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Comment Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense. (Score 1) 168 168

Do we recognize the rights of others as a kind of tribal convention?


Or are we compelled to do so because of something in human nature?


There is no OR. That's a false dichotomy.
We ARE forced to be tribal and social by our biology, we don't get to choose or juxtapose one to the other.
Our biology requires both living in packs and care for infants - those who don't want that get written out of the DNA-pool hundreds of millions of years ago, long before the whole bipedal thing, let alone ethics.
And when such an individual appears through chance or mutation - we don't like those animals.
We call them psychos. Parasites. Evil. Werewolves.

Cooperation forced by biological need for familial, romantic and other relationships is what puts just another set of run of the mill primates on top of the food chain. Plus a lucky roll of the dice or two.
Tit-for-tat is what makes single cell organisms join up in cell colonies.
Other algorithms may seem profitable in short term, but in the long run... it's always cooperation.
We are social beings cause cooperation is a great strategy for survival of both the individual and its genes.


It's an important philosophical question because it potentially colors a lot of mundane ethical questions

No it is not. A question.

Legal personhood can not be based on ethics.
If it were, a society could "legally" give kids and comatose people all the rights that a sane adult has.
There would be no age of consent, drinking age, or any such thing as a state of diminished capacity of the mind.
Got a heartbeat? Full person.
With all rights and oblig... oh... wait... Rights come with obligations.

Be it claims and liberties or positive vs. negative rights - one person's rights include either/or/and their and other persons' obligations.

For a society (and we build those cause we need them) to work all sides in any relationship must agree to and obey both rights and the obligations they entail.
Enough relationships don't work (cause there are way too many for all to work at the same time, plus there is the element of chance, plus there are outside factors, plus there are werewolves...) - society breaks up.
So, we build RULES into societies to hold them together, and we call those rules laws, customs, morals... in order to codify rights and obligations (that we think are) needed for a society to exist.
Enough rules don't work or keep getting broken in order for the society to work - society breaks up.

Ethics is merely a description of our understanding of the underlying rules on which we choose to base our society.
That's why slavery can and was once perfectly ethical. Or racism. Or fascism.
It's a thing we invent to make society work the way we imagine that it should be.
NOT the way it is best for either a person, persons, the society or the humanity as a whole.

And when we base "personhood" on ethics we get societies where people are not persons based on wealth, sex, race, imaginary ethnic and cultural properties, age...
Until that society breaks cause eventually inter-personal relationships in it can't work with such rules.

Personhood AND a society which doesn't get broken up by the rules needed to run that society and which also describe what a person is - must be based on reality.
I.e. Rights that any single person must/might have and the obligations that those rights entail. Tit-for-tat.
Can't agree and obey both - sorry, can't have that right. Here's a nice cage. In a zoo or in a dungeon...
No biggie for the society. Society don't care. Persons care.

Should enough persons care enough to give rights to those who can't also obey obligations, such as chimps because... ethics...

Society breaks.

Comment Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy... (Score 1) 368 368

Um, no. Milliband was too far left for the electorate and they lost hard as a result. Why do you think that going even further left will help exactly?

The centrist candidate last time was David Milliband, the centrist candidate this time is Liz Kendall. Neither were/will be elected, even though they're the only options that would have/will make Labour tolerable to the electorate.

People voted towards the right, they would probably have tolerated something slightly more the left (i.e. actual centre), but Milliband was too far to the left to be tolerable to most people. Your solution is to swing to a leader even further away from what people wanted, really?

Gordon Brown had the same problem, he was just a little too far left to be tolerable. No one wants Brownites like Milliband, Balls, and Burnham. They want people who are willing to balance state handouts with fiscal responsibility, Corbyn is the exact opposite of that - he believes that we have infinite money that we can just use to give more and more handouts to everyone.

Good luck with that, that was exactly what lost both Brown and Milliband the election, except now you want to double down with it and do it even more, as if you believe that if you throw enough fail at something it'll become success. No, just no.

Comment Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy... (Score 1) 368 368

"And this is moot anyway. British democracy allows you to select your local MP - and that's all. The PM and the government are appointed by the Queen based on the allegiances of the elected MPs."

Yes, but even that's broken. Some MPs are elected with as little as 25% of local support, the vast majority under 50%, and I believe even a majority under 30%.

So even our elected representatives aren't really our elected representatives. They're just people who represent a local minority in a vast amount of cases.

This is FWIW what AV would've fixed - it would've ensured MPs had to at least somewhat represent even if not a first choice over half of the electorate. It was rejected though as people don't want local representatives, they want proportional representation as shown by most polls, but this wasn't allowed as an option so we're stuck with what we have which is broken in both ways - it's neither nationally representative, nor is it hardly ever locally representative.

Comment Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy... (Score 1) 368 368

I don't think any government can realistically split from the EU and get re-elected, it's an inherent death wish, and I suspect that's why Cameron said ahead of time this would be his last parliament either way - if he loses the EU vote and we pull out he wont be able to stick around regardless.

The problem is that even if Farage is right (which, frankly, he isn't, in the same way that Alex Salmond had the same fantasies and wasn't right either) and we can somehow make up the loss of EU trade, we wont do it overnight, those trade agreements we have with the EU will take years to renegotiate and we'll be stuck in limbo in the meantime facing high tarrifs. So even if it is only temporary, and even if we did do better in the long run, an EU exit inherently means at least a couple of years of recession and declining economic growth. Any PM in charge when that happens is automatically fucked whatever the outcome.

