A great loss.. (1 Viewer)

The_Doc_Man

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Hitler was responsible for the death of millions upon millions of people. The only sad thing about his death was that it didn't happen a lot sooner.

Actually, the sad thing is that he didn't live to stand trial so that he had to actually FACE his accusers. THEN when he died, there would have been that indefinable but real feeling of justice having been done. See also the death of Usama Bin Ladin at the hands of the Navy SEAL team, as shown in a somewhat over-dramatized movie Zero Dark Thirty.

G, we absolutely agree that Hitler had to die - but taking the coward's way out rather than facing up to the consequences of his choices is, to my way of thinking, anticlimactic and - in a way, Hitler's last gesture of defiance, depriving us of the option to end him through trial.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Why are hackers respected?

Some are, some are not. The question is whether the hacker in question took responsibility for wrong-doing, paid the societal-imposed penalty, and then started doing positive things afterwards. In other words, LEARNED from the mistake and changed his/her ways.

The USA is not only a country of law (most of the time), but we also have the legal principle of forgiveness. Which is why we have a commonly used phrase, "paid your debt to society." While you might still have a criminal record, once you have paid the court-assigned penalty (jail time and/or monetary fines and/or community service), the law asks no more of you and most of your constitutional rights are legally restored.

If Kevin paid his debt and changed his ways as a result, then BY LAW as well as custom, we could still talk about his positive contributions and about him being a "good guy." We don't require people to be angels from birth. We acknowledge that there is some bad and some good in each of us. We just hope that the good outweighs the bad and manifests itself more often.

I could have been a hacker myself - but made other choices. If I had not chosen to retire from my Navy contracting job, I would have been required to take some "continuing education" courses as a Navy contractor and one appealing curriculum could have led me to become a Certified Ethical Hacker. But I was already 2 1/2 years past "normal" retirement age and didn't want to get started on a multi-year commitment for something that in practical terms I would never use anyway because I would HAVE to retire before then.
 

Isaac

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Communist leaders were responsible for the death of 3x as many.
Yes, communism is BAD
 

GPGeorge

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Some are, some are not. The question is whether the hacker in question took responsibility for wrong-doing, paid the societal-imposed penalty, and then started doing positive things afterwards. In other words, LEARNED from the mistake and changed his/her ways.

The USA is not only a country of law (most of the time), but we also have the legal principle of forgiveness. Which is why we have a commonly used phrase, "paid your debt to society." While you might still have a criminal record, once you have paid the court-assigned penalty (jail time and/or monetary fines and/or community service), the law asks no more of you and most of your constitutional rights are legally restored.

If Kevin paid his debt and changed his ways as a result, then BY LAW as well as custom, we could still talk about his positive contributions and about him being a "good guy." We don't require people to be angels from birth. We acknowledge that there is some bad and some good in each of us. We just hope that the good outweighs the bad and manifests itself more often.

I could have been a hacker myself - but made other choices. If I had not chosen to retire from my Navy contracting job, I would have been required to take some "continuing education" courses as a Navy contractor and one appealing curriculum could have led me to become a Certified Ethical Hacker. But I was already 2 1/2 years past "normal" retirement age and didn't want to get started on a multi-year commitment for something that in practical terms I would never use anyway because I would HAVE to retire before then.
Well said. And it's not just individuals. In the current climate in the United States, one can be condemned simply because they are part of a group.

I recently had a rather dreary conversation with someone who was condemning an entire religious group on the basis of the actions of one of her ancestors a couple of generations back. While I agree that those actions by that person over 100 years ago were egregious, judging that person's many descendants guilty because they remain part of that religious group is borderline insanity, IMO.

There are groups and there are groups, of course. If you join a group because you espouse its philosophy, that's on you. On the other hand, we are part of some groups simply as a consequence of birth.

I would say becoming a hacker falls in the former.
 

Isaac

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Well said. And it's not just individuals. In the current climate in the United States, one can be condemned simply because they are part of a group.

I recently had a rather dreary conversation with someone who was condemning an entire religious group on the basis of the actions of one of her ancestors a couple of generations back. While I agree that those actions by that person over 100 years ago were egregious, judging that person's many descendants guilty because they remain part of that religious group is borderline insanity, IMO.

There are groups and there are groups, of course. If you join a group because you espouse its philosophy, that's on you. On the other hand, we are part of some groups simply as a consequence of birth.

I would say becoming a hacker falls in the former.

I agree George that there is too much condemnation of people because of group affiliation, AND, might I add (!!) :: Condemnation of groups because of the actions of a few members. I think all sides do this too much.

In the interest of self-honesty, I'll throw one out of my own fault: Because there has been so much violence and lawbreaking and anti-white racism on the part of Black Lives Matter events/statements/people, I tend to (if I'm not careful) write them all off as rubbish. Which may be unfair, since they may have done some good as well. And the other side does it with groups like the Proud Boys and any number of conservative outfits as well. There is absolutely nothing hateful or immoral about their stated tenets, but they do attact a % of people whose philosophy is way overboard - thus people condemn the whole group for the philosophies of some members.
 

