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Texas Supreme Court Cites Mr. Spock

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the logical-ruling dept.

Sci-Fi 345

An anonymous reader writes "We always knew that Spock was wise and would probably make a pretty good judge, so perhaps it's a good thing to see the Texas Supreme Court citing Spock in a recent ruling, noting his wisdom in stating that 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.'"

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Alright Star Trek +1 (2, Funny)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082430)

It would of be amazing if Bones stood up and said "Come on spock it's a court room not a space ship"

Re:Alright Star Trek +1 (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082456)

"Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a Texas Supreme Court judge!"

Re:Alright Star Trek +1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083122)

That's McCoy, not Spock

Re:Alright Star Trek +1 (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083168)

"Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not an Anonymous Coward trying to look clever on Slashdot."

Re:Alright Star Trek +1 (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083338)

That's cmdrTaco, not Spock.

Spock wouldn't make a good judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082494)

He would make the most logical decisions based on the current legislation. That's pretty good thing to have when you have a sane legislation, but it might strike back if the legislation is broken. I'd much rather have him as a legislator. Although his ingenuity might allow him to apply the laws more sanely.

Oh, and by the way, the captcha for this post is "anarchic". How poetic.

Re:Spock wouldn't make a good judge (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083176)

He'd probably pull out a phaser, blast all the legislators to atoms and declare when queried, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the corrupt and stupid."

Re:Alright Star Trek +1 (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082594)

It would of be amazing if Bones stood up and said ...

"Dammit Jim, I'm a zombie, not a dead body!"

Not a trend you want to extend too far (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082438)

Next up, neck-pinch as punishment.

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082498)

All the neck-pinch does is put people to sleep. Courts are already effective enough at that.

Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082722)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

AC troll is troll and racist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082864)

I suppose you will be spamming this false drivel all over the forum for the next few days. Just want you to know no-one believes this crap and we have all seen it before so would you please fuck off!

Re:AC troll is troll and racist (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083350)

Where is your refutation? He makes a good point. Blacks are the only racial group to vote as a virtual bloc. It is popular to make the claim that whites are conspiring to keep some sort of mythical "institutional white privilege" but it can't be substantiated on the same basis.

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083062)

Actually, it can kill as well. Please turn in your nerd badge at the door.

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083284)

I don't think that's correct. Could you cite the episode or movie in which it occurred?

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (1)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083476)

He's referencing a Dilbert comic. Adams himself admitted he knew there was no such thing as a vulcan death grip in "Seven Years of Highly Defective People". Think it was a reference to that comic strip.

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083486)

I don't think that's correct. Could you cite the episode or movie in which it occurred?

"The Enterprise Incident".

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (2, Funny)

snsh (968808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082628)

Quote Yoda next they will.

Re:Not a trend you want to extend too far (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082716)

I'm sure you mean The Agony Booth

wooooo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082458)

fuck star trek

still, it's most illogical... (1)

spyked (1878060) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082482)

I'm sure Mr. Spock would agree with that.

While i like the reference, utilitarian reality... (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082488)

While as a Trekky, I like the reference. I hope that they referenced utilitarianism in the article and I hope that they recognize utilitarianism can be used to justify evil things including letting a few starve so everyone else can live. This may be realistic but its evil unless you are acting as spock and *SACRIFICING YOURSELF* to be one of the few helping the rest. If the rest are choosing you to die against your will, it's evil.

Utilitarianism negates free will, property rights and individuality when misapplied (and perhaps when correctly applied too).

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082554)

So what you are saying is that Kodos the Executioner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodos_the_Executioner) was evil for killing people so that the rest would not starve? You could have just kept it all as a Star Trek analogy.

