10 votes

Code is Speech?

20 comments

  1. [20]
    mercury
    Link
    This is a very interesting topic. The article only said the source code of the paper was declared to be equivalent to a natural language in terms of freedom of speech. Was there any mention of...

    This is a very interesting topic. The article only said the source code of the paper was declared to be equivalent to a natural language in terms of freedom of speech. Was there any mention of what it's views were on mathematics itself?

    Because so far as I understand, a piece of code is, in essence, a logical structure of things being computed in succession to produce some result.

    If we go into further lower levels of this, a running program is essentially electrons individually moving in a haphazard manner but collectively directed to become a meaningful signal (a 0 or 1). I wonder how anyone can logically justify this, as a purely philosophical (perhaps legal?) discussion, keeping aside the inherent immorality and evil-ness in banning code. Which, I confess, is nothing short of a laughable idea to me. I'm sure there must be more articles on the topic.

    2 votes
    1. Greg
      Link Parent
      That's a direct quote from the legal ruling in the article, which would seem to suggest mathematics (and music) have already been confirmed to come under the heading of "speech", and code was just...

      Like music and mathematical equations, computer language is just that, language

      That's a direct quote from the legal ruling in the article, which would seem to suggest mathematics (and music) have already been confirmed to come under the heading of "speech", and code was just being added to the club.

      9 votes
    2. [17]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      Isn't laws simplistic structures of what is considered shared values of society and ways to make society run more smoothly (or for the State to handle its citizens more smoothly)? I mean they...

      Isn't laws simplistic structures of what is considered shared values of society and ways to make society run more smoothly (or for the State to handle its citizens more smoothly)? I mean they don't follow an exact logic even at the best of time but are only an overarching model and approximation of realism that require a judge or similar to define how to best interpret them in that unique situation.

      So for example, anything can, with enough wrangling be pushed in to another section of the legal system, but its only through continuous testing of the laws that they can actually handle reality as every situation require a ruling - all this because any system that is trying to be used as part of reality is by its very nature either flawed, or it stops being a system and turns in to reality itself.

      So what is and isn't "free speech" is up to the individual ruling based on input from whatever legal structure is available.

      Should be noted: I am not a legal expert by any stretch of the imagination and I have a huge interest in those legal experts who are followers of the "by the word" philosophy (and especially grand jury members who believe that the US constitution should be considered holy script and there for any legal proceeding is based solely by what it says, not how its interpreted). It really makes me giddy thinking of people who think that by reading what they assume is the correct interpretation of legal tract they will be able to dodge any legal problems without a really good lawyer and a hunk of cash next to them.
      I'm just a RPG player who have several decades ago been forced to accept that any system that even strives for realism within the rules, not the ruling, will both fail and be boring AF.

      6 votes
      1. [16]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Could you please elaborate on this? How do you define "realism" in relation to systems of rules? Adherence to reality as we, humans of culture, interpret it?

        I'm just a RPG player who have several decades ago been forced to accept that any system that even strives for realism within the rules, not the ruling, will both fail and be boring AF.

        Could you please elaborate on this? How do you define "realism" in relation to systems of rules? Adherence to reality as we, humans of culture, interpret it?

        2 votes
        1. [15]
          ohyran
          Link Parent
          Oh that part I ment in connection to RPG's specifically. That realism is a boring quality when it's expressed through the rules due to increased complexity instead of a combination of random luck...

          Oh that part I ment in connection to RPG's specifically. That realism is a boring quality when it's expressed through the rules due to increased complexity instead of a combination of random luck or GM choice and interpretation (impacted by communication with players) - and that its impossible to get to a point where it actually makes sense without obviously being just a system.

          2 votes
          1. [14]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            Alright. So what's realism, in the context of RPGs? Is it adherence to the rules of the real world? Is it groundedness? Is it verisimilitude?

            Alright. So what's realism, in the context of RPGs? Is it adherence to the rules of the real world? Is it groundedness? Is it verisimilitude?

            1. [8]
              mrbig
              Link Parent
              That’s another endless discussion because in its core is a broad concept – reality – that seems to be different for each person.

              That’s another endless discussion because in its core is a broad concept – reality – that seems to be different for each person.

              1 vote
              1. [7]
                ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                That's what I'm asking: "what do you mean?".

                That's what I'm asking: "what do you mean?".

                1. [5]
                  mrbig
                  Link Parent
                  I believe the word “reality” is useless in this kind of discussion. It’s vague and dirty. An excuse for bad arguments.

                  I believe the word “reality” is useless in this kind of discussion. It’s vague and dirty. An excuse for bad arguments.

                  1. [4]
                    ThatFanficGuy
                    Link Parent
                    I'm not sure I understand your reasoning. @ohyran mentioned "realism" in relation to rule systems. I'm asking about realism in the context of his comment. What does it have to do with how vague...

                    I'm not sure I understand your reasoning.

                    @ohyran mentioned "realism" in relation to rule systems. I'm asking about realism in the context of his comment. What does it have to do with how vague the term "reality" is?

                    1. [3]
                      mrbig
                      Link Parent
                      The many different understandings of what constitutes reality are at play when someone decides to create or employ realistic rules for an RPG game, because different individuals can consider...

