[ExI] what the hell was i thinking?

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Mar 14 16:15:54 UTC 2019

-----Original Message-----
From: spike at rainier66.com <spike at rainier66.com> 
Subject: RE: [ExI] what the hell was i thinking?

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of BillK

>>...Spike, you often mention the Constitution and the rights of US citizens.
What about the right to remain silent when faced with police questioning?

>>...Officials already try to scan your smartphone whenever they want to.
What if they want to scan your thoughts as well?  BillK


>...BillK, it is controversial.  The constabulary is already getting a long list of highly effective new technologies, some already in place.

>...Let me ponder and post something later.  Spike

OK got something, if you will allow slightly strained analogies.  Use them if they work for you.

Asimov's writings teach us a lot about how technology shapes culture.  Let us take an Asimovian approach to understanding a critical place and time in human history and civilization, the area we now call the Middle East, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea.  There was a piece of ground suitable to agriculture, where the wild beasts could be controlled and such, dry but mild climate.  It was at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe.  Important place on the globe was that.

In the old days, there were early agricultural civilizations forming, and civilizations recognizing the advantages of working together in big groups beyond one's family, central governments and so forth.  As in nature, where there are plants, plant eaters evolve, and carnivores evolve.  A civilization equivalent to that would be the agricultural society would be loosely analogous to the vegetarian or grazing beasts.  Then raiding societies evolve, which do not farm land, but go invade existing farm land, kill the inhabitants if they fail to flee, devour their crops, then move on, in a way roughly analogous to the pack of hyenas or pride of lions.

Over time, the agricultural techniques evolve giving those societies more ability to feed themselves, and over time, war tech evolves in the raider societies, since they use it all the time.  They make their living at making war. So they get good at it.  The ag societies learn to build strongholds, such as castles, to store their products.  The raider societies invent catapults and cannons and such.  And so it goes.

In the long run, the defenders advantage goes to the defender (well imagine that (perhaps that is how it got its name.))  Defense is easier than offense.  The defender doesn't need to go anywhere, so he can accumulate his stuff right there.  The attacker has to move everything.

OK cool, now think of how this notion of defenders advantage applies to crime vs enforcement.  For any of this analogy to make a bit of sense requires one to think of law enforcement as the defenders army, with the criminal being the stealth attacker.  We have elements in American society today who tend to promote the view that law enforcement and the citizenry are on opposite sides of a struggle, but I have a hard time with that view of life, for reasons I will share upon request.

In the meantime, I view law enforcement as the defenders army and I am part of the defenders side.

In that view, a critical aspect to be watched very closely is the risk that the defenders army will turn on the defenders, and become the attacker.  Our recent internal struggle at the FBI has my full and undivided attention.  Any nuclear-armed government at war with itself is a cause for concern.  When the top law enforcement agency for a government at war with itself demonstrates any form of corruption, this is a grave cause for concern, for it is no longer clear if the defender's army is still loyal to the defender.

This is, in my view, the message of libertarianism: support authority but watch them closely.


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