April 28th, 2005


(no subject)

To make up for not posting much recently (lots of coding instead, plus some longish comments in other people's journals eats my writing momentum), the quick answers to some of the questions from derbiser:

What is your favorite flavor? Why?
I don't really have one. I mean, there are lots of flavors that I like a whole bunch, and I can't really pick one as the leader of the pack. Basically, I like food. I find that this is true of many things for me; I have a broad gradient of "like this, don't like that", but it's very difficult for me to articulate a preference for things that are close to each other on that scale. I like different things in different and often incomparable ways. Do I like musicals better than I like trance music? I don't think I can say.

What obligations does intelligence create? Do smarter people have any responsibilities to society to aid the less intelligent?
I'd say it has exactly the same obligations that any other talent or ability has: the obligation to use it, as best you can, for the betterment of yourself, your fellows, and the world at large. It's good to use your advantages (whatever they are) to help those who don't have them, if you can, but as for how... well, that's up to the individual.

I tend to think very abstractly (shocker, I know), so I just map questions like this onto a generalized ethics system, and usually that either gives an answer, or makes it clear that the answer is "it depends" and there are more questions that need to be answered. I worry that sometimes this gives me the appearance of glibness; the downside to this approach is that it often requires a lot of work to ferret out all the important details and weigh all the tradeoffs if you're trying to come up with a practical answer to a particular situation.


HA! The new voting system is done!
It took me most of a day to figure out that the reason why this particular chunk of code was not doing what it was supposed to be doing is because it was never getting called. I hate that.