Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do Actions Derive From Morals, or Positive/Negative Feedback

Do all actions derive from positive and negative feedback? IE, consequences? I maintain it does. Example:

Take a normal average person. Ask him or her if he would rob a bank. The probably answer is no. Ask him why, and you’ll probably get the answer of ‘it’s wrong’. However, an honest man might answer, ‘because of the consequences of doing it … jail’.

Both of these are valid reasons, because people Do have a sense of right and wrong. Everyone has his or her moral code. However, the threat of immediate consequences is also a large incentive. That is the basis for the justice system; we prevent people breaking the law by imposing punishments. Now, second example:

Take the situation from above, but in this theoretical world, the law is suddenly changed, and it’s legal to rob banks. Would the average people do it? And this is immediate, not in the future after the law has been changed for a very long time. (Basically so we assume people don’t have time to change societal morals) Ask the same person from above, and the answer is probably the same. They won’t. Because it’s wrong.

This would seem to prove that actions are determined by other then consequences at least part of the time. However, we must look deeper. Where does the very concept of right and wrong come from? It comes from positive and negative feedback. It comes from parenting, when parents teach their children what is wrong. And those children are taught that, by consequences. Example:

A child steals a cookie. The parents find out, express disapprove by yelling, or giving the child the ‘disappointed’ speech, and then they give a punishment. Alternate description: Child does an action, and then receives negative feedback from the parents.

The negative feedback can be a punishment, or even just expressed disapproval. Verbal, the parent telling the child it is wrong. A frown could also express disapproval. Pain isn’t always needed, although it is one of the most powerful negative feedback tools available. It is by that expression of disapproval, the negative feedback that the child learns what is wrong. And conversely, positive feedback enforces what is good. Example: A parent smiles and tells a child how proud they are of him or her, after a good action. Our moral code, our internal idea of right and wrong, is taught when we are children, and is taught by positive and negative feedback.

Follow this to adulthood. A person is governed dually by internal moral code, and the threat if immediate consequences. A person doesn’t rob a bank, because they will be punished, but also because they believe it is wrong. And since that belief was taught by negative feedback, it follows that all of our actions are determined by feedback.


As a side observation, all Morals are taught by positive and negative feedback. However, I am not saying that there are not ultimate, or correct, morals. Another way to prove that morals are taught, is the fact that everyone’s moral code is so different. A blatant example being South American Indians, who as a society, believed cannibalism to be morally correct. If there was a higher absolute moral code, and it was just inherent in people, they would have as a society rejected that immediately. (Or we would realize that cannibalism is okay). Again though, I am not saying that there aren’t Real higher morals. Just that people are Taught there morals (initially) by positive and negative feedback. And I’d also note that there are some cases where people change there own moral by self evaluation. However, it is a rare occurrence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm Back

Well, it's been forever since I last had a blog update. Mainly because this summer I've been obscenely busy with class and work. However, I'm on vacation at the moment and finally have some free time, so I'm going to try and get this going again.

So, has anyone been keeping up on the Debt? Not our personal debt (although that is increasing at alarming rates because people have no idea how to manage money) but the National Debt. At the moment I write this, it is $11,639,684,699,552. Now, that's such a huge number, but it's not really real.

It's one of those things that is so large, it doesn't even matter anymore, because it cannot ever be paid off.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Majority Vs The Minority

Does the majority have a right to overrule the minority? I have been trying to follow the Prop 8 hearing in the California Supreme Court, and as of a few days ago, both sides were finished, and all that remained was the ruling.

One news site I read from, the San Francisco Chronicle, said that the Justices seemed the be leaning towards upholding Prop 8, and quoted Chief Justice Ronald George. "There have been initiatives that have taken away rights from minorities by majority vote [in the past]"


Now, I was discussing this with a friend of mine, who is gay herself, and she is, for very good reason, very much against Prop 8. She thought this statement was ridiculous, because the majority does not have the right to take away a right of the minority or suppress them, especially in this case. I disagreed however, at least on the actual issue of, Does the majority have the right to suppress, control, or otherwise hinder the minority's right to do something. That is what I would like the examine today.

