Intentions and Permissibility

Introduction:

This paper examines a number of issues arising from an analysis of the relationship between intentions and permissibility. This analysis is developed in response to the straw man position, ‘IIP’[1]; that the content of the intentions held by an agent in performing some act are irrelevant in determining the moral permissibility of that act. This is done intentionally as assurance that IIP is not confused for my own position.

The crux of this paper has its origins in my resistance to accept double effect reasoning as I understood it and the work of both Tim Scanlon and Judith Thomson on the matter. Examples regarding double effect reasoning, in cases such as euthanasia, can often tend towards unappealing results. You want voluntary euthanasia. Under most versions of the Doctrine of Double Effect, someone who intends to relieve your pain, foreseeing your death may permissibly euthanize you. However, someone who intends your death, though foreseeing this will relieve your pain may not permissibly euthanize you. That the permissibility is hinged on the agent’s intentions rather than, more plausibly, the subject’s consent, is dissatisfying. My aim, then, is to discover whether there is a method of cashing out the relationship between intentions and permissibility, specifically examining whether this relationship is less comprehensive or encompassing than traditionally thought. To do this, I will begin by offering some motivation for the initially implausible view that intentions serve no role in determining the permissibility of an act, and work up by providing plausible exceptions to such a position. Throughout I work under the assumption that permissibility is a binary term[2], insofar as an act is either morally prohibited or it is not. For this reason, positive moral duties or requirements are usually categorised as ‘at least permissible’. read more

Don’t Disavow (Too Late Now)

Whether the Google Disavow Links tool is a good or a bad thing, it doesn’t matter.  There will be a enough published recoveries to get penalized webmasters salivating. Tin Foil Hat Time

Machine Learning

reCaptcha, as I understand it, is an exercise in machine learning. The machine uses image recognition to assign a confidence value to some image (in this case text). reCaptcha then uses humans to improve the algorithm, by having them enter the images of text as they read them. Typically this will be the same, or similar to, what the machine thinks. This data is then fed back into the OCR program. read more

Code Year by Christmas

There’s a fair amount of talk in the industry on whether you should learn to code. A debate, even. I won’t make too much out of it since the answer seems fairly obvious. Knowing a programming language is obviously good, but it may not be the best use of your time. It’s also neither necessary nor sufficient to be a good linkbuilder. It’s seemingly in the the nice to have category – like being a decent designer.

My own thoughts are as follows: I’ve made an inconsistent effort in the past and it’s paid off. It’s been worth it. The plan is now to make a concentrated, sustained effort and see if that pays off. Remembering that a year ago I didn’t even know html it’s quite interesting what you can assimilate just by working in the right environment. Everything I’ve learned in this area has made my work life easier. Since I spend a large chunk of my waking life at work, it would seem to be in my interests to do what I can to be more productive. If you think it’ll make your working life easier; learning more shouldn’t need too much agonizing over. read more

Using Twitter to Find Guest Post Opportunities

This post comes from having an underutilized vertical monitor. The two things I make use of the most in this post conveniently happen to look great vertically. Do not adjust your monitor. You’ve probably had a little play on using Twitter as a method of first contact before, but you may not have used it as a way to source potential placements. Twitter is excellent for both of these.

So who’s most likely going to be wanting guest posts? A good place to start would be the people asking for guest posts and the sites already publishing them. Websites usually tweet every post they make and often differentiate whether the post was written by one of their team or an outsider. They do this either in the tweet or in the URL structure. read more

Using Multilinks for link prospecting

Often we just want to know the metrics of a collection of sites quickly. This is a very blinkered ‘metrics as filter’ approach I’m going to show here, but if you have either personal or project based restrictions in play then this can save you a world of time in your prospecting. I’m going to assume that the metrics I care about are similar to the metrics you care about (if not, you can always pull them into excel with the right APIs). Right, let’s get started.

Multi Links is a rather handy Firefox extension that allows you to right click and drag to highlight any hyperlinks in the selected area. On release, the extension will then either copy the links to the clipboard or instruct your browser to open each link in a new tab: read more