Phil Scadden

Senior Scientist at GNS Science (New Zealand equivalent of USGS more or less). Programmer, modeller, dabbling in physics, geology, geophysics. Back-roomer and like it that way.


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Why Save The Drowning Child: Ethics Vs Theory

Having made the above comment, I find myself struggling with my own approaches to it. Suppose in addition, the jurisdiction of the events has abolished the death penalty. A deontologist would want (a system 2 level) to stop the lynch mob. Stopping a lynch mob would also appeal to Virtue ethicist. So what would a Consequentialist do? What is the System 1 response of the person or persons who started the lynch mob? I feel that long term, a consequentialist would say rule of law is Good. In short term, it is easy to say the law is an ass and let's have proper justice (I am pretty sure that would be my System 1 response if I was the girls father), despite being intellectually opposed to death penalties.

Saving a drowning child is no test for ethical theories.

“The Wisdom of the Lazy Teacher”

Might work for a hungry man, but a disengaged and lazy students?

The Goldbach conjecture is probably correct; so was Fermat's last theorem

"If it can't be proven false, then it definitely isn't false"
Hmm, if you are applying that to mathematical conjectuire, then those statements dont seem compatible with Godel's theorem to me.

Why Save The Drowning Child: Ethics Vs Theory

But do we all have same System 1 instincts? 

A consequentialist, a deontologist, and a virtue ethicist are walking back into town after a hunting trip (and all armed to the teeth) discussing the fundamental nature of morality. They come across a group of angry citizens about to lynch a man for rape and murder of a young girl. The man pleads that he didnt mean to kill her...

[Letter] Advice for High School #1

I should add that my high school self failed badly at the "listen", "figure out how people work" and especially "dont be a prat". Didn't lose fear of failing till University.

[Letter] Advice for High School #1

 C.S. Lewis said  "“I could never have gone far in any science because on the path of every science the lion Mathematics lies in wait for you.” I would say the lion was mostly calculus (though algebra skills are more or less assumed by calculus. At my high school and my son's high school, algebra and calculus were taught in same course). Even in stats, you can't move into the proofs for many theorems without calculus and I strongly recommend study of proofs so you know the real background to any theorem you might be applying (this is university level for most part). 

I work in earth science and too many of my colleagues take fright at sight of an integral or partial derivative sign in a paper. Lack of calculus becomes a limiting factor so master it if you can. If you can't, make good friends with colleagues who can.


Choice Writings of Dominic Cummings

And more:
Kuenssberg challenged him on Vote Leave’s central promise – a £350m Brexit dividend for the NHS. “You knew very well then, and you know very well now, that that figure didn’t include the so-called rebate, the money that the UK got to keep,” she said. “Yes,” Cummings replied.

He explained that he used the figure to focus the debate on the “balance sheet” of Britain’s EU membership, and to “drive the Remain campaign and the people running it crazy”.

“So it was a deliberate trap for the other side?” asked Kuenssberg. 

“Yeah,” Cummings replied.  

Looks to me like your average political animal, focussed mainly on winning rather than truth.

Choice Writings of Dominic Cummings

In a press conference, he claims. "Last year I wrote about the possible threat of coronaviruses and the urgent need for planning," I am failing to find mention of coronavirus in that original. I also note

I remain unconvinced that he is "extremely committed to truth-seeking".

Choice Writings of Dominic Cummings

"Extremely committed to truth-seeking". Hmm. and would suggest that he has a penchant for telling fibs. 

The Best Software For Every Need

Would be more useful if included OS and free/paid/subscription with the program name.

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