Dragaera and Shakespeare [Spoiler for POTD]

Thu Feb 20 18:48:32 PST 2003

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, Damien Sullivan wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 03:50:06PM -0800, Philip Hart wrote:
> > I don't see the distinction, frankly.  You act because you were programmed
> > that way by your genes, your environment, or some complex interaction
> > between them.  The degree to which genes, environment, or their
> > interaction prevails affects social planning but without free will we're
> > robots and there are bad robots (Grr! Arggh!) but not criticizable ones.
> Of course they're criticizable!  Criticism is part of the environment (or
> interaction) which shapes their future behavior.  If they're dangerously
> immune to criticism we call them mentally ill and lock them up.

Ok, I was trying to preserve some sort of people/non-people language
distinction - one doesn't criticize one's computer, one reboots it or
downloads a new RPM or tells it to kill some annoying process.  It doesn't
have a moral failure, the hard drive fails or it's badly configured or
running Windows.  I think computers will be susceptible to mental illness
but to me that means that "mental illness" doesn't mean what people think
(what people say they "think" - oh, crap, foreget it).