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Steve Wozniak: Internet should not have gatekeepers or regulators (rt.com)
156 points by MrBlue on Aug 15, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 82 comments



The title is completely misleading, given that Wozniak concedes:

“Every freedom we have in the United States, every one of them, was given to us by congressional regulation. It’s called the Bill of Rights. That is what gives us our freedom and yet it was from the government. It was government regulation.”

Bottom line is that there will be regulators. The choice is between regulation by those that own the infrastructure or by a democratically elected government.


The Bill of Rights says the Government "can't restrict your freedom of speech", not that you have the right to free speech. There's a difference.

So you already have freedom of speech. And the Government is not allowed to restrict it with any new law. The US Constitution was not made to give you rights, but to restrict the Government from taking them (although it seems lately they don't seem to even acknowledge the Constitution exists, and people should be more outraged about that, because if the trend continues, it's not a matter of "if" it will hurt you, but "when").

Wozniak is wrong on that one. I think he got a little confused thinking about net neutrality. But net neutrality plays into this very well too. We already have the freedom of net neutrality, because that's how the Internet has always worked.

Net neutrality just ensures that the companies can't restrict it or abuse it in any way. This is exactly what Al Franken said in the interview with TheVerge, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8kuhj4SKCE&feature=youtu...

I don't think there's anything like this in the US Constitution, but net neutrality is trying to be just another bill of rights basically, saying no one can restrict or control how you're using the Internet. It's just that it's a law, not an amendment to the Constitution (though maybe it should be).


>The Bill of Rights says the Government "can't restrict your freedom of speech", not that you have the right to free speech. There's a difference. So you already have freedom of speech.

That's very idealistic, and I'm glad I live in a country where this fiction is enshrined at such a base level.

In reality, we are born, human creatures, unto a world with billions and billions of other human creatures. The only rights we really have on this Earth are the ones the other creatures around us let us have. If preserving the fiction that we aren't collectively (or often individually) the sole arbiters of the rights of others means increased liberty to some degree, I'll take that.

But yeah, semantically you're spot on. The Bill of Rights clearly concedes the authority to a higher power than the government.


> The only rights we really have on this Earth are the ones the other creatures around us let us have.

If you take this position, what's the use of defining a concept of "rights" at all? The very notion is meant to describe something retained by individuals irrespective of their relations with others, as a means of establishing consistent boundaries within which we undertake those very relations.

If you're going to locate the origin of rights within the context of those social relations, how could you distinguish a violation of one's rights from merely not having those rights in the first place? What purpose could the notion serve here?


>If you take this position, what's the use of defining a concept of "rights" at all?

It's not a position to take as much as a description of reality.

I think you're confusing my observation of the reality we live in with some sort of endorsement (which does not exist).

I thought I was pretty clear that my position is that I am glad we have enshrined a belief system that cites the premise that we have certain inalienable rights. In our case, this ideal is adopted, and our claim to those rights are enshrined into law.

>The very notion is meant to describe something retained by individuals irrespective of their relations with others, as a means of establishing consistent boundaries within which we undertake those very relations.

As I said, I believe rights do exist. I simply am aware of the fact that we, as people, grant them to ourselves and others. Rights being granted by a higher power or some outside authority...that is an illusion, and just one belief system among many of one group of people granting the rights (among many groups).

Edit: But really, the simplest way to illustrate my point is that if you tell me you have inalienable rights, and I smirk and say "says who?", what will you answer? Just because we wish to have intrinsic protections in our existence doesn't mean we do.


> It's not a position to take as much as a description of reality.

A purely empirical description of reality would, of course, regard the notion of "rights", "government", and "society" as mere abstractions that have no autonomous existence, and are merely ideas in the minds of human beings.

An explication of this empirical understanding would recognize that human beings use abstract ideas to mediate their experience of the world, and that the value of ideas is to be found in the utility they provide to those who bear them.

So, accepting the reality that we live in is one filled with human beings who mediate their experience of life - and their relationships with each other - via conscious ideas, the discussion turns to evaluating the utility of those ideas; there's no other "reality" to explore.


>A purely empirical description of reality would, of course, regard the notion of "rights", "government", and "society" as mere abstractions that have no autonomous existence,

This is completely consistent with what I've been saying. The fiction of a set of inalienable rights granted to us by an omnipotent power is a fiction, or 'abstraction' if you will.

