals" who call for social aid and such) and understand that Morality
            need not be enforced by the government.

            A legal action is an action that does not involve initiator force, threat
            of force or fraud. I.e: it does not harm others. A moral action is such
            that helps fill human biological needs of the individum or society. I.e:
            it is good for the individual. An immoral action denies the individual or
            society of human biological needs.

            Now, if I kill someone, it is illegal and immoral. However, if I get drunk
            it is only immoral. I have made my mind less clear and denied myself of
            human biological needs, but otherwise did not harm anyone else. Do you say
            that the government should pass a law in which I cannot get drunk?
            Certainly not, because I have every right to.

            The problem is that the definition of morality is a bit fuzzy. Some would
            claim that looking at porn magazines is immoral. Maybe it is, maybe it's
            not. Nevertheless, you are not harming anyone by looking at porn
            magazines, so it must not be enforced by the government. Most people would
            agree what a legal action is. But if you ask 10 random people on the
            streets to define what kind of actions constitute morality you'll receive
            at least 11 different answers.

            On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

            > On Mon, Apr 07, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "The Legality of Discrimination":
            > > However, I don't see enacting laws that prevent private organizations
            > > (such as companies or NPOs) to discriminate against individuals
            > > on an invididual basis. My reasons are as follows:
            >
            > Something similar to what you say here is what torn the United States into
            > a civil war 140 years or so ago.
            >

            What torn the United States into a civil war was the actions of a very
            evil man by the name of Abraham Lincoln, who engineered it. The
            discrimination against Black people in the southern states was unfortunate
            and since enforced by the government illegal. Some of the individual
            rights of the Black people were actively defied. However, the war at large
            was completely unnecessary.

            The Civil War of the USA costed the lives of more Americans than all other
            wars America took part in combined. Lincoln went on and enacted Income
            Tax, which you'll have problems finding someone who likes this law in
            either the USA (much less in Israel). Just because the public percepts him
            as benevolent does not mean that this was the case.

            > [long snipped]...

            Government and most public institutions cannot discriminate against
            anybody. I've explicitly states it. However, a private employer can if he
            so wishes, because it's his business and his decision.

            >
            > > Note that I'm not saying racism is not an irrational and immature mental
            > > and physical behaviour. It is, and it brings short term and long term harm
            > > for those that hold it. But it's still perfectly legitimate to have. Law
            > > should not enforce Morality.
            >
            > If your society is immoral and you want to change it, you do need to pass
            > laws *forcing* various entities like states, cities and down to schools,
            > cafiterias, etc., to act according to what you decide that must be changed.
            >

            If your society is immoral than most probably your laws are already
            immoral, because they allow it. If there is a high level of crime and
            drugs are illegal, than passing a draconic crime fighting law will be much
            less effective than making drugs legal. (it is a fact that prohibition of
            drugs and other substances cause an increase of crime).

            The question is what is immoral? Consider a society where there is no
            poverty, everyone is prosperous and happy, the GDP increases at 30% per
            year, there is no crime, etc. _yet_ porn magazines, T.V. channels and
            movies are very popular and people are buying them all the time. Now,
            let's suppose it is immoral to look at porn - should you pass a law that
            makes them illegal?

            The result: a lot of black market, lots of added crime, and ruining
            paradise. You threw the baby along with the water. Destroyed paradise in
            order to "save" it.

            In a completely free environment, individuals can eliminate most traces of
            immorality by themselves. Henry Ford was an anti-semite, but he was
            otherwise a very great many. I'm not sure if Ford had a policy against
            hiring Jewish workers or not, but that is besides the point. In a free
            environment, Henry Ford would have been very successful, but no one would
            have thought it was good for him to be an anti-semite. His anti-semitism
            would have been isolated, and he would have eventually reconsidered it.

            A government (or any other body) that wishes to avoid some "immoral"
            tendency can easily educate the public by commercials, or hiring a few
            dynamic individuals who wish to evengelize a more moral behaviour. This
            will be far more effective in the long and short run that passing a few
            "morality-enforcing laws".

            > An excellent example is the deterioration of civil rights in the southern US
            > from the 1880s to the 1950s. The only way for the federal government to crush
            > once and for all the segregation and the "equal but seperate" farce was to
            > make laws, and send the national guard to enforce them, regardless of the
            > protests of governors (like Wallace, imach shmo), mayors, local sheriffs,
            > schoolmasters, etc.
            >
            > Check out, for example,
            > http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/articlearchives/honormlk/integrat.htm
            >

            Again, if a black man is denied access to a university which is a public
            institute, it is illegal and not just immoral. If the law says everyone
            should receive a K12 education, then Black people should as well. These
            are a matter of law not morality.

            But if I, Shlomi Fish, wish not to hire Arabs in my company "Rindolf
            Ltd.", that is my problem and not something the government can force me to
            do.

            >
            > > One example, is a discriminated employee going against a perfectly
            > > enlightened boss, who did not realize he or she was discriminated or had a
            > > got non-racist reason for doing so. Another is incompetent workers
            > > of a minority trying to get jobs and then complaining about being
            > > discriminated against.
            >
            > You can say that about any law. A disgruntled employee can complain about
            > his or her employer for sexual harassment, stealing, intellectual propery
            > issues, forfeiting pay, or whatever - but he or shee will have to prove
            > it in court. Hopefully the court should see through hollow allegations
            > and find the real truth.
            >

            I'd rather avoid putting things through the court in the first place. Any
            Slashdot lurker knows that Court sessions tend to go on and on and cause
            harrasment and frustration to a lot of people. I already heard of a few
            Israelis who are suing their past employers, and I actually worked for one
            of these employer, and can testify he is a very noble, fair and
            hard-working man.

            In a good law-system, you should actually try to make sure as few
            conflicts are resolved inside courts. And a judge or jury are not Gods and
            may judge unfairly. And then what?

            Also, a standard "he did not promote me because I'm a woman" can be
            subject to many problems in trying to figure out who's right. For all we
            know, the woman could have been very good and hard-working, but so were
            her male co-workers. The employer made a choice based on what he saw fit,
            and her being a woman could have had some conscious or subconscious
            influence. I just don't see a point in starting a large number of court
            trials for such cases.

            If you got hired into a workplace, you should be thankful for it, because
            it will put food on your table. If you did not get a promotion, you should
            be thankful, that they did not see it fit to fire you either. If you got
            fired after working for a long time, you should be thankful that it was
            good while it lasted, say goodbye to everybody, and find a different
            place to work. And you should do that whether you are a man, woman, Jew,
            Gentile, Black, Caucasian, or whatever.

            > For example, a University with 10,000 students and not a single black
            > student will find it very hard to explain why this happened (statistics
            > on highschool scores should show that, perhaps, it should have gotten
            > a mere 100 blacks, but it's hard to explain where a number of big fat
            > zero came from. And in 1963 Alabama, this number was a big fat zero,
            > and governor Wallace was fighting president Kennedy to keep it this way).
            >

            I agree that in this case a public institute was actively discriminating
            against black people. Otherwise, it would have been problematic to explain
            it. If it was a private school of some sort, nikha, but in this it was
            balantly illegal. Not just immoral mind you.

            > > Another is a racist (but otherwise perfectly productive) employer, who
            > > does not wish to employ workers of a certain minority, because he knows he
            > > will not treat them well. Being employed at such an establishment would be
            > > a bad thing for both the employer and the employee.
            >
            > This sounds like a bad excuse...
            > It's almost like saying that a parent who believes he is a bad parent should
            > be allowed to abandon his children, or even kill them. No, he has the *duty*
            > to look after his children, not the right to abandon or kill them.
            >

            A parent who believes he is a bad parent, should not kill his children or
            abandon them because this is plain illegal. However, he may give them for
            adoption. I think the situation nowadays is that there are more parents
            looking for children to adopt than children who are up for adoption. At
            least this is the case in most modern prosperous societies. I'm sure he or
            she can find them a happy home for them.

            I don't like the word "duty" here. While a person is responsible for his
            dependant children (until they become independant, that is), he may still
            transfer them to a couple he believes would be more suitable for raising
            them.

            That put aside, I think that most parents who believe they are bad, are
            either having a misconception about it, or can learn to be better parents.
            While most parents are not perfect, there are relatively few who are
            really bad.

            As for the analogy: I'm not sure it's entirely correct. The racist who has
            a business makes his living off his business and would like to run it as
            well as possible. Note that I'm usually talking about a small business not
            about something the scope of General Motors or IBM. Now he has 3 or 4
            employees, and he is in constant contact with them. Would you tell him
            that he should hire a Black person even though he deeply detest Black
            people? I don't think it would be fair for either him or the Black person.
            While he may choose to hire him so he'll eventually change his opinion on
            Black people, he may also decide that the overhead and the risk are too
            great to try it.

            If IBM had a no-hiring-blacks policy in its regulations, that this is
            something that borders the illegal, if not very much so. (IBM has offered
            stocks to the public).

            > > Like I said earlier, the Government should not enforce
            > > Morality.
            >
            > Shlomi, you probably aren't aware of the horrible extent of moral decay
            > a country or parts of it can deteriorate to. Sometimes to correct that,
            > the only thing that could work is new laws.
            >

            A country with a proper set of laws will not deteriorate morally. Period.
            I am not aware of any country nowadays with a perfectly constitutional law
            canon. There are some countries that are close, and they are doing quite
            fine and experience little "moral decay". Those whose Law Canon is not
            perfect may experience moral decay. Yet, laws to correct this moral decay,
            are a symtpomatics solution that sometimes does not effectively solve the
            problem.

            A government should make sure people _can be_ prosperous, safe, free, and
            happy. It should not try to make them more "moral" people than they are or
            aren't. The Law Canon of many countries nowadays is bloated by many laws
            that are trying to protect the people against themselves. Yet, such
            protections are not needed, because the free invididual by nature is good,
            benevolent, and won't harm anybody by choice. Otherwise, our civilazation
            would not have survived this far.

            > > A government's job is to enforce Law and to prevent the
            > > application of initiatory force, coercion or fraud.
            >
            > This is a very narrow view of the government's duties.
            >
            > The American decleration of independence (July 4, 1776) puts it nicely
            > (sorry for all the American history lectures in one post :)):
            >
            > We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
            > that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
            > that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That
            > to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
            > their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any
            > Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
            > the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
            > laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such
            > form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
            > Happiness.
            >

            I fully agree with this quote. However, note that it does not say how
            governments should secure this. I believe the best way to effectively
            secure them (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), is by enforcing
            law (i.e: lack of initiatory force, coercion or fraud), and _that's it_.
            The people themselves can take care of the rest and eliminate poverty,
            ignorance, crime, etc. etc.

            Note that trying to make people more moral (by preventing them from
            reading porn magazines for instance) is not part of what the government
            had to do. If a person discriminates against you he does not violate your
            individual rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). Recently,
            I believe I have been unjustly discriminated against, out of a purely
            personal matter, (I'm not giving any details), but I'm still cool about
            it. Because it was the discriminator's right to discriminate me. I feel
            lousy when thinking about it, but that's life.

            > The 1848 Seneca Falls decleration (which is the most important document of
            > the American women's rights movement) contains words very similar to this,
            > with "men" changed to "men and women", of course.
            >
            > Government should be a tool the people use to improve their own wellbeing.
            > "People" here means everyone, not a ruling race, sex, people with a lot
            > of money, or anything of that sort. Being an employer with a lot of money
            > does not give you the right to ruin other people's chance for life, liberty
            > or hapinness, and the people institute a government to help them make sure
            > that such things do not happen.
            >

            Being a business owner gives you exclusive right to do with your business
            as you please. Ruin it, make it prosper, hire whoever you want, etc. And
            I'm talking about small businesses, who do not have all the money they
            want. What do you mean by "ruin other people's chance for life, liberty or
            happiness"? Obviously, I may get more entrees for a particular position
            and I can hire only one. I will have to disappoint N-1 of them.

            You have the _right_ for life, liberty and happiness, i.e: to exercize it.
            However, you are not entitled to receive happiness whenever you go. I wish
            I had a penny for anytime someone criticized me or insulted me. He may
            have hurt my short-term happiness. Does this make him a criminal?

            > > Trying to prevent discrimination constitutionally will not do good in the
            > > long run.
            >
            > I believe the examples I showed above, of American blacks and women,
            > contradicts this.
            >

            Like I said, your examples were not exactly to the point, and I hope I
            made myself clearer.

            > > My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
            > > sense nonetheless.
            >
            > :)
            >

            Heh, heh. True as always. I am made of so many "insane" influences that
            conventionally-thinking people may find my logic startling sometimes. It's
            amazing how many false assumptions the idea systems of most people have.
            One of the most important things I realize is that biological immortality
            is something desirable. Most people think death is inevitable and
            necessary, and as Qoheleth identified in the Bible it makes everything
            meaningless. By ackwnoledging the importance of youth-rejuvanating
            biological immortality you actually start thinking that everything is
            meaningful again, and consider where you've been wrong.

            Of course, youth rejuvanating biological immortality is the final
            conclusion of Neo-Tech, brought right at the end. Nadav and others if you
            haven't read:

            http://www.neo-tech.com/advantages/

            yet, I wholly recommend you to, or else you don't really know what you're
            missing. It's completely mind-blowing.

            To quote Muhandas Gandhi:

            "Live like you were going to die tomorrow. Learn like you were going to
            live a thousand years".

            Best advice one can give.

            Regards,

            Shlomi Fish
            >



            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
            Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

            My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
            sense nonetheless.
          • Chen Shapira
            Hi, I m disregarding most of your content, because I think we should clarify some vocabulary first. The definition of illegal is something done against the
            Message 5 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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              Hi,

              I'm disregarding most of your content, because I think we should clarify
              some vocabulary first.

              The definition of "illegal" is "something done against the law".

              Example:
              If I don't put the seatbelt on when driving my car, I'm doing something
              illegal. (although not necessarily immoral).

              If I drink beer, its legal. If my three years old sister does the same - its
              illegal.

              You said:
              > The discrimination against Black people in the southern states was
              unfortunate
              and since enforced by the government illegal

              On the contrary, it was enforced by the goverment, and that made it legal.
              If the goverment would outlaw it, it would be illegal.

              I hope this clarification would give us a more substantial base for
              discussion.

              Chen.


