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on 169 Roots

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Forum: All This Gender Stuff is BS
Corelis
7

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I have no problem with classifying people in general as long as those classifications are considered vague outlines instead of direct facts, but I find it excessively pointless to classify things as either feminine or masculine. What's the point of considering liking women, liking doing things that makes one feel tough, wanting to be a knight in shining armour who saves the princess masculine, and considering having long hair and enjoying cute stuff feminine?

I rather enjoy some romantic comedies too. Does that make me mentally 0.3% more a woman? What would that even mean? It doesn't really make my mind any fundamentally different to what it would be if I didn't enjoy romantic comedies. It's like taking an RPG character creator with a trait system and marking half of the available traits as red and half as blue. Then, when you finish your character, it lists the ratio of blue traits to red traits. What meaning does that have for the character? Nothing, really. The ratio of blue to red traits isn't what has any effect on your character, it is the traits themselves.

Since labeling things masculine or feminine is pointless, by extension labeling minds "male" or "female" or anything in between based on the traits they are composed of seems pointless. Oh well, since I guess there are correlations to what traits often group together, I suppose that the label has as much use as a personality system such as the MBTI. Still, people seem to give gender far more weight than personality systems.

I've always considered my biological sex largely inconsequential to my identity. Perhaps it has had an effect, perhaps not, but should I wake up to find myself in a female body, I wouldn't really care at all care from an identity standpoint. I don't feel that I am doing something "right" by doing activities stereotypically considered male or something "wrong" when doing activities stereotypically considered female, or vice versa, much as I don't feel I am doing something "right" when I am engaging in activities commonly tied to personality types I identify with. I find it pointless to validate your likes or dislikes based on personality types or gender. If you enjoy something, you shouldn't need validation from such things.
Forum: FTL
Corelis
0

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It is true that the problem of infinity-approaching mass is only an issue when accelerating - if there are no other forces affecting the pistons such as gravity, then after the desired extension speed is reached, there is no need to push anything anymore, and mass becomes irrelevant.

However, no matter how quickly the process of acceleration happens, it can't be instantaneous. The extension speed cannot simply jump from 0 m/s to 1 m/s. There must be an acceleration, and if there is an acceleration, even if it takes a nanosecond, at 0.5 nanoseconds (not taking into account any other problems) all pistons have reached 0.5 m/s, which means that the last pistons are already moving at half the speed of light. The remaining 0.5 nanoseconds will become more and more difficult to manage for the middle pistons, until it becomes impossible.

The amount of time used for the acceleration is irrelevant if all the pistons accelerate at the same time. However, if that ceases to be a requirement, then relativistic mass is no longer a problem... maybe. Let's say the first piston accelerates before the rest. Then, the rest of the pistons will be moving at a speed of 1 m/s relative to the middle piston. Then the pistons connected to the middle piston start extending. Once again, the pistons will be only moving 1 m/s related to the pistons doing the pushing. This chain of successive extension proceeds until the last piston. Relativistic mass ceases to be a problem since there is never a piston trying to accelerate a piston moving faster than 1 m/s relative to its location.

This seems to make sense, but it might as well hold some flaw that I am simply unaware of. It does raise the question of what exactly is happening from the perspective of the middle piston. From its perspective, the second-last piston is pushing something the mass of which should be approaching infinity, so it should not succeed. However, from the second-last piston's perspective, the last piston isn't moving at all when it starts pushing, so it should be perfectly doable. Asking "what is the real truth" is pointless since relativity means there really isn't a single "real truth". Perhaps the push will indeed have no effect from the perspective of the middle piston. So, it fails to reach lightspeed in every perspective, if the push has no effect from the perspectives of those who would view it to move fast enough to achieve lightspeed with an increase of 1 m/s to its speed. But I should stress that I don't really know what I am talking about.

In any case, if in that scenario the relativistic mass isn't the problem, then what is? I haven't studied these things enough to tell, but Kenji's explanation about the speed of push seems reasonable. Some fascinating concept of relativity such as time dilation might also have something to say about the matter.
Forum: FTL
Corelis
1

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To get a proper answer, you'd probably have to ask someone who has dealt with relativity more than me, as I've only grazed the surface of relativity about a year and a half ago, but I suspect the problem comes from relativistic mass in your scenario.

In order to start extending with a speed of 1 meter in 1 second, a piston has to exert a certain amount of force. Naturally, the amount of force necessary for it to successfully perform its task depends on the mass of the objects it is trying to push.

There are two kinds of mass. There's your usual rest mass, which is what is what people generally think about when talking about mass, and then there is relativistic mass which depends on the speed of an object from the perspective or an observer. Since relativistic mass differs from rest mass only with very high velocities, generally it is meaningful to use only rest mass. But since you're trying to reach lightspeed, it's time to bust out special relativity.