Couldn't agree more with this post.


Indeed, whether you regard that "omnipotent power" as being some ineffable divinity or some leviathan called "the state".

But we can indeed explore the empirical existence of the ideas that human beings employ in their undertaking of life, and make useful distinctions between those which have their origin in the nature of the individual prior to his social relations, and those which are a product of the social relations themselves.


>Indeed, whether you regard that "omnipotent power" as being some ineffable divinity or some leviathan called "the state".

Personally, I regard them as one in the same. The State is just a proxy of the will of the community one finds himself in, and Divinity just a proxy of man's will subscribed to and enforced by other men of belief.

Neither are omnipotent, but rather omnipresent as long as one finds himself surrounded by other people, and while they are not omnipotent, they are plenty powerful, -especially compared to a lone individual in most cases.


But, ultimately, everyone is a lone individual, and the "will of the community", to the extent that there even is a consistently identifiable thing, is the product of a complex of protocols and values that were already available to each individual in his own right.

Communities don't bootstrap themselves - they evolve out of the willing participation of individuals, and when the meditative mechanisms of that community fall to the manipulation of one faction or another, communities can and do break apart.

Taking the existence of a stable social framework for granted is very dangerous, and the concept of "rights" is one of the tools we employ precisely to protect that social framework's substantive foundation.


And the Government is not allowed to restrict it with any new law. The US Constitution was not made to give you rights, but to restrict the Government from taking them

This is called 'positive rights' and 'negative rights'. Negative rights are your rights and the government is not allowed to restrict them, they prevent the government from doing a thing. Positive rights are where the government is required to act to ensure you actually have the right to something. (e.g. the right to a fair and speedy trial requires the government to set up a courts system that is able to handle the load, they can't just have 1 court for the whole country that has a waiting list of 100 years, some places have "a right to education" which requires the state to set up and fund schools).

Some constitutions & binding declarations of rights have positive and negative rights. E.g. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union has been interpreted to include positive rights. I have no idea of the US situation.

It would be interesting if 'Freedom of speech' was a positive right. What would happen then...

(more details http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights )


> I have no idea of the US situation.

Well there's the speedy trial thing. There's also the right to an attorney which turned from a negative right into a positive right.


That's still a negative right, if you interpret it as "the government cannot put you in jail unless it makes sure you have legal representation."

So the government isn't actually required to give you a lawyer; it just can't put you in jail if it doesn't.


That's arguing over words. Fact is that the government is required to spend money or your rights have been broken.


It's not arguing over words; it's arguing over the concepts which the words represent.

Two distinct ideas appear to have been confounded together under the mantle of "rights" here, and we can't find fault in those seeking to clean up the confusion.

We can, however, find fault with those who seek to intentionally prevaricate in order to artificially apply the connotations earned by one idea to the other, and this includes those governments that try to define goods which must be acquired within society as being within the category of "rights".


Well what do you mean, that's a perfectly legitimate retort to the notion that the right to an attorney is a positive right. You might as well call the right to a trial as a positive right if you're going to call the right to a free attorney a positive right.


The concept of "positive rights" really doesn't make any sense - the purpose of defining rights is to delineate the boundaries of the power of others with respect to the individual; i.e. what the individual retains by virtue of being an individual, and isn't required to sacrifice as a condition of entering into a social context. So how can you designate goods that are acquired within that social context to be "rights"?

Mandates that a particular institution must do one thing or another are outside the scope of the theory of rights - this is just policy, which, in a just and healthy political system, is restrained from transgressing against the rights of individuals, but is by definition incapable of altering the nature of those rights.


The concept of "positive rights" really doesn't make any sense

Eppur si muove (Italian for 'and yet it moves', fabled as what Galileo said when signing his confession that the sun goes around the sun). Some jurisiticions recognise positive rights. Ergo they exist.

outside the scope of the theory of rights - this is just policy

Again, some jurisiticions recognise these as not a mere policy, but as rights of a person.


Some people may recognize the existence of 'flying bananas': yellow objects which propel themselves through the air by their own power.

