Re: Problem of destruction (Was: Black hole production)

From: Charles D Hixson (
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 20:34:44 MDT

On Tuesday 11 September 2001 02:55 pm, you wrote:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> ...
> I accented the "in both directions" because of some court
> rulings and legislation in the US prohibiting citizens from
> recording the actions of public officials although the public
> officials claim every right to snoop on and record private
> citizens and transactions. Transparency cannot be a 1-way
> mirror.
> ...
> - samantha
Where you have an imbalance in power, you need to expect the laws
to be designed and applied in a manner designed to strengthen the
imbalance. There are various reasons for this, ranging from the
simple fact that people with more power tend to be approved of by
others with power, to the more complex people with power tend to
have access to sufficient money to run PR campaigns. It goes
further, but we don't need to follow it. This by itself is

Now it is a given (current condition) that government officials,
when acting as government officials, are powerful relative to other
individuals. So when laws are constructed, they will tend to favor
government officials over (average) private citizens. There are
all sorts of special cases, but that's the way to expect things to

So it's unreasonable to expect the government to implement a
transparent society which is transparent in both directions. Not
undesireable, just unreasonable. If you want that to happen it has
to come from somewhere else. And even then expect the powerful to
attempt to twist it to their advantage. (Of course, you should
also expect the less powerful to attempt to twist it to their
advantage, but they are starting off three goals behind.)

If you doubt this, consider the evolution of copyright, patent, and
trademark law over the last couple of centuries.

 Charles Hixson
 Copy software legally, the GNU way!
 Use GNU software, and legally make and share copies of software.

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