Re: Armed to the Teeth, and Free by Stephen P. Halbrook

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 19:38:29 -0500

Cynthia wrote:
> > Do the Swiss allow their convicted violent criminals and certified
> > mentally incompetent to possess arms?
> Of course not. First of all, the Swiss have effectively stopped defective people
> from breeding over a period of hundreds of years, so that the incidence of
> defective people is lower than ours (but not as low as it is for the Jews and
> Japanese).

Cynthia, please remember that from the perspective of just a few years down the road, you yourself are in pretty poor condition by any standards you care to name.

People are never defective. We can be crippled. We can be hurt. We can be twisted. We can be born that way, because of genes or prenatal problems; we can get hit on the head; we can even be hurt because of our own choices. But people are never, ever defective, not even if they've been in a coma since birth, because people are not tools or parts or anything else that can be "defective" by failing to serve your purpose. People have their own purposes. A gamepiece can be defective. Never a player.

"Defective" does not apply to game-theoretical agents.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way