Is 5G Harmful?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Pretty In Pink, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    The context of trying to paint the US in the best possible light?

    Then by your metric the Soviet Union had nothing to do with the wars in Indochina, Africa, all Middle East conflicts bar Afghanistan, Central and South America.

    I wish that were the case. Instead, they install dictators, autocrats and fascists.

    How about starting with what the US has done South of the border?

    Decades of supporting state terror, torture and disappearances, up to supporting genocide:

    Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation - Wikipedia
    Most Notorious SOA Graduates – SOA Watch
    Declassified Army and CIA Manuals | Latin America Working Group
    Operation Condor - Wikipedia
    Holocaust Museum Houston
    Did U.S. Back Genocide in Guatemala?

    Again, I don't think comparing yourself to the worst atrocities of the British Empire is how one would judge the morality of a nation.

    And again, without taking in the wider context of how a nation exerts power, you cannot judge a nation's moral standing.

    For instance:

    United States involvement in regime change - Wikipedia

    Do all those children shredded by US ordinance or starved to death owe Uncle Sam a thank you?

    Relationship of Health Insurance and Mortality | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians

    What is access like to regular checkups and cancer screenings for the uninsured? Or do they only visit the emergency room once they are already very sick? Do they get free medication for life threatening illnesses? Do they get free physical therapy rehab for neurological conditions?

    And again, comparing the morality of your nation to the worst crimes of the Japanese Empire.

    Anyway, I think the British Empire would have done pretty much the same as the US - dropped a couple of A bombs on a population largely thought of as subhuman as a field test and to strike fear into the world to help secure global hegemony.

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  2. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Well then, according to all that erudite logic the United Kingdom is the most blood and land thirsty empire since Rome and has been at war 100% of the days since it's first colonial subjugation, as opposed to America's measly 93% according to Wikipedia. And, you still live under a queen, and have to deal with daily assaults from the tabloids about her family. I sympathize with you. :)

    Like I said, I don't get too far into political debates, so I'm not going to address all that stuff either of you wrote. Regardless, Happy Independence Day + 2!

    Here's a great parting thought for today. Did Plato really write "Only the dead have seen the end of war", as it is inscribed on the Imperial War Museum in London? The answer to that is a mystery that unites both countries bloody history, like Friar Lawrence's warning to Romeo and Juliet,

    ""These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder / Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness / and in the taste confounds the appetite. Therefore love moderately. Long love doth so. Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.""
  3. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    There is a really funny afterthought I just had about innumerable dead Normans, Saxons, Celts, and Gaels, but I'll just leave it at that. Where were we again? 5G. Somebody somewhere told me recently "6G is already invented", but as far as I know, that's a bunch of hooey.
  4. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    The Roman Empire pales in comparison to the death toll of the British Empire, as does the Soviet Union under Stalin. It was the largest empire in the history of mankind, and empire is a bloody business, so it is to be expected.

    20-30 million staved to death in India, which was one of the wealthiest nations on the planet when we arrived, and one of the poorest when we left. Less calories were given per day in British labour camps in India than the Nazis saw fit to hand out as rations in their labour camps. We invented the concentration camp in Africa. And, of course, we made huge profits from the international slave trade; I live in a city that was literally built on it, and the old money here is still reaping the rewards of compound interest on money made form selling people into slavery.

    One thing we can be sure of: my nation are not the good guys.

    Being able to find nations who are more evil than yours does not make your own nation good.

    The five worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire will make you wonder why we're apparently proud of it

    Johann Hari: The truth? Our empire killed millions
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  5. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    There's a good subject here, is morality fixed, or does it vary over time, comparing actions done recently, to ones done 500 years ago is obviously problematic.

    As a side point, I don't think anyone is saying the UK is a blameless country either, although we have had a few high points mixed in with the large amount of bad over the years. Being one of the first counties to Outlaw slavery and going out of our way to stop it was a very good thing. Even if we compensated the owners and not the actual slaves!

