Re: A renaissance for civil defense?

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 16:23:16 MST

Brian Phillips wrote:
> What would open scource civil defense look like?

Paradigm mismatch.

Computer code is inherently of utility in and of itself. Programmers
have a need, as do other programmers, so they share their bits of the
solution. There is nothing to balance this solution against, in the
same sense as balancing civil defense vs. other approaches to security.

Security is a response to people doing various detrimental acts to
property and other people. The ideal security is where there are no
enemies willing to stoop that low. But there is no "need" for security
itself, just a need to make sure the things which the security guards
against never happen. Security is one solution to this need; other,
more popular ones (since they are cheaper and usually more effective)
include diplomacy and economic motivation. The problem is, when these
approaches fail, investment in them tends to be to the near-complete
neglect of anything that could be recognized as civil defense. The
government currently compensates for this by spending (IMO, too much)
on military, though this can be done to the neglect of diplomacy and
economic motivation...with results that we are currently seeing. Thus,
in the immediate future, "open source" would recruit mostly people who
seek to shift this balance the other way to any degree...and wind up
with not much defense at all.

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