Re: Nanotech Restrictions

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Wed Apr 26 2000 - 02:43:48 MDT

On Tue, Apr 25, 2000 at 10:34:29AM -0700, Brian D Williams wrote:
> Sounds like a bit of trouble.
> Gee, maybe if the english got the hell out of where they don't
> belong they wouldn't have these problems....

Clue #1: it isn't the English in northern Ireland; it's the British
Army. You're about four hundred years too late to fix Oliver Cromwell's
big mistake, and now we've got to live with the consequences.

Clue #2: have you by any chance heard of a nice, friendly bunch of lads
called the UVF? If the British government withdrew from Northern Ireland
tomorrow they'd be only too happy to take over the policing job. In fact,
you'd have a hard job keeping them from protecting the community by their
preferred techniques -- the bomb, the gun, and the baseball bat.

(There used to be two communities in the Republic, only they had a
little civil war in the 1920's. You might have read about it at school in
history classes, if you'd been paying attention. Now there's only _one_
community down south -- and their opposite number up north have long
memories and hold grudges. It's not just the pIRA who plant bombs ...)

Clue #3: there are two native communities in Northern Ireland. They love
each other so much that the mere threat of a British withdrawl is enough
to give the government of Eire a panic attack; the aftermath of a British
withdrawl without some sort of peace settlement would resemble Bosnia.

Now, would you like to explain exactly how your suggestion would result
in a successful resolution of the Irish problem? If you can convince us,
then I suggest you will not find the Prime Minister and the Taioseach
uninterested. (They -- and their predecessors -- have been looking for a
solution for the past three decades, at great personal risk.) If you
can't suggest a solution, may I submit that the smart thing to do would
be in future to do your research _before_ you open your mouth in public?

-- Charlie

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