Anatoly Vorobey (avva) wrote,
Anatoly Vorobey

англоязычное чтиво

  • Reciprocity and Self-Reliance -- мне показалось очень интересной эта запись в веблоге Стивена Ден Бесте.
    One thing I find, as a broad principle, is that I feel much less obligation to act in a principled manner with those who are themselves unprincipled. And in particular, I feel no obligation to act in a principled way with someone who is deliberately trying to use my principles against me.

    To take a minor example of that, as a matter of common courtesy I'm not in the habit of interrupting people when they talk. It does come up, but it's not something I do very often, because it's rude. But I have no compunction about interrupting telemarketers when they call, because they will deliver their pitch nonstop. They're trying to take advantage of me; they're trying to use my common courtesy, my unwillingness to interrupt them or outright hang up on them, as a way of forcing me to listen to a message I have no interest in hearing. Thus I will interrupt them and feel no twinge of guilt.

    The basic idea is that I apply my principles strongly to dealings with other people who follow principles, but only weakly or not at all with those who do not. It could be argued that this is immoral, and some do so. They claim that my acts should always be ethical unrelated to who I'm dealing with.

    But this ignores the global problem of spoiling the commons and free riding. If people know they can break the rules and get away with it, then you'll get a lot of that. On the other hand, if people know that they'll only be treated well if they themselves treat others well, then there's an incentive to do so. By my unwillingness to be magnanimous to jerks, I encourage them to act ethically and cease being jerks. Being magnanimous to jerks isn't moral; it's just being a sucker. It lets them take advantage of you, to your detriment and the detriment of nearly everyone else. If you're nice to jerks, you get more jerks.
    Заодно оттуда по ссылке пошёл и прочитал про дело Китти Дженовиз, о котором раньше не знал.
  • Fans Outraged at New Character in The Return of the King -- забавная шутка.
  • Normative Shift -- о сдвиге норм в современном обществе. Много преувеличений и излишней грандиозности, но есть интересные мысли.
  • Imperial Science -- об Эдварде Вилсоне, Ричарде Докинзе итп. Интересно и хорошо написано; содержит дельную критику глупого радикализма Докинза, напр.:
    In his best-selling book, The Selfish Gene (1976), Dawkins asserts, "we no longer have to resort to superstition when faced with the deep problems: Is there meaning to life? What are we for? What is man? After posing the last of these questions, the eminent zoologist G. G. Simpson put it thus: 'The point I want to make now is that all attempts to answer that question before 1859 [the publication date of Darwin's Origin of Species] are worthless and that we will be better off if we ignore them completely.'"

    In the endnote to the paperback edition, Dawkins responds to those who have taken offense at Simpson's quotation by rubbing it in–without making an argument:

    I agree that, when you first read it, it sounds terribly philistine and gauche and intolerant, a bit like Henry Ford's 'History is more or less bunk.' But, religious answers apart (I am familiar with them; save your stamp), when you are actually challenged to think of pre-Darwinian answers to the questions 'What is man?' 'Is there a meaning to life?' 'What are we for?', can you, as a matter of fact, think of any that are not now worthless except for their (considerable) historic interest? There is such a thing as being just plain wrong, and that is what, before 1859, all answers to those questions were.

    If Dawkins had contented himself with the claim that Darwin had made worthless other answers to the questions, Where do we come from? and, How have we evolved? (empirical questions), he would have offended only creationists. But anyone of the most elementary intellectual sophistication knows that questions about meaning and purpose are of another order–and continue to be the legitimate concern of literature and philosophy. They are not simply reducible to knowledge about our genetic structure.

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