[ExI] All speech is sacred or why Warcraftification of real life is a solution to various ills

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 10 15:53:47 UTC 2022

It seems to me that it all comes down to who should and who should not
censor.  Private companies can do it without any constitutional
violations.  Are we OK with that?  If you are not, you are not a

So, aside from media companies, where should totally free speech be
allowed?  Including freedom to libel and slander.   There are, of course,
public obscenity laws, where obscenity is defined by the courts.  ("I know
it when I see it.")  In effect, there are no public outlets for totally
free speech.

bill w

On Sat, Dec 10, 2022 at 1:22 AM Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> In a discussion about the limits of free speech, I advocate an absolute
> freedom of speech, where no speech may be subject to violent punishment by
> a monopoly of power, while Adrian feels that some speech (such as slander)
> should be punished with jail time. Here I present some (not really new)
> ideas about how to make the society of completely free speech a viable
> option.
> On Tue, Dec 6, 2022 at 11:52 AM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>   If this was the least bit complex, causing people to not bother to shun
>> those with this label, what would keep these labels from being completely
>> ineffective in practice, thus leaving people effectively free to libel and
>> slander without consequence?
> ### Reputation is generally very important for most people and it strongly
> influences how they are able to interact with others. Appending an easily
> accessible record of prior judgments by trusted authorities to a person's
> identifying profile would be quite influential on his ability to associate
> with others, just like a criminal record does today.
> It would be great to have an augmented reality app to create labels
> floating above all the people you see, just like in Warcraft. You could
> customize the labels to show what matters to you, such as reliable measures
> of honesty, cooperativeness, specific fields of expertise, political and
> religious beliefs, sexual orientation, whatever you think you need to know
> about a person before you talk to him. After a while people would be
> careful not to earn a bunch of red flags for being vicious and careless
> slanderers, or for other non-criminal but still distasteful traits.
>> Also, who would get to say that someone had these labels?  What would
>> stop, say, Trump or Fox from simply declaring - with no court involved -
>> that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were slanderers, with the same impact as
>> or more than a court-appointed label?
> ### Here we get to what matters: It is usually a very bad idea to let a
> single entity take over control of an aspect of social organisation. It is
> bad to have Vijaya Gadde decide that nobody in the country may hear about
> the infamous laptop. It would be bad to have a central labeling authority
> in charge of giving people a bad name, like "slanderer" or "racist". There
> *must* be freely competing authorities that collate information and make
> judgments. To go back to the labeling app above: It must be freely
> customizable, to let every user decide which sources of judgments about
> other people to trust. Sure, some people would make stupid decisions and
> they would end up shunning perfectly nice persons that got in trouble for
> e.g. ideological reasons. However, for issues that matter, like choosing
> business or personal associations, reasonable people would gravitate
> towards impersonal, efficient, reasonable and unbiased judgements of
> character, since to do otherwise would expose them to bad actors while
> depriving them of association with good people.
> -----------------------------
>> In the example above, I might be called a slanderer - and you might wind
>> up dead.
> ### I don't follow your logic here. Please explain a *plausible* chain of
> events and mechanism of things happening.
> ------------------------------
>> Most people would rather have a system where I would  pay fines and/or go
>> to jail for making such claims - a much more effective deterrent - and you
>> would still be alive, as I would be stopped from broadcasting such claims
>> before I could whip up some vigilantes.
> ### You are comparing two systems:
> 1) Where saying the wrong thing, be it slander or something else that's
> disapproved by authorities, puts you in the crosshairs of a state security
> apparatus that can fine you, jail you, put you in a concentration camp or
> make you "disappear" (in ascending degree of single-authority control over
> speech)
> 2) Where saying the wrong thing, be it slander or insulting the prophet,
> might result in reputational damage to you, which in turn could lead to
> various repercussions, up to being killed by random crazies
> Ok, crazies exist. In reality however the danger to life and liberty comes
> not from crazies but from relentless, ambitious, power-hungry, cooperating
> psychopaths who organize themselves into the speech-suppressing moloch.
> For this reason I say that all speech is sacred. Speech is the thought of
> the social brain. What individual neural impulses are to your brain,
> conversations are to the social superorganism.
> Our brains do not have a separate top-down central authority lording it
> over the toiling billions of neurons. The brain is a neural democracy,
> where all voices are heard and weighed before consensus or conscious
> thought appears - and all the time there are new votes and a new conscious
> consensus emerges, literally every few hundred milliseconds of our
> conscious life. When your brain stops listening to all its neurons,
> consciousness degrades and you become mentally rigid, or you have a seizure
> (when a small group of neurons gains control of the whole system). Then
> dementia or delirium develops and you die.
> By a close analogy, society cannot let a small group of people, be it a
> Twitter "moderation team", or the Reichspropagandaleitung (look it up),
> take control of its thoughts. Once that happens, we are on a slide towards
> authoritarianism, totalitarianism, madness and megadeath.
> All speech is sacred!
> Rafal
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