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            • Shlomi Fish
              ... Not according to my dictionary... I define an illegal action as anything that is _objectively_ illegal. There is such thing as an Objective Law. Let s not
              Message 6 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, Chen Shapira wrote:

                > Hi,
                >
                > I'm disregarding most of your content, because I think we should clarify
                > some vocabulary first.
                >
                > The definition of "illegal" is "something done against the law".
                >

                Not according to my dictionary... I define an illegal action as anything
                that is _objectively_ illegal. There is such thing as an Objective Law.
                Let's not fight on what it is just assume that it is. An objective law is
                such that is required to prevent people harming each other maliciously.
                I.e: objective law prevents people from killing, stealing, exercising
                fraud, or other things that any person from any society in our
                situation will agree that are wrong.

                The Ten Commandments, especially the second part were a very early attempt
                at making an Objective Law Constitution. The Neo-Tech Constitution is
                another:

                http://www.neo-tech.com/advantages/advantage83.html

                (which is more modern and better, IMO)

                > Example:
                > If I don't put the seatbelt on when driving my car, I'm doing something
                > illegal. (although not necessarily immoral).
                >
                > If I drink beer, its legal. If my three years old sister does the same - its
                > illegal.
                >

                Again, you define legal according to what is legal according to the law of
                the State of Israel. I define it according to what objectively is legal or
                not. Law is also a philosophical term, instead of something that varies
                from country to country.

                > You said:
                > > The discrimination against Black people in the southern states was
                > unfortunate
                > and since enforced by the government illegal
                >
                > On the contrary, it was enforced by the goverment, and that made it legal.
                > If the goverment would outlaw it, it would be illegal.
                >
                > I hope this clarification would give us a more substantial base for
                > discussion.
                >

                I'll try to use the term "objectively legal" instead of legal. Or maybe
                use "unconstitutional" instead.

                Regards,

                Shlomi Fish

                > Chen.
                >
                >
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                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                sense nonetheless.
              • Chen Shapira
                ... And you say that discrimination doesn t hurt people? ________________________________________________________________________ This email has been scanned
                Message 7 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                  > Not according to my dictionary... I define an illegal action
                  > as anything
                  > that is _objectively_ illegal. There is such thing as an
                  > Objective Law.
                  > Let's not fight on what it is just assume that it is. An
                  > objective law is
                  > such that is required to prevent people harming each other
                  > maliciously.
                  > I.e: objective law prevents people from killing, stealing, exercising
                  > fraud, or other things that any person from any society in our
                  > situation will agree that are wrong.

                  And you say that discrimination doesn't hurt people?


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                • Shlomi Fish
                  ... I agree that active (i.e: conscious and deliberate) discrimination has bad effects on both sides. En masse, it may have bad effects on society as a whole.
                  Message 8 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                    On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Chen Shapira wrote:

                    > Hi,
                    >
                    > At his elaborated post, Shlomi managed to avoid the main issue.
                    > While racism is possible and will always be possible, and while it can be
                    > useful to discriminate based on race and gender (Shlomi refered to well
                    > known statistics), discrimination has some very undesirable side effects to
                    > sociaty as a whole.
                    >

                    I agree that active (i.e: conscious and deliberate) discrimination has bad
                    effects on both sides. En masse, it may have bad effects on society as a
                    whole. However, I think there are better ways to prevent it than enforcing
                    it constitutionally.

                    > 1. Do you believe it should be legal to refuse to sell and rent homes to
                    > Arabs?

                    An invididual may refuse to do just that if he or she so desires. But...

                    > Do you think Israel will benefit from having large Arab ghettos that
                    > they can't leave?

                    I find it hard to believe that all non-Arabs will reguse to sell or rent
                    homes to Arabs in Israel. At least I and many enlightended people I know
                    won't. So I don't think that a ghettos situation will become a reality.

                    Note that I will always oppose a law that prevents Jews in
                    Jewish-dominated settlements or neighbourhoods from selling their homes to
                    Arabs. This law is a goverment-enforced discrimination and so is highly
                    unconstitutional.

                    > Since we know that having large national ghettos is a problem to society
                    > (there are countless statistics about crime rate), I believe the goverment
                    > should outlaw this kind of discrimination.
                    >

                    Like I said, I don't think it is necessary.

                    > 2. In the past, having a resturant with a big sign saying "Niggers are not
                    > welcome here" was perfectly legal in the US. I believe that the outlawing
                    > this actually *reduces* racism, because if you have blacks at school, at
                    > work and at the diner, you may actually figure out that they are human
                    > beings.
                    >

                    I'm not sure interaction with Blacks, Jews or whatever, or lack of it is
                    prevents or encourages racism. Men interacted with women for the entire
                    history, and yet women were discriminated against for centuries. Or as
                    many anti-semites say "My best friends are Jews"...

                    Back to the diner. I think that even then, many diners accepted Black.
                    What Black people (or White ones) could have done invididually is protest
                    outside the diner, claiming it should not discriminate against them. Such
                    voluntary actions are usually much more effective than legal ones. For
                    instance, theoretically, it was illegal to kill someone at U.S. However,
                    many murderers escaped justice by convincing the Jury that they had a good
                    rationale for it, sometimes making use of prejudice or discriminatory
                    feelings.

                    The O.J. Simpson trial changed that a lot. While Simpson won the
                    criminal trial (but lost the civil one), he has remained outcasted, and
                    became friend-less. Moreoever, in other trials of murderers, people were
                    less reluctant to take into account such excuses as black vs. white, or
                    whatever.

                    >
                    > The main issue is that part of the function of the goverment is to make the
                    > country a better place for its citizens. I believe that a non-discriminating
                    > country is a better place for the people who live there, regardless of its
                    > implications toward employers.
                    >

                    I think the best way a country can make it a better place for its citizens
                    is by staying out of their way, and letting them make it a better place.
                    The Israeli Canon at the moment has a lot of Acts. Some of them are good
                    and valid. But the majority of them are harmless at best, if not very
                    harmful. This is all out of attempts to make the country a better place.

                    In a Laissez-Faire Capitalism, the dynamics of market will cause most
                    problems to disappear, and everyone will propsper. There may still be a
                    small amount of immoral behaviour, but it will be of non concern to
                    society at large.

                    > You seem to think that people should have a basic right to be bigots and
                    > discriminate.

                    I do, yes.

                    > I believe people have a basic right not to be discriminated,
                    > and that the goverment should enforce this right.

                    That's not a right. It's a privilege. And I don't think people should
                    receive such protection from the government. Like I said to Nadav, I
                    felt that I was discriminated against recently, only it was a personal
                    discrimination. It's not the first time it has happened to me, and I
                    believe it has happened to anybody here several times so far. It's part of
                    life.

                    > People don't have the right to steal, rape and murder and they should not
                    > have the right to discriminate.
                    >

                    Theft, rape and murder are objective crimes. Discrimination is not. Like I
                    said, if you are flooded with 100's of candidates: black, white, men,
                    women, Jews, gentiles, anything. And you can pick only one. If you pick a
                    man, than all the women may think they were discriminated against. If you
                    pick a gentile, than Jews may think: "hah! I was more competent than him,
                    so I should have been picked". If you pick a woman, men will say: "he was
                    simply trying to be PC."

                    You have to discriminate sometimes, and people should be able to
                    discriminate, even if it involves some kind of racism or prejudice.

                    Regards,

                    Shlomi Fish

                    >
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                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                    Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                    My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                    sense nonetheless.
                  • Shlomi Fish
                    ... WiJG? Discrimination does hurt people. But so will you approaching me and shouting at my face: Shlomi - you are a complete, fat, bastard, loser!
                    Message 9 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                      On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, Chen Shapira wrote:

                      >
                      > > Not according to my dictionary... I define an illegal action
                      > > as anything
                      > > that is _objectively_ illegal. There is such thing as an
                      > > Objective Law.
                      > > Let's not fight on what it is just assume that it is. An
                      > > objective law is
                      > > such that is required to prevent people harming each other
                      > > maliciously.
                      > > I.e: objective law prevents people from killing, stealing, exercising
                      > > fraud, or other things that any person from any society in our
                      > > situation will agree that are wrong.
                      >
                      > And you say that discrimination doesn't hurt people?
                      >

                      <sigh /> WiJG?

                      Discrimination does hurt people. But so will you approaching me and
                      shouting at my face: "Shlomi - you are a complete, fat, bastard, loser!"
                      (if someone on the street says so, I probably won't pay much attention,
                      but I obviously care about your opinion)

                      Now, would you consider verbal abuse as a crime? Saying so will contradict
                      the liberty of speech. Or a general criticism of me, which I take the
                      wrong way. Again, not something that should be made illegal.

                      When talking on the LinuxChix mailing list, one woman said that she was
                      tired of men hitting on her all the time. She said that at small
                      quantities being made a pass on is nice, but it eventually becomes
                      annoying. Would you consider making it illegal for men to hit on women?
                      Again, that would be unconstitutional.

                      Murder, Theft and Rape violate the body of the indivdual or his property.
                      By discriminating against someone, you are violating neither. So you don't
                      by hitting on someone, or bv criticising someone.

                      Regards,

                      Shlomi Fish


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                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                      My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                      sense nonetheless.
                    • Chen Shapira
                      ... I agree that if there is no discrimination, there is no need for laws against it. But in case it will happen, don t you think that the right thing to do is
                      Message 10 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                        > > Do you think Israel will benefit from having large Arab ghettos that
                        > > they can't leave?
                        >
                        > I find it hard to believe that all non-Arabs will reguse to
                        > sell or rent
                        > homes to Arabs in Israel. At least I and many enlightended
                        > people I know
                        > won't. So I don't think that a ghettos situation will become
                        > a reality.


                        I agree that if there is no discrimination, there is no need
                        for laws against it.
                        But in case it will happen, don't you think that the right thing to do
                        is to stop this?



                        > Back to the diner. I think that even then, many diners accepted Black.

                        Depends where. Not in the bible-belt, certainly.

                        > What Black people (or White ones) could have done
                        > invididually is protest
                        > outside the diner, claiming it should not discriminate
                        > against them. Such
                        > voluntary actions are usually much more effective than legal ones.

                        Prove your statement please.
                        Laws against such discrimination were highly effective.

                        > The O.J. Simpson trial changed that a lot. While Simpson won the
                        > criminal trial (but lost the civil one), he has remained
                        > outcasted, and
                        > became friend-less. Moreoever, in other trials of murderers,
                        > people were
                        > less reluctant to take into account such excuses as black vs.
                        > white, or
                        > whatever.

                        I have no idea where you found those "facts".
                        I would love to see refernces to the friend-less Mr. Simpson.

                        > I think the best way a country can make it a better place for
                        > its citizens
                        > is by staying out of their way, and letting them make it a
                        > better place.

                        And if they don't do that?

                        > The Israeli Canon at the moment has a lot of Acts. Some of
                        > them are good
                        > and valid. But the majority of them are harmless at best, if not very
                        > harmful. This is all out of attempts to make the country a
                        > better place.

                        You are saying that since the effort failed, we shouldn't even
                        make the attempt?

                        > In a Laissez-Faire Capitalism, the dynamics of market will cause most
                        > problems to disappear, and everyone will propsper.

                        You are just guessing here. You may be wrong.

                        > There may
                        > still be a
                        > small amount of immoral behaviour, but it will be of non concern to
                        > society at large.

                        What amount? And why will it be of no concern?

                        > > You seem to think that people should have a basic right to
                        > be bigots and
                        > > discriminate.
                        >
                        > I do, yes.

                        Well, we have a disagreement on basic rights here.
                        I don't think this discussion will get anywhere.


                        > That's not a right. It's a privilege.

                        Only because *you* say so?
                        I say it is a basic right and should be protected by law.

                        > Like I said to Nadav, I
                        > felt that I was discriminated against recently, only it was a personal
                        > discrimination. It's not the first time it has happened to me, and I
                        > believe it has happened to anybody here several times so far.
                        > It's part of
                        > life.

                        What do you mean by "personal" discrimination?
                        Someone refused to hire you because your name is "Shlomi Fish"?

                        Discrimination against a group is a problem because it is against
                        a group. I am not discussing anything personal here.


                        > Theft, rape and murder are objective crimes. Discrimination
                        > is not.

                        Discrimination is objective. Just harder to prove.
                        Suppose you have 100% accurate truth machine or a mind-reader.
                        You could ask people "Did you reject him because he is black?"
                        and get a true answer.
                        This would make discrimination an objective crime, right?
                        And just because it is difficult to prove racism, you think it
                        should be legal?

                        >
                        > You have to discriminate sometimes, and people should be able to
                        > discriminate, even if it involves some kind of racism or prejudice.

                        You should seperate relevant and irrelavant discrimination here.
                        If you are looking for a programmer, you can discriminate against
                        people who can't program. You shouldn't discriminate against blacks.

                        You have to discriminate on relevant points, but it should be illegal
                        to discriminate on irelevant points.

                        Since we have a wide disagreements on the basic rights in the issue,
                        I think we can safely drop the discussion.

                        Thanks,
                        Chen.

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                      • Nadav Har'El
                        I wonder if this is a personal argument between Shlomi and me, or if anyone else is reading this... ... Hmm, I didn t think it was that appalling ;) ... What
                        Message 11 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                          I wonder if this is a personal argument between Shlomi and me, or if
                          anyone else is reading this...

                          On Wed, Apr 09, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                          > Nadav, I was quite appaled for your post. I dare say that you should

                          Hmm, I didn't think it was that appalling ;)

                          > check out the definition of Liberalism (true Liberalism, not modern day
                          > "liberals" who call for social aid and such) and understand that Morality

                          What you describe here is called a "free state", and I belive (though I
                          may be wrong) that such view is usually called "Libertarianism". There's
                          also a Libertarian party in the US - these guys believe that indeed the
                          country should involve itself as little as possible with the citizens -
                          it should not even take income tax.

                          Libertarianism is a minority opinion, even in the capitalistic U.S..
                          Nobody ever declared this idea "correct", and I don't know of any country
                          running according to its rules. So I don't understand why you discard my
                          actual examples of an actual countries and actual people suffering, only
                          to replace it by extremist ideas that have never been tested in practice.

                          I once wrote (it's in my drawer ;)) a short paper on why a pure "free state"
                          cannot be stable. I'd very much not like to see Israel become one, and
                          Americans don't want theirs to become one.

                          > Now, if I kill someone, it is illegal and immoral. However, if I get drunk
                          > it is only immoral. I have made my mind less clear and denied myself of
                          > human biological needs, but otherwise did not harm anyone else. Do you say
                          > that the government should pass a law in which I cannot get drunk?
                          > Certainly not, because I have every right to.

                          No, I didn't say that. If drinking harms only yourself, it is only immoral
                          in the sense of "God doesn't like it". It is not immoral in the sense of
                          morals, i.e., ethics. Ethics deals with how humans behave towards the
                          rest of the world (especially other people), not with what a person does
                          with their own life without effecting anything or anybody else.