Kodos the Executioner (1)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082678)

The story about Kodos was a good one about taking "the needs of the many outweighing the needs of a few" too far.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082630)

I was going to complain that the "Needs of the many..." thing is Pure Utilitarianism - but if you read the article you notice that its an actual citation. An actual reference to star trek, and the context of what happened in that scene.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (3, Informative)

fche (36607) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083368)

If you read the entire court decision, you'll see that they point to this Spockian utilitarianism as something to be wary of. Their decision was actually to reverse just such legislation.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082746)

utilitarianism can be used to justify evil things including letting a few starve so everyone else can live

As opposed to letting the rest starve so the few can live? Really not seeing the evil.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (5, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083070)

Indeed that is an extreme example, and not quite a good one. But the evil part in that specific example would be who gets to choose who dies, and what criterion they use to decide.

A better example would be "letting a few people die so that millions can have an extra five minutes with their kids in the afternoon." From a strictly utilitarian point of view, it works out, because those extra minutes, multiplied by millions, balance out entire lifetimes.

Or, in the case of Kilo V. New London, the taking of land from a few worthless homeowners was justified to build a cool office space for Pfizer that they would've paid a lot of taxes on if they'd actually used it....

A less naive view of Utilitarianism realizes that establishing a fundamental property right that sometimes locally prevents just that sort of thing, has benefits society-wide.

And that's the downside of utilitarianism: it can be used to construct a framework under which almost anything appears ethical, even though a further refinement shows just the opposite. It's a problem, because people tend to stop looking any further once they have a reason why the thing they want to do is the "right" thing to do.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082752)

I think that another crucial point is that there is a time parameter on the needs/many/few breakdown.
It's amusing to revisit these ideas, especially entitlements, and watch needs/many/few be less constant than the purportedly smart people would have it.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083326)

There is a time parameter on everything.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082828)

evil things including letting a few starve so everyone else can live.

As opposed to letting everyone starve? That's even eviler.

Utilitarianism negates free will

There is no such thing as free will in the first place.

property rights

If property rights cause more harm than good they should be abandoned.

individuality

Not sure what you mean here. Your individuality is a physical fact. Different people have different bodies, brains, and therefore minds. It's as if you said "Utilitarianism negates hair color". Nonsensical.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083092)

Utilitarianism negates free will

There is no such thing as free will in the first place.

Then why are you arguing with the poster about it? He (she) can't help but believe this.... ...of wait, you can't help it, can you?

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

Masterofpsi (1643965) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083112)

While utilitarianism works in theory, the problem is that it only works in theory. It seems to make sense to say "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", but when you get down to it, who gets to make those decisions? As Dostoevsky showed, no one should try to play games with peoples' lives.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0, Flamebait)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083182)

There is no such thing as free will in the first place.

  Bullshit. The fact that I could read your comment and reply, or not, in any manner I see fit negates your statement. I can choose to have wine or a beer or nothing with my supper tonight, or I could choose to go out and spend my money elsewhere. Etc. It's the asshats who want to predetermine or legislate your free will that are the problem.

  If property rights cause more harm than good they should be abandoned.

  I have the right to keep property that I've bought and paid for, as long as I don't abuse that right to harm other citizens. This comment is too general. (Case in point would be the tools that I use to fix other people's problems. Quite a few of those tools, including the knowledge in my head, could also be used to harm other people; but that is not the use I put them to. ) I suspect you were probably thinking of things like gene patenting or intellectual property - but you should clarify that.

  Individuality is harmed by blanket laws that leave law enforcement and judges little option but to impose mandatory penalties despite mitigating circumstances. Many of the problems human society is experiencing right now stem from such laws.

SB

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083296)

But where does your right to property come from? It can't be religion. And if it comes from "the bill of rights", then it's just a social construct like the state.

Your right to property is a useful social construct, not a moral tenet.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083402)

Property is a right. It is more right for an individual to own property and to suffer the consequences of it's use/misuse than it is for that property to be collectively owned and for everyone to suffer those consequences collectively. Property ownership leads to better outcomes both on average and individually. In addition to being morally superior, it also happens to be the most effective and efficient method of directly linking individual behavior to both positive and negative consequences, more efficient than parenting or any form of government intervention known to man.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083334)

property rights

If property rights cause more harm than good they should be abandoned.

