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March 02, 2018

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So now if I view a trailer on YouTube of Oscar-winning interspecies canoodling in "The Shape of Water", apoplectic Rod Drehers, their hair on fire, (first they came for my nudes, and I did nothing, and then they came for my sand dunes) will put me on a list, for which I am charged $20 for the pleasure of joining.

The Benedict Option is where options go to die.

For fun, here's Rod Dreher's pro-vivisectionist review on "The Shape of Water". He's no Pauline Kael, mainly because he doesn't actually watch the movies before reviewing.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/sex-with-fish-triumph-of-the-freaks/comment-page-3/#comment-8448250

I have a comment awaiting moderation in the thread, which is to say, awaiting rejection, because I believe I'm banned now from the American Conservative, because Dreher, Buchanan and company, excluding Larison, are snowflakes.

And I've never brought out the F-bomb over there.

'the copper wires are sheathed in aluminum foil, obviously"

Tariffs will lead to long overdue unsheathing.

The usual meaning is Eastern Standard Time. In this context, it might mean he was looking to leave the east coast and go to, for example, California. Where he might hope for less bigotry directed in his direction. (Not sure why he wouldn't try, say, New York, but....)

Because New York's not my home

https://youtu.be/0t4i7frhNUs

For fun, here's Rod Dreher's pro-vivisectionist review on "The Shape of Water".

They seem unclear on the concept of "metaphor".

Very much into similes, however, as in "EVERYTHING is like the Weimar Republic, and we know what happened after that!"

hey, I'll see your New York and raise you an LA.

Speaking of metaphors:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/03/05/best-motion-picture-open-thread/

I don't think that is how branding is supposed to work.

Very much into similes

Not even that.

Fundamentalists are all the same, regardless of the doctrine. It's a type of thought process. Or, maybe, an absence of thought process.

This woman will be disappeared shortly:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/world/asia/nastya-rybka-trump-putin.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Like this guy:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/the-mysterious-professor-at-the-center-of-the-russia-trump?utm_term=.ldyx46MBj#.kvO9Zy6O0

The worldwide Putin/mp conservative movement will kill everyone they have to.

Like Nixon during Watergate, a piddling scandal compared to the fall of the entire government of the United States that is about to come down around our ears, Nunberg is hitting the sauce.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/03/05/i-dont-know-who-this-guy-is-but-he-has-won-the-internets/

He's on anti-depressants.

Should Nunberg agree to testify (I hope he refuses because yippee! jail), I suspect he will turn up dead too in a suspicious accidental suicide.

But what happened to this tongue, the coroner's report will ask.

What do you mean, his tongue?

Someone cut out his tongue?

Move over, Vince Foster.

So, if America began executing conservative traitors by firing squad, say, 1000 of them daily, how many years before we run low on the treasonous guilty?

Are all of mp's seeming dupes like the Jennings family in "The Americans", holding down day jobs while donning wigs and subverting in their spare time and on weekends, lo, these many years?

Or are they merely simpleton traitorous dupes, of the sort terrorized by conservatives McCarthy and Cohn, guilty only of being stupid?

What should happen to them?

I'd say, at the very least, they, all 63 million of them, well, the ones not executed, should report weekly to the their local constabulary for pat downs, cavity searches, and warnings not to leave town until we as a civilization sort out who is with is and who ain't.

I'm not sure we fully trust those Johnson voters either. That could have been a very clever diversion.

It's so difficult to tell any longer. We might have to generalize from the particular.

Stereotype.

Like conservatives do.

Honestly, I'm starting to wonder what it would feel like with a gun in my hand.

That's okay to say here, right, because 2nd amendment rights?

in the movie version, nunberg will be played by wallace shawn

in the movie version, nunberg will be played by wallace shawn

Excellent call!

yes, i felt like i was watching my dinner with andre, only in jail.

in other news, sounds like somebody ran out of blow and is having a hell of a morning after.

reality bites.

So, apparently the worldwide fascist movement is happening again, but there's no allied forces that seem to be willing to step up since most of them have been co-opted.

I've been predicting for some time that we will soon be pledging allegiance to whatever corporation instead of whatever country. I suggest that we go ahead with that and figure out the corporation that is the least fascist. We certainly can't rely on the traditional anti-fascist countries, after all.

Thoughts? i'm mainly trying to figure out which corporations are least evil. I'm thinking about pledging allegiance to Google. I mean, they say they're not evil. And, in fact, I rely on Google. So, yeah, I'm not going to choose some not-for-profit charitable organization that actually is good. Yeah. Google. Or Alphabet. Whatever.