                          > The problem is that the definition of morality is a bit fuzzy. Some would
                          > claim that looking at porn magazines is immoral. Maybe it is, maybe it's
                          > not. Nevertheless, you are not harming anyone by looking at porn
                          > magazines, so it must not be enforced by the government. Most people would

                          If nobody else is effected by your reading porn, it is not an ethical issue,
                          perhaps just a religious issue (and this is something else completely).
                          If however, one argues that porn does do harm to other people (say, women
                          get exploited, porn-reading-sex-maniacs go raping, or whatever) then it
                          is indeed a ethical issue and can be dealt-with by a government.

                          The question of whether porn (to use your example) is an ethical issue or not
                          might not be clear cut, and might need to decided by contemporary lawmakers
                          and judges. Their decisions aren't always wise; For example, in the mid 19th
                          century, a woman lawyer in the United States sued the bar for not accepting
                          her (women were not allowed at the time). The judge basically decided that
                          this (an organization refusing to admit women) was not an ethical question,
                          and more over the bar's behavor makes sense (given that women "naturally"
                          belong in the home, not in the courthouse, and given the fact that at the
                          time married women were not even allowed to sign contracts (!)), and he
                          refused to force the bar to change their decision, despite the 14th amendment.
                          A judge nowadays would most-likely rule differently.

                          > agree what a legal action is. But if you ask 10 random people on the
                          > streets to define what kind of actions constitute morality you'll receive
                          > at least 11 different answers.

                          If you asked 10 random people to forumulate a constitution, or bill of
                          rights, or a codex of law, or moral code, or economic plan, or whatever,
                          for a country, you'll also come up with 11 different answers, 11 of them
                          terribly flawed.
                          This is why a country normally leaves those things to professionals, who
                          can be elected professionals but they must be professionals nontheless.

                          > > Something similar to what you say here is what torn the United States into
                          > > a civil war 140 years or so ago.
                          > >
                          >
                          > What torn the United States into a civil war was the actions of a very
                          > evil man by the name of Abraham Lincoln, who engineered it. The

                          Oh my god, now that statement *is* appaling.

                          Lincoln - Evil?

                          I suggest you listen carefully to Martin Luther King "I have a dream"
                          speech, delivered in 1963, nowhere else but on the steps of the Lincoln
                          Memorial in Washington DC (if you can't find the audio, I can send it to
                          you). Here is what King said in the beginning of his speech:

                          "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand
                          signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a
                          great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared
                          in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end
                          the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face
                          the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free."

                          So I guess not everyone agrees with you that Lincoln was evil.

                          > discrimination against Black people in the southern states was unfortunate
                          > and since enforced by the government illegal. Some of the individual
                          > rights of the Black people were actively defied. However, the war at large
                          > was completely unnecessary.

                          Slavery was legal in the south, and consistent with the constitution of the
                          united states and those of the southern states. So you can't pretend it
                          was illegal, or that the legal rights of blacks were defied - they had none.
                          Slavery was not illegal, it was just immoral!

                          "Legal" just means "written in the law books"...

                          > The Civil War of the USA costed the lives of more Americans than all other
                          > wars America took part in combined.

                          Probably true (I don't remember the exact numbers).

                          > Lincoln went on and enacted Income
                          > Tax, which you'll have problems finding someone who likes this law in

                          Lincoln's tax, used to fund the war, only lasted during the war.
                          Only in a later war, in 1913, was income tax made possible by the 16th
                          ammendment.

                          > Government and most public institutions cannot discriminate against
                          > anybody. I've explicitly states it. However, a private employer can if he
                          > so wishes, because it's his business and his decision.

                          It's hard to say what is a "public institution" and what is a "private"
                          one. In the united states, many of the universities are "private", running
                          as for-profit businesses. Should they be allowed to have segregation while
                          the state-owned universities should not? What's the sense in that?

                          > If your society is immoral than most probably your laws are already
                          > immoral, because they allow it. If there is a high level of crime and

                          Please reread my examples. In the 1960s the federal government in the US
                          already had laws saying that blacks are equal to white in every respect.
                          But some parts of the country - certain states, certain institutions or
                          businesess, refused to adhere to these laws. Legal battles and force was
                          necessary to uphold those laws (e.g., Kennedy's battle with Wallace in
                          1963).

                          > The result: a lot of black market, lots of added crime, and ruining
                          > paradise. You threw the baby along with the water. Destroyed paradise in
                          > order to "save" it.

                          There are plenty of fiction books describing a country (or planet, or
                          whatever) in which people think that they are happy, just because terrible
                          atrocities and immoral acts are being done behind their backs and hidden
                          from them. There's a saying in English, "Ignorance is bliss" - it's easier
                          to be happy if you just ignore every wrongdoing that goes on around you
                          and concentrate only on your own happiness...

                          > A government (or any other body) that wishes to avoid some "immoral"
                          > tendency can easily educate the public by commercials, or hiring a few
                          > dynamic individuals who wish to evengelize a more moral behaviour. This

                          Another book you should read (if you haven't already) is 1984 ;)

                          > Again, if a black man is denied access to a university which is a public
                          > institute, it is illegal and not just immoral. If the law says everyone
                          > should receive a K12 education, then Black people should as well. These
                          > are a matter of law not morality.

                          Shlomi, you simply are not aware of the facts. In Southern states in the
                          1950s, segregation in schools was not illegal. To the contrary - it was
                          the law!!! In fact, I read about a schoolmaster who wanted to open an
                          integrated school (for both whites and blacks) but it was closed by the
                          state because this was illegal!

                          In the end of the 1950s, the American federal government and supreme court
                          finally started to put an end to all that, declare some laws of the southern
                          states unconstitutional, and make new laws instead that forbid segregation.

                          > Also, a standard "he did not promote me because I'm a woman" can be
                          > subject to many problems in trying to figure out who's right. For all we

                          The burden of the proof normally lies with the accuser. If she has no
                          proof, she will lose. She will be wasting her time in court too if she
                          started a senseless suit...

                          > A country with a proper set of laws will not deteriorate morally. Period.

                          Right. Which is why the laws should be changed if it does deteriorate. And
                          the new laws will be based on the contemporary common beliefs of what is
                          moral and what is right.

                          > A government should make sure people _can be_ prosperous, safe, free, and
                          > happy. It should not try to make them more "moral" people than they are or
                          > aren't. The Law Canon of many countries nowadays is bloated by many laws

                          The government isn't the one that wants people to be moral - it's the
                          people that that want their fellow citizens to behave morally, and these
                          people vote for a government that will carry out their intentions.

                          > One of the most important things I realize is that biological immortality
                          > is something desirable. Most people think death is inevitable and
                          > necessary, and as Qoheleth identified in the Bible it makes everything
                          > meaningless. By ackwnoledging the importance of youth-rejuvanating
                          > biological immortality you actually start thinking that everything is
                          > meaningful again, and consider where you've been wrong.

                          I disagree that selfishness (the insistance that *you* should live forever,
                          because you are irreplaceble) is a good basis for a philosophy to base
                          your life on...

                          > To quote Muhandas Gandhi:
                          >
                          > "Live like you were going to die tomorrow. Learn like you were going to
                          > live a thousand years".
                          >
                          > Best advice one can give.

                          Right - and you should do that even if you know for a fact that neither
                          one of these possibilities will happen.

                          --
                          Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Apr 9 2003, 7 Nisan 5763
                          nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                          Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard
                          http://nadav.harel.org.il |this bull before.
                        • Nadav Har'El
                          ... I wrote this statement before I knew Chen was into the discussion too :) Sorry. -- Nadav Har El | Wednesday, Apr 9 2003, 8
                          Message 12 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                            On Wed, Apr 09, 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                            > I wonder if this is a personal argument between Shlomi and me, or if
                            > anyone else is reading this...

                            I wrote this statement before I knew Chen was into the discussion too :)
                            Sorry.

                            --
                            Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Apr 9 2003, 8 Nisan 5763
                            nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                            Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Cement mixer collided with a prison van.
                            http://nadav.harel.org.il |Look out for sixteen hardened criminals.
                          • Omer Musaev
                            Shlomi, you sound like an narsissic, indoctrinated, ignorant idiot. However, since it doesn t contradict the freedom of speech, I cannot stop you from doing
                            Message 13 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                              Shlomi, you sound like an narsissic, indoctrinated, ignorant idiot. However,
                              since it doesn't contradict the freedom of speech, I cannot stop you from
                              doing so.

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Shlomi Fish
                              [the message discriminated. plonk]

                              ________________________________________________________________________
                              This email has been scanned for all viruses.

                              Mercury Interactive Corporation
                              Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results

                              http://www.merc-int.com
                              ________________________________________________________________________
                            • Shlomi Fish
                              ... LOL. I can assure you that although a little narcisitic I am not indoctrinated, ignorant or an idiot. My opinions are unusual in a way, and very much
                              Message 14 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                                On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, Omer Musaev wrote:

                                > Shlomi, you sound like an narsissic, indoctrinated, ignorant idiot. However,
                                > since it doesn't contradict the freedom of speech, I cannot stop you from
                                > doing so.
                                >

                                LOL.

                                I can assure you that although a little narcisitic I am not indoctrinated,
                                ignorant or an idiot. My opinions are unusual in a way, and very much
                                anti-mainstream. However, there is a deep amount of logic and humanity
                                behind them.

                                Still, I don't what you did now, even if it was serious was illegal or
                                should have been so. Since I did not take it seriously, it did not dent my
                                hapinesses. If it was a genuine attack, it may have. A person should learn
                                to cope with criticism, because it's impossible to completely eliminate it
                                even between two people who are very fond of each other, as a general
                                rule. For more information consult "Feeling Good" by David Burns which I
                                already recommended on Hackers-IL.

                                Narcistically yours,

                                Shlomi Fish

                                "Those that don't understand Objectivism are bound to re-invent it. And
                                badly".

                                And similarly:

                                "Objectivists who don't understand Neo-Tech are bound to re-invent it, and
                                sometimes very badly"

                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Shlomi Fish
                                > [the message discriminated. plonk]
                                >
                                > ________________________________________________________________________
                                > This email has been scanned for all viruses.
                                >
                                > Mercury Interactive Corporation
                                > Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results
                                >
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                                > ________________________________________________________________________
                                >



                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                                sense nonetheless.
                              • Shlomi Fish
                                Hi Nadav! I read your recent reply and have plenty to say. Nevertheless, it is quite late now (21:00) and I have to wake up early tomorrow. I will write back.
                                Message 15 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                                  Hi Nadav!

                                  I read your recent reply and have plenty to say. Nevertheless, it is quite
                                  late now (21:00) and I have to wake up early tomorrow. I will write back.

                                  Note that old-fashioned liberals fought for individual rights and (perhaps
                                  to a lesser extent) economical freedom, and were as a general role highly
                                  moral characters. After most of the concepts formed by them were
                                  integrated into democracies of countries, the word started to mean people
                                  who think poor should receive compensation, social aid, etc. Sort of
                                  "liberal-democratic". However, this is not the correct meaning of the
                                  word.

                                  This has brought the word Libertarian and Libertarians into existence,
                                  which are an Anarchist party who upholds the old fashioned liberal values.
                                  Ayn Rand accepted most of the Libertarians demands from the Government
                                  and its political agenda, yet ruled that Liberal is a perfectly good word
                                  instead of Libertarian. In Neo-Tech literature, they often use "liberal"
                                  in quotes and explain in a footnote why it differs from the old liberals.

                                  I do not identify myself as a Libertarian because I'm not really an
                                  Anarchist. I do however accept all or the vast majority of their political
                                  agenda. Our good friend ESR is a Libertarian, and he has an essay titled
                                  "Why I am an Anarchist?"

                                  Generally, I think hackers should oppose control of any form, even control
                                  that tries to correct things that are considered bad. If you let a
                                  government correct something immoral (but not unconstitutional) that is
                                  considered bad by you, then you are giving it the power to later "correct"
                                  other "immoralities". If you let it hunt drug abusers, it can later hunt
                                  political activists, or relatively harmless computer intruders, or
                                  innocent programmers, or whomever.

                                  A good government should only hunt people who practice force, coercion or
                                  fraud against the bodies or property of innocent individuals. No-one else.
                                  Not discriminators. Not drug abusers.

                                  "When they came for Jews, I said nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they
                                  came for Catholics, I did nothing, for I am not Catholic. Then they came
                                  for me."

                                  Now replace "Jews" with "Discriminators" and "Catholics" with "Drug
                                  Abusers" and you'll see that they later going to come for hackers who use
                                  Perl/LWP to manipulate web-sites, that were supposed to be used only manually.

                                  Regards,

                                  Shlomi Fish


                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                  Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                  My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                                  sense nonetheless.
                                • Nadav Har'El
                                  ... You are very right that it government intervention is a slippery slope. If the citizens do not agree on what is moral and what is not, the consequences
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                                    On Wed, Apr 09, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                    > "When they came for Jews, I said nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they
                                    > came for Catholics, I did nothing, for I am not Catholic. Then they came
                                    > for me."
                                    >
                                    > Now replace "Jews" with "Discriminators" and "Catholics" with "Drug
                                    > Abusers" and you'll see that they later going to come for hackers who use
                                    > Perl/LWP to manipulate web-sites, that were supposed to be used only manually.

                                    You are very right that it government intervention is a slippery slope.
                                    If the citizens do not agree on what is moral and what is not, the
                                    consequences could be dire: the US went into civil war because the north
                                    wanted to force on the south its morality on how to treat blacks. There
                                    is now a smaller battle in the US about the morality of intellectual-
                                    property rights and such things, where each side claims morality is on
                                    their side. The ideals of morality also changes - a mere 30 years before
                                    my father was born, women could not vote almost anywhere on the planet,
                                    and nobody seemed to be bothered by this not being ok.

                                    But I think that your paraphrase on reverend Niemoller's famous quote
                                    is a misunderstanding of what he was trying to say. This quote (google
                                    for the entirety) actually says that even if you are not hurt personally
                                    by some immoral act, you should still do everything in your power to stop
                                    it (i.e., vote for a government who plans to stop this act). Because if you
                                    don't, when this act is finally done to you, nobody will be left to help.
                                    In fact, Kant declared (and I'm freely paraphrasing him) something to be
                                    immoral if you wouldn't want it to become common practice and perhaps even
                                    done to you. Jewish tradition also agrees with that (as in "what you hate,
                                    don't do to your friend").

