Re: law enforcement for profit

From: Ruthanna R Gordon (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 15:03:22 MDT

On Thu, 4 May 2000, Zero Powers wrote:

> >From: Ruthanna R Gordon <>
> >And freedom is slavery.
> <snip>
> >When I became part of the 'cryonics crowd,' I made a deal with myself that
> >I wouldn't become frightened enough of death to live a longer life less
> >worth living. That means I'm still willing to sacrifice my life for
> >others if I see the need, and that I'm very cautious about sacrificing
> >freedom for the sake of security.
> Surveillance has *nothing* to do with freedom. You are free now to do
> anything that is legal. You would have that exact same freedom in a
> completely transparent society. Your only loss of freedom would be the
> freedom to commit a crime and get away with it. If you have a problem with
> giving that up, I think that says more about you than it says about society.

Yes. It says that my ideas of morality are not identical to those of our
current lawmakers.

        My current life partner is of the same gender as I am. Sometimes
we hold hands when we are walking down the street. Sometimes, when no one
else is around, I even kiss her. In many places, this is still listed as
a crime.

        When I'm walking around with my friends, we often discuss
possiblilities for the future--any and all, including futures in which the
United States government no longer exists (we are none of us liable to act
to further such a future, but it's awkward to insert disclaimers such as
this one into all of our statements). This is definitely illegal.

It says that I don't like being watched under the assumption that I'm
going to do something nasty. I don't like being stared at by policemen
either. I particularly don't like being watched by people I can't
see. This is a matter of aesthetic preference.

It says I believe that any sort of surveilance leads to conformity. In a
society of this complexity, most people are not entirely certain what is
legal and what isn't. If they know they are being watched by authority,
they will therefore constrain their actions and appearance to be as much
like those around them as possible. While constraint of behavior is by no
means equivalent to constraint of thought, the two do tend to go together
psychologically. Certainly dialogue, or communicative behavior, is
constrained. Furthermore, if people know the government is watching them
at particular street-corners, they are likely to come into the habit of
assuming surveilance elsewhere and modifying their behavior
accordingly. Therefore surveilance is likely to, long-run, decrease the
flow of new ideas in public, and the diversity of public
appearance/behavior. This is not extropic.

(It also says, if I'm going to be honest, that perhaps I think
Lockheed-Martin ought to buy their surveilance photos from private Russian
satelite owners, same as the rest of us. However, I am against the public
surveilance that is already in place as well, with the exception of very
limited things like the cameras that focus on ATM keypads. Just because
people tell me a development is inevitable does not mean I will not fight
it if I think the effects will be overall harmful--even once it is in
place. Likewise, I continue to work for positive developments even when
everyone says they are impossible, if I think the possibility is

In the particular case being discussed, it also says that I don't approve
of profit-based law enforcement, and that Lockheed-Martin is not my duly
elected government.

Ruthanna Gordon

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:10:51 MDT