                      The many different understandings of what constitutes reality are at play when someone decides to create or employ realistic rules for an RPG game, because different individuals can consider vastly different approaches equally realistic.

                      1. [2]
                        ThatFanficGuy
                        Link Parent
                        Which is relevant to asking one particular person what they consider realism how?

                        Which is relevant to asking one particular person what they consider realism how?

                        1. [2]
                          Comment deleted by author
                          Link Parent
                          1. ThatFanficGuy
                            Link Parent
                            At this stage? Nah. Let's just leave it here, 'cause the whole conversation has been going for too long and exactly nowhere.

                            At this stage? Nah. Let's just leave it here, 'cause the whole conversation has been going for too long and exactly nowhere.

                2. mrbig
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I prefer one of its siblings: truth. An argument is true (or sound) when it uses a format in which true premises cannot lead to a false conclusion, and when all its premises are true (including...

                  I prefer one of its siblings: truth.

                  An argument is true (or sound) when it uses a format in which true premises cannot lead to a false conclusion, and when all its premises are true (including the conclusion).

                  Logic guarantees (or tries to) the correction of the argument, science guarantees (or tries to) that the premises correlate to actual states of things.

                  Boring, I know, but I’m not avant-garde :P

            2. [5]
              ohyran
              Link Parent
              I don't know... I mean realism as a motivation more than anything. I mean "realism" is vague AF, I mean I may for example love realistic reactions based on the characters stated opinions or...

              I don't know... I mean realism as a motivation more than anything. I mean "realism" is vague AF, I mean I may for example love realistic reactions based on the characters stated opinions or thoughts as in good roleplaying, but I don't like it when the game mechanics becomes too obsessed with trying to describe the real world effects since then you get stuck with these massive rule sets that are only fun if everyone knows them by heart so it breezes fast quickly.

              Which for something ment to be amusing doesn't sound like a good quality: "it passes quickly if you take the time to memorize it".

              I just prefer having the GM going, "ok roll a D12, if you roll under N, X happens and above N, Y happens, sound plausible?"

              But I may have hijacked this thread, sry :/

              1 vote
              1. [4]
                ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                In what sense? "You throw a fireball that way, and the wooden thing burns" – is that sort of real-world effect you're referring to? Or, I dunno, bullets hitting you in this or that spot causing...

                but I don't like it when the game mechanics becomes too obsessed with trying to describe the real world effects

                In what sense? "You throw a fireball that way, and the wooden thing burns" – is that sort of real-world effect you're referring to? Or, I dunno, bullets hitting you in this or that spot causing the character to experience this kind of bleeding and that kind of stagger?

                1. [3]
                  ohyran
                  Link Parent
                  well yeah.. but when the rules start to try to be as specific as possible. Ok so for example, one of my favourite combat systems ever is Unknown Armies v2 (I think 3 is the same but don't know)...

                  well yeah.. but when the rules start to try to be as specific as possible.

                  Ok so for example, one of my favourite combat systems ever is Unknown Armies v2 (I think 3 is the same but don't know) where damage is just a simplistic hit point system, but one that is handled by the GM. The player doesn't know how hurt he or she is, they are just told the effect of the hit. The weapon damage is fairly simplistic, and it's focus is on "randonmess" a gun can give both minute as well as massive amounts of damage.
                  In comparison with say, older system where all these things need to be exactly defined, the effects are defined by list crunching, with thousand and one effects where the system tries to weigh one weapon against another over and over.

                  (also the combat system in Unknown Armies is a thing of pure beauty as it starts with a one page text about "Why you're an idiot if you get in to a fight with someone" which is not only rare, its totally unheard of in RPG's)

                  1 vote
                  1. [2]
                    ThatFanficGuy
                    Link Parent
                    Would you prefer that the DM would adjudicate the effect you'd get in, say, D&D? There can be special circumstances, given that each game is a unique combination of characters, environments, and...

                    Would you prefer that the DM would adjudicate the effect you'd get in, say, D&D? There can be special circumstances, given that each game is a unique combination of characters, environments, and circumstances.

                    1. ohyran
                      Link Parent
                      I think I would prefer the DM to be fairly liberal and assume that the players trust his/her judgement. I mean that may be me, since the people I play RPG's with are people I've known... for over...

                      I think I would prefer the DM to be fairly liberal and assume that the players trust his/her judgement. I mean that may be me, since the people I play RPG's with are people I've known... for over two decades now, I kinda trust them totally IRL so in gaming that feels more fun to me as that safety exists there too.

                      (Hey so maybe we are now waaaaay off topic at this point... maybe we should wrap it up for now?)

    3. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This article talks about the possible consequences of a legal argument. Lawyers have a duty to defend the interests of their clients within the confides of the law. They must abide by legal and...

      This article talks about the possible consequences of a legal argument. Lawyers have a duty to defend the interests of their clients within the confides of the law. They must abide by legal and ethical standards, but are under no obligation to find the truth. That’s a responsibility of the justice system as a whole, and lawyers merely play their part. Including those employed by the EFF.

      To me, it is quite obvious that it’s a stretch to consider computer programs and mathematical equations speech in the common sense of the word. The inclusion of these categories under free speech is not a product of rigorous semantics, but of consequentialist considerations. It’s a stretch, but possibly a useful one in the context of the law.

      4 votes