R3qn65's recent activity

  1. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
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    Fair enough. Bad word choice on my part. I understand and respect this viewpoint. I glossed over it because I don't believe that anybody will change their mind on an ethical stance because of a...

    I would say it's a fairly strong condemnation of trophy hunting.

    Fair enough. Bad word choice on my part.

    your post glossed-over the most important counterargument against trophy hunting: that killing large game for sport -- especially elephants, which live for decades and practice death rituals -- is wrong.

    I understand and respect this viewpoint. I glossed over it because I don't believe that anybody will change their mind on an ethical stance because of a post on the internet, so it is more worthwhile to talk about some of the other factors.

    Reading your post, I was under the impression that trophy hunting was single-handedly raising a significant fraction of people out of poverty, but now I see that the number is almost negligible.

    With respect to chingshih, I don't think it's correct to call hundreds of millions of dollars a year negligible in Africa. They cited a report to disprove the economic effects of hunting. The cited report was commissioned by an anti-hunting lobby, which is normal and appropriate, but I am mentioning it because chingshih made a lot of hay out of the figures from a report commissioned by a hunting lobby, suggesting that those figures were overstated. That is certainly true, but we should keep in mind that the figures from the negative report are then likely understated. In any case, the negative report suggested that the marginal effects of hunting probably only resulted in an additional 7,000-15,000 jobs. Let's split the difference and call it 10,000. The bottom line is this - 10,000 jobs in rural Africa is not negligible.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    This is a very interesting point. Thank you.

    This is a very interesting point. Thank you.

  3. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    This: Makes this: Seem very sarcastic, in retrospect. Your post spent a lot of time arguing that trophy hunting isn't as economically beneficial as a pro-hunting lobby has claimed. Not that it's...

    This:

    Really makes the whole situation worth it, doesn't it? Want to talk real solutions? They exist and you're not talking about them. Let's do that when I get back instead of talking about myths.

    Makes this:

    What a even-tempered and well-considered post!

    Seem very sarcastic, in retrospect.

    Your post spent a lot of time arguing that trophy hunting isn't as economically beneficial as a pro-hunting lobby has claimed. Not that it's not beneficial, but that it's not as beneficial as some might think. Which is a fair point, but hardly a condemnation of trophy hunting. You didn't touch at all on the assertion that hunting helps conserve land for wildlife instead of, for example, being slashed and burned for palm oil plantations.

    As I said in the beginning, I am not a hunter. I think shooting an elephant is horrible. But when you conclude your post, quite literally, with "your solution is wrong and there are real solutions, but you're not talking about them... anyway, no time to detail those solutions now," I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that. Your tone really rubbed me the wrong way.

    12 votes
  4. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
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    Yes I agree these people are assholes, but I don't think it changes any of my arguments. The money still mostly goes to conservation and the local community, no matter how much work the hunter (or...

    I take particular issue with “trophy hunting” generally and the method these sort of trips employ, where the animal is essentially corralled for the client who doesn’t do much more than pull a trigger.

    Yes I agree these people are assholes, but I don't think it changes any of my arguments. The money still mostly goes to conservation and the local community, no matter how much work the hunter (or "hunter") put in (or didn't).

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    Well, yes. But if the argument is "allowing trophy hunting provides a financial means to keep game preserves and national parks functional, without which they will necessarily be turned into...

    Sounds like the problem is humans encroaching on elephants and not Germany banning trophies (as well as a whole host of other issues that have put the Global South at a great disadvantage).

    Well, yes. But if the argument is "allowing trophy hunting provides a financial means to keep game preserves and national parks functional, without which they will necessarily be turned into something else that makes money because Africa is poor" responding "well the real problem is that you Africans are encroaching on elephant territory" doesn't actually solve anything. (I know you didn't mean it in a bad way. I am not offended.)

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    I am not sure I agree with this. I really don't see it adding much to just say "I despise what you said" - especially if you don't even say why. If the point is "you're an asshole for being so...

    I am not sure I agree with this. I really don't see it adding much to just say "I despise what you said" - especially if you don't even say why.

    If the point is "you're an asshole for being so jaded towards the shooting of animals," then fair enough, but you've got to at least say that.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    I am not understanding what you mean by this.

