Trope-a-Day: Precrime Arrest

Precrime Arrest: Well, while this sort of thing is easy enough to do with behavioral analysis software and ubiquitous computing and AI monitoring and all the other appurtenances of Citizen Oversight, obviously you can’t arrest people before the crime, having a great and tremendous respect for free will and all. That would be very bad form indeed. (I mean, if they were certain to commit the crime, that would be fine: under Imperial notions of the legal causality of intent, that’s why you can arraign someone for murder even if they were stopped before proceeding, but if they haven’t committed to their mens rea yet, it’s not a crime even if it was very likely to be, and free-will choices in critical moments are awkward that way.)

But there’s ain’t no rule saying you can’t quietly park a UAV with a stunner, say, in the air over people who are very likely to be about to commit crimes just in case, or quietly take other precautionary measures. If it turns out they don’t – well, no harm, no foul. That’s not an accusation, it’s just probability-based policing.

Trope-a-Day: Surveillance Drone

Surveillance Drone: Fairly ubiquitous, between the governance (for law enforcement, and externality monitoring, and infrastructure maintenance, and city management AIs, etc.; all Рdue to the transparency rules Рopen to general public use), odocorps, private security, edgehunters, newsies, vloggers, lifeloggers, and narcissists.

 

Contextual Discomfort

Just to clarify one point on that last:

There are various things in their context that I’d be a lot more uncomfortable with in ours. I wouldn’t trust pretty much any Earth/human government with a legal system like theirs, or ubiquitous public surveillance, or the whole concept of an iatropsychic branch, to name but three. 

But their context is different: the people are different, the institutions and safety-checks – like being overseen by a benevolent weakly-godlike collective-consciousness, for one – are different, and the entire cultural philosophy is different. 

So were I *there*, my views would differ. 

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