Re: ETHICS: reprogramming others, trials, justice (was

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Sat, 05 Jul 1997 21:11:08 -0700

> The offended parties in the post human world could link up, each
>contributing resources in proportion to the offense given. They could then
>reduce the offending party to raw materials. That is unless the offending
>party also had friends. Obviously, violence is not going to work in every
>case. Therefore, polycentric law will be applied. It will actually be the
>only law that can be applied because data flow between entities is so high,
>they cannot help but know what each one's goals are (probably survival and
>therefore expansion, most everything else would probably be tossed). This
>means that polycentric law will actually be more like agoric computing.
>One would not consider the relegation of a computer program hogging more
>resources than its worth to a lower priority slot, or even deleting it, as
>"capital punishment." Executions, more properly prunings, in the
>post-biological world will probably be as dramatic, and necessary, as
>cutting one's toenails.

An interesting notion. It's true, I don't wonder if my toenails have rights,
nor even if an astrocytoma has rights. But astrocytomas are considered

I'm confused, though--you use the term "polycentric law" as if it had a
fixed meaning, then announce what it will be "more like". Help me out,
here: what are you on about? How is "polycentric law" any more principled
than a kangaroo court?

Apart from that, where does the notion of property rights go? "Hogging more
resources than its worth"[sic]? To whom? Than whom? Them Injuns weren't
*using* the prairie, they was jest a-*sittin'* on it. Pass the smallpox-
infected blankets. Sarge.

Sounds about as ethical as Salmonella in a petri dish.

>Dan Hook

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