Monday, December 28, 2009

My Constitution, Section 20

Section 20 - Weights and measures

20(1) No specification for a standard of weight or measure shall be altered except to increase precision while maintaining it at what the Reasonable Person would say is essentially the same point.
Once a given weight or measure is named and specified, anything other than changing how it is defined so as to increase precision constitutes fraud. The most egregious example is of course changes in monetary units (note that the power to coin money in the US Constitution is allied with the weights and measures clause in the same), but there is no reason to limit the principle to a single concrete.

Note that this clause doesn’t stop new weights and measures being formed, but that a new one cannot have the same name as an old one. If a current set is found inadequate then rather than the set being altered a new set entirely should be formulated and specified...

20(2) No alteration of a standard, nor institution of a new standard intended to replace a standard, shall affect the interpretation of a legally-binding agreement made while prior standards were in place without the consent of all parties to that agreement to adopt the altered or new standard in respect of their agreement.
... and so allowing contracts referring to the older standards to remain untouched and to be interpreted in the same way as though no new standard had been written. This helps rule out fraud while allowing for wholesale changes in measurement systems as found required by scientific discovery.

20(3) All governments shall faithfully uphold a legally-binding agreement that specifically invokes a particular standard or particular variant of a standard, irrespective of government desire that a different standard or variant be used.
This clause ties the weights and measures issue in with governments not being leaders of cultural change, by prohibiting governments from banning the use of older standards in agreements. The scientific community should engage directly with the broader community and prove its case, rather than a new standard being legally forced upon people.


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