                                    P.S. You gave the example of someone shouting at you on the street, and
                                    that's not being illegal. However, flashing someone in the street (taking
                                    your clothes off in front of someone) *is* illegal. Why? After all, it
                                    does not harm to the "victim" seeing someone's genitelia... So is this
                                    law "unobjective"? Perhaps. But society decided that it hates the phenomenon
                                    of flashing - individual people do not want to see a flasher in front of
                                    them, so much that they get seriously offended by this act - and so the
                                    people decided that this act would be declared illegal. The right
                                    taken away from the flasher, "the right to take your pants off in public",
                                    is usually not considered important enough to worry about it being taken
                                    away. Maybe in 100 years this would change and people will get appalled
                                    remembering how in the early 21st century people still got arrested for
                                    taking their pants off in public! :)


                                    --
                                    Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Apr 10 2003, 8 Nisan 5763
                                    nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                    Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Always go to other people's funerals,
                                    http://nadav.harel.org.il |otherwise they won't come to yours.
                                  • Ofir Carny
                                    Even though I don t agree with you at all, I thing I understand you. However, how being a public company changes anything in your opinion? ... From: Shlomi
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                                      Even though I don't agree with you at all, I thing I understand you. However, how being a public company changes anything in your opinion?

                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
                                      Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 5:14 PM
                                      To: philosophy-il@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: The Legality of Discrimination


                                      If IBM had a no-hiring-blacks policy in its regulations, that this is
                                      something that borders the illegal, if not very much so. (IBM has offered
                                      stocks to the public).
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                                    • Ofir Carny
                                      I prefer Those that don t understand Objectivism may adopt it ;) By the way, I think unconstitutional is even worse than illegal. We don t have a
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
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                                        I prefer "Those that don't understand Objectivism may adopt it" ;)

                                        By the way, I think unconstitutional is even worse than illegal. We don't have a constitution and if we had one, I very much hope you would not like it.

                                        You could use 'something that shlomif thinks is objectively illegal'. That I can consider accurate.

                                        "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it", people are not by nature good (as you seem to assume), and history can teach us that.

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
                                        Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 8:54 PM
                                        To: Omer Musaev
                                        Cc: 'Shlomi Fish '; ''philosophy-il@yahoogroups.com' '
                                        Subject: RE: The Legality of Discrimination

                                        "Those that don't understand Objectivism are bound to re-invent it. And
                                        badly".
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                                        www.vidius.com
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                                      • Nadav Har'El
                                        ... Sorry to be nitpicking about my own post, but I listened to the actual audio, and found that this quote I found by random googling was close, but not 100%
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
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                                          On Wed, Apr 09, 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                          > I suggest you listen carefully to Martin Luther King "I have a dream"
                                          > speech, delivered in 1963, nowhere else but on the steps of the Lincoln
                                          > Memorial in Washington DC (if you can't find the audio, I can send it to
                                          > you). Here is what King said in the beginning of his speech:
                                          >
                                          > "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand
                                          > signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a
                                          > great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared
                                          > in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end
                                          > the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face
                                          > the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free."
                                          >
                                          > So I guess not everyone agrees with you that Lincoln was evil.

                                          Sorry to be nitpicking about my own post, but I listened to the actual
                                          audio, and found that this quote I found by random googling was close, but
                                          not 100% accurate. The actual transcript is:

                                          "Five score years ago, a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand
                                          today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as
                                          a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been
                                          seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak
                                          to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later,
                                          the Negro is not free. ..."

                                          Makes one think that Google and the websites you find there probably aren't
                                          always the most trustworthy sources of information...

                                          --
                                          Nadav Har'El | Friday, Apr 11 2003, 9 Nisan 5763
                                          nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                          Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |My password is my dog's name. His name is
                                          http://nadav.harel.org.il |a#j!4@h, but I change it every month.
                                        • Shlomi Fish
                                          ... Nadav, there s a small inconsistency in your reasoning. You re saying that because: 1. Martin Luther King said Abe Lincoln was a great man. and 2. Martin
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
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                                            On Fri, 11 Apr 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                            > On Wed, Apr 09, 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                            > > I suggest you listen carefully to Martin Luther King "I have a dream"
                                            > > speech, delivered in 1963, nowhere else but on the steps of the Lincoln
                                            > > Memorial in Washington DC (if you can't find the audio, I can send it to
                                            > > you). Here is what King said in the beginning of his speech:
                                            > >
                                            > > "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand
                                            > > signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a
                                            > > great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared
                                            > > in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end
                                            > > the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face
                                            > > the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free."
                                            > >
                                            > > So I guess not everyone agrees with you that Lincoln was evil.
                                            >
                                            > Sorry to be nitpicking about my own post, but I listened to the actual
                                            > audio, and found that this quote I found by random googling was close, but
                                            > not 100% accurate. The actual transcript is:
                                            >
                                            > "Five score years ago, a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand
                                            > today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as
                                            > a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been
                                            > seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak
                                            > to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later,
                                            > the Negro is not free. ..."
                                            >
                                            > Makes one think that Google and the websites you find there probably aren't
                                            > always the most trustworthy sources of information...
                                            >

                                            Nadav, there's a small inconsistency in your reasoning. You're saying that
                                            because:

                                            1. Martin Luther King said Abe Lincoln was a great man.

                                            and

                                            2. Martin Luther King was a great man or gave a very great speech at that
                                            context.

                                            Then it follows:

                                            3. Abe Lincoln was a great man.

                                            Obviously, another option is that Martin Luther King was misled to believe
                                            Lincoln was a great man, as most Americans were. Or that Martin Luther
                                            King's speech was very irrational as well, despite sounding good on the
                                            surface.

                                            There are many cases in history were very bad people were depicted as very
                                            good or "humane" and very good people were depicted as destructive. If
                                            you'll ask a random American he may say J.D. Rockefeller was a cheap
                                            bastard and a "Robber Baron". However, Rockefeller:

                                            1. After getting hold of the oil industry of texas sought ways to increase
                                            oil consumption by Americans. For instance, he gave away free carosene
                                            lamps.

                                            2. Eventually, Power companies came to supply electricity and they needed
                                            a lot of available energy so they turned to Rockefeller's oil. That has
                                            made him very rich.

                                            3. The Sherman Anti-trust act (or a similar act by Teddy "The
                                            Trust-Buster" Roosevelt) caused Rockefeller to have to split his business
                                            into several businesses while selling his parts of the businesses.

                                            4. Rockefeller became filthy rich without having too much to do with the
                                            money. He spent a lot of it on building schools, and others acts of
                                            philantropism which he saw fit and benefited many Americans. He is the
                                            greatest American Philantropist prior to Bill Gates.

                                            Now some people would envy Rockefeller and claim he was bad. I don't. I
                                            also don't think there was a place in splitting Bell Corp. into AT&T and
                                            the Baby Bells, because Bell was obviously not abusing anyone, and it only
                                            caused prices of telephones to rise. (not to mention Bell Corp. which
                                            owned Bell Labs had done more to American well-being than the American
                                            Government itself - there's a BSD fortune about it)

                                            I also don't think Bill Gates is the Evil person some free software
                                            advocates depict him as such. He is a great businessman who lacks a lot of
                                            technical knowledge, who actually helped many people get their work done.
                                            (with a few frustrations, but nonetheless). I still prefer Linux and think
                                            UNIX is superior. But side by side with UNIX there was the Altaire, and
                                            CP/M and a hole slew of developments using much cheaper, but much more
                                            sub-standard hardware. Only recently these two worlds have clashed.

                                            Regards,

                                            Shlomi Fish



                                            >



                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                            Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                            My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
                                            sense nonetheless.
                                          • Nadav Har'El
                                            ... No, that was not my reasoning. My reasoning was that Martin Luther King was a greatly admired person whose speeches represented the thoughts of a lot of
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
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                                              On Fri, Apr 11, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                              > Nadav, there's a small inconsistency in your reasoning. You're saying that
                                              > because:
                                              > 1. Martin Luther King said Abe Lincoln was a great man.
                                              > and
                                              > 2. Martin Luther King was a great man or gave a very great speech at that
                                              > context.
                                              >
                                              > Then it follows:
                                              > 3. Abe Lincoln was a great man.

                                              No, that was not my reasoning. My reasoning was that Martin Luther King
                                              was a greatly admired person whose speeches represented the thoughts of a
                                              lot of American people, especially blacks (but not only). The blacks think
                                              that Lincoln was the person who freed over a million of their ancestors
                                              from their slavery, and hence he was a great man, and King's speech
                                              demonstrate just how great they thought Lincoln was.

                                              There's a saying "hindsight is 20/20", joking about the fact that it's
                                              easy to understand and judge something after it has happened, more than
                                              before or during its happening. But it also suggests that you *can* judge
                                              something that happened in history, and you don't have to pretend you
                                              don't know what it resulted in.

                                              Looking in retrospect at Lincoln's deeds and legacy, there are some good
                                              things he did (emancipation proclemation, etc.) and some bad things (like
                                              stretching the constutiution a bit, and taking income tax during the civil
                                              war). History has judged that Lincoln's good acts outnumbered and were more
                                              important than his bad ones, and so remembers him as a good person.

                                              Sometimes the opposite happend: Stalin was thought, during his rule, to
                                              be a great man: he faught with Hitler helping save the world from Nazism,
                                              he brought various successes to the USSR (e.g., their space program, the
                                              atomic program, etc), he represented a fashionable (in some circles)
                                              ideology, etc. But after his time, when more facts and more of his acts
                                              became known, the view of him changed completely, and he became regarded
                                              (even by communists inside the USSR) as a brutal blood-thirsty dictator,
                                              an embarrassment to his country and to humankind.
                                              Stalin's successor, Khrushchev, exposed Stalin for what he really was, and
                                              in 1961 (8 years after Stalin's death) Stalin's remains were removed from
                                              Lenin's mauseleum.

                                              > Obviously, another option is that Martin Luther King was misled to believe
                                              > Lincoln was a great man, as most Americans were. Or that Martin Luther

                                              Since it appears we're discussing here American history a lot, I think I
                                              should give you the exact details of a book I recommended earlier:

                                              "American Democracy - The Real, the Imagined, and the False",
                                              Prof. Arnon Gutfeld et al., 2002

                                              (it's a book in Hebrew with articles written by professors, supreme
                                              court judges, etc. I got it in Zomet Sfarim for 30 shekels, but its
                                              official price is 74 shekels).

                                              One article there deals with the memory of assassinated leaders, and Lincoln
                                              in particular. There is no doubt that it's easier to associate an
                                              assassinated leader with the big change that happened while he was
                                              assassinated. But the article claims that assassination is not enough for a
                                              leader to be fondly remembered - giving examples of two other assassinated
                                              presidents (Garfield and McKinley) that nobody remembers.

                                              Another article talks about the federal government's powers in a time of
                                              crisis (like wars, economic disasters, etc.). Lincoln's position on the
                                              issue is presented, and contrasted with Thomas Jefferson's position. As
                                              much as Lincoln was into "bending" the constitution into giving him more
                                              powers, this was nothing compared to what Wilson did during WWI and what
                                              FDR did in his 4 terms (!) in office during the great depression and his
                                              "new deal", and later WWII. By the way, FDR is also remembered as a very
                                              good president.

                                              I don't think Americans were misled about Lincoln. There's no argument
                                              that he wasn't perfect, but also little argument that he wasn't more
                                              "good" than "bad". I haven't seen any proof to the contrary.

                                              > There are many cases in history were very bad people were depicted as very
                                              > good or "humane" and very good people were depicted as destructive. If
                                              > you'll ask a random American he may say J.D. Rockefeller was a cheap
                                              > bastard and a "Robber Baron". However, Rockefeller:

                                              Nobody thinks Rockefeller is evil. Maybe they don't think he's a great
                                              humanitarian, but nobody thinks he was "evil". In fact, in NYC you have
                                              the "Rockefeller Center". Do you think that if he was thought to be evil,
                                              it wouldn't have been renamed? I dare you find a "Hitler Center" in
                                              Germany, a "Stalin Center" in Russia, or even a "Saddam Airport" in Baghdad :)

                                              > 1. After getting hold of the oil industry of texas sought ways to increase
                                              > oil consumption by Americans. For instance, he gave away free carosene
                                              > lamps.

                                              What you are listing are business tactics. They don't have any moral value -
                                              you don't consider someone to be "good" just because he wanted to increase
                                              oil consumption.
                                              If anything, this kind of thing has a mild "bad" stamp put on it by people
                                              who think that using fossil-fuels is harmful to the planet.

                                              > 4. Rockefeller became filthy rich without having too much to do with the
                                              > money. He spent a lot of it on building schools, and others acts of
                                              > philantropism which he saw fit and benefited many Americans. He is the
                                              > greatest American Philantropist prior to Bill Gates.

                                              And people do remember that (e.g., Rockefeller Center). Which is why I don't
                                              see why you think people remember him as evil.

                                              > I also don't think Bill Gates is the Evil person some free software
                                              > advocates depict him as such. He is a great businessman who lacks a lot of
                                              > technical knowledge, who actually helped many people get their work done.

                                              Bill Gates is not evil - he's simply misguided (in his vision of the software
                                              world), and takes advantage of laws (like copyright laws, DMCA, etc.) and
                                              peer pressure to increase his own wealth. I don't care about Bill Gate's
                                              money - what I care about is that his world-vision doesn't become reality,
                                              and that laws that helped create this software monopoly will be changed.

                                              --
                                              Nadav Har'El | Friday, Apr 11 2003, 9 Nisan 5763
                                              nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                              Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Seen on a sign outside a church: "This is
                                              http://nadav.harel.org.il |a C H _ _ C H ... what's missing?"
                                            • Shlomi Fish
                                              ... I believe it won t happen. It s like saying a free, enlightened man will willingly discriminate against black, gays, Jews, or whatever. He would not
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Apr 14, 2003
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                                                On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, Chen Shapira wrote:

                                                >
                                                > > > Do you think Israel will benefit from having large Arab ghettos that
                                                > > > they can't leave?
                                                > >
                                                > > I find it hard to believe that all non-Arabs will reguse to
                                                > > sell or rent
                                                > > homes to Arabs in Israel. At least I and many enlightended
                                                > > people I know
                                                > > won't. So I don't think that a ghettos situation will become
                                                > > a reality.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > I agree that if there is no discrimination, there is no need
                                                > for laws against it.
                                                > But in case it will happen, don't you think that the right thing to do
                                                > is to stop this?
                                                >

                                                I believe it won't happen. It's like saying a free, enlightened
                                                man will willingly discriminate against black, gays, Jews, or whatever. He
                                                would not because a free man does not destroy himself.

                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > Back to the diner. I think that even then, many diners accepted Black.
                                                >
                                                > Depends where. Not in the bible-belt, certainly.
                                                >

                                                Perhaps not. I'm not entirely familiar with Historical anecdotes.

