Don't be a Logic Zombie!!!

Author: 3RU7AL ,

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  • 3RU7AL
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    3RU7AL
    A logic zombie is someone who blindly follows logic no matter how ridiculous the conclusions may be.

    For example, you can't just blindly follow logic into idiotic beliefs like determinism and solipsism. These are obviously intellectual black holes with no utilitarian value whatsoever.

    A logic zombie is just a person who can't face reality and who won't be honest with themselves.

    A logic zombie is someone who never takes personal responsibility for their actions and instead blames logic for their moronic and misguided attacks on well established and incontrovertible truth.

    You can't depend on logic for everything. People know deep down what is right and what is wrong. You know the truth. You just need the courage to face the facts.
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I wouldn't say logic is bad, but I can see how you can use logic to justify just about anything. 
    It is good to be a reasonable person, but reason isn't an end in itself.

    Logic certainly shouldn't be taken as an idol before The Truth.





  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Mopac
    I wouldn't say logic is bad, but I can see how you can use logic to justify just about anything. 
    It is good to be a reasonable person, but reason isn't an end in itself.

    Logic certainly shouldn't be taken as an idol before The Truth.
    When you say "The Truth" do you mean, "NTURTTGgTS" (Noumenon, The Ultimate Reality, The Truth, [G]god, The Source)?

    Because "NTURTTGgTS" is perfectly logical.
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    All of creation testifies of God.


    Reason certainly helps us discern good from evil. The problem arrises when we take ourselves as the rightful and ultimate judges of these things. Experience reveals that we are wrong or mistaken an awful lot.


  • Fallaneze
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    --> @3RU7AL
    "People know deep down what is right and what is wrong. You know the truth. You just need the courage to face the facts."

    Moral realism is calling.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Fallaneze
    Moral realism is calling.
    (IFF) "moral realism" is true (THEN) what?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Fallaneze
    "People know deep down what is right and what is wrong. You know the truth. You just need the courage to face the facts."

    Moral realism is calling.
    I think 3ru is saying we should trust our intuitions, not what we can (or think we can) prove.  Applied to morality that mean we shouldn't doubt that murder or rape are bad (if that is how we feel), even if we can't write a formal proof of it.

    3ru will correct me if i got the wrong end of the stick!
  • TwoMan
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    --> @keithprosser
    I would argue that we shouldn't allow our intuition to dictate our morals. I can think of many scenarios where that would lead to bad consequences. That's why we have laws; so that despite the fact that everyone's intuitions are different, we all must adhere to the same moral precepts nevertheless.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    ...we all must adhere to the same moral precepts nevertheless.
    Do you have any hint of what these "moral precepts" might be?

    Do you think they might be universal or do you believe they might be specific to each particular time and place?
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I was referring to actual written and enforceable laws. Some are very specific, some are more universal. My point being that the law attempts to eliminate personal intuition from the equation and requires everyone to follow the same moral standards.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    I was referring to actual written and enforceable laws. Some are very specific, some are more universal. My point being that the law attempts to eliminate personal intuition from the equation and requires everyone to follow the same moral standards.
    Sort of like a community consensus.

    Law is codified mob rule.

    Here's a practical example of how difficult it is to make rules based on community consensus -



  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    That was interesting.  I hadn't heard about that at Facebook.

    Law is codified mob rule.
    What other options are there? Is there a middle ground between mob rule and anarchy? Should society be more or less tolerant of potentially offensive content or actions when the feelings of a few people can sway an entire policy?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    What other options are there? Is there a middle ground between mob rule and anarchy? Should society be more or less tolerant of potentially offensive content or actions when the feelings of a few people can sway an entire policy?
    I think the method described in the podcast is pretty close to a hypothetical ideal.

    At a certain point the goal should be that the principled rules should be enforceable by a computer intelligence (approaching 90%+ accuracy and automatic enforcement).

    Enforcement and corrective action (justice) should be blind (not subject to opinion or "officer discretion").

    If a rule (or specific punishment) is disputed, like with the example of nursing mothers (in the podcast), there should be a formal process to determine actual consensus, otherwise we will be subject to the whims of the Tyranny of the Thin Skinned.

    The rule making and enforcement mechanism should be impervious to (insulated from) executive decisions and public protests.

    The rule making process should have the goal of making as few rules as necessary with as few exceptions as possible and based on easy to understand principles with the express purpose of being durable over long periods of time.

    For example, legislators routinely pass unconstitutional laws (bans on flag burning and restrictions on abortion services) that they know will be struck down in the courts (because they already have been struck down numerous times) but they waste their own time and the time of the courts (and millions upon millions of dollars) because they consider it politically savvy and there are zero repercussions for them (there is currently no legal penalty for passing unconstitutional laws).
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    we will be subject to the whims of the Tyranny of the Thin Skinned.
    I would say that we have already reached that point. Look at the activity in the last few years on college campuses for example.

