Setting a trap for bike thieves

Is this wrong? https://ktla.com/2020/01/09/2-men-accused-of-luring-thieves-with-unattended-bikes-then-beating-them-with-baseball-bats-and-posting-attacks-on-youtube/amp/?__twitter_impression=true Serious question – this is basically what the police due with “sting operations” and “honeypots,” so how is it different when it is done by private individuals? If you have a right to protect your property with force, does that right extend to defending it when you have set up the violation of your property rights as a temptation to wrongdoers? It seems to be this crime is operating in the nebulous world of “intents” – those favorite devices of the slave morality. Had these people just left a bike in front of their house (which…

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All it Takes is One Complaint

Apparently, for Mailchimp to cancel your account. I’ve used Mailchimp for years, and stuck with them through the degradation of their interface, to the point where the site is barely usable, but that’s probably going to have to change now. It’s not that the complaint was libelous; it is – Stefan is an anarchist, not a “nationalist” or a “white nationalist” (something which is a contradiction in terms). It’s that the company will cancel your account immediately after a single false accusation of wrongthink. This response was so quick and the accusation so ridiculous that it makes me think that…

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Cultural and Political Inertia

Most of you know what inertia is – Objects in motion tend to stay in motion; objects at rest tend to stay at rest. The biggest effort is the first inch you roll a boulder. Then everything gets easier; then it keeps going on its own. Once that boulder is rolling, don’t get in its way. The same thing happens in politics and culture. It’s difficult to enact changes, but once the revolution happens, it’s hard to slow down. Everything that is taken for granted can go out the window. You can see this with the transformations that happened in…

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Judging things by their outcomes

This post is beyond the contest between consequentialism and deontology, before anyone starts firing up his philosophy brain. I notice in our society there is a profound resistance to judging actual outcomes, whether it is a public program, government service, educational process, or even a workout routine. The tendency is to try to judge either the process for its own sake or to judge the intended outcomes of the process. A workout program seems fun at the gym – it’s a great program! But… did you gain strength and muscle, cut fat, or increase your athletic capacity? We can’t abandon…

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“Star Wars Fans” and created identities

Just a little follow-up to my post yesterday: Being a “fan” is no to a large part a function of identity. However, it is fundamentally different from other forms of identity, such as race, ethnicity, or religion. For ethnicity, membership is generally obvious and immutable – either you are the descendant of an ethnic group or you are not, with the only grey area being multi-ethnic individuals in some circumstances. For religion, identity is primarily how one views himself and his alignment with tradition and creed that has been passed down, and so is in most cases not up for…

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Social Proof

“Social Proof” is something you NEED to become familiar with. It’s essential if you are going to be doing any kind of marketing. What is social proof? Basically, it’s this: Other people think this, therefore it is likely to be true. If you are thinking straight away that this is a logical fallacy, just hold your objections. I’ll explain how social proof is different than an appeal to popularity. Social proof is a very fast method of judging initial likelihood of truth – A filter, more than “proof” in the logical sense. This is in the realm of induction, obviously.…

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The Material Mind – What makes a mind “alive”?

I detailed in a recent Star Wars Mandalorian analysis a rare entry into the the true science fiction space in the mighty space opera franchise. In the final episode of the first season, a droid character acts as though he is sapient, even making moral calculations, but at the same time denies that he is alive. This becomes important when the Mandalorian, who never removes his helmet in front of living beings due to an oath, allows the droid to remove his helmet and treat a life-threatening wound. This creates some dissonance with the titular character – he has come…

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What is Talent?

The word “talent” is not always used consistently in the English language. Often, it is used interchangeably with the word “skill” to denote a level of accomplishment, such as, “Michael is a talented translator.” However, most people will admit that it is something distinct from mere skill, which can be acquired. “Talent” communicates something deeper than the result of practice – something is at least partly inherent in the subject. At the same time, it is impossible to discern talent in the absence of outcomes which include skill development. Nobody will recognize the talent of an artist who has not…

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Change Something Once a Year – Growth through change and stress

As we come up on the new year, it’s a good time to talk about MEANINGFUL growth and change. 1) Growth is a response to stress. Nobody expects their body to improve by sitting around on the couch avoiding the stress of exercise. Same with intellectual and spiritual growth. There are limits to this obviously, but seeking a carefree, stress-free life will make you stagnate. Worse, it will weaken you.Don’t avoid stressful things if they are part of you reaching your goals.  2) Change something MEANINGFUL about your life once a year. Change jobs. Move. Have another kid. Write a book. The bigger…

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The 5 phases of Corporate IP Ownership

For the purposes of this discussion, “IP” means “Intellectual Property” and comprises copyright and trademark ownership – such as the ownership of franchises like Star Wars. Phase 1: Creation A lone visionary or small team create something that is an unexpected success, usually on a small budget. Phase 2: Explosion The corporation looks to capitalize on the unexpected success of the creation. They buy up the IP to make movie and game adaptations, or order sequels to quickly deliver additional products to the market. The original team is still mostly intact with increased salaries to ensure they participate in initial…

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