                                                > > What Black people (or White ones) could have done
                                                > > invididually is protest
                                                > > outside the diner, claiming it should not discriminate
                                                > > against them. Such
                                                > > voluntary actions are usually much more effective than legal ones.
                                                >
                                                > Prove your statement please.
                                                > Laws against such discrimination were highly effective.
                                                >

                                                Perhaps they were. Again, many white people simply hate black people in
                                                the Bible belt. I remember a record by a white Jew that became black by
                                                taking chemical substances. He went to the Bible belt and could survive
                                                less than a day. His description of the treatment of the white folk was
                                                startling. I read it in an article in an Israeli newspaper. It happened
                                                not a long time ago and he was interviewed on Oprah.

                                                While the laws may have eliminated some discrimination, they did not
                                                perfectly eliminated racism which is its core.

                                                Note that a law against discrimination that was passed in California,
                                                actually caused fewer students of not-as-well minorities to be accepted
                                                into Universities. The law simply said that you should not take into
                                                account a student's background and only his grades or whatever. And
                                                naturally, some minorities have on average better grades than some.

                                                > > The O.J. Simpson trial changed that a lot. While Simpson won the
                                                > > criminal trial (but lost the civil one), he has remained
                                                > > outcasted, and
                                                > > became friend-less. Moreoever, in other trials of murderers,
                                                > > people were
                                                > > less reluctant to take into account such excuses as black vs.
                                                > > white, or
                                                > > whatever.
                                                >
                                                > I have no idea where you found those "facts".
                                                > I would love to see refernces to the friend-less Mr. Simpson.
                                                >

                                                I overheard them from my mom. I know Simpson actually socialized with
                                                white people most of the time. (his wife was white as well). While he was
                                                a hero in America, many Blacks considered him as a traitor of his culture.
                                                Maybe now he has some new friends which are Black.

                                                > > I think the best way a country can make it a better place for
                                                > > its citizens
                                                > > is by staying out of their way, and letting them make it a
                                                > > better place.
                                                >
                                                > And if they don't do that?
                                                >

                                                They would, because people who are free of opression always create good
                                                values. Look at how the computer and software industry flourished out of
                                                software being considered speech. Look at the open source world. Look at
                                                countries which are free, safe and careless and how happy people are
                                                there.

                                                (I want to ask people on Usenet to give me test-cases of country that had
                                                an almost Laissez-Faire Capitalism, and see how well they did. Game
                                                Theoretical models can only go so far in "proving" it won't work. It is
                                                very easy to form a model that will yield the expectations you give it,
                                                because a real country is too complex to be described mathematically in a
                                                model. We need some hard evidence.)

                                                > > The Israeli Canon at the moment has a lot of Acts. Some of
                                                > > them are good
                                                > > and valid. But the majority of them are harmless at best, if not very
                                                > > harmful. This is all out of attempts to make the country a
                                                > > better place.
                                                >
                                                > You are saying that since the effort failed, we shouldn't even
                                                > make the attempt?
                                                >

                                                I'm saying that the effort was bound to fail. A law canon should only
                                                protect against initiatory force, coercion or fraud. Nothing more is
                                                needed or ever necessary. And BTW, I fully support the right to bear Arms
                                                and form private militias or police. I think they can be very effective in
                                                protecting freedom as well. (probably more than Government ones)

                                                > > In a Laissez-Faire Capitalism, the dynamics of market will cause most
                                                > > problems to disappear, and everyone will propsper.
                                                >
                                                > You are just guessing here. You may be wrong.
                                                >

                                                Granted. But I gave some evidence and intend to find more.

                                                > > There may
                                                > > still be a
                                                > > small amount of immoral behaviour, but it will be of non concern to
                                                > > society at large.
                                                >
                                                > What amount? And why will it be of no concern?
                                                >

                                                An amount like people drinking or smoking, or being religious or believing
                                                in superstitions or whatever. If a thousand years from now, there will be
                                                religious Jews who believe in God, but don't do anything to enforce their
                                                belief upon others (or Christian, or whatever), then it won't dent my
                                                happiness. I am not concerned with eliminating immorality. I am concerned
                                                with eliminating illegal activity like initiatory force, coercion or
                                                fraud. Things everyone agrees are wrong. While what is moral is never
                                                agreed upon, and entire cultures and civilizations were ruined out of
                                                trying to enforce Morality. (if you need historical examples, I can give
                                                you enough)

                                                > > > You seem to think that people should have a basic right to
                                                > > be bigots and
                                                > > > discriminate.
                                                > >
                                                > > I do, yes.
                                                >
                                                > Well, we have a disagreement on basic rights here.
                                                > I don't think this discussion will get anywhere.
                                                >

                                                Maybe, but it will be an interesting discussion.

                                                >
                                                > > That's not a right. It's a privilege.
                                                >
                                                > Only because *you* say so?
                                                > I say it is a basic right and should be protected by law.
                                                >

                                                My definition of right is a freedom to _exercise_ a certain quality or to
                                                preserve it. It is not something that society must provide you (that is a
                                                privilege). Now a "right for education" can be interpreted as:

                                                1. The right to always be able to receive education should someone be
                                                willing to give it to you.
                                                2. The necessity that the country give you education.

                                                No. 1 is a right. No. 2 is a very dangerous contortion of the word
                                                "right". I strongly recommend everyone to avoid using right in this sense.
                                                (it's actually a privilege)

                                                > > Like I said to Nadav, I
                                                > > felt that I was discriminated against recently, only it was a personal
                                                > > discrimination. It's not the first time it has happened to me, and I
                                                > > believe it has happened to anybody here several times so far.
                                                > > It's part of
                                                > > life.
                                                >
                                                > What do you mean by "personal" discrimination?
                                                > Someone refused to hire you because your name is "Shlomi Fish"?
                                                >

                                                Not because I was named "Shlomi Fish" but because he disliked me, and
                                                thought I was up to no good, while in fact I was only inactive and did
                                                something else entirely in a different way. (I do not wish to explain
                                                further).

                                                > Discrimination against a group is a problem because it is against
                                                > a group. I am not discussing anything personal here.
                                                >

                                                I think discrimination against a person you don't like or has some stigma
                                                on, is equally as destructive for the individum as discrimination against
                                                a group. I do not discriminate against any group, and I do my best to be
                                                fair and friendly to anyone I know. (sometimes without success).

                                                But I know some control freaks or people who treat me and others like
                                                inferior people. We sometimes label people as "idiots", "jerks",
                                                "racists", "machos", etc. But in most cases this label cannot accurately
                                                describe the complex individual behind them. It's not morally wrong to
                                                think this way, but you should avoid acting upon it.

                                                >
                                                > > Theft, rape and murder are objective crimes. Discrimination
                                                > > is not.
                                                >
                                                > Discrimination is objective. Just harder to prove.
                                                > Suppose you have 100% accurate truth machine or a mind-reader.
                                                > You could ask people "Did you reject him because he is black?"
                                                > and get a true answer.
                                                > This would make discrimination an objective crime, right?
                                                > And just because it is difficult to prove racism, you think it
                                                > should be legal?
                                                >

                                                I claim that even then, you cannot jail the person and say: "Hey you
                                                discriminated against him because he was Black. You're a criminal". I have
                                                the right to believe I hate Jews, Blacks, Gays, or whatever. My former
                                                driving teacher told me he hate the British and the French. I asked him
                                                why and he beated around the bush. Then I asked him if he knew any British
                                                or French people and he said he did not. (BTW, he tutored my friend who is
                                                an English-Israeli Jew). Then he agreed he should know some before he
                                                makes such grounding conclusions.

                                                I have met some British and French people and they are really nice, and I
                                                quite admire France and Britain for their technological,
                                                philosophical and cultural achievements. (albeit not completely approve of
                                                anything their rulers did)

                                                > >
                                                > > You have to discriminate sometimes, and people should be able to
                                                > > discriminate, even if it involves some kind of racism or prejudice.
                                                >
                                                > You should seperate relevant and irrelavant discrimination here.
                                                > If you are looking for a programmer, you can discriminate against
                                                > people who can't program. You shouldn't discriminate against blacks.
                                                >
                                                > You have to discriminate on relevant points, but it should be illegal
                                                > to discriminate on irelevant points.
                                                >
                                                > Since we have a wide disagreements on the basic rights in the issue,
                                                > I think we can safely drop the discussion.
                                                >

                                                I believe Mercury has discriminated against me by letting me take a
                                                psycho-technic test with the rest of the crowd instead of taking into
                                                account the fact that I have a lot of proven experience, have almost
                                                finished my degree in the Technion, and have a lot of unproven experience
                                                working with UNIX, Perl, and other stuff. (I also know you, OmerM and
                                                Gabor, who are Mercury engineers who can testify for my proficiency).

                                                Now, did Mercury find a more suitable candidate than me? If the only thing
                                                that set us apart was the Psycho-technic tests, than maybe. But if we take
                                                my general expertise? I'm not entirely sure.

                                                IBM also rejected me because my grades were not high enough, despite the
                                                fact that I am considered a very good programmer, much better than most of
                                                the Technion students who do nothing but study all day. Muli, OTOH, got a
                                                job at IBM because he had the right connections. (his grades were not
                                                much better than mine, and he eventually left the Technion)

                                                Muli is an excellent engineer. But I think I'm not a "Qotel-qinim" either.
                                                If we define the suitability of the engineer as the one who'll get the job
                                                done best, then I was discriminated against twice in the past year.

                                                Some people will become better programmers in a year, than many will in
                                                ten years. (and it seems bad programmers can stay like that for years
                                                without learning anything). A workplace must discriminate against
                                                potential workers somehow, because he can't tell in advance how good a
                                                worker he will be until he hires him. And if he does, he may waste a lot
                                                of time training him, and get little if any output from him if he does.

                                                When I was discriminated it felt bad. It felt like I was worthless, and I
                                                felt no one cared how good I really was. In my position I am not
                                                discriminated against out of belonging to any minority. But when I do on a
                                                personal level, it feels just as bad.

                                                Regards,

                                                Shlomi Fish

                                                > Thanks,
                                                > Chen.
                                                >
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                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                                Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                                An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                                                doctors away.

                                                Falk Fish
                                              • Nadav Har'El
                                                ... Shlomi, this is bull. Again, you can take the south in the US from the 1920s to 1950s. In this period, every white man and woman was free ( enlightened is
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Apr 15, 2003
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                                                  On Tue, Apr 15, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "RE: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                                  > > I agree that if there is no discrimination, there is no need
                                                  > > for laws against it.
                                                  > > But in case it will happen, don't you think that the right thing to do
                                                  > > is to stop this?
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > I believe it won't happen. It's like saying a free, enlightened
                                                  > man will willingly discriminate against black, gays, Jews, or whatever. He
                                                  > would not because a free man does not destroy himself.

                                                  Shlomi, this is bull.

                                                  Again, you can take the south in the US from the 1920s to 1950s. In this
                                                  period, every white man and woman was free ("enlightened" is a different
                                                  discussion :)) and they were quite happy to descriminate blacks - in fact
                                                  they believed that to keep their freedom and lifestyle they *must* continue
                                                  with the segregation and discrimination.

                                                  Another obvious example is (at the risk of invoking Godwin's law, and killing
                                                  this thread) the third Reich. Post-WWI Germany was a democracy, and people
                                                  were free and enlightened (some of the most respected philosophers,
                                                  scientists, etc., came from Germany). It didn't stop them from electing Hitler
                                                  (maybe this wasn't a completely fair elections, but a large part of the
                                                  population did believe in his ideas), from passing the Nurenberg laws, and
                                                  finally massacring 6 million Jews and millions of other people - all in the
                                                  name of their "freedom" to be a pure Arian nation, with enough "living space"
                                                  to remain free.

                                                  No, there is very little evidence that humans are basically good, and will
                                                  only do good if left to their own devices. Read Golding's "Lord of the Flies"
                                                  for a fictional depiction of what happens if humans are left without law.
                                                  Or see what is happening in Iraq right now - Iraqi people are destroying their
                                                  own country...

                                                  In 2000, when I was in the "millenium" mood, I tried to calculate how many
                                                  people were killed in the last millenium by human-inflicted disasters (such
                                                  as wars, religious persecutions, etc.). The number I came up with: 500,000,000!
                                                  That's half a billion people murdered by their fellow men in 1,000 years.

                                                  > > Depends where. Not in the bible-belt, certainly.
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > Perhaps not. I'm not entirely familiar with Historical anecdotes.

                                                  Those who don't listen to history, are doomed to repeat it :)

                                                  Experiments with forms of government is one place where "reinventing the
                                                  wheel" is not only bad, it can actually cost the lives or at least the
                                                  happiness of millions.

                                                  > While the laws may have eliminated some discrimination, they did not
                                                  > perfectly eliminated racism which is its core.

                                                  So what? The situtation is still better than it was in the late 50s.
                                                  Nobody said the anti-segregation laws resulted in a perfect society, any
                                                  more than the laws against stealing and murdering resulted in a society
                                                  free of those phenomena. But there are much fewer cases of these things
                                                  and law-abiding people, at least, try to avoid them.

                                                  Do you remember any recent case of a Klan lynching in the south? I certainly
                                                  don't. These were almost weekly events in the early 60s, and large mobs
                                                  participated in them - it was almost an accepted pastime. Believe me, a
                                                  poor black hung on a tree would rather be "hated" than hung. He'd rather
                                                  be "hated" than having his child refused entry to a good school that fits
                                                  that child's scholastic ability, but not his skin color.

                                                  > They would, because people who are free of opression always create good
                                                  > values. Look at how the computer and software industry flourished out of
                                                  > software being considered speech. Look at the open source world. Look at
                                                  > countries which are free, safe and careless and how happy people are
                                                  > there.

                                                  These countries are free, but still have laws. Iraq, "the wild west", and
                                                  Golding's island are examples of places that were free and lawless - I
                                                  don't see any "careless and happy" people there.

                                                  Obviously the laws in a democratic country (I don't like to use the term
                                                  "free country" because it has other meanings) would need to be, "of the
                                                  people, for the people, by the people", i.e., laws that the people themselves
                                                  created for the purpose of regulating their own lives in a way that increases
                                                  their own chances for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laws
                                                  passed for other reasons, like the glorification of God or Country, or for
                                                  the personal benefit of certain individuals, are bound to be counterproductive
                                                  and therefor wrong in this sense.