    I guess due to site rules I can't actually articulate how I feel in the way I'd like

    I am not understanding what you mean by this.

    7 votes
  8. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    R3qn65
    (edited )
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    Much like the American clothing company Patagonia's recent stand against hydropower dams, I am frustrated by rich European governments taking a stand against big game hunting. Yes, dams kill fish...
    • Exemplary

    Much like the American clothing company Patagonia's recent stand against hydropower dams, I am frustrated by rich European governments taking a stand against big game hunting. Yes, dams kill fish and change the environment, and yes, hunting kills animals, but in both cases there are no obvious alternatives and the benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks. (In several African countries more than 80% of the power comes from hydro. What would you prefer? Burning even more coal?)

    I am not a hunter. But I live in a country that is visited by big game hunters, and every trophy is essentially a direct transfer of cash from a wealthy country to a poorer country. Game tags cost thousands - sometimes tens of thousands - of US dollars, which goes straight to the government and the park. Then there are the flights, the car rentals, the local guides, the safari lodge, the food... All of this boosts the local economy, which is generally speaking sorely needed.

    There are some downsides. If poorly managed, the benefits of allowing game hunting can entice governments to issue too many tags, depleting herds. If we're talking about elephants specifically, they have very long memories, so if they have learned to fear vehicles and people, it makes non-hunting tourism more difficult, because you can't get as close to the animals. There are also some ethical questions regarding whether it is ever right to kill an animal.

    But on the other hand, there are massive benefits. Yes, governments might be enticed to allow too much hunting, but they then have massive incentives (and enough cash) to stop poaching (bigger, healthier herds = more opportunities to get money from hunters). Poachers, obviously, have no limits on how much they will kill and are often far, far crueller to the animals than the big game hunters who are looking to kill with a single bullet. And regarding the impacts to non-hunting tourism, poaching is much, much more damaging than big-game hunting is.

    At the end of the day, I see it like this: humans are going to kill animals, whether it be through poaching or through hunting. You can either regulate it, control it, and turn it to good, or you can try to ban it and know that it will happen behind the scenes without your consent. And regarding the ethical questions over whether it is ever right to kill an animal... animals are typically still alive for the first minutes/hours that they are being eaten by predators. I find it hard to argue that hunting is crueller than nature.

    38 votes
  9. Comment on What's something you've been mulling over recently? in ~talk

    R3qn65
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    Well, this is a fun new discovery for me. Thanks!

    Dicey Dungeons

    Well, this is a fun new discovery for me. Thanks!

    4 votes
  10. Comment on US told Russia that Crocus City Hall was possible target of attack in ~news

    R3qn65
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    I think it is truly remarkable that the united states is willing to give warnings to Russia and Iran, given that they say it It is difficult to imagine Russia or Iran returning the favor, but I...

    I think it is truly remarkable that the united states is willing to give warnings to Russia and Iran, given that they say it

    ...risks revealing how the United States obtained the intelligence, potentially putting clandestine surveillance activities or human sources at risk.

    It is difficult to imagine Russia or Iran returning the favor, but I guess who knows.

    20 votes
  11. Comment on US police are using GPS tracking darts to avoid dangerous pursuits in ~transport

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    That may well happen in a few cases, though most car thieves are not particularly likely to be thinking "I wonder if this vehicle has been tagged, I should stop and check." Even if it doesn't...

    That may well happen in a few cases, though most car thieves are not particularly likely to be thinking "I wonder if this vehicle has been tagged, I should stop and check." Even if it doesn't always work, though, isn't it still a win? High-speed chases are crazy dangerous and anything that lets them not happen as much is a good thing in my books.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on How do you - or, how did you - leverage your hobbies into careers? in ~hobbies

    R3qn65
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    It's worth keeping in mind that a big part of why you enjoy these things might well be because they're just hobbies and you're not doing them for work. There's something to be said for keeping...

    I have tons of car work, audio editing, off-the-cuff writing about games, etc things that have to do with my hobbies in gaming, cars, music, shitposting on the internet, etc that I'm happy to make without feeling pressured.

    It's worth keeping in mind that a big part of why you enjoy these things might well be because they're just hobbies and you're not doing them for work. There's something to be said for keeping your interests separate from your work so that you can continue to enjoy them. There's a reason chefs joke about going home and eating easy mac and breakfast cereal.

