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Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

BeanThere wrote, "But what you are referring to, let's be open about it, is using financial clout to purchase politicians."

Yes, that is the central problem with our system. The role of money in elections. It is too easy to influence politicians. Before every election they have $1000 plate dinners and one by one contributors tell the candidates what they want in return for their donation. It is a horrible system. Elections should be about votes, not about donations. Volunteers should go door to door, rather than all the campaign advertising in the media. There really needs to be a way to stop the advertising but I don't know a way, especially since the Supreme Court equated paid advertising by an organization as "free speech". (That case was a couple of decades back.)

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

BeanThere wrote, "Wow - you've never really been a shareholder or member of any real organization, have you? You'd know that the moment you have more than one person, you already start having disagreements."

I have. I was on the board of the company that I founded some years back. But I understand your point. You are right that shareholders debate and don't agree on the mission. But my point was that it is not one person one vote. The more stock you have, the more votes you have. Thus, a corporation is dominated by the largest shareholders, with a single-minded mission to make money. Corporations take on a life of their own in that they have a strong tendency to act in any way available to further their goals, irrespective of considerations for the greater good or anyone else. Just as a mob has "mob behavior", a corporation (or a union or non-profit) has emergent behavior.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Sex for money should not be illegal. It is an overreach of local government in my opinion. It is between two consenting adults. The government has no legitimate business in it, just as the government has no legitimate business telling someone they cannot use drugs. Should Keith Richards have been prevented from using drugs? Perhaps then he would not have written such great music. It is his choice. I don't choose it myself, but who am I to say that someone else should not choose it? As long as they don't hurt anyone or drive while under the influence.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Yes, you are right in a sense, in that the former violates a sense of fairness and rationality. It is offensive for that reason - the idea is offensive as you say - whereas the second is offensive because it is a pejorative. There is a difference. But then again, censorship of pejoratives would silence a great amount of valuable literature and art.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Yes, I agree. I don't know the solution. I only know that there is a problem. Perhaps it comes down to holding accountable the individuals who make decisions within organizations. After all, every communication by an organization is initiated by an individual. The problem is that organizations have aggregated power, and they are single-minded in their mission, whereas individuals can weight social benefits versus personal benefits. Organizations tend to be amoral - even sociopathic - and are therefore not "good citizens". And even worse, organizations use money to amplify their influence far beyond the influence of individuals. I don't know the solution though.

Comment Re:Subjectivity Is Very Dangerous! (Score 1) 194

I agree it is a slippery slope. But there actually are standards. E.g., one cannot libel someone. And if you yell "fire" in a theater and there is no fire, you will be kicked out. But you are right that we must be careful about such standards because they can indeed be used to censor ideas. The censorship of ideas and of whistle-blowing are the main concerns in my opinion.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Indeed. The 1st Amendment protects us from government, but who protects us from powerful groups, such as companies, unions, etc.? We really need a supplemental "Bill Of Rights" to address organizations of people and how individuals are protected from those organizations. You are perceptive, that so-called intellectual property is the currency of power of the 21st century, and will be the primary instrument of oppression. We are seeing it take shape now. Small startups are hard pressed to create _any_ product that does not infringe on _some_ patent held by some large company with a patent portfolio.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Yes, our culture equate free speech with art and any form of expression. I am not sure that was the intent. But I don't know. To me, I would value the expression of an idea, such as "the government is corrupt" as much more important than the ability to express it in a rude way such as "fuck the government". But that is my personal value.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

No I am not saying that. I am merely musing about the intent of the 1st Amendment. I think it was about preventing censorship of people by government. If a machine generates something, that is not generated by a person, so it was not anticipated by the Constitution. But there might be a gray area: perhaps a person arranged for the machine to express the person's opinion. E.g., suppose it is a drone vehicle that flies around painting a political message in the sky. The drone is a machine, but the message was arranged by a person. Wouldn't this be "speech"? But if an AI algorithm generates speech, is that protected? I would think not, since today's AI machines are not people, and the Constitution is about people.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

Yes, is a dilemma. On the one hand, groups of people can do wonderful things. But they can also do awful things. Today the greatest threat to democracy is the power of special interest groups. These groups have agendas of their own, and they act in ways that their individual members might not. It is a real dilemma, and perhaps something that was not anticipated by the Constitution.

Comment It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 5, Insightful) 194

I am not a Constitutional scholar (although I have read the Constitution and refer to it frequently), but I would presume that "freedom of expression" and "freedom of speech" are intended to ensure that ideas cannot be censored. And since the Constitution is about the rights of people and government, I also presume that the right pertains to people - not organizations. Organizations are not people, just as a pack of dogs is not a dog and a mob of people is not a person. And not machine generated content: such content is not necessarily the output of people, unless a person arranges for a _specific_ machine output in order to express an idea. If the 1st Amendment is truly about ensuring that ideas cannot be censored, then free speech is not about permitting anyone to say purposely offensive things (i.e., the form of their speech), but about their right to express (perhaps politely) the _ideas_ contained in their speech.

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