On 23 Nov 2013, at 07:42, Jason Resch wrote:
On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 4:09 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
On 21 Nov 2013, at 18:55, Jason Resch wrote:
On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
On 21 Nov 2013, at 15:50, Jason Resch wrote:
On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 3:45 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
On 20 Nov 2013, at 21:35, John Mikes wrote:
"I admire the US constitution too. In fact, my political position
essentially to follow it (although I like to imagine
peaceful world with further increases in freedom)."
Which Constitution? the one epoch-opening chef-d'oeuvre based on
modernized medieval ideas of those well educated smoking-duelling
slave-owner male chauvinist Forefathers,
who just did not want to pay taxes to the King of England, or the
later "amended" versions of the same obsolete construct making it
into a gun-toting killer - corrupt, faith-ruled money-monger
(with SOME exceptions, thank you).
I join you in admiring the original one - as a relic, an
innovation historical masterpiece FOR THE 18th CENTURY. Not for
My admiration stopped short when I realized the outcome:
a 'special-interest money'-ruled anti-democratic conglomerate,
governing a so called government into committing crimes
(international and domestic) originally excluded
from it's 'modus (regulatio) vivendi'.
How can you imagine a 'peaceful' world with capitalistic (I call
it: econo-feudalistic) principles, imperialistic (oil?) wars and
forcing own interest on other countries? (Not to
mention the availability of all level governance for enough money).
Gödel pretended that the US constitution was inconsistent and
refused to sign it. Einstein intervened and succeeded in changing
Gödel's mind (about not signing it to get the "green card" or the
Einstein asked Gödel if the US constitution could prevent
something like a Nazy party to take power, like in Germany, and
Gödel said that it could!
There was a letter describing the event which was long thought to
be lost, but was recently found as described here:
See the bottom of page 7 in this 2006 letter by the IAS:
Interesting links. Thanks.
I don't think capitalism is the problem, but financial lobbying
and corporatism; + lies, can pervert completely a democracy.
Yes, I think where things stand today is the result of something
different from the flaw Godel found.
Are you sure?
I just mean that while the effect is more or less the same
(subverted democracy), I think the means is probably different than
an exploitation of the same flaw (whatever it was) that Godel found.
What we have today isn't so much a corruption of the laws by which
government operates, but a corruption of people in the government.
My guess is that the inconsistency Godel found in the constitution
involved a means of using the laws against themselves, rather than
what we see today which is a selective enforcement of laws.
Applying laws in full force against some, while not applying the
laws at all against others. This, coupled with bought and paid for
lawmakers and a broken forth estate make it easy for those with
power and wealth to use the government as a tool to further their
power and wealth.
The constitution should not make this possible, but I have not read
all the amendments.
Perhaps if everyone was equally permitted to enforce the laws things
would have gotten to where they are today, but currently only a
privileged few (district attorneys) have the power to bring charges
against someone. The right to a trial by jury is also subverted in
90% of cases, by threatening vast and unjust charges unless the
person agrees to plead guilty to a smaller set of charges. It's not
clear to me how the constitution could prevent such malfunctions.
BY forbidding that practice. It seems obviously unfair toward poor or
It reminds me of a quote attributed to Franklin:
The story goes that as Benjamin Franklin emerged from Independence
Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia
on September 18, 1787, a woman asked him, “Well Doctor, what have we
got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic,
madam – if you can keep it.”
Franklin's reply suggested that vigilance on the part of the people
is required to maintain the government as envisioned in the
I think that this was also the reason for the right of having guns: to
be able to overthrow a government who would betray the democratic rule.
In life and politics, vigilance is always required.
For me both prohibition and 9/11 are ... unsolved.
I would be happy to know Gödel's argument that the US constitution
I am also very curious about it. I've sometimes thought about
whether a constitution can be designed with game-theoretical
principals such that it would be impossible (or highly improbable)
for groups to obtain disproportionate levels of power. Another
interesting idea is that of an AI which, like an automated theorem
prover, can decide on the constitutionality of a given law. The
source code for this could be open source so all can verify it.
This might be called an AItocracy.
Interesting idea. Laws should be formalized, but that can be very
difficult to do, and can be double edged. Even if the code source is
open, the code could hide easily "bugs" that could be exploited by
unscrupulous bandits. But your idea deserve to be developed, and use
Thanks. It would probably require that laws be written in Lojban ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lojban
) or something similar.
Thanks, I didn't know that, although I heard about Loglan. Somethig
like Loglan would be more appropriate than Lojban, at first sight.
careful, as such a formal goal, will always have some defect and
interpretation problem. Even in math, formalizing does NOT give
guaranty of truth or even meaningfulness.
