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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!

The Old Hack

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The Old Hack last won the day on September 29

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  1. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    And seriously consider changing dentists. I would.
  2. This Day In History

    Look, you can't complain about them being slow. They managed to squeeze 87 years of worktime into just 83 years. At least relatively speaking that is fast.
  3. Story Wednesday September 25, 2019

    They can rebuild them!
  4. This Day In History

    I dunno. I hear the off-year electioneering around then got particularly vicious.
  5. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    Nor will deliberately distorted stories. All they will do is serve as justifications for whatever ambition the writer contrived them for. Take that wonderful old claim, that the end justifies the means. How often has it been spouted even when the means employed were stupid, wasteful and headed nowhere even near the end they claim to be for?
  6. This Day In History

    Your drift is positively continental.
  7. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    We are not just talking 'realism' -- and it is very difficult to precisely define 'realistic' in stories. We are talking about a hypothetical situation, to wit, the trolley problem or as here a fictional short story. Perhaps it would be better if I put it this way: I personally find both scenarios contrived to a painful degree and set up in an attempt to justify an act of murder. There is little of ethics in this for me. Obviously your mileage may vary -- or as Dan put it, for us using Metric, our kilometerosity. If either or both of these scenarios work for you, that is a fair cop. They merely do not satisfy me as being good exercises in ethics.
  8. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    Agreed, but remember -- this is fiction. We are not just talking realism here. We are talking a fictional spaceship where cost efficiency somehow creates a situation where it is exactly impossible to create an environment where only one person could hope to survive the planned journey and where existing resources could in no possible way be jury-rigged into letting two survive. This is the sort of story where the environment available has been adjusted to fit the situation by the writer (or in this case, editor) -- and that is why it seems contrived to me. And as you point out, there is also the bit where someone is able to sneak aboard unnoticed. This postulates a situation where it is a death sentence for at least one and possibly both people aboard if there is a stowaway. That seems to call for a bit more careful scrutiny of who boards and who leaves.
  9. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    I am afraid this needs some context to properly explain. The original idea of the story was that a space pilot found a stowaway young girl aboard his craft which was headed on a vital rescue mission carrying emergency medical supplies to a distant colony. The writer intended to show how clever use of available resources would make it possible for the pilot to boost life support sufficiently for both of them to survive until they arrived. However, the editor liked it better that the pilot couldn't solve the problem and wouldn't take the story until it had been rewritten in a form so the pilot was forced to space the girl in order to complete the mission. Of course, in order to make the story fit to the editor's demands, the writer had to basically eliminate all the extra safeties and emergency supplies from the craft's stores, creating the absurdity of a deep space craft with only exactly the supplies necessary to see one person safe to the end of the journey. This caused the story to appear incredibly contrived and also gave those responsible for outfitting the craft the appearance of being idiots. You are of course right that the mathematics would be readily worked out in a spacecraft -- but for exactly that reason the people in charge of safety margins should have made those exact darn calculations in order to make sure unexpected circumstances would be covered. Unfortunately, intention and result are two very different quantities. The prejudices of the recipient may so readily distort the intended message and thus also affect the result of the test.
  10. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    Then it is still stupidly phrased. It is set up to simulate an ethical situation that as stated is highly unlikely to happen in real life. If this was some sort of more logical and naturally occurring situation, such as the man you may be forced to kill is a hostage taker and may do the killing if you do not stop him, it would be a much better dilemma. For one thing, what do you do afterwards? Justify it with the argument that you possibly saved several lives by killing him? You might have done that through talking him down, too. Or possibly you could have restrained him in a nonlethal way up to and including bodily harm but falling short of lethal. But in this it is set up in a mathematically exact way as stupid as that old sci fi story The Cold Equations. The whole setup is contrived and unconvincing. I prefer my ethical dilemmas to involve the humanities rather than some sort of mathematical proof. Maybe I could be convinced otherwise if someone would answer this question: is E equals M times C squared good or evil? Pick one or the other, please, and justify why this is so.
  11. NP Wednesday September 25, 2019

    I hate that test so much. It is so utterly contrived. Also, the version I heard specifically states that it is a fat person you can shove in the way of the trolley, because they are more disposable as human beings. Fat people are fat because they are BAD, after all. They eat too much and are stupid and gluttonous. They are not at all fat due to issues of metabolism or due to medication they have to take or the like. Too, I found a way to break the test. There is nothing in it to prevent you from throwing yourself in the way of the trolley. You will have saved six lives, killed no-one (except yourself), and done no moral wrong. Besides, I qualify, too. The BMI proclaims me to be fat and thus a Bad Person. (Gotta love the BMI. I met a guy from Team Danmark when I enlisted in the Army. Back then I wasn't fat, I had not yet started to take the medication that caused me to massively gain weight. Team Danmark consists of athletes working on qualifying for the Olympics and this guy had just won the under-18 Danish 1500 meter swimming championship the year before. He was PACKED with muscle and if there was a gram of fat on him I sure as all out couldn't see it. But then he saw a new doctor who informed him he had to lose weight because he weighed too much according to the BMI. Well DUH -- muscle mass weighs more than fat and the BMI does not take that into account, the idiotic thing.)
  12. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    The Moderator: Due to current events I have chosen to reopen the political discussion thread for the use of forum members. As usual, I request of the forumgoers that you apply courtesy and common sense to the posts here. I myself am very concerned, and while I do not feel free to join into general discussion here I nonetheless feel that I owe it to posters here to provide them with an outlet for their own concerns. ~tOH.
  13. This Day In History

    Fortunately no president ever anywhere will ever again so flagrantly ignore the Constitution of a country, backed by his own terrified party.
  14. NP Friday September 13, 2019

    Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back to the place I was before 'Relax' said the night man, 'We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave!'
  15. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    Good woman. Stay strong, Prof. I'm rooting for you.