This is, of course, due to imprecision in those people's use of symbolic identifiers: those who possess a higher-resolution semantic repertoire might instead call the thing being observed a 'canary', and regard it has having little ontological connection to a banana.


Thank you for this post. I'm constantly amazed, dumbfounded, and outraged that people don't know the BASICS OF REAL FREEDOM in this country.

It's not what the government allows you to do.

It's what we allow and not allow the government to do.


in principle, yes. In fact, that's not how things really work...


But that's not how the constitution is supposed to work. The federal government is supposed to have specific powers, enumerated by the constitution, and no more, with all remaining powers going to the state or the individual. The federalists were concerned people would misinterpret the bill of rights as an exclusive enumeration of individual freedoms, and they added the ninth amendment to explicitly say that it isn't. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_S...


As near as I recall your founders were opposed to a bill of rights for this very reason:

That a time would come when people came to believe their basic rights only existed by virtue of the bill of rights.

For more on this point of view see:

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0202e.asp

http://the-classic-liberal.com/the-bill-of-rights/


Quite simply, Wozniak has conflated regulation of government (constitutional law) with regulation by government (statutory law) through the use of the ambiguous phrase "government regulation".

The Bill of Rights regulates the actions which government may perform upon individuals, not the actions which individuals may perform upon each other. For instance, no article of the constitution ensures that murder is illegal.

There is a difference between constitutional law, common law, statuatory law, and regulatory law. Wozniak's phrase "congressional regulation" perhaps best describes only the last two categories.


Kind of an irrelevant point the internet is not part of the U.S... nor should the U.Ses laws apply to it.


You have freedom as defined by your government.

Want two wives, nope sorry.

Marry someone same sex, maybe depends where you live.


Someone is always defining your freedom though, in any situation where you come in contact with other people. If you don't have a government, your freedom is defined by people who are stronger than you, financially, physically, militarily, whatever.


And if you do have a government, the same is true, but your set of options is reduced, and the power distance is far greater.


I would argue the opposite; in cases where your freedom is decided by network-effects rather than a more "flat" playing field within a governmental system, your set of options is reduced, and the power distance is far greater. Burbclaves isn't a path to freedom.

Even otherwise-market-oriented Hayek argued that to some extent, in arguing for why the state should provide national defense and a social safety net. In his view, it increased individual freedom for there to be a large protective umbrella that handled defense and the basic safety-net, within which individuals could move freely. Otherwise those services are provided by tribalist groupings, which set up numerous boundaries and entanglements diminishing scope for unencumbered individual decision-making: society becomes more about those groups, acting as collectives, with less of a role for individual action.


But the government is just another "tribalist grouping"; one that's been given reach that extends beyond what would otherwise be its natural limitations. I don't understand the common mindset of the government being somehow 'special', and not shaped by the same influences and subject to the same failure modalities as every other institution in society.

Human society itself is a "network effect", and the ability to form connections within that network without artificial constraint is the definition of freedom.

Society is defined by what you're calling "boundaries and entanglements", or what less cynical people might call "well-defined communities and relationships"; there's never room for completely unencumbered individual decision-making: individuals are always constrained by the laws of nature and the existence of those other people with whom they share a common social space. Maximizing individual liberty means maximizing individuals' ability to choose whether to participate in a particular social context, whether to opt out and go it alone, or whether to attempt to forge their own new social context. Flattening down all of the boundaries and subjecting all social contexts to monopolistic rules only reduces choice and makes one social context dominate over all others - this is hardly a path to freedom.

I admit, though, that I've got no idea what a "burbclave" is - I understand it's a concept from Snow Crash, which, regrettably, I have yet to read. Could you elaborate on this?


I don't really think governments are particularly unique; they're just one kind of territorially based large organization that ideally has democratic control, and ideally from which you cannot be expelled. Even though it's true that "the USA as a whole" is itself a group, I would much rather be able to move as an individual within the USA as this background container, than have to deal with a shifting web of alliances with ethnic/religious/corporate groups for my defense and safety net.

I think Hayek more or less gets it right that to maximize individualism, rather than the coalition-of-tribalist-groups type society, you need a background "container" of sorts that provides basic physical safety to everyone in a territory. Once national security and a basic safety net are taken care of, now individuals do not fear being killed or starving to death, and can make more rational, less fear-based choices about which groups within that territory to further associate with. For example, I can choose to attend a church if I believe in it, but I won't worry that if I cut ties with the church they'll cut me off and I'll starve or be shot.

