Re: near-anything boxes allowed to be in the hands of the public?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Mar 12 2000 - 20:28:04 MST

Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> >
> >Wouldn't it be great if we could pass an international law that said
> >that nations had to fight their wars in simulators?
> While you're at it: how about a law that outlaws war? How about all
> international disputes resolved by televised debate and online plebiscite?
> North Ireland's Catholic v. Protestant
> Israel v. Palestine
> Russia v. Chechnya
> all decided with the click of a mouse!

The problem with issues that lead to war is that they are typically
issues where the parties both have truly justified but conflicting
interests, also where there is also an element where the situation has
festered for so long that the original reasons are no longer the main
reasons, only hate. In such situations, any plebiscite will not be
rational, and losers will not willingly accept being outvoted.

The problem with voting on it is who is the plebiscite? I doubt the
Catholics would want a majority of Protestants deciding their fate,
thats the whole source of their problems as they see it. The point of
contests of champions, whether it be war, olympics, trade, etc. is that
if you lose its entirely your own fault. Its not so hard to accept the
dictates of others if you know that you have done absolutely everything
for your own cause. If the victors are rather decent about winning (as
the US/Allies was with Japan and Germany) then its not so bad, I would
imagine. Besides that, by the time a conflict finishes, the losers are
too mentally/emotionally exhausted anyways but to accept defeat.

Given the relative success of the campaign to ban landmines, I would
expect that a Contest of Champions Treaty would likely be feasible in
the not so distant future to determine intractable issues. Of course,
you still have the problem of people being good sports if their side
loses. Given the violence we've seen after some countries lose in the
World Cup, I'm not sure this is to be automatically expected...

However, if you set the system up where any person in the conflicting
groups can volunteer to compete in the simulation, as many times as they
wish, and the simulation is sufficiently physically and mentally
demanding to tax the limits of the individual, you could potentially
attain a similar level of emotional expenditure. After a given time
period, say of three or five years or so, the side with the most wins
wins the issue. By this time, all the hot heads will have shot their
wads, win or lose.

Mike Lorrey

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