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7:45pm on Tuesday, 24th May, 2011:

Ash Falls


The more I think about super-injunctions, the more I conclude that they need to get someone with a background in mathematical logic to look at them

The law is a system that is using itself to create a sub-system independent of the system that is creating it and giving it meaning. That's bad enough in itself, but in order to work the super-system has to be unaware of the sub-system it's created, because otherwise the existence of the sub-system can be deduced through the auspices of the super-system. This makes the super-system (ie. the law) a self-modifying system. Although the creation of laws is a usually self-modifying system (parliament can pass laws that change the way that laws can be passed, for example), this isn't usually the case with laws themselves.

What the law wants is like a Gödel sentence: a true statement that can't be proved under the law. I'm sure a logician would have a field day with that. I, unfortunately, don't have enough knowledge of mathematic logic to have a go at it myself without risking tying myself in knots and having to vent my frustration through marking the CE317 exam scripts I picked up this afternoon.

I wonder if, had the Ryan Giggs super-injunction not been blown apart yesterday, newspapers could today have said things like: "British Airways, LKM, Aer Lingus, BMI, EasyJet and a well-known Irish budget air carrier have cancelled flights to Scotland"? Obviously, not naming RyanAir in this way would be a way of hinting at the name of the "well-known premiership footballer", but at a purely syntactic level there's been no breach of any order.

Mathematicical logicians should be paid more than lawyers...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).