All of Magnus's Comments + Replies

How would they have to act for this to happen? 

If someone suggested the idea of reducing your recline by 50% politely, would you really, in actual lived life, reply making a protest of your "rights"?

I implore you to really think of what this would be like in real life. Someone nicely asking for this. It's a long flight.

Also, to consider the views of other people here and the positive effects of your signaling is speculative at best.  You don't know how people will perceive you. Sure, you think you are standing up for what is obviously you right. ... (read more)

I, like, I assume, everyone else, occasionally encounter situations of having to speak up in very uncomfortable situations, in "actual lived life." In this hypothetical situation, I'd probably reduce my recline. I'd speak up if they reclined into me too much, leaving me not enough space. We never know how other people will perceive us, or the consequences (or, for that matter, what's right) with certainty. But the null decision (or the decision to do whatever causes the least stirrup) is a decision as well - namely, it's a decision saying "the balance of evidence is such that I believe the right thing to do is to cause the least stirrup possible" (assuming the idealized case of an agent who optimizes for doing what is right).

What are some reasonable alternatives in the circumstance that someone is reclining unto your or requesting you un-recline?

Depending on how they act, I might (if I were to fly in a plane) cause enough stirrup to stand up for my rights, taking into account the calculated risk of ending up worse off. There is an externality of signalling to other people what my (and their) rights are, which has additional positive value.

That's not a bad point. 

I think that other people consider this example as a means to discuss some far more abstract ideas of what is morally right in the situation. This was mentioned in my post as:

Is it appropriate for any person to recline their seat? 

To which I said that there is a definite right answer to this question, based on the optimization of some dimension. This is always what is behind morality, in any case - It is just a rule for optimizing something, whether it be autonomy, privacy, etc. 

What I should have also said here is th... (read more)

Doing whatever leads to avoiding causing a stirrup is definitely one of the options.
This discussion seems to be about whether it's moral, not about whether it's technically possible/allowed by the terms. This isn't enough to establish it's right - it's easy to imagine many things that are materially possible and contractually allowed, but morally wrong.

That man was removed from the plane because he Tweeted about the gate agent he was arguing with, publicly mentioning her name and the gate she was working at. Duff Watson, the man in that article you linked, mentioned the staff person's name and location. 

That's not really a fitting comparison to what I am proposing. That cannot be used to say "But there is a single example of this occurring" ( i.e an instantiation ).

I am proposing a common sense, applicable solution in the case that someone finds themselves unable to perform certain tasks on a flight... (read more)

-4Said Achmiz3mo
Yes? And? Why should that result in expulsion from the flight? You have totally missed the point of my link/example, which is that airlines can and do kick you off a flight for things that seem like very innocuous, harmless things—things that you never imagine would result in your expulsion. Can you predict with any great certainty that you won’t get kicked off a plane for harassing a fellow passenger? You absolutely cannot. (Are you tempted to claim that your proposed actions don’t constitute harassment? And you’re probably right: your actual actions, as perceived by you, probably can’t be called harassment by a reasonable person. What about your actions as reported by the other passenger, as those actions are perceived by said other passenger? Are those actions harassment? Sure they are, once the other person says “the person behind me angrily demanded that I not recline; they spoke to me in a very threatening tone of voice; I feel very unsafe sharing a flight with this person”. Then the flight attendant asks you: “sir/madam, did you speak to the passenger in front of you about not reclining their seat?”; you say “yes”; now you’ve admitted to doing what you’re accused of. Would an airline kick you off for that? Easily, and don’t even doubt it.) As well? As well as what? The recliner complaining is what I was talking about. (Or do you mean that the person behind the recliner should complain? But what would be the complaint? “The person in front of me reclined their seat”? They have a right to do that. The flight attendant would judge you to be the troublemaker, for that complaint. In other words, you lose if you complain, and you also lose if the other person complains about your attempted resolution.)

My experience is the contrary. People find it quite tough to ignore someone speaking to them directly. 

Furthermore, I never suggested doing anything that intrudes upon them. My advice is to restate your case a few times and aim for compromise. This is only as intrusive as the recline itself.

It's also worth noting that while you're not trying to be annoying, the recliner is likely to perceive you as such. You are not being intentionally annoying, though. This is something that ought to have been mentioned, admittedly. 

Regarding the flight attendant comment, you have nothing to loose here but a short moment's embarrassment, if that.

-1Said Achmiz3mo
On the contrary, you can be kicked off the flight. Airlines have done it for less. []

There are three separate issues here.

One is - Is it appropriate for any person to recline their seat? 

The other is - If you are a non-recliner and a seat is reclined unto you, what is the appropriate reaction?

The last is - If you recline unto a non-recliner and they ask for you to put your seat in the upright position, what is the ethical response? 

