Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brave Sir Julian has a 'get out of jail free' card from Quito.

But, the Brits are not going to allow him to leave the country. This ought to get interesting.
"there is a legal basis in the U.K.—the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act—-which would allow us to take action to arrest Mr. Assange in the current premises of the embassy." The summary added that the U.K. hopes "not to get this point, but if you cannot resolve the issue of Mr. Assange's presence on your premises, this route is open to us."
And, they are positioning folks for the fun and games:
About 20 police officers were stationed outside the Ecuadorian embassy by lunchtime Thursday, along with roughly 25 supporters of Mr. Assange. His supporters—some carrying Ecuadorian flags, others wearing the trademark masks of the Anonymous hackers group—chanted "Hands Off Ecuador! Hands Off Julian Assange!" and played music from Rage Against the Machine and Twisted Sister.

Twisted Sister? What is that?

What are the odds the Ecuadorians try to spirit him away undetected? Seems the Brits have planned for that contingency, having sited the 'Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act'. So, how do they proceed?

Here is a summary of the possible legal moves in this ongoing chess match. Sanka version: The foreign office can "de-recognize" the particular premises as a consular building, but probably only if it, at the same time, provides another. In any case, Ecuador could initiate some sort of legal review, contesting the justification, using some helping of international law, thus delaying things, much to Brave Sir Julian's purposes. (He has become quite the master of finding ways to delay his trip to Sweden has he not?)

Either this, or..

The Brits can simply cut off diplomatic relations, close the premises, send the Ecuadorans packing and arrest Asschapeau in the process (Note to bobbies: You'll find him in the tall wardrobe boxes).

Note to Brave Sir Julian of the Pallid Complexion and Multi-hued Coif. There is not very much dancing room in a packing box.

But, can they dance in Quito!

Exit observation: I do really like Ecuadoran music, always have since wayyy back in the day when I would listen to HCJB Radio "The voice of the Andes" via shortwave.. The pan-pipes do the trick.

What do the Drifters and the Ship of Theseus have in common?

They are good case studies for the problem of identity through change of constituent parts, that's what! One of the participants in the radio show linked below overstates things, but does present the problem in terms of molecular replacements that occur within our bodies. If it is true that every molecule in our bodies is cycled out, and replaced by others, and it is true that this happens every seven years or so, what is it then that constitutes the identity of person over time? The ship of Theseus is an old thought experiment along the same lines. This ship is completely rebuilt, plank by plank, and part by part over the course of a voyage. Is the ship that arrives at the destination numerically the same ship as the one that left? Did only one ship make the trip, or more than one? If more than one, how many? Two? More than two?

What are the criteria for identity over time? How do physical constituents figure into those criteria? Are the criteria different for persons and ships? And how about institutions, such as musical groups or sports teams? They change constituent parts, suffer complete 'overhauls' as does Theseus's ship, as do our bodies (allegedly). Is it true that 'the Drifters' have survived as one entity over that time? How about a symphony orchestra that has been around for a century? Has there been only one? More than one?

More discussion here from a radio show across the pond, BBC 4:

This is an episode in a series called "The Philosopher's Arms", that is, a a show done at a pub where professional, non-pro philosophy types, (and some drunks) mull over things like the problem of identity, BBC records the events, and broadcasts. A good thirty minutes.