Leaving aside the question of, What is a Right, and using it in the more generalized sense to mean something that we are entitled to, I personally think that, yes, the majority does have that right. Actually, there is no question whether it does or not, the only question is, Should it. It's easy to tell it does, because every time 1 or more people don't agree with a Law that is passed, the majority has just over ruled and controlled them.

Basically, look at the chain of command. That majority votes in people to office. Those people make the laws. The laws restrict and control what we can do. Leaving aside crime and people ignoring the laws, and accusations that the real power and decisions are not made by the people we elect, let us assume that that perfect system is how it works. Whoever, though advertising, campaigning,and money, can control the vote, can force their will upon everyone else, because they convince the majority that that will is the majority's as well.

Now, the question of, Should it have the right. Well, there are many cases where, yes, it should. For example, one man says, I think I want to kill you and take you things, then rape your daughter, and burn down your house. That is my right? Why, because I say so.

That is a minority opinion, and the majority of people disagree that we have a right to kill and rape. And so, the majority, using it's power, suppresses that minority. There are many cases like this, many good things that are prevented because they are no longer acceptable to the majority, ie, society.

On the other hand, there are many bad things which come from this, ie, Prop 8. When the majority decides to support something wrong, then there is no good way to stop it. One time this happened that could still be debated, whether is was good or bad, was seat belts. Does the government have the right to Make you wear a seat belt? The majority got it into their heads that we should wear them, and so it became law. Now, on the other hand, seat belts save lives, every day. So you could say, okay, fine, it's good. Well, now they are talking about banning talking on cellphones while you are driving. Does the majority have the right to do that? You can cite the same safety statistics, but in the end, it's still invading the privacy of your car. Cigarettes are another issue, but right now, the majority still want to allow them, even though that could change rapidly in the future, given the nature of the "public property" bans.

All of these are cases where you have to decide one by one, should the majority have been allowed to force it's will upon the rest of us, the disagree-ers, the minority? It's not a question of Does the majority do it, only, should they. And if not, then what are we going to do about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A few weeks ago, I left a lab manual for one of my classes in the room after I left, and it was gone when I went back for it. It's nothing incredibly important, but I does cost 30 bucks, so I held off buying a new one. I did yesterday get around to going to the lost and found of the building, and checking to see if it had been turned in.

When I got there, I found another lab manual, exact same as mine, and it was found in the very same room. However, looking through it, I saw the writing was not mine. So, regretfully, I told the person it wasn't mine, and she took down my name and number and what I was missing, to give to her boss who was out to lunch.

I left, figuring maybe sometime I'd get be contacted. However, I got an email today, informing me that they have a lab manual, and to come get it. Now, either one of two things happened. One, unlikely, another one was turned in in less than 24 hours. In which case, going to get it, it might be mine even, problem solved. However, the much more likely case is that the person I talked to didn't inform the person in charge that the one they have isn't mine.

Now, the question of morality begins. On one hand, it is not mine, and so I should not take it no matter what. However, there are other things to consider. First being, I have already told them once that it is not mine, and they are still saying come take it. Second, the lab manual they have has been their for about 2 weeks so far, and was brought in around the same time as I lost mine. Third, I lost mine in the first place, and so I wouldn't really be gaining something, I would be getting back to equal, making up what I lost. Also, since it was lost at the same time that mine was, and still hasn't been reclaimed, it suggests the possibility that someone just took mine instead of theirs, and still has it.

All of this suggests to me that I should in fact take it. However, none of that changes the fact that it is not mine, and so I'm not sure.

