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Law and the Multiverse

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the canna-break-the-laws-o'-physics dept.

Books 92

An anonymous reader writes "jwz posted a link to this intensely nerdy blog co-authored by two attorneys who write about applying real-world law to comic books. Example topics include Mutants and Anti-Discrimination Laws (a three part series!), Is Batman a State Actor?, and Federalism and the Keene Act."

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92 comments

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How is this not idle? (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445202)

posting this in yro./. is like posting someone's pet theories on Hyper/Sub space in science./.

Re:How is this not idle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445220)

Because if it's Idle [wikipedia.org] , it's funny. I think this blog is being serious.

Re:How is this not idle? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445312)

I'm already convinced that Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, and Bush Sr. (among others, but you know, who comes to mind?) are all supervillains... so it stands to reason (to me) that superheroes are also possible, if vastly less probable.

Re:How is this not idle? (2)

Binestar (28861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446094)

Bill Gates has recently done a HeelFaceTurn [tvtropes.org] and is no longer a super villian. He is using his money for very good purposes [gatesfoundation.org] . Stop with the bashing.

Re:How is this not idle? (3, Informative)

dyfet (154716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446208)

Using his charity to both invest in and lobby for Monsanto and British Petroleum as a means of investing in private wealth to evade taxes and demanding nations change laws to suit his business needs before engaging in his self serving charity used as a mask for greed and malevolence worldwide. This would be the very business model of Lex Luther, if you ask me...

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

shnull (1359843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34470326)

batman asking for a warrant to arrest the joker, sounds like the next movie will even surpass the last one in boring then. How about the joker sueing batman for racism. Your honour, that bat doesn't like me cos i'm white !??!?

Re:How is this not idle? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446612)

I don't think that donating drugs to countries on the condition that they sign strong patent-protection treaties with the USA, crippling their local industry for a generation and meaning that they can't locally produce the same drugs and so are dependent on more 'donations' from the west actually counts as 'very good purposes'. But maybe your definitions are different.

Re:How is this not idle? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446642)

You cannot get immunizations from the Gates foundation unless your nation provides strong IP protection specifically to pharmaceutical companies. The stated goal is to wipe out certain diseases, but as long as there is this restriction then it is not workable.

I will not stop bashing an evil man who illegally acquired a fortune and who is clearly working for the powers-that-be. Otherwise, why let Microsoft off the hook? If Microsoft acquired its fortune illegally then so did Gates. Why would anyone highly placed in the federal government, especially John Ashcroft, care what happens to the fortunes of a geek like Bill Gates? There is only one logical reason, and that is that it somehow benefited the goals of his masters (the ones that sign the checks) to permit him to keep his fortune.

Bill Gates continues to believe (as you can see from his face) that he is entitled to his illegally acquired success. And clearly, so do you. But those are ill-gotten goods, and only more ill will be gotten.

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34450838)

Wow. That's straight tripping. Just a minor point, there was nothing illegal in what MS did, as they were aquitted by courts. Perhaps you can refer to the legislation that would highlight their illegal acts, if they have not yet been held accountable?

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34451422)

Just a minor point, there was nothing illegal in what MS did, as they were aquitted by courts.

Acquitted? I thought that being found to be an "illegal abusive monopoly" was a conviction? That was just in the U.S..

The E.U. also convicted them and fined them a quantity large enough to make them comply with court orders that they had been claiming they couldn't comply with.

So when and where were they acquitted?

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34451578)

Fair enough, I should not have said acquitted. However, they were not convicted of being a monopoly on their appeal, and then settled out of court. The funds were certainly not obtained illegally however, or they would have had to give them up. The EU conviction was bullshit, and about 10 years too late to be relevant.

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34455240)

Fair enough, I should not have said acquitted. However, they were not convicted of being a monopoly on their appeal, and then settled out of court.

Wrong again. The appeal confirmed the original judgment it only changed the sentence. It was NOT settled out of court in anyway shape or form. Check your facts.

The EU conviction was bullshit, and about 10 years too late to be relevant.

The EU judgment was delayed to give the U.S. the first go and when the DOJ went for a "slap on the wrist" after Bush (II) took power they took up the issue. If the U.S. had properly handled the issue the EU would have dropped it. Only because the U.S. dropped the ball did the EU carry on with it.

