science forum Guru Wannabe
Joined: 12 Sep 2005
|Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:21 pm Post subject:
The Ethics of Profiting from Foreknowledge (was: Earth acceleration and earthquake triggering Jan 9, 2003)
Uncle Al wrote:
|Uncle Al has equations and falsifiable predictions. What have you
got, git, a lottery number?
There had been discussion from time to time amongst some of the faculty
here (including Dr. Friedmann of Friedmann, Morris, Thorne fame) about
the ethics behind using future knowledge for profit. The particular
example that came up was that of taking claim of an invention that
still lay in the future.
I've had numerous instances of future memories suddenly popping up,
sometimes in the middle of saying and writing about something else, or
sometimes just flat-out. You were on the receiving end of one of them
back in the summer of 2004 when I was relating the foreboding about the
disaster to take place at the end of 2004. The only problem is, I
thought it was a nuclear attack. If it is a bona fide memory, the mixup
is easily accounted for by the fact that the same week the the disaster
saw the premier of a TV show that featured nuclear annihilation in its
first episode and had the same shock-wave-arriving-on-shore scene that
I got it confused with.
A recent example of a flashforward that suddenly popped up as a thought
in the middle of something else I was writing...
Dated 2006 February 9
"you-missed-the-bird-and-hit-the-pedestrian double negative"
2006 February 11 18:30 local time
"Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter Harry Whittington while
aiming for a bird."
or from a time further back...
Dated 1992 September 15, soc.singles
What a nem! What a nem! You hahf seesters nemmed Liz too, no?
Strange you should ask. Mom got a little obsessed with this naming
stuff. She's Elizabeth. I'm Elizabeth, then there's Alice Elizabeth
and Mary Elizabeth. Guess she likes her name.
Then there are numerous instances of dreams where a heavy object is
falling to the floor, only to be interrupted before crashing by a
simultaneous thunderclap and lightning flash and the point it would
have hit the floor.
What started out as rare and subtle had in more recent times become
more frequent and obtrusive -- but still subtle. In a recent dream, for
instance, I am taking a foldaway ruler and am about to swing it into a
wall. The dream is interrupted shortly before it hits by a loud
knocking sound on the wall when and where it would have hit in the
dream. In another, I'm traversing the grounds of a nearby campus and
turn into a winged demon, fly up in the air, let out a blood-curdling
Nazgul shriek freezing everyone in place, and then swoop down to pick
up a victim, carrying her off kicking and screaming and throwing her to
the ground. It is interrupted by the TV turning on (on a timer, 6:00AM)
and the first item on the news shortly after is the report by a girl of
having just been raped when and where the event in the dream would have
taken place... 13 miles away.
The subtle and rare had especially in recent times become more
obtrusive. Two local boys go missing and immediately I see 2 faces
staring up from the bottom of a lagoon (6 miles away), much like the
Dead Marshes scene in the Two Towers. They eventually surface to the
top of the lagoon the first warm day. Walking through a corridor, just
looking off at a side-door and thinking of going through it, a
gale-force wind emerges from within the corridor and throws it wide
open, allowing me to pass through unhindered. Turning around, with the
wave of a hand, it stops and the door shuts. Street lights start
burning out the moment I pass them by, on a regular basis (this used to
happen frequently in 1996 and wasn't just street lights, but sometimes
also entire rows of lights as far as a quarter mile, building lights,
lights inside buildings). The most obtrusive case, which I did as a
stunt, was in the office of the building I was working at. On a flash,
with the wave of the hand and loudly yelling "off!", the entire
building went black. You could hear the swoons from the coworkers all
the way from the other side of the office, as well as indistinct
muttering about what happened.
Game shows have become impossible to watch. I usually know where the
wheel in Wheel of Fortune is going to land in advance and usually know
what letters and vowels are going to be chosen. This is an advancement
from earlier times when I had only the ability to blurt out the lines
people were going to say on TV (including live shows), which upset
those around watching TV with me. The wheel in the Price is Right,
Then in the past year, other anomalies started cropping up. I started
getting flashfowards of conversations, peoples' arrivals, usually a few
seconds ahead, sometimes the better part of a day. Often it took place
while half asleep, but still awake and fully cognizant, sometimes while
wide awake. So it was hard to catch "in the act", so to say. But in the
most recent case, I was fully awake and caught it "red-handed": a part
of a conservation and a number suddenly popping up, a few seconds in
advance of its actual appearance.
But most significantly: the ability to see numbers in advance has also
increasingly applied to the televised lottery drawings. And this is now
forcing me to seriously confront the very issue discussed by Friedmann
Is it theft to profit from advance knowledge of the lottery? How does
it differ from insider trading or card counting? Ethically, that is. If
I were to actually seriously pursue what you suggest, assuming that
these anomalies are more than just anomalies and that the increasing
level of adeptness I seem to be exhibiting can be perfected
sufficiently to enable realiable profit to be drawn therefrom, I could
be held under a cloud of suspicion. We had, in fact, a recent case in
this state with a lottery winner who had been winning just a BIT too
often and fell immediately under close scrutiny.
Indeed, the very reason I decided to stay out of the affair with the
two missing kids and say nothing to nobody (not even mentioning it on
the net) was just that fear: the fear of being pinned for something I
had nothing to do with.
The only real resolution I can see is to just profit once. But given
the unrealiability of the skill required, the winnings would likely
only be in the 1000's or 10000's at best (if even) -- it only takes one
mistake to miss out on the big prize and it's not reasonable to expect
perfection in memories of something that hadn't yet happened, when
people can't even remember yesterday's numbers, which HAD happened.
That means having to win repeatedly, which raises the level of
science forum Guru
Joined: 04 May 2005
|Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:46 pm Post subject:
Re: The Ethics of Profiting from Foreknowledge (was: Earth acceleration and earthquake triggering Jan 9, 2003)
|Walking through a corridor, just looking off at a side-door and thinking
of going through it, a gale-force wind emerges from within the corridor
and throws it wide open, allowing me to pass through unhindered. Turning
around, with the wave of a hand, it stops and the door shuts.
It is really hard to tell when you're joking. Do you ever joke? This post
makes me wonder if you're schizophrenic or bipolar, or just tripping.
|Is it theft to profit from advance knowledge of the lottery? How does it
differ from insider trading or card counting? Ethically, that is.
I see no ethical problem here. You're as entitled to that money as anyone
else. No one deserves to win the lottery.
|Indeed, the very reason I decided to stay out of the affair with the two
missing kids and say nothing to nobody (not even mentioning it on the
net) was just that fear: the fear of being pinned for something I had
nothing to do with.
Have you never heard of anonymous remailers? Anonymous tips from a public
phone booth? You had a duty to report what you knew. It's awfully convenient
that ethics prevents you from proving your talent in the lottery, while lack
of ethics prevented you from proving it in the case of the missing kids.
|The only real resolution I can see is to just profit once. But given the
unrealiability of the skill required, the winnings would likely only be
in the 1000's or 10000's at best (if even) -- it only takes one mistake
to miss out on the big prize and it's not reasonable to expect perfection
in memories of something that hadn't yet happened, when people can't
even remember yesterday's numbers, which HAD happened. That means having
to win repeatedly, which raises the level of suspicion.
The solution is simple: if you win $1000 or $10000, don't claim the prize.
Play until you get all the numbers right, and then claim the jackpot. They
can't trace unredeemed tickets back to you.
Stop dawdling and buy your tickets already.
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