                                                  > (I want to ask people on Usenet to give me test-cases of country that had
                                                  > an almost Laissez-Faire Capitalism, and see how well they did. Game
                                                  > Theoretical models can only go so far in "proving" it won't work. It is
                                                  > very easy to form a model that will yield the expectations you give it,
                                                  > because a real country is too complex to be described mathematically in a
                                                  > model. We need some hard evidence.)

                                                  Right.

                                                  > I'm saying that the effort was bound to fail. A law canon should only
                                                  > protect against initiatory force, coercion or fraud. Nothing more is
                                                  > needed or ever necessary. And BTW, I fully support the right to bear Arms
                                                  > and form private militias or police. I think they can be very effective in
                                                  > protecting freedom as well. (probably more than Government ones)

                                                  But only in protecting the freedom of the well-endowed; The poor will not
                                                  have such private militias to protect them from the coercion by the rich.
                                                  Also, if a certain militia goes "corrupt" (say, robbing people instead of
                                                  protecting them, like Robin Hood's militia ;)), you'll need a different
                                                  militia to fight them, and some court system to decide which one is "right",
                                                  before the whole state goes into an anrachy of local wars. This is getting
                                                  quite close to my thesis of why a free state cannot be stable - one day
                                                  when I feel like it, I'll put what I wrote about that online :)

                                                  > An amount like people drinking or smoking, or being religious or believing
                                                  > in superstitions or whatever. If a thousand years from now, there will be

                                                  Shlomi, please understand, once and for all, that everyone else who posted
                                                  in this thread was talking about "morals" in the sense of "ethics", the
                                                  treatment of others, not about some sort of "Christian morality", the acts
                                                  that are "undignified" or "revolting" or "God won't like". Smoking (in your
                                                  own room, not in the face of another person) or believing in superstitions
                                                  is not immoral in the sense of being unethical.

                                                  Your insistance of using non-standard meanings for the words "morals" and
                                                  "legal" are making arguing with you on this issue quite frustrating :(

                                                  > fraud. Things everyone agrees are wrong. While what is moral is never
                                                  > agreed upon, and entire cultures and civilizations were ruined out of
                                                  > trying to enforce Morality. (if you need historical examples, I can give
                                                  > you enough)

                                                  Try us.
                                                  And please don't give me examples like the spanish inquisition. That might
                                                  have something to do with "morality" but not with "morals" (ethics), which
                                                  is the issue we were interested in.

                                                  > I think discrimination against a person you don't like or has some stigma
                                                  > on, is equally as destructive for the individum as discrimination against
                                                  > a group. I do not discriminate against any group, and I do my best to be
                                                  > fair and friendly to anyone I know. (sometimes without success).

                                                  There's a moral difference between the two kinds of discriminations: if
                                                  people discriminate you because of your own behavior (say, because you
                                                  like to make up your own definition for the word "legal" :)), you are free
                                                  to modify your behavior somewhat, in order to be better liked.

                                                  If you are discriminated because of a certain group you were born into -
                                                  say you were born with black skin, with two X chromosomes or your foreskin
                                                  was removed when you were 8 days old - you have no way to change that.
                                                  You are basically being punished for something you didn't do and have no
                                                  way of changing. *that* is considered immoral.
                                                  For the same reason, most countries have special laws dealing with criminal
                                                  behavior of juveniles or people with mental illnesses - it is sometimes
                                                  thought that these people have no way to modify their behavior (or have lower
                                                  control over it), and so shouldn't be punished as severely as someone who
                                                  *chose* the criminal behavior out of their own free will.

                                                  > I believe Mercury has discriminated against me by letting me take a
                                                  > psycho-technic test with the rest of the crowd instead of taking into
                                                  > account the fact that I have a lot of proven experience, have almost
                                                  > finished my degree in the Technion, and have a lot of unproven experience
                                                  > working with UNIX, Perl, and other stuff. (I also know you, OmerM and
                                                  > Gabor, who are Mercury engineers who can testify for my proficiency).

                                                  Your complaint here might actually be right.
                                                  Stephen Gould (the renowned zoologist) wrote a good book "The Mismeasure
                                                  of Man" (available in Hebrew translation, 30 shekels in Zomet Sfarim) about
                                                  the issue of how "scientific" measures of intelegence over the last century
                                                  or have been plagued by racism, sexism, xenophobia, and what not.
                                                  After reading that book, it's hard to treat those psyotechnic tests with
                                                  any sort of respect; I hope that more HR people read that book...

                                                  > IBM also rejected me because my grades were not high enough, despite the
                                                  > fact that I am considered a very good programmer, much better than most of
                                                  > the Technion students who do nothing but study all day. Muli, OTOH, got a
                                                  > job at IBM because he had the right connections. (his grades were not
                                                  > much better than mine, and he eventually left the Technion)

                                                  This is getting a little too personal for my taste, and remember that Muli
                                                  is not on this list to defend himself.
                                                  IBM research is *not* a programming house. They are not looking for "good
                                                  programmers" - good programming is required, but is not enough. Are you sure
                                                  that having bad grades is not your fault? Grades in relevant CS subjects (not
                                                  psychometric tests where you are asked to choose geometric shapes and
                                                  complete number series) are quite relevent to your work in a place where
                                                  CS research is being done!

                                                  [by the way, starting next month, I'll also be working for IBM research....]

                                                  > Muli is an excellent engineer. But I think I'm not a "Qotel-qinim" either.
                                                  > If we define the suitability of the engineer as the one who'll get the job
                                                  > done best, then I was discriminated against twice in the past year.

                                                  Do you consider yourself better than Muli? Would you at least agree to say
                                                  that you are "as good as Muli"? If that is so, given two candidates who
                                                  are just as good, didn't they act sensibly in choosing the one with the
                                                  better grades?
                                                  Wouldn't you also agree that Muli's experience in the Linux Kernel might be
                                                  a little more relevant to certain companies than your experience in Freecell
                                                  Solver (which is an interesting program, but not of immediate interest to
                                                  any company I know).

                                                  > When I was discriminated it felt bad. It felt like I was worthless, and I
                                                  > felt no one cared how good I really was. In my position I am not
                                                  > discriminated against out of belonging to any minority. But when I do on a
                                                  > personal level, it feels just as bad.

                                                  But when it's done on a personal level you are free to learn from your
                                                  mistakes and mend your ways, in order to succeed better next time. If
                                                  you were discrimated because of the color of your skin or your accent,
                                                  there was nothing you could have done about it.


                                                  --
                                                  Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Apr 15 2003, 13 Nisan 5763
                                                  nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                                  Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |"Luck is when preparation meets
                                                  http://nadav.harel.org.il |opportunity." - Richard Sherman
                                                • Shlomi Fish
                                                  ... I don t know too much about the south in the US from the 20 s to the 50 s, or how free or enlightened the people were. ... Free? Germany was enslaved to
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Apr 16, 2003
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                                                    On Tue, 15 Apr 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                                    > On Tue, Apr 15, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "RE: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                                    > > > I agree that if there is no discrimination, there is no need
                                                    > > > for laws against it.
                                                    > > > But in case it will happen, don't you think that the right thing to do
                                                    > > > is to stop this?
                                                    > > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I believe it won't happen. It's like saying a free, enlightened
                                                    > > man will willingly discriminate against black, gays, Jews, or whatever. He
                                                    > > would not because a free man does not destroy himself.
                                                    >
                                                    > Shlomi, this is bull.
                                                    >
                                                    > Again, you can take the south in the US from the 1920s to 1950s. In this
                                                    > period, every white man and woman was free ("enlightened" is a different
                                                    > discussion :)) and they were quite happy to descriminate blacks - in fact
                                                    > they believed that to keep their freedom and lifestyle they *must* continue
                                                    > with the segregation and discrimination.
                                                    >

                                                    I don't know too much about the south in the US from the 20's to the 50's,
                                                    or how free or enlightened the people were.

                                                    > Another obvious example is (at the risk of invoking Godwin's law, and killing
                                                    > this thread) the third Reich. Post-WWI Germany was a democracy, and people
                                                    > were free and enlightened (some of the most respected philosophers,
                                                    > scientists, etc., came from Germany).

                                                    Free? Germany was enslaved to France and had to pay an enormous tax to
                                                    compensate it for the war. Consult every post-WWI history book to learn
                                                    that.

                                                    > No, there is very little evidence that humans are basically good, and will
                                                    > only do good if left to their own devices.

                                                    Humans are good by nature. Otherwise you could not expect humans to have
                                                    survived for at least 3000 years since they gained consciousness. And
                                                    notice that Laissez-Faire Capitalism does not mean an Anarchy - it means a
                                                    society where only initiatory force, coercion or fraud is prevented.
                                                    Objective crimes that can easily be proven.

                                                    > Read Golding's "Lord of the Flies"
                                                    > for a fictional depiction of what happens if humans are left without law.

                                                    I heard of the "Lord of the Flies" but did not read it yet. Nevertheless,
                                                    I find it hard to believe it is more than a depiction of Golding's world
                                                    view. I find it hard to call it "the truth". I believe many societies
                                                    existed in distant Islands and lived quite happily there, even for several
                                                    generations. And like I said, LFC does not mean a lawless society.

                                                    > Or see what is happening in Iraq right now - Iraqi people are destroying their
                                                    > own country...
                                                    >

                                                    I have a hard time calling the Iraqi people as being free beforehand, or
                                                    even free now.

                                                    > In 2000, when I was in the "millenium" mood, I tried to calculate how many
                                                    > people were killed in the last millenium by human-inflicted disasters (such
                                                    > as wars, religious persecutions, etc.). The number I came up with: 500,000,000!
                                                    > That's half a billion people murdered by their fellow men in 1,000 years.
                                                    >

                                                    I know. It usually came up with governments and other authorities who
                                                    tried to enforce "morality" down people's throat. Not out of the actions
                                                    of individuals.

                                                    > > > Depends where. Not in the bible-belt, certainly.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Perhaps not. I'm not entirely familiar with Historical anecdotes.
                                                    >
                                                    > Those who don't listen to history, are doomed to repeat it :)
                                                    >

                                                    History repeats itself, but not exactly. There's a limit to how much room
                                                    I can fill my mind with useless details. Otherwise, it becomes too crowded
                                                    and I can't recall the more important things.

                                                    I think applied logic is more important than knowing every historical
                                                    detail. With applied logic one can analyse current affairs, using reason
                                                    and idealism alone.

                                                    > Experiments with forms of government is one place where "reinventing the
                                                    > wheel" is not only bad, it can actually cost the lives or at least the
                                                    > happiness of millions.
                                                    >

                                                    At the moment, there were many experiments with forms of governments. I
                                                    support a gradual (not immediate) transition to LFC. The status quo now
                                                    leaves a lot to be desired: anything from crime, to harrasment of
                                                    individuals, to dishonest entities, to over-concentration of resources,
                                                    are quite common.

                                                    > > While the laws may have eliminated some discrimination, they did not
                                                    > > perfectly eliminated racism which is its core.
                                                    >
                                                    > So what? The situtation is still better than it was in the late 50s.
                                                    > Nobody said the anti-segregation laws resulted in a perfect society, any
                                                    > more than the laws against stealing and murdering resulted in a society
                                                    > free of those phenomena. But there are much fewer cases of these things
                                                    > and law-abiding people, at least, try to avoid them.
                                                    >
                                                    > Do you remember any recent case of a Klan lynching in the south? I certainly
                                                    > don't. These were almost weekly events in the early 60s, and large mobs
                                                    > participated in them - it was almost an accepted pastime. Believe me, a
                                                    > poor black hung on a tree would rather be "hated" than hung. He'd rather
                                                    > be "hated" than having his child refused entry to a good school that fits
                                                    > that child's scholastic ability, but not his skin color.
                                                    >

                                                    Granted the laws helped a bit. However, I believe that:

                                                    1. Public Education.
                                                    2. Organization and self-arming by Blacks and white people who supported
                                                    them. Self-protection
                                                    3. Enforcement of Laws that prevented public discrimination

                                                    would have worked better in the long run and still can.

                                                    > > They would, because people who are free of opression always create good
                                                    > > values. Look at how the computer and software industry flourished out of
                                                    > > software being considered speech. Look at the open source world. Look at
                                                    > > countries which are free, safe and careless and how happy people are
                                                    > > there.
                                                    >
                                                    > These countries are free, but still have laws. Iraq, "the wild west", and
                                                    > Golding's island are examples of places that were free and lawless - I
                                                    > don't see any "careless and happy" people there.
                                                    >

                                                    I don't support lack of laws and disorder! How many time do I have to say
                                                    that initiatory force, coercion or fraud are unconstitutional?

                                                    > Obviously the laws in a democratic country (I don't like to use the term
                                                    > "free country" because it has other meanings) would need to be, "of the
                                                    > people, for the people, by the people", i.e., laws that the people themselves
                                                    > created for the purpose of regulating their own lives in a way that increases
                                                    > their own chances for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laws
                                                    > passed for other reasons, like the glorification of God or Country, or for
                                                    > the personal benefit of certain individuals, are bound to be counterproductive
                                                    > and therefor wrong in this sense.
                                                    >

                                                    I prefer the term "free country" over "democratic country" because a
                                                    democracy is a tyranny of the majority or a selected elite, and a "free
                                                    country" means a liberal, Capitalistic country to me. I don't think a free
                                                    country is an assertion - it is very much a process.

                                                    It's like free software is sometimes preferable to open-source, but even
                                                    more so.

                                                    > > I'm saying that the effort was bound to fail. A law canon should only
                                                    > > protect against initiatory force, coercion or fraud. Nothing more is
                                                    > > needed or ever necessary. And BTW, I fully support the right to bear Arms
                                                    > > and form private militias or police. I think they can be very effective in
                                                    > > protecting freedom as well. (probably more than Government ones)
                                                    >
                                                    > But only in protecting the freedom of the well-endowed; The poor will not
                                                    > have such private militias to protect them from the coercion by the rich.
                                                    > Also, if a certain militia goes "corrupt" (say, robbing people instead of
                                                    > protecting them, like Robin Hood's militia ;)), you'll need a different
                                                    > militia to fight them, and some court system to decide which one is "right",
                                                    > before the whole state goes into an anrachy of local wars. This is getting
                                                    > quite close to my thesis of why a free state cannot be stable - one day
                                                    > when I feel like it, I'll put what I wrote about that online :)
                                                    >

                                                    Let's suppose you have N militias where N > 5. If one militia goes corrupt
                                                    (all of its members? Very unlikely), then the other N-1 militias can fight
                                                    it. Like I said I don't believe in a free man destroying himself and
                                                    becoming corrupt suddenly. A good man with a good philosophy and a lot of
                                                    ideology will never go corrupt. You seem to have quite a lot of distrust
                                                    of people? Why?