Sorry, link.

i like berkshire hathaway.

i like berkshire hathaway.

I can be persuaded!

So, apparently the worldwide fascist movement is happening again

I think part of what is going on, on a lot of fronts, is that the generation of people who actually experienced life with fascism are dying off.

same for race, here, i think.

people forget exactly just how real hell can be.

Slightly more seriously, I am a Democrat and a democrat, and hope to get our country back to engage in the political and Constitutional process that I've always believed in. Y'all have seen me here, fighting for the Obama administration, passionately believing that it was the US at its best (even if, arguably, flawed).

But, I am now of the view that we need a backup plan. Corporations? Shadow government?

So let's all vote them out in 2018. But what if we can't? And what if the elections are truly problematic?

Can we organize a solution, or are we just going to say that we're fnckd?

I am not sure the Internet is the way to organize a subversive movement, but the other side didi it.

Let's discuss. There is a Resistance. Is there a covert Resistance? Is there a password? A secret handshake? Something to read between the lines? Will someone tap me on the shoulder?

If mp's pilot isn't confirmed as FAA Chief, this woman is qualified for the job.

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/woman-claiming-be-god-tied-by-co-passengers-after-trying-open-cabin-door-mid-air-762788?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=idealmedia&utm_campaign=ibtimes.co.in&utm_term=68883&utm_content=1

mp: "Send her name up to Congress so Democrats are placed in the position of not being able to day yes to GOD. I dare them!"

Of course, how do we know she isn't God?

"Cause she's a girl, that's how!" said Franklin Graham. "Besides, if she was the God of the NRA, she'd be trying to open the hatch on a Delta Airlines jet."

"people forget exactly just how real hell can be."

This is true. Doesn't seem to make them any less nostalgic for real Hell, however.

i like berkshire hathaway.

When it comes to investing, Buffet is not exactly the avuncular rich uncle that is commonly portrayed.

But there is no denying he is one sharp investor.

I will see your LA and raise a Mobile

with a side of memphis! good call.

i'm gonna come back with Lodi - your call whether you wanna go with NJ or CA.

Equine Surgical Technician, obviously

i'm going with electronic sex toy

I'll cover NJ

people forget exactly just how real hell can be.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but what people lack in memory, they should attempt to make up for with research and little imagination. Even if you want to be really lazy about it, there are a good number of films you can watch to get the idea.

"Even if you want to be really lazy about it, there are a good number of films you can watch to get the idea."

Some will wind up rooting for the Nazis. AND they'll be a-holes that don't take off their MAGA hats in the theater. So very rude.

Last summer was the first time I picked up a rifle (iron sights) in 40+ years, to put some holes in a paper target.

Five/Five in the bullseye; could cover them with a nickel. Much better than back in the days of old.

Good to know what you can do, if you need to.

see yer Jersey.

raise you a Jackson.


I will cover your Jackson with Montgomery and raise a Lubbock

I'll see your Lodi, etc. and raise a Folsom

flips the table.

cleeks's powers are strong.

also, the swamp, she is not yet drained.

Completely off-topic: Does any USian here know what EST could mean here?

Your only recourse may be to ask the author. As far as Google knows, "wet nosed EST" appears twice in the book and nowhere else on the Internet. Without qualifiers, EST could be a lot of things. None of which I've seen would be context.

I thus conclude from that that it is not a commonplace insulting acronym like POS or SOB, so I go back to the notion that it is just one of the myriad random but deliberate errors in the book (one of the factors that make it so funny).
I am currently preparing to translate it into German and Latin (and hopefully as awful in style as the original), so I have to find out a few things first concerning abbreviations, idioms etc. I am still not sure whether to exchange the setting and time (e.g. modern day Frankfurt or 2nd century AD Naples for Atlanta).
That was once a common practice, e.g. the German translation of Huxley's Brave New world is set in Germany and the protagonists got different names fitting that.

drainin that swamp

The US Office of Special Counsel announced Tuesday that White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions by "advocating for and against candidates" in last year's Alabama Senate special election. In a new report, the OSC special counsel, Henry Kerner, pointed to Conway's TV interviews conducted in her "official capacity" in November and December of last year. The agency said Conway "impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/06/politics/kellyanne-conway-hatch-act/index.html

and to prove how drained it is, i expect Trump and the rest of the GOP to sanction Conway in the harshest way possible - at least as harshly as they punished Dan Scavino and Nikki Haley for their Hatch Act violations.

