[ExI] battle tanks to a five yr old

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Thu May 31 20:17:28 UTC 2012

On Mon, 28 May 2012, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> > This, young man, is not going to be any more. Establishment is too
> > important for this planet. Therefore future civilisation is going to be a
> > civilisation of pussies, always happy and obedient, and politely smiling
> > while being fucked from behind.
> >
> > You may not like my diagnosis, but to be frank, you never mentioned you
> > only wanted to read optimistic ones.
> Tomasz,

Hi there.

First things first - congrats for using on this noble list such words as 
"ass" and "pussy". Welcome to the club, let's this tradition continue in 
the name of calling things by their real name, while we fearlessly drink 
vodka and eat sausages.

>   Steven Pinker (have the book, but not that far into it yet) has
> documented recently the march away from violence civilization has
> taken. He sees it as a good thing. I think I do too, for the most
> part.

I don't hear much about Mr Pinker. I have just completed reading an 
article "War really is going out of style", here (probably a copy of the 
one from nytimes, which is behind a register-wall):


and a page from wiki (which I guess talks about the book):


and a critique of the book, quite interesting one:


To sum it all in short, I don't buy the idea that we, as a species, are to 
be less and less violent. Especially if thanks to democracy and wealth, 
because I somehow fail to see how they can make me more benign.

In a meantime, wars are going on like they did, in parts of the world less 
covered by the news - because it sometimes happens, I hear, that a 
journalist is given an easy to decide proposition, either stay and be 
killed or STFU and go away.

I must add, there is a group of people - and I think it is easier to find 
them in the so called middle class - that very easily gets entrapped into 
all kind of hiperoptimistic bullshit. Last time I noticed this, it was the 
idea of human/life/intelligence friendly Universe. Holy frak. If 
supernovas, neutron stars sending gravitation waves and magnetic pulses, 
black holes and their death-ray jets, gamma ray bursts and, oh, huge 
asteroids - we exist only thanks to being not close enough to all those 
attractions, so far, because each of them could cook us good bye - if this 
is friendly, I wonder what unfriendly is. Maybe some Universe-wide 
snuff-movie-like orgy orchestrated by Satan and Minions, Ltd. BTW, never 
forget about "friendly" entropy, making our efforts to not decay too fast 
all the more interesting. I could agree Universe is very dangerous place 
to live, and this made me eager to tread lightly and learn dilligently. 
But friendly? There are days when I seriously consider starting smoking 
pot, like a kilogram at a time.

So, this idea that one day we will become those angelic creatures, good 
and nice... No, I don't think so. Rather, I think we humans are beasts and 
in best case, we can become self-controlling beasts.

Now, a problem. Self-control seems to be unfashionable. The idea of having 
a gun and not killing everybody who we see out of the window seems to 
gradually fall out of favour. Quite the opposite, we can easily remember 
news when some wanker shoots passerbys but I don't remember any news or 
documentary about someone who leads normal life while having magnum or 
remington stuffed under a bed. Isn't it interesting?

I have, however, heard other stories, counterweighting those grim options 
mentioned. Like of Mr Gichin Funakoshi, who started learning Karate at the 
age of 13 to improve his poor health, later became master himself but 
fought his first real life fight age 72 (AFAIR - I have read it megayears 
ago and cannot find anything on the net) when he helped a woman attacked 
by a thug. Now that's the man. He did not go on killing journey, just 
practiced the art for his whole life.

This story I have found, in a strange turn of fate. Well worth a time:


I can also see a problem with idea that some external body would do better 
in controlling our impulses than we ourselves could. It sounds very close 
to what religions like us to believe. And there is plenty of evidence, 
they can easily fail. The fallacy of many people is that when this 
external entity changes, they expect the outcome changes too. However, the 
controlling of impulses was never the goal of external entities, 
especially when we consider they would become obsolete once impulses 
finally came under control.

If you still don't get it, do you watch Animal Planet? I sometimes do. It 
was surprising to see how predators, despite all their claws and teeth, 
fail to have a dinner so often. Now, imagine there was some animal 
parliament, manned (or rather, animated) by lions, gnus etc. And now this 
parliament starts sending messages, like "dear gnus, you can now saw off 
your horns, we are entering period of unprecedented peace". Yes, like hell 
we are, with no way a gnu can oppose their opponents, a peace would be 
round the corner. Something along a deadly calm.