It is a theorem for machines: machine's science is not mechanizable/
formalisable. Exact human science are automatically inexact. The rigor
is brought by the interrogation marks ... only. Modesty and caution
are they key attitudes to progress.
The existence of prohibition of Foods and Drugs in the Land of the
Free is for me still a mystery.
To forbid or discourage research on a plant is ... applied
Where does that come from?
Likely from a lot of places, the prison lobby, law enforcement
unions, money launderers, synthetic drug companies, paper
companies, and so on.
It has been too quick. I begin to think this was well prepared. I
think prohibition of marijuana has been in a large part a recycling
and correction of the prohibition of alcohol, which did not work
well (for the bandits) because alcohol *is* dangerous, and like
always, prohibition augmented the dangerousness in a too obvious way.
Making illegal a plant with no dangerousness at all is an idea of a
genius, who deserves the Nobel Prize in Crime.
I wonder though if the consequences were known, or if it was just
happened upon by chance. Just as evolution discovers all kinds of
ingenious tricks by accident.
I have thought for a very long time that prohibition was driven by
moral and good intention, but I have changed my mind on this. "moral"
and "good intention" have been exploited, but those who made
prohibition have only one goal: steal the money of others. I have stop
to believe there has ever been one atom of good intension in the
To be sure, I have never been able to verify this for alcohol
prohibition, but for all other drugs I have very few doubt that it was
organized by criminal and special interests collusion knowing very
well what they were doing. Prohibition of tobacco in Turkey was also
Things which are good for the majority of the population (cheap
alternatives, copyrighted works entering the public domain, patents
expiring to become generic drugs, universal healthcare, direct
(Not sure about direct democracy, especially if the media are under
influence. With the "good" movie and "information", you can make
people voting anything you want ...).
True, but I consider it no worse than the current "democracy by the
few" (representative government),
Representative government is a necessary things. Even your brain used
some representative subpart of the brain to speed up decisions. I am
not sure we can live without such governance.
which can be influenced in secret, behind closed doors, black
mailed, bribed, and worse the law makers often don't have to live
with the consequences of the laws they pass, so bad laws remain.
That is what is needed to be corrected. No secrets, no close doors,
very high penalty for black mailing, and responsible accountability
for the political decisions.
No prohibition => no black money => no means to hide the problems =>
the problems get solved.
I do believe in "modern democracy", but only if the state enforce
laws, voted by the people, and simple enough as clearly not doing the
work of the priest, doctor, teacher, etc.
The absence of separation between health and politics is a remnant of
the inability to separate religion and the state. The most big
opponents against "drug" (after the drug industries like tobacco,
alcohol and "big pharma") are the moralist who needs moral scapegoats
to explain society's failure. If you take drug you are weak, and
deserve elimination, according to them. In a forum on humid (oral)
tobacco, I succeeded in convincing someone that humid tobacco is far
less dangerous than smoked tobacco, but he reacts literally like this:
if tobacco is no more bad for the health, then tobacco is even worse,
as the consumer will no more punish themselves by being sick! This
shows the prejudice. It is the difference between the harm reduction
strategy, and those who estimate that "drug" is "the bad", and that we
have a mission to eradicate the bad.
It is the problem brought by people who convince themselves that they
know the Truth, or the Good, for the others.
are often bad for the small few that hold an advantaged position
from the unavailability of that good thing.
... which shows a confusion between money-the-mean and money-the-goal.
That's a very subtle but important distinction. I like the phrase.
It is the difference between blood delivering oxygen to all cells, and
See how the copyright length gets extended everytime Disney's
cartoons enter danger of entering the public domain ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act
Such private protectionist laws should not been allowed. It is
really a problem of corporatism. Even universities can fall in that
traps. An academical philosopher told me "truth is only power, don't
argue, we have the money, you don't". As clear as that. Poor world.
I have hope that things are improving, as the Internet makes lies
and cover ups harder to suppress.
I am not so sure about that.
Intelligence augmentation may also appear in the coming decades.
Not sure on this, unless prohibition is abolished very soon,
Competence has a negative feedback on intelligence.
What can happen is that the lies become more transparent, and people
can be more hungry, and that can move the things a little bit forward.
70 years of prohibition might have destroyed for a long time the
natural expansion of freedom which belongs to the individual in (sane)
1500 years of "prohibition of the most fundamental science (theology)
" will take *much* more time to be cured. prohibition is only one
thing among others made possible by that deeper "fear of truth".
That's our history, and we can appreciate to participate to it, but
human inertia is big, as the cannabis lasting scandal illustrates very
well. Many people want lies. They fear the possible truth.
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