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Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1) 391

by sachamm (#34188710) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

I've provided research that supports the idea that guns don't make you safer. I've provided a logical argument for why this might be.

Everything you've said boils down to "You're an idiot" and "I can kill with my bare hands as easily as with a gun," along with some hand waving about research that is never revealed.

Unless you have more, this conversation is over.

Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1) 391

by sachamm (#34182376) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

I'll break it down for you: GP made a statement, that since people already have guns, making guns illegal doesn't fix the problem.

Except that isn't what the original poster stated; which was that those people are already breaking the law in carrying the guns, thus it is not reasonable to assume that making another law is going to modify their behavior.

Maybe your assumption is that some sort of gun control only applies to the individual on the street, and since he's already breaking the law by owning a gun, everyone should own a gun in order to be safe. The problem is, when everyone owns a gun, guns are easier to come by, i.e. a society with 1 gun is far less likely to result in gun violence than a society with 1 billion guns. So, yes, it is reasonable to assume that new law can modify someone's already illegal behaviour.

You may not like the analogy, but the logic is sound: laws do good for society.

The problem is you're trying to base your argument upon that being a truism. Laws also do harm to society. Most all laws, in fact, do both, but there is no reason to suppose the balance is in any particular direction and the original poster stated a reason why it is unlikely to do good in this case.

Not really, I was just making a rather flippant comment, but if I had to say, then, ya, I'd say I'd rather have laws than no laws.

Making it illegal to own butcher knives almost certainly would reduce the number of deaths by butcher knife.

It might be, but reducing murders with butcher knives is a logical misstatement of the problem.

And it is also sound to say that it is easier to kill with a gun than with a knife. And it is sound to say that by making it more difficult to kill people, less people will be killed.

I reject the assumption that making any particular implement illegal to own makes it harder to kill people. In fact, when a particular implement is already being used illegally by criminals and legally by non-criminals it has to opposite effect. That is to say, one more law means nothing to a criminal, whereas the lack of a defensive tool in the hands of those who obey the laws makes killing easier for them.

I think this is where we part ways, because if you're saying that you can kill me with a knife as easy as you can kill me with a gun, then I really don't know what to say.

It should also be noted that most criminals aren't interested in murder. Most gun deaths occur because a gun is handy in an emotional situation.

We're talking about whether a gun makes you safer.

Actually, no we're not. We're talking about the effect of guns specifically on crime, which is a completely different matter.

The subject of this and your very own post begs to differ.

You're simply making the logical fallacy of "post hoc ergo propter hoc". Because people die with guns you assume the causation is that gun result in more overall death. There is NO evidence to support said hypothetical causation. Moreover, there is significant evidence to refute it in regard to crime, such as the increase in violent crime and murder overall in the UK, when the strict gun controls came into effect; or the worldwide lack of correlation between firearm legislation and rates of violent crime and murder. While I'm sure you are only concerned if you are shot to death, some people don't really prefer being beaten with clubs, stabbed, or blown up as a preference.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I've provided links, and you haven't. Show me the studies that say the more guns a society has, the less gun deaths they have.

The data I've seen (and provided) supports the hypothesis that less gun ownership means more safety.

What do you mean by "safety"? To quote, "Do not be too proud of your safety for even a thief in prison is safe from robbery by another thief." Personally I support the right to suicide and effective tools with which to commit the act. Fewer botched suicides is fine with me. I also support providing free mental health services to the citizenry, and other healthcare while we're at it. Statistically, it will have a much, much, much more dramatic effect upon rates of death and rates of violent crime than any firearm legislation could. It's a sad society that judges "safety" by the rate at which it prevents people from dying at a time and in a manner of their choosing when life becomes unbearable to them.

Agree completely on suicide and body-autonomy issues in general. It's your body, you can off yourself if you want to, and yes, guns will make that easier (link provided above :-P). Also agree on more mental health services. I also agree that mental health is a better place to put money than gun control in general.

I also agree that safety is a complex issue. When I used it above, I was referring to personal safety (on a societal level) from gun violence. Of course, there are other reasons for having an armed society... but, personally, I don't see armed revolutions being very effective these days.

Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1) 391

by sachamm (#34181678) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

I'm guessing you either failed at your own logic or at reading my post. GP said: "Making X illegal would not fix the problem, these people already have X illegally." In his post, X = guns. My post was pointing out the foolishness of such an argument by replacing X with murder. In other words, just because criminals already have guns, doesn't mean making guns illegal wouldn't be better for society.

Yes I know, you're trying to imply because the reverse case in an analogy is not necessarily true, that the original argument is not true. That's pretty badly broken logic.

I'll break it down for you: GP made a statement, that since people already have guns, making guns illegal doesn't fix the problem. That is, we have some action or state of being (having guns), and laws making that action or state of being illegal does no good. My counter (stated sarcastically) was that making murder (an action) illegal _does_ do good. In other words, we have an example of where making an action or state of being illegal does some good. You may not like the analogy, but the logic is sound: laws do good for society.

