Re: Singularity: can't happen here

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Sun Sep 09 2001 - 17:24:20 MDT

Chuck Kuecker said

>It's just another baby step toward the eventual police state.

Sounds like it, though I await a cogent summary of what it is actually
intended to do, without having to interpret the bill myself. There must be
someone on the list who has a good grasp of and interest in IP/IT law who
could really lay it out for us. I, for one, would find this very useful.

>Why does this
>whole subject make me think of how they are trying to control "g*ns"?

I have no idea. Look, I know there are strong views about guns on this list,
but there are theoretical arguments why even a minarchist state should
enforce a monopoly on the tools of violence and coercion. They are not not
necessarily *good* arguments - I have no particular position one way or the
other about gun control, am quite happy that discussions about it are
relegated to some other list that Mike Lorrey runs, and don't want to have
an argument about the issue with anyone on any side of it. I simply say that
most people you'd want as allies - politicians, lawyers and public
intellectuals - would find the analogy with gun control not very useful. I
am finding it difficult to think of even one person whom I know off this
list with whom I could use such an analogy to suggest that the proposed
legislation is a *bad* thing. You might conclude that I am surrounded by a
peer group of liberal intellectuals; perhaps so, but those are the people we
need on side in the struggle to limit the power of the state.

Are there better analogies we can look at? My own touchstones for laws that
attack our freedom (despite being passed by modern liberal democracies) are
the political advertising legislation that was struck down as unconstutional
over here in the early 90s - which, among other things, would have prevented
any paid advertisements on political matters by ordinary people and lobby
groups, leaving the established political parties with a monopoly - and, in
the US more recently, the Communications Decency Act. Of course, we have all
these preposterous drug laws, but that analogy is not going to appeal much
more widely than the analogy with gun control. Just as most people don't
like guns, most people don't like drugs. Mutatis mutandis for the proposed
laws against cloning.

So, please, someone spell out in clear, non-tendentious terms how this
legislation would work, its precise implications, and some telling analogies
that would appeal even to people who support gun control. This exercise will
provide the basis to begin to "sell" opposition to the legislation to the
legal community and the wider intellectual community.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:27 MDT