Benjamin Franklin

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PsychicEcho
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Joined: 04/05/2020

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

PublicLewdness
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Joined: 03/15/2020

In the software world I feel like security would be swapped with convenience. People give up liberty every day because they need to use a specific program or device. I'm as guilty as many although I am trying to change. Whenever someone asks what to expect if they go the free software route I always say "learn the word compromise".

commodore256
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Joined: 01/10/2013

They not only deserve neither and will soon lose both.

Enlightenment liberalism is pretty good, they respect property rights, but the problem was the enlightenment era had a different interpretation of property that was hypocritical. If you believe self ownership doesn't exist, you're exercising self ownership by having a slave labor system.

Slave owner: "Self ownership doesn't exist because I can have slaves"

Me: "By you having no slave master, you're exercising self ownership, and thus defeated your own argument".

Most contemporary enlightenment liberals believe in self ownership. and think "yeah, they were 99% right, it's just that 1% I strongly disagree with"

PsychicEcho
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I think we all need to learn to be both master and slave.

yeah I'm plenty guilty myself. All I can do is try to be better.

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

"Every slave may be reckoned a domestic enemy" --Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs, vol. II, p. 111.

Magic Banana

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Franklin was writing not as a subject being asked to cede his liberty to government, but in his capacity as a legislator being asked to renounce his power to tax lands notionally under his jurisdiction. In other words, the “essential liberty” to which Franklin referred was thus not what we would think of today as civil liberties but, rather, the right of self-governance of a legislature in the interests of collective security.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-ben-franklin-really-said

With software, freedom is a requirement for safety, at least safety against the developers of the software. Abusing users has become the main business model for proprietary software companies, especially those proposing it gratis, but not only.

Outside software though, there are trade-offs between freedom and safety. Take the current situation: when a pandemic strikes, it makes sense to give up some freedom of movement for all of us to be safer.

Here is another citation, from "On liberty" by John Stuart Mill, that actually defends the rights of the individual against the state (unlike the quotation of Benjamin Franklin)... but that actually argues that some liberty can be given up for safety (self-protection):

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page%3AOn_Liberty_(4th_Edition).djvu/21

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

> there are trade-offs between freedom and safety.

Indeed, the crucial words in Franklin's quotation are the qualifiers: "essential" vs. "little temporary".

The quote actually works surprisingly well both ways:

"Those who would give up essential safety, to purchase a little temporary liberty, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Me, adapted from Benjamin Franklin's Memoirs.

In fact it is not clear at all what "safety" the original quote was referring to, because the money raised was precisely reserved to protect the "Freemen of Pennsylvania" against the enemies (as it happens, the French). It seems that Franklin liked his own words so much that he had to paste them twice on the same page of his Memoirs, in case someone tried to cut them away.

PsychicEcho
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Joined: 04/05/2020

The problem here is, the elites know that people will surrender liberty in crises, and so they make sure crises will always exist.

How much illness is caused by lockdowns, isolation, loneliness, fear, anxiety, etc...

Isn't it funny how the elites are raising fear and awareness about the virus, but when it comes to their own industry, they couldn't care less about hygiene and safety.

Magic Banana

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Here in Brazil, the political and industrial elite downplays the pandemic. In particular, the president said the pandemic is a hysteria, a little flu, ..., and, three days ago (I translate):

Everything now is pandemic. That must stop. I lament the deaths. We will all die, one day, it is worthless to run away. We must stop to be a country of sissies.

That was the same day he was:

  • commemorating on Twitter his success in suspending the test of a vaccine against COVID-19 (developed in a state agency; the state being ruled by a political opponent), although there was no good medical reason (fortunately, the test resumed);
  • commenting on the declaration of Joe Biden about the destruction of the rain forest by saying (again, I translate) "When we run out of saliva, we must have gun powder, otherwise, it does not work".

Brazil is second in terms of deaths by COVID-19. Right after the USA, which recently decided to ditch their far-right troll. Like Bolsonaro, he was comparing the COVID-19 to the common flu.

PsychicEcho
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Joined: 04/05/2020

Much of that could just be political posturing. The virus is the big issue in public consciousness, and so a sort of theater is formed around it.

Magic Banana

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The virus is the big issue. It has already killed over 1.2 million people and, for one month, it has killed more and more every day.

lutes
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Joined: 09/04/2020

Indeed, and there are only good reasons to double check our sources in order to avoid getting drowned in all the surrounding noise.

Talking about which: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0300891620974755. So SARS-Cov-2 antibodies were found in samples from people in Italy taken as early as September 2019. So much for the "China virus".

