Moral and Ethical Consideration (3)


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Cynicism, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Posted on 06-08-2018

Moral and ethical consideration can only be given in degrees of reciprocity.

That is, a rock cannot give any moral consideration to you when it falls on your head, and you cannot give any real moral consideration to that rock.

Similarly, mosquitoes do what mosquitoes do, and if a mosquitoes bites you, it’s only being a mosquito. There is no moral judgement here. It bites you. You swat it and kill it. The mosquito chose a bad target.

The mosquito has no moral consideration for biting you, and your swatting of the mosquito isn’t a moral consideration.

The same applies to hungry animals. We don’t blame a wolf for being a wolf. Neither do we blame anyone for killing a wolf to defend themselves.

These are not moral or ethical considerations except for some very silly people.

Wolves, mosquitoes and other creatures do not view others in terms of any morality or ethics.

Now, take the common spider in your home. If it’s not bothering you, it’s a good thing to have. It eliminates pests such as flies and mosquitoes. It’s a benefit.

However, should that spider overstep its “rightful role” and intrude into the wrong space, we kill it. Without any moral consideration.

That is, when the spider intrudes into our “space” too far, it puts itself in peril.

The same goes for higher order creatures such as mice, rats, racoons, bears, etc.

When bears intrude on your property and threaten your family, you shoot them. This isn’t a question for sane people. This is a question of self preservation.

The purpose here wasn’t to argue an infinite number of cases. The purpose was to argue a general case for moral/ethical considerations and reciprocity. Specifically, in cases where there is no reciprocity, there is no moral consideration.

(There are other cases, however, in the interests of moving along quickly. they are ignored.)

Moral and Ethical Consideration (2)


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Logic, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Posted on 26-06-2018

Moral or ethical consideration is spatially limited. (And moreover, limited by capacity or ability.)

That is, the further away a consideration, the less weight is given to it.

For example, should you be in a situation where someone is attacking another person unprovoked, you have a stronger duty to intervene and help the innocent victim. However, for events happening further away, the further away it is, the less duty you have to intervene.

This is made clear by example.

First, consider a morally praiseworthy action that you could perform, but that also requires your physical presence.

Next, consider the viability of you being able to perform that action in your immediate vicinity.

Repeat that consideration for varying distances:

  • Your hometown
  • A nearby city
  • A city 200+ km away
  • A city 1000+ km away
  • A city on the other side of the planet

It becomes increasingly apparent that any expectation for you to perform that action decreases as we go down the list. The reasons should be obvious.

One’s duty to act is on a gradient that coincides with one’s capacity to act.

We cannot expect people to act when they have no capacity or ability to do so.

Ironically, Cloudflare goes full Nazi to censor Nazis and realises that they just went full Nazi


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Australia, Censorship, Internet, Logic, Philosophy, Politics | Posted on 22-08-2017

Cloudflare is one of the more important companies on the Internet. If you’re unfamiliar with their name, you’ve certainly seen the results of their services.

In a recent event, Cloudflare dropped Daily Stormer as a client.

If you’re unfamiliar with Daily Stormer, count yourself lucky. They’re full on Nazis. Or were. They’re offline now.

(If I have to explain why Nazis are bad, please just go away.)

Matthew Prince from Cloudflare posted a well thought out blog post here:

The irony is that they went full Nazi to censor Nazis, and at the end of the blog post, realise that they went full Nazi.

In the blog post, Matthew sides with “due process” over “free speech”:

Freedom of Speech < Due Process

The issue of who can and cannot be online has often been associated with Freedom of Speech. We think the more important principle is Due Process. I, personally, believe in strong Freedom of Speech protections, but I also acknowledge that it is a very American idea that is not shared globally. On the other hand, the concept of Due Process is close to universal. At its most basic, Due Process means that you should be able to know the rules a system will follow if you participate in that system.

Due Process requires that decisions be public and not arbitrary. It’s why we’ve always said that our policy is to follow the guidance of the law in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Law enforcement, legislators, and courts have the political legitimacy and predictability to make decisions on what content should be restricted. Companies should not.

This is entirely misguided. You can’t have due process if speech is muzzled. This should be obvious enough.

He also weighs in with some moral arguments:

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile. You may believe it should be restricted. You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted. Reasonable people can and do believe all those things. But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

I think those are worth breaking down a bit more.

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile.

That’s a personal opinion, but yes, I also find them vile.

You may believe it should be restricted.

Absolutely not. While I may find DS vile, I’m not willing to denigrate free speech to only speech that I don’t find vile. The only speech that may rightfully be restricted is that speech which is criminal in nature, such as incitement to violence, etc. This has been covered in literature extensively.

You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted.

No. I don’t. It shouldn’t be a crime to be an asshole fucking loudmouth. There are many things that I find personally repulsive that I don’t think should be prosecuted. My opinion shouldn’t dictate how other people live their lives. Even if I find it abhorrent. (The exception being criminal behaviour, and again, this has been covered many times, so I won’t repeat it here.)

