ETHNOTHANATOTIC SETS
The Hedonistic Calculus of Executions
by
J. Frank Tims
ABSTRACT: This paper introduces a flexible, convenient method for
imposing death sentences which meets the requirements of a broad
range of cultural milieus (CM). Modern advances in the studies
of personal worth as recursively assessed by Ethnothanatotic Sets
[Tims, _Fuzzy Logic_ (1993)] have indicated that as few as 10
parameters suffice to completely establish hedonistic equilibrium
for any individual within a CM. Defining a simple stepwise
function [Soylent & Green, 1974] has proven troublesome in the
past regardless of any single criterion deciding life
termination. Especially nagging have been "eye for an eye" state
executions of murderers or traitors. Such terminations have met
with ethical criticism for decades, if not centuries; the theory
of Ethnothanatotic Sets promises a basis for the calculability of
morally correct death sentences.
HISTORY:
The bewildering range of potential metrics for pain and pleasure,
combined with imprecise and unreliable data, prevented the
Utilitarianistic thinkers of the 19th century [Bentham, Spencer,
Mill, Moore, _et al._] the opportunity to forge anything
meaningful from the intuitive iron of the hedonistic calculus.
With the discovery of the Ethnothanatotic Set we have a way to
concisely and transculturally measure as a 1-D time vector
the instantaneous socioeconomic cost/benefit of keeping alive any
given individual within a CM.
I. The question of life or death for an individual is not one
of whether but when the individual dies.
II. The SUM(Log2[ES]) of the Ethnothanatotic Set less than
zero for any individual predicts that the CM will achieve a
net hedonistic gain by immediately killing the individual.
INTRODUCTION:
Given:
ProjectedLifespan[CM] = LifeExpectancy[CM] - CurrentAge;
and Slack as the measure of the potetial time vector determined
by an arbitrarily chosen set of socioeconomic factors, we can
define a simple straightline function for life where:
integer LifeExpectancy[CM] = Variable;
integer Slack = Variable;
While (( ProjectedLifespan[CM] + Slack) > 0) Live();
Die();
The movie "Soylent Green" demonstrates the following commonsense
approach: At Soylent_Green years of age, society has the right to
recycle the individual. The condition arrises from substituting in
the above equation:
integer LifeExpectancy = Soylent_Green;
integer Slack = 0;
Though eminently fair, this algorithm did not adapt to individual
circumstances, and many objected to it as morally simplistic.
This paper takes a more robust approach, including the hedonistic
calculus of Jeremy Bentham, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill,
G.E. Moore and other Utilitarians.
LifeExpectancy[CM] = LatestEstimate;
integer Slack (individual);
While ( (ProjectedLifespan[CM] + Slack(individual)) > 0) Live();
Die();
We can simplify this by noting that ProjectedLifespan[CM] can be
incorporated into the Slack function, giving the Fundamental
Mainline of Life and Death:
BOOLEAN Slack(CM) = TRUE;
While (Slack(CM)) live();
die();
METHODS:
The calculation of Slack:
I. Normalize money parameters to constant 1980 US dollars.
II. Perform Timsian smoothing of each set parameter.
Timsian smoothing involves rounding up to the next integer the
Log[BASE 2] of the given parameter.
III. Sum all smoothed and normalized parameters.
IV. Reduce Slack to a BOOLEAN result.
ETHNOTHANATOTIC SET:
I. LifeExpectancy and Age.
These are used to calculate ProjectedLifespan [CM].
** All money expressed in constant 1980 US Dollars.
II. Median total tax payments of an individual of the same age
and sex in the CM.
This paramater normalizes the Slack[CM] to the standard
distribution of socioeconomic contributions to society.
III. Median total welfare payments payed to an individual of the
same age and sex in the CM.
This paramater normalizes the Slack[CM] to the standard
distribution of socioeconomic drains on society.
IV. The total taxes the individual has paid to date.
V. The total welfare payments the individual has received.
VI. Civil fines paid for all crimes and misdemeanors.
Fines are normalized to tax payements.
** All times expressed in whole weeks.
VII. Time spent hospitalized.
VIII. Time spent incarcerated.
IX. Maximum duration of all prison sentences.
X. Time spent in non-elective public service.
EXAMPLE:
Estimates for Mike Tyson Age: 26
LifeExpectancy = 72;
Median_Tax= 100000;
Median_Welfare = 3000;
Tax = 20000000;
Welfare = 20000;
Fines = 1000000;
Hospital = 1;
Sentenced = 300;
Incarcerated = 60;
PublicService = 100;
Log2(46) + Log2(20000000/100000) - Log2(20000/3000) + Log2(1000000/100000) -
Log2(1) - Log2(300) - Log2(60) + Log2(100) =
6 + 4 - 3 + 4 - 1 - 9 - 6 + 6 = 1 = TRUE. Tyson Lives!
CONCLUSIONS:
When individuals run out of slack they die. The ethics of execution can
be calculated precisely with modern computers and spreadsheet
programs loaded with the appropriate parameters for the CM.
Scientists, atheists, and hobbyists alike can write their own
programs for estimating who should live and die. Applying the
calculations to celebrities, friends, and family can provide
hours of educational entertainment. (Handy printouts for pleas
of justifiable homicide can be formatted in compliance with the
procedures current in most US states.)
Jurors no longer need trouble themselves with death verdicts.
The temporal question of a defendant's continued existence can
now be computed objectively. The question of life and death can
safely move into the realm of science and the hedonistic
calculus, and we can at last mete out death without qualms of
conscience.
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