Here is a little online A.I. game of 20 questions. You think of an object, and it tries to guess what your object is 20 questions or less. I have played it twice, and somehow it picked the right answer out of the blue, I swear to god. I don’t know how it knew. Freakin’ my noggin. You have to try this crazy ride.
We ought not to trivialize the horror of sex offenses, but if Medicaid (or any other) government agency is going to pay for medications like Viagra, I think we must question the reasons why we would want to deny them to sex offendors, and ask ourselves a couple of questions:
1. Would Viagra “facilitate” sexual crimes, and would the denial of Viagra deter such crimes? Those in favor of denying Viagra to sexual offenders seem to answer “yes” to both of these questions, but I think that they deserve a much closer inspection. Suggested here, we may even question whether sexual dysfunction may increase the likelihood of a sexual assault (given the frustration psychological trauma it may induce). I think it is important to bear in mind that sex offenders suffer from psychological, not physical issues, and we need to consider carefully the effects that sexual dysfunction, and its treatment, would have on the psychology of sexual offenders.
2. I assume that this is supposed to apply to sex offenders that have already done their time. So, given that they have served the requisite number of years in jail, either they have been adequately punished and rehabilitated for their crime (and, I assume, treated for whatever psychological disorders they suffer from), or they haven’t. If they have, then why continue to punish and/or try to deter further crimes? If they haven’t been adequately punished, treated and rehabilitated, then perhaps they ought to remain in jail, or be admitted in the custody of psychologists (who are in a much better position to decide what kind of treatment for their sexual dysfunction is appropriate for them).
In short, denying them Viagra is not necessary in the case where they have “paid their debt” and are now healthy enough to be out in the world, and is not sufficient in the contrary case. Perhaps there is something I’m not getting, but I fear that they have just missed the boat entirely on this. Here is the source news article.
States are now allowed to deny Medicaid-funded sex offenders Viagra. According to Senator Charles Schumer, “giving convicted sex offenders government-funded Viagra is like giving convicted murderers an assault rifle when they get out of jail.” (cnn.com)
Right. ‘Cause maybe they can’t get you if they can’t get it up.
Perusing the web, and found a host of interesting pages on action theory (most of this list was swiped from other action theory links lists, but I have distilled from them what I considered to be the gems):
Action Theory: Introductory site which aims at providing resources for people interested in action theory in philosophy and cognitive science
Action Theory Page maintained by Andrei Buckareff: very extensive page that includes a collection of recent essays & articles, a list of links, and a list good graduate programs specializing in action theory
The Garden of Forking Paths: A blog devoted to Agency Theory, including related issues in Philosophy of Action, Moral Psychology, Metaphysics and Ethics
Papers on Agency and Related Issues: a blog tangential to The Garden of Forking Paths
The Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website: excellent and extensive site that includes important pieces central to the free will debate
Any other suggestions for this list? Let me know!
In attempt to discourage my snacking on all things naughty in my house, I stashed some leftover gummi bears and snack Heath Bars in my freezer. Unfortunately, this strategy was not a successful deterrent: As it turns out, frozen gummi bears are surprisingly compelling (particularly in this damnable heat). I probably need not bother describing the scrumptiousness of a frozen Heath Bar.
Stupid delicious snacks. I need to think of a sneakier tactic with which to trick myself.
Went biking in the off-road section of the St. Mark’s Trail today. While not as long as the main trail (which is 14 miles), and not challenging by off-road standards I’m sure, this one sure pooped me out (perhaps it didn’t help that I got lost — twice — despite the fact I have a compass-bell on my hadlebars). I wanted to take pretty scenic pictures, but the trail didn’t turn out to be terribly scenic (just looked like all other Florida woods do). A couple of firsts: we spotted a couple of fox squirrels (huge bastards), and a tortoise urinated on me.
Terminal Graduate Paralysis (TGP)
Indications: This chronic, debilitating, and sometimes fatal condition represents the most serious and widespread of the many behavioral disorders facing the graduate-student population. Symptoms often appear in the fourth year of graduate study, though this can vary from discipline to discipline.
Early signs are typically mild and therefore easily overlooked or ignored. These often include a subtle shift in media-consumption habits, from National Public Radio to South Park, and from professional journals to extreme-makeover television. More serious symptoms include compulsive retitling of the dissertation; a pathological overinvestment of time in TA-ing; a tendency to misplace routinely or otherwise lose or obliterate thousands of hours of work as a result of alleged computer failures (clinicians investigating these mishaps frequently find suspiciously mutilated hard drives). Advanced symptoms include substantially impaired performance on all cognitive tasks; hyperanxiety and night sweats; bibliophobia; comma-shifting mania; and a marked adviser-avoidance response. At its most extreme, sufferers display a deer-in-the-headlights appearance; epistemological aphasia (the conviction that one no longer knows anything); morbid feelings of lack of self-worth often accompanied by paranoiac delusions of victimization; a deepening of syntactic torpidity (the loss of the ability to write clearly, simply, and, ultimately, at all); a resurgence of teenage acne; even renewed thumb-sucking and bed-wetting. Failure to File (F2F) represents a particularly heartbreaking, and dimly understood, form of TGP, in which the sufferer mysteriously disappears on the eve of filing the completed dissertation, or otherwise inexplicably decides to “tighten” the argument.