By your logic we can say the same thing about democracy, or any abstract human concept. Maybe your face does more harm than good to me, does that mean I can destroy it?

What I read from your post is that you think any evil done in the name of good is good: the means always justify the ends. Are you really so dense that you don't understand the context of the parent posts use of 'individuality'?

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083464)

tyranny of the majority ?

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082830)

>>>Utilitarianism negates free will, property rights and individuality when misapplied

Well said.

Also most people forget the SECOND half of the saying: "You were wrong Mr. Spock. We decided that the needs of the ONE outweigh the needs of the many. That is why we risked our lives to save you." - Captain Kirk. The American Confederation and later United States Constitution was founded on that principle. The individual matters.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082852)

Utilitarianism negates free will, property rights and individuality when misapplied (and perhaps when correctly applied too).

The needs of the many should not outweigh the rights of the few.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082854)

John Stuart Mill, the utilitarian proponent, would say that harming a minority for the benefit of a majority would not be for the greatest good of the greatest number. Instead, Mill argues that the concepts of justice and individual rights emerge directly from the principle of utility. Violating individual rights, he says, more often leads to bad consequences than good, and individual rights as an unbreakable rule promotes the greater happiness.

He spends a large portion of his book on utilitarianism arguing this, so it's not a particularly new objection to utilitarianism.

The judge distinguished it from a general rule (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083014)

... in a reference to urgency, not expediency. I suspect he knew that the one/many discussion was a long-running theme in the show.
--dave

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083108)

Utilitarianism negates free will, property rights and individuality when misapplied (and perhaps when correctly applied too).

Meanwhile, free will, property rights, and individuality negate everything else when misapplied (and definitely when correctly applied too).

Everything is a tradeoff; that's life.

I'm just amazed that there's a court in the U.S. that doesn't subscribe to the opposite fundamentalist philosophy: sacrifice everything for the weakest. But given that one exists, I'm not surprised it's Texas.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083212)

While I agree that utilitarianism can be misapplied, and I'd even go so far as to say that there are times when it is totally inappropriate, I'd like to point out that property rights are utilitarian.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

scifiber_phil (630217) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083268)

Yes, you've spoken well.

Re:While i like the reference, utilitarian reality (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083336)

utilitarianism can be used to justify evil things including letting a few starve so everyone else can live

Which is not evil, since by your wording the choices are "let a few starve so everyone else can live" or "let everyone starve because you're not willing to let anybody die first." I'm not saying it would be easy to decide (personally or from a ethical system standpoint) who should live and die in such a circumstance, but it is hardly a failure of utilitarianism.

The major problem with utilitarianism is actually fairly obvious: "The greatest good for the greatest number" is really hard to define. Just as an example: Let's say there is you and four of your friends. Is it the greatest good for the greatest number to kill you and distribute all of your positions evenly among the other four people? Four people are very happy and one isn't, but the one that "isn't happy" is actually dead --which is quite a lot of harm to balance against a relatively small amount of good. But there's really nothing in the system that says "+4 -1" is any less a valid way to approach the ethicality of the situation than "+(4 * 10) -(1 * 1000000)." There's nothing in the system--even though I think we all know it is wrong--to cause you not to question, "well, how much money are we talking about here?" or "how poor are my friends?" or something like that.

A lot of the problems, by the way, are solved with what's called "rule utilitarianism," which basically removes consideration of the individual act and steps back to creating a rule based on how much good or ill is caused by the rule. It would stomp on the "murder-for-profits" thing if for no other reason than once they kill you, there nothing stopping them from following the same act utilitarianism that led them to do so to pick and kill another person off. In other words, if everybody were allowed to operate under that rule the greatest good for the greatest number is not achieved.

Utilitarianism negates free will

It has nothing to do with free will, it's simply a system for deciding morality or ethicality. How you ultimately act can be guided by a system of morality but it isn't decided by it. If utilitarianism negates free will, then so do laws against murder if I really, really want to kill somebody.

