Re: War Support Ebbs (almost a rant++)

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sun Nov 11 2001 - 00:09:13 MST

jeff davis wrote:

<much stuff that is at least somewhat parallel to my response to Amara snipped>

> I want a world where those who act with power are
> under a microscope, unable to hide in a crowd of
> innocents, naked to the truth, and who will
> automatically and inescapably be held responsible for
> their actions.

I wish it could happen, too. I agree that a lot of outcry and moral rectitude plus
Brinlike transparency (modulo the crypto--let's not go there, I said "Brinlike", not
"Brin's") sounds helpful; but... But I don't quite see how to get there from here.
Not without some sort of sea change in the population and the existing power structure(s)
and what Werner Erhart used to call "the Drift".

See, this automatic, inescapable stuff sounds like... a concentration of power. Again.
There's a fundamental "quis custodiet?" problem. It's nice work if you can get it.
This is, of course, the crux of the problem with socialists, and even with trying to
run a democracy of any size. The People must have power. OK, fine!

Except they can't and won't, mostly; and more skillful operators quickly dominate.
Also, things get delegated. Pretty soon it's meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Attention is a scarce resource. Total autonomy can really suck. Clans have costs I frequently
dislike--xenophobia from mild to utter dehumanizing of The Other, for example. Both of these don't provide
economies of scale; but perhaps such will be outmoded someday. Perhaps.

The remaining solutions? _All watched over by machines of loving grace_; and/or "Gort, Barenga!"

<Sidebar: Since some people complain when I corner hard, obligatory clue provisions: the first is an allusion to a
Brautigan work ( has it), the second to the classic movie "The
Day the Earth Stood Still"--approximating Eliezer's FAI and Blue Goo, respectively.

The most chilling line in the movie remains Klaatu's: "Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or continue
your present course and face obliteration." <<Aside: Sounds like something Microsoft lawyers set as their startup .WAV

Umm. Umm. Oh jeeze, Mr. Klaatu, sir. Can't I just _relinquish_ something, or something? Oh JEEZE.>

I don't have high confidence in either one at present. I'd _like_ to be convinced. In particular, I worry
what dispossessed, oppressed people will take what desperate actions when the music stops and they don't like
the chair they're supposed to sit in.

> "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
> Ray Charles

Ray, tell me how to do this. PLEASE! :)

My moronic mnemonic for smart behavior: "DICKS" == 
diplomacy, integrity, courage, kindness, skepticism.

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