Honest question: are you saying that our laws do no good? Or that our laws against murder do no good? Is that where I'm "failing" at logic?

It's actually fairly sound logic to imply that making it illegal to say, own butcher knives, won't decrease the number of people killed in muggings, since there are plenty of alternative weapons and people carrying butcher knives for purposes of mugging are already breaking several laws, so causing them to break one more is unlikely to work as a deterrent. The same holds true for firearms.

Making it illegal to own butcher knives almost certainly would reduce the number of deaths by butcher knife. And it is also sound to say that it is easier to kill with a gun than with a knife. And it is sound to say that by making it more difficult to kill people, less people will be killed.

Regarding the rest of your post, we've obviously read different studies (excepting the ones correlating drug decriminalization with a better society), but we can at least argue the points on the data and not on our own personal experience.

I'd love for you to provide a citation. Let me caution you, however, 90% of the studies I see people cite suffer from a logical misstatement of the problem characterized by the term "gun crime". I'm sure if you think about it and you have taken any courses on informal logic, this error will be fairly obvious.

We're talking about whether a gun makes you safer. I've already provided a citation, above. Here's another on suicide: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17426563.

Quoting:

CONCLUSION: Household firearm ownership levels are strongly associated with higher rates of suicide, consistent with the hypothesis that the availability of lethal means increases the rate of completed suicide.

The data I've seen (and provided) supports the hypothesis that less gun ownership means more safety.

Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1) 391

by sachamm (#34180952) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

Wow, way to fail at logic.

I'm guessing you either failed at your own logic or at reading my post. GP said: "Making X illegal would not fix the problem, these people already have X illegally." In his post, X = guns. My post was pointing out the foolishness of such an argument by replacing X with murder. In other words, just because criminals already have guns, doesn't mean making guns illegal wouldn't be better for society.

Regarding the rest of your post, we've obviously read different studies (excepting the ones correlating drug decriminalization with a better society), but we can at least argue the points on the data and not on our own personal experience.

Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1) 391

by sachamm (#34180080) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

Obviously more training and experience makes a difference, but I, the OP, and the GP, were all talking about civilians. The argument, "I'm above average" is a common refrain, but not everyone can be above average.

I'm not interested in disarming the populace, I'm interested in a better society. If that means more guns, then pass the ammo. If that means less guns, then shouldn't you be OK with that? Either way, lets look at the data instead of saying, "I didn't kill myself, therefore guns are safe and it's better if we all own one."

Also, I consider myself a centrist and a pragmatist. Pretty hard not to be left of the NRA though, so I guess I'm a leftist to some.

Comment: Re:Feel safe now? (Score 1, Informative) 391

by sachamm (#34179498) Attached to: Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

You must be right, because anecdotal evidence is so valuable. Oh wait, a 2 second google search turned up this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17922-carrying-a-gun-increases-risk-of-getting-shot-and-killed.html

Quoting:

Overall, Branas's study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.

Good luck with that gun.

Comment: Re:He doesn't know something we don't. (Score 1) 686

by sachamm (#32077990) Attached to: Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit

I am a computer programmer, and you are wrong. At any level you care to look at, computer programs are math, plain and simple (see effective calculability, Turing machine and Turing completeness). Your analogy between computer programming and the real world is, however, apt, and this is one of the things we are going to have to struggle with as a society over the next few decades. There is little question in my mind that ultimately all patents will have to go the way of the dodo as all industries converge to mathematics and computation.

Would it change your mind about the nature of a codec if you knew that compression in JPEG is nothing more than a linear algebra transformation (a change of bases in 64 dimensional space IIRC)? Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGkn-3NFGck for an interesting lecture on the math.

Comment: Re:You're Doing It Wrong (Score 1) 123

by sachamm (#31630676) Attached to: Home-Built Turing Machine

This is a very cool interpreter. But it's not a Turing machine.

A Turing machine is an interpreter. It interprets the code on the tape.

Imagine it was a human instead. This human is given a list of rules (a program) to follow. Then we give the human the tape (a program) and we tell him to follow the rules. That is a Turing machine, and that is what we have here, encoded into an actual machine instead of a list of rules. I think what you are missing is that the list of rules that the human is given is encoded as a program on the microcontroller. This is exactly what one expects from a Turing machine made into an actual machine.

Comment: Re:You're Doing It Wrong (Score 1) 123

by sachamm (#31630538) Attached to: Home-Built Turing Machine
The duality between data and program is one of the fundamental concepts of computer science. The Turing machine is a program that runs another program. The outer program encodes the (simple, encodable) rules of the Turing machine, and was originally intended to be a human with unlimited paper and pencil. The inner program is the tape. Ask yourself this: what would this machine do without a tape?

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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