[Openmcl-devel] process-run-function and mach ports usage

Ron Garret ron at flownet.com
Thu Feb 24 18:31:57 UTC 2011


On Feb 24, 2011, at 9:35 AM, mikel evins wrote:

> 
> On Feb 24, 2011, at 11:29 AM, Tim Bradshaw wrote:
> 
>> On 24 Feb 2011, at 16:54, Ron Garret wrote:
>> 
>>> Why?  This is exactly as it should be.  Just because people don't like to overtly face the fact that life has a finite value doesn't change the fact.
>> 
>> Well, mostly I said it was a joke to avoid the standard "oh, how *could* you say such a horrible thing!" response I normally get.  I'm glad I've got the opposite response.
> 
> David D Friedman observed once that people like to say that human life is of infinite value, but they don't act as if they think it's true. If they did, then there would be no market for fast foods or automobiles.

IMHO people like to say this because it absolves them of the responsibility of having to think about what that value actually *is*, or to face the fact that not all human lives are of equal value.  If Steve Jobs and Charles Manson both had liver failure at the same time, I doubt you'd be able to find very many people willing to stand up for the principle that the decision of who will receive the next transplant should be made by flipping a coin.  If that's not enough of an ethical dilemma for you, imagine the reaction if someone were to point out that the resources required to effect a liver transplant for one person -- whoever it might be -- could also be deployed to, oh I don't know, procure clean drinking water and save N>>1 Haitian children from dying of cholera.  Needless to say, people generally don't like to do that kind of math.

One can occasionally find similar dynamics in discussions of technical issues involving operating systems and the state of computing in general.

rg




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