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34455442)

Wrong again. The appeal confirmed the original judgment it only changed the sentence. It was NOT settled out of court in anyway shape or form. Check your facts.

Yes, you really should check your facts, because your flat out wrong. The apellate court confirmed the findings of fact, but completely reversed the ruling.

The EU judgment was delayed to give the U.S. the first go and when the DOJ went for a "slap on the wrist" after Bush (II) took power they took up the issue. If the U.S. had properly handled the issue the EU would have dropped it. Only because the U.S. dropped the ball did the EU carry on with it.

The EU case started long after the US one had finished, in January 2009, investigating IE integration of all things. ridiculous, and far, far too late.

See metrix007 run like the cowardly troll he is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34458250)

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1888084&cid=34378092 metrix007: You're a troll that ran when he was confronted on his trolling there in that URL I just put up, because you weren't able to dispute and disprove what was posted and you were asked to. You talk a big game metrix007, but you can't even show anyone here that you've done more than those you called "ignorant and misinformed" in that URL above. Grow up, do something with your life, before you try to play "expert" with anyone here or elsewhere that have (which is what you tried above, and you ran, lol!). You're FAR from being able to judge others on technical expertise pal, above all else, just based on your trolling and running in the URL above I just posted

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34455446)

Oh, and yes they did settle out of court. From the wiki page:

On November 2, 2001, the DOJ reached an agreement with Microsoft to settle the case.

metrix007 runs like a beyotch as he trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34458264)

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1888084&cid=34378092 metrix007: You're a troll that ran when he was confronted on his trolling there in that URL I just put up, because you weren't able to dispute and disprove what was posted and you were asked to. You talk a big game metrix007, but you can't even show anyone here that you've done more than those you called "ignorant and misinformed" in that URL above. All you can do is use wikipedia to try to "play expert" here. You're FAR from being able to judge others on technical expertise pal, above all else, just based on your trolling and running in the URL above I just posted

You're being held accountable, and YOU ran, lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34452402)

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1888084&cid=34378092 [slashdot.org] You're the troll that ran when he was confronted on his trolling there in that URL I just put up, because you weren't able to dispute and disprove what was posted and you were asked to. You talk a big game metrix007, but you can't even show anyone here that you've done more than those you called "ignorant and misinformed" in that URL above. You're a noob, and we all know it, just based on that URL above as well as your repeated insults (obvious or attempted subtle ones) and name calling of others that is shown in your posting history here this week alone. Grow up, do something with your life, before you try to play "expert" with anyone here or elsewhere that have (which is what you tried above, and you ran, lol!).

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446550)

Bruce Willis. Unbreakable. Need I say more?

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446646)

Yeah, that was a pretty awesome documentary.

Re:How is this not idle? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34448140)

Brushing reality aside... ...it was about as good a documentary as today's news is news. (Not very, I think Jon Stewart has a valid point.)

Re:How is this not idle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34450896)

One has surfaced, morally at least: Wikileaks.

Speaking of law (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445416)

The word "multiverse" shows a complete failure to grasp the basics of semantics.

"Universe" means "all things taken as one." People apparently miss that "all things" part.

If there was some kind of parallel world, it would logically already be part of the meaning of the word "Universe." Saying "there is another universe over there" is as semantically backward as saying "there is another everything over there."

So the etymological atrocity "multiverse" is not only redundant, but stupid.

Don't even get me starting on the idiocy of the word "unisex."

Ok I'm done.

Re:Speaking of law (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445484)

Don't even get me starting on the idiocy of the word "unisex."

Is that what you pedantically do every night in your basement?

Observable universe (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445514)

The word "multiverse" shows a complete failure to grasp the basics of semantics.

The language they speak in comic books isn't necessarily standard English as we know it on Earth. In comic book language, "universe" means roughly the observable universe [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Speaking of law (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445518)

Words don't have to mean what their constituent words spell out.

Re:Speaking of law (4, Funny)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445520)

The etymology of the phrase "pedantic troll" comes from a combination of the word pedantic which means asshole who wants to argue subtleties as though they were core precepts to show that he is smart and understands how dumb others are and the word troll which means asshole who posts just to get a reaction. There are many of these double asshole creatures in the multi-verse though they are more common in some universes than others. In most universes they tend to congregate on an internet site (or local universe equivalent) which aggregates various articles of news and opinions for the technically inclined and socially inept members of society.

