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   RE: [xml-dev] Authority

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Because this word is part of the endless debate on 
meaning, (really, WHAT is meaningful), let me offer 
the following (ignore if you have work to do):

1.  Identity is a meaningless concept unless coupled 
to a choice of means of identification.  That is why 
URI is coupled to URL.  It is a system solution and 
as Shannon and Weaver say, an entity is meaningful insofar 
as it is correlated according to some system.

2.  Authority only means force unless coupled to 
the concept of legitimacy.    Legitimate authority 
usefully means the right to choose the means to choose (a system).
That is why authority resolves to consent of the governed 
in systems that do not rely exclusively on force (might 
for right was an evolutionary concept).  Authority 
by choice of means to choose is simply another way 
to say "density of correlated choice".  Nature makes 
all the interesting choices.  Humans choose among 

The three most meaningful phrases in the American 
system of abstract means to choose choices are :

Of The People:  the people and not the state are 
the holders of legitimate authority

By The People:  the people are the holders of the 
means to choose the means to choose (representative 

For The People:  the interests of the people are the 
legitimate interests of government.

By moving from states rights to the abstraction of 
the rights of the people, the power of centralized 
authority is constrained (given some other mechanisms 
such as separation of powers to limit affective control, 
schedules for choosing (elections) and so on).  That 
was James Madison's brilliant contribution to the 
American system.  It was greatly feared by many of 
the American forefathers who believed only in the 
state, that which they could see or so they thought, 
and which they controlled.   They feared that the 
undereducated could not choose well and must be 
governed by those that were well-educated and 

A derivation from Boltzman's entropy formula:  no 
system is fool proof given a sufficiently large 
number of well-connected fools (density is a 
real, not abstract, quality).



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