The thing with relativistic mass is that it increases with (relative) velocity. It follows this formula:
m_relative = m_rest / sqrt(1 - (v/c)^2), where v is velocity and c is lightspeed.
As a consequence, unless the rest mass of your object isn't zero, its relative mass will approach infinity if its velocity approaches lightspeed.

So, let's consider the middle piston. As the middle piston accelerates its extension speed from zero to 1 m/s, it has to exert force which depends on the mass of the objects it is pushing. However, very quickly, from the middle piston's perspective, the masses of the pistons far away from it start reaching absurd values. Soon, the middle piston should be pushing with an infinite amount of force to be able to reach the extension speed of 1 m/s.

The same applies to all pistons, though to a lesser extent the further from the middle they are, until the effect becomes negligible near the end. Still, the middle pistons would need to be outrageously (infinitely) strong to propel the pistons in the ends into a lightspeed velocity.

So, that might be why it wouldn't work. I should point out that all that is based on a very brief glance through Wikipedia and somewhat foggy memories, so it could be incorrect.
Forum: A Problem I Have!
Corelis
2

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Hmm, I'm not exactly sure to what I should be responding to here. People can certainly misassess themselves in believing they have become a better person, and they certainly can simply pretend to feel bad about something to escape with lighter consequences, which is why justice can't afford to let people off freely based on an assessment of the offender's mental state at the present. This doesn't seem to run against any train of thought I have.

You reason that that alone is the reason why sentences are handed out, instead of them being handed to deliberately punish the guilty as well. Should there be some kind of magical guilt-detector that could give an accurate estimate on how bad someone feels about what they did, I agree that additional punishment beyond what some people already give themselves would be unnecessary. However, when it comes to severe transgressions, if we could somehow determine that a person indeed truly wants to avoid repeating said transgression, thus having "mended his ways", but felt little to no guilt over it, I don't like the idea of having them get away scot free, though I wouldn't object that much.

As such, I don't entirely agree with the idea of justice being all about minimizing suffering. I suppose I can agree that it is the main priority, but I maintain that my view of the concept of justice includes both reward and punishment to a reasonable extent, simply for the sake of deserved enjoyment or deserved unenjoyment.

Still, should all justice systems hold only minimizing suffering as the only priority, I would find the world an acceptable place. It's not a bad approach at all.
Forum: A Problem I Have!
Corelis
3

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I'd object to you calling it "a knee-jerk reaction". It is a knee-jerk reaction when someone has just done something hurtful to you and you demand vengeance in a fit of anger. It is not a knee-jerk reaction when it is a philosophical point of view regarding the concept of justice.

You seem to be making the assumption that I am some kind of extremist who believes that punishment for wrongdoing should be at least equal to the crime. "Eye for an eye". No. Neither is it about personal relief. Should I hear that someone murdered his family over some petty matter and nets himself a long time in jail, I don't feel personal relief about it. There is simply a small measure of satisfaction to be found from there being justice in the world, that people can't get away with hurting others to make their own lives better. That is what differentiates justice from vengeance. Vengeance is based on self-centered emotion and personal relief, justice is based on larger principles on how the world at large should or should not operate.

I should point out that should I pick from "criminal gets no punishment but mends his ways" and "criminal gets a suitable punishment but doesn't change as a person at all", I'd pick the former, not the latter. Minimizing undeserved suffering should be valued more than "justice".

I feel that I should stress that the question of what exactly is a just punishment for whatever crime, or whether things are crimes at all in the first place, have only subjective answers in my opinion, and thus people shouldn't go out on their own beating people up because they thought they did something wrong. Administering punishment should come from as objective an viewpoint as possible, based on rules and guidelines agreed upon by a majority. Even then, there's multiple issues that blur the line of what is acceptable and what isn't. It's a complex issue, but I feel that the answer of "negative repercussions for the sake of justice should be completely abandoned in all situations" oversimplifies the issue in a different direction, and isn't an ideal answer either.

Anyhow, the main point of the discussion wasn't even criminal justice in the first place, which is a topic I gladly leave to folks wiser than myself. Instead, this was about personal guilt. I never did argue against guilt being a force of self-improvement - I certainly consider it that as well. However, I consider the way of thinking that tells you that you shouldn't suffer the repercussions of your actions because you're a good person dodgy at best and self-delusional at worst.