Re:Speaking of law (2)

TexVex (669445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446576)

So is there a word or short phrase that describes someone who has the cognitive capacity to recognize a troll but lacks the willpower to refuse to feed it?

Re:Speaking of law (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446954)

A mother troll? Good question, and I think one that deserves a properly-coined and widely spread answer.

Re:Speaking of law (2)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34447944)

I believe the term you're looking for is "Keeper of the Trolls" or "Troll Brother". It's kinda like those wildlife loons who live with the bears and talk about how they're dangerous they are then somehow get eaten anyway. We're a sad lot. ;)

Re:Speaking of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445526)

A multiverse isn't "another universe over there", it's in the exact same place as we are now.

Think of it in the same terms as time. The universe as I'm writing this isn't the same as when you're reading my comments. Lots of things happened, atoms moved around, nebulas moved a bit, etc.

Re:Speaking of law (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445748)

Any argument founded on "b-b-but the root meaning of the word X is Y!" is pretty much doomed to failure. Remarkably, words can change meanings over time. (It's their mutant power, or something.) Deal with it.

Re:Speaking of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34446448)

Any argument founded on "b-b-but the root meaning of the word X is Y!" is pretty much doomed to failure.

Indeed. X and Y are quite different to one another.

Re:Speaking of law (1)

Bugbear1973 (930850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34447986)

Can't resist :-) X and Y are quite different FROM one another

Re:Speaking of law (3, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34448588)

The argument is especially useless when you consider that our knowledge also changes. When we labeled everything we could see or study as the universe, we had insufficient reason to think there was anything else. That definition eventually came to pretty much mean everything that arose from the big bang that we can interact with. We have since come to the conclusion that there may indeed be more than just that which came from the big bang. Changing the definition of the word "universe" and then coming up with a term that encapsulates its current meaning causes more confusion than simply accepting the fact that the etymology may be imperfect, especially once you consider that there is a long legacy of papers, books, etc that use the term "universe" which would have to be corrected.

Unless you want to start arguing that we need to find a different name for the atom. You know, that which can not be divided.

Re:Speaking of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34450666)

We have since come to the conclusion that there may indeed be more than just that which came from the big bang.

Are you talking about string theory (or "M-theory" as it is properly called)? Because it hasn't actually achieved "theory" status in the scientific community. It is far more hypothesis than conclusion, due to a complete lack of evidence.

Or maybe the multi-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, which also has a paltry subscriber base in the scientific community, does not elegantly solve the problems it was intended to solve, does not have any evidence that would support it over the Copenhagen interpretation, and was only ever suggested as an emotional reaction against the simplest explanation that the evidence does, in fact, suggest (i.e. Copenhagen).

Or were you referring to something I haven't thought of?

Re:Speaking of law (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453644)

Pretty much... which is why I used the phrase "may be" (granted, it was split by the word "indeed.") The possibility of multiple "universes" existing warrants naming the construct so it can be rationally discussed, and hopefully we can come to conclusions that allow for experiments which would support or refute given hypotheses allowing them to eventually come forward into the realm of law.

Uh oh... I'm getting that "IHBT, IHL, HAND" feeling.

Re:How is this not idle? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445452)

I DON'T KNOW! OH GOD, I DON'T KNOW! LITTLE SMALL MONKEY SAAAAAD...

This text here is to mess with Slashdot's idiotic filter. Free speech as long as it's not caps or too many dots. Fucktards.

Misdirected energy (-1, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445264)

I'd much rather experts spend their energy trying to get Bush and Cheney behind bars for willful torture, and other possible war crimes, than worry about pretend beings.

Re:Misdirected energy (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445334)

And yet you decided not to be an expert and spend time doing other things yourself.

You don't get to dictate how other people spend their time.

Re:Misdirected energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445400)

Yes, I do. I henceforth dictate all the women of the world must pleasure me continually.

Re:Misdirected energy (2)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445628)

Rosie O'Donnell goes first. Careful what you wish for next time.

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445652)

Rosie O'Donnell could give me great pleasure.

All she has to do is dive into a wood chipper head first on live TV.