Then like you say, if he wins, and we stay in the EU, then the bitter old folks on his back benches will defect to UKIP, quite parliament altogether, or just be difficult anyway, so he'll lose his majority.

A coalition in the UK isn't that unheard of though, we just had one :)

Comment Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy... (Score 1) 368 368

I actually completely agree with you on that aspect of your post (though UKIP not getting more seats is one of the upsides of the current electoral system because less far right is a good thing, no matter good they are at pretending they're not.). It is unfair all the same, and our electoral sytem is completely broken. It is neither representative on a local level (AV was rejected) nor representative on a national level (PR hasn't been allowed).

My comment about you not understanding British politics was more in reference to your jab at the Tory being propped up by some rural mafia - don't believe it, the amount of constituencies where Tory candidates have a 50%+ majority in rural areas is still only a fraction of their seats. Their support base is primarily the other 50s, whether urban or rural.

The fact that Cameron and co. as well as his city mates go and shoot pheasants in the countryside on weekends doesn't mean there's some great rural backing for these guys. It's just where they go when they're bored of fucking people over in the city during weekdays. Even on issues like Fox hunting there are more than enough of us who live rurally that hate Fox hunting not just because it's pointless, selfish, and requires you to be a real actual psycopath, but because we get fed up when some rich Tory toff decides he's going to blockade a country lane illegally with 100 dogs so we can't go and get our shopping and have to turn back because they think they own the fucking place.

Trust me, if rural folks had some special hold over the Tories, I wouldn't be commuting to work on a 45 year old train running on Victorian era tracks from a station that I drove to on terribly maintained roads full of potholes.

Comment Re:Percentages? (Score 2) 368 368

Yeah, I know I didn't really have a firm grasp on what did and didn't count as addiction at that age - even by the age of 18 I was still grappling with the concept of whether spending 8 hours a day in online video games was addiction or not. Given that I could still walk away at any moment and do something else for days on end, and at times, did, I'm still not overly sure to this day if it was.

Ask a 12 - 13 year old whether they're addicted and they'll have no fucking idea.

Comment Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy... (Score 1) 368 368

It's going to happen anyway, UK politics are in turmoil. Labour is on the verge of committing suicide, and when it does it'll fracture leaving the Tories the only electable party.

Except, they wont be electable because the longer a party is in power, the more fucking batshit it becomes, and as such people are going to split away from it and it wont hold a parliamentary majority. It may remain the biggest party but wont be able to form a government, hell, it's barely there now - wait until the EU referendum is over and hard right Tories defect to UKIP whatever the result, their majority doesn't have much life in it. We've already seen a massive split of the vote the last two elections - an unheard of coalition, followed by a fracturing of parties.

As soon as we get a non-Tory coalition, it'll happen because it'll have to. If no party can guarantee that all it has to do is wait 5 years for it's turn as has been the case for decades with the back and forth between red and blue then it'll be in their interest to make sure they can maintain at least some reasonable amount of power without getting fucked by FPTP.

Comment Re:Parenting (Score 1) 368 368

No it's not even that. When I was a kid growing up in the UK before the internet we still encountered porn at that age - either left by builders in the building sites we used to dick around in, brought into school by that one kid whose dad creepily collected page 3 pictures from The Sun, or call girl leaflets with pornographic imagery on them that used to be left in phone boxes (remember them?).

The fact is, kids will encounter porn, you could ban the whole internet and they still would, just like I did and everyone I knew at school did. Porn is everywhere, kids will see it. It's not neglect, because it's an impossible task preventing it. My parents weren't even remotely neglectful, they let me go out and play all by myself like every other kid of my age before this nanny state view where all kids can't leave their front garden without an adult nowadays up until the age of 16 or whatever the fuck.

All that needs to be done is to make sure kids understand what it is and how to interpret it, nothing more.

Comment Re:Decent interview. (Score 1) 88 88

Most people do when you listen to them directly rather than focussing only on hearsay and mainstream press mis-quoting.

I can think of any number of people who have been criticised for being tools here and by the media, but who make a lot more sense when you listen to their actual words, rather than choice misquotes by their detractors.

Comment Re:Somewhat less intuitive (Score 3, Insightful) 268 268

It makes a good joke, but it's not really that unintuitive, you're basically saying Start Shutdown.

This is in the exact same way that in Linux "shutdown now" doesn't actually shutdown now, it just begins the shutdown now. Computers don't cleanly turn off instantly, shutdown is a process that you start.

Comment Re:Hats off, Amazon (Score 1) 202 202

I only have shitty 4mb ADSL in the UK and I have absolutely no problems streaming their content. How bad is your connection exactly?

I agree their lack of Android support was shitty, but given that I could play it on my X1, my 360s, my PS4, my PS3 my Smart TVs, and I think even my WiiU as well as my computers (I also have two internet connections with different IPs) I always wondered how long it'd be before they phoned me to tell me I'd been banned from sharing my account. There was never really much of a shortage of devices that could play this stuff, Android was really the exception not the rule.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.