archive for June, 2004

Reformatted Hard Drive

Well, I guess it was time. It’s been almost a year since I last reformatted my main hard drive, so I figured today would be a good time to do some digital house cleaning. I wasn’t exactly trying to go for a full system reinstall, but thanks to my ignorance of boot loaders, I managed to kill my system while trying to recover some more hard drive space for Neverwinter Nights. Long story short, it’s 6 hours later, and here’s what I’ve accomplished:
* Backed up digital pictures and music onto 2nd hard drive
* Backed up Mozilla onto 2nd hard drive
* Reformatted main hard drive (nearly an hour just for that)
* Installed Windows 2000 (another hour)
* (read about half of the NWN manual)
* Installed W2K SP4
* Installed a dozen or so critical Windows Updates
* Installed drivers for: network card, video card, sound card, printer, mouse, and DVD drive
* Installed DSL Dialer, Mozilla, Norton Anti-Virus, WinAmp, PowerArchiver, FileZilla, PuTTY, Startup Control Panel
* Restored digital pictures and music from backup


Meta-morality is morality turned back on itself. Morality says what’s good or bad, or what’s right or wrong. Meta-morality says what morals are good or bad (also see: ethics).

I’ve been thinking about some meta-morals that might just be universal (or nearly so):

Good morals:
1. Are useful. They tell you something about the world. They contain information.
2. Are transferable. Morals are memes. To work well, then need to work for more than just you.
3. Are non-contradictory. Within a moral system, the morals should work well together, even re-enforce each other.
4. Are “smooth.” An approximation of the moral should be better than no moral at all.

Since meta-morals are really morals themselves, I would expect them to apply to themselves. Therefore, I would expect 1-4 to be useful (they help us judge whether a moral is good or not), transferable (other people would accept them as true), non-contradictory, and even my approximation (best guess) above should be better than nothing. All of these tests appear to be true to me, so for now I judge them as being good meta-morals. (Note: Meta-Moral 1 is used to bootstrap the whole process. This may be Utilitarianism.)

Open questions:
* Do morals exist outside of human societies?
* Are there a finite number of meta-morals required to create a useful moral system?
* Can the meta-morals be formalized?

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