Not quite (3, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082522)

Even as the footnotes to the ruling indicate, Spock was merely referencing a classic work of English literature. One of the hallmarks of good literature, and good art, are that they reflect the sensibilities of the culture which created them. That's what allows people to identify with the work and the characters therein, as well as learn a great deal about now-dead cultures through surviving works. If not for Beowulf and the Exeter Book, then we would not precious little about the minds of the ancient Anglo-Saxons. Citing Dickens, who was nothing if not socially conscious, seems perfectly reasonable. The fact that more people have seen Star Trek II than have likely read Dickens is just a way to help get the point across.

If not for the Star Trek reference, this likely wouldn't have made it to Slashdot, however I honestly think that it's slightly disingenuous to relegate it to idle.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082750)

I think Dickens was trying to convince those who don't think to start to think. Just by giving the crowds what they want to hear. (not by giving them truth)

A crooked way of trying to bring people to the truth. Much like Abraham Lincoln's methods of "succeed or die by suicide".

But then who hasn't had thoughts like that?

Re:Not quite (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082918)

I suspect more people have seen A Christmas Carol than Star Trek 2.

BTW ever read part 2 of that story? Ebenezer Scrooge ends-up bankrupt because he goes from a spend-thrift to a careless spender (kinda like some americans today). Perhaps Ebenezer suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder? Unfortunately Bob Cratchet loses his job when Mr. Scrooge loses his bank and business.

The moral is the same moral as Henry David Thoreau wrote-about in his novels: Moderation is the best course.

Re:Not quite (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083004)

The judge also said the defendants were "brutal, savage, unprincipled, uncivilized, treacherous -- in every way, splendid examples of homo sapiens, the very flower of humanity."

Because (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082532)

the judge lost his copy of John Stuart Mill?

Re:Because (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082842)

Not to mention Jeremy Bentham [wikipedia.org] . Someone should bring this up at one of University College London's council meetings [about.com] .

W

Except that under the U.S. Constitution... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082548)

...the rights of the few outweigh the interests, benefits, and even the needs of the many. "Democracy" is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. I'd rather see the rights of the minority protected, regardless of the opinions of a given science fiction character - pointy ears or no.

Re:Except that under the U.S. Constitution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082874)

Yes. It's frighteningly easy for this to turn into, "the many trample on the rights of the few".

Particularly when the many have those needs because they planned poorly to begin with, and now "need" to take what the few who acted with foresight saved for their own needs.

Re:Except that under the U.S. Constitution... (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082928)

Protecting the rights of everyone (including the few) is beneficial to everyone. If we have sheep for dinner tonight, there's nothing to stop me from being next. Therefore it's in my best interest to vote for constitutional limitations preventing anyone from being dinner, no matter how delicious that sheep may be.

Texas is not Vulcan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082556)

I thought Texas was Ferengi.

Re:Texas is not Vulcan. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082626)

No, Texas is Qo'noS. Florida is Ferenginar.

The story has no context (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082588)

This story has no context. Without knowing what the decision was that they cited this on, there is no way for me to judge how appropriate this was or wasn't.

Re:The story has no context (1)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083162)

... there is no way for me to judge how appropriate this was or wasn't.

This is slashdot. What site were you looking for?

That quote has a sequel (3, Informative)

destinyland (578448) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082598)

The judge obviously hasn't seen Star Trek III... Captain Kirk and his crew risk their lives to save Spock. And when he asks them why, Kirk replies "The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many." And then Spock raises an eyebrow...

Re:That quote has a sequel (5, Funny)

DingerX (847589) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082724)

But the judiciary has a rule: Even-numbered Star Trek movies have greater legal authority than odd-numbed ones.

Re:That quote has a sequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082892)

What? Are we playing fizzbin with the law now?

Re:That quote has a sequel (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082944)

> What? Are we playing fizzbin with the law now?

When have we not?