I faced a similar situation, ironically enough, just a few weeks ago. Last semester, I lost a calculator, just a simply scientific calculator, 20 bucks. A couple weeks ago, I saw one sitting on a chair, no people around. I immediately thought, hey, I should take this, it'll make up for the one I lost. However, I dismissed that because someone else would no longer have one, and I didn't wish that on a person. However, I didn't want to leave it, because I knew if I did, it would be taken by someone else, and the owner still wouldn't get it back. So, I sat down and waited for about 15 min, to see if he or she would show up. No such luck, no one came. So, I took it. However, I left in the same place, a note with my contact info, and a little explanation of how I'd found it and to call me.

No one did end up calling, but I know that I did make a legit attempt to get it back to the owner. What I would like is to find a solution to my current problem that is as good as that, where I get the thing, but without being immoral. However, I don't know if it is possible. I am going to talk to the lady today, and see if she did possibly find a different one or not. I'd love some advice, if you'd be so kind as to leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fred Phelps - Hate Mongerer

I have been reading recently about a man named Fred Phelps. Basically, one could call him the anti-christ, except that would indicate power along with utter evil. Phelps, no, he is just evil, and deserving of contempt. He is a hate-mongeror, who has targeted groups as diverse as Sweden, Army Veterans, homosexuals, and even victims of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse.

Ironically, he started out good, as many people do, as a lawyer fighting Jim Crow laws. However, he has become fanatical in his homophobia, attacking everyone who is even tolerant, denouncing everyone.

He hates Sweden, and has said the heavy Swedish losses in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, initially overestimated to be near 20,000, were "God's punishment of Sweden for the promotion of homosexuality".

He created, (which thankfully is no longer online) to "expose Ireland as the Emerald (now Pink) Isle of the Sodomite Damned, –saturated with fags and dykes at every level of society and government."

He supported Saddam Hussein, although later declared that Hussein was in Hell now.

He worst crimes in my oppinion, are picketing funerals of US Soldiers. He and his bastard "church" go to funerals, citing freedom of speech, and then yell and taunt the mourners.

Now, to an anarchist, this solution is simple. If he came to a funeral of someone in my family, and yell at me that that person was in Hell, along with other things, I'd simply show he was wrong by letting him see Hell for himself. However, as a rational person, I have to ask myself, despite the fact that he would deserve it, killing him, or them, wouldn't be worth giving up the rest of my life. And, sadly, that is what would happen, because the Law doesn't recognize killing as different than murder except in self-defense cases.

What really makes me happy though, is one of the events Phelps was picketing more recently. Students at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prarie Village, Kansas, voted for Matthew Pope as their homecoming king last year. Last Friday, Pope returned for a ceremoney, and Phelps, along with several members of his "congregation" showed up to picket. However, the students fought back, with a massive counter-protest over over 450 people. Thank God for highschoolers, right? Here is a video of the Counter-Protest, from the blog Classically Liberal:


Friday, January 30, 2009

Robotic Garages

Okay, remember how in I, Robot, Will Smith has his cool half robotic car, and when he went to the parking garage, he put it on a sensor, left it, and then the garage opened it up and robotically stored it? Well, for a refresher, go to 1:20 in the video below:

Well, while he all thought, hey, that looks pretty cool as something we might have in the Future, the Future is now. While current robotic garages might not be as cool looking on Will Smith's, that work, and they are spreading. Check out this video from Popular Mechanics:



Now, these might not be the most useful things in the world, it's a large investment. However, as the video mentioned, being able to fit so many in is a large bonus for owners, so I would not be surprised to see them popping up here and there over the next few decades.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The KKK Today

A few months ago, a women from Oklahoma, recruited over the internet, was brought Louisiana for an initiation ritual at a remote campsite. After trying to back out, she was shot and killed. After the body was found, the local Sheriff arrested 8 people, one of which being a KKK leader, who is charged with 2rd degree murder.