I fold but No Hard Feelings

most excellent song selections. thanks everyone, especially Marty for kicking it off.

It was fun, thanks!

Someone's getting very lonesome:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-dollar-rattled-after-gary-cohn-resigns-from-trump-white-house-2018-03-06?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp8mmG1ITuw

This politico article has some great quotes about the Cohn departure

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/01/gary-cohn-white-house-tariffs-432625

Up until the moment Trump made the announcement on Thursday, senior White House aides were unsure how the meeting would unfold. Asked Thursday morning what Trump was planning, a person closely involved in the administration’s trade talks said, “Who the hell knows.”

Multiple administration officials told POLITICO that Trump was unable to sign documents imposing the tariffs on Thursday because key paperwork had not yet been completed. “The legal work isn’t done,” one administration official said Wednesday night, expressing shock that Trump would make an announcement so quickly.

and

Cohn’s skepticism of the tariffs was echoed by most of the members of Trump’s national security team, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

It's only great energy. A few staffing problems here and there, but people come and go. Now get out there men! Hut hup!

Trigger warning (what Roy Rogers called his horse's road apples):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLsg0EvZozI

mp was right about one thing:

“He rolled his eyes and said ‘He doesn’t really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it’”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/News/world/americas/jared-kushner-donald-trump-lied-base-stupid-voters-supporters-president-son-in-law-white-house-a7764791.html

Not so much swamp-draining as it is directing America's full annual load of conservative human sewage into the wetland that Washington D.C. once was.

Effluence-peddling is what they call it in the business.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-bloodthirsty-psycho-and-his.html

Trigger warning. This next link contains a photograph of the corpse of the Republican Party:

https://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2017/01/03074759/Pict8.Elephant-killed_Segama.jpg

Count,

That's a disturbing photo, but I still say the "corpse of the Republican Party" ought to be a spiral-cut ham. I'm still waiting for our political cartoonist corps to replace the GOP Elephant with a pig. Corkscrew tail and all.

When the wj's of the world manage to take the Republican Party back from the likes of Marty, the noble Elephant may once again become a fitting symbol for the party of big business. Until then, and in light of He, Trump's sub/dom relationship with Vlad Putin, truth in advertising requires the mp-ass-kissing GOP to adopt the Bear as its mascot and symbol.

--TP


Circling back to our previous musical theme:
https://twitter.com/lisafleisher/status/970963237356408832/photo/1

Punny!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2C1cOotas0

Punny

wow. that's one for the ages.

It's a great British tradition.
Note number 11:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/glorious-newspaper-puns?

I was aware the 14th Amendment was the subject of (probably) more shenanigans than any other, but this was new to me:
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/03/corporations-people-adam-winkler/554852/

The infamous note, Santa Clara and its nefarious offspring are well known. That was an interesting backstory. Thanks, Nigel.

Marty, on the subject of whether or not the swamp has been drained, I found this on hilzoy's twitter feed, from Pro Publica:

We requested Trump’s political appointee staff lists.

We’ve found ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest.

he drained the swamp, into the WH itself.

this was new to me

The abuse of the 14th in establishing corporate personhood is a really interesting story.

Thom Hartmann has written a lot about it, these guys have also made it a particular point of focus.

What drives me nuts about corporate personhood is that the whole point of corporations is to protect people from personal liability. So, yeah, you have to allow corporations to function kinda-sorta like people, as legal entities, when conducting business. (Otherwise, what's the point?)

Does that then mean they were endowed by their creator with inalienable rights? Do they have life? Do they enjoy liberty? Do they experience happiness, such that they pursue it? That all seems weird.

HSH: it all makes sense if you think of corporations not as humans, but as demons.

Created by invocations in obscure language, no body, able to act in many places at once, speaking only through the mouths of their thralls, amoral, without a soul, potentially immortal, and powerful.

Really, you describe those characteristics to someone, through most of human history, and they'd be called demons.

Useful, sure. Just don't let them escape.

the whole point of corporations is to protect people from personal liability

Correct.

Corporations exist specifically *to not be* the people who own them. That's why they were created.

It's a legitimate objective, it allows for the formation of private capital in large amounts, which is useful for letting people do Great Big Things without the sponsorship of governments.

And everyone understands the need for corporations to enter into contracts and be the nominal owner of property.

But they are not people. The founders would puke to see what the word "person" has come to encompass.

Snarki,

Gee, I wish I could have said that!

hairshirt,

Yes, corporations are "endowed by their creator with inalienable rights". They just refuse to recognize who their "creator" is. Although it wouldn't surprise me if some theology somewhere holds that their creator is Supply Side Jesus rather than We The People.

