Consummate dilettantism!

Friday, March 25, 2011

UN says 6 million North Koreans are in urgent need of international food assistance


This is an impossible situation. It is a feature of Communist regimes with brainwashed populations that the people will not revolt (at least not on a large scale/successfully) even if they are starving, even if people start dying en masse -- they didn't during the Holodomor, they didn't during the Great Leap Forward, and they didn't during the 1995-8 North Korean famine. We have no choice but to feed them; not doing so will not cause the regime to fall, it will cause millions to die. At the same time, however, we should have extricated ourselves from this situation long ago by invading the country. Probably would have been a better place to go into than Iraq/Afghanistan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Will Does Not Exist

In a defense of free will that falls flat, William Egginton says the following:


“The point to stress, however, is that this catalog [of our past events] is not even legible in theory, for to be known it assumes a kind of knower unconstrained by time and space, a knower who could be present from every possible perspective at every possible deciding moment in an agent’s history and prehistory. Such a knower, of course, could only be something along the lines of what the monotheistic traditions call God.”


Egginton assumes that all past events that have ever occurred are factored into the decisions we make, and thus, absent a God, we have no way of determining what a person will do at any given moment. The first part of this statement is certainly true, but we don’t need to have a “God” to uncover and untangle the relationships between past events that determine our present mental states, we just need a machine capable of examining the brain at a sufficiently deep level, for every neuron is in its current position because of past events. There is no reason such a technology could not be built. Free will does not exist.