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robertogreco : coincidence   7

Ello | quinn - Ethics of borders
"The tension is around the perceived problems of providing services to people, but the answer there is simple: don't provide services to non-citizens, easily enough done. You already must show ID id obtain services, which is authorized and issued by the state. The state is particularly keen on providing services to as few people as possible. so why not open borders but deny services to non-citizens? It's easy enough to turn away people at hospitals and children from schools, and even sweep up the bodies of the homeless dead, all of whom are likely to even spend what little the have on local products and business before they die or flee. All of these things are in fact done routinely all over the world. The problem is they are also detested as deranged and inhuman by the citizenry of many nations, who would like to take care of children, the sick, and the elderly. So, in order that a government doesn't face the will of its people, those who may need help must be stopped at the border. The question for a nation is simple: if humans are seeking services, is it moral to deny them? The borders make no moral difference to this question. anymore than shutting a door on a request makes the request go away. To only give services to those who then sneak in the window, and call was yourself moral for it, seems insane. If we only want to give service to "our own" we might as well face the dying and pain-ridden hoenstly.

Then there's the foundations of these services and systems of wealth. I'm typing this on an electronic device I took out of a sleeve while wearing clothes all made by people not subject to the services my nation provides, but all this labor is to my and its benefit. I mostly write words, often to criticize my nation -- why on earth am I more eligible for services than the people who make the clothes, electronics, and pick the food that benefits western nations? An accident of birth at best.

(None of this of course applies to migrant labor forces, who both must be imported but given no rights. Hence the industry of illegal immigration, which creates the fully exploitable portion of the labor force every western nation craves.)

When we think about how to better the situations of people from poor nations, we rarely suggest not exploiting them and when we talk about providing services to the poor we never talk of just providing them, where the poor are. In all cases, the governments between people won't let them, as ever, for governments' favorite excuse: their own good.

The obvious problem is that rich states can't provide services to all who need them. This may be the case, which is arguable, but not the subject of this piece. For the sake of argument, let us assume it is. So, how does one choose who to give services to? The accident of location of birth seems an odd criteria, and it is. The real criteria this describes is similarity or genetic relationship to the ruling class, for which location is a reasonably proxy. It's also an obviously amoral criteria: be related to strongmen or apetheir culture, and you may eat and learn and live. Another calculus, a growing one, is extractative: award services to those most likely to generate tax and draftees. But in this phase of history governments are more interest in tax than draftees, and that changes the extractive "in-group" -- fewer soldiers, more elites. Tax is not labor, tax is most likely to come from people who are, on purpose or by accident, the beneficiaries of global slave labor. These are the people governments want in their borders.

Is any of this good? I'd argue no -- it puts extractive lives, be they exploiting labor or destroying the environment -- above all other lives. The extractive class is often just as trapped as everyone else in the situation, in that the majority of them aren't amoral nihilists, only interested in cheap labor and using up the planet as fast as they can, but lack access to political change or even political education."
borders  ethics  geopolitics  2014  quinnnorton  location  genetics  services  labor  exploitation  extraction  extractiveclass  class  society  migration  immigration  rights  illegalimmigration  poverty  wealth  coincidence 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The Technium: The Improbable is the New Normal
"To the uninformed, the increased prevalence of improbable events will make it easier to believe in impossible things. A steady diet of coincidences makes it easy to believe they are more than just coincidences, right? But to the informed, a slew of improbably events make it clear that the unlikely sequence, the outlier, the black swan event, must be part of the story. After all, in 100 flips of the penny you are just as likely to get 100 heads in a row as any other sequence. But in both cases, when improbable events dominate our view -- when we see an internet river streaming nothing but 100 heads in a row -- it makes the improbable more intimate, nearer.

I am unsure of what this intimacy with the improbable does to us. What happens if we spend all day exposed to the extremes of life, to a steady stream of the most improbable events, and try to run ordinary lives in a background hum of superlatives? What happens when the extraordinary becomes ordinary?"
internet  web  exposure  information  coincidence  blackswans  expectations  photography  video  cameras  everyday  believability  improbable  2013  kevinkelly  technium 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Dashboard Coincidences
"Is your dashboard a home for strange or amusing coincidences?

