| Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Twitter | Previous | Next

C[omp]ute

Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

Last 100 entries

Real-life Financial Co Without ACID Database...; Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures; SQL Performance Explained; The Little Manual of API Design; Multiple Word Sizes; CRC - Next Steps; FizzBuzz; Update on CRCs; Decent Links / Discussion Community; Automated Reasoning About LLVM Optimizations and Undefined Behavior; A Painless Guide To CRC Error Detection Algorithms; Tests in Julia; Dave Eggers: what's so funny about peace, love and Starship?; Cello - High Level C Programming; autoreconf needs tar; Will Self Goes To Heathrow; Top 5 BioInformatics Papers; Vasovagal Response; Good Food in Vina; Chilean Drug Criminals Use Subsitution Cipher; Adrenaline; Stiglitz on the Impact of Technology; Why Not; How I Am 5; Lenovo X240 OpenSuse 13.1; NSA and GCHQ - Psychological Trolls; Finite Fields in Julia (Defining Your Own Number Type); Julian Assange; Starting Qemu on OpenSuse; Noisy GAs/TMs; Venezuela; Reinstalling GRUB with EFI; Instructions For Disabling KDE Indexing; Evolving Speakers; Changing Salt Size in Simple Crypt 3.0.0; Logarithmic Map (Moved); More Info; Words Found in Voynich Manuscript; An Inventory Of 3D Space-Filling Curves; Foxes Using Magnetic Fields To Hunt; 5 Rounds RC5 No Rotation; JP Morgan and Madoff; Ori - Secure, Distributed File System; Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs); Prejudice on Reddit; Recursion OK; Optimizing Julia Code; Cash Handouts in Brazil; Couple Nice Music Videos; It Also Works!; Adaptive Plaintext; It Works!; RC5 Without Rotation (2); 8 Years...; Attack Against Encrypted Linux Disks; Pushing Back On NSA At IETF; Summary of Experimental Ethics; Very Good Talk On Security, Snowden; Locusts are Grasshoppers!; Vagrant (OpenSuse and IDEs); Interesting Take On Mandela's Context; Haskell Cabal O(n^2) / O(n) Fix; How I Am 4; Chilean Charity Supporting Women; Doing SSH right; Festival of Urban Intervention; Neat Idea - Wormholes Provide Entanglement; And a Link....; Simple Encryption for Python 2.7; OpenSuse 13.1 Is Better!; Little Gain...; More Details on Technofull Damage; Palmrest Cracked Too....; Tecnofull (Lenovo Support) Is Fucking Useless; The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath; Interpolating Polynomials; Bottlehead Crack as Pre-amp; Ooops K702!; Bottlehead Crack, AKG K701; Breaking RC5 Without Rotation; Great post thank you; Big Balls of Mud; Phabricator - Tools for working together; Amazing Julia RC5 Code Parameterized By Word Size; Chi-Square Can Be Two-Sided; Why Do Brits Accept Surveillance?; Statistics Done Wrong; Mesas Trape from Bravo; European Report on Crypto Primitives and Protocols; Interesting Omissions; Oryx And Crake (Margaret Atwood); Music and Theory; My Arduino Programs; Elliptic Curve Crypto; Re: Licensing Interpreted Code; Licensing Interpreted Code; ASUS 1015E-DS03 OpenSuse 12.3 SSD; translating lettuce feature files into stub steps files; Re: translating lettuce feature files into stub steps files; A Tale of Two Psychiatrists; The Real Reason the Poor Go Without Bank Accounts

© 2006-2013 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Hueristics and Ethics

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 15:18:17 -0400 (CLT)

I have been worrying recently about how one makes ethical decisions with
little knowledge, or in situations so complex that analysis does not give
anything that is useful and consistent (ie sensitivity to initial
assumptions).

It's tempting in such cases to rely on gut instinct.

A much stronger, that I think it very likely true: gut instinct is the
dominant factor in many decisions.

A correlation of this is that most ethical discussions (outside of what
you might call academic examples) seem to be aimed more at defending a
point of view than at reaching any kind of informed position.  Unless,
perhaps, the informed position is that we are powerless and free from
moral responsibility.  A position I would like to avoid (but whose
avoidance I cannot justify).

[An aside: Since it seems that almost any position can be questioned,
while defense is hard, the best rhetorical tactic is therefore not to
defend your own position, but to attack the opposing party.]

The trouble with relying on "gut instinct" is that it is worryingly close
to the justification for all kinds of abhorrent group think - anything
from nimby to fascism.

Taking things to extremes, one wonders about Eichmann.  The problem being,
I think, that it is both hard to separate ones own ideas from what is
perceived as the current culture, and that the current culture may be
pretty fucked up in itself.

So I have started to consider "moral heuristics".  A google search turned
up this paper - http://csweb.cs.bgsu.edu/maner/heuristics/maner.pdf -
which is interesting, but doesn't seem to get much beyond relating the
decision to the wider community.  That doesn't help with the problem
above.

One heuristic from my own experience: question power/authority.

Andrew

Good Paper Against Heuristics

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 15:22:24 -0400 (CLT)

This is a very good paper - http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=1275 - in the
sense that it demolishes several "bad" heuristics.  It doesn't address,
however, what to do in cases where you need heuristics.  Perhaps the
author doesn't think such cases exist?

Andrew

Comment on this post