[extropy-chat] Anarchy + Transparent Society + Bushido = Survival

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 20 21:09:47 UTC 2007

--- Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

There will always be abberrant individuals. Even if
you cull them from society, they will arise again by
fresh mutation. Governments, laws, and absurd levels
of surveillance cannot keep you safe. They can only
oppress you, violate you, and make society even more
intolerable for the malcontents. Only by being an
enlightened individual fully aware and accepting of
his or her own flaws, limitations, and terrifyingly
awesome power can one hope to preserve ones self and
ones 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).

Future technology is unavailable in the present. What
is available in the present is decisiveness and
courage. One enlightened janitor willing to sacrifice
his life for the greater good could have brained the
Virginia Tech punk with mop handle and saved over
two-dozen lives. 

> There is nothing wrong with anarchy but unless it is
> operating in an
> environment where another individual cannot harm you

There is no such environment. In fact the
environment's momentum is such that individuals are
becoming able to harm ever increasing numbers of
people at once.

> 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

Sure it does. It puts the responsibility for personal
safety squarely where it belongs. In the hands of the
individual. No degree of legislation can substitute
for the security I feel in knowing that I am willing,
able, and prepared to defend myself and the ones I
love at any instant with anything up to and including
deadly force.

> -- and if
> "real" life extension
> technology becomes widespread it is personal safety
> you are going to be
> primarily concerned with).

I don't know about that. A tired 800 year old man who
had "done it all" might decide to take up skydiving
for the hell of it. 

> Everyone carrying a gun
> isn't the answer.

At Virginia Tech another armed student could have
dropped the rogue human and kept the death toll below

>  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?

Humans err, technology fails, and the unexpected
happens. Like I said true safety is an illusion. You
can have a society of sheep that comply with
enlightened laws to the letter, and a rock the size of
Killamanjaro can fall on your head, a tsunami could
drown you, or a super volcano could explode. I would
expect a society where everyone carried weapons to
work very politely.
> 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.

A society of individuals willing to accept
responsibility for the greater good at any personal
cost will be able to neutralize the threat caused by
such individuals rather quickly. This is the case
whether they have guns or not. The fact that so many
of the shootings happened in the engineering building
at Virginia Tech is a monument to how timid Americans
have become. A university engineering building is
practically an armoury of improvisable weapons. You
can blind somebody with a fire-extinguisher or measly
laser pointer for crying out loud.     
> 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.)

I too am glad to hear this.

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Nature which governs the whole will soon change all things which thou seest, and out of their substance will make other things, and again other things from the substance of them, in order that the world may be ever new." -Marcus Aurelius, Philosopher and Emperor of Rome.

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