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Member since: Sun Aug 2, 2020, 10:56 PM
Number of posts: 3,953

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Political fraud should be a crime

Not all speech is free. In the specific area of commercial speech there are many laws that make it a crime to intentionally deceive someone to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive them of a legal right. Freedom of speech does not allow one to lie to another in order to cheat and steal.

Freedom of commercial speech is limited because money and commerce matter.

In a democracy, political speech also matters.

It should be a crime to intentionally lie about a fact in order to gain political advantage or influence political opinion.

Political fraud, like commercial fraud, should be defined as a crime with varying degrees, depending on the seriousness of the offense and the damage to society that it causes.

As an example, consider that an intentional political lie to less than 1000 followers should not be a crime, to less than 10,000 followers should be a misdemeanor, to less than 100,000 a gross misdemeanor, and to more than 100,000 followers a felony.

By defining political fraud this way, we no longer need complicated regulations of social media companies. They can continue to operate as neutral platforms, but the originators of political fraud would be prosecuted for their crimes and removed from the platforms.


Interesting, but it continues the mind - consciousness dichotomy, which is likely unsupportable

The separation of the mind, which is processing information using the electrochemical system of the brain, and the consciousness, which is said to be inexplicable as the result of such processing, will probably not hold up in the long run. This despite the best efforts of philosophers who desire to keep a space for a soul which persists after death, is in communication with a god, and so forth.

However, the discussion of the VR gamer observing the game is probably in the right direction. To shift the perspective slightly, consider a server complex in a data center that is managing a complex, multiplayer, distributed game. Beyond the programs that implement game functions, there will be another set of programs that admit players, mange players, start game functions, identify problems, possibly even spin up added servers/containers as load changes, monitor usage, etc.

This system management layer of software is becoming ever more complex and capable in how it observes the functioning of the data center and the information processing going on in the data center. It, rather than AI or machine learning, is the layer that will eventually be recognized to be conscious.

Coronavirus NZ: Auckland cold storage cluster grows by 13

New Zealand has recorded another 13 cases of coronavirus, with the majority linked to a cold storage company in south Auckland.

The cluster that sent Auckland into lockdown and the rest of the country into Stage 2 restrictions has now grown to 17, including four children aged between one and 19. It brings the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 36.

All the new cases are linked to the original four COVID-19 cases announced on Tuesday and the majority are linked to Americold, the cold storage company where two of the original cases worked and which believed to be the source of the new cluster. Three of the new cases are employees at Americold, while another seven are family members of those employees.

Two Americold sites in Mt Wellington and at Auckland Airport have been closed, with all employees tested. The company is a frozen food storage facility with branches in Australia, NZ and the US.

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