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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 33,176

Journal Archives

One day of Warren Buffett wealth gains could cover rail workers' paid sick leave


Billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and the CEO of BNSF Railway’s parent company, saw his wealth jump by nearly $1.4 billion in a single day earlier this week, a sum that could easily fund 15 days of paid sick leave for every rail worker in the United States. BNSF is one of the major railroad giants refusing to budge in contract negotiations with rail unions as they fight for 15 days of paid sick leave.

Full story: Truthout

peak mid noughties.................. expand

Parlophone ‎– 12RDJ 6668X
Vinyl, 12", Single Sided, White Label, Stamped
Aug 2005
Leftfield, Tech House, Electro

Moral mathematics

Subjecting the problems of ethics to the cool quantifications of logic and probability can help us to be better people


The relationship between mathematics and morality is easy to think about but hard to understand. Suppose Jane sees five people drowning on one side of a lake and one person drowning on the other side. There are life-preservers on both sides of the lake. She can either save the five or the one, but not both; she clearly needs to save the five. This is a simple example of the use of mathematics to make a moral decision – five is greater than one, so Jane should save the five.

Moral mathematics is the application of mathematical methods, such as formal logic and probability, to moral problems. Morality involves moral concepts such as good and bad, right and wrong. But morality also involves quantitative concepts, such as harming more or fewer persons, and taking actions that have a higher or lower probability of creating benefit or causing harm. Mathematical tools are helpful for making such quantitative comparisons. They are also helpful in the innumerable contexts where we are unsure what the consequences of our actions will be. Such scenarios require us to engage in probabilistic thinking, and to evaluate the likelihood of particular outcomes. Intuitive reasoning is notoriously fallible in such cases, and, as we shall see, the use of mathematical tools brings precision to our reasoning and helps us eliminate error and confusion.

Moral mathematics employs numbers and equations to represent relations between human lives, obligations and constraints. Some might find this objectionable. The philosopher Bernard Williams once wrote that moral mathematics ‘will have something to say even on the difference between massacring 7 million, and massacring 7 million and one.’ Williams expresses the common sentiment that moral mathematics ignores what is truly important about morality: concern for human life, people’s characters, their actions, and their relationships with each other. However, this does not mean mathematical reasoning has no role in ethics. Ethical theories judge whether an act is morally better or worse than another act. But they also judge by how much one act is better or worse than another. Morality cannot be reduced to mere numbers, but, as we shall see, without moral mathematics, ethics is stunted.

In this essay, I will discuss various ways in which moral mathematics can be used to tackle questions and problems in ethics, concentrating primarily on the relationship between morality, probability and uncertainty. Moral mathematics has limitations, and I discuss decision-making concerning the very far future as a demonstrative case study for its circumscribed applicability.


Manuscript treasure trove may offer fresh understanding of Hegel

Exclusive: Library discovery of undocumented transcripts of German philosopher’s lectures like ‘finding new Beethoven score’


A biographer researching the German philosopher Hegel has uncovered a massive treasure trove of previously undocumented lectures that could change perceptions regarding one of the leading figures of modern western philosophy.

More than 4,000 pages of notes on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s lectures were found by Klaus Vieweg in the library of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

“The discovery of these manuscripts is comparable to finding a new score by Beethoven or a previously unseen painting by Constable,” said Vieweg, a professor at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.

He said an early reading of the notes had hinted at a fresh understanding of how Hegel formed his influential ideas on aesthetics, the philosophy around beauty and art, and how he analysed Shakespeare’s plays to help develop his ideas.


Juventus president Andrea Agnelli and rest of club's board resign (woooooooooot!)

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli and vice-president Pavel Nedved have resigned from the club alongside entire board of directors; Serie A club have been accused of false accounting and market manipulation in recent months and recorded record losses; the company has denied any wrongdoing


The collective resignation comes after Juventus' financial statements underwent scrutiny by prosecutors and Italian market regulator Consob in recent months for alleged false accounting and market manipulation. The company has denied any wrongdoing. Furthermore, Juventus published an annual loss of £220m for last season - a record-breaking fee in the history of the club.

A Juventus statement read: "The Board of Directors, considering the focus and relevance of the pending legal and technical-accounting issues, have deemed it in the best interest to recommend that Juventus adopt a new Board of Directors to deal with these issues."

Alongside Agnelli, vice-president Pavel Nedved has offered his resignation as has chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene - but Juventus have asked the latter to remain in his position to transition over to the next board of directors. Board members Laurence Debroux, Massimo Della Ragione, Katryn Fink, Daniela Marilungo, Francesco Roncaglio, Giorgio Tacchia and Suzanne Keywood have also stepped down.