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

ekgringo (693136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34451974)

Well played, sir!

Re:Misdirected energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445746)

O'Donnell + Fleshlight + paper bag (for recipient) = instant pleasure

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34446780)

Sounds like rape. Does Assange post on slashdot?

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445690)

That wasn't dictating, that was a suggestion.

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34448866)

I simply stated my personal preference; I did not "dictate". Nothing wrong with being a comics curmudgeon. Every town needs one.

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Re:Misdirected energy (-1, Flamebait)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445404)

Nobody gives a fuck.

Re:Misdirected energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445454)

You apparently do. How sad.

Re:Misdirected energy (4, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445716)

Meh. You and I spend our time on some random website semi-conversing with other people who largely agree with us. The person(s) who wrote that ain't getting paid for it, so that's their hobby, and I just learned a lot about about our laws and got some really good conversation material because of it. Sometimes even lawyers deserve a little time away from work.

Re:Misdirected energy (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446004)

I'd much rather experts spend their energy trying to get Bush and Cheney behind bars for willful torture, and other possible war crimes, than worry about pretend beings.

So do you think about doing your job, and nothing but doing your job, all the time? If not, why not?

The blog is written by comic book nerds who happen to be lawyers. It's natural for them to think about how their professions might apply to fictional worlds they enjoy. It's entertaining for them, and for the rest of us reading it. No further justification is needed, and there's no reason to think it detracts from their ability to do serious business.

I'm a full-time scientist and occasional science fiction writer. The latter does the former no harm; if anything, they're complementary.

Re:Misdirected energy (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446176)

A pretend being told them to go to war.

Re:Misdirected energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34446296)

So have you found that cure for cancer yet? Or in your spare time do you play video games and watch movies? How arrogant of you to decide what he should do in his spare time.

Attorneys wrote this? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445292)

This presents two problems. The first is with anonymity, i.e. creating and maintaining a fictional person who is really one of the richest people in the world just doesn’t work.

Say what now? An immortal fictional person who is one of the richest people in the world doesn't work? Have they not heard of Exxon Mobil?

A privately held corporation, and a few shell corporations, holding companies, scattered internationally... maintaining an immortal fictional entity with stupid amounts of wealth is essentially a solved problem.

I'd say their immortals just need some better lawyers. :p

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (5, Informative)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445508)

Hi, I'm one of the two co-authors, although I did not write that particular article. A comment on the blog raised the issue of incorporation as a solution, and my co-author addressed it in a follow-up comment [lawandthemultiverse.com] . The short version is that easily-created corporations did not exist until the mid-1800s, so it would only be a solution for immortals that aren't actually very old yet. Before that corporations could only be created by royal charter or a private act of the legislature (depending on the country), which are not very compatible with maintaining anonymity.

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445598)

Not really.

Well connected nobles can provide a shield against the local government that the immortal resides at. We can _call_ it a corporation, but names matter not.

Instead, a well connected, informed, and rich immortal can create a form of shadow government in which he is the ruler. Instead of by commanding force, (s)he uses influence to bind them. Instead of restriction, being under the immortal OPENS doors that those nobles would not usually have.

If you knew that a tithe of 10% of your wealth to them opens up relations to 3 Chinese houses and a Japanese house, along with numerous other European houses, being alligned is a no brainer. Once the wealth is engrained, the immortal could even influence to step away from war, knowing that would be bad for business as trade routes would have crumbled.

Who would have known that being a SCAdian would actually be used in the mundane world :D

First question: can immortality be shared? (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445668)

How many people do you think would help you if they knew that you'd repay them by making them immortal?

Also, are there other immortals? Or are you the only one (and will remain the only one)?

Finally, how much wealth are we really talking about here? Would a "job" that pays really well be sufficient? So you're really "working" for an alter-ego. But the cover would be easier to maintain. Particularly in the past. Prior to corporations.

In fact, wouldn't the creation of the corporation (and easier access to hiding identities) kind of coincide with modern records? Once it became difficult to hide yourself by moving 1,000 miles it became easier to hide yourself in a legal fiction.

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446022)

Also, are there other immortals? Or are you the only one (and will remain the only one)?

There can be only one!

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446562)

    Damn, I thought I already killed off the rest of you.