It's one of the disturbing things to me, that the internet has being a breeding ground for hate, a recruitment ground for the KKK, or, more accurately, the KKK's, since there are so many now. Ironically, the largest currently, the "Knights of the KKK" states on their website that they are committed to a non violent solution to the "war on whites". Yes, because everyone is targeting Caucasians with hate crimes, right? I looked around a bit, and found that nearly all the public KKK websites state that they wish for non-violent tactics to be used. However, in an interview, the current Grand Wizard, or leader, of the Knights of the KKK, stated that if Obama was elected, he'd be shot. Amazing how consistent the KKK is, huh?

Interview Video:


The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

A very funny video I saw from the blog Classically Liberal, in the links on the side. Great political blog by the way, go check it out. Anyway, this video is very very funny. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bush is Gone and Obama's Here to Stay.......Oh Yay...

So, Obama is now officially the President of the United States...what joy. Personally, I didn't really like any of the candidates, but, nothing can be changed now. One of the things that strikes me as interesting is Obama's choice for Secretary of the Treasury. He is pushing hard for Tim Geithner, which is interesting because Geithner is a crook who cheated repeatedly on his own taxes, for example deducting the cost of summer camp of as childcare.

However, Obama defends Geithner, saying, "Tim Geithner, when I nominated him, was rightly lauded by people from both sides of the aisle, from the market, from labor, as somebody who was uniquely qualified". I wonder, is competence worth having to deal with a corrupt person? Obama obviously thinks so. But, hey, I've been telling people not to vote for him for a year, so, it's nothing new to me.

Something else that was interesting to me, I saw a news story talking about Bush and his usage of the Pardon system, which, in the past, many Presidents have used in their last hours in office. The timing of course, being to avoid any consequences in the event of an unpopular pardon, such as those of President Clinton in 2001. Bush, from everything I have read and heard, barely touched the power, using it to communte the sentence of two Border Patrollers who shot several suspected drug runners who were fleeing. Aside from that, he has issued nothing, and no complete pardons at all.

This comes as a relief to many Democrats who were afraid of large mass pardons for prison guards, holding suspected terrorists in camps such as Guantanamo Bay. Yes, the ones who were torturing suspects. Gladly, he didn't, so those who were responsible can face justice. Just because someone is a suspected terrorist, or, even uf that person Is a terrorist, does not give us the right to torture them. Because, we then go down to their level. We are supposed to be the good guys. Even killing someone, should never be done for revenge. Their are two reasons to kill someone. A, because that person is dangerous, and if we allow them to live, he or she will do us more harm. B, to teach others a lesson, of what will happen if they attack us. However, we should never do anything out of anger, or hatred. Or, especially, revenge, even as tempting as that may be in some situations.

Again, we just have to remember; we are America, we need to remain the good guys.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Statuatory Rape

I'd like to start out by saying, most statuatory rape laws are a rediculus. However, they have gotten better. It used to be, in Indiana at least, that if someone over 18 had sexual relations with someone under 18, it was statuatory rape. It has changed to someone over 18 having contact with someone under 17, which is a little better, but could still be rediculus, depending on the situation.

Today, a friend pointed this story out to me. You can either click on the link...

...or, just let me give you an overview. Basically, a woman has oral sex with her boyfriend. He was just under 16, she has just turned 17. A bit over a year apart. She got 10 years in prison, and is a registered sex offender. She cannot live within 1000 feet of "anyplace children congregate". The main problem, is that after looking around before buying a house, they missed a church that ran a small, unadvirtised day care, and recieved a letter saying that had to move immediately, which meant foreclosure.

So, we have a 29 year old, married woman. Because she had oral sex with her boyfriend who was a year younger, they are forcing her out of her house. Not to mention living with the title of sex offender for the rest of her life. Disgusted by this obscene situation, created by a terrible written law that should never have passed, I have been looking up different statutory rape laws, by state. Here are some interesting ones:


"Criminal inducement to get a person under age 18 of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse"

I was wondering, what do they mean by that. I mean, if they are successful, then "chaste" doesn't apply, and so does it no longer count as rape? Also, I guess they mean that if someone if not a virgin, then that person cannot be raped...

