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Re^4: The Web is Set Up All Wrong

by InfiniteSilence (Curate)
on Apr 21, 2011 at 19:38 UTC ( #900705=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: The Web is Set Up All Wrong
in thread The Web is Set Up All Wrong

"..."reality" is in the eye of the beholder..."

Hahaha. Go stand in front of a bus and tell me how long that theory holds up.

"...I know it when I see it..."

People often misunderstand this quote and misuse it which is the main reason for my response. The judicial system oftentimes eludes to its own function, use, and purpose in its rulings. In the quote you cite from a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, the justice was simply eluding to the Court's function -- to resolve questions of morality, etc. as they apply to statuatory and case law presented to them. You see, what was once lewd and disgusting in the year 1900 (case law dates back further than this) could actually be written into the laws by local governments as exactly that, 'behavior unspeakable by moral gentlemen.' There are cases with exactly that kind of wording. Over time as people became more sophisticated and wordly these standards weakened and rulings followed suit. What the judge was saying could be better interpreted like this: 'in cases that come before this court we will decide, according to relevant Constitutional law, case law, jurisprudence, and international legal standards, what is or is not to be considered lewd in the United States of America and lands which it governs.'

Most people are very ignorant of the law's workings. They foolishly think that judges just sit up there and make pronouncements. In fact, there is a large body of case law and legal theory going on before and after a ruling. It is very doubtful that the justice you mention 'threw up his hands,' as you say. It was more like took a deep look at existing case law, considered the overall effects of a ruling (the jurisprudence part), and considered the U.S. Constitution (cases brought before the highest court must have some relevance to this beloved document to be heard) before ruling thus. There's always the court system to handle variances in the future, so a ruling like this makes complete sense if you understand how the courts make rulings and review legal standards.

But your point helps make my point -- unless there is a way to differentiate the main content of a web page from irrelevant, but included, advertisements we can get search results that foolishly return them as one and the same. In newspapers the word 'advertisement' is provided at the top of a look-alike news story for convenience. In television, radio, and other mediums there is something that tells us we are about to hear a commercial. I reject the idea that the search engine cannot do something similar. They can immediately raise the search engine ranking of any site that adheres to a policy that differentiates the two, in which case SEO consultants and developers will scamper to conform. The question is how to convince the search engines to do such a thing? My guess is by providing them with things that they want -- things that will improve their ability to identify and provide information to others. Something like new protocols and tools...

Celebrate Intellectual Diversity


Comment on Re^4: The Web is Set Up All Wrong
Re^5: The Web is Set Up All Wrong
by Your Mother (Canon) on Apr 21, 2011 at 21:07 UTC

    It was perversity that was in the eye of the beholder, not reality.

    I think you need to amend your tag line, I suggest–

    Celebrate Intellectual Diversity Where It Agrees with My Views

    Eludes was an excellent Freudian typo.

Re^5: The Web is Set Up All Wrong
by ww (Bishop) on Apr 21, 2011 at 21:52 UTC

    Ah, such a wealth of targets!

    For starters, try again on your mis-reading of the "reality" sentence in the post to which you replied.

    Careful parsing will tell you "the eye of the beholder" applies to "perversity," not to "reality."

    Then -- with respect to your last three paragraphs -- I offer the generic suggestion that you should get your facts right (or, at least, stick to relevant ones)!

    I shall offer several respected professional interpretations. First, however, lets establish the factual groundwork: The University of of Missouri - Kansas City offers the relevant section of Mr. Justice Stewart's concurrance at http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/obscenity.htm:

    "MR. JUSTICE STEWART, concurring in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 US 184 (1964).

    "It is possible to read the Court's opinion in Roth v. United States and Alberts v. California, 354 U.S. 476, in a variety of ways. In saying this, I imply no criticism of the Court, which in those cases was faced with the task of trying to define what may be indefinable. I have reached the conclusion, which I think is confirmed at least by negative implication in the Court's decisions since Roth and Alberts, that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."

    Before you quibble further, you may also want to read Mr. Justice Brennan's opinion, and specifically,

    MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, joined by MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG, concluded that:
    • Though motion pictures are within the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, obscenity is not within those guarantees. P. 187.
    • This Court cannot avoid making an independent judgment as to whether material condemned as obscene is constitutionally protected. Pp. 187-190. (emphasis supplied)

    See also Cornell Law School and FindLaw for further information, including the quotation immediately above.

    The usage underlying my prior post is not constrained to consideration of pornography; it has obtained currency in the general population and in the legal community, as illustrated by this section from a 2005 Florida Bar Association Journal article on "professionalism" (numeric pointers to endnotes removed):

    "Lon Fuller wrote that to be moral, law must be promulgated. Similarly, Sir Thomas Aquinas wrote that even though generally understood notions of morality may dictate appropriate conduct, promulgation is necessary for law to obtain its force. But ask the average Florida Bar member to apply these concepts to the professionalism movement, and you are likely to be answered with a moment of thoughtful silence. Their silence is understandable, because in its present form, the concept of professionalism follows the thinking of neither Fuller nor Aquinas. Instead, professionalism is defined by the lack of a definition, following Justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” approach to defining pornography."

    There's much more -- for example, this, from Yale Law School by Paul Gewirtz, the first Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law. But a search conducted with some considerable diligence fails to find a credible source supporting your interpretation.

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