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DataPacRat wrote

I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice. -- CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Morganlink 3D-Vision Interview

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. -- Woody Allen

I intend to live forever. So far, so good. -- Rick Potvin

Give me immortality or death. -- Nick de Jongh

Personally, I’ve been hearing all my life about the Serious Philosophical Issues posed by life extension, and my attitude has always been that I’m willing to grapple with those issues for as many centuries as it takes. -- Patrick Nielsen Hayden

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DataPacRat wrote

There's a slight difference between being imperialistic on Earth and going to space: There actually aren't any residents on any of the other planets in our Solar system to enslave, and no animals or biospheres to harm.

That's not to say that we wouldn't bring our own set of problems with us, or come up with brand-new ones, but could we at least be clear about /which/ problems are problematic?

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DataPacRat wrote

Which is why I mentioned the "magic of thought experiments". Hypothetical situations have a purpose: because they /are/ simpler than reality, they let you ignore all the complicated factors that muddle matters, allowing you to figure out what your actual preferences and values are. Eg, "Which is more important to me, the life of a baby or the life of a pig?", or "Which is more valuable, the life of a child or the life of a dog?". It's only once you understand the basics of your own moral-and-ethical system that you can understand how to apply value judgements in more complicated arenas.

(Of course, one of my usual .sig lines is "Then again, I could be wrong.")

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DataPacRat wrote

To the best of my understanding, values can't exist in a vacuum. That is, when someone says "X is good" or "Y is bad", they're leaving out a bit of implication: "X is good (according to standard-of-value A)" or "Y is bad (according to ethical system B)". Without referring to /some/ system of values, even if just a vague wishy-washy pointing in the general direction of things that are assumed to be in common, then it makes no sense to try to claim anything has moral significance.

I'm sure there are people who disagree with the above, but it's worked well enough for me in resolving a number of practical philosophical matters.

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DataPacRat wrote

If it ever came to the crunch, and you were honestly faced with a choice of whether or not to save a human life, and you took more time thinking about it than it took to figure out how, I don't doubt that you would receive all sorts of social pressure, the very least of which would involve being called "inhuman" and "monstrous". Depending on the circumstances, it wouldn't be out of the question for the legal system to convict you of some degree of murder.

Even if you don't feel any particular inclination for or against rugrats, there are very solid reasons why humans as a whole have evolved tendencies to promote the welfare of the tykes, and if you want to maintain the freedom and social respect to be able to save lots of nonhuman lives, it's in your own self-interest to cooperate with the larger group's values here.

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DataPacRat wrote

The reason I'm bringing up this old saw is simple: Different people value different things, and prioritize values differently. There seems to be a minimal baseline of shared values required for us humans to be able to scratch out any sort of living at all on this planet, and one of those core values seems to be "other humans are more important than non-humans". Anyone who tries to push against that idea, so fundamental to human society and culture, is going to face rather firm opposition by the vast majority of people.

That said - I'm not claiming that animals have /no/ moral worth. When scientists can put together vat-grown meat that doesn't lack any of the important nutrients my reasonably unhealthy body needs, and which doesn't put me into any deeper debt than I am already - sure, I'll be happy chomping down on vat-burgers instead of cow-burgers. Animal rights may not be as important to me as they are to you, but as long as it doesn't cost me too much of my scant resources, I'm a fellow traveller willing to help you fulfill your values in much the way you're willing to help me with my own pet causes that you feel are less important than yours. We're all in this together, right?

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DataPacRat wrote (edited )

Redundancy is precisely the point.

As just one perspective, spammers and scammers keep coming up with new tricks, and any one plugin is unlikely to block each new trick for a while. But multiple, redundant plugins mean that as soon as /any/ of them blocks the new trick, it's blocked.

If you don't like redundant security, then feel free not to use it. But if you aren't using it simply because you haven't heard of it, then feel free to give it a try.

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DataPacRat wrote

Relying on one single addon to protect your browser is risky; sometimes one will get taken over by a spammer, or one will sell whitelist access to advertisers.

A combination of overlapping addons may be more useful; for example, Adblock Plus, AdNauseum, BetterPrivacy, CanvasBlocker, Decentraleyes, Flashblock, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, Privacy Badger, Random Agent Spoofer, RequestPolicy, Self-Destructing Cookies, TrackMeNot, uBlock Origin, and uMatrix.

If the new Firefox doesn't let you install as many addons as you need for privacy and security, you may want to switch to a Firefox spinoff like Waterfox.