[extropy-chat] the RBL racket

Jeff Medina analyticphilosophy at gmail.com
Mon Sep 11 12:50:16 UTC 2006

On 9/11/06, Russell Wallace <russell.wallace at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/11/06, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> > 3)  On your private property, screaming out advertisements for your used
> > cars, at 2AM, using a 110-decibel bullhorn.
> >
>  ...but no, I wouldn't be so extraordinarily cruel and evil as to put a man
> in prison for that either. I might very well go and challenge him to a
> fistfight if he didn't go away, and expect the law to find I was adequately
> provoked. But prison, no.

First of all, noise pollution and disturbing the peace, of which
Yudkowsky's third example is a case, *is against the law*.  The police
will give a warning, and then take you off to jail (Actually, I
believe the initial penalty is a fine, and then the penalty escalates
for repeat offenses).  Point is, it really is illegal, it has been for
quite a long time, and it hasn't led to thought police locking you up
for badmouthing a politician.

Second of all, if you challenge the noisy fellow to a fight and he
doesn't accept, should you actually fight him, you would find yourself
guilty of assault.  Being noisy does not justify physical violence in
response (under U.S. law, anyway).  Also, if you indicate physical
violence against the noisy person, you can still be found guilty of
crimes (harassment, threats of violence, physical intimidation, none
of them legally sanctioned).

On a separate note... you referred to spam as bytes of data.  This is
about as accurate and useful as referring to poison in a water
reservoir as mere quarks.  The internet is one of humanity's
environments; spam is environmental pollution.

Jeff Medina
Sr. Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin
Sr. Programmer, Elemental Solutions
Fellow, Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

"Do you want to live forever?"
"Dunno. Ask me again in five hundred years."
(_Guards! Guards!_, Terry Pratchett)

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