Frases de Charles Stross

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Charles Stross

Fecha de nacimiento: 18. Octubre 1964
Otros nombres:צ'ארלס סטרוס

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Charles David George «Charlie» Stross es un autor británico de ciencia ficción y fantasía. Ha ganado los premios Hugo y Locus[1]​[2]​[3]​[4]​

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Frases Charles Stross

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„“Well, moving swiftly sideways into cognitive neuroscience... In the past twenty years we’ve made huge strides, using imaging tools, direct brain interfaces, and software simulations. We’ve pretty much disproved the existence of free will, at least as philosophers thought they understood it. A lot of our decision-making mechanics are subconscious; we only become aware of our choices once we’ve begun to act on them. And a whole lot of other things that were once thought to correlate with free will turn out also to be mechanical. If we use transcranial magnetic stimulation to disrupt the right temporoparietal junction, we can suppress subjects’ ability to make moral judgements; we can induce mystical religious experiences: We can suppress voluntary movements, and the patients will report that they didn’t move because they didn’t want to move. The TMPJ finding is deeply significant in the philosophy of law, by the way: It strongly supports the theory that we are not actually free moral agents who make decisions—such as whether or not to break the law—of our own free will.
“In a nutshell, then, what I’m getting at is that the project of law, ever since the Code of Hammurabi—the entire idea that we can maintain social order by obtaining voluntary adherence to a code of permissible behaviour, under threat of retribution—is fundamentally misguided.” His eyes are alight; you can see him in the Cartesian lecture-theatre of your mind, pacing door-to-door as he addresses his audience. “If people don’t have free will or criminal intent in any meaningful sense, then how can they be held responsible for their actions? And if the requirements of managing a complex society mean the number of laws have exploded until nobody can keep track of them without an expert system, how can people be expected to comply with them?”“

—  Charles Stross
Chapter 26, “Liz: It’s Complicated” (pp. 286-287)

„“But then—you’re telling me they brought unrestricted communications with them?” he asked.
“Yup.” Rachel looked up from her console. “We’ve been trying for years to tell your leaders, in the nicest possible way: information wants to be free. But they wouldn’t listen. For forty years we tried. Then along comes the Festival, which treats censorship as a malfunction and routes communications around it. The Festival won’t take no for an answer because it doesn’t have an opinion on anything; it just is.”
“But information isn’t free. It can’t be. I mean, some things — if anyone could read anything they wanted, they might read things that would tend to deprave and corrupt them, wouldn’t they? People might give exactly the same consideration to blasphemous pornography that they pay to the Bible! They could plot against the state, or each other, without the police being able to listen in and stop them!”
Martin sighed. “You’re still hooked on the state thing, aren’t you?” he said. “Can you take it from me, there are other ways of organizing your civilization?”
“Well—” Vassily blinked at him in mild confusion. “Are you telling me you let information circulate freely where you come from?”
“It’s not a matter of permitting it,” Rachel pointed out. “We had to admit that we couldn’t prevent it. Trying to prevent it was worse than the disease itself.”
“But, but lunatics could brew up biological weapons in their kitchens, destroy cities! Anarchists would acquire the power to overthrow the state, and nobody would be able to tell who they were or where they belonged anymore. The most foul nonsense would be spread, and nobody could stop it—” Vassily paused. “You don’t believe me,” he said plaintively.
“Oh, we believe you alright,” Martin said grimly. “It’s just—look, change isn’t always bad. Sometimes freedom of speech provides a release valve for social tensions that would lead to revolution. And at other times, well—what you’re protesting about boils down to a dislike for anything that disturbs the status quo. You see your government as a security blanket, a warm fluffy cover that’ll protect everybody from anything bad all the time. There’s a lot of that kind of thinking in the New Republic; the idea that people who aren’t kept firmly in their place will automatically behave badly. But where I come from, most people have enough common sense to avoid things that’d harm them; and those that don’t, need to be taught. Censorship just drives problems underground.”
“But, terrorists!”
“Yes,” Rachel interrupted, “terrorists. There are always people who think they’re doing the right thing by inflicting misery on their enemies, kid. And you’re perfectly right about brewing up biological weapons and spreading rumors. But—” She shrugged. “We can live with a low background rate of that sort of thing more easily than we can live with total surveillance and total censorship of everyone, all the time.” She looked grim. “If you think a lunatic planting a nuclear weapon in a city is bad, you’ve never seen what happens when a planet pushed the idea of ubiquitous surveillance and censorship to the limit. There are places where—” She shuddered.“

—  Charles Stross
Chapter 14, “The Telephone Repairman” (pp. 296-297)

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