04 December 2004
We don’t need no legislation

Seeing as no one else has spotted what Brian was really getting at (or, at least, what I think he was getting at) in his piece on Lycos’s spam-busting screen saver, I suppose it falls to me.

What he is actually saying is that not only do we not need the state to enforce the law but we don’t need the law in the first place.

You see cyberspace is a bit like a Hobbesian state of nature.  The forces of law and order are so far behind the game in both the “force” and “law” sense that they might as well not exist.  But is Cyberlife nasty, brutish and short?  Not really.  The only real problem in our Cyberanarchy is the spammers and it looks like Lycos is about to give them a sound kicking.  Problem (possibly) solved.

So, if is true that the virtual world doesn’t need the state why shouldn’t the same be true of the real one?

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