"Burbclaves" in Snow Crash are essentially city-states set up by companies which operate their own defense/laws/etc., in the absence of traditional governments. If one asks, what would replace governments if we abolished them, I think the answer would be something like that: super-powerful homeowners' associations with weapons, which would grow into de-facto new governments. I don't think that would really be superior to the current governments.


> than have to deal with a shifting web of alliances with ethnic/religious/corporate groups for my defense and safety net.

You already have to do this, do you not? Almost all of the elements of your life which you rely on for sustenance and safety are things which you acquire within the context of the specific network of relationships you participate in. The state doesn't feed you, house you, or otherwise care for you; it certainly doesn't provide you with anything higher up on Maslow's pyramid. Your experience of life includes participation in specific social contexts, and acquisition of happiness and security within the relationships therein established, no matter what.

I think that your mistake here is to anthropomorphise the abstractions of "ethnic groups", "corporations", etc. and to view these as something other than coalitions of individuals.

You're seeing civil society as a radio-button selection from which you can select one of a limited number of predefined institutional models, rather than to see it as a free-form text entry field within which you can create whatever network of relationships with particular people you mutually desire.

> maximize individualism, rather than the coalition-of-tribalist-groups type society, you need a background "container" of sorts that provides basic physical safety to everyone in a territory

A system of law, rooted in the custom and shared expectations of the participants and used by them as a means of mediating their social relations, is that "container". An organized group of people is just another group of people, and vesting control of the system of law in the hands of such a group actually inhibits its ability to serve as a mediative tool for and by the members of society; the law itself simply becomes an instrument in the hands of one particular "tribalist group".

Thinking of all law as positive law promulgated in top-down fashion by the state is a key deficiency of the modern mindset.

> now individuals do not fear being killed or starving to death, and can make more rational, less fear-based choices about which groups within that territory to further associate with

Of course, in reality, people indeed do continue to fear being killed or starving to death, because these risks still exist, and activities of the institutional state are motivated by these fears just as much as the activities of any other social institution.

And, with the state, you've very much created an institution for which cutting ties will lead to your being "cut off", likely to "starve or be shot".

In the former scenario, you at least had a pluralistic, multi-polar civil society filled with other institutions you could turn to, and the freedom create new ones, if you were "cut off". If the monopolist state "cuts you off", you've got no recourse.

> I don't think that would really be superior to the current governments.

I'd argue that a large number of smaller governments is superior to a small number of large ones, and that a situation in which people can establish new governments and sever their attachments to old ones, both with relative ease, is superior to one in which they cannot, or can only do so with great difficulty.

If absolute individual autonomy were universal, the situation could reasonably be described as 7+ billion independent governments; but we wouldn't tend to describe it that way, because we attach certain connotations of institutional rigidity to the notion of "government" which adhere less and less as social contexts become smaller and more organic.


> Of course, in reality, people indeed do continue to fear being killed or starving to death

Really? I live in Denmark, and do not fear either of those things. I suppose there is a small chance of being murdered, but not a large one. And even in the worst case where I somehow was completely unable to work and suffered severe disability, I would be entitled to basic housing, food, and medical care, because those are considered basic rights of all residents. That's what I mean by a basic framework for society that removes that fear element, by guaranteeing to everyone minimum physical safety and sustenance. Once that fear is removed, people can make voluntary and rational decisions on how to interact with each other, which are less coerced than in the case where it's an "offer" to do X or starve.

To me, that maximizes individual freedom and decision-making capability. Essentially the only downside is that if I make a lot of money, more of it will go to taxes than would if I lived in the United States. But paying some taxes doesn't seem like a large imposition on freedom to me, especially in comparison to the gains.


"And if you do have a government, the same is true, but your set of options is reduced"

I'm glad some of those options are not available to others, yes.


You can have two wives or marry someone of the same sex all you want, the government just won't recognize it. But it also won't stop you.


