[ExI] Censorship

Anders anders at aleph.se
Thu Jun 2 07:50:16 UTC 2016

On 2016-06-01 18:39, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> On Jun 1, 2016 1:49 AM, "Anders" <anders at aleph.se 
> <mailto:anders at aleph.se>> wrote:
> > On 2016-05-31 20:36, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> >> On May 28, 2016 1:31 AM, "Anders Sandberg" <anders at aleph.se 
> <mailto:anders at aleph.se>> wrote:
> >> > if it is not possible to have a debate about whether they should 
> be changed, then society is not open.
> >>
> >> Does this include where the opponents of change simply refuse to 
> engage in honest debate, making up facts to support their position?  
> That is something that said opponents can not usually be forced to 
> change or concede.
> >
> > Sometimes. But if the proponents of change have a compelling 
> narrative that can attract people, then the lack of honest debate from 
> one side can become counterproductive for them in the end.
> But that is still a one sided debate, and thus not open, correct?

One sided debates are still open, although they are far weaker in 
creating legitimate consensus in a society.

Consider the intellectual property debate. The content industry was 
firmly uninterested in sponsoring any deeper defenses of IP as real and 
important property - there would not have been a shortage of 
libertarian/conservative think tanks taking their coin and doing it, but 
the industry felt that it had the law on their side and hence at most 
needed to defend the law. So what happened was that the wider debate 
became dominated by "IP liberals" and pirates - not enough yet to change 
the laws, but the next political generation (not to mention the public) 
has absolutely no belief these laws are legitimate. That is going to be 
a disaster for the content world, since they will have to lobby like 
crazy to maintain the status quo.

Incidentally, I am glad for this thread since I was roped in to 
participate in a panel on art and censorship at the literary/philosophy 
conference I am attending  - I had a lot of use of our past exchange. 
Today I managed to allow me to be roped into a panel on enhancement with 
a sf author I like (Richard Morgan)... ah, academic life is so tough ;-)

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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