PsychicEcho
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Joined: 04/05/2020

The easiest way to tell what the elite's intentions are, is to watch the mainstream media (for as long as you can stomach it) . "The media never lies" , even though it always lies.

Geshmy
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Joined: 04/23/2015

The statements below are only my humble opinions and may not reflect the views of this establishment.

I view Trump as a fascist and ultimately I suspect he would take away all liberties of people of color and people of a different spiritual persuasion as well as others who might be in his way. He would do that at first not because he is an elite, but because his actions are well received by a segment of people who are afraid of change and want to be his army.

I read a study about the elites that pointed out that they are not all united in their views of how the world should be. (Trump is not one of them but is another factor altogether.) Hence you have the more centrist media and you have msnbc and you have fox. The elites too are fighting and bickering within the system to try to get their way, so you have Soros and you have the Koch brothers (brother now). As a result, they really aren't in control of everything. If you think they are then there is no point to voting.

If we say something like, 'The media always lies,' then we are free to believe whatever we want and I see evidence that we can't be trusted. Benjamin Franklin might have been America's first media mogul. As an editor of the Constitution (mentor to Thomas Jefferson) I think freedom of the press to inform the electorate was an especially important idea to him. As a mason, he no doubt was not above using the press to influence opinions.

https://hbr.org/1995/05/why-the-news-is-not-the-truth:
"The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. That is the thesis advanced by Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), in his provocative analysis entitled News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works."

Even so, global pandemics weren't created by the media nor need to be created by governments. They are created by globalization. They are here and they are not going to go away. There are worse viruses out there than covid 19 that either haven't found us yet or are just establishing a foothold.

Americans need to wear their dang seat belts when using a car and wear a mask when going outside their bubble. Both actions in line with "That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

When the seat belt laws were passed, I felt my rights were being infringed upon. Lee Iacocca made his case somewhere that convinced me it was the right thing to do. Seat belts prevented head injuries. Hospitalization for head injuries runs up huge expenses that we all end up paying for. I don't have a right to make you pay for my head injury when I could have prevented it do I?

>With software, freedom is a requirement for safety
I agree totally unfortunately that freedom isn't established in the real world. When I last worked I did so at a computer running MS OS and proprietary applications. My safety was in being employed so I could support myself.

Re: "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin
I say its wisdom to pick one's battles wisely and be able to live to fight another day.

Geshmy
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Joined: 04/23/2015

Imagine a nightly newscast starting out like this, “This just in, more than a year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the US was reported in Snohomish County, Washington on Jan. 21 of 2020, we have just learned that 99.9986% of all Americans are still living. In other words just fourteen one hundredths of one percent of our total population has been lost due to Covid-19. For more on this we go now...”
No, of course the nightly news would not open like that. Its not crisis mode.
The statistic is real if I did the math right:
Total US deaths: 457,742 / aprox 330,000,000 total pop = .14% have died
Means 99.86% still living
I worked with information from worlometers.info.

Not that I want to make light of the situation, if you come to visit me, bring your mask and sanitizer and we’ll enjoy a visit outside with our face warmers on because its a little chilly and raining right now. I am old enough I really don’t want to get it, I want to remain a 99.86 percenter.

But here is another perspective, again using info from worldometers.info:
California Total Active Cases: 1,686,951 / Total Population: 39,144,818 = 4.31% of California is sick with Covid.
California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has divided the state into 5 regions. Here was the remaining capacity of hospitals* in the regions (on 1/15/21):

Northern California: 24.0%
Bay Area: 3.4%
Greater Sacramento: 6.2%
San Joaquin Valley: 0%
Southern California: 0%

So there were no open beds left in hospitals in Southern California or San Joaquin Valley, few around San Francisco and Oakland (the Bay Area) and not that many left around the capital city, Sacramento.

Sweden decided to try to protect the vulnerable and elderly and let everyone else get sick until enough people had developed the antibodies that they would reach a state of herd immunity. They since decided that wasn’t the right approach. I imagine that the overwhelming of their health care system pressured them to do an ‘about face’.

No matter where you are in the world I believe everyone is the same: life is sacred, if we have the opportunity to save a life, we are duty bound to do so. Maybe its in our DNA. Our health care systems are built on this and they are not adequate.

I blame Donald Trump for a lot of the situation we are in today. His wishy washy stance on mask wearing prevented the country from at least slowing the spread.

But we need to devote more resources to bettering our healthcare systems. I hope the current government takes steps to do that.

*See https://www.kcra.com/article/heres-a-look-icu-capacity-california-covid-19/34875735 last updated 1/15/21

SwissScientist
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Joined: 10/29/2020

Thomas Jefferson just told me he supports Trisquel 9. Good job LIBRE LEAH community.