| 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.

C-ORM: docs, API.

Last 100 entries

Telephone System Quotes for Cat Soft LLC; Even; Cherry Jam; Lebanese Writer Amin Maalouf; Learning From Trump; Chinese Writer Hu Fayun; C++ - it's the language of the future; And; Apricot Jam; Also; Excellent Article on USA Politics; Oh Metafilter; Prejudice Against The Rurals; Also, Zizek; Trump; Why Trump Won; Doxygen + Latex on CentOS 6; SMASH - Solve 5 Biggest Problems in Physics; Good article on racism, brexit, and social divides; Grandaddy are back!; Consciousness From Max Entropy; Democrats; Harvard Will Fix Black Poverty; Modelling Bicycle Wheels; Amusing Polling Outlier; If Labour keeps telling working class people...; Populism and Choice; Books on Defeat; Enrique Ferrari - Argentine Author; Transcript of German Scientists on Learning of Hiroshima; Calvert Journal; Owen Jones on Twitter; Possible Japanese Authors; Complex American Literature; Chutney v5; Weird Componentized Virus; Interesting Argentinian Author - Antonio Di Benedetto; Useful Thread on MetaPhysics; RAND on fighting online anarchy (2001); NSA Hacked; Very Good LRB Article on Brexit; Nussbaum on Anger; Tasting; Apple + Kiwi Jam; Hit Me; Sudoku - CSP + Chaos; Recycling Electronics In Santiago; Vector Displays in OpenGL; And Anti-Aliased; OpenGL - Render via Intermediate Texture; And Garmin Connect; Using Garmin Forerunner 230 With Linux; (Beating Dead Horse) StackOverflow; Current State of Justice in China; Axiom of Determinacy; Ewww; Fee Chaos Book; Course on Differential Geometry; Okay, but...; Sparse Matrices, Deep Learning; Sounds Bad; Applebaum Rape; Tomato Chutney v4; Have to add...; Culturally Liberal and Nothing More; Weird Finite / Infinite Result; Your diamond is a beaten up mess; Maths Books; Good Bike Route from Providencia / Las Condes to Panul; Iain Pears (Author of Complex Plots); Plum Jam; Excellent; More Recently; For a moment I forgot StackOverflow sucked; A Few Weeks On...; Chilean Book Recommendations; How To Write Shared Libraries; Jenny Erpenbeck (Author); Dijkstra, Coins, Tables; Python libraries error on OpenSuse; Deserving Trump; And Smugness; McCloskey Economics Trilogy; cmocka - Mocks for C; Concept Creep (Americans); Futhark - OpenCL Language; Moved / Gone; Fan and USB issues; Burgers in Santiago; The Origin of Icosahedral Symmetry in Viruses; autoenum on PyPI; Jars Explains; Tomato Chutney v3; REST; US Elections and Gender: 24 Point Swing; PPPoE on OpenSuse Leap 42.1; SuperMicro X10SDV-TLN4F/F with Opensuse Leap 42.1; Big Data AI Could Be Very Bad Indeed....; Cornering; Postcapitalism (Paul Mason); Black Science Fiction

© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

The Justice of Assassination

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 9 May 2011 14:53:10 -0400

A few days before the Bin Laden fuss, some loonies in N Ireland threatened to
kill the Queen.  In a random internet discussion at the time I said that it
didn't seem that terrible to me - obviously, any murder is wrong, but if you
are going to target anyone, a King or Queen seems like a "reasonable" choice.
After all, isn't that what wars were all about? - you have a bunch of people
who slaughter each other until one or the other King/Queen dies.  And that's
how the game ends.

So while I wouldn't want anyone to kill the Queen, it would seem, in my moral
terms, better to target the Queen (who, after all, enjoys a lot of status and
rewards for her position) that some random granny.

At the same time, I was aware that there's a general consensus in modern wars
*not* to kill heads of states.  As it happened, no-one called me out on this,
so the idea stalled there.


And then Bin Laden was killed, and there was a similar concern about
assassination - that he should have been captured and tried instead.  And
people seem to feel, to some extent, that exactly how fair this was depends on
whether or not there was a "war" etc etc.

I admit I didn't think much about this question, except to make a mental note
that it seemed consistent with my argument about the Queen, above.


Now today there's a post on Crooked Timber arguing the case against killing
Bin Laden in more detail.  And it includes an interesting example that *does*
shift my moral compass in the opposite direction: the targeted killing of IRA
members by the SAS in Gibraltar.


So, am I wrong in one of these cases, or is there a way to square the two?

I don't have an answer - I'm just writing this down here as a reminder to
think about it when I have more time...

Andrew

http://crookedtimber.org/2011/05/09/justice-like-the-hawk

First Guess

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 9 May 2011 15:16:10 -0400

OK, I think I see the confusion above.

The loonies in NI are already planning to kill people.  So they lose brownie
points for that.  *After* that fact, comes the choice of target.  And, if they
are going to kill *someone* then, as I said, why not the Queen?

On the other hand, in Gibraltar, the SAS had (perhaps not?) the chance not to
kill.  The question is not targetting particular people, but whether you need
to kill at all.

So, returning to Bin Laden, it would be consistent for me to argue that he
should have been captured: I am not making an argument about whether to kill
Bin Laden or sme random chap in Pakistan; I am making an argument about
whether to kill or not.

Andrew

Comment on this post