    The rule making process should have the goal of making as few rules as necessary with as few exceptions as possible and based on easy to understand principles with the express purpose of being durable over long periods of time.
    As the podcast showed, it is relatively simple to blur the line between compliance and violation of a rule. It is also a blurry line between libertarian freedom and aggressive political correctness. Also, a computer intelligence might have difficulty determining intent which should be taken into consideration in my opinion. As for being durable over a long period of time, I think society (or should I say the powers that be) would need to be a little less worried about the vocal minority and take their complaints with a grain of salt. Not dismissive but not over reactive. That is the blurry line to be navigated.
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    You really think rules enforced by a computer intelligence is ideal?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I think the method described in the podcast is pretty close to a hypothetical ideal.
    What method in the podacast do you refer to and ideal on what criterion?   If your goal is to process millions of new posts, photos and videos per day then a rigid set of rules and with clearly defined exceptions is the only practical solution.  i note that the rules have to be rigid in how they are implemented but flexible in that they must be kept under review and subject to amendment.   The review and amendment proecedures at facebook seemed to be reactive, ad hoc and based on the personal judgement of senior individuals - there is no consultation with the community at all!




  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Mopac
    You really think rules enforced by a computer intelligence is ideal?
    We often venerate "impartial" judges and idolize the idea of "blind" justice.

    Rules should be quantifiable and enforced without exception.

    If rules are quantifiable, there is no reason a computer cannot identify violations.

    If the rules make feeble attempts to weigh purely qualitative factors (like "motive" or "intent") then they are doomed to subjective and potentially arbitrary or selective enforcement.

    There is also the very real psychological damage that is suffered by minimum wage workers viewing literally hundreds and hundreds of gory murder and sexually explicit images and videos day after day.  If this doesn't qualify as a hostile (inhumane) work environment, I'm not sure what does.  This work should be conducted by a computer intelligence.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    What method in the podacast do you refer to and ideal on what criterion?   If your goal is to process millions of new posts, photos and videos per day then a rigid set of rules and with clearly defined exceptions is the only practical solution.  i note that the rules have to be rigid in how they are implemented but flexible in that they must be kept under review and subject to amendment.   The review and amendment proecedures at facebook seemed to be reactive, ad hoc and based on the personal judgement of senior individuals - there is no consultation with the community at all!
    I agree that there should be some formal mechanism to quantify actual community consensus.

    However, what I was referring to was specifically the efforts described to refine the rules so they could be enforced with a minimum of subjective analysis.

    I was particularly impressed that when the executives over-rode the established rules in order to make an exception for a particular gory image because it was "news worthy", multiple senior analysts in charge of the rules process left the company.

    This demonstrated to me their commitment to a philosophical ideal of impartial enforcement.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    The problem is that journalists are paid to write stories.   They don't mind if it's a story about facebook spiking something or about facebook not spiking something!   Either will do to fill a few column inches and pay the rent.  It just needs a talent for faking indignation.



  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    The problem is that journalists are paid to write stories.   They don't mind if it's a story about facebook spiking something or about facebook not spiking something!   Either will do to fill a few column inches and pay the rent.  It just needs a talent for faking indignation.
    Ok?

    Are we now suddenly in a discussion of journalistic standards and practices?

    I really don't care what any particular company does or doesn't do (within the limits of the law, it is their own discretion).

    I only highlighted this story because I believe it is a good example of how difficult it is to create a durable rule set and uniform enforcement.

    Many people (not you specifically of course) say "bad stuff is bad and should obviously be taken down, why the heck do you need to write down thousands of rules?" - and this is the attitude I'm trying to address.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    Also, a computer intelligence might have difficulty determining intent which should be taken into consideration in my opinion.
    If the rules make feeble attempts to weigh purely qualitative factors (like "motive" or "intent") then they are doomed to subjective and potentially arbitrary or selective enforcement.

    The rules should be refined so they can be enforced with a minimum of subjective analysis.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    The rules should be refined so they can be enforced with a minimum of subjective analysis.
    I don't disagree, but it takes a lot of balls to stand up to a storm of criticism - especially if it threatens to affect the share price.   Facebook is too big too be laissez-faire and too big to be micro-managed.  DArt get problems with less than a dozen active members; facebook has billions.

    but a decision about a facebook post has to be made in seconds at most.  It does not follow that what is right for facebook is right for jury trials that can take days or weeks.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    I don't disagree, but it takes a lot of balls to stand up to a storm of criticism - especially if it threatens to affect the share price.   Facebook is too big too be laissez-faire and too big to be micro-managed.  DArt get problems with less than a dozen active members; facebook has billions.

    but a decision about a facebook post has to be made in seconds at most.  It does not follow that what is right for facebook is right for jury trials that can take days or weeks.
    I believe that all rules should be based on explicit axioms and should not be open to interpretation.

    If a broad (near universal) consensus cannot be reached, then the rules should be balkanized to better conform to regional community standards.

    I also believe that in the case of online postings, a computer intelligence could preemptively cover potentially controversial images with a message like, "this content is potentially controversial, click to view".

    Also, in an online environment, it should also be possible to only allow "rated G" content by default, and then let users themselves choose if they want to set their views to allow "PG" or "R-rated" content.

    I do not believe jury trials are sacrosanct and furthermore I strongly believe the current laws should be rigorously cross-checked for logical coherence.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I believe that all rules should be based on explicit axioms and should not be open to interpretation.
    I don't think we disagree on the basic principle, but I see a problem where an unforseen or unforeseeable case means following the letter goes against the spirit.  Do you punish someone who does something the rules inadvertently forbid?

  • Mopac
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    I don't trust the robots or their programmers.