                                                    > > An amount like people drinking or smoking, or being religious or believing
                                                    > > in superstitions or whatever. If a thousand years from now, there will be
                                                    >
                                                    > Shlomi, please understand, once and for all, that everyone else who posted
                                                    > in this thread was talking about "morals" in the sense of "ethics", the
                                                    > treatment of others, not about some sort of "Christian morality", the acts
                                                    > that are "undignified" or "revolting" or "God won't like". Smoking (in your
                                                    > own room, not in the face of another person) or believing in superstitions
                                                    > is not immoral in the sense of being unethical.
                                                    >
                                                    > Your insistance of using non-standard meanings for the words "morals" and
                                                    > "legal" are making arguing with you on this issue quite frustrating :(
                                                    >

                                                    Whatever. Let's say that smoking, discrimination, consuming alcohol or
                                                    whatever are "harmful" actions and sometimes the law decides to prevent
                                                    them. I think the law should prevent people from directly harming each
                                                    other and not from harming themselves.

                                                    In discrimination no initiatory force, coercion or fraud was involved. If
                                                    I did not get a job because I'm Jewish, I and my property were not harmed.
                                                    I do not sanction people killing me because I'm a Jew. That is balantly
                                                    unconstitutional.

                                                    > > fraud. Things everyone agrees are wrong. While what is moral is never
                                                    > > agreed upon, and entire cultures and civilizations were ruined out of
                                                    > > trying to enforce Morality. (if you need historical examples, I can give
                                                    > > you enough)
                                                    >
                                                    > Try us.
                                                    > And please don't give me examples like the spanish inquisition. That might
                                                    > have something to do with "morality" but not with "morals" (ethics), which
                                                    > is the issue we were interested in.
                                                    >

                                                    The Roman Empire : Early christianity believing pleasure was immoral and
                                                    trying to prevent it.

                                                    France: King Louis XIV believing the Protestants were immoral and he
                                                    banned them and made France much weaker.

                                                    The USA Today: The government tells everybody that drug abusers are
                                                    criminals (while not harming anybody) and jails 1 million Americans on
                                                    drugs offences, and terrorizes everybody and destroys liberalism.

                                                    > > I think discrimination against a person you don't like or has some stigma
                                                    > > on, is equally as destructive for the individum as discrimination against
                                                    > > a group. I do not discriminate against any group, and I do my best to be
                                                    > > fair and friendly to anyone I know. (sometimes without success).
                                                    >
                                                    > There's a moral difference between the two kinds of discriminations: if
                                                    > people discriminate you because of your own behavior (say, because you
                                                    > like to make up your own definition for the word "legal" :)), you are free
                                                    > to modify your behavior somewhat, in order to be better liked.
                                                    >
                                                    > If you are discriminated because of a certain group you were born into -
                                                    > say you were born with black skin, with two X chromosomes or your foreskin
                                                    > was removed when you were 8 days old - you have no way to change that.
                                                    > You are basically being punished for something you didn't do and have no
                                                    > way of changing. *that* is considered immoral.
                                                    > For the same reason, most countries have special laws dealing with criminal
                                                    > behavior of juveniles or people with mental illnesses - it is sometimes
                                                    > thought that these people have no way to modify their behavior (or have lower
                                                    > control over it), and so shouldn't be punished as severely as someone who
                                                    > *chose* the criminal behavior out of their own free will.
                                                    >

                                                    Sometimes I am discriminated not because of my behaviour, but because of
                                                    something else entirely.

                                                    > > I believe Mercury has discriminated against me by letting me take a
                                                    > > psycho-technic test with the rest of the crowd instead of taking into
                                                    > > account the fact that I have a lot of proven experience, have almost
                                                    > > finished my degree in the Technion, and have a lot of unproven experience
                                                    > > working with UNIX, Perl, and other stuff. (I also know you, OmerM and
                                                    > > Gabor, who are Mercury engineers who can testify for my proficiency).
                                                    >
                                                    > Your complaint here might actually be right.
                                                    > Stephen Gould (the renowned zoologist) wrote a good book "The Mismeasure
                                                    > of Man" (available in Hebrew translation, 30 shekels in Zomet Sfarim) about
                                                    > the issue of how "scientific" measures of intelegence over the last century
                                                    > or have been plagued by racism, sexism, xenophobia, and what not.
                                                    > After reading that book, it's hard to treat those psyotechnic tests with
                                                    > any sort of respect; I hope that more HR people read that book...
                                                    >

                                                    I heard about it. My problem is that Mercury trusted a psycho-technic test
                                                    instead of a face-to-face interview and inspection of my C.V. and
                                                    experience. Naturally, I know a Psychologist who prepares people for these
                                                    exams.

                                                    > > IBM also rejected me because my grades were not high enough, despite the
                                                    > > fact that I am considered a very good programmer, much better than most of
                                                    > > the Technion students who do nothing but study all day. Muli, OTOH, got a
                                                    > > job at IBM because he had the right connections. (his grades were not
                                                    > > much better than mine, and he eventually left the Technion)
                                                    >
                                                    > This is getting a little too personal for my taste, and remember that Muli
                                                    > is not on this list to defend himself.
                                                    > IBM research is *not* a programming house. They are not looking for "good
                                                    > programmers" - good programming is required, but is not enough. Are you sure
                                                    > that having bad grades is not your fault? Grades in relevant CS subjects (not
                                                    > psychometric tests where you are asked to choose geometric shapes and
                                                    > complete number series) are quite relevent to your work in a place where
                                                    > CS research is being done!
                                                    >

                                                    I had good grades in my CS subjects. But my overall grade was lower. Was
                                                    it my fault that I choose the less intuitive for me EE instead of the more
                                                    intuitive and easier CS studies? Was it my fault that I invested time
                                                    studying things and experimenting with things outside the corriculum
                                                    instead of 100% of my time studying?

                                                    > [by the way, starting next month, I'll also be working for IBM research....]
                                                    >

                                                    Good for you. Enjoy!

                                                    > > Muli is an excellent engineer. But I think I'm not a "Qotel-qinim" either.
                                                    > > If we define the suitability of the engineer as the one who'll get the job
                                                    > > done best, then I was discriminated against twice in the past year.
                                                    >
                                                    > Do you consider yourself better than Muli? Would you at least agree to say
                                                    > that you are "as good as Muli"? If that is so, given two candidates who
                                                    > are just as good, didn't they act sensibly in choosing the one with the
                                                    > better grades?

                                                    Muli was not chosen instead of me. He was chosen, and I was rejected by a
                                                    different team. I just gave him as an example.

                                                    > Wouldn't you also agree that Muli's experience in the Linux Kernel might be
                                                    > a little more relevant to certain companies than your experience in Freecell
                                                    > Solver (which is an interesting program, but not of immediate interest to
                                                    > any company I know).
                                                    >

                                                    Freecell Solver told me a lot about data structures, algorithms,
                                                    modularity, efficiency, graph traversal algorithms, interaction with the
                                                    user community, human-factors engineering, usability and many other
                                                    things. While a basic solver can be written by an experienced programmer
                                                    in a few days, it will take a lot of time to write something the extent of
                                                    my program.

                                                    I believe a programmer who can write a program with a good
                                                    and feature-rich implementation (I'm not saying this is the case for FCS,
                                                    but you can judge for yourself), is more capable as a computer scientist
                                                    or software engineer than the average Technion student, even one with high
                                                    grades.

                                                    > > When I was discriminated it felt bad. It felt like I was worthless, and I
                                                    > > felt no one cared how good I really was. In my position I am not
                                                    > > discriminated against out of belonging to any minority. But when I do on a
                                                    > > personal level, it feels just as bad.
                                                    >
                                                    > But when it's done on a personal level you are free to learn from your
                                                    > mistakes and mend your ways, in order to succeed better next time. If
                                                    > you were discrimated because of the color of your skin or your accent,
                                                    > there was nothing you could have done about it.
                                                    >

                                                    Perhaps. But sometimes people don't like me because I am doing things
                                                    right. I.e: jealousy, control freakness, or whatever. I think I did the
                                                    right thing when I invested time in educational extra-corricular
                                                    activities like hacking on Linux and experimenting with it, instead of
                                                    devoting 100% of my time and attention to my studies. I worked hard and as
                                                    I saw it, enough, but I learned a lot from things I did outside what
                                                    Technion told me.

                                                    Regards,

                                                    Shlomi Fish

                                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                                    Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                                    An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                                                    doctors away.

                                                    Falk Fish
                                                  • Nadav Har'El
                                                    ... But the people of Germany were relatively free to choose many different courses of action. They could have even chosen to wage another war against france,
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Apr 16, 2003
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                                                      On Wed, Apr 16, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                                      > Free? Germany was enslaved to France and had to pay an enormous tax to
                                                      > compensate it for the war. Consult every post-WWI history book to learn
                                                      > that.

                                                      But the people of Germany were relatively free to choose many different
                                                      courses of action. They could have even chosen to wage another war against
                                                      france, if they wanted. But that doesn't explain why they chose to be
                                                      anti-semitic, because your claim is that being anti-semitic was against
                                                      their own interests, and therefore they wouldn't chose it. I wish it were
                                                      so simple...

                                                      > > In 2000, when I was in the "millenium" mood, I tried to calculate how many
                                                      > > people were killed in the last millenium by human-inflicted disasters (such
                                                      > > as wars, religious persecutions, etc.). The number I came up with: 500,000,000!
                                                      > > That's half a billion people murdered by their fellow men in 1,000 years.
                                                      > >
                                                      >
                                                      > I know. It usually came up with governments and other authorities who
                                                      > tried to enforce "morality" down people's throat. Not out of the actions
                                                      > of individuals.

                                                      This is true, though in a large part of history, it's not exactly clear
                                                      what is a "government" or "authority", and what is a collection of men who
                                                      voluntarily (driven by some shared belief) got together in order to do their
                                                      mayhem (e.g., crusades, pogroms, etc.).

                                                      It's too easy to say that all the evils you see are caused by a leader
                                                      telling his followers to do bad things, and that in a "free state" you
                                                      wouldn't have such leaders. But unfortunately, saying this is wrong. Very
                                                      wrong. In a free state, local leaders are free to build up their own groups
                                                      of followers, and even their own militias, and if the "good" militias of
                                                      this state are not strong enough, they will not be able to stop the "bad"
                                                      leader when he is strong enough and starts the "bad" acts (killing, lynching,
                                                      robbing, or whatever).

                                                      The word "local" in the above paragraph can vary in locality: for example
                                                      in the US there were whole states where "bad" things (e.g., lynching) were
                                                      done without being punished. In some countries there are neighborhoods or
                                                      even cities where the local gang leaders have acquired so much strength that
                                                      the official government can't do anything about it. Looking at the whole world
                                                      (which in some respects can be called a "free state" because there are hardly
                                                      any laws that effect the whole world), the whole world cannot do anything
                                                      about renegade countries set out to destroy the world and/or make their
                                                      own people miserable (see: U.N. and Iraq).


                                                      > > > Perhaps not. I'm not entirely familiar with Historical anecdotes.
                                                      > > Those who don't listen to history, are doomed to repeat it :)
                                                      > History repeats itself, but not exactly. There's a limit to how much room
                                                      > I can fill my mind with useless details. Otherwise, it becomes too crowded
                                                      > and I can't recall the more important things.
                                                      >
                                                      > I think applied logic is more important than knowing every historical
                                                      > detail. With applied logic one can analyse current affairs, using reason
                                                      > and idealism alone.

                                                      Let me tell you why I think learning history *is* important.

                                                      I consider myself a scientist. And as such, I believe the scientific process
                                                      should be followed.

                                                      In the scientific process, it is not enough to make conjectures or invent
                                                      theories (such as "humans are by nature good" or "LFC is a good form of
                                                      government") - you must also set out to prove your theories.

                                                      Now, proof of a scientific theory can be of two types:

                                                      The first type of proof is a proof based on mathematics or logic: starting
                                                      with axioms, you use the rules of logic to arrive with the required
                                                      conclusion. This is the kind of proof you seem to prefer. But such proofs
                                                      of theories in the area of political-science are almost impossible. We don't
                                                      have any obvious set of axioms, and we don't have any encompassing
                                                      mathematical models to model the behavior of individuals or groups.
                                                      When such proofs exist for certain issues, they are wonderful, but
                                                      unfortunately they don't exist for most political issues. I dare you find
                                                      a mathematical proof that "drugs should be legal", for example (just to
                                                      take one example you repeated several times). Don't forget that you'll need
                                                      to base your proof on axioms that nobody will be able to contradict.

                                                      The second type of proof is by experimentation, as is done in physics. You
                                                      make up a theory, and check that in all known experiments the theory stands.
                                                      You also make predictions for experiments not yet done, and see if your
                                                      predictions succeed.
                                                      But when dealing with theories in politics, we obviously cannot do direct
                                                      experiments. Most researchers (not named Lenin, etc.) cannot try their
                                                      political theories on a country. This is why to build your theories, you
                                                      have to look at experiments already done by others, i.e., countries that
                                                      now exist or have existed in the past. If someone tells me of a political
                                                      idea, and can't demonstrate how it worked in practice in some country -
                                                      or at least that it wasn't shown to be a spectacular failure in some country -
                                                      this someone is not a serious philosopher/political-scientist/whatever.

                                                      Let me give you an example: when Marx, and later Lenin, came up with their
                                                      theory of how Communism would be a perfect political system, their ideas
                                                      seemed plausible. These ideas were never tested before, and they "seemed"
                                                      to be based on sensible conjectures like "people are good", "equality is
                                                      important".
                                                      But Lenin's experiment to prove his theory, spanning about 70 years and
                                                      done on hundreds of millions of human guinea-pigs (where needless to say,
                                                      the Helsinki Decleration was not exactly followed), was a spectacular failure.
                                                      It not only failed to prove Lenin's conjectures, you might even say that it
                                                      proved the opposite conjectures (through "reductio ad absurdum").
                                                      But the important thing is that if somebody now "re-invents" the idea of
                                                      Leninism, there is no need to try this sorry experiment again - we can
                                                      immediately tell this guy: "no, this idea will fail, and we have an experiment
                                                      to prove this". This is why knowing history is important.

                                                      > > So what? The situtation is still better than it was in the late 50s.
                                                      > > Nobody said the anti-segregation laws resulted in a perfect society, any
                                                      >...
                                                      > Granted the laws helped a bit. However, I believe that:
                                                      >
                                                      > 1. Public Education.

                                                      This idea was hopeless when the education system itself was run by the
                                                      same racists and with the same ideas of segregation that the federal
                                                      government was trying to uproot in the first place.