    (That's not always the case, of course. I know a mechanic who finishes each day at the shop and goes home to work on his project cars, then goes to sleep and dreams about more cars.)

    Anyway - if I may, what I would recommend is instead of trying to figure out how to turn the hobbies you enjoy into a career, identify what the common thread in those hobbies is and then try to do a minor pivot in your career to get more of that.

    So, are you not getting to express yourself creatively enough? You might enjoy a job pentesting or doing web design. Are you not getting to do enough "deep work"? You might enjoy being a threat analyst.

    I'm not an IT professional so others might be able to do better in identifying specific positions. The overall crux, though, is that I think you'd be much better off taking what you already do and twisting it than to toss it all away wholesale and starting something completely different.

    For me, I recognized that while my job did a lot for me, I wasn't getting to stretch my creative muscles. Rather than switch careers, I just started contributing to some professional journals relevant to the field. It let me get some of that energy out and is a benefit to my resume. Jumping ship on my career to become a creative writer would've been the wrong call, I think.

    Also - get a certification!

    19 votes
  13. Comment on The Abilene Paradox in ~life

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    I don't think you're wrong, but it's also the worst possible interpretation of the effect. I think you could look at the same scenario and say "these people would speak up if they really wanted...

    I don't think you're wrong, but it's also the worst possible interpretation of the effect. I think you could look at the same scenario and say "these people would speak up if they really wanted one choice, but being fairly ambivalent, they are choosing to do what [they think] others want to do out of grace."

    15 votes
  14. Comment on Larian Studios won't make Baldur's Gate 3 DLC, expansions, or Baldur's Gate 4 in ~games

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    Never played it! Is it good?

    Never played it! Is it good?

  15. Comment on Larian Studios won't make Baldur's Gate 3 DLC, expansions, or Baldur's Gate 4 in ~games

    R3qn65
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    I hadn't thought about it until your post, but I would *love" to see Larian's take on scifi.

    I hadn't thought about it until your post, but I would *love" to see Larian's take on scifi.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on Folks in those $100k+ jobs, corporate types, office workers... What would you say you actually do? in ~life

    R3qn65
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    Very well said. If the only thing a manager ever communicates - whether they're using these words or not - is "that's stupid, we're not doing it," they will quickly be either removed or sidelined....

    Very well said. If the only thing a manager ever communicates - whether they're using these words or not - is "that's stupid, we're not doing it," they will quickly be either removed or sidelined. Either way, they're not helping their team.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Larian Studios won't make Baldur's Gate 3 DLC, expansions, or Baldur's Gate 4 in ~games

    R3qn65
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    Good for them. I love the game and would love a sequel, but I completely get the desire to do something different (and, most likely, not have to worry about living up to massive expectations).

    Good for them. I love the game and would love a sequel, but I completely get the desire to do something different (and, most likely, not have to worry about living up to massive expectations).

    7 votes
  18. Comment on The creeping politicization of the US Military in ~misc

    R3qn65
    Link Parent
    There are definitely exceptions (Flynn), but overall military leaders do indeed strive to be impartial. There's a good article on General Milley, the general who was photographed with Trump...

    Is there any evidence to support the impartiality of military leaders? That their recommendations have had nothing to do with politics? It seems naive to believe that wholesale.

    There are definitely exceptions (Flynn), but overall military leaders do indeed strive to be impartial. There's a good article on General Milley, the general who was photographed with Trump outside that church. In it, Milley fervently insists that being present for the photo op was unintentional. Even if you think he's lying, that he is trying so hard to spin it as unintentional demonstrates that the expectation is that generals will be apolitical. Similarly, look at General Mattis - when he finally criticized Trump,, his comments were roundly called "extraordinary."

    This dates back to George Washington, who famously bowed to civilian control over his military and then gave up power. Ever since, nearly every American military text that discusses the role of the military has talked about the importance of generals not being political.

    21 votes
  19. Comment on Refund fraud schemes promoted on TikTok, Telegram are costing Amazon and other retailers billions of dollars in ~tech

    R3qn65
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Sure. If you like, you can replace me in my argument with a small business I own: you come and steal a small amount from my small business. Everything else is the same (I don't notice, my business...

