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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Reaction to The Transhumanist Bill of Rights—Version 2.0

The Transhumanist Bill of Rights—Version 2.0 (seen via Instapundit) includes (with my reactions):

“All sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of a system of universal health care.”

Does ‘universal’ mean universal? Does this apply to entities in the Boötes void?

“For instance, a cryonics patient has the right to determine in advance that the patient’s body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.”

So… If you were accidentally cryopreserved and didn't leave such a directive, you have no rights?

“All sentient entities are entitled to reproductive freedom, including through novel means such as the creation of mind clones, monoparent children, or benevolent artificial general intelligence.”

I'm glad to see this. Version 1.0 was written by Zoltan Istvan, who has also advocated parenting licenses.

“All sentient entities also have the right to prevent unauthorized reproduction of themselves in both a physical and a digital context.”

If such an unauthorized reproduction occurs anyway, does the being in question have rights?

“All sentient entities should be protected from discrimination based on their physical form in the context of business transactions and law enforcement.”

Does that mean you cannot require, for example, the ability to breathe chlorine as a prerequisite for employment?

“All sentient entities have the right to defend themselves from attack, in both physical and virtual worlds.”

“Societies of the present and future should afford all sentient entities sufficient basic access to wealth and resources to sustain the basic requirements of existence in a civilized society and function as the foundation for pursuits of self-improvement.”

Does the first mean you are permitted to defend yourself against the tax collectors needed for the second?

“Lying for political gain or intentionally fomenting irrational fears among the general public should entail heavy political penalties for the officials who engage in such behaviors.”

So… We can hang (or do the equivalent to) environmentalists?

“In addition to the rights enumerated herein, this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS hereby incorporates by reference all of the rights expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and hereby extends these rights to all entities encompassed by this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS.”

Uh oh. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes:

These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Idealist translation: All good stuff! No bad stuff!
Realist translation: The preceding 28 articles guarantee hot air. Anything they promise can be set aside if someone influential decides they're inconvenient.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Ban Straws?

Okay. Now they're just trolling us.

The response to bans on plastic straws is, of course, expensive metal straws that can only be cleaned with difficulty. The next step after metal straws will be to notice that not everyone can afford metal straws and to set up a government agency to get metal straws into the hands of the proletariat … who are then expected to be grateful. That, in turn, will be followed by sneering at the people who complained about the original regulation combined with accusing them of being hypocrites when they also criticize the agency.

I have three questions about this:

  1. If a couple with a child are arrested for the illegal manufacture, sale, or transportation of plastic straws, should the child be separated from the parents or should there be a family jail?

  2. How stoned do you have to be to think a plastic straw is a problem requiring a ban?

  3. What do “people of color” think about a straw ban?

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