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Observing Editor

One adventuresome atom

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As we pass day by day into the future, it is not at all clear that modern civilization is advancing according to expectations. Scientific progress and better living through nuclear chemistry have become objects of suspicion, and the plastic revolution has resulted in a world that is increasingly hepatotoxic. Of course, this same complaint could be raised in every golden age, as transition metals are generally hard on the liver.

Nevertheless, there have been clear advances. Computation has never been faster or cheaper. The world is awash in information and texts of all kinds. Communications between individuals, groups, and systems increases in density on a daily basis. In the face of this importuning connectivity, the critical question becomes who and what to believe. What is actually going on? What should we do? In what should be place our confidence? Who are these people, anyway?

In the future, it will be generally acknowledged that the acid shower of information provided by communications technologies quickly corrodes the communal ties that bind and, more to the point, the civic gates that guard and the barriers that bar. In order to appear to be more than a oligarchic tyranny, it is imperative that the governed believe in the validity (if not the efficiency) of the government. Belief, and the essential credibility to inspire belief, will be as precious as the dust of Golgotha to those powers that be.

As a result, those powers will need additional powers to claw back the basic First Amendment rights to blither inanities, through a few handy additions to the U.S. Code Title XVIII. The foremost of these will be the definition of Credibility Fraud as a prosecutable offense.

Credibility fraud will be a generalization of the existing offenses involving the conveyance false and misleading information. However, unlike deceptions that attempt to defraud persons of property, or obtain benefits from the state, credibility fraud makes an unsupportable claim against a victim’s ability to believe. By promoting a specious position, the credibility fraudster increases the risk of a complete collapse of belief in authority in the victim(s), which is tantamount to a direct attack on the state.

An example: Suppose that a minor celebrity, with fewer than ten million followers on ClickTrick, Fumblr, and O*RSpasm, takes to their feeds with a series of posts on the benefits of phlebotomy.

NikkiTean: So tense and anxious about the state of the world. Eight to twelve oz. from the median cubital always takes the edge off.

NikkiTean: Check out this cool FundOrgy project page to start a medical leech dispensary. Not even my migraines last with six leeches applied behind each ear. Great incentive gifts, too!

NikkiTean: Blood-borne diseases are a growing menace! You can reduce your risk by shrinking the amount of blood you carry around with you. Makes sense!

NikkiTean: Headed to the beach today, but figured I would drop a few ounces first! (picture censored)

NikkiTean: Here I am after breathing a vein. True inner peace. (picture censored)

NikkiTean: Check out this custom scarificator from BloodHoney! Can’t wait to try this out over the weekend! (picture censored)

NikkiTean: Just don’t get how folks can stand that ruddy feeling. Pale power FTW! (picture censored)

NikkiTean: No time today to donate blood. Guess I’ll have to recycle!

NikkiTean: New thumb lancet! Fleams are for farmers. (picture censored)

NikkiTean: High blood pressure cured the old fashioned way. Amazingly peaceful feeling tonight.

NikkiTean: This is Ed from Ozie Management. Please keep Nikki in your prayers.

Interest in bloodletting paraphernalia may spike briefly, but overall effect of this sad display would be a net reduction in the ability of the populace’s capacity for belief, making the perpetrator liable for prosecution under the updated U.S. Code. In this case, the decease of the actor would nullify the prosecution, at least until the amendment of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution to permit the attainder of estates, but we will leave the discussion of such maneuverings to a later item. Most follies of this type are not so benign.