Myth of the Framework

And people, there is no way for a nuturer to win an argument with a nature-er and vice-versa, because the base position of each argument is so fundamentally different that it"™s like two people trying to have a conversation while one is speaking English and one is speaking Mandarin.


Here the (myth of the) framework argument is invoked, which says if people have different frameworks or foundations then discussion won't get anywhere. They won't be able to reconcile their different starting points.

What's amusing is that many of the analogies intending to prove the framework argument do a good job of proving it's a myth. This analogy says that people who speak different languages won't be able to make progress and come to understand each other and agree. But it's common knowledge that if you go to a country where you don't speak the language, that is a good way to learn the language. If you try a lot you can figure out what words mean and make progress, and eventually become completely fluent in the foreign language. So, by analogy, the nature/nurture people *could* solve their dispute.

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Sleeping when not tired is like eating when not hungry.

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Wearing An Israeli Flag

I wore my Israeli flag yesterday (context). I walked a short ways through downtown Berkeley in public (and went to Jamba Juice), went to a TCS speech by Sarah Fitz-Claridge, and went into two restaurants in Fremont.

Nothing bad happened.

In Berkeley people said something from their car, but I couldn't hear what. They didn't look angry and I waved to them. However it was 9am on Sunday and not many people were around.

At the speech, someone asked why I was wearing a flag. I said that I support Israel, and that if I don't wear a flag no one will ask about it. She didn't say anything so I added that on Saturday Hezbollah was smuggling weapons into Lebanon and Israel sent commandos to stop this, so the UN said Israel broke the cease fire. She thought that was dumb :)

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If People Like It, It *Must* Be Bad

200 years ago, William Godwin wrote an essay telling parents that they should not restrict which books their children can read. For example, they shouldn't ban their daughters from reading any novels.

Why did parents hate books? Because their kids might get ideas, or be influenced. Kids are gullible, you know? But far too stubborn and resistant to new ideas for parents to control or advise them.

Now that there is an even larger threat than books (TV), parents have given up on keeping kids away from books, and actually encourage it so as to distract them from the TV. Television is a medium capable of expressing text just like a book, but also capable of conveying pictures and sounds, so it's quite a bit more powerful than books. And people like TV better, and want to spend a lot of time using it. When people really like something, that's called addiction, and it must be stopped.

I'm not joking. There's even "email addiction", and it's just like cocaine.

Here's Godwin's book, which is out of copyright and free.

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4K vs MYM

I wrote a Ruby script to figure out whether 4K or MYM is a better Warcraft 3 clan.

The odds I used:

Grubby = {:moon => 0.55, :lucifer => 0.90, :storm => 0.84, :susiria => 0.93}
Tod = {:moon => 0.60, :lucifer => 0.20, :storm => 0.60, :susiria => 0.50}
Fov = {:moon => 0.72, :lucifer => 0.50, :storm => 0.85, :susiria => 0.67}
Creo = {:moon => 0.15, :lucifer => 0.10, :storm => 0.37, :susiria => 0.15}

The results of 1,000,000 clan wars (players are matched up randomly for four 1 vs 1 matches):

4 points for 4K happened 46707 times.
3 points for 4K happened 306329 times.
2 points for 4K happened 430575 times.
1 points for 4K happened 190895 times.
0 points for 4K happened 25494 times.
Total wins if the 2 vs 2 match is 50%: 4K: 568323. MYM: 431676.

Here's the source code. Feel free to tinker with the odds and run it again.

As you can see, 4K is better :)

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I Stopped Reading Much News For Years Because Of Stuff Like This

If Israel loses, the penalty is death. If Lebanon loses, the penalty is "humiliation".
Kofi Annan said Tuesday it was time for Israel to lift a "humiliating" blockade on Lebanon

Kofi says the blockade is also:
[an] infringement on [Lebanese] sovereignty

I see two possibilities:

One: Hezbollah is *not* an agent of Lebanon (despite being part of the government). In that case, in what sense is Lebanon sovereign if it can't control enemy militias within its borders? And shouldn't its primary complaint be about the huge threat to sovereign control over its own territory that Hezbollah poses?

Two: Hezbollah *is* an agent of Lebanon, in which case Lebanon has forfeited any right to sovereignty by murdering Israelis with rockets, abducting Israeli citizens, and so on.

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How Long Before I Get Tired Of This?

So, let's go through the top 5 hits for "israel" on Google News (a site which won't include LGF).

Annan ... said Israel was responsible for most of the violations of the fragile cease-fire

Hezbollah is supposed to be disarmed, but that's not going to happen.

Lebanon is supposed to secure its borders, but that hasn't happened.

Hezbollah is supposed to release the Israelis they kidnapped to start the war, but that hasn't happened.

Hezbollah isn't supposed to smuggle new weapons into Lebanon, but that isn't going very well.

To be responsible for most of the violations, Israel will need to have a list of at least about twenty (except it wouldn't be very hard to find twenty specific violations by Hezbollah, so the list ought to be a lot longer). I can't wait to see the list.

