Re: Work with X or Suggest a Better Y, Mike.

Michael Butler (
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 23:54:51 -0800 (PST)

I may regret this, but I'll wade back in.

> >> > rational people to get off their bitching and moaning asses and use the system
> >> to vote in >saner policies and politicians.
> >>

I'm an Eagle Scout myself, so don't take it the wrong way when I say: Idealistic of you. "Take back your government!" But it is clear on the evidence that what I mean by "rational" does not include most of the voters. It probably never has, even back in ancient Athens. Most of the politicians are perfectly sane. They're just selfish, meretricious and venal. And the system rewards them handily.

Ergo, the aforesaid rationals have to convince the sheeple to vote in [etc.], and they have to manage to convince the politicians to "stay bought" or be honest.
It is a lot more work when there's no moral ground to stand on. This is not a complaint or a harkening back to some mythical good old days. It is easiest to push peoples' BIG buttons. And a big lie makes the best bell-push..

> It makes it impossible without a fire in the belly and a message which
resounds with the wishes and desires of the voting populace enough to inspire volunteer support (see Jesse Ventura, who was hardly a celebrity).

<Aside re JTB/MV:
Too soon to tell about Jesse. I used to hail from there; we'll see how he does this term, and see if he gets anything done without playing ball "Yes, Minister"-style. To excess, I mean--a certain amount of it is inevitable.>

And it takes luck, or convincing the existing power structure that they can "work with you". Or both. Salmon swimming upstream have the fire in the belly worse than I ever hope to. It's not enough. "Any kid can grow up to be President." --"And looking around me, I'm beginning to believe it." --MMB, after Mencken.

> >> The document must be updated to evolve with changing sociocultural

Maybe; to some degree, yes. You sound very sure. But consider: The common law definition of fraud fits on a 3x5 card and can be explained to a jury in five or ten minutes. The SEC fraud regs are something like 9 feet of bookshelf, deep, fine print. I do not believe a factual case can be marshaled in support of this. Perhaps you do.

Once upon a time, though, the legal coastline, measured with a yard stick (common law), really could be said to be x miles long. And common people could understand the law, for the most part. Now, the ever-more-fractal legal landscape greatly supports an expanded, "richer" ecosystem of niches and their habitues. In the conspiracy of bears to honey, nobody who spent tens of thousands of dollars and decades of their life to be a specialist attorney/consultant wants _their_ ox gored. So simplifying the legal landscape becomes out of the question... unless one contemplates Alexander's Gordian option. One need not be a pimply fresh Randite to do so.

<Lorrey's Newspeak, etc. commentary elided>

I think they knew full well about the Eighteenth-Century equivalents, incl.
rabble-rousing, amphigory and the tricks of rhetoric. But they had, I think, some hopes that the gentry (who were originally all who could vote) might be expected to keep at least one eye cocked skeptically, more often than not.

> I notice that you didn't suggest a better Y;
> I therefore conclude that you have no alternatives superior

<Apple pie tubthumping elided>

Whew-wee! Nice shootin' Tex, but all that high and mighty system description is being choked to death by weeds. Maybe you're so in love with the blueprints you can't see the rust on the working model.

That said, the way I just "spoke" is exactly the way a new Mussolini might. I find that chilling. Maybe I've got a calling. Nah...

So, to the point you raised in your first (pre-tub) clause: Mike Lorrey may or may not; me, I've got a million experiments to try. Find me a million spare universes to try them out in, and we can talk; in this one, in real time, with all those specialists defending their oxen... get real. I'm busy trying to walk down the fractal coastline while avoiding the land sharks.

"The US Constitution: it may not be perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than what we've got now!"

--Some old fart curmudgeon of whom Joe E. Dees probably disapproves

Keep paying attention,