    Ok, meet me on top of the mountain, in the middle of a thunderstorm. Be sure to bring your sword, so it isn't too easy to do. I really enjoyed my "last" kill, because I thought it made me the only one. Now you've ruined it, so I'm going to have to thoroughly enjoy this one too.

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34450994)

Meet me in a concrete factory and follow the signs there, I have a surprise for you. Don't worry, it won't kill you.

But you're going to wish you weren't one of those "highlander immortals" who can't die.

Certain forms of immortality are immensely overrated.

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454334)

    Concrete doesn't last forever. It's even less if the structure is torn down.

    It may be a long dark dream, but in the scale of eternity, that's a very short time. I can wait. By the time I awaken from my nap, I will have thought of very evil ways to get my revenge. Prison of any sort isn't punishment, it's a way of delaying the inevitable. Then there will be only one.

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34456458)

The concrete is just for packaging. Easier to manage a pesky "immortal" that way, than one with nasty blades sticking out inconveniently ;).

Then can decide what to do with you when more convenient - e.g. send you to space (some random orbit, Moon, Mars, Alpha Centauri etc).

I'm not so familiar with the Highlander details, are you sure you will actually nap when that happens? Wouldn't you be conscious for much of the time?

Re:First question: can immortality be shared? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460210)

Waking or sleeping, it doesn't matter. It will be dark, and there will be lots of time for plotting my revenge. Every day, and every night, one thought will remain, revenge on those who did this to me.

    I know you do not have the technology nor budget to send a roughly man sized concrete block to orbit, The Moon, Mars, nor Alpha Centauri. I will remain on Terra Firma, and celebrate at the place where your rotting mortal container is placed.

    With deepest regards,

    Highlander Smythe
    The Only One (tm)

   

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445724)

The short version is that easily-created corporations did not exist until the mid-1800s, so it would only be a solution for immortals that aren't actually very old yet.

Of course, the mid-to-late 1800s was also about the time that it started becoming more difficult for people to establish an identity simply by saying who they were. An immortal older than that could have existed very easily up to that point just by moving around a lot, and then -- seeing which way the winds were blowing, with corporations becoming effectively immortal people in the eyes of the law -- started building a corporate identity.

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445862)

As in the phenomenal movie The Man From Earth [imdb.com] .

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445984)

Looks interesting -- I'll have to check it out.

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446652)

The short version is that easily-created corporations did not exist until the mid-1800s, so it would only be a solution for immortals that aren't actually very old yet

And good state record tracking of wealth didn't exist until the mid 1900s. It was perfectly possible then to turn all of your money into gold, disappear, and appear somewhere else with little or no paperwork and a new identity. It was also very easy to invent a 'nephew' who would inherit all of your wealth, leave it to them when you fake your death, and then have them (you) appear shortly afterwards.

Re:Attorneys wrote this? (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34452444)

And good state record tracking of wealth didn't exist until the mid 1900s. It was perfectly possible then to turn all of your money into gold, disappear, and appear somewhere else with little or no paperwork and a new identity. It was also very easy to invent a 'nephew' who would inherit all of your wealth, leave it to them when you fake your death, and then have them (you) appear shortly afterwards.

The Boat of a Million Years, by Poul Anderson.

It may sound silly..... (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445352)

But these laws need to be figured out, as our fellow humans in Tibet have already done so, to an interesting extent.

In the Tibetan region, reincarnation isn't some religious lofty newage crap: it's true and obvious to their culture. It's well known that you are born, live, and die, and when you die, you'll find a new place to be reborn in. Almost always, unless otherwise needed, you will be reborn somewhere on your family tree, just as the ancient Celts also believed.

Understanding that: Tibetans and Ancient Celts alike form contracts that are binding between lives. Now admittedly, these contracts aren't in the usual that some property is transferred, but instead promising protection or other services one can do themselves.

Re:It may sound silly..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445720)

The kind of cosmic inbreeding you describe can't be good.

Re:It may sound silly..... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445768)

"The kind of cosmic inbreeding you describe can't be good."

According to evolution we are all inbred. The whole idea of our existence requires it, it's only that populations are now so large and geographically isolated over geological time that we don't notice, its far removed.

Re:It may sound silly..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34449530)

"The kind of cosmic inbreeding you describe can't be good."