If someone wronged me somehow and felt bad about it, I wouldn't seek punishment. However, people instantly forgiving themselves when they register any regret over their actions seems highly questionable. "Oh my, I stabbed my brother in a fit of anger because he interrupted my Super Mario 64 speedrun. I am a terrible person and I should feel bad about myself. Oh wait, no, I feel guilt, this excuses everything and I should go on with my life, I deserve no further negative consequences than my five seconds of regret."

It just seems like an escape from responsibility to me. Regardless of how you feel about your actions right now, you should take responsibility for what you did, instead of excusing it away with "I'm totally a good person now!". Worse still, habitual use of such thinking seems like it invites a shift in thought process from "now that I feel regret, I should leave it behind" to "let's feel some regret so I can leave it behind". Though I guess that argument might lean a bit towards the slippery slope fallacy.

It just seems like such a backwards way of thinking - "Now that I feel an emotion that affirms I am a good person, let's get rid of that emotion."

Hmm, the following is only tangentially related to the issue at hand, but what do you think of the following thought process: "Oh no, this psychopath locked me and this other person into a cell, letting us out only after one kills the another. I suppose I should be a good, self-sacrificing person and let the other kill me, lest we kill each other fighting for our own survival. Wait, no, I am being a better person than him by accepting that it is better that I die than that we risk killing each other. Since he isn't sacrificing himself, I'm the better person and I should kill him now that his back is turned, before we begin fighting each other, since I'm the better person and thus more deserving to live because I am so self-sacrificing."

It is an interesting paradox, in my opinion, in that if we assume that self-sacrifice is the "good" option here, and that it would be better for the world if the better person left alive, thinking about self-sacrifice supposedly excuses sacrificing the other person instead of yourself, which is the very opposite of a self-sacrifice. I feel that this issue is slightly similar to the guilt issue, in that thinking a thought that could be considered moral and good excuses one from acting upon said good and moral thought.

EDIT: It seems I missed upon the whole karma thing of yours when I was writing, and I guess I should address that too.

I didn't say altruism "had" to be rewarded. I said it would be nicer if altruism was rewarded. Altruistic actions can't be taken by a person motivated by the belief that their actions should be rewarded, or will be rewarded. That contradicts the very definition of altruism. What I meant was, that it would be virtuous for a person in the receiving end of altruism to pay back said altruism to some extent if possible without unreasonable effort. That said, people don't have the obligation to be virtuous that way. If they don't, it is merely a neutral choice, not an "evil" one, and I don't believe people should be faulted for neutral choices in most circumstances.

I suppose I also meant that it would be nice if the universe somehow saw to it that altruism was rewarded, but sadly, I don't believe any force capable of such a thing exists, so that approach is fairly fruitless.

When it comes to altruism, I wouldn't count personal satisfaction as a reward, as personal satisfaction is the method with which our brains operate in choosing our actions. The choice that brings the most satisfaction according to current estimations is chosen. I find arguing against altruism because people do what satisfies them to be a pointless argument, as satisfaction estimates are how people's decision making process works in the first place, and as such every action is equally selfish, making the whole concepts of selfishness or altruism pointless non-concepts. A much more fruitful approach to questions of altruism or selfishness is observing other perceived rewards, in my opinion.

When it comes to how a karma system of the universe should ideally work, from my perspective it should only ensure that people receive as much reward and as much suffering as they earn with their actions. If someone does something wrong and suitably beats himself up over it by feeling guilty about it, then there would be no reason for such a system to heap more suffering into the poor person's neck.

It occours to me that "suffering" is a fairly strong word. Perhaps that paints my views as more extreme than they actually are.

Also, it turns out that this became quite long. I hope you don't feel an obligation to answer to all of it (or any of it, for that matter), should you find that a bother.
Forum: A Problem I Have!
Corelis
1

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"If you made a horrible mistake yesterday; if you had literally caused your parents to break up yesterday, it would STILL be in the past and you would STILL gain absolutely nothing from dwelling on it."

Gain nothing except suffering. Isn't that important by itself, though? If you royally screw up in a way that ends up hurting others, I'd say you deserve a measure of suffering yourself, just as doing something altruistic would be deserving of a reward.

Naturally, the extent to which you should beat yourself up over your mistakes is a line drawn in water that is fairly easy to cross - people can get far more hung up on their mistakes than they deserve to be by most standards. Still, completely skipping all mental self-punishment over severe mistakes seems disagreeable to me - I feel that feeling some measure of guilt over causing others harm is an important part of humanity.
Blog: MARDEK IV Updates!
Corelis
0

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I should point out that my gripe with timtoborne was not that he spoke against the people who contributed to Pseudo leaving. My issue was with the way he decided to go about doing it. Someone lashing out at people in a fit of anger and trying to do to them what they did to someone else is hardly the ideal form of justice. Justice requires a measure of objectivity to it, something I found lacking here, hence my comments. Laws generally forbid taking personal revenge; letting uninvolved people approach the issue with an objective eye and make fair judgments seems like ideal of justice in most places.