Reasonable people can and do believe all those things.

No. Reasonable people don’t believe all those things. You just went full fucking Nazi on actual Nazis and you’re trying to justify your horrific behaviour.

But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

This is true. I have no dispute there. Due process needs to be followed, and in order for that to happen, people must be free to speak.

Then at the end of the post, Matthew seems to flip around somewhat, and realise that he and Cloudflare have crossed a very important line.

Someone on our team asked after I announced we were going to terminate the Daily Stormer: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but only half. He’s no fan of the Daily Stormer or sites like it. But he does realize the risks of a company like Cloudflare getting into content policing.

That’s a telling and important bit, and perhaps the most important bit in the blog post.

He was half joking, but only half.

The point of free speech is that we need to tolerate (not accept!) things that we disagree with, and even things that we find horrific.

It’s that difference between tolerance and acceptance that seems to be blurred.

In 2012 Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics entitled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” You can find it here:

The authors argue for infanticide, or in plain English, murdering babies. They even extend it to murdering toddlers up to 3 years old.

While some people may not find murdering babies horrific, I do. However, I never considered that muzzling those people and censoring them to be an option.

I’m struggling to find anything that’s more horrific than murdering babies. Perhaps I’m lacking in some imagination.

Sure, we could talk about adding in other crimes, such as rape and torture, but at the end of the day, are they really all that much horrific than simply murdering toddlers and babies? I think that in those terms, we start to lose perspective as it’s so far beyond any semblance of morality or decency.

Still, there’s no excuse to censor those authors as far as I can see.

You don’t win against full Nazis by going full Nazi. Let the marketplace of ideas prevail. Most sane people reject Nazism, just as they reject infanticide. We don’t need to censor non-criminal speech.

Moral and Ethical Consideration (1)


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Logic, Philosophy | Posted on 11-01-2017

Some things are outside of the scope of morality and/or ethics.

When we ask questions about what is moral or ethical, we limit those questions to certain areas or topics or considerations. We do not ask whether it is murder to put rocks in a rock crusher. We do not ponder the ethics or morality of our actions when we dip a piece of celery or a baby carrot from a veggie platter into some delicious dip and eat it.

Rocks, carrots, celery, and many other things do not enter into our sense of what is moral or ethical.

When we mow the grass, we do not think about the feelings or life of our lawns. The same goes for trimming the hedges and trees around our homes.

Similarly, we do not think of the decision to drink coffee or tea as moral or ethical decisions, because they aren’t.

Whether we wear beige or grey or navy blue pants is another decision that is outside of the scope of morals and ethics.

But this is no surprise. Morality has a defined scope.

In the next post on this topic, we’ll look at some simple examples where morality begins to come into the equation, and how it can be blurry.

My Aim is to Horrify You with Yourself


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Philosophy, Politics, Religion | Posted on 08-01-2017

I’ve decided to write a series of non-linear posts that I’ll later reconstruct into a more coherent argument.

My next few posts will go over some rather simple things — things that may or may not be controversial. I’ll be referring back to them along the way here and there.

For the most part, they’ll be things that most people would agree with.

The latter few will be deeply troubling.

However, at the very least, for those capable of understanding or appreciating an argument, they should all be entertaining, and more-so towards the end.


Soldering the wrong LEDs into the right fixture


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Logic | Posted on 31-10-2015

Tags: , , , , ,

I bought some LED bulbs and screwed up the size.

Naturally, it’s impossible to find an adapter for the bulb here. (Yep – nowhere.)

So, I have an E14 bulb and my fixture is E17 or “Intermediate”.

I’m thinking, just, like, FFS… does everything need to be this hard?

But then it’s just an opportunity to unf**k a situation. A challenge! 😀 YAY~!

More on the “screwed up” phase, I’d broken an E17 bulb when I tried to take it out without letting it cool off enough.

Ok… I’m an idiot sometimes. Freely admitted.

But now… I have a broken bulb… and bulbs that are the wrong size! YAY!~

I take the E17 socket, then solder in my E14 bulb. Here are the pics of me fixing my f**k ups. 🙂

I tested my fixture, and it worked. So I started soldering… I used wire strands to wrap around the bulb’s end and then soldered into the broken E17 fixture. I’d tested it, and it worked as it was.





By this point, I had the one side nicely soldered. However, it didn’t work. I drilled a hole into the end, then inserted a copper wire, and soldered again.






And it worked. So I screwed it in.




And it worked nicely.

I think I’ll just order some adapters off of AliExpress. It was a lot of work to get that working.




