Broken Windows, Broken Patents

This article in the Right To Create blog likens broken patent systems (and I’ll add that by extension – also broken copyright legislation) to broken windows (the fallacy of economic benefit caused by a small boy who throws a stone through the shopkeeper’s window, causing money to be spent by the keeper to pay a glazier to replace the window).

How to deal with antisemite professors

Terrorism and tenure is based upon an interview with David Horowitz, who wrote a new book, “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.”

He found professors, who support Marxism, anti-semitism, destruction of Israel, terrorists, and various crackpot conspiracy theories.

The big question is how to deal with those professors while preserving the values of academic freedom, freedom of expression, nourishing new ideas which go against the established opinions? How to avoid imposition of intellectually stifling censorship? How to prevent those professors from participating in tenure-granting committees? Who decides which opinions are objectionable and should be censored?

One possible solution, proposed in the interview, is to publicize those professors’ opinions and embarrass them. The drawback is that also other unorthodox opinions, which are not as politically dangerous, and are worthy of scientific research (such as cold fusion or antigravity devices), are subject to this risk.

A better solution may be to hold those professors to the principles of academic freedom.
It stands to reason that an anti-semite professor would not allow Jewish students and academics to gain tenure in his department, if he is in control of its admission and/or tenure setting committees. He would not encourage people having opposite opinions to come to his department as guest researchers or to lecture about their anti-anti-semite research.

So, it may be a good idea to set up international review boards (more than one board, and they are to operate independently) which review admission, tenure, research funding and guest lectureship policies in departments controlled by professors from the above list. Those review boards would then publicize their findings of the degree of adherence of those professors to the principles of academic freedom. Any professor found not to practice the principles of academic freedom, can be stripped of protection granted him by the same principles of academic freedom.

It also stands to reason that because those professors boycott academicians with opposite opinions, the quality of their scientific research is lower.

Professors with dangerous opinions, but who strictly adhere to the principles of academic freedom, should be left alone. The quality of their research can be relied upon, because they are not afraid to be confronted by people with opposite opinions, they can defend their findings (obnoxious as they can be) by objective evidence, and allow their students to hold opposite opinions as long as those students can defend their opinions using the scientific method. This would protect, for example, professors who support evolution in a Creationist (or Intelligent Design or FSM) county; or professors, who support the rights of homosexuals in an anti-homosexual country.

What about professors, who are true scientists in one area of endeavor (such as physics) but hold dangerous opinions in another area of endeavor (like an anti-semite nuclear physicist, say)? If they discriminate against, say, Jewish students and colleagues, then by definition the quality of their research is a bit lower, because they suppress opinions of people only because of irrelevant labels.

Controlling your environment makes your happy

According to Joel, the more you control your environment and the more things just work the way you expect them to, the more you are happy. He paraphrases Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman as follows – a great deal of depression grows out of a feeling of helplessness: the feeling that you cannot control your environment.

Political implications:

  • People are happiest in countries which follow the principles of free market with low-profile socialist policies. Socialist policies work best when they strive to insure people against risks, which they cannot control themselves.
  • There is high suicide rate of youths in very socialist countries, like Scandinavian countries, because of violation of the above principle. They are not in control of their lives and are not held responsible for their lives.
  • Moslems say “everything is from Allah”, abdicating control over their lives. Then they glorify the explosive belt method of committing suicide.

How to suppress display of the Israeli flag in Israel

According to a news item, the government is planning to impose regulations about the proper way to display and handle the Israeli flag, in the name of paying it respect as a national symbol.

The only consequence of those very strict regulations will be that several Israelis will cease displaying the Israeli flag.

There is also the issue of Freedom of Expression, which is celebrated by ceremonially burning one’s country flag.

(Before anyone calls for my arrest:
The ideal ceremony for celebrating Freedom of Expression is to prepare two identical flags. One flag will be displayed proudly, to symbolize pride in one’s country which is free, strong and confident to allow Freedom of Expression; and the other flag will be burned.)

Something which everyone knew 50 years ago and the Iranians now forgot

The Russell-Einstein Manifesto proposed resolution:

“In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them.”

Alas, it seems that the current Iran-Israel dispute, being due to one entity (Iran) wishing to annihilate another entity (Israel), is not amenable to peaceful resolution.

The Talkback Quality Paradox

Ever since Web news sites and forums made it possible for the random readers to post talkbacks, I have been noticing the abysmal quality and thought which went into several of the talkbacks.

Given that most of those talkbackists have the right to vote and given that they demonstrated their lack of wisdom, the question is: how do democracies get managed in a more or less reasonable way?

Seems that good democracies have filters between the random opinions at whim and actual action. First of all, you must care enough about your opinion to discuss it with your relatives and friends, trying to win them over to your point of view. Several big mouths seem just not to care about their own utterances.

Then, as you argue with your closest and dearest ones, their objections get you to check and polish your idea. Blatantly silly ideas fall on the side at this time.

Finally, to actually lobby in support of your idea, you need funds. To have funds you need to be successful in business or persuade people, who have been successful in making money. Since it requires rationality in one’s brain to make money in our world, this is yet another filter, which makes it difficult for crackpots to get their agenda across.

We can improve the process further by refusing to elect people to political positions, unless they have proven that they know to bring an idea to fruition, to manage an operation, to explain why their ideas are sound. This is important especially in small non-profit organizations, in which the membership elect the governing bodies. We also should be less serious about people, who did not prove themselves to be doers rather than big-mouths.

Do the rulers of the "Free World" secretly subsidize terror organizations?

As a way to induce citizens to submit themselves to 1984-style telescreens, do our dear elected leaders cut police budgets and secretly finance terror organizations so that we’ll be persuaded to allow surveillance cameras to be installed at our homes?
Houston Police Chief Wants Surveillance Cameras In Private Homes

I decided to do something about Norwegian Socialist Left party's boycott of Israel

My DEAF-INFO Web site, which disseminates deafness related information, and which is targeted at worldwide audience, now has a notice to supporters of the Norwegian Socialist Left party’s anti-Israel policy. The notice proclaims that they should not visit my Web site if they support their party’s anti-Israeli policy.