North Dakota:

"Corruption of minor is an adult engaging in sexual act with a minor"

Back to the basic, if one is 2 weeks older then ones boyfriend or girlfriend, and the two have sex, then the older one is a rapist. I'm sorry, but leaving aside the question of whether it's moral for a couple to have sex, a law that basically says, "if they are doing it when they are both 17, it's okay, but then when one turns 18, that one is raping the other, until the second turns 18, and then it's okay again", is wrong. Plain and simple. It's wrong.

It's rediculus, but, that's America. Yes, I find this country better than most others, but we still have a large way to go.

Quoted laws are from -


Just More Stuff

So, yesterday, I was standing in line outside my dining court. The lines are longer now because they shut down one of them, which is annoying, but, ehh, not really important to the story. Anyway, I'm standing there, and this kid walks out. He's about 7 or 8 from the looks of him, and he's holding a banana. Well, all fine and good, right? All of the sudden, he holds it up like a gun and starts making little boom buurrsshhh gun noises, jerking it like he's shooting, and aiming, traversing the entire line. Then he grins and giggles, and walks away, with what looked to be his family, parents, and an older guy, looking about my age.

So, this disturbs me. Why would a 7 year old think it's "cool" or 'fun" to shoot at a crowd? Well, bad quesstion, because it's obvious, he heard it from either media, friends, family, etc. The real idea that was interesting to me was not Why it happened, but the fact that it Happened in the first place. I don't think anyone should think it's cool to shoot at crowds, even for pretend, let alone a child thinking that. It scares me a bit. The rational anarchist in me says, if he wants to pretend, he's not hurting anyone. However, I fear, if kids think it's cool to pretend to shoot at crowds, they might grow up and think it's okay to Shoot at crowds.

On another note, I saw that the KKK has a website. Talking about the racial war against whites. Personally, I'd love to hack and destroy their website, but that's just me. Heck, if I could, I'd go back in time to 1866 with a kevlar suit and some machine guns, and wipe the first bunch out, because I think they deserved it. However, I can't. Do I think the current KKK members deserve death? Maybe. It depends on who they are and what they have done, individually. Rational Anarchy teaches, if someone is doing something that doesn't affect anyone besides themselves, then it's okay, live and let live. So, if someone is an extreme racist, in their own head, I don't give a damn. However, if they start Doing things about it. Then action needs to be used. There is no question the original KKK was evil. They tortured and killed. They deserved death. However, now, it just depends on the individual. On the other hand, I'd still wipe out their website for preaching hate, but that's just me.

I watched Traitor tonight. Very good movie. I was very interested by the way it protrayed Islam, actually. Because, it was dealing with Islamic Terrorists, and painting them as evil, like they are. However, the main character was also Islamic, and was a pacifist, believing in not murder innocents. It was interesting how they showed, Very accurately, that it is not Islam which is evil, but extremists. It was sort of depressing at the end, but mostly good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Entry, Lets Try This Out

Okay, my first blog entry on here. I'm not really sure what all I'm going to use this for, be it a specific theme, or just random. However, since it will be linked as part of the site, it will have something to do with living as a rational anarchist.

Speaking of which, I was thinking about that the other day. How does one translate the ideals of rational anarchy into real life. I have been playing the game Nations, on facebook, and in making decisions, I've found that many times, I actually do something that ideally, I should not do, because it seems like a good idea. I mean, for a normal person, living as a rational anarchist is easy. As Heinlein said, I am free, because I know that I alone am responsible for my actions. I do what I wish to, but I do so knowing full well the consequences. Translate that into the real world, I would think of it like, a balance. I know that if I do something which breaks a law, there will probably be consequences, because, the government is more powerful than I am. So, if I felt like doing something illegal, I would just balance it out against the consequences. Is it worth what will happen? If it is, I will do so, if it's not, I won't.

The basic idea to that rambling is, look at life rationally. Look at the consequences of your actions. If the good outweighs the bad, do it, no matter what other people, even the government say.