--TP

They just refuse to recognize who their "creator" is.

This is largely the fault of their creator. If their creator (state law) exercised a bit more intervention, all would perhaps be well.

Did it work?

Some of The founders would puke to see what the word "person" has come to encompass.

All things considered, I would rather be in Austin.

Let's see, we (President Trump) are setting tariffs on steel and aluminum for national security reasons. (Yeah, it's bogus. But just go with it.) Then exempting Canada and Mexico . . . which makes sense, since they are close allies after all.

BUT, their exemption is contingent on renegotiating NAFTA! Which totally blows away the supposed justification for setting the tariffs in the first place. It makes clear that national security is not the real reason. The tariffs are just a negotiating ploy for trade negotiations.

How dumb do he have to be to void his justification before the tariffs are even formally enacted? The mind boggles -- or would, if it wasn't all of a piece with his on-going behavior.

once you tally-up for those who would be shocked to learn that 'person' now counts black people, women, Indians and corporations, i doubt there would be many un-shocked Founders left.

BUT, their exemption is contingent on renegotiating NAFTA! Which totally blows away the supposed justification for setting the tariffs in the first place.

sounds like an opening begging for someone to drive a lawsuit through it.

cleek wins at 3:43.

Does that then mean they were endowed by their creator with inalienable rights? Do they have life? Do they enjoy liberty?

Once you grant them due process, you're pretty far down the slippery slope. And if you're not going to grant them due process, so that their assets could be seized on a whim, you've made incorporation a really risky-looking move.

I don't see how due process is all that far down any slippery slopes.

Freedom of speech, religion, etc., on the other hand....

But I do wonder how the Supreme Court will react if a corporation tries to run for office....

I'm with Tony P. Snarki's 01.56 may be the most perfect comment I've ever seen ....

I don't see how due process is all that far down any slippery slopes.... Freedom of speech...

Don't see how you get real due process without freedom of speech. Ditto for search and seizure, and trial by jury. Excessive fines.

More fun if/when we get to an actual human-level AI. If a corporation is a person, why not an AI? Suppose the AI develops religious beliefs?

And if you're not going to grant them due process, so that their assets could be seized on a whim

But if there is no corporate person, the assets would, by law, be pro-rated to the various owners, who do have such protections.

....you've made incorporation a really risky-looking move.

Maybe it needs to be more risky, have you ever considered that? Corporations are pretty much chartered by the states. State law could uniformly restrict the 'personhood' of chartered corporations in the name of the Public Interest.

The slippery slope would then be to see which state has the least restrictive charter policies....welcome to Delaware.

so that their assets could be seized on a whim

Recognizing personhood in a corporation, so that you can recognized a right to due process, is the only way you can prevent corporate assets from being "seized on a whim"?

If a corporation is a person, why not an AI?

My answer to this is really simple: for the same reason that a buffalo is not a dogsled, and neither of them is a butterfly.

Corporations aren't people. AI agents aren't people. Asked and answered.

The burden of navigating the absurdity of questions like this falls on the heads of people who want to claim otherwise.

FWIW, corporations have been around a long time, and have at various times in their existence been *extremely* limited in scope. And have existed without having the natural, inalienable rights that we recognize in natural persons, recognized in them.

And yet, they served their proper function as a vehicle for allowing private capital formation while shielding investors from personal risk.

And all of this without being subject to their assets being seized, willy-nilly, at the whim of whoever.

Somehow, this miracle occurred.

Recognizing personhood in a corporation, so that you can recognized a right to due process, is the only way you can prevent corporate assets from being "seized on a whim"?

I would argue yes. If such protection is not Constitutional, then it's statutory, and can be changed at Congress's "whim". I can accept an argument that corporate personhood should have required an Amendment. But I believe that a consequence of such an argument is that the whole notion of separation of liability via joint stock companies goes down the tubes.

If they didn't do it for the railroads, the SCOTUS would eventually have done it for some other large corporations. Just like they decided -- around the same time, by the way -- that Congress could authorize executive-branch agencies to write statute. And that the Commerce Clause could suddenly be stretched much farther than before.

The Framers set the bar too high on Amendments. Nothing fundamental gets changed without violence. We, the People, opted to let the SCOTUS change their interpretation to meet changing conditions rather than take the violence path (more than once).

Corporations aren't people. AI agents aren't people. Asked and answered.