According to evolution we are all inbred. The whole idea of our existence requires it, it's only that populations are now so large and geographically isolated over geological time that we don't notice, its far removed.

Inbreeding only occurs with life forms which are complex enough to have genetics. Prior to that, the word is meaningless and doesn't apply to start with.

And I'm not sure where you came up with the idea, but there has never been some kind of extinction event that left all but one form of complex life on the planet. Evolution actually relies on diversity, not extinction events; those are simply put forward as an easy example of one type of Natural Selection. Other things such as isolation and environment play a much larger role.

Re:It may sound silly..... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453320)

Inbreeding only occurs with life forms which are complex enough to have genetics.

So, we have genetics.

And we are all descended from the "mitochondrial Eve". Which alone suggests a certain degree of inbreeding.

Given that the we seem to have the chromosomes of chimpanzees, with their last pair folded into one the remaining human pairs, this also suggests some level of inbreeding - for the life of me, I can't see such a thing happening without a VERY small initial "human" population (yes, the initial population wouldn't be home sapiens, but it marks a pretty solid demarcation between us and the rest of the apes) - quite likely brother(s) and sister(s), all with the same f'd-up genes from their (obviously defective, by the standards of their own species) parents....

How is that inbreeding? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445836)

If you are born into the same family, that means that you will marry and reproduce with someone outside of the family, decreasing the chances of inbreeding across reincarnations.

Alter-ego (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445358)

This really calls for a blog on behalf of super heroes across the multiverse dealing with how they should handle these pesky lawyers. It might be quite short...

BEAWARE !! TROLL ALLERT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445496)

Too late for you!!

One of the Better Angles of Movie "Hancock" (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445512)

Not to mention "The Incredibles."

I mean, how long do you think some do-gooder who's Doing of The Good involved the typical comic book level of property damage would stay out of court (and bankruptcy) in Real Life?

"Lookit, I don't care if he did just stop an invasion from a Hell Dimension, SOMEBODY'S PAYING FOR THAT GODDAM WINDOW!!"

Re:One of the Better Angles of Movie "Hancock" (1)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446228)

how long do you think some do-gooder who's Doing of The Good involved the typical comic book level of property damage would stay out of court (and bankruptcy) in Real Life?

This is an issue we plan to address in a future post or series of posts. The short answer is that it's probably not for nothing that superheroes maintain a secret identity.

Re:One of the Better Angles of Movie "Hancock" (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34451192)

For many super powers, if you were smart, you'd only use them in secret and not play superhero.

"Usain Bolt" performance levels gets you manageable or even desirable attention. But if you start doing 100 metres in less than 5 seconds you start getting the wrong sort of attention.

Say you were mere "Spiderman" level, and persisted in wearing leotards and going after petty criminals, some Dubious Organization will capture you and start experimenting on you to figure out what makes you superhuman.

Of course if you were as powerful as Galactus there's no problem in revealing yourself.

With great power comes great liability (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446494)

I mean, how long do you think some do-gooder who's Doing of The Good involved the typical comic book level of property damage would stay out of court (and bankruptcy) in Real Life?

Well, some of them could probably get the money back by suing whoever it was who failed to keep that radioactive spider in its jar; forgot to print the obligatory warnings on the magic amulet or activated the intrinsic field generator without checking that nobody was inside. They could cite any post-1980 superhero story as evidence of the distress and trauma caused by being burdened with superpowers.

Superman might be able to claim diplomatic immunity (or set up a tax haven in the phantom zone and make a killing) or, if all else fails, just squeeze a few lumps of coal into diamonds to keep up with the premiums on his Luthorcorp Superpower Liability Indemnification Policy.

Re:One of the Better Angles of Movie "Hancock" (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446570)

I mean, how long do you think some do-gooder who's Doing of The Good involved the typical comic book level of property damage would stay out of court (and bankruptcy) in Real Life?

1: The Fantastic Four have essentially gone bankrupt at least twice. In the Marvel U, I believe Reed Richards isn't just Hawking, but he's Gates, Jobs, and Wozinak too.

2: "I'm a @#%ing superhuman. Bite me, I'm not paying."

3: Now you understand the reason for a secret identity.

