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Beemer

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[Apr. 28th, 2005|11:31 am]
Beemer
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.
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[User Picture]From: thatwesguy
2005-04-29 08:29 am (UTC)
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.


Of course, the trick is in the tradeoffs: How do you split your efforts between bettering yourself, your fellows, and the world at large? Seems that the most workable answer is to arrange a situation in which all three are handled at once. Hm.

"We have an obligation to makes our talents available to the world of people who need them." That's my latest mantra for working up the gumption to contact high school teachers throughout San Francisco and tell them about my tutoring service. (It turns out not to me enough, so please encourage me.)

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.

I'm reminded of a quote my GP of all people just sent me in his sig:

"In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is."
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