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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The doormen of perception

In a sane society, you don't have the right to show "fire" in a crowded theatre and nor do you have the right to force (for example) airlines to respect your view that the world is flat. Developed countries live with a post-renaissance notion of scientific progress that rests on evidence and argument, not emotion and belief. However, here in Gordon Brown's Looking Glass Britain (the Land of Perverse Incentives), the institutionalising of stupidity of all forms has substituted for more traditional notions of progress.

A police worker who was sacked because he believed psychics can help solve criminal investigations is to go to court today to defend his right to legal protection from religious discrimination.

[From Man sacked for belief in psychics backed by judge (but, of course, he knew that would happen) - Home News, UK - The Independent]

You can see his thinking -- even without extra-sensory powers -- with absolute clarity. Nowhere does the inviolable law of unintended consequences exert such vengance as in the strange world of equality legislation, where hard cases make very bad law indeed. It's difficult to fault his logic, though: since you're not allowed to sack me for stupidity, because stupidity is my religion, I deserve recompense. It's only a matter of time before a burglar is able to demonstrate that his attraction to your property is a sacrament and therefore obtain similar legal protection.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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