President Agnelli has been at the Juventus helm since 2010 and was one of the main figures in setting up the European Super League which failed to take shape last year, acting as vice-chairman of the division. Juventus, under Agnelli's stewardship, are still signed up to the breakaway league along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, despite the other nine European clubs quickly stepping away from the project due to backlash from the football community.


the Agnelli mafia finally is cleansed out of football, they were one of, if not the most, toxic forces in football for decades

the sui generis of FFP, as well as puppeteering UEFA for ages

popping some champagne

this has been a LONG held desire of mine

Brussels Riots - Belgium Football Fans Turn Violent After Defeat To Morocco

Police had to seal off parts of the center of Brussels, deploy water cannons and fire tear gas to disperse crowds following violence during and after Morocco’s 2-0 upset win over Belgium at the World Cup.

Swedish youths launch landmark climate lawsuit against government

Over 600 Swedish children and young people - including climate activist Greta Thunberg and three seven-year-olds - are suing the Swedish state for doing too little to combat climate change.


STOCKHOLM 2022 11 25 Climate demonstration in Stockholm that the youth-led organization Aurora engaged in before submitting their lawsuit against the state for their lack of climate action. The demonstration train ran between Mynttorget and Stockholm District Court.

The so-called Aurora lawsuit has been in preparation for two years, and the group is accusing the government of, among other things, failing to carry out investigations into how large a percentage of the global work to combat the climate crisis Sweden should be responsible for. “If the state’s climate measures are lacking, they are threatening our human rights in the future,” law student Ida Edling told Dagens Nyheter (DN), the newspaper which first reported the story.

“It’s a legal responsibility which the state can be legally called to account for. That’s why we’re suing them,” she said. Edling is one of the people behind the initiative, which climate activist Greta Thunberg is also involved with. Aurora would have launched their lawsuit no matter which political bloc had won September’s election, Edling said. “We’ve worked on this for two years and would have sued any government which is not working towards a climate policy in line with Sweden’s fair share of the global climate transition,” she said. “That includes the previous government.”

On Friday, she marched to the Stockholm courthouse to file the lawsuit alongside young people from Aurora and other members of the climate and environment movement. “In a state with the rule of law, everyone has to follow the law. Even the government,” Edling said. “When the state’s climate policy threatens our human rights, it breaks the law.”

Climate minister Romina Pourmokhtari told DN via her press secretary that she had no comments on the case. Similar suits have been brought forward in other European countries. In Germany and the Netherlands, climate activists won against the respective governments in court, forcing both countries to sharpen their climate targets.


Communist China's vulnerabilities bubble to the surface

America’s chief geopolitical and ideological competitor suffers from inherent weaknesses


Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Shanghai, China’s financial hub and largest city last weekend, chanting for China’s Communist leaders to step down. The immediate spark was growing public discontent with strict lockdowns as part of the communist government’s “zero-Covid” approach. These protests have reportedly spread to other cities, including the country’s capital, Beijing, where students chanted, “Freedom will prevail.”

China has witnessed previous protests over the government’s handling of the pandemic, and government authorities are now cracking down on these protests as they have in the past. Only time will tell if this round of demonstrations unfolds any differently, but the regular outbreak of protests inside of China in recent years shows an inherent vulnerability in a communist system that lacks basic freedoms.

Communist China’s three main vulnerabilities

1. China’s political system fails to respect basic freedoms. There’s nothing new here: Communist rulers in China have run roughshod over the basic rights and freedoms of its own people for decades. But as Freedom House noted in its most recent Freedom in the World report, “China’s authoritarian regime has become increasingly repressive in recent years.” These stepped-up efforts to crack down on dissent reveal the sense of insecurity that China’s communist leaders feel from their own people. A ruling system that targets a 90-year-old Roman Catholic cardinal and puts its own people in forced labor camps is not one that is confident in its own legitimacy.

2. China’s rigid economic system stifles innovation and potential for growth. The “zero-Covid” approach is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to China’s current economic model. The country faces major debt challenges in its real estate market, and the government recently stepped in with measures in an attempt to address the strains in that market. But beyond this immediate crisis in the real estate market, China has larger, structural challenges with its economic model, including an aging population and growing restrictions on private enterprise. America’s private sector has continued to shift away from China, leading to an erosion of financial and economic ties between the world’s top two economies. Beijing’s growing international isolation caused by its own unforced errors has motivated some of the talent it needs to look elsewhere for opportunities.

