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> wrote:

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> wrote:

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> wrote:

On 20 Nov 2013, at 21:35, John Mikes wrote:

Telmo wrote:

"I admire the US constitution too. In fact, my political position is essentially to follow it (although I like to imagine possibilities for
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 the 21st.
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 nationality). 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:

http://morgenstern.jeffreykegler.com/

See the bottom of page 7 in this 2006 letter by the IAS: 
http://www.ias.edu/files/pdfs/publications/letter-2006-spring.pdf

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 ruined people.




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 constitution.

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 permits dictatorship.


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 with care.



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 obscurantism.

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.


LOL

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 prohibition laws. 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 "political" manipulation.







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 democracy, etc.)

(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 blood clotting.






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, internationally.

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) democracies.

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.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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