    Slave Trade Act 1807 - Wikipedia
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  6. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yeah, trouble is the UK and US governments keep doing evil things!

    When comparing Western nations to the Nazis, Stalin or Mao, I think it's akin to asking; if a serial killer murders a paedophile, does that make him a good man? I would say no.

    People want there to be good guys and bad guys, but the truth is far more muddy and messy than such easy narratives.
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  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Indeed!!!! But I think being practical with our criticisms can also help, shades of gray, are still shades.... Things are so polarised politically, that I think the nuonce is often lost.
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  8. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    All Govts do or allow evil things to be done. Look over a long enough period of time and they all do.

    Same with people. I am myself indifferent honest, yet I could accuse myself of such things it were better my mother had not borne me.

    It's not a historical competition. It's not even a current competition. Countries seem like a pretty stupid concept when you think about it anyway!

    It's just, is what the geographical-area-dictated-by-the-whims-of-history is doing in this particular instance good for more people or fewer?
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  9. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't think that's a good enough standard, Mitch.

    That's exactly how national socialists, Maoists etc. justify slaughterous regimes.
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  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    You sound like a globalist, imagine trying to do what's right for all of humanity instead of the ones who are born in a certain place, at a certain time.....

    Nah it'll never work!

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  11. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Since this is more of a values-oriented question and not political by itself, I'll weigh in. Across the whole realm of ethical theories a scant few pass the litmus test of being seemingly universal (and scientifically testable as such). There are value systems that promote evil, such as the systemic values on the Third Reich, and there are value systems that incorporate a wider range of extrinsic and intrinsic value systems.

    Intrinsic values are the most important of all, since the difference is: a human being's intrinsic value is infinite and priceless (e.g. a spouse to another spouse, a father to a son, etc.), wheras a human being in a systemic realm alone is just the number of a Holocaust victim's tattoo.

    You can always spot and even measure true evil (and good) according to the scientific method, according to leading research in the ethics fields. A Nobel Prize nominee in this field once said "all great evil is systemic evil", and the Nazi, Soviet, and many other regimes are all examples of reducing people to numbers and then the void.

    That all said, I also believe Americans and people of the British Isles and their culture and governments have promoted greatly respected intrinsic values at least since the era of the Magna Carta. But that's crossing into political belief so I will stop right there with that.

    Certain moral values may change, but some are universal amongst "good" people, from an objective reasonable standpoint. The Golden Rule is one great example, but there are others found in various ancient value systems in both hemispheres. It's practically impossible to argue the Golden Rule or its ilk is not a "good rule", for a billion different reasons we could list. Likewise, the inverse to the Golden Rule, and any derivative is easy to assail with reason.

    Generally, most if not all good moral codes can be distilled into "don't bother other people, because most people just want to be left alone". Notice how that one statement covers everything from annoying another person to gassing their entire lineage! Nothing of that sort has changed in 500 years for certain. People still want to be left alone. Robert L. Humphrey wrote a great book about values with that central tenet, I have it somewhere.
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Conversely operating a country, means organising things enough for people to thrive, a truly Laissez-faire country wouldn't work long term, because roads wouldn't get built, schools wouldn't operate, tax wouldn't get collected etc etc

    Utilitarianism - Wikipedia

    Most countries would be better ran via utilitarianism mixed with universal human rights of individual inviolablity.

    But thats essentially a well run democratic socialist country.
  13. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Systems are still important. Systemic value isn't always evil. I think the key difference is between the value of a system over its contribution to intrinsic value or disvalue. Where these two things meet (critical systems, intrinsic human value), we see conflict in the real world. Bringing it all back to 5G, I think the value is pretty clear. Every G has benefited human communication.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    So using your example, would parents refusing vaccines for their children, so that the herd immunity is low and other children die from a preventable disease be evil?