3. China’s global engagement strategy has failed to win friends and overtake competitors.......


Lauren Boebert Can't Believe People Are Linking Her Anti-LGBTQ+ Rhetoric to the LGBTQ+ Club Shooting

She recently said as much while…going on an anti-trans rant.



Colorado representative Lauren Boebert has a well-documented history of demonizing the LGBTQ+ community—but in the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting at Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q, she’d prefer that people forget about everything she’s ever said and definitely not link her hateful rhetoric to the uptick in violence against the community.

On Tuesday, while speaking to Ross Kaminsky, a radio host at Colorado’s KOA station, Boebert called it “disgusting” to blame her for what happened over the weekend or accurately note the various ways she’s vilified LGBTQ+ people. “That is completely false,” she said, falsely. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preferences as an adult.” Then, because she’s a bigot—and not a very smart one at that—she immediately added: “What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children. And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women.” While most rationale people would agree that children should not be sexualized, Boebert, like many on the right, equates allowing gender-affirming medical care for trans youth with child “grooming.” She also believes that drag queens pose a threat to children just by simply existing, and we know this because she’s previously said as much:

On the subject of Drag Queen Story Hour events like the one above—during which a drag queen literally just reads stories to kids—Boebert bizarrely suggested that they operate like strip clubs, telling KOA, “We don’t need six-year-old children putting dollar bills in the thongs of grown men shaking and twerking in front of children…That is child abuse.” She added that she would continue to speak out against the “grooming” of children, a term that has been co-opted by the right to describe behavior by LGBTQ+ people they don’t like, rather than the way child molesters lure their victims.

In addition to previously smearing the LGBTQ+ community online, Boebert has attacked legislation like the Equality Act, which protects transgender youth. Last year, on the House floor, she urged her colleagues to vote against the measure, saying, “Where is the equity in this legislation for the young girls across America who will have to look behind their backs as they change in school locker rooms, just to make sure there isn’t a confused man trying to catch a peek?” On Sunday, after Boebert tweeted that the victims of the Club Q shooting were in her “prayers,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded: “@laurenboebert you have played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending your time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws. You don’t get to ‘thoughts and prayers’ your way out of this. Look inward and change.”


A Fish Tale

Long before Moby Dick, Herman Melville set off on a Polynesian trip that became a famous literary hoax.


I can offer only the sketchiest explanations for how I came to occupy the top floor of a pleasantly wide banker’s brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, where the sun pours in through two high windows until midafternoon, glancing off the painted surface of the desk where I have lately been composing manuscripts on a little Olivetti manual typewriter. I purchased the typewriter on the street while in the company of my daughter, who shares my pleasure in beautiful old things that have survived the general shipwreck. Putting your grandmother’s stuff out on the sidewalk is the birthright of every American. We define ourselves in the present by forgetting the past, an auto-da-fé that illuminates the rituals of self-invention, which allows us to make ourselves up from scratch, or to sell chewing gum to the masses, or to move to California, the land of oranges and movie stars and a place my longtime companion Herman Melville imagined when he wrote the Gold Rush into his novel Mardi.

Americans have always flitted back and forth between the present and whatever imagined future might dissolve outstanding complications and debts. Our penchant for self-invention has led to misunderstandings between Americans and nearly everyone else. But those who understand this driving quirk may admit that it is the source of much that is useful and particular, if also maddening.

I do my own arbitrage on the top floor of my house, which I rent together with my wife. The three floors below my sunlit aerie, which faces out toward the harbor, are noisily occupied by my older children—a son, age nine, and the aforementioned daughter, age five—according to a custody schedule approved by New York State family court. The aforementioned wife is also the mother of our infant son, Elijah, whose namesake is the prophetic old salt who warns Ishmael against boarding the Pequod in Melville’s Moby Dick. Our two Siberian cats, Herman and Melville, run up and down the stairs and wedge themselves behind the washer-dryer, until the creak of a floorboard sends them off like a shot onto the landing, with the sound of cat claws sliding and scraping on polished wood. When they get tired of these shenanigans, they will come curl up on my lap, which makes it devilishly difficult to work the Olivetti.

Having grown up not far from here, in a lower-middle-income housing project where the junkies left broken syringes at night in the sandbox, where I played among them the next morning, I can’t fault you for wondering how I pay for this whale of a house. Any honest man sans a private fortune will give you the same answer: I hustle, and play the angles, while keeping two steps ahead of the bill collector. At the end of the month, I take the kids to school in a cab and then I hunt for spare change in the cushions of my couch, until I gather a hoard that is sizable enough to exchange for a sandwich. The weight of the hustle is squarely on me, which is basically how nature intended it.

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