Re: camera tech for crime prevention

phil osborn (
Sun, 03 Oct 1999 18:30:56 PDT

>From: "J. R. Molloy" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: camera tech for crime prevention
>Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999 02:25:29 -0700
>Phil Osborn commented,
> >We of the West, however, make a virtual leap of faith in assuming that
> >objectivity also rules social/ethical/political issues. Thus, we both
> >condemn and expect some kind of satisfaction from the politician or
> >who abuses his position. Not true of Eastern cultures.
>The co-worker who becomes a jerk boss always (secretly) wanted to become a
>boss. The seed of power-abuse must already reside in the abuser. Power only
>provides the opportunity for latent attributes to emerge and grow, it does
>insinuate any value of its own.
>Power cannot corrupt anything, because, as Glen pointed out, it only
>what already exists. What does this say about transhumanists who transcend
>desire? It says that only choicelessly aware transhumanists shall discover
>way to that which abides ineffably. It says that in order to stride amongst
>stars forever, you will return to the place where you began, and know it
>for the
>first time. Only stories have beginnings and endings. Reality has no
>and no end. <burp>
Suggest that you might want to check out Fukayama's "Trust." In fact, Chinese bosses are notorious for being arbitrary, vicious, etc. There are very good historical/philosophical reasons for this having on one level to do with the fact that there is no trust outside the family in Chinese culture. On another level, however, the lack of trust itself reflects the lack of any concept of objectivity. Just try watching the typical Chinese fight movie. You really can't tell who the good guys are except for the fact that they end up winning.
The Japanese have something of the opposite rep, but when they adopted Western science they had to invent a word for a dispute that was not an actual fight in order to discuss scientific matters without resorting to katanas. In Japan, the language itself was structured in a way to promote cohesiveness vertically. There was literally no way to address someone else except as either an inferior or a superior. Imagine the dilemna of two stranger samurais meeting.
The problem was typically resolved by bringing in a 3rd party who was above or more likely below in social status. You talked through them. In China, the language promoted just the opposite. There were levels of language promoted by the Mandarin/Confucian beauracracy. The level above you could use memorized allusions to convey secret messages in a discussion, and you would never know.
I could go on for some length, but the bottom line is that there are vast and profound differences in culture and philosophy that make certain kinds of relationships difficult or impractical in certain cultures. Fukayama does the subject a lot more justice than I possibly could here.

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