[ExI] Your response

Khaled Aly ka.aly at luxsci.net
Mon Sep 3 13:44:39 UTC 2007

I wasn't aware the thread is closed, as I'm new to the list. My response 

If you are a list moderator, 'kindly' contact me in person.

Please note that you made many insulting statements as an expression of your 
views. You could have made your points in a more objective way, or you could 
have put me on moderation as said, and take it in person. You chose to 
publicly offend me.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eugen Leitl" <eugen at leitl.org>
To: <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] free-will, determinism,crime and punishment (& CS 
techniques - Security and/or Privacy )

> On Mon, Sep 03, 2007 at 02:15:48AM +0300, Khaled Aly wrote:
>> I've been following this since it started. I feel that a murderer should 
>> be
> That thread has been killed, actually.
>> punished to death in the easiest possible way (e.g. lethal injection), 
>> once
> You don't seem to know much about execution by lethal injection.
> Especially, since many are bungled on purpose. Say, have you ever been
> in jail?

** No I haven't - why do you think so? It's normal to assume that long-term 
loss of freedom is not fun (many will actually die in jail anyway). You 
ignored my phrase (in the easiest possible way). I'm obviously not an 
execution expert, nor was any of the posters. I think the meaning is what 

> In terms of monetary costs, executing people is more expensive than
> locking them up for life.

** Not sure how, but the thread's concern was about justice not cost.

>> it is proven for very sure that he/she has done so deliberately and under 
>> no
> You don't seem to know much about 'proving' anything outside of the realm
> of formal system. How do you estimate your error range in knowledge?

** I did not claim any knowledge of the ways of proving guilt and innocence. 
You seem to be deliberately mis-reading my statements.

>> external effects; for two reasons: 1) It is a relief to the victim's 
>> family
>> unless they choose otherwise; and 2) If I were to choose, being the
> Do you know how clan wars start?

** Sure. They start when people take justice in their hands, not when 
justice is done by justice system. It's expected that a victims family may 
want the releif of the indicted being punished, regardless of how. Though 
others may find the releif in forgiveness. But don't they have a right?

>> murderer, I'd rather go now/then than spend 20 years in jail. About 
>> therapy,
> Since you think that way, everyone else must also think that way. 
> Obviously.

** Did I say that?

>> I think it may work in certain sick cases (there are sick souls that 
>> could
>> be treated why not, and there are evil souls that will not change, and 
>> there
>> are those whose life circumstances made them go wrong way and they need
>> social rehabilitation - every case is different).
> Interesting theories you got going there.

** I think this is just intuitive- no claims of theories. Same has been 
expressed in many posts in different ways and contexts.

>> This is my entry to how effective is the overall current justice system. 
>> And
>> the ever unresolved question about the tradeoffs between personal privacy
>> and community security. Do any computer or IT people see a role of
>> algorithms helping the justice system to decide (for a start; since
> The legal code is already an algorithm by which the society operates
> (and it is really code in literal sense of the word). Fortunately, blind
> Justitia is executed by agents of flesh and blood, which have common
> sense (the law is an ass).

** If the law is an ass, why have it at the first place? Or should it be 
fundamentally modified? Isn't this an insult to law and its practitioners. 
Common sense implies arbitrary actions and opens doors for personal-based 
decisions. Yes, the law itself has much similarity to mathematical 
algorithms, and that's where computer code may assist.

>> real-life AI is a bit far ahead). What I mean for example, consider
>> obtaining a search warrant. How difficult is it to write some code that
>> could 'assist' the decision making. First, it will perform preliminary
> If people need an expert system to decide such basics you should fire 
> them.

** Expert systems can support an analysis not replace the decision making. 
They could but it won't be right.

>> information analysis. Second, if it's open implementation, it will be
>> possible to a large technical population to review it and ensure it works 
>> as
>> intended/declared and for the benefit of justice. And third, within a
>> digital world, it can ensure that a court order of privacy invasion for a
>> suspect individual will actually expire; provided it began, through the 
>> use
> People make mistakes.

** Yes you said it (against some other arguments). A coded algorithm 
functions exactly as is written, including any bugs. Open source code has 
fewer bugs because it gets reviewed and fixed by public expert community.

>> of digital certificates to be provided and revoked in time by court to 
>> law
>> enforcement. The last of course requires that default electronic
>> communication be secured, and be broken only using a court digital
> Good idea, in theory, in practice cryptography doesn't work.

** Cryptography is the basis of ecommerce for both authentiction and 
transaction completion, including B2B, which may make the bulk of 
transaction values. What exactly doesn't work there?

** You keep repeating the word "theory/theoretical". Isn't this whole thread 
theoretical/hypothetical? Has the initiator present his ideas as a proposal 
for immediate implementation?

>> certificate. This can be as frequent as the low issuing entities would
>> decide according to existing situation (exceptional, less exceptional,
>> regular). An innocent whose privacy was broken deserves to be advised 
>> about
>> it at some point.
>> Beyond this, any computer literate person would confirm that open source
>> code is most reliable because it had been reviewed by the expert public.
> Any code is unreliable, read Bugtraq.

** Without reading Bugtraq, and even if I never wrote code, of course any 
code has bugs. But the code never functions arbitrarily.

>> Same applies to an open source algorithm that is designed to support the
>> justice system deciding what to do with a suspect, a person in trial, or 
>> an
>> indicted person and let that be an advisory input for trial.
>> Unlike few people may think, computers and human minds don't work the 
>> same
> O'Rly?

** Where is the problem here? From a computer architecture viewpoint, there 
are both similarities and complementary differences.

>> way. Computers are structured crunching speed machines and minds are 
>> pattern
>> learning neural machines. They are complementary (until neural network
>> computing make it to market and yet it will be v. hard to mimic the 
>> brain).
>> Why does law enforcement, or as a whole the justice system use computers
>> only for data recording purposes. What about the huge analytic power that
> Do you know many LEOs or judges? Do you know much about system security?

** Never said I did. Yes I know about IT system security, if that's what you 

>> can be made presentable to humans to evaluate and judge. I don't think 
>> any
>> final sentence should be produced by a machine with the current state of 
>> the
> Thank you for that.

** Lots of mocking statements.

>> art, or may be never. But speaking preliminary and analytic support,
>> incorporating digital technology can potentially resolve many issues and
>> cases where the society disagrees about how just the outcome was.
> I could see whether computer assist would be good in forensics, but in
> decision-making, that's ridiculous. By the time it will be useful, there
> be computer crime, as in: criminal computers.

** I repeatedly wrote decision making 'support', which you're omitting. That 
includes forensics.
How can computers make decisions? Computer crimes exist for long time. They 
are mostly network related. Public networks are not regulated, right?

>> Greatest software technologies came out of open source because it is
>> auditable. And that's much like digital democracy. Transparency does not
> It is so difficult to build robust electronic voting systems and people
> are so ignorant that currently all such attempts need to be banned.

** Or rather, invest in building more robust systems and educate/inform 
people about using them right. Both people and computers make mistakes, but 
computers do exactly what they're told to. They cannot behave arbitrarily. 
Why do you think that people are so ignorant- shouldn't it be more like 

>> compromise rule of law -- it rather enhances it. Sadly, digital 
>> technology
>> is being consumed for many irrelevant but sellable applications before it 
>> is
>> being considered to support a sound social infrastructure. And what's 
>> more
>> relevant than justice...
>> ka, phd
> You have no idea how funny you are.
** You probably have an idea how biased and offensive you sound.

> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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