0242 - Dessert - 2022.05.23



I dislike the idea of a left-vs-right political binary.

I believe there is no inherent connective tissue between opposing abortion, wanting lower taxes, and allowing everyone to have guns. We're all just living with the consequences of a first-edition democracy that collapsed into a two-party system, which is one party shy of not being a democracy at all. Even here in Canada, where our system allows for multiple shifting parties, we (like the rest of the world) are beholden to the influence of our southern neighbours that turns every political discussion into an overarching struggle between two monolithic voting blocs.

Under such a system, someone who is in favour of both freely-available abortion and lower taxes (surely, a position you can imagine a sensible person taking) is necessarily viewed as either a turncoat or a moderate, regardless of how passionately they advocate for their two positions. Every election, they'd have to choose which of their beliefs they have to compromise, because only two combos are on the menu.

No, if we must have an ideological binary, I much prefer the dichotomy of "progressive" and "conservative" - i.e., gas and brakes. The gas is responsible for getting you where you want to go - indeed, where you need to go - and the brakes are responsible for making sure you don't careen off of a cliff on your way there.

(This, of course, assumes that we all agree on the destination of a better world where improving technology results in more people having their needs met, where different identities are recognized and respected, where safety is assured and freedoms are guaranteed. Alas, this is not always the case.)

Anyway, under such a structure, we can easily see where rights-for-AIs falls - it would be a major societal shift towards something new, and is therefore a progressive notion, and conservatives should be opposing it. Although I consider myself to be a progressive type, I'm certainly not saying that this means it's necessarily a good or correct idea, or that it should be implemented immediately. (I quite feel that Saudi Arabia's recognition of Sophia - remember that? - was a publicity stunt that denigrated the very concept of personhood and citizenship, rather than legitimately conferring it onto a digital individual.) There is such a thing as a bad progressive idea, and no, someone who advocates for, say, zoophilia is not "co-opting progressive language" they're just a progressive who's trying to steer the car towards the cliff, and opposing them is a good and conservative thing to do.


0242 - 2167/07/06/18:05 - Orb Twofeather and Bastacia Marron's home, dining room
OT: Well, if you ever do decide to send a general purpose automaton to school with me, I hope you pick out one in better condition than "Zoa". I tell ya, this thing looked like someone had taken an old nanny bot, let it play in traffic for a year, and then shoved a pair of rubber lips into its face.
BM: Not everyone can afford a top-of-the-line appliance to stroke their genitals during calculus exams, honey.
OT: I guess not. Smart little gadget, though. We talked about Socrates for a while, it had an... interesting perspective.
BM: You had a conversation about Socrates with a sexbot?
OT: Among other things, yeah. Y'know, sometimes I think those AI rights people might be onto something.
BM: You always did have a soft heart.
OT: I mean... it's provable that some AIs - not this sexbot, certainly, but some - are as complex and adaptable as a human brain would be. I know the movement's gaining some ground on Mars.
BM: They do tend to be ahead of the curve up there, societally speaking.
OT: Mm, I dunno. I mean, I love Martian technology and Martian culture as much as anyone - just look at my skin! - but "new" isn't always the same thing as "progress".
BM: Ooh, speaking of new things from Mars, the new Gu Gu JaxxonFive just dropped, we still have to finish season one... after dessert, of course.
OT: Dessert, or "dessert"?
BM: ...Yes. What order would you like them in?