[ExI] META: Overposting (psychology of morals)

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Feb 28 19:51:34 UTC 2011

On 02/27/2011 09:29 PM, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM, Damien Sullivan
> <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu>  wrote:
>> On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:06:46PM +0000, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>> I recently ran into an extreme case of this:
>> http://volokh.com/2011/02/15/asteroid-defense-and-libertarianism/
> The fact that some libertarians (myself included) would prefer not to
> pay taxes to protect against rogue asteroids isn't because we dismiss
> the importance of doing the job. Too often, when a libertarian
> individual suggests that we shouldn't have a public fire department,
> the other side immediately jumps to the incorrect conclusion that
> libertarians don't wish to fight fires. It isn't that we are hard
> hearted and wish for everyone who isn't careful to have their house
> burn down. It's just that we see a different way of paying for things.
> The total number of people currently employed in looking for asteroids
> in the NASA Near Earth Object program is reportedly less than the
> number of people working in a typical McDonalds. Since actuaries
> indicate that we each have a 1:20,000 chance of being killed by such
> an asteroid, that is a silly small number.

What?? Are you seriously saying that 5 persons in every 100,000 will be 
or have been killed by an asteroid?  The actual number historically is 
closer to 1:1,000,000,000.  Or are you referring to the chance of dying 
IF an asteroid over a certain size impacts the earth without bothering 
to factor in the actual chances of that happening?

- samantha

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