Perhaps not today (I'm unfamiliar with current federal laws on this), but for a considerable portion of US history the US federal government took your property and threw you in jail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrill_Anti-Bigamy_Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmunds_Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmunds%E2%80%93Tucker_Act


Not true. Merely living together with your partner, if not legally married, can be a crime. E.g., punishable by 60 days in jail in Florida.

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-01/us/florida.cohabitation.l...


That law is invalid, so not a big deal.


I love Woz but as others said, it's wrong to think of the government "giving" us our freedoms.


Government is merely a set of people. These people don't give you your rights any more than some random person on the street gives you your rights. Both merely either respect them or not.

America, in spite of its contradictions, was to a significant extent based on the idea of "inalienable rights", and is why it was so successful. The verbiage in The Bill of Rights was intended to recognize, not confer rights, and it was intended to restrain government from violating them.


Exactly. Political theorists routinely distinguish between natural rights and legal rights.

Legal rights are conferred by law, and would not exist if not for law. The right to run for President is a legal right, because the office of the President would not have existed if not for the U.S. Constitution.

Natural rights, on the other hand, exist regardless of law. Nobody is supposed to rape you, not only because the law says so, but also because you have a right to decide who you have sex with. If the law does not prosecute rapists, the law is wrong, and you still have the right.

The U.S. Constitution is remarkable not only because it created (legal) rights that didn't exist before, but also because it finally recognized so many (natural) rights that used to be blatantly ignored by despots.

Of course, whether "freedom of information" is a natural right or a legal right is a contentious matter. Most likely, it has components of both.


This is historical revisionism. "Inalienable rights" made for some great rhetoric in the Declaration of Independence, but the Constitution does not use the phrase (and uses the phrase "right" only a couple of times in the main articles).

Government is a set of people, and rights arise from consensus and practice among those people. When the Founders spoke about "rights" they were referring to those recognized by British consensus and practice.


That's why there was a great initial push after the Constitution was ratified to establish the Bill of Rights. People didn't feel that it was safe enough to leave things like the freedom of speech to be covered under common/unwritten law. So some of the unwritten/understood parts of the Constitution were written into the first 10 amendments.


There was also great initial resistance, not because the opponents didn't want to safeguard rights; but because they feared enumerating some rights for named protection would leave other rights not named unprotected.


And if Hamilton could print out this discussion page, he'd be shoving it in people's faces and pounding his fist on the table furiously. "See? I told you so!"


If my exercise of my rights is restricted then it hardly matters how much respect or recognition I find in some verbiage - in practical terms, I am denied those rights.

This is unfortunately common, so that most freedoms cannot actually be realized without the help of law and the judicious use of institutional force, far beyond what I or almost any citizen can personally wield. And it is not even vaguely exceptional that the source of the problem is coming from non-governmental entities.

Law is much more than "a set of people."

I think it's fairly clear that the Constitution is also intended to restrain non-Governmental entities from violating personal rights. Otherwise, the 13th Amendment would only make Government slavery unconstitutional while reserving it to the states or the people, which would be nonsensical and useless.

The rights of plantation slaves have surely existed all along, but they didn't make any difference until a lot of blood was spilled to change things.


I think it's fairly clear that the Constitution is also intended to restrain non-Governmental entities from violating personal rights

That's question-begging a bit. If I hire you for my radio show and you say something stupid on the air, am I not allowed to fire you, lest that be a violation of your personal right to free speech? If I refuse to sell you a gun, am I denying you your right to bear arms?

Otherwise, the 13th Amendment would only make Government slavery unconstitutional while reserving it to the states or the people, which would be nonsensical and useless.

That seems to argue against point. If the whole Constitution was meant to restrict non-governmental actors, then they wouldn't have limited it just to slavery.

Also, the Fourteenth Amendment generally applies the restrictions on the Federal government to State governments. I'm unaware of any restrictions it places on non-goverments.


This is why some places have 'positive rights', that require the government (or whatever) to do a thing to ensure you have the ability to exercise your rights http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights


40 states have positive right-to-speech laws:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruneyard_Shopping_Center_v._Ro...


3 months ago Steve Wozniak said he is going to buy Facebook shares at "no matter what price"

I mean this guy just happened to be co-founder of Apple. He hasn't been with Apple for like 20+ years and hasn't done anything noteworthy for decades.