When it comes to judging people, should we judge them based on their intentions or based on the consequences of their actions? I personally tend to favour the "judge based on intentions" -camp instead of the alternative, but I suppose that is a topic that can never be solved by debate. I'd imagine people have tried and failed repeatedly in the past.

It occours to me that I've failed to be suitably specific about what kind of people I am talking about. I certainly agree that undoubtedly there were just trolls and your plain haters who hate on things to make themselves feel better, who would deserve a chastisement. However, those weren't the only kind of people who contributed to Pseudo leaving. There were also the people who used to like and respect him, but whose admiration turned to something else entirely due to the events of the past year or two. There were people whose words would not even be considered attacks by most standards, yet they still contributed to Pseudo leaving. Are such people deserving of such vitriol, or a measure of understanding? Note that understanding doesn't imply blind acceptance and forgiveness.

I feel that it is extremely easy for a fan of Pseudo to forget or be unaware of Pseudo's own contributions to people turning from fans to haters, and that his treshold for what counts as an attack or harsh criticism is quite a bit lower than what a fair amount of people, if not most, would agree is reasonable. The situation isn't as simple as an unfeeling crowd of despicable people driving away a sensitive guy who didn't do anything wrong. As such, I feel that should one get overly emotional about the issue, either against Pseudo or against people who criticised him, someone should make an effort to calm them down.

People made poor choices all around, some of which you might be unaware of if you indeed joined only a month ago. That one side got burned much worse than the other side doesn't change that. I maintain that slinging judgment over one side without making an effort to understand them will cause more problems than it resolves, and there's a precious little justice to be found from it.

I'm growing weary of this conversation, though it isn't your fault, as I'd have better things to do with what spare time I have than arguing with reasonable people who are trying to do the right thing but I feel are missing the mark. If you choose to interpret that as me trying to escape from a losing debate, I guess I can't hold that against you, since it is reasonable enough an assumption to make. I'd much prefer it if you believed me, though.
Blog: MARDEK IV Updates!
Corelis
2

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One thing I was driving at was that it might be difficult to tell which side is unjustified, here. I'd assume that in the eyes of some of the haters, Pseudolonewolf did something despicable and deserving of hatred, and their harshness was perfectly justified. You believe the haters did something despicable and deserving of hatred, and your harshness is perfectly justified. Who is to say whose actions are justified, if anyone's? Assuming my intuition is correct, your motivations here are the same. If you're condemning the haters for hating upon something they thought deserving of it, how can you justify doing the same thing yourselves?

Another point would be that I'd expect public outbursts such as these to cause more problems than they solve. I'd argue that the chances of such a rant bringing a conflict closer to a good resolution is far too small when compared to the negative effect such writings can have on the general atmosphere of a site. There's hardly any justice to be found from a guy flailing around with a sword in the middle of a crowd, hoping to strike criminals who most likely aren't even close enough to reach.

Besides, if you speak of giving them what they gave Pseudo, don't you think that giving what essentially amount to death threats is going a bit overboard? "You don't deserve a place in this world". How is that different from "You shouldn't be in this world", that is, "You should die"? I don't recall people being quite this negative towards Pseudo.

From my perspective, some of the people who contributed to Pseudo leaving were no different than you guys, they just happened to have a different target for their righteous crusade.

Ï'm not saying you should accept what those people have done or even forgive them. I'd just prefer it if people were more constructive and calm when dealing with things they consider deserving of punishment. Getting too absorbed in one's concept of justice can have much stronger negative consequences than positive ones.
Blog: MARDEK IV Updates!
Corelis
3

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I suppose that's how some of the people who contributed to Pseudo leaving felt about him - uncompromising hatred that felt perfectly justified in their own minds. You don't need to do much to try to understand the feelings of the haters, simply taking a look in the mirror will suffice.
Blog: MARDEK IV Updates!
Corelis
5

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That's quite the harsh and hateful condemnation you have there. I don't believe such words should be spoken without a clear understanding of both points of view. You obviously care about Pseudo a lot, but his side is only one side of the issue. To say "You jerks killed Pseudo" is quite the oversimplification of the issue, I'd think.

...And that's all I want to say about the matter, as this is a volatile topic to delve too deeply into, no matter what one's intentions are. I'm not trying to justify people being jerks to him, I merely wish to encourage people to try to understand different perspectives into the issue and avoid one-sidedly blaming a single person or a group of people about whatever misery the related drama has caused.