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Comment: Re:But was it really unethical ? (Score 1) 412

by Prune (#47509403) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More
Right after posting, I realized that my mention of bounded rationality might be misinterpreted to mean that I was referring to a subset of the population who would be "too dumb" to reliably use a consequentialist approach. But that is not the case; it applies to everyone, albeit to a different degree. Bounded rationality was seriously approached first in the field of economics, but it's scope is far larger. From neuroscience we see ever more how deep the integration between reasoning and emotions is (for example, Damasio's somatic markers). From cognitive psychology we see that the brain is so constrained by its finite processing speed (as a result of the biological pressures of its caloric cost and its size requiring hips so wide for childbirth that, were they any wider, humans could not walk upright) that it uses fallible heuristics as information processing optimizations. In this context, value ethics and deontology ethics have significant practical advantage over the more analytical consequentialism ethics because values and rules (principles), and not only because they're easier to process (less time, effort, and caloric expenditure), but also because, once taught and instilled, they have a more direct connection to an emotional response, which gives them more power when an individual is trying to make a choice where ethics conflict with other considerations.

Comment: Re:But was it really unethical ? (Score 1) 412

by Prune (#47509317) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More
Funny enough, the value- and rule-based approaches can themselves be justified by consequentialism, for reasons of pedagogy, and because humans are boundedly rational. It can be impractical due to finite reasoning ability and time constraints to carry out a full analysis of every ethical situation one encounters, and thus applying consequentialism directly may be too burdensome. Many would, as a result, not have the impetus and discipline to apply such an approach to ethics consistently. The first two approaches, on the other hand, are simpler to apply, and thus easier to teach, easier to demonstrate and market by anecdotes and role models, and easier to keep in mind and apply consistently. Thus, on the whole over a population, they are likely to result in producing more of the consequences of ethical behavior than actual consequentialism ethics.

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 4, Insightful) 68

by mrchaotica (#47508913) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

The arguments I'm used to hearing go something like "but it's obviously unethical, they should just responsibly report and disclose vulnerabilities they find". But this is a total crap argument. The options Exodus has aren't "sell to governments" or "responsibly disclose for little to no fee". The options are "sell to governments" or "go out of business". So maybe someone will say "fine, they should go out of business, then we will all obviously be safer!".

But, well, it's not really clear that's the case. If Exodus (or Vupen, or whomever) quit, it's not like suddenly the government would stop looking for exploits. And if the US government did, it's not like China or Russia would. And if they did, it's not like criminal organizations would stop. You aren't going to stop vulnerabilities from happening or being sold. Game theoretically, it seems like the right choice is to keep the US government snatching up what vulnerabilities it can to keep in its back pocket for espionage. Not doing so would be a huge blow to US intelligence agencies, when every other major government out there is working on the same capabilities.

So what you're saying is that what Exodus is doing is unethical, but criminals would do the same thing anyway, so we might as well ignore Exodus' unethical behavior because they're on "our side?"

Fuck that, and fuck you!

Comment: Re:Classic game theory ? (Score 1) 412

Us schmoes with our mortgages are under iron clad obligations to pay down to the last penny.

On the contrary: this is why debtor's prisons were abolished in favor of bankruptcy laws. The elites realized that it's more efficient to keep the schmoes working instead of locking them up when they (inevitably!) default.

Comment: Typical stupid Netflix Executives.... (Score 1) 182

by Lumpy (#47508759) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

Instead of announcing they will stop processing on saturday to increase profits. they would have announce it as, "here at netflix we love our employees so starting now we will be giving all of them saturdays off. It's because netflix is an honest company that loves it's employees."

We all know it's as far from the truth as possible, but it's all fluffy and feely that makes people smile..

Comment: Re:New SSL root certificate authority (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#47508375) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Thanks for the insult. It hardly stung.

Unless you worked at Netscape in the mid-1990s, no insult was intended.

All I meant is that by the very early 1990s, we (and by "we" I mean people smarter than me; I was clueless at the time) had a pretty good idea that CAs wouldn't work well outside of real power hierarchies (e.g. corporate intranets). But then a few years later the web browser people came along and adopted X.509's crap, blowing off the more recent PKI improvements, in spite of the fact that it looked like it wouldn't work well for situations like the WWW.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't work well. Organizing certificate trust differently than how real people handle trust, 1) allows bad CAs to do real damage, and 2) undermines peoples' confidence in the system.

A very nice way of saying this, is that in hindsight, the predicted problems are turning out to be more important than we thought most people would care about. ;-) It's almost as though now (no fair! you changed the requirements!!) people want SSL to be secure.

Keeping the same organization but with new faceless unaccountable trust-em-completely-or-not-at-all root CAs won't fix the problem. Having "root CAs" is the problem, and PRZ solved it, over 20 years ago.

I expect you to start the project shortly.

It's a little late to start, but I do happen to still be running an awful lot of applications (web browser being the most important one) which aren't using it yet.

Comment: Political (Score 1) 412

by sjames (#47508151) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

The proper conclusion is that SOME combination of rampant surveillance by the government, totalitarianism, socialism, and poverty in East Germany lead to a greater willingness to lie and cheat. They have not even attempted to control for the confounding factors sufficiently to pin it on socialism.

Honestly, were I to make a guess, I would rank socialism as the least likely among those conditions to be the actual cause of the measured difference. I would place the fact that the Stasi employed a full third of the population to tattle on the other two thirds near the top of the list. Why not lie to someone who is 33% likely to report you to the authorities if you tell the truth?

If they really want to draw a solid conclusion, they need to compare with other populations as well.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings