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[ NNSquad ] The more things change, the more they stay the same...


Tonight, I just happened to start reading Robert Heinlein's "The man
who sold the moon", 1953. If you are not familiar with it, the book is
a collection of short stories, the first of which is called
"Life-line". I came across this passage of a judge instructing the
lawyer representing the life insurance industry in the dispute
involving the ability to accurately predict a persons death versus the
subsequent impending demise of said industry:

"Before we leave this matter I wish to comment on the theory implied
by you, My Weems, when you claimed damage to your client. There has
grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion
that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public
for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with
the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face
of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange
doctrine is supported neither by statute nor common law. Neither
individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask
that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their
private benefit. That is all."

Interesting that Heinlein seems to be addressing certain expectations
in 1953 that are still a problem to this day, no?