Does it really matter what he says?


To be fair. He didn't just happen to be in the room when other people at Apple where inventing great things. He invented it.

Yes. It matters a lot what this guys says because every self proclaimed journalist want to talk to this guy and he happens to speak for what a lot of people are thinking but not get the exposure he does.


Steve Wozniak's Apple II was a huge milestone in personal computing. It was the foundation of an age of open computing, where everyone could make and distribute software directly to people, without any private regulation/censorship/quality control. This open market enabled many other great achievements, like the world wide web, endless scientific discoveries, Wikipedia, Minecraft or mobile computing.

Nobody at Apple created anything similar revolutionary and magical after Woz made the Apple II.


I have to agree. Woz has done some cool stuff, and seems like a straight-up cool guy, but I'm not sure that confers special status to his opinions on anything and everything tech. Now having said that, I think it's mostly the media's fault for covering anything he says (e.g. http://www.news.com.au/technology/apple-co-founder-steve-woz...).


It does. It should matter even if some random guy would say it because he's speaking out on very important matters that stand on their own.


If you have no safety in your sharing of information, you have no freedom.


I've found in my experience that gatekeepers to any system will always bubble up. It's almost evolutionary that someone controls the flow of things. The most you can hope for is that the gatekeeper be good-hearted and neutral.


I totally agree with what Woz is saying. I do wish that there were tools more readibly available built into our browsers filter content, but I think that is just an opportunity for tools like NetNanny, etc. if Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft (except for Bing), Google (except for Google search), and Opera aren't doing it.

I wish we had the same freedom here in HN, but we don't, and I'm not sure why: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4385454



Relevant how, exactly?


From the youtube link:

"Men must be governed. Often not wisely I will grant you but they must be governed nonetheless."

"That's the excuse of every tyrant in history. From Nero to Bonaparte. And I for one am opposed to authority. It is the egg of misery and oppression."

"You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother."

And from the RT interview:

"The trouble is, a lot of it [network neutrality] has to be enforced by the government, and conservative types and libertarian types say 'government shouldn't have any say and control over that; that takes away our freedom.' Wrong. It takes away the freedom of the companies that are taking away the freedom from us."

I'd assume the clip from youtube is meant to reinforce the inherent necessity of an authority to enforce order. The "conservative types and libertarian types" would likely consider authority the "egg of misery and oppression." But Wozniak argues that "men must be governed. Often not wisely... but they must be governed nonetheless." Wozniak is addressing the oft-repeated mantra amongst conservative and libertarian types that government is inherently inefficient and should be limited in order to maximize freedom; his argument is to highlight the paradoxical observation that from a lack of authority grows the very oppression -- non-neutral networking -- that these types claim to deplore.


> "I for one am opposed to authority. It is the egg of misery and oppression."

I agree with that, but with the distinction of natural and force authority, as e.g. Erich Fried or Noam Chomsky make it. If a little kid runs on the street, and the parent (or even a random stranger for that matter!) grabs it by the arm to save it from harm, the kid has NO vote, and that is fine. Everybody knows and understands that.

In that sense I agree with some regulation being needed to stop people infringing each other's freedom; but I strongly have to disagree with governance for the sake of governance. CHILDREN must be governed, not free men. Free men govern themselves. That is an important distinction, and anyone who shrugs it off is certainly my enemy.

Governance is NOT the end, and actually, all authority which is justifiable should also always seek, or at least hope, to be obsolete some day. E.g. the child grows up, or people are too busy prospering in peace to deceive and oppress each other, and have inherited the values and methods you teached them. But as long as you have to "be the parent", you haven't solved the problem, you just made it possible for all parties to survive until it is solved.

And always watch out for secretly not wanting the other to grow up, your own authority becoming obsolete. Kafka said this about parents and their children, how parents tend to use them just based on petty ego - how much more is it true for structures of huge power, and insane profits. Sure, Apple ain't the firm I associate with grown up stuff and equals considering others equals; but even broken clocks get it right twice a day. Still, the devil is in the details. I'd rather have eternal vigilance and freedom than rounding a corner here and there.


> n that sense I agree with some regulation being needed to stop people infringing each other's freedom; but I strongly have to disagree with governance for the sake of governance. CHILDREN must be governed, not free men. Free men govern themselves. That is an important distinction, and anyone who shrugs it off is certainly my enemy.