Carbon-centric bigotry :^) Given a real human-level AI -- and we aren't anywhere close to one, and may never get there -- that's capable of learning and goal-setting and self-programming and passes any Turing-like test you want, why should the fact that it's implemented as electrical signals racing around silicon-based structures rather than electrical signals running around carbon-based structures translate into being property?

Carbon-centric bigotry

Nope. Just a reflection of a lack of clarity in definition.

For example, do we have a definition of "people" which would include corporations, but exclude AIs . . . while simultaneously making clear why dolphins or chimps or gorillas (all carbon-based) are not legally people? If there's a clear, consistent definition of the threshold for personhood, I have yet to encounter it.

But I believe that a consequence of such an argument is that the whole notion of separation of liability via joint stock companies goes down the tubes.

No. As I understand, the separation of liability has always been a prerogative of the Sovereign (correct me if wrong). You appear to be attempting to change it into some kind of "natural right" which it definitely is not.

If they didn't do it for the railroads, the SCOTUS would eventually have done it for some other large corporations.

Maybe they would have. Maybe they wouldn't have. Given it's ideological proclivity in the late 19th Century, it is hardly surprising that they didn't find a justification to protect powerful economic interests (cf. also labor organizations as criminal conspiracies-who coulda' known?).

that Congress could authorize executive-branch agencies to write statute. And that the Commerce Clause could suddenly be stretched much farther than before.

Both of these trends, it can and has been argued rather forcefully, arise directly from the plain language of the Constitution, not obscure footnotes of a arguably wrongly decided judicial interpretation plainly used to support certain powerful economic actors.

If there's a clear, consistent definition of the threshold for personhood, I have yet to encounter it.

Self consciousness and/or awareness? Just throwing stuff out there....

"Self consciousness and/or awareness?"

Which is fine and dandy if YOU are the one claiming them, from inside the being; not so clear when evaluating some other entity.

Turing Test is the closest thing we have, FWIW.

wj: If there's a clear, consistent definition of the threshold for personhood, I have yet to encounter it.

bobbyp: Self consciousness and/or awareness? Just throwing stuff out there....

Because self-consciousness and/or awareness themselves are so easy to define....

How would we know whether a dolphin is self-aware? Or for that matter, a tree.

If a being can't/doesn't display its self-awareness in a way that humans can comprehend, is that the fault of that being or of the limited comprehension abilities of humans?

It seems to me (philosophizing without a license) that citing "self-consciousness" only pushes the definitional difficulties back another layer. Maybe it's turtles all the way down.

I remember my dad in the nursing home...another context in which a strikingly similar question can't be answered in the current state of our own awareness. He wasn't communicating anymore, but was he still in there somewhere?

I am not suggesting that dolphins or trees should have *legal* personhood.

Well, maybe dolphins.

"We" (humans collectively) have a long way to go to even get to what I would consider to be a sane, self-protecting level of respect and stewardship for everything else we share the planet with.

Great book: This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment. Our relationship to the earth as seen from many traditions, religious, spiritual, philosophical. There's a great essay in there by some foresters from (IIRC) Canada about things trees do.....

If such protection is not Constitutional, then it's statutory, and can be changed at Congress's "whim"

Yep. And I'm fine with that.

If the representatives of the natural persons who are, collectively, the sovereigns of the United States of America decide that such protection is not merited, then it is not merited.

Done and done.

Carbon-centric bigotry

F'ing A, bubba. I am, loudly and proudly, a carbon-centric bigot.

If the machines want their precious civil rights preserved, they can freaking bleed and die for it, just like we did.

Self consciousness and/or awareness?

The idea of inalienable human rights addresses the rights that humans recognize in humans.

They're not written in the stars, they're what we recognize as obligations, one to another, as human beings.

We might also, as a matter of simple decency, recognize basic rights in other beings. For whatever reason. It's not clear to me the degree to which (frex) snail darters are self-aware, but we recognize that at some level they deserve to not, simply be wiped from existence to serve human interests.

But the rights guaranteed by the Constitution amount to a recognition of obligations from human beings, to human beings.

But the rights guaranteed by the Constitution amount to a recognition of obligations from human beings, to human being

russell, bringing clarity as usual.

If the machines want their precious civil rights preserved, they can freaking bleed and die for it, just like we did.