Timoghty, you helped turn slashdot into shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445576)

fuck you!
oh, and fuck the laywers too, as if the world wasnt shit enough without laywer fucking with comic books

And what about Transformers? (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445680)

Does auto insurance (collision? liability?) cover you if your car trashes the town?

Despite the fact that it's a joke, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34445788)

this is a legal post on Slashdot, so heaps of moronic opinion and "analysis" will be offered forth by the borderline-illiterate code monkey masses.

Wrong mix (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34445916)

In a world where superpowers, immortality and such exists, and are known in the open, laws should take them into account. Laws are meant to adapt to a changing world, what if we did that in a world where noone could go faster than 40km/h, and suddently someone with a modern car jump in? Our world hadnt laws regarding fast cars before, but somehow the legal system acknowledged that something changed and added laws for them. The alternative is acknowledge that something weird and unique is there, and do nothing about it because you can't do nothing, and probably shouldnt. Would you give an speeding ticket to Superman or try to put him in prison? In the other hand, if those superpowers are unknown for almost people, you can be breaking the law (in some cases, of physics), but as noone knows that, it could happen. More than the comics world, there are several sci-fi stories about immortal people, or that are around since a lot of time ago, you have from the dumb soldier that were around since middle century (that wasnt very bright, so all the money he won usually got lost in poker games and such things), or the time traveler that deposited money in compound interest 500 years ago, making in the present just enough accomulated money to build the time machine that enable him do the back in time trip, nothing in the law forbids any of both cases, even if there is an exploit to the system in the second one.

Re:Wrong mix (4, Insightful)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446194)

In a world where superpowers, immortality and such exists, and are known in the open, laws should take them into account. Laws are meant to adapt to a changing world, what if we did that in a world where noone could go faster than 40km/h, and suddently someone with a modern car jump in? Our world hadnt laws regarding fast cars before, but somehow the legal system acknowledged that something changed and added laws for them.

It's true that laws normally adapt to changing circumstances, but in many comic books the world is presented as essentially the same as our own, except with superheroes and supervillains. Legal institutions and actors like courts, the police, judges, lawyers, juries, mayors, governors, legislatures, etc still exist and seem to function like they do in the real world. Occasionally a point is made about a new or different law, such as a Mutant Registration Act or the Keene Act. Our conclusion (and the premise of the blog) is that in the comic book world the legal system is basically the same as the real world, so there must usually be some way to reconcile the law of the real world with the facts of the comic book world. So for example we can find a way to make the Keene Act constitutional.

Sometimes it is not possible to do this, though. For example, if we conclude that Batman would be a state actor in the real world, which seems likely to me, then that would lead to contradictions in the comic book world. Therefore, Batman is not a state actor in the comic book world, and the law must be different in the comic book world. Then we can think about the most likely tweak to the law in the comic book world necessary to accommodate the facts.

Basically we first try to explain how the facts and the law agree. Failing that we figure out how to adjust the law to fit the facts. Failing that we say, eh, it's a comic book.

Re:Wrong mix (1)

chgros (690878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34447732)

> nothing in the law forbids any of both cases, even if there is an exploit to the system in the second one.
Actually, there is a law:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_against_perpetuities [wikipedia.org]

Comics and the law at Yale Law School (3, Interesting)

phiz187 (533366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446190)

Yale Law Library has also delved into this subject, putting together a video and exhibit about the law's depiction in comic books. I don't know to what extent the library is open to the public, but if you are near New Haven, the exhibit closes 16 Dec. 2010.

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/rarebooks/archive/2010/10/18/video-of-quot-superheroes-in-court-quot-talk-is-now-available.aspx [yale.edu]

Floating timeline (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34450156)

Eh. I'd rather some philosophy or science experts blog about floating timelines [wikipedia.org] , which I find particularly infuriating and confounding in comic books.

Lawyers = villains? (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34451928)

Yeah, I can see that.

After all, Two Face was born Harvey Dent, a District Attorney.

Hell, what's the difference between Lex Luthor and Dick Cheney? (Okay, that may not be a fair comparison. Luthor won't shoot you in the face and never even apologize.)

Politics seems to be the final stage of law, where an already withered sense of morals finally gets strapped onto greed and a sense of entitlement and your soul finally dies.

Why hasnt this been tagged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34463940)

"NEEEERRRRDDD!!!"

?

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