Send a .jpg file or link to dbcoincidences [at] gmail [dot] com and we'll reblog!"
tumblr  dashboard  coincidence  coincidences  humor  blogs 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Javier Arce's Wardian case - How to meet a girl
"# First, watch your dad draw on placemats at a restaurant.<br />
# Then you should start drawing on every piece of scrap paper that you can find.<br />
# Start reading comic books. A good place to start is at a Meijer’s Thrifty Acres store, with X-Men, preferably issue #192.<br />
# Have a creative-type friend rope you into making a ‘zine’, even though you dont know what a ‘zine’ is yet.<br />
# Stop reading superhero comics and start reading artsy comics from european artists like Moebius (A.K.A. Jean Giraud)<br />
# Stop copying your drawings from the superhero comics also.<br />
# Have a paper route to found your purchase of edgy North American comics like Eightball and Dirty Plotte.<br />
# Stop reading comics and sell off your entire collection, because you’re going to college and you’ll need money.<br />
# Stop drawing comics and focus on real art like painting and writing poetry. …"
humor  howto  jeffreybrown  comics  art  drawing  cicumstance  life  coincidence 
september 2010 by robertogreco
The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy « You Are Not So Smart
"When you desire meaning, when you want things to line up, you forget about stochasticity. You are lulled by the signal. You forget about noise. With meaning, you overlook randomness, but meaning is a human construction.<br />
<br />
You have just committed the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.<br />
<br />
The fallacy gets its name from imagining a cowboy shooting at a barn. Over time, the side of the barn becomes riddled with holes. In some places there are lots of them, in others there are few. If the cowboy later paints a bullseye over a spot where his bullet holes clustered together it looks like he is pretty good with a gun.<br />
<br />
By painting a bullseye over a bullet hole the cowboy places artificial order over natural random chance.<br />
<br />
If you have a human brain, you do this all of the time. Picking out clusters of coincidence is a predictable malfunction of normal human logic."
randomness  fallacies  skepticism  statistics  bias  psychology  probability  logic  fallacy  coincidence 
september 2010 by robertogreco
WNYC - Radiolab » Secrets of Success
"Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t like Gifted and Talented Education Programs. And he doesn’t believe that innate ability can fully explain superstar hockey players or billionaire software giants. In this podcast, we listen in on a conversation between Robert and Malcolm recorded at the 92nd St Y. Robert asks Malcolm if he’s a “genius denier,” and Malcolm asks Robert if he’s uncomfortable with the power of love, as they duke it out over questions of luck, talent, passion, and success."
genius  luck  talent  passion  success  love  malcolmgladwell  science  radiolab  brain  desire  leadership  tcsnmy  toshare  topost  mattheweffect  circumstance  coincidence  billgates  advantage  generations  timing 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Ian Bogost - There are no Blown Calls in Football
"issue is not that World Cup football suffers from blown calls. The issue is that in WC football blown calls do not exist as a concept in the game. Short of financial collusion or threat, refs' perspective on game is a part of the game, no different than quality of a cross or accuracy of a shot on goal. This is quite a different attitude than other sports take regarding officiating.

The idea that a sport could so willingly & systemically embrace perspective is beautiful to me. Not only because it highlights the changing specificity of moment-to-moment configurations of player, ball & officials, but also because it underscores the role of unfairness & randomness in human experience. Perhaps this is 1 reason why Americans dislike soccer so much: we are obsessed with fairness & transcendental truth, while football shows us that the universe is cruel not (just) through God's will, but because so many factors come into play all at once that it's impossible to account for them all."
football  worldcup  ianbogost  2010  fairness  us  perspective  empathy  truth  control  randomness  humanexperience  experience  world  fate  coincidence  ambiguity  complexity  americahatesgray  sports 
july 2010 by robertogreco

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