[extropy-chat] Freedom

Lee Corbin lcorbin at tsoft.com
Sun May 28 05:32:50 UTC 2006

BillK writes

> On 5/27/06, Lee Corbin wrote:
> > I fear you [Jeffrey H.] have an unconscious image of some huge government
> > agency with absolute power that acts to stop what one "shouldn't
> > be able" to do (including ancestor simulations), but does permit
> > what one "should be able" to do. This is the whole very, very
> > problematic part.
> >
> > Avoiding tyranny can only be done by somehow (rather miraculously)
> > placing limits on what this agency from the outside can do. Its
> > power and its knowledge must be kept to an absolute minimum, so
> > long as the survival of everything is not at stake.
> 'Freedom' is getting a bit confused, I think.
> The only way an individual can have perfect freedom is by avoiding
> interacting with other people in *any* way.

Yes.  Okay, so much for "perfect freedom" then.

> As soon as any other people are involved you immediately have to face
> up to restrictions on your freedom.

Yes.  Well, as the old phrase has it, my freedom ends where your
nose begins.

> Civilisation depends on restricting citizens' freedoms.

Yes, but again, only in the most abstract and theoretical sense!
I can't think of any restrictions that you and I should favor
on person A's freedoms that don't enhance the freedoms of person B.
Why shouldn't freedom be maximized?  Let's be clear: me having the
"freedom" to make a bomb and blow up a city is absurd: I cannot
have the freedom to deny many others their liberties (not to say
lives), if we really do wish, in a realistic way, to maximize

> When homebrew plagues, homebrew nano factories and such like become
> easily available, we should expect much greater freedom restrictions.

Of course.  Especially since the "freedom" to kill a lot of other
people is absurd.


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