Re:That quote has a sequel (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083238)

Only at night on Tuesdays.

Re:That quote has a sequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082884)

I remember that episode when you mention it. Showing you how stupid people with love can succeed even without logic. Sorry captain kirk, I thought that's what you were showing us.

Or was it that, a great leader, is worth more than many? Or that a friend in need is a friend in deed? Or, it's good for the able to help the unable. Either way, truth wins. Truth is humorous.

Thank you Captain Kirk, thank you Spock, thank you , you.

Magic 51% (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082606)

And as we see in the US, the needs of the 51% outweigh the needs of the other 49%. Ain't absolute democracy grand?

Re:Magic 51% (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082702)

No, the wish of 51% outweigh the wish of 49%

If the 51% started to hinder the needs of 49% then they would probably break the law, start riots and other stuff that makes the difference between democracy and dictatorship insignificant.

Re:Magic 51% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082778)

It's more like the needs of the 278 outweigh the needs of the 300M.

So what? (-1, Troll)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082674)

If the half of the federal Supreme Court finds it acceptable to cite foreign law in constitutional cases, then what's the big deal about Spock?

I mean, if the laws passed in their jurisdiction can be overlooked in favor of an interesting thought from outside, what difference does the source really make?

Depends on the many and the few... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082686)

The needs of the few might outweigh the needs of the many. This all depends on what is in the group of the many and the group of the few. If you take a group of 100 normal individuals, and a group of 1 Richard Feynman, then the most intelligent thing to do is to sacrifice the 100 for 1 Feynman, since there is only about 1 Richard Feynman for 1 billion normals... So no, the needs of the many does not outweigh the needs of the few.
1 gram of gold > 1 ton of shit.

Something more important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082692)

Although Mr. Spock's logic seems good to the human mind who can decipher right from wrong, it is also written that "Numbers did not win the war."

I added the missing words for ya... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082718)

"The needs of the many [WOLVES] outweigh the needs of the few [SHEEP]." Yup, utilitarian democracy sucks if you're a sheep... or black... or an illegal alien...

Re:I added the missing words for ya... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083470)

"The needs of the many [WOLVES] outweigh the needs of the few [SHEEP]." Yup, utilitarian democracy sucks if you're a sheep... or black... or an illegal alien...

In the real world, the predators are few and the prey are many.

There is safety in numbers - if not for the individual, than for the group.

If not for the parent, than for the child.

132.8 million
The projected Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30% of the nation's population by that date.

22.4 million
The nation's Hispanic population during the 1990 Census--less than half the current total.

2nd
Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2009. Only Mexico (111 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (48.4 million).

Hispanic Americans By The Numbers [infoplease.com]

The Decision (2, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082720)

Re:The Decision (3, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082810)

This is actually a concurring opinion, and not the main opinion. As such, little can be gleaned from it regarding what the actual case is about. This [state.tx.us] is the main opinion. Quoting the summary:

The issue we address in this case is whether a statute that limits certain corporations’ successor liability for personal injury claims of asbestos exposure violates the prohibition against retroactive laws contained in article I, section 16 of the Texas Constitution1 as applied to a pending action. We hold that it does, and therefore reverse the judgment of the court of appeals2 and remand the case to the trial court.

So as we can see, it's a rather dull case concerning asbestos.

Re:The Decision (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082872)

So as we can see, it's a rather dull case concerning asbestos.

A slightly more interesting interpretation is its a case about retroactively applying laws.

In a world where the laws are purchased by corporations acting as people, and almost no biological people can afford professional representation/interpretation of the law, the finer details of the rule of law are kind of irrelevant or uninteresting to the populous. But in a less apathetic world its an interesting situation.

Re:The Decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082994)

"In a world where the laws are purchased by corporations acting as people"

Do you mean a world where communists get hired as newsmen and use their channels as weapons of war to attack their enemies with the internal moral justification that they help create a paradisical collectivist state?

Because then I would have understood it.

