Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | 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

Choochoo Training Diary

Last 100 entries

[Programming] React Leaflet; AliExpress Independent Sellers; Applebaum - Twilight of Democracy; [Politics] Back + US Elections; [Programming,Exercise] Simple Timer Script; [News] 2019: The year revolt went global; [Politics] The world's most-surveilled cities; [Bike] Hope Freehub; [Restaurant] Mama Chau's (Chinese, Providencia); [Politics] Brexit Podcast; [Diary] Pneumonia; [Politics] Britain's Reichstag Fire moment; install cairo; [Programming] GCC Sanitizer Flags; [GPU, Programming] Per-Thread Program Counters; My Bike Accident - Looking Back One Year; [Python] Geographic heights are incredibly easy!; [Cooking] Cookie Recipe; Efficient, Simple, Directed Maximisation of Noisy Function; And for argparse; Bash Completion in Python; [Computing] Configuring Github Jekyll Locally; [Maths, Link] The Napkin Project; You can Masquerade in Firewalld; [Bike] Servicing Budget (Spring) Forks; [Crypto] CIA Internet Comms Failure; [Python] Cute Rate Limiting API; [Causality] Judea Pearl Lecture; [Security, Computing] Chinese Hardware Hack Of Supermicro Boards; SQLAlchemy Joined Table Inheritance and Delete Cascade; [Translation] The Club; [Computing] Super Potato Bruh; [Computing] Extending Jupyter; Further HRM Details; [Computing, Bike] Activities in ch2; [Books, Link] Modern Japanese Lit; What ended up there; [Link, Book] Logic Book; Update - Garmin Express / Connect; Garmin Forerunner 35 v 230; [Link, Politics, Internet] Government Trolls; [Link, Politics] Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left; SSH Forwarding; A Specification For Repeating Events; A Fight for the Soul of Science; [Science, Book, Link] Lost In Math; OpenSuse Leap 15 Network Fixes; Update; [Book] Galileo's Middle Finger; [Bike] Chinese Carbon Rims; [Bike] Servicing Shimano XT Front Hub HB-M8010; [Bike] Aliexpress Cycling Tops; [Computing] Change to ssh handling of multiple identities?; [Bike] Endura Hummvee Lite II; [Computing] Marble Based Logic; [Link, Politics] Sanity Check For Nuclear Launch; [Link, Science] Entropy and Life; [Link, Bike] Cheap Cycling Jerseys; [Link, Music] Music To Steal 2017; [Link, Future] Simulated Brain Drives Robot; [Link, Computing] Learned Index Structures; Solo Air Equalization; Update: Higher Pressures; Psychology; [Bike] Exercise And Fuel; Continental Race King 2.2; Removing Lowers; Mnesiacs; [Maths, Link] Dividing By Zero; [Book, Review] Ray Monk - Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty Of Genius; [Link, Bike, Computing] Evolving Lacing Patterns; [Jam] Strawberry and Orange Jam; [Chile, Privacy] Biometric Check During Mail Delivery; [Link, Chile, Spanish] Article on the Chilean Drought; [Bike] Extended Gear Ratios, Shimano XT M8000 (24/36 Chainring); [Link, Politics, USA] The Future Of American Democracy; Mass Hysteria; [Review, Books, Links] Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go; [Link, Books] David Mitchell's Favourite Japanese Fiction; [Link, Bike] Rear Suspension Geometry; [Link, Cycling, Art] Strava Artwork; [Link, Computing] Useful gcc flags; [Link] Voynich Manuscript Decoded; [Bike] Notes on Servicing Suspension Forks; [Links, Computing] Snap, Flatpack, Appimage; [Link, Computing] Oracle is leaving Java (to die); [Link, Politics] Cubans + Ultrasonics; [Book, Link] Laurent Binet; VirtualBox; [Book, Link] No One's Ways; [Link] The Biggest Problem For Cyclists Is Bad Driving; [Computing] Doxygen, Sphinx, Breathe; [Admin] Brokw Recent Permalinks; [Bike, Chile] Buying Bearings in Santiago; [Computing, Opensuse] Upgrading to 42.3; [Link, Physics] First Support for a Physics Theory of Life; [Link, Bike] Peruvian Frame Maker; [Link] Awesome Game Theory Tit-For-Tat Thing; [Food, Review] La Fabbrica - Good Italian Food In Santiago; [Link, Programming] MySQL UTF8 Broken; [Link, Books] Latin American Authors

© 2006-2017 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