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Confrontations 2: John strikes back - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Feb. 25th, 2007

10:00 pm - Confrontations 2: John strikes back

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Date:February 26th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
It's certainly true that I don't know what would have happened if I'd acted differently; however, this is almost always the case, and so I can only base my decisions on likelihoods. In the same way, if someone is threatening to kill me or stab me, I don't know whether they're actually going to follow through on that threat, so I just have to make the best risk assessment that I can under the circumstances, bearing in mind that I'm under a certain amount of time pressure, and a lack of decision will often become a decision itself. (For instance, if I'd stood there thinking about it then eventually we would have reached the bottom of the escalator.)

As for teaching, if animals can be trained to associate actions with rewards/punishments then I think it's reasonable to expect the same of a human who is wandering around unsupervised.

it should be unnecessary to explain to a grown man why you don't start grabbing other people on escalators

Out of curiousity, how much of a blanket statement is this? Bearing in mind that she didn't know he'd been trying to walk up until I told her, that means that she would have made the same initial criticism if something different had happened. For example, suppose that he'd tried to steal my bag/wallet, and I'd grabbed hold of him to stop him from getting away: would that be completely unacceptable behaviour on my part? If you do feel that physical force is never justified, that's fair enough; as I say, I'm just curious to know where you would draw the line.
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