Re: Transhuman fascists?

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 20:32:53 MST

>From: "Technotranscendence" <>

> > Come on. Get real. It is illegal to murder people, regardless of
> > they are gay or how much "mind blowing anal sex" they enjoy. And the
> > of the matter is that those laws are enforced. Sure there was a time
> > if you were black in America you had no rights which any white man was
> > to honor. Those days are passed.
>Depends on where you are, really. Three people were recently murdered in
>NYC by the police there. In at least one of the cases -- the Diallo one --
>the police were acquitted.

No it doesn't depend where (in the US) you are. It is the law of the land
that all humans are entitled to the protection (and punishment) of the law.
Now the law is not perfectly applied but that is only because humans are
imperfect and, as of yet, we haven't found anyone else to apply our laws for
us. Just because those cops were acquitted doesn't mean that they got away
with murder. They were arrested, charged and tried. A jury of 12 people
decided that it was justifiable homicide. I'm not saying they were right,
no one (other than the cops themselves) will ever know.

> > I never said transparency will necessarily bring about an end to all
> > behavior. What it will do is *guarantee* that the perpetrator is
> > identified, caught and convicted. That's about all any social policy
> > hope to do. To cure people of criminal tendencies you need to look to
> > neuroscientists, and maybe the philosophers.

>I'm not asking for ubiquitous surveillance to guarantee social perfection.
>My point is that it would only accenuate current imperfections. I think
>this is what some of Zero's other critics are getting at too. The only
>thing ubiquitous surveillanca will guarantee, I believe, is, at least
>temporarily ubiquitous surveillance. The rest depends on what people do
>with it is what is at issue here. But this is true of any social policy.
>If one advocates, e.g., capital punishment, one could argue that murderers
>should die for their crime. I would agree, but, as a practical matter, if
>we wrongfully capitally punish (kill) an innocent, how do undo that? We
>disconnect things to examine them in our head, but when the tire meets the
>road, we have to look at what will most likely happen. Human history is
>awash in blood -- mostly spilled by people who meant well and adopted
>seemingly rational policies without examining what these policies might do
>in the real world.
>I'm waxing rhetorical here.:/

Well, we could give examples and allegories from history from now till the
singularity. But I think its pretty much a given that when people are being
watched by other people (and they know they are being watched) they tend to
behave themselves much better than when they are alone, in the corner, in
the dark. So, rather than accentuate current imperfections, I think its
pretty clear that transparency will instead *diminish* current
imperfections. Until we humans figure out how to be perfect, I think that's
the best we can do.

>Let me give a more realistic example. Drug use in the US and many
>is illegal. To a large extent, drug use is also unpopular. With
>surveillance, imagine how many pot smokers will be jailed, perhaps for long

This *might* be a problem, but its not a problem with *transparency*. If
anything its a problem with drug legislation and enforcement. You could
keep pot smokers out of jail by only hiring deaf, blind and dumb cops with
no sense of smell too. But I think there are probably better ways to solve
that "problem."

>(This is a good example because with D.A.R.E. programs in the US,
>there already are people turning in their relatives, friends, teachers,
>to the police. D.A.R.E. programs basically teach school aged kids that the
>cops are fine people and that if anyone is using drugs the police should be
>told. This is one step closer to ubiquitous surveillance in a basically
>democratic society.) Surely, no one here thinks this a fine use ubiquitous
>surveillance, but it would be a likely use if we had it now.

Yeah I guess there's a point there somewhere, but you have to keep in mind
the transparency I'm talking about is two-way. If it were just one-way
surveillance of the populace I would not be advocating it so vociferously.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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