So, maybe one day I will go after this book but I doubt I will run after 

> But being a pussy with regards to resorting to violence isn't
> precisely the same thing as taking it in the ass. There are many ways
> to punish and/or change behaviors that do not use violence.

I think there is huge misunderstanding about violence. As I tried to show 
above. The only alternatives presented to the public are, either be mad 
killer or submissive pussnik (which is preferred, because we don't want 
be mad and bad, do we).

There is no mention of other possibilities. Not good, because there are 
quite some to choose from.

Perhaps it has something to do with a hypothesis, that pussniks, 
instinctively feeling they have no value as people, compulsively try to 
acquire it. Thus they make great programmable shopping bots.

>   Most of the complaints I have heard over the last ten years is that
> America is still too violent, in sending young men to war
> "needlessly". And then you come along and say we aren't violent
> enough. So which is it? :-)

Oh, no. I would never say that. I don't like the violence. I just want to 
have it in my pocket, like a trump card to be played if needed.

When I wrote about future civilisation of pussies, by pussy I meant he who 
does not want to see a problem. The reason for this, I believe, is 
convenience. I don't insist on solving the problem, or using violence, I 
only think that seeing problems would make things better over time. This, 
however, is still too much to ask for. Even though the mental activity 
required is far below from what Einstein needed in his best years. Short 
term, this may seem to be evolutionary advantage, because our sole task on 
this planet is having babies and we better not get distracted by abstract 
stuff. Longterm, this is a roadblock, and whatever babies are made today, 
their genes may as well become dead because of this, only later.

A good example of not seeing was described in a Paul Fussell's article 
"The real war" (link in my original message). I don't really care that 
much if wars would have ended after the untold truth had been told. 
However it makes me quite uneasy when I think that the truth wasn't told 
(as described in an article).

Now, it is either a problem of upbringing, in which case we may have a 
chance. Or it is a problem of genetics, in which case we can only kill 
time and wait for new species to arrive and do us some coup de grace, 
maybe - if they don't care about us this much, we will simply crawl and 
eat dirt for ages, until we are finally no more.

>  If iPads for peace doesn't work :-)  Then I'm sure there are enough
> young American "video game pussies" willing to pilot drones from the
> safety of a bunker in Nevada to take care of the baddest of the bad. I
> think someone here posted about the VERY violent video game last week,
> if not it was
> http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-04/sniper-elite-v2
>  Do you think just maybe this kind of thing is preparing tomorrow's
> warriors? I do.

I don't. We have no clue what future war would look like. Stuxnet and 
drones give some hints, but I would expect lots of kills from future war, 
and I am yet not quite sure how stuxnets or drones could deliver. Those 
films and games are just for a public. You can as well argue that Star 
Wars films/comic books/figurine and stuff prepare future warriors. For me 
those are just color pictures. Sometimes I can extract a thought from 

>  Of course, it could just all go autonomous in the longer term.
> http://www.ted.com/talks/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html
> http://allthingsd.com/20120302/when-autonomous-flying-robots-fail/


Stanislaw Lem, again...

>  Now, for a scary thought from the diseased brain of Kelly... Imagine,
> if you will, a few hundred of these little autonomous quadcopters each
> carrying a half ounce of C4 explosive shape charges and a couple of
> pieces of shrapnel going after a high value target. Imagine his
> security detail trying to protect said HVT from hundreds of these
> speedy little fellows, each programmed to avoid being swatted 600
> times a second. Each trying desperately and cooperatively to land on
> said HVT's head (or heads of said security detail as a secondary goal)
> and explode. It's a nightmare for a security detail to even think
> about. How would you devise a defense against that other than stay
> inside ALL the time? Eventually, even staying inside won't be enough
> because you'll have autonomous robots that can knock down doors. I
> doubt a security detail would carry enough bullets to shoot them all
> even if they could hit one with each bullet. This is the kind of thing
> like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination that would work very well once,
> and then maybe not quite so well after that.

Well, there is no reason (other than being shy) that could prevent future 
Kennedy from making his own robots. Like, anti aircraft artillery robots. 
With his 9mm taped to a sensor and few electric motors. Ammo is cheap. 
Stones are even cheaper. Even lasers are (or will be) cheap.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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