    I would say it is, but then if healthcare isn't free, and they can't afford the shots, does that make the healthcare payment system responsible too?
  15. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    It's true that bureaucracy is used to dehumanise people so that we may turn a blind eye to evil. An extreme example of this is the Nazi death camps, a more mundane example would be someone being refused a treatment for a disease because they do not have the correct insurance coverage.

    But, Robert S Hartman, who you quote above, meant something specific to his Formal Axiology system of ethics when he used the word "systemic". In his scheme, systemic values include
    "concepts, ideas, constructs, propositions, beliefs, laws, rules, mathematical and logical forms, ritual forms, and formalities of every description":

    This means that the US is not off the hook for its war crimes in Vietnam, or supporting ruthless dictators in Latin America. Even if we take at face value the publicly stated motivation of these evil deeds, which personally I think would be very naive, that they were ideological actions to save people form the scourge of communism, they still fall under Hartman's category of systemic values.

    Jesus said some stuff about judging people and casting stones that is probably relevant...
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  16. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    No I don't think there's any systemic valuation there, if anything it's an extrinsic one based on knowledge (or lack thereof). So, it's NOT GOOD. True evil requires the systemic establishment of NOT GOOD.

    Well, healthcare might not be free but access usually is, if you can't pay for, in most modern countries. Vaccines aren't expensive either, compared to say cancer drugs. IF I were to get blamey and blame anyone I'd definitely point finger at the pharmaco industry.
  17. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Robert Hartman escaped Berlin and fled to the United States from Nazi headhunters, by a matter of hours, which says a lot. Forget that Argo movie/story about Iran.

    Hartman's not even his real name. This is a movie waiting to be made. I wish I had some artistic vision, if I did his story would be the movie I'd make.
  18. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Robert Hartman also died 2 days after being told he'd been nominated for the Nobel Prize. Life's a you know what, you know? Still, those 48 hours must have been worth it on an intrinsic level. Systemically then, it can be used for good. Theoretically.
  19. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

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  20. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Systemic disvalue is of course possible at the individual level, such as when bigots reduce a stranger to their color, religion, etc. Still this isn't evil per se until a certain threshold, such as a lynching or church burning.

    The evil potential of systemic disvalue is a factor of degree. Put simply, systemic evil multiplies quickly with the help of the like minded. One terrorist can be a major threat, but 10,000 terrorists united leads to ISIS and countless human rights violations.

    While intrinsic value is not measurable, systemic and extrinsic value is, with systemic disvalue being the gateway to mass horrors. Great evil in Hartman's sense is a matter of scale. Large scale systemic evil transcends the impact of individual evil, and you can measure this in bodies. You can compare the evil acts of a mass murder or terrorist with those of the Reich, Khmer Rouge, Soviet Gulag systems and so on. Even the Trail of Tears or the slaughter of the Scottish Highlanders or Sherman's March to the Sea. The human costs are noticeably different. The difference is in extrinsic loss from systemic disvalue. Again, intrinsic losses are infinite at a personal level. There is no replacement for a loved spouse or family member, let alone more.

    Besides, "responsibility" is not a value in and of itself, nor is any desireable trait, because desire is subjective. There are evil ways to spin personal responsibility anyway...every SS officer saw the genocide of Jews as their personal and social responsibility.

    As far as pharma's acting inside the boundaries of the law...don't make me laugh Dead Pool! The law isn't always in the best interests of any enterprise, is it. Hence that regulated capitalism system we were talking about before. Capitalism would be and can be a source of great systemic evil if regulations were unjust or absent, and maybe some are without getting into specifics or a debate, but thats the purpose of democratic bodies of law...laws are meant to be good for the people, written with reason.

    Bringing it back again to 5G, the systemic evils of using mass media to create fear about it are pretty self evident, in my opinion. Reducing a potentially society benefiting tech to political warfare is NOT GOOD even if the one or many it benefits is desireable. It is objectively BAD. And sadly the Internet makes systemic disvalue more powerful and amplified than ever before. It's not evil by itself, but it can be used for such, and at scale, Internet based systemic disvalue is a horrifying concept.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019

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