Proceduralist Sticker Graffiti

Here's how I know that I moved to the correct side of the Caldecott Tunnel.

Just outside my door (which has one lock, three fewer than the old apartment—probably some kind of prior being expressed there), the street lamp post has a "CENSORSHIP IS ANTI-SCIENCE" sticker on it.

A fire hydrant across the street has an "ELECTION INTEGRITY IS A BIPARTISAN ISSUE" sticker.

What's extraordinary about these slogans is how meta they are: advocating for processes that lead to good results, rather than a position to be adopted by such a process. The anti-censorship sticker isn't protesting that some particular message is being suppressed by the powers that be, but rather that suppressing speech is itself contrary to the scientific method, which selects winning ideas by empiricism rather than by force. The election integrity sticker evinces a commitment to the democratic process, implying that voter fraud and voter suppression both undermine the execution of a free and fair election that represents the popular will, whose outcome is legitimate because the process is legitimate.

I should wish to live in a Society where such thoughts are too commonplace to be worth a sticker, rather than so rare that seeing them expressed in stickers should provoke an entire blog post. As things are, I was happy to see the stickers and felt that they were somehow less out-of-place here than they would have been in Berkeley, fifteen miles west in geographical space and a couple years further in political time.

Who put these stickers here? I wish I could meet them, and find out if I'm projecting too much of my own philosophy onto these simple slogans. What would they say, if prompted to describe their politics and given more than six words of bandwidth to reply? Would their bravery have been deterred (as mine probably would) had their target already been defaced by a decal bearing a different tagline, "STICKER GRAFFITI VIOLATES PROPERTY RIGHTS"?

Addendum, 15 December 2023: I missed these ("FREE SPEECH" inside of a heart), at the foot of the lamp post—

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