Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

It's about Euphemism Time!

Years after I recommended multiple mirrors, scientists have finally realized the danger of putting scientific data under centralized control and are doing something constructive about it.

The danger is potentially real. First, it is possible to claim that restricting such data is not censorship on the grounds that censorship is only a matter of the government restricting private parties. (If the government had not tried monopolizing the data, such an argument would even be valid.) That argument might confuse the voters enough for the powers that be to get away with it, at least in an otherwise-popular administration. Second, the centerpiece of the nativist argument (at least when nativists are talking to libertarians) is that foreigner immigrants might affect the average opinion in this country in a non-libertarian direction. If government action is acceptable for the purpose of changing public opinion, that might be used as an excuse for censorship. Third, Trump will have a “pen and a phone.” It might be possible to delete large amounts of data before being restrained. Even if it is technically illegal, punitive measures can also be tied up in bureaucracy. If Hillary Clinton got away with it, Trump can get away with it.

We should applaud this privatization. It might protect data from President Melissa Click someday. The only problem is that this hadn't occurred years ago.

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