This is silly non-sense rhetoric. Complex systems need organization. The more complex, the more organization is required. It's something you see throughout nature, at all scales. "Natural rights" and whatnot is just mumbo-jumbo with no empirical basis.


You are mistaking organization with authority, and go on about strawmen, none of which address a peep of what I said -- after accusing ME of non-sense rhetoric? The nerve.


"Children must be governed. Free men govern the selves." That's silly rhetoric. The traits that cause children to require governance persist throughout life. There is no magic biological distinction that allows the latter to be autonomous when the former is not.

As for organization versus authority, the latter is a means of implementing the former. So long as we are animals, and the only biological fact in play is that we are indeed animals, authority with the threat of force will always be necessary to organize us.


> "Children must be governed. Free men govern the selves." That's silly rhetoric. The traits that cause children to require governance persist throughout life. There is no magic biological distinction that allows the latter to be autonomous when the former is not.

Oh ffs. you really think I was talking about biological children? Or that parents are always right, and children always wrong, just because those are the roles? nah. I was just being brief. So congrats on making up a silly strawman, and pointing out it's silly.

> "the latter is a means of implementing the former"

I disagree. Justified authority is a result of organization, not the other way around.

> "So long as we are animals, and the only biological fact in play is that we are indeed animals, authority with the threat of force will always be necessary to organize us."

That's silly rhetoric ^^ Actually, only total sociopaths would only react to force.

And where did I say authority is automatically and always bad? I didn't, I just made a distinction between two types of authority , which obviously went over your head. Authority needs to always be questioned; justified authority survives the questioning.


Free men govern themselves.

I find it funny that people spouting this kind of sloganed ideology never seem to care about women being free.


Are you talking to/about me? If so, what do you base this on? Lazy typing?

And it's not a slogan either. What do you think democracy, in theory, is based on? On the souvereign citizens ruling themselves - we created and abide by the monopoly of power, we are governing us through it. In practice, it's kinda corrupt, but hey, it could be worse too, that's for sure, and exemplified all over the world.

Some people wish it was just a slogan though, I'll give you that.


Yes, I'm talking to you. For all the flag-waving about freedom and rights, you still haven't mastered sexism. Another thing I find funny is that when called on it, the excuse is always 'lazy typing' or 'that's just a term' or 'you know what I mean' or similar, never 'mea culpa', which shows a profound lack of understanding of issues of sexism.

Thing is, if you don't include women when talking about your ideology, it shows that there are some pretty fundamental issues about rights that you're not accounting for, so why should the rest of your commentary not be doubted?


I've always liked the quote from that movie: "men must be governed." Any system as big and as important as the internet needs to be regulated. It's intellectually lazy to pin opposition to particular regulations not on rational cost benefit analysis, but on the knee-jerk ideological position that regulation is bad and undermines freedom.


you gotta love that confirmation nod at the end of the interview


Oh Woz, you're so confused. You want the Internet to stay unregulated, yet are in favour of Net Neutrality?


The pipes themselves must not be regulated based on the content. In other words, freedom for users, not necessarily for ISPs.


What difference between end-users and ISPs means that one party may have freedom but the other may not?


The difference is that we give ISP's the use of our countries spectrum. Without that, they wouldn't have a business. So it's fair that we can prevent them from screwing us through regulation.


If we are talking wireless, then you might have a point, but you can always lay more wire.


True but it's easier said than done. The huge cost involved in laying more wire is a big barrier to entry. And I would guess there are limits to the amount of cable that can be laid.


What difference between government and individuals?


Monopoly on violence.


Freedom is won with the barrel of a gun. You do not ask for rights, you get a weapon, and you point it at your oppressor and say: Leave me alone Or I will shoot you.

That is how freedom works, not with words. With actions.


Really? England banned slavery without having guns pointed at the government. Women have achieved right to equal pay and privilege without threatening to shoot men. Canada became fully independent from the UK by simply asking for it. Stop being so macho.


because if there's one thing keeping the average American citizens "freedom" safe, it's their right to keep a couple of handguns in their closet.


Non-violent action is far more effective than civil war.




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