An individual cannot choose to abstain from all nations’ governance. One must be a citizen of some country. This is fucked.

See: freedom as the only human right


  • There’s nowhere to go that isn’t some country’s territory
    • …With all of that country’s laws applying to you…
    • …so your available behavior and life choices will be limited according to those laws…
    • …so you can’t ever fully be in control of your available behavior and life choices.

I’m calling the above unfair. This begs some definition of what unfair means and if it is even a coherent idea… Because I can’t very well make accusations with a nonsense charge.

… … I sat on this line with a blinking cursor with the intention of describing what I think “fair” means, but I can’t begin to write anything at all.

It’s something about equal opportunity. Equal opportunity to do what, though? Engage in behaviors as desired by individual will and whim? I think it does come down to behavior (externally visible actions performed by one’s body), since thoughts, feelings, other internal states, etc are potentially entirely private given today’s technology. As soon as an internal state begins to manifest in behavior, it presents itself to the external world and results in subjecting the performer to scrutiny by others and/or intervention by the rest of the non-human external world (gravity, lions, lightning, etc.).

“it’s hinged by laws that are agreed-upon by people in a situation. having a scenario where both parties are adhering to the laws of the group/situation without giving one party a disadvantage. but it needs to be in relation to something else, right…? It can’t be in a vacuum. you’d need at least two parties.”

– jai-lee’s off-the-cuff answer when asked what “fairness” is.

She’s basically saying that fairness only exists in the context of societal laws, local governments, etc. If a baby was born on the moon, alone, fairness would be an incoherent concept for it.
that’s the problem, I’m saying it’s unfair to be pushed into a societal context - but on what grounds can I call it unfair if there’s no coherent idea of fairness outside a society of people?

Imagine there are two circles, each representing a different society. Inside each circle there is a valid definition of fair, unique to and applying only to that society. I’m drawing a meta-circle around both of those circles, saying, “The fact that I must exist inside one of these circles is Unfair.” To make that claim, there must be a definition of fairness that applies to me on the outside of those circles…
Ah, there’s my error in reasoning. I’m not outside those circles, I’m within another one which has the rule “you must be in A circle”, and that is what I’m saying is unfair (with “fair/unfair” defined elsewhere in my circle).

It’s weird that the circles (societies, I suppose) are defined by Terrestrial territory and likewise that all Terrestrial territories are encompassed by circles. That’s my gripe. There is no Terrestrial territory that isn’t encircled. [see: What the Hell is Murder Island?]

For now we’ll assume that fairness is a real thing and is well-defined somehow that we won’t get into.

definition of freedom:

You pop into existence as an adult in a white universe with no features whatsoever. There’s nothing preventing you from engaging in whatever actions of which your body is physically capable. This is a very boring but perhaps conceptually sanitary version of freedom. I would argue that if you popped into this same universe with one leg instead of two you’d be just as free. Just because your body could have been better, you’re still fully free to engage in whatever this body can do. If we were to disagree with that we’d open ourselves up to a slippery slope of infinite potential better states that we could have been in.
Alright, so we agree that without anything around to impinge on our body, we are in a state of absolute freedom. We could now “spawn in” objects to this white universe. You could pop in all sorts of objects, plants and animals and it would still seem clear that you still have absolute freedom. Unless… What if a whole bunch of rocks pop into existence completely surrounding you such that you can’t move at all. If you pop into existence in this situation, in what sense are you “free”, given that you can’t do much else other than think?
Let’s say you’re still “free” in this state, just very unlucky. Just so we can proceed - but this should be something we return to at some point because there are some important details here. There’s something about other agency that feels like it begins to encroach on your freedom.

…Okay, this is an entirely unfinished thought, but in the spirit of Evolving Posts, it’ll stay here anyway. Needs more on:

  • Other Agencies’ bearing on the definition of Freedom
  • related to above: can a lone individual be considered free? is it impossible for one individual within a group of two or more individuals to be considered free?
  • Should probably abandon the idea of freedom altogether until we first figure out what it even means for a definition to be true. Freedom might be valid within the realm of human imagination and societies, but nonsensical in physics and biology. In that sense there are Human Truths and Biological Truths and they don’t always overlap.
    • Interesting to consider the geography comprising a Human Truth and then consider that same geography through the lens of Biological Truth or Physics Truth and see if there’s anything unique about that geography that magnetizes bits of Human Truth to it.

entropy and natural state as freedom

  • a collection of organized atoms will move towards entropy if left unmolested.
  • this is their “natural” state. they are “free” inasmuch as they’re unmolested from the outside. (although “free” definitely feels better-defined when it endows choice on its object…)

^ After reviewing the bullet points a bit further up, it looks like I’m trying to maybe define Freedom using Physics Truth. I’m not sure I should do that. Not least of all because I’m not a physicist.