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    • Edan, Knighthood, Announcement and Ceremony, 2015 (Last post by Edan)
    • Quote: Quote: Quote: Many congratulations, Edan. Very much looking forward to being able to share in the occasion with you. :) I am pleased I can share it properly with some of my fellow Jedi, however I won't pretend the prospect doesn't scare the hell out of me a little! If you fluff your lines you have to go back to the beginning of Apprenticeship and start again... :whistle: I don't think Jestor would mind too much :P
    • Ethics - Stop just saying the word (Last post by Gisteron)
    • Interesting. Is every choice we make motivated by a moral consideration? Does not every soldier and officer choose to obey until such time where their conscience wouldn't let them? And on that note, is it not ludicrous to presume that without sitting together in a circle of arm chairs and discuss fundamentals of morality an armyman would be nothing but a mindless robot executing a program thrust at him from up above? Are they any less human than the rest of us? I say ludicrous to avoid calling it insulting to their characters. But of course there is more. I shall assume a consequentionalist position in this paragraph and would like in advance to point out that I recognize its limits and hold to other mechanisms beyond those. Say you have an officer executing a particular either morally justifiable or neutral command according to themselves, their COs and the observer. If you must not ask the officer whether they made it by choice or out of obedience, could you tell the difference? And if you cannot tell a difference, why would it possibly make one, again, unless you presume that an obedient soldier in one morally unobjectionable situation would never ever disobey an evil command? And in fact what about morally neutral actions? What about things that you wouldn't do without being commanded, not because they are evil, but just because it wouldn't cross your mind for any other reason? What is wrong about obedience in a structure that heavily relies on a solid chain of command? And if you would do the things you happen to be commanded regardless, then why would you need that command structure in the first place? Civilian society works without a universal command structure penetrating it throughout and people do what they deem moral and avoid what they deem immoral and for the most part that works just fine. Could it be that there is a very good reason a system like that couldn't work for an armed defense force? Finally, all of this assumes that choice is something free. Well, I didn't choose what motivates me. I didn't choose where and when and to whom I was born or how they raised me or the course of my life beyond the family. I have no say in what thoughts occur to me or the feelings I experience or why. Whenever I stop myself from a particular course of action, I do so because of a new thought or feeling that came to stop me without me having a choice in the matter. No matter how I twist it, at the end of the day I am a slave to mechanisms, causal, random or both, within my brain and outside of it, current and past, over which I neither ever had control nor, as far as I know, ever could have any control over. Of course that free will is a notion that makes no sense on any level may be impractical, and I seldom raise the problems with it, because in the end we are influenced by our thoughts and our sharing them and that is good enough with and without free will, but if the issue specifically emphasizes the importance of choice in a matter, perhaps we should consider whether choice is something we have to begin with.
    • NO CHLORINE IN POOLS? CRAZY! (Last post by Adder)
    • I gotta salt water pool, and unfortunately it still has chlorine in it. It's got a widget thingamebob attached to the pump and filter which chlorinates the salt water as it pumps water through. It's much better then physically keeping chlorine levels high in a pool, because the salt seems to do most of the work, and the chlorination just adds a bit to kill the algae. So its not as bad as a chlorine pool, but not chlorine free. At least as far as my experience of them goes. When I"m too lazy to use it (like through winter) and don't want to spend a fortune running the pump every day I will just throw in a chlorine tablet and treat it like a chlorine pool until summer rocks up and then let the chlorine levels drop and start using the pump and chlorinator again for reduced chlorine swimming (or floating around as I prefer). Love the link in the OP!!! Wow, add fish for company :silly:
    • "The Death of Expertise" (Last post by steamboat28)
    • Quote: @Gisteron Interesting, thank you! I value your opinion. Also, I'm just going to point out that I previously mentioned appeals to authority being logical fallacies, and this point is in fact addressed in the article, which I would have known had I read the article before responding! :D Appeals to authority are only fallacies in certain situations and contexts, most of which involve using such appeals to attempt to negate opposing evidence, or when cited with no supporting evidence of their own.
