I only saw a little bit of the Genoan riots on the news recently but it strikes me that people don't need a reason to protest, especially violently.
I live in Bradford, England and as anyone in England knows, Bradford has just suffered under some rather nasty race related riots. Essentially the BNP (British national party - a group of racist idiots) planned a march on the same day as an anti racist march through Bradford. On the day, no-one from the BNP turned up (the home secretary banned them) but over 1000 asian youths (Pakistani and Indian) came out and had themselves a good old riot. The police tried to break it up but were overwhealmed by the superior numbers of the rioters. Only clever tactical skills by the commander of the cops allowed them to clear the streets but by that time the riots had raged for hours and had caused a great deal of damage.
The interesting point is that most of the youths that rioted claimed that they were defending themselves from the BNP troublemakers and that the police had attacked the rioters first and with great brutality. Exactly how the rioters were defending themselves from racist thugs that were over 200 miles away (tucked up safe and sound in bed, in London) escapes me.
My point is (sorry it took so long getting there) that there seems to be a group present in western society that consists of young men (in their teens to their mid twenties) that live to cause trouble, they thrive on violence and hatred and really do not care who is on the recieving end of it. For instance, the greater part of damage done in Bradford was to asian businesses by asian rioters.
How can we create a brighter future for mankind in general when such people exist? How can we channel their rage into something constructive? A lot of discussion on the list is to do with technology solving problems of the flesh (death, disease, limited intelligence/physical skills). Can anyone think of ways in which such technology could be turned upon the violent sections of society to change violence into something constructive.
I can only see technology helping here through education. I am doing a years work placement at a school/public computer centre and the reaction of some of the kids to the high tech look of the centre makes teaching them a lot easier, but there are still those trouble makers who refuse to behave. Unfortunately I saw more than one of the troublemakers from the school I'm working at on the TV, in the midst of the riots, throwing bricks at cops.
On a side note, about the riots in Genoa. If you are rioting (and to my mind, you shouldn't be) and you attack an officer of the law, who is armed and who is charged with dispersing the rioters (i.e. you) and he then shoots you, then you really deserve everything you get. Stupidity does not further the human race one bit and maybe your death will serve as an example to protest peacefully and not to attack men with guns, with a fire extinguisher.
"Last night as I lay in bed looking at the stars I thought
'Where the hell is the ceiling?'"
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