                                                      Before the education system could be used to promote the federal government's
                                                      ideals, the federal government had to control it first. And this wasn't
                                                      easy - and went against the tradition in the U.S..

                                                      > 2. Organization and self-arming by Blacks and white people who supported
                                                      > them. Self-protection

                                                      Luckily, the blacks that followed your advice, like the "Black Panthers",
                                                      "Nation of Islam", and so on, did not win over the heart of most blacks,
                                                      and the gun-free ideas of people like Rev. Martin Luther King jr. became
                                                      more accepted.
                                                      If it wasn't so, I'd hate to think what the U.S. would look like now. Most
                                                      likely it would be torn by civil war between blacks and whites, and both
                                                      blacks and whites would have been much worse-off than they are right now.

                                                      > 3. Enforcement of Laws that prevented public discrimination

                                                      Exactly. But this is what you said originally they shouldn't do :)

                                                      Note that here "public" doesn't mean "federal-government-run". The "public"
                                                      in a complex organization like the United States has several levels - federal,
                                                      state, city, corporation, and so on. In this context, "public" should
                                                      basically mean any setting where people find themselves in without a real
                                                      choice to be somewhere else.

                                                      > Let's suppose you have N militias where N > 5. If one militia goes corrupt
                                                      > (all of its members? Very unlikely), then the other N-1 militias can fight
                                                      > it. Like I said I don't believe in a free man destroying himself and
                                                      > becoming corrupt suddenly. A good man with a good philosophy and a lot of
                                                      > ideology will never go corrupt. You seem to have quite a lot of distrust
                                                      > of people? Why?

                                                      How is what you describe different from the situation in many countries
                                                      before modern times, where local chiefs, princes, warlords, shoguns, or
                                                      whatever you'd want to call them fighting each other constantly? None of
                                                      them though they were corrupt - they were always under the impression that
                                                      their group was "right" and the other group was "wrong" and only a battle
                                                      will settle this issue.

                                                      --
                                                      Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Apr 17 2003, 15 Nisan 5763
                                                      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                                      Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |"Do you want to restart Windows now or
                                                      http://nadav.harel.org.il |wait for the next crash?"
                                                    • Shlomi Fish
                                                      ... 1. I was mainly talking about a free and enlightened individual rather than a free society. 2. It seems we disagree if Germany was free enough, or had
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Apr 27, 2003
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                                                        On Thu, 17 Apr 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                                        > On Wed, Apr 16, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: The Legality of Discrimination":
                                                        > > Free? Germany was enslaved to France and had to pay an enormous tax to
                                                        > > compensate it for the war. Consult every post-WWI history book to learn
                                                        > > that.
                                                        >
                                                        > But the people of Germany were relatively free to choose many different
                                                        > courses of action. They could have even chosen to wage another war against
                                                        > france, if they wanted. But that doesn't explain why they chose to be
                                                        > anti-semitic, because your claim is that being anti-semitic was against
                                                        > their own interests, and therefore they wouldn't chose it. I wish it were
                                                        > so simple...
                                                        >

                                                        1. I was mainly talking about a free and enlightened individual rather
                                                        than a "free" society.

                                                        2. It seems we disagree if Germany was free enough, or had the conditions
                                                        to sport a fully liberal whereabout. Let's drop this case.

                                                        > > > In 2000, when I was in the "millenium" mood, I tried to calculate how many
                                                        > > > people were killed in the last millenium by human-inflicted disasters (such
                                                        > > > as wars, religious persecutions, etc.). The number I came up with: 500,000,000!
                                                        > > > That's half a billion people murdered by their fellow men in 1,000 years.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I know. It usually came up with governments and other authorities who
                                                        > > tried to enforce "morality" down people's throat. Not out of the actions
                                                        > > of individuals.
                                                        >
                                                        > This is true, though in a large part of history, it's not exactly clear
                                                        > what is a "government" or "authority", and what is a collection of men who
                                                        > voluntarily (driven by some shared belief) got together in order to do their
                                                        > mayhem (e.g., crusades, pogroms, etc.).
                                                        >
                                                        > It's too easy to say that all the evils you see are caused by a leader
                                                        > telling his followers to do bad things, and that in a "free state" you
                                                        > wouldn't have such leaders. But unfortunately, saying this is wrong. Very
                                                        > wrong. In a free state, local leaders are free to build up their own groups
                                                        > of followers, and even their own militias, and if the "good" militias of
                                                        > this state are not strong enough, they will not be able to stop the "bad"
                                                        > leader when he is strong enough and starts the "bad" acts (killing, lynching,
                                                        > robbing, or whatever).
                                                        >

                                                        It is very unlikely to happen. In an LFC environment:

                                                        1. Bad people will find it more and more difficult to survive without
                                                        changing their beliefs for the better. Most people will quickly become
                                                        more and more enlightened and simply laugh at the evil leaders'
                                                        irrationalities.

                                                        2. Good militias, police and other benevolent forces like that will
                                                        flourish in a free environment, much more than the equivalent ones backed
                                                        up by unlawful elements.

                                                        Remember that LFC is not a "dog eat dog" environment or an anarchy.

                                                        > The word "local" in the above paragraph can vary in locality: for example
                                                        > in the US there were whole states where "bad" things (e.g., lynching) were
                                                        > done without being punished.

                                                        Again, the U.S. was not a free state back then, and still isn't to a large
                                                        extent.

                                                        > In some countries there are neighborhoods or
                                                        > even cities where the local gang leaders have acquired so much strength that
                                                        > the official government can't do anything about it.

                                                        These countries are not free states. If they converted into LFC, these
                                                        gang leaders would be driven out or eliminated.

                                                        > Looking at the whole world
                                                        > (which in some respects can be called a "free state" because there are hardly
                                                        > any laws that effect the whole world),

                                                        The whole world is not a free state because any given person is living in
                                                        one country or the other, which is itself not a free state.

                                                        > the whole world cannot do anything
                                                        > about renegade countries set out to destroy the world and/or make their
                                                        > own people miserable (see: U.N. and Iraq).
                                                        >

                                                        Like I said, your point is invalid.

                                                        >
                                                        > > > > Perhaps not. I'm not entirely familiar with Historical anecdotes.
                                                        > > > Those who don't listen to history, are doomed to repeat it :)
                                                        > > History repeats itself, but not exactly. There's a limit to how much room
                                                        > > I can fill my mind with useless details. Otherwise, it becomes too crowded
                                                        > > and I can't recall the more important things.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I think applied logic is more important than knowing every historical
                                                        > > detail. With applied logic one can analyse current affairs, using reason
                                                        > > and idealism alone.
                                                        >
                                                        > Let me tell you why I think learning history *is* important.
                                                        >
                                                        > I consider myself a scientist. And as such, I believe the scientific process
                                                        > should be followed.
                                                        >
                                                        > In the scientific process, it is not enough to make conjectures or invent
                                                        > theories (such as "humans are by nature good" or "LFC is a good form of
                                                        > government") - you must also set out to prove your theories.
                                                        >
                                                        > Now, proof of a scientific theory can be of two types:
                                                        >
                                                        > The first type of proof is a proof based on mathematics or logic: starting
                                                        > with axioms, you use the rules of logic to arrive with the required
                                                        > conclusion. This is the kind of proof you seem to prefer. But such proofs
                                                        > of theories in the area of political-science are almost impossible. We don't
                                                        > have any obvious set of axioms, and we don't have any encompassing
                                                        > mathematical models to model the behavior of individuals or groups.
                                                        > When such proofs exist for certain issues, they are wonderful, but
                                                        > unfortunately they don't exist for most political issues. I dare you find
                                                        > a mathematical proof that "drugs should be legal", for example (just to
                                                        > take one example you repeated several times). Don't forget that you'll need
                                                        > to base your proof on axioms that nobody will be able to contradict.
                                                        >

                                                        We can't build an exact mathematical proof, but we can still use logic,
                                                        reason and facts to conjure a good proof. We can analyze the arguments,
                                                        and see where each one is true or false. It is a Neo-Tech claim that one
                                                        can deduce anything starting from logic and the biological nature of men
                                                        and women. Nothing else is required.

                                                        I cannot give an exact proof that drugs should be legal. But there are
                                                        many arguments, statistics and facts to back it up, and I could not find a
                                                        good argument against it, that I was not able to nullify.

                                                        > The second type of proof is by experimentation, as is done in physics. You
                                                        > make up a theory, and check that in all known experiments the theory stands.
                                                        > You also make predictions for experiments not yet done, and see if your
                                                        > predictions succeed.

                                                        Correct.

                                                        > But when dealing with theories in politics, we obviously cannot do direct
                                                        > experiments. Most researchers (not named Lenin, etc.) cannot try their
                                                        > political theories on a country. This is why to build your theories, you
                                                        > have to look at experiments already done by others, i.e., countries that
                                                        > now exist or have existed in the past. If someone tells me of a political
                                                        > idea, and can't demonstrate how it worked in practice in some country -
                                                        > or at least that it wasn't shown to be a spectacular failure in some country -
                                                        > this someone is not a serious philosopher/political-scientist/whatever.
                                                        >

                                                        Like I said, a complete Laissez-Faire Capitalism environment was never
                                                        enacted yet. There were always small or large deviations (probably very
                                                        large). I can note to some close cases and show that they are good enough.

                                                        Nevertheless, Ofir here believes we can invalidate LFC just because some
                                                        Game-Theoretic Models prove it is not stable. You should have a talk with
                                                        him as well.

                                                        > Let me give you an example: when Marx, and later Lenin, came up with their
                                                        > theory of how Communism would be a perfect political system, their ideas
                                                        > seemed plausible. These ideas were never tested before, and they "seemed"
                                                        > to be based on sensible conjectures like "people are good", "equality is
                                                        > important".
                                                        > But Lenin's experiment to prove his theory, spanning about 70 years and
                                                        > done on hundreds of millions of human guinea-pigs (where needless to say,
                                                        > the Helsinki Decleration was not exactly followed), was a spectacular failure.
                                                        > It not only failed to prove Lenin's conjectures, you might even say that it
                                                        > proved the opposite conjectures (through "reductio ad absurdum").
                                                        > But the important thing is that if somebody now "re-invents" the idea of
                                                        > Leninism, there is no need to try this sorry experiment again - we can
                                                        > immediately tell this guy: "no, this idea will fail, and we have an experiment
                                                        > to prove this". This is why knowing history is important.
                                                        >

                                                        I'm not completely ignorant of history. If someone tells me a historical
                                                        fact, I will not forcibly try to forget it. But I believe I can analyze
                                                        enough new data based on what I already know.

                                                        > > > So what? The situtation is still better than it was in the late 50s.
                                                        > > > Nobody said the anti-segregation laws resulted in a perfect society, any
                                                        > >...
                                                        > > Granted the laws helped a bit. However, I believe that:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > 1. Public Education.
                                                        >
                                                        > This idea was hopeless when the education system itself was run by the
                                                        > same racists and with the same ideas of segregation that the federal
                                                        > government was trying to uproot in the first place.
                                                        >
                                                        > Before the education system could be used to promote the federal government's
                                                        > ideals, the federal government had to control it first. And this wasn't
                                                        > easy - and went against the tradition in the U.S..
                                                        >

                                                        Public education need not necessarily be done by the education system. It
                                                        can be done by volunteers. It can be done by commercials and ads. It can
                                                        be done by messengers.

                                                        > > 2. Organization and self-arming by Blacks and white people who supported
                                                        > > them. Self-protection
                                                        >
                                                        > Luckily, the blacks that followed your advice, like the "Black Panthers",
                                                        > "Nation of Islam", and so on, did not win over the heart of most blacks,
                                                        > and the gun-free ideas of people like Rev. Martin Luther King jr. became
                                                        > more accepted.
                                                        > If it wasn't so, I'd hate to think what the U.S. would look like now. Most
                                                        > likely it would be torn by civil war between blacks and whites, and both
                                                        > blacks and whites would have been much worse-off than they are right now.
                                                        >

                                                        I don't know too much about the "Black Panthers" and friends. However,
                                                        the right to bear arms and to organize a militia and to protect oneself
                                                        against violence is a constitutional right. Everywhere. Anytime. The
                                                        Blacks in America had a right to protect themselves against lynches.

                                                        I'm not saying they should have attacked innocent white persons. That is
                                                        initiatory force. But they could certainly protect themselves.

                                                        > > 3. Enforcement of Laws that prevented public discrimination
                                                        >
                                                        > Exactly. But this is what you said originally they shouldn't do :)
                                                        >
                                                        > Note that here "public" doesn't mean "federal-government-run". The "public"
                                                        > in a complex organization like the United States has several levels - federal,
                                                        > state, city, corporation, and so on. In this context, "public" should
                                                        > basically mean any setting where people find themselves in without a real
                                                        > choice to be somewhere else.
                                                        >

                                                        OK. But let's suppose I want to join a small private firm and it rejects
                                                        me because I'm a Jew/Woman/Black/White/Male/whatever. I can simply try
                                                        somewhere else. The discrimination is of no concern to the public good.

                                                        I agree that the distinction between private and public is not always
                                                        straightforward. However, a private entity can exercise discrimination,
                                                        while a public one probably must not.

                                                        > > Let's suppose you have N militias where N > 5. If one militia goes corrupt
                                                        > > (all of its members? Very unlikely), then the other N-1 militias can fight
                                                        > > it. Like I said I don't believe in a free man destroying himself and
                                                        > > becoming corrupt suddenly. A good man with a good philosophy and a lot of
                                                        > > ideology will never go corrupt. You seem to have quite a lot of distrust
                                                        > > of people? Why?
                                                        >
                                                        > How is what you describe different from the situation in many countries
                                                        > before modern times, where local chiefs, princes, warlords, shoguns, or
                                                        > whatever you'd want to call them fighting each other constantly? None of
                                                        > them though they were corrupt - they were always under the impression that
                                                        > their group was "right" and the other group was "wrong" and only a battle
                                                        > will settle this issue.
                                                        >

                                                        Those countries were not fully Capitalistic, communication was sporadic,
                                                        and these militias were not voluntary, competing or private. Each locality
                                                        had its own monopoly of a militia, and that was it. In an free country, it
                                                        is possible that in a given area, several militias will co-exist, none of
                                                        them harmful.

                                                        I again refer you to the Neo-Tech Constitution for a very brief definition
                                                        of what is constitutional:

                                                        http://www.neo-tech.com/advantages/advantage83.html

                                                        Regards,

                                                        Shlomi Fish


                                                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                                        Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

                                                        An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
                                                        doctors away.

                                                        Falk Fish
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