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Generalized Exception Rule

Various bad things should not be allowed, except ...
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Over here in the USA we once had a big fight over the notion of whether or not slavery should be allowed. In the end, it became generally disallowed, with an exception (see link). The "due process of law", which can declare someone to be a criminal, also allows criminals to be treated like slaves.

Meanwhile, in everyday life, there are plenty of people who seem to act as if their subordinates are slaves, like they were wishing for "good old days", or something like it. My personal opinion has always been that if slavery were to be more-generally allowed, then THOSE people are the ones who should be enslaved. At least until they change their minds about whether slavery should be allowed, see?

This Idea is about generalizing the notion. Perhaps, "Various bad things should not be allowed, except when the victims are those people who want to be able to do those bad things."

A few days ago I read an article indicating that Microsoft wants the USA to change its patent system from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" system (see link). Logically this means that Microsoft wants to be able to steal other people's ideas (especially of people who can't afford the cost of filing for a patent, and who try to sell gadgets to make the money to become able to file). Per the Generalized Exception Rule, it means that all of Microsoft's ideas should be freely subjectable to theft, until Microsoft changes its mind, see?

Vernon, Jan 12 2011

13th Amendment to the US Constitution http://en.wikipedia...States_Constitution
As mentioned in the main text [Vernon, Jan 12 2011]

Microsoft's supposedly beneficial patent reform proposal http://www.microsof...10patentreform.mspx
Search for "first-to-file" [Vernon, Jan 12 2011]


       That we took several thousand years to eventually come upon the notion that slavery is evil makes me suspect that people are not 'basically good.'
RayfordSteele, Jan 12 2011

       //At least until they change their minds about whether slavery should be allowed// Won't happen. Since their opinion was that *Africans* should be enslaved. See the problem?   

       But that's only an objection if your goal is to change their ideas. If your goal is to punish them for having bad ideas, then fine, go ahead.
mouseposture, Jan 12 2011

       [mouseposture], the Europeans also tried to enslave Native Americans, but, largely due to cultural differences (slavery existed in African but not N.A. cultures), it didn't work out. So, your comment is erroneous. Not to mention that Greeks and Romans had plenty of almost-the-same-ethnic-group slaves as themselves.
Vernon, Jan 12 2011

       Baked? Who says what a "crime" is? Presumably you could, say, make running an OS other-than Linux a crime...
Dub, Jan 12 2011

       [Vernon] I don't understand. You're agreeing that the idea wouldn't work in the case of 19th century American slavery, but it would work OK in classical Greece or Rome? No, that can't be what you mean, since you clearly don't think you agree with me, even in part.   

       In any case, I don't think I got my point across. I'll try again, using more words this time. The quoted passage says "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" and expects the gander, once liberally sauced, to see the light and agree. The problem is that *you* see only "sauce" while the gander distinguishes between "goose-sauce" and "gander-sauce." If you sauce the gander, he'll accuse you of using gander-sauce, which is bad, without abandoning his belief in the rightness of goose-sauce. So I claim; in the end, it's just my opinion about how the psychology of the thing would work.   

       (And I wouldn't expect the gander to acknowledge that ganders and gooses are almost-the-same. People have an enormous ability to magnify those differences self- servingly. Try telling a Spartan, or a Roman citizen he's essentially the same ethnic group as his slaves, and I retro- predict you will have done gotten an angry reaction.)   

       Anyway ...   

       Would slavery, under the generalized exception rule, be a system where a slave could own a slave? And *only* a slave could own a slave? So the graph of slave ownership would be cyclic? Now that IS an interesting idea. If A owns B, and B owns C, does A own C? Both "yes" and "no" lead to difficulties, although "yes" leads to more interesting difficulties. I think it might be possible to prove that, under that system, some "slaves" are actually free (because they own their owner) -- but other slaves are really slaves. Which would defeat the purpose of the idea. You'd have somehow to enforce a network topology in which *all* slaves owned their owner. Which would be, really, a rather elegant way to sauce the gander.
mouseposture, Jan 13 2011

       [mouseposture], I said that you were erroneous in implying that Europeans only wanted Africans as slaves. And I also pointed out that Europeans had a history of enslaving other Europeans, which means you were erroneous two different ways. Basically/simply, when the Americas were settled a lot of people wanted to own slaves, and they weren't as fussy as you indicated. Have you never encountered the phrase "debt slavery"?   

       The primary reason they focused on Africans was that they were distinctive in appearance, compared to Europeans. If such a slave tried to run away, identifying him or her was greatly simplified by that distinction. In theory the same logic could have applied to Native American slaves, except they mostly preferred to die rather than be slaves (no profit in it!).   

       Various African cultures had a history of enslaving each other, though, so such slaves were more accepting of the situation (except that the Europeans didn't treat them as well as they were expecting, based on the ways their own cultures dealt with slavery).   

       As you may have noticed, the Generalized Exception Rule is a bit self-contradictory, since while it plainly indicates that someone wanting to own a slave should become a slave, there is no indication of who should own that slave, or how the Rule could allow it, unless, as you indicated, the slaves owned each other. (Likewise, it would be legal for thieves to only rob each other, for murderers to only kill each other, etc.)   

       Almost perfectly Half-Baked, therefore!
Vernon, Jan 13 2011

       Yeah they get 12 cents per hour, room and board, and personal security service.
rcarty, Jan 13 2011

       [21 Quest], [rcarty], the mere fact that the US Constitution allows prisoners to be treated like slaves doesn't mean it has to happen. It HAS happened in various times/places --look up "chain gang", especially for a time after the Civil war, mostly in the South when the prisoners happened to be of African descent. To the extent it happens less today, GOOD. But the allowing of it is still on the books.
Vernon, Jan 13 2011

       I don't know about this V. It seems like your post is suggesting the same thing the American prison system does already: violating the rights others should not be allowed except to those who violate the rights of others. Which is what the American prison system does. But then your idea is actually recursive suggesting those who administer the generalized exception rule should be punished in turn. Where does it stop: robots that self destruct after meting out generally exceptionalized justices?
rcarty, Jan 13 2011

       [rcarty], no you need to re-read my last post to [mouseposture]. There is nothing in there about ordinary folks doing bad things, and thereby getting caught in the kind of expanding out-of-control spiral you hint at.   

       [bigsleep], not quite, since the link is sort of a command to do something, not a rule regarding mostly not doing something. There is no reason for an ordinary theft victim to take up theft to get even with a thief. But it is perfectly appropriate for a thief to rob another thief, though.
Vernon, Jan 14 2011

       [bigsleep], I think that “men” in that context should be interpreted as meaning “your social equals”. The lower classes, foreigners and sub-humans were, like the animals, created to serve their betters. Note also that the passage explicitly permits the subjugation of women and children.
pocmloc, Jan 14 2011

       [bigsleep] I was referring to your quoted text; I too did not click on the link. About the Black president, I am always intrigued that Black and White seem to have unequal semantic range. But not living in the USA it is hard to understand the social and cultural background.
pocmloc, Jan 14 2011


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