[extropy-chat] Anarchy + Transparent Society + ??? [was: Anarchy!]

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 16:38:44 UTC 2007

Though I tend to lean in the anarchist (minimal government) and
anti-Transparent-Society (excessive government observation) I am reminded of
the events in the U.S. this week when a person perceiving individuals and/or
society harming him decided to strike back against that "class" of
individuals and/or society.

Now, as far as I know right now the U.K. has the most surveillance of any
society but to the best of my knowledge this isn't viewed as reducing the
overall crime level.  Surveillance run by a government is unlikely to
prevent incidents like those at Virginia Tech (unless it gets much more
invasive -- to the level of Brin's Transparent Society or beyond).  But one
would suspect one could not completely stop such things until one has either
automatic personal shields (and this probably requires utility fog type
technology) or implanted human shutdown chips (i.e. in response to the first
gunshot every human on the campus is deactivated).

There is nothing wrong with anarchy but unless it is operating in an
environment where another individual cannot harm you I don't see how it
accomplishes much (sure it might make the society more efficient but it
doesn't inherently make the society safer -- and if "real" life extension
technology becomes widespread it is personal safety you are going to be
primarily concerned with).  Everyone carrying a gun isn't the answer.  Hell,
there was an example the other day of a secret service person at the White
House accidentally discharging his weapon and injuring another secret
service person.  If the secret service can't handle weapons safely how can
one expect a society where everyone carries weapons to work?

The "Transparent Society" doesn't work with anarchy.  So long as either (a)
"mentally ill" or (b) "reactive"(?) individuals exist it doesn't do any good
to know you are going to "catch" someone.  Cleaning up after the damage has
been done isn't the answer.  When one has people who cannot be rational or
behave irrationally (or suicidally) then an anarchist system is not likely
to lead to a society with minimal injury or loss of life.

If someone can show me how it will, I'd be happy to consider the arguments.

On a tangent note, I was happy to note that the Montana legislature passed
and the governor signed a law recently telling the U.S. government what they
could do with their national license "Real-ID" program.  (An example of a
knee jerk reaction to try and solve a problem which increased surveillance,
decreased privacy, allowed potential for government abuse and probably did
little to really make people safer.)

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