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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

6 Comments

  1. iWill
    June 26, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

    Absolutely fantastic.

    Reply

  2. Tallifer
    June 27, 2015 @ 5:00 am

    Most nourishing food for thought.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous
    June 29, 2015 @ 7:29 am

    If the prediction concerns a human organised system open to human intervention, the moment you act on your supposed foreknowledge you alter the state of the reality that has been predicted.

    Only if you assume human free will. If , to the contrary, human beings are as deterministic as their being made up of atoms implies, then it is possible to extrapolate their reactions to the prediction and take them into account (ie, under that assumption it is not possible for a human to 'decide' to act on, or to ignore, the foreknowledge: which they will do is determined by the state of their atoms before the prediction-machine is set in motion, and therefore is available as input to the prediction-machine).

    See: 'Alpha Ralpha Boulevard', and the work of Thomasina Coverly.

    The Doctor has never, as far as we know, used his access to time travel to ascertain in advance the winning lottery numbers

    DOCTOR: I just wanted to give you this. Wedding present. Thing is, I never carry money, so I just popped back in time, borrowed a quid off a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was. Have it, he said. Have that on me.
    […]
    DONNA: Oh, don't tell me, it's a bill. Just what I need, right now. A lottery ticket? What a cheap present. Who was that? Still, you never know. It's a triple rollover this week. I might get lucky. Oi, Shaun! Come on, we're on a tight schedule. Oxtail soup at two thirty.

    — Russell T. Davies, 'The End of Time, Part 2'

    Point out that capitalism as a historical epoch or mode of production has caused the deaths of far more people than all the political movements which called themselves 'communist' put together and you get head scratching, followed by accusations of goalpost-moving

    Well, technically nothing 'causes' deaths: everyone dies, sooner or later. The question is, were their lives longer under capitalism, than they would have been under some other system? And the answer is that certainly some were shorter, but others were longer, due to the benefits of capitalism. It's far from obvious that the net effect of capitalism, taking into account its ability to allocate resources far more efficiently than any alternative system that has actually been tried historically (if not more efficiently than a theoretical alternative), on length-of-time-spent-not-dead, is negative rather than positive.

    Reply

  4. Josh04
    July 3, 2015 @ 10:45 am

    atoms aren't deterministic

    Reply

  5. Beth R Perkins
    December 9, 2019 @ 1:41 pm

    Really very happy to say, your post is very interesting to read. I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up

    Reply

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