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Re: [freehaven-dev] Discussed Today

At 09:32 PM 4/23/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>* Political discussion. Roger points out all the ways that the world 
>  fails to acheive any basic notion of fairness or equity. 
>	As I understand it, the argument goes like this 
>	1. The world is in the death grip of large corporations and
>	states. This has led to horrible consequences. 
>	2. Therefore, the current world order is not worth preserving.
>	More than that, it is worth shaking up and pulling down. 
>	3. Free Haven will be a tool which may help in pulling down the
>	current order. It won't do it by itself. It may not even be 
>	that great a tool, but gosh darn it, it's a hell of a lot better
>	than doing *nothing*. 
>	4. Therefore Free Haven is a good thing, over and above any 
>	effect it may have on "nice kinds of speech." 
>  We then had a brief argument about capitalism and peoples' motivations,
>  manufactured consent, connotations of the word "greed", and how to 
>  link this general principle "shaking up the world is good" to specific
>  examples. 

As I stated earlier in meeting, my political beliefs seem to be a little
different than others (more libertarian and free-market).  I think its a
rather large assumption to make #1, and a larger leap of faith to conclude
that #2 follows this statement.

Free Haven's benefit, I believe, does not follow from the ability to add
potentially destablizing aspects or information to society.  I am generally
against that which the government(s) might seek to stop people from doing
or deciding themselves (and FreeHaven supports free decision-making as
such), except where their actions impinge on others' ability to pursue
so-called "Lockian" natural rights....but anyway, I didn't mean this to
become a further political discourse.  What I meant:  there is still much
to say (especially public!) about the ability of people to enter into free
speech and demonstration (through documents), when their ability to do such
might otherwise be curtailed by governments, organizations, or whatnot,
through law, force, economic starvation, or social stigma.  Whether this be
whistleblowing, political anti-establishment discourse, anti-government
sentiment (especially in countries where freedom of speech is not
established), all the better.   I do not think we should be arguing for
"kiddie-porn and similar things" are okay, because they shake up society,
and <insert arguments here>.

My view is that they remain an unfortunate biproduct of allowing one, but
not the other.  As Roger pointed out, it is interesting that Gnutella can
make the claim that no more porn goes over their sites than normal search
engines - perhaps they themselves are sniffing the links.  I don't think
Free Haven wants to be the big brother - hopefully, this project will be
used for more constructive (at least, from my view) purpose than porn.  

I think we've discussed that we don't want to list <this is good> and <this
is bad>.  We think the <good things> are worth the existance of the <bad
things>.  However, the above argument as a generalized motivation falls
quite short as well...


  Michael J Freedman

Mail:  mfreed@mit.edu
Web:     griffen.mit.edu
Phone:    617.225.9381