Re:The Decision (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082900)

What was the damn case about? I understand all the words written there, and get the snarky tone of judges at the beginning, but cant make head or tail about the actual dispute was about.

Re:The Decision (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083038)

Little company makes something that turns out to be quite dangerous.

Big company buys little company and immediately strips the assets, sells off the division that make dangerous stuff.

Is the big company liable for everything the little company's dangerous division ever did if they never directly actually did anything dangerous?

Lots of paperwork and billable hours burned there.

Idiots hear the words "possession is nine tenths of the law" and don't realize they look stupid claiming that means whomever holds something gets to keep it regardless of how they got it or something equally dumb. What that phrase actually means, is nine tenths of the law is about whom exactly owns what, under the weirdest imaginable situations.

also (1)

xate (784379) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082748)

sudden outbreak of common sense

Texas? (-1, Flamebait)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082774)

When the hell did they turn commie?

Socialist crap, what is happening in Texas? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34082838)

What will happen with us if even the Texan Judges are spreading socialist crap? Need of many outweighs the need of few, what a load of crap. If I need a good car, I don't care if others need cheaper but working car, I won't be buying those car and helping them drop in price. I don't care about the need of many over few, if we'd care the capitalist free market would have solved the issue.

Re:Socialist crap, what is happening in Texas? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#34082954)

You do realize that Austin has always been a hot bed of liberal and Unionist sentiment? It was a great hiding place for Confederate deserters during the War of Southern Independence.

Re:Socialist crap, what is happening in Texas? (1)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083044)

Yeah, I go there every couple of years. They have tons of libertarians as well tho. Anyways, my comment was a small joke.

Re:Socialist crap, what is happening in Texas? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083234)

Actually they're not. There's considerable discussion of the simple sentiment, but it actually makes the point that certain things can only be justified if the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, not that that alone will justify an individual sacrifice.

Not his job (0)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083020)

The judges job is to enforce rule of law, not the "needs of the many."

Much of the constitution is written to protect minorities against "mob rule."

Ayn Rand (0, Troll)

little1973 (467075) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083058)

Anybody who has read "Atlas Shrugged" knows that this is not true. Who will decide whether the need of the many really more important than the need of the few? And on what base?

Re:Ayn Rand (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083244)

Anyone who reads Ayn Rand and cites it as anything more than an upper-class rant is a fool. Ask Mexico how well their libertarian build-gated-communities-and-let-everyone-else-fend-for-themselves approach to governance is working.

Sounds Like Socialism (3, Funny)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083068)

Seriously, "the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few", sounds like socialism......AND in Texas yet. Rush LImbaugh better sound the alarm bells.

That's what Spock said. (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083118)

... or the one.
Remember.

Beam me up, Scotty ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083180)

There's no intelligent life here ...

One more comment (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083226)

  Technically, they were quoting Gene Roddenberry and/or the writers of the show*, not Spock, who is a fictional character.

  * Not entirely sure who wrote the script, hence... it reminds me of people who quote Prof La Paz from Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, when they should be quoting Heinlein ;-)

SB

moderated utilitarianism can be fair/just (3, Insightful)

frytoy (1313613) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083252)

Interestingly, nobody seems to complain when sacrifice is imposed for the sake of war - i.e. WWII. Why is only war, and not the human quality of life for all citizens, a worthy cause? Can we not build a society that rewards achievement _and_ protects those who have failed from utter ruin? Can we not have a utilitarian baseline of humane living conditions for all, and a capitalist economic engine that allows for the successful to rise (well) above the baseline? Also, why not these same concepts to protect the environment and other resources for future generations? Why is it only considered immoral to require some sacrifice when the goal is peaceful and just? This is not communism - this is a capitalist, socialist, utilitarian hybrid that works very well when implemented in good faith, and is basically the system we would have if it weren't for the constant undermining influence of the libertarian right in our government.