Can’t login using PowerShell to Raspberry Pi running Windows IoT [SOLVED]


Posted by Cynic | Posted in .NET, C#, Software, Solutions to Problems, Windows | Posted on 03-10-2015

Tags: , , ,

I’ve seen a few people having problems using PowerShell to log into their Raspberry Pi 2 that’s running Windows IoT. If you’re here, you’re already frustrated, so here’s what worked for me…

Restart WinRM using these 2 commands:

net stop winrm

net start winrm

Next, instead of using the device name for your Raspberry Pi 2, use the IP address like this in PowerShell:

Enter-PsSession -ComputerName -Credential\Administrator

And yes… I understand that it sounds stupid, but I tried everything else and nothing worked. The above worked for me. YMMV. Good luck!

Oh, also, it took a minute or two to complete, so just be patient. If it fails, my only other advice is to find a baseball bat. 🙂

Why I Support “Terrorism”


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Politics | Posted on 08-05-2015


Please note that I said, “I support terrorism,” and not, “I support terrorists.”

But you’re probably thinking, “This guy is a kook.” Give me 2 minutes to tease your intellect and curiosity a bit.

Terrorism is the use of violence to achieve a political end.

I am sure a few people will try to redefine terrorism as something else, but if we are to be honest, we need to stick to what the word actually means, and not try to twist it with some sort of Orwellian newspeak.

So, to start let’s look at some “terrorists”:

Spartacus: A slave who led a revolt against the Romans.

Emmanuel d’Astier de La Vigerie: A leader in the French resistance against the Nazi occupation in France during WWII.

Thomas Jefferson: A terrorist leader against the British in colonial America.

Patrick Henry: Another terrorist leader against the British in colonial America. Probably most famous for saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

George Washington: Yet another terrorist in the American colonies. Certainly a nasty bastard at times, but still a terrorist.

William Wallace: A Scottish terrorist who fought for freedom in Scotland against King Edward I of England, who had William tortured, murdered and dismembered in horrific ways for daring to give a shit about his people and not recognise the right of England to rape and pillage whatever they damn well feel like.

Andrew Moray: A fellow terrorist along with William Wallace. Fought to repel English invaders from the south.

Nelson Mandela: A terrorist who fought against apartheid.

But if you don’t like real life terrorists, perhaps a fictional terrorist may appeal to your sensitivities?

Luke Skywalker: The consumate terrorist. This individual was single-handedly responsible for the deaths of countless thousands of people and clones in but a single attack on a government military installation.


Yes. I support terrorism. It’s a tool. Much like a hammer or screwdriver.

You can find a list of the real terrorist that betrayed Canada here.

To all of them, fuck you. My freedoms are not for sale.


Receiving Australia Governor-General Bravery Medal


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Australia | Posted on 30-03-2015

I was recently notified that I’m receiving a Bravery Medal from the Australian Governor-General for something I did a while back. The list of recipients is on this page (direct link to PDF).

Today, I was contacted and interviewed by a news reporter from 7 News, Jackie Quist The clip was a lot shorter than the interview. 🙂

They used the 1 part that I was secretly hoping that they wouldn’t. But, oh well.

Jackie asked me a question, which put me right back at that moment where I’d asked myself if I was going to stand by and watch this fellow burn to death. I tried to answer, but I broke down.

The thing is, a few years prior, I’d tried to help a friend, and I really, really tried. But I didn’t try hard enough, and he died. He was one of my closest friends. His death hit me hard. And standing in front of that burning car with that fellow screaming for help… I’d already miserably failed one of my closest friends, and I couldn’t fail like that again. Thinking about and talking about that moment, standing there in front of the flames, brings back all the pain of losing someone who was very dear to me. For some reason, those two memories and events are tied together for me.

Editing and Charitable Reading


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Cynicism, Logic | Posted on 31-12-2014


It seems that fewer and fewer people today are capable of actually reading, and even fewer are capable of a charitable read. The concept of a charitable read is important, but seems to have been lost.

Today I read a simple article that you can find here. In it, I found this:

“And sorry, we can’t yet tell you what’ll [sic] be,” the post reads, in part.

In there “[sic]” indicates that the editor has detected an error. You can read about that here.

From the quotation, there is nothing grammatically wrong about it. Truncating some and expanding some, we can derive this:

We cannot tell you what will be.

There is no error there. In fact, a charitable read would be to possibly infer that the speaker is making an allusion to Doris Day singing “Que Sera, Sera“.

This assumption may not be correct, but it doesn’t change the grammatical correctness of the sentence. If my assumption is correct, the speaker has been rather eloquent, and the editor has been rather ignorant.

Though the sentence does have a certain “flavour”, there is no error.

This indicates to me that editors are sometimes ignorant of English grammar, and unwilling to entertain the idea of English grammar structures that don’t fit into a strict set of prescriptive criteria.

Abstracting this to a bit more of a higher level, I have seen in many cases where readers are unwilling to try to understand the speaker, and instead interpret the speaker in the worst light possible. This is the exact opposite of a charitable read, and is anathema to any kind of productive intellectual discourse.

If you are unwilling to try to understand the person you are speaking with, there is no point in even talking. Simply admit that you are a closed-minded asshole and walk away. That saves everyone a good amount of time.