War proof of Israel lobby's power

Why does the headline report as fact what was only alleged by two idiots?

Their argument, as best I can decode it, says that US support for Israel during the Lebanon war has increased the likelihood that Iran and Syria will continue to supply Hezbollah with weapons, because it strained the US (diplomatic) position in the Middle East.

So, we must avoid supporting Israel against Hezbollah, because that would cost us the credibility required to be able to help Israel against Hezbollah.

Third we have an article that doesn't care to differentiate between terrorists and innocents:
Israeli troops killed five Palestinians and wounded a dozen in attacks on militants in the Gaza Strip

See, it uses the word "Palestinian" where it should say "terrorist". Perhaps a case can be made that there isn't much difference, but I don't think that's what Reuters intended.

The confusion continues with comments like this:
The Israeli army has killed more than 190 Palestinians in Gaza since ... June 25

Where is the effort to figure out how many of those people should have died?

Here, I'll help generate criteria. Anyone who died while firing a machine gun at Jews, wasn't innocent. Anyone who died while planting a bomb, like the people mentioned earlier in this article, wasn't innocent.

Fourth we have an article about how most Israeli Arabs are disloyal. The author doesn't know that's what he's writing about, but he is:
Seventy-five percent of the Arab public in Israel believes that the military operation in Lebanon was a war crime


Sixty-four percent said they watched al-Jazeera, and rated it as being highly credible. Forty-six percent said they relied on al-Manar's reports, the channel which identifies with Hizbullah. Only 5 percent said the news on the Israeli network Channel One was credible


55 percent of the respondents rated Hizbullah's reports of the war as more credible than the Israeli ones. Only nine percent believed the opposite.

My main complaint about this article is the headline:
Israeli Arabs: Israel committed war crimes in Lebanon

Do we really need more headlines about how some idiot accused Israel of war crimes? Why not use, "Israeli Arabs: Hezbollah Is Credible"? It's a lot more informative than yet another accusation against Israel, and it *implies* the original title anyway.

Fifth we have an article which is a mix of accusations by a "human rights group" and insistence by Israel that it investigates abuses. Which makes a great excuse to use this in the headline:
Israel abused Palestinians

If the *Palestinians* said they investigate complaints about *their* abuses of Palestinians (let alone their abuses of Israelis) it'd be a bad joke. So why does the "human rights" group focus on the party that tries to do the right thing, over the one that does not try?

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On Dawson's Creek, Dawson and Pacey both like Joey, and she likes both of them. There lots of tension and she feels pressured to choose one of them to be with.

Dawson and Pacey both want to have Joey in a romantic, exclusive relationship. They can't share. Sharing sounds horrible to them.

And in general, people don't see how anything but exclusivity could work. They want the girl all the time, so they'd be missing out if they only got her part of the time.

But here's the thing. In the show, for the last episode they skip forward in time 5 years, and neither is with Joey (yet). But both Dawson and Pacey are pretty much OK with that. They are both capable of getting over it, and having a happy life with no Joey.

So when you see it from that perspective, feeling that only exclusivity could work is silly. They can be happy with nothing, so certainly they don't need everything. Now compare with if Joey spent one day a week with Dawson, and one day a week with Pacey. In those 5 years, she'd have had 250 days with each of them, instead of zero. That's a lot of days. And as their lives went on, it'd be a huge improvement over having nothing.

The fact they can be happy with no Joey, proves they can also be happy with some Joey. They shouldn't think of it as "not enough", they should think of it as something positively good that they can have without anyone being hurt.

Having someone *all* the time is crazy, anyway. Everyone should have his/her own life. Everyone is different, so no two people have exactly the same interests.

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Amnesty Fucking International

top google hit for: israel collateral damage

is a piece titled:
Deliberate destruction or "collateral damage"? Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure

by guess who:

Amnesty International

and guess what their conclusion is

but wait, get this...

the piece is FAR WORSE than the crap i'm used to reading from like the BBC or NYT. some quotes:

The widespread destruction of apartments, houses, electricity and water services, roads, bridges, factories and ports, in addition to several statements by Israeli officials, suggests a policy of punishing both the Lebanese government and the civilian population in an effort to get them to turn against Hizbullah. Israeli attacks did not diminish, nor did their pattern appear to change, even when it became clear that the victims of the bombardment were predominantly civilians, which was the case from the first days of the conflict.

Israel has asserted that Hizbullah fighters have enmeshed themselves in the civilian population for the purpose of creating "human shields". While the use of civilians to shield a combatant from attack is a war crime, under international humanitarian law such use does not release the opposing party from its obligations towards the protection of the civilian population.

Many of the violations examined in this report are war crimes that give rise to individual criminal responsibility. They include directly attacking civilian objects and carrying out indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks. People against whom there is prima facie evidence of responsibility for the commission of these crimes are subject to criminal accountability anywhere in the world through the exercise of universal jurisdiction.

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