Well, true. (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083272)

the opposite, is aristocracy, elitism. it doesnt matter how it happens ; whether a minority owns more than the majority, and/or rules them, it ends up as being feudalism.

in capitalism, this is provided by the inner mechanisms of capitalist system. free market just functions as a 'free for all' chaos environment in which a pecking order will get established in future. the 'better' competitors, however better they are (fair or unfair) get ahead, buy or subdue others (controlling shares), and increasingly control aspects of various industries.

if, nothing intervenes, then eventually after a while EVERYthing gets consolidated at the hands of a particular group. this may be as small as 4-5 people, just like in usa in late 19th century, or, it may be a group of conglomerates, which own and run aspects of life through proxies and conglomerate structure. (as in now).

it doesnt matter how it happens : as long as a minority group has ownership of the resources and amenities in a given nation, they are de facto rulers of that nation. it may end up through establishing an elite through birthright, it may happen through establishing mega conglomerates by fair competition, which then ends up getting inherited.

think : competition, is competition. eventually, some will do better than others, and get to top. if there is nothing controlling their power, they will establish a hierarchy. AND, because there is inheritance, the established pecking order will just get inherited to heirs, and it will practically be an aristocratic dynasty. it doesnt matter whether these people do it consciously, planned, and be aware of each other and what they are doing. it is automatic, subconscious, and just a mechanical result of the system.

the ONLY thing different now, from the medieval feudal aristocratic system is, everyone is supposedly allowed to attempt being aristocrats. 'supposedly' and 'attempt' words are in the preceding sentence, because they describe how little chance such a thing happening has ; if, in medieval times, everyone was allowed to just attempt setting up a feudal lordship, (instead of being through birthright), the newcomers would find it impossible to set a domain for their own, because established pecking order would overpower them. just like that, it is as such in capitalist system of today ; enter into a market, try to be someone, establish yourself. as soon as you get noticeable and become a competitor, you are either clamped down through 'competitive' means, or, bought out. if the two not avail, then you are coerced into the hierarchy that is present in your area, which is the sub hierarchy that rules nationwide.

RARELY, there happens 'wild west' situations. original wild west, was one. it was a chaotic, free for all environment, where there were noone established, and the established powers were far away and unable to reach and dominate it. in this free for all environment, first to come and to get on top, established themselves into various points in the newly occurring pecking order. then, this pecking order, eventually got integrated with the greater hierarchy of the entire nation.

AND a contemporary example ; the internet, i.t., digitization of the society was another such land rush, a wild west. it was new, it wasnt even taken seriously at the start, noone knew what was it and what was going to happen. opportunist people with ideas and ambitions have entered this area. just like all these wild west situations, it was a phenomenally free environment in which there was great opportunities, great freedom. practical 'nobodies' (compared to established conglomerate owners) got rich over years' time, sometimes days. in a brave free world, the capitalist system seemed to fulfill its promise. after all, there was opportunity for the lower strata of society, who didnt have any capital and any place in pecking order - people were getting rich, right ?

right.

look how long did it take for it to end and an established order to come up. a decade ? a decade and a half ? AND, in the latter part of the period, bigger hierarchy have started to come into play, and attempt either buying out, absorbing, or subduing the newly established order. we are reading a lot of articles, stories regarding the power struggles pertaining to this these days, so im not going to take your time by giving examples.

in the end, it stabilized into another area, with established order and hierarchy. now, it is harder to get going, and the established order is making it increasingly harder, to protect their own interests.

im not even going to go into the fact that 'money is power', and that power eventually goes into the areas of life, in which everyone is supposedly strictly equal, like politics. you very well know that, despite you are 'equal', it is impossible for any of you to get elected, leave aside do anything contradictory to the established private interests' policies, unless you are one of them and have huge heaps of financial power, or, you are one of their candidates. so supposedly, all is equal, yet, financial power, the very private property principle, totally negates that equality. leaving aside any kinds of other freedoms, like freedom of speech ; you express your ideas to a few hundred people coming to your blog, or by talking to a few hundred in a park, an established elite brainwashes hundreds of millions by putting pundits through the mega news networks he has. in this area too, you are only as free as your wallet.

