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RE: Thought Crime


RE: Thought Crime
by k at 1:37 pm EST, Dec 7, 2007

Decius wrote:

k wrote:
Have we become so cynical about the likelihood of being listened to that we assume bullshit laws will be passed and jump straight to figuring out how to get around them?

Apparently we ought to be. A version of this bill was rushed through the house Wednesday without following the usual processes.

I guess you're right... we should be that cynical. I still think that if more tech minded people would bitch up a storm to their congresspeople rather than than bitching up a storm on the internet and then returning to a cave to hack some code, some progress might be made.

Nonetheless, it's fundamentally true that, by the nature of the system, elected officials, particularly in the House, are neither particularly progressive or particularly educated about science or technology. I'm only a half a shade away from sharing the view of some of my friends that the people in congress are flat out stupid. Nonetheless, I'm sure I'm more capable than a lot of them at all of the things that I think matter, which is to say, none of the things that *actually* get a person elected. Reason number 100000 why representative government is hard.

You are right George. No one is required to monitor anything. However, if you have a wifi network at home and you have a bunch of friends over and you notice that one of them has hentai videos on their laptop, you could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if you fail to report them to the police. Thats probably not what the people who crafted this bill intended, but thats the law they passed, because they aren't paying attention and they basically don't know what they are doing.

Starting last point first, as stated above, totally agreed... they're out of their depth.

Moving on to the first part, I'm not so sure. Perhaps not the sponsors, but a lot of the supporters almost certainly understood and support that specific outcome. Narcing on your friends is encouraged by a large subset of America these days (especially if they aren't held to the same standard, one must assume).

As to the way the bill was brought, I agree it was fast tracked in a disturbing way, but per the article : "the Democratic leadership rushed the SAFE Act to the floor under a procedure that's supposed to be reserved for noncontroversial legislation." I'm not sure if they're using some kind of official Congress-defined usage of "noncontroversial" or not, but if I may apply, post facto, the results of the vote (that'd be only 2 Nays), it would appear to at least meet the dictionary definition of the term, provided you accept that our representatives do actually represent our voices. I don't, of course, believe that for a second, and it's one of my biggest concerns with our form of government. Nonetheless, I'm vaguely curious if there's really more reason for me to be upset at the "rushed" aspect of this specifically (as opposed to a general distaste for the obscurity of governmental processes). If the sponsors knew in advance (as they likely did) that they were going to get 99% of the vote, why wouldn't they rush it through?

The fact that it's shitty legislation wouldn't have entered their mind, because they don't know it's shitty. This merely argues in favor of more open processes and more direct involvement in our democracy, i think.

RE: Thought Crime

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