Words and Chaos

Month: October, 2015

There is Only Chaos: The Repugnant Conclusion Is No Conclusion

A layman’s perspective on a utilitarian philosophical paradox.

The Repugnant Conclusion, as an answer to utilitarianism, doesn’t seem to work. I find that most of these situations have the same flaw, and they pretty much add up to the utility monster thought experiment. Briefly, the repugnant concludes that it is better to have a world with several billion unhappy people than a world with one billion happy people. Their baseline for happiness is apparently ‘not wanting to die’. Right. So basically the unhappy billions are still happy because they still prefer life. Therefore, to this argument, the negativity of the unhappy people doesn’t exist. This doesn’t make sense.

The negative value still exists. It doesn’t go away just because the unhappy people exhibit a preference for life. That’s not happiness; that’s instinct. I would say happiness has a capping point – exhibited by a couple of studies that show that people are increasingly happy with their lives as they are more able to get to a point where they can take care of all concerns, usually through a sufficiently high paying job, if that’s not too cynical. It works as a benchmark for this instance.

The problem is that this argument still seems to revolve around too basic an equation: It only accounts for gross linear accumulation of happiness, and nothing else. Which defeats the idea of utilitarianism being founded in common sense. If you were to take the idea of the utility monster and apply reality to it, the utility monster caps out very fast. The gross negativity that is created by the people working for the utility monster quickly outweighs the usefulness of the utility monster. That is, of course, assuming it’s doing anything for the greater good in the first place. If not then it’s actively generating negative happiness by not contributing to the happiness of the most people. It doesn’t work because the gross negativity outweighs the gross happiness. The negativity has to be factored into this equation for the equation to work, if not you have useless results.

Word Clusters #26: The Lazy Hungover Edition

I got nothing vaguely witty here, man. I’m hungover. Steins of beer are good. Have some words.

Acheron Bison
Begin Loan
Validation Unformed
Other-Dimensional Gory
Red Interval
Easier Slovaks
English-Held Mississippi
Unfavourable Carving
Beauty Judgements
Raunchy Abrupt
Feminine Particle
City Block Left-Right
Professionalized Redoubts
Sustainable Modern-Day
Precedent Woodcarver
Honours Raze
Induction Outside
Disorganise Actual
Army Fens
Hydro Pipefish
Start Syncretistic
Playful Sea
Ardor Purpose-Built
Art Revitalization
Popping Hivemind
Great-Grandmother Convince
Sampling Marine Life
Collaborator Countrymen
English-Held Invader
Sagacious Demands
Wrap Discourteous
Parrots Differentiated
Landlocked Aptitude
Capsize Styx
Hearth Lap Dog
Softball Reflecting
Liberal Peal
Conditioning Tents
Eco-Conscious Recreational Vehicle
Enriched Pickup Truck
Uncultured Fireman
Colon Frostbitten
Adventures Neighbourhood
Richer Course
Salesperson Caruncula
Whelk Predate
Guinea Pig Pastoral
Enforced Overwrought
Drive-Through Operation
Intimidation Spine

Political Accidents and Paedophilia.

This is the type of accident that would only be plausible in a self aware comedy, but it’s not remotely funny.

In the enquiry into rampant government paedophilia, Westminster officials have ‘accidentally’ deleted important child rape testimony files. Right. Accidents happen. But I have to accident pretty fucking hard to delete important files off of my computer.
At its most basic level it would be:

‘Oops! Damn, my finger slipped on the right mouse button, scrolled down the context menu, happened to click delete/move to trash. I then accidentally moved my mouse down to the bottom of the screen, double clicked on the trash, scrolled through the list, and accidentally hit the right mouse button again, (damn fingers, I can never figure out which is which!) scrolled down the context list and, would you believe it: deleted the file. What a freak occurrence!’

I have to assume that Westminster has some better safeguards against that sort of thing… so what, did they accidentally raid the government backup servers too? You’d have to have some pretty shaky hands for that. So, what, people were working with jackhammers attached their arms? Were the people responsible for these accidents hopped up on cocaine and buggering children that afternoon, whilst they were getting some minor office work done?