so with that, the final premise of the individualistic capitalist society goes down : equal rights to rule. the one with the gold, makes the rules. actually, this doesnt need 2 brain cells to conclude. however, it is reasonable ; foreseeing that the small partnerships/workshops/manufactories/companies would become mega conglomerates larger than countries, was impossible back in 18th century. the pioneers who laid principles of capitalism, thought that private businesses would always be like what they knew - small honest businesses run by a handful of people. and they only have been able to envisage threat from crown monopolies. they didnt at any point think that, private businesses could grow even bigger than countries, leave aside crowns and their monopolies.

hence, they thought, as long as there was equality, and freedom to engage in business, all would be good. because, if everyone was equal, no minority would be able to undo others. and with what power would they do it anyway ? business was free, every citizen was given right to vote and get elected. it was impossible to foresee that private groups could grow bigger than countries themselves. also, the old aristocracy, naturally transitioned into the new ruling capitalist strata - after all, they had the initial capital.

so here we are, in an abomination of a system : supposedly free storefront, totally medieval behind. everyone is fooled with the promise of 'making it', whereas the number of ones making it are lower than peasants making it to lowly knighthood back in medieval times. and even if you 'make it', there is no chance that you actually get to the top of the ladder. you only get to some high point in middle of the pyramid, thinking that you became rich. whereas, your status ends up no different than a guild merchant in a town in middle ages.

our distribution of wealth is much worse than middle ages too ; back in medieval days, entire economy was built on produce from land, and peasants, church and lord all had 33% right to the produce from the land. now, according to recent data, top 1% of population in usa gets 52% of everything. whereas, with the next 6% directly below them, they get 72%. imagine - top 7% of society, gets 72%. and - now hear this - the bottom 80%, ie basically 240 million people or so, gets only 15%. that is, HALF of what medieval peasants got from the economy.

i know a lot of oldtimers among you will go nuts and demand 'proof'. and here it is http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html [ucsc.edu]

at this point, some of you may be going berserk and raging, calling me names and adjectives, thinking that the system works, see, you having made it and all, others having made it and all and whatnot.

let me wake you up to a fact ; you havent made it. you are just, someone else who pushed himself to the middle recesses of the pyramid. you do not have 5 yachts, you are not able to take your supper in paris, and your dinner in rome every day. you are just an upstanding upper middle class citizen, and you think you have 'made it' and the system works, because you are at a higher point than the bottom 80% of society. it is an illusion. you are still being fed on by the pyramid on top of you. and, you have no chances of making it into that segment.

and to clear a few denial triggers in your brain ; i have been probably much more capitalist than the most radical ayn rand followers out there among you - i have been raised up in a society during cold war, in which the word 'social' or 'left' or 'communism' were equated with sin. blasphemy. no, really, religious sin we are talking about here, not analogies or metaphors. straight sin. and, from age 6 to age 22, i was totally indoctrinated with a capitalist education system, in the era of 80s where materialism were advocated to us as freedom and future. it was so that, we didnt even think that there could be anything else. when a higher education that teaches the capitalist financial and industrial mechanics/methods added on top of it, it was even more a steadfast indoctrination.

however, statistics are there, history is there. the only difference in between medieval feudalism and capitalism is, everyone is allowed to become lords. that is, if you can.

its a total empty storefront.

Re:Well, true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083500)

You SUCK at writing. Have you ever heard of correct punctuation or spelling - or capitalization?

Star Trek (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083282)

Took place on a military vessel that had replicators and a nearly unlimited energy source.

Spock was not a founding father... (0)

wtansill (576643) | more than 2 years ago | (#34083304)

Had he been, he would have known that the Constitution was constructed to avoid the tyranny of the majority.

With Texass, it could always be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34083468)

It could be worse. At least they're not citing the Bible for their precedents. This time, anyway.

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