Argument Clinic: Supplemental on ${topic1} and ${topic2}

Charles Stross’ book Accellerando has a large number of absolutely brilliant projections of the future of trolling.

Is this the right room for an argument

This posting will not contain spoilers, so don’t worry. There are weaponizable ideas in this posting that I am not encouraging you to do, because not all things that can be done are worth doing.

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Because We Love Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is not some magical thing: like all freedoms in politics, there’s got to be a justification for it. In the case of the US – on paper, at least – individual liberties are defined in terms of, “other than the things the state says you cannot do, you’re free.”  So, because the state has not legislated that I cannot dye my hair blue, I can dye my hair blue. Freedom of speech is specifically called out, though, as a positive freedom. It’s not that “because the state has not told you what you can’t talk about, you can talk about anything else” – it’s specifically stated:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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The Intelligence Catch-22

Let me introduce you to the “intelligence Catch-22.” In case you’re not familiar with Heller’s Catch-22, from the brilliant book by that name, it goes like this:

You cannot possibly get a medical discharge from the military based on insanity, because only insane people want to be in the military; therefore if you want to be discharged from the military you are sane and therefore your discharge is denied.

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Imploding Buildings

When I graduated, the first place I sent my resume to was Loizeaux Freres, in Towson, Maryland – about a half hour bicycle ride from my house. I believe I said something stupid in my cover-letter about how computerized process control was the way of the future and blah blah blah.

I got back a letter explaining that they mostly hire family, and what they do is serious stuff and they don’t hire entry-level positions. “Thank you.”

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