Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: The Legality of Discrimination

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      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.


      ________________________________________________________________________
      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
      ... 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 2 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        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.
        >
        >
        > ________________________________________________________________________
        > This email has been scanned for all viruses.
        >
        > Mercury Interactive Corporation
        > Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results
        >
        > http://www.merc-int.com
        > ________________________________________________________________________
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > philosophy-il-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >



        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        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 3 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          > 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?


          ________________________________________________________________________
          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
          ... 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 4 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            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

            >
            > ________________________________________________________________________
            > This email has been scanned for all viruses.
            >
            > Mercury Interactive Corporation
            > Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results
            >
            > http://www.merc-int.com
            > ________________________________________________________________________
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > philosophy-il-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >



            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            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 5 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              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


              >
              > ________________________________________________________________________
              > This email has been scanned for all viruses.
              >
              > Mercury Interactive Corporation
              > Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results
              >
              > http://www.merc-int.com
              > ________________________________________________________________________
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > philosophy-il-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >



              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              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 6 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                > > 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.

                ________________________________________________________________________
                This email has been scanned for all viruses.

                Mercury Interactive Corporation
                Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results

                http://www.merc-int.com
                ________________________________________________________________________
              • 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 7 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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
                        >
                        > http://www.merc-int.com
                        > ________________________________________________________________________
                        >



                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        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 11 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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).
                              **********************************************************************
                              This email and attachments have been scanned for
                              potential proprietary or sensitive information leakage.
                              Vidius, Inc. Protecting Your Information from the Inside Out.
                              www.vidius.com
                              **********************************************************************
                            • 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 14 of 26 , Apr 9, 2003
                              • 0 Attachment
                                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".
                                **********************************************************************
                                This email and attachments have been scanned for
                                potential proprietary or sensitive information leakage.
                                Vidius, Inc. Protecting Your Information from the Inside Out.
                                www.vidius.com
                                **********************************************************************
                              • 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 15 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  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 16 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    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 17 of 26 , Apr 11, 2003
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      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 18 of 26 , Apr 14, 2003
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        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.
                                        >
                                        > ________________________________________________________________________
                                        > This email has been scanned for all viruses.
                                        >
                                        > Mercury Interactive Corporation
                                        > Optimizing Business Processes to Maximize Business Results
                                        >
                                        > http://www.merc-int.com
                                        > ________________________________________________________________________
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                        > philosophy-il-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >



                                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        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 19 of 26 , Apr 15, 2003
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          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 20 of 26 , Apr 16, 2003
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            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 21 of 26 , Apr 16, 2003
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              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 22 of 26 , Apr 27, 2003
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                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
                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.