For the first question, one way I can think to test this would be to examine the differences in total leg-room volume when everyone is not reclined against when everyone is reclined. 

If I had more... (read more)

1Said Achmiz3mo
More likely that they’ll ignore you, and if you do something that intrudes upon them despite this, they’ll complain to a flight attendant. That interaction is unlikely to resolve in your favor (and quite rightly so).

Also, I am not trying to bash Friedman here. That's not the point of this post. The specifics of the example really are not as important as the general idea of the person referring to a thinker and then pivoting subjects quickly.

Hmm some of these people would, no doubt, turn out to be belief-in-believers if they were questioned.

Some of these cases are also no doubt cached thoughts, but I think a significant number are not.

I have a reply below to noggin-scratcher's comment that goes into this in more detail.

Hey, also - thanks for the comment.

I replied to this and a bit more below, in noggin-scratcher's comment.

p.s thanks for commenting

First, thanks a lot for replying. I love talking to people on this site and these are great questions. 

I'm not 100% on what it means for an opinion to be an image of an image.

Now thinking, I firstly should have limited myself to "An image of a belief" instead of "An image of an image". 

An image of a a belief would be something like this.  Say you're at some kind of family friend event, and get to talking about economics.

The person you're talking to eventually says "I actually believe in trickle down economics, man. I just think that's the be... (read more)

This comment really explains your idea better than the original post
Also, I am not trying to bash Friedman here. That's not the point of this post. The specifics of the example really are not as important as the general idea of the person referring to a thinker and then pivoting subjects quickly.

I have some questions before I give any advice. 

When you say your technical skills are "less than spectacular", what does this mean? Can you build software? Or do you have some kind of other employable skill that you have rehearsed the basics of? 

The reason I ask this is because if your 22 and don't have a fundamental skill ( balancing books, writing code, etc. ), this should be #1 on your agenda. This is what allows you to write books, consult, etc. 

Some questions:

  • Do you feel like you lean more towards things with more upside? 
  • What kin
... (read more)

What do you think of the below quote from Epicteus' Enchiridion?


49. When a man shows himself overly confident in ability to understand and interpret the works of Chrysippus, say to yourself, " Unless Chrysippus had written obscurely, this man would have nothing to be proud of. 

But what do I desire? To understand the world and follow her. 

I ask then - Who interprets the world? Finding Chrysippus does, I come to him. I don't understand his writings. 

I seek, therefore, one to interpret them. So far there is nothing to be proud of. And whe... (read more)

Funnily, I've read that quote not that long ago during my morning stoic routine. ^^ My interpretation with regard to the post is that the value is not in being able to interpret but in getting something that makes you more virtuous from it. Which is exactly what this short dialogue tries to capture: me trying to find what to extract from this whole mess without spending an enormous amount of time for the sheer thrill of interpretation.

I really appreciated this post and thought it was quite a novel way of viewing situations where one must make a choice where while one option is the clear winner, there is still a lingering feeling of having lost something. 

Your final conclusion here appears to be - Do not expect your new pleasures to replace the old. 

You will still want these old joys - restaurants, bustle, packed gatherings. Plan for this, as it will not be replaced by the extra space or quietude of the suburbs. 

This was very enjoyable read. Thanks for posting.

Yes. And thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. One of my goals was to also apply "Do not expect your new pleasures to replace the old" to other types of decision making. It was a critique of using net-benefit analysis on non-fungible costs. The benefits of a policy don't replace its harms and costs. Tradeoffs are not the same thing as substitution. Every tradeoff between non-fungibles incurs a debt, and net-benefit hides that behind a single positive number. It's an uneccessary step - one can still make tradeoffs, while keeping a ledger of this debt. This influences real-life outcomes in things like City Planning (where housing people quickly, without underlying infrastructure results in permanent slums) or Politics (where those on the wrong end of the net-gain in jobs are ignored). These phenomenon wouldn't come as a big surprise if one had recognized the debt incurred every time we made these tradeoffs.

3: (Implicit) Encouragement does not do other important things → False


I am not certain if including this as an implication or negation of 1 and 2 was correct. 

As far as I can imagine, one of these ( implication or negation ) would have to be the reason why you claim the statement to be implicit. I could break down Graham's statements into symbolic form and work this out like a true logician, but I'm a bit too lazy right now.  There's just no statement that be negated to equal point 3, nor is the implication really clear.  

Just to be cl... (read more)

Thanks. The thing on #3 was intended as "I evaluate this to false", the arrows in the original logic were meant to indicate that they were supposed to be implications of previous claims. Curious if others found that unclear or not, since if it wasn't clear I don't want to do it again without an explanation.
1Roven Skyfal9mo
I hope you enjoy them like I did