The_Doc_Man

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There is absolutely nothing hateful or immoral about their stated tenets, but they do attact a % of people whose philosophy is way overboard - thus people condemn the whole group for the philosophies of some members.

Absolutely a valid point, Isaac. Extremism is not good for anyone.

Greek poet Hesiod (700 BC) is recorded as saying "observe due measure; moderation is best in all things." Greek philosopher Cleobulus also uses the phrase "everything in moderation" in his works. Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger said, "Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation." Socrates offered the belief that moderation in the soul leads to justice in the individual.

Many religions espouse moderation. For instance, it is important in Buddhism. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17 discuss moderation.

From history, we know that overreacting can sometimes lead to mistakes. Look at GWB and the "weapons of mass destruction" events. The USA overreacted to faulty intelligence and the result wasn't so good. The Salem Witchcraft trials were in many cases later revealed to be hoaxes perpetrated by people with grudges.

Moderation is a useful trait. Unfortunately, these days it is a moderately rare trait.
 

Jon

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At one point, saying the Earth was round was considered an extremist view. Another was Darwin's' Theory of Evolution. So, I would like to argue that it is not the extremist view per se that is good or bad, just the truth behind the view itself.
 

GPGeorge

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Extremism in any belief system is one thing. Acknowledging scientific advances is another.

Not drinking alcohol to excess (whatever excess happens to mean in a given context) is advice against stupid behavior. Beheading anyone caught drinking alcohol is extremism in a belief system. On the other hand, if you happen to be part of that belief system, you probably don't worry so much about the appropriateness of officially sanctioned murder.

At one point, scientific understanding had not yet advanced to the point where the shape of the earth was widely recognized. At that point in history, in most civilizations around the world, claiming that evidence suggesting the earth was, in fact, round and not a flat disc, was not extremism. Rather, it was arguing from observations about the true nature of our planet. I am aware that I see history primarily from a Western point of view, though. It may be that in some civilizations, the shape of our planet was understood differently at different times. Heck, there probably still are places where the shape of the earth is not discussed much, if at all.

Looking at images of the earth captured from a spacecraft orbiting the earth in the late 20th century, and claiming it showed a flat disk not a sphere would be extremism in a belief that can't stand up to scientific evidence.
 

Jon

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Extremism in any belief system is one thing. Acknowledging scientific advances is another.
Does the latter not influence the former? Take the "earth is flat" belief. Before, the extremist belief was the earth was round. Now, it is the opposite. The belief that the earth is flat is now considered extremist. Scientific discovery was directly related to what people believed.

So, beliefs change, but the truth does not. The earth was never flat, both before and after whatever anyone believed.

The Doc said extremism is not good for anyone. It certainly wasn't considered good for the alleged heretic Galileo, who was under house arrest for his truthful "extremist" views.
 
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GPGeorge

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What I "believe" ;) is that the term extremist is not exactly applicable to either belief. The belief itself is, or was, based on the best available evidence and understanding at the time. The fact that it was mistaken didn't make it extreme, IMO.

I would agree that as human knowledge advanced, our understanding of the shape of the world had to change. What I would call extremist would be someone in 2023 insisting that the earth is flat based on some sort of religious or philosophical system which depends on that proposition despite being exposed to evidence to the contrary.
 

The_Doc_Man

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This has swayed from the original meaning of my statement - that religious extremism or political extremism leads to extreme responses. Which do no good for anyone except tyrants and proselytizers.

The problem with Galileo wasn't so much extremism as absolutism, because the Pope speaks infallibly. Even though Aristarchus of Samos (b. 310 BC, d. 230 BC) showed that the Earth was round and even did a really rough trigonometric estimate on solar and lunar distances. Because he did not have a precise sextant, he got the angles wrong even though his method was right. So his numbers were off.
 

Jon

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What I "believe" ;) is that the term extremist is not exactly applicable to either belief. The belief itself is, or was, based on the best available evidence and understanding at the time. The fact that it was mistaken didn't make it extreme, IMO.

I would agree that as human knowledge advanced, our understanding of the shape of the world had to change. What I would call extremist would be someone in 2023 insisting that the earth is flat based on some sort of religious or philosophical system which depends on that proposition despite being exposed to evidence to the contrary.
I largely agree with you on some of the gist. But let me continue with playing devils advocate.

The fact that the belief was mistaken didn't make it extreme, for sure. It was the perception that made it extreme. So, like I said earlier, beliefs and perceptions change, but truth doesn't. That is if you believe in objective truth, as opposed to subjective truth. And this is entirely my point. The term extremist is tied to perception, not truth. And my original post on this was that the extremist view does not determine if something is objectively good or bad. It only determines if it is subjectively good or bad.

I agree that the flat-earthers are nut jobs. I have a friend who is one. He is also tied to a whole bunch of other conspiracy theories too
 

GPGeorge

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I think we are on the same page, then. In my lexicon, "nut job" and "extremist" are parallel terms.

In our world of database design and development, only objective truth is viable.
 

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