By Nathan Barton
This was discussed in Laissez Faire today. It is incredible – and I was sure it must be from The Onion. (It was only in one of LF’s e-mail newsletters, so no link. But even New Scientist reported this. Gee, gotta be true.
They wrote: “Something groundbreaking and seemingly impossible just happened in Australia — physicists should pay close attention. According to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, 2 + 2 equals, wait for it, whatever the h*** he says it equals.
“Allow me to explain, as best I can, the sheer profundity — and what prompted this extraordinary (and Orwellian) statement.”
“The discussion of the day, you see, was end-to-end encryption, defined by Wikipedia as “a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers — including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service — from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.”
“When pushed by a tech journalist whether Turnbull could reasonably tackle the political problem of end-to-end encryption when service providers (like WhatsApp, for example) claim they can’t even, by design, break into messages on their own platforms — the Prime Minister puffed up his chest. “Well,” he said, “the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”
Oy vey, do I agree with the guys at LFB. They go ahead and use this bizarre business in Canberra to show that liberty has won a major battle and that lovers of liberty will use this as a springboard to win still more victories against the scumbag pieces of trash we call politicians, bureaucrats, law enforcement officers, and their contractors and minions and mentors. They are probably right.
But I want to talk, not about potential for more liberty, but rather about the arrogance of these pieces of trash in government.
And the stupidity.
I need to point out this is not new. I first ran into this stupidity years ago, when I went into private practice as an environmental engineer. It involved the laws of physics, not mathematics.
The state of Wisconsin – led by its wise, intelligent, and caring legislature (excuse me while I throw up) – had decided that the law of gravity was too restrictive, and so they repealed it, for certain cases. Groundwater, their law said, will only be contaminated with chemicals from various (favored) industries for ten feet down from the bottom of a pond, landfill, or factory. The contaminants (things like “heavy metals” that are called that because they ARE heavy) are not permitted (in Wisconsin, for selected sites) to be carried by gravity (and water) so deep. Or so their code and regulations say.
There are many other cases where the powers that be have either replaced or overridden natural law. Unfortunately, these modern political rulers are not as wise or understanding as ancient King Canute in England, who was astute enough to demonstrate to his fawning courtiers that no, he could NOT order the tide to stop coming in, and so got his feet wet. Not that King Canute proved especially wise in many other things.
It isn’t just physics and mathematics (and its related field of cybernetics) that is so disapproved of by government leaders, of course. The one single field of science (or quasi-science) that is most hated, feared, and repealed (ha-ha) by government is the field of economics. True, economics has few real laws – and way too many theories. But those laws are pretty essential and can’t actually be ignored. Consider the law of supply and demand. Or Gresham’s law (bad money drives out good). For millenia, governments (both kings and so-called republics and democracies) have attempted to get rid of those laws of economics, or work around them. And so far, have failed.
A strong argument for describing government as not just evil, but stupid. But exactly what you would expect of the powers that be – an expression of their arrogance.
And justification for rebelling against them. People this arrogant, this stupid, this divorced from reality belong in institutions – the kind with straight-jackets and padded walls. They are incapable of making rational decisions about their own lives, let alone decisions about ours. Indeed, their making decisions even about themselves and their families create dangers for us all.
Isn’t it time to find a nice safe place to put them where they stop harming everyone else?
Mama’s Note: How about a small deserted island? Nobody should be forced to support these people, of course, but we might chip in to buy them an island where they could grow their own food, etc. At least until they beat each other to death arguing about who was in control.