    Your argument as to stealing's lacking morals makes sense when we're talking about people, but companies aren't people.

    Sure. If you like, you can replace me in my argument with a small business I own: you come and steal a small amount from my small business. Everything else is the same (I don't notice, my business isn't harmed, etc.) My small business is not a person. Does that materially change the ethics of the situation?

    I would argue that at some point, the golden rule and similar principles' relevancy approaches zero as the effects of the act on the target approach null. To address Kant: If everyone on Earth stole a billionth of a penny from you, would you care? Should you?

    If I may, you're arguing here that "it's not that bad, nobody gets hurt" basically. First, I'm not convinced - as other posters have pointed out, large-scale fraud hurts us all in a very concrete way by making it more difficult for us to engage in legitimate returns. Second, arguing that it's not that bad is very far from convincing me that

    It can... Be very much ethical to steal from [multibillion dollar businesses].

    Emphasis added. Kant's categorical imperative ("if everyone did this thing, would the world be better or worse") was designed in part specifically to address questions of "is it really that bad." Kant would agree that no - it's not really that bad. If you steal a small amount from me, I am not particularly harmed. But he would still hold that the action is unethical, because if everyone stole - regardless of the amount - the world would be a worse place.

    Businesses are often unethical, and use their power to do unethical things. Theft is one (admittedly ineffective) way of taking this power from them, and thereby preventing heinous acts.

    Apologies for copying something I wrote elsewhere, but I'm not sure I can phrase it any better:

    The closest model off the top of my head here is virtue ethics, which argues that the same action can be virtuous (ethical) or not, depending on the motives of the actor. A classic example is stealing in order to feed your family, but I think "stealing in order to take down a villain" works just fine too.

    However: does that really apply here if I'm scamming Amazon out of retail goods? You'd be hard-pressed to convince me that these scammers have virtuous motives. Moreover, even if they did, I think you'd also need to convince me that their actions realistically had a chance of bringing about a virtuous outcome. As an example: murder is generally considered unethical. Murdering one person in order to stop a war, however, may well be considered ethical by most people. The key criterion there, though, would be that you reasonably expected that murdering that one person had a realistic chance of stopping the war - if you were murdering a general, for instance. You couldn't just go murder some random citizen of that country and hope that somehow the war stopped. In the same way, I would be extremely skeptical if you argued that stealing retail goods from Amazon had a realistic chance of toppling that company or preventing them from engaging in unethical actions of their own.

    Also - Is the retail theft we're discussing so unnoticeable to Amazon that they are unharmed and thus the relevance of Kant's moral imperative is approaching null? Or is this theft sufficient to take power away from Amazon and prevent them from engaging in unethical actions? It can't be both.

    Massive businesses, of the like Amazon can count itself among, frequently perform many varieties of theft of their own as part of their operations – think wage theft, tax evasion/loopholes, etc – and so for many thefts targeting them, an argument could be made that what's being stolen could be said to have once belonged to the so-called thief to begin with.

    I think there is a pretty enormous series of leaps from "Amazon doesn't have to pay as much in taxes as I think they should" to "therefore they are stealing from me and so I'm just getting my own stuff back." Amazon doesn't pay taxes to you, they pay taxes to the government. I can't establish a particularly plausible chain of logic here and I didn't want to put words in your mouth by writing a bad one. If you have something more coherent, would enjoy discussing it.

    But either way, just establishing we have been harmed doesn't establish why it's okay for us to steal. Look at wage theft - that's the most reasonable argument thus far, I think, but we have processes in place to address this, which is why Amazon keeps getting sued. To return to my small business example, if I make you work without breaks and you steal money out of the till to get your back wages, you have still committed a crime. Saying "well, she made me work without breaks" doesn't absolve you, it just means that we're both in trouble for separate things. (The law and ethics are not synonymous, but I find the law is often useful to get a sense of how most people are thinking about things.)

    5 votes
  20. Comment on Hackers can read private AI-assistant chats even though they’re encrypted in ~tech

    R3qn65
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    Very cool. Thank you for sharing this.

    Very cool. Thank you for sharing this.

    1 vote