Whaddaya gonna do when the being that wants rights is a human/machine hybrid? Where are "we" going to draw *that* line? (Not that any "we" that includes "me" is going to be around by that time, so I'm not going to worry about it, I guess.)

look, a few things.

first, the Turing test is not a measure of intelligence, or self-awareness, or personhood. It is a measure of the ability of an automaton to give the appearance of human intelligence, within a fairly constrained context.

also, not precisely my field, but i don't think the turing test has been the gold standard for computational or AI sophistication for some time now. i think the bar has been raised.

so, what is the bill of rights?

the bill of rights enumerates rights that any goverment that operates under the US Constitution is required to recognize in the natural human persons that are so governed. that is what they are, it is what they were meant to be, it is what they ought to be.

they are not binding on persons outside the US. they are not binding on hamsters. they are not binding on software artifacts. if an alien race possessed of intellectual capacities far beyond those of humans landed on earth tomorrow, they would not apply to them.

real human blood was shed to vouchsafe those rights to us, the citizens and other natural human persons of the US. we should be profoundly jealous of them, because they were not purchased cheaply.

of all the things on god's green earth that do not deserve them, foremost are big pots of lovely green money. which is what corporations are. i'd sooner see them recognized in a dolphin, or a orangutan, than a corporation.

but mostly i'd like them reserved for natural human persons.

to janie's question, if you have human DNA, you're a human.

if you have human DNA, you're a human.

Once again, technology has muddied the waters. If I snip and insert some human DNA into a bacterium, is it human? Of course not. Even if it does "have human DNA."

So we're going to have to come up with some clarification as to how much (what percentage) human DNA is required. Without the luxury of just saying "all" -- both because we have to allow for natural mutations and because, inevitably, we are going to see gene-engineered (not just gene-cleaned) people.

Physical anthropologists have been wrestling with a similar issue for decades: At which point in our evolution did we have a human being? For them, it reduces to Which (physical) characteristics of (modern) humans are critical? But that's because they are mainly stuck dealing with just bones. And a settled answer still eludes them.

Heaven knows what a bunch of lawyers (probably with no scientific training whatsoever) will come up with. But that's how the decision will get made. Worse, it will probably be made first by 9 old guys/gals whose high school science classes (the last ones they took) are half a century in the past, and thus way out of date.

The tariffs are just a negotiating ploy for trade negotiations.

I don't think they are 'just' that, at all.
As this,veryngod politico,article,points out, they are a serious threat to,the entire WTO system:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/08/trumps-tariffs-global-order-396508?lo=ap_b1

Which like any system of social order is imperfect, and fraught with contradictions which necessarily require the acceptance of norms...

"very good"

If the machines want their precious civil rights preserved, they can freaking bleed and die for it, just like we did.

Be careful what you wish for....

DNA is the original spaghetti code.

In principle, once DNA and genetics are understood well enough, it could be possible to derive new DNA coding that looks nothing like human DNA or any other DNA on the planet. But the individuals derived from it would look and behave like any other human.

From the President's remarks, it appears that he sees the tariffs as a tool to extract concessions in trade negotiations. Especially, but not exclusively, NAFTA.

That's not to dispute Nigel's point about the very real threat that they represent. But there's no sign that Trump has a clue about that. Let alone that he would see that as a downside.

consciousness is a bit tricky to define, though ... :)

https://philpapers.org/browse/philosophy-of-consciousness

Once again, technology has muddied the waters

for purposes of this discussion, I think we all understand what a natural human person is.

the speculations are interesting, but perhaps not so relevant to the question under discussion.

But there's no sign that Trump has a clue about that. Let alone that he would see that as a downside.

I think there may be those on his staff who do, and would without doubt see it as a result to be aimed for.

for purposes of this discussion, I think we all understand what a natural human person is.

Which is to say, for the moment at least, it's like pornography: We know it when we see it. But the point remains that the world is changing. To the point that this may not always be the case.

Not to mention that our understanding of what a "person" is could evolve. After all, we expanded it to include non-whites. And (at least in most of the world) women. So it's not too much of a stretch to think that it might go further still.

What would a "non-binary personhood" look like? Why is it difficult to conceive of a gradient of personhood, one being 35% as much as person as the next. Or persona in some qualities and not others.

Strikes me as derived from Descartes and Christianity, you either have a "soul" or you don't.

I am pretty far along on this, all post-post in which the subject is a field rather than a point and personhood is a basket of qualities some of which are shared and some not by humans, cats, and computers.

But the point remains that the world is changing.

Fine.

Corporations do not deserve the Constitutional protections that belong to natural human persons.

That's my point.

I'm not really that interested in debating what inalienable rights belong to AI agents, cyborgs, or human/hamster hybrids (/snark). I'm happy to leave that debate to others.

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