    • Watch what happens when regular people try to use ... (Last post by Goken)
    • I would like to point out that it repeatedly stated that people without firearms training were the issue. They said that they used people with varying degrees of training but then only compared people with no training to police officers. What about the citizens with a good amount of training? People like myself, who carry a gun on a regular basis but also have years of training not only in using the firearm but in handling those kinds of situations, would most likely react more like the officers. Of course throwing someone with no training into that situation would be bad. The same thing would happen if you threw someone with no experience driving into a high speed chase then compared them to a cop in a high speed pursuit. Also, many cities with strict hand gun laws (including entire bans) have loads of gun related violence. Then when guns are allowed in those cities the gun violence seems to go down. Here are some articles about the decrease in violence in Chicago since enacting a concealed carry law: The idea always seems to be that if someone is pro-gun they are pro-buy-as-many-guns-as-you-want-and-don't-register-them-or-bother-training-with-them. That's not true. The average person who wants to carry a gun wants to train with it and know how to use it. If a person isn't willing to train with a gun then they shouldn't be allowed to carry it. That is what I got out of that article and I couldn't agree more.
    • Today I.... (Last post by Cabur Senaar)
    • Today, I watched a co-worker's heart break for a patient with a progressive, terminal neurological condition and I figured out a graceful way to express my gratitude for the depth of compassion expressed in her grief. I made her smile and feel less alone. And I felt less alone.
    • TotJO on Vice (French) (Last post by mdk)
    • Merci Alex. Belle representation. On peut se sentir fier d'être Jedi ;) (bien que ça ne soit pas le but, bien sûr)
    • Terrance McKenna - Reclaim your mind (Last post by Connor L.)
    • I think you're definitely right. That's why I listed out my Hierarchy of Creative Achievement above. We have to have foundations, fulfillment, a sense of purpose, a compassionate mind (toward the self and others), a connective spirit and attitude of service, and then be able to have a feeling of Artistic Achievement. Without foundations, we are lost in our inability to stay alive. Without fulfillment, we are forever searching for something we don't have. Without a sense of purpose (notice: I didn't say actually having a purpose), we continue to try and fill a void which does not exist. Without compassion, we only seek to fulfill the self, therefore the art is not reaching out... only pulling in. Without a spirit of service, the art is cold and unfeeling. But, with all those in place, the art is magical. We can be an artistic Engineer. An artistic Blacksmith. An artistic Janitor. Or, even, yes, an artistic Painter, poet, writer, etc. Art must be supported by the rest of the foundational material. Which, I think, must come from having a good relationship with our mind and spirit. Which, is the point I think McKenna is trying to make.
    • online education and e-learning (Last post by Adder)
    • Do you have much experience with different e-learning websites? I've done heaps (too many am burnt out lol) at Coursera, and had a look at various other MOOCs such as EdX. I think the Uni I did postgrad at used an early version of Moodle but that was awhile ago now. What qualities in an online class do you like? What do you "not like"? Video lectures, and the speed up playback option of Coursera was great as some lecturers speak a little slow sometimes. I like a tight assessment process such as a timer - as without the pressure it does not forge learning IMO. I liked provision of lecture content such as text and images available as separate downloads to assist self study. The forum mediated participation has potential but would need to be much more structured, perhaps like more like a live lecture in 'text' form but over 24 hours and not actually live. I was never able to participate in live video lectures due to timezones so unable to comment on that. I don't like self paced stuff so much... the internet is big enough already for me to self pace in basically anything, so I think an online class should push the student through a body of material as a supported process of mental exercise. What sites rise to the top? Coursera was my fav, of those few I tried. Has anyone used google classroom? Nope, I had not heard of it, will have a look though, thanks!
    • Conscientious Objection to Military Taxation(COMT)... (Last post by Adder)
    • The Cold War was not the invention of US foreign policy though, US foreign policy was a reaction to the Cold War. It's a complex topic that's for sure. If people didn't fight we wouldn't need a military, or at least anything as large. I'm with you on the peace as ideal. Some might say its an illusion which needs conflict to contrast it, but I disagree. I think the contrast can be achieved within the individual enough without it being carried on externally in society.

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