Re: The End of Privacy ?
Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:20:14 EDT

In a message dated 7/6/98 10:44:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< Indeed; government is by its nature very unstable, and that's another good reason for abolishing it.>>

You're going to make governments illegal?

<<>Many people will not leave because many people will lacks the means to

Really? How much does a train or bus ticket cost these days?>>

Are you kidding? It's not the train or bus ticket (about 35 dollars or so every few hundred miles via Greyhound) it's the finding a place to stay and a job after one arrives at where ever one is going. The job markets in rural areas tend to be more constricted.

<<>But what's further, I don't think that anyone should HAVE to leave.

Fine; you can think what you like, but reality doesn't give a damn about "should" or "should not". If they wish they're free to stay there and die in defence of their beliefs, but they'll die just the same. >>

You miss the point. Instead of merely accepting that millions and possibly more will die via terrorist attack, I think that there is a moral imperative to take measures to reduce that possibility, ideally to nil.

<<> To concentrate on reducing the motivational force for terrorism
>is simply a bad course of action.

Of course; much better to increase that motivation and stand behind your beliefs that people shouldn't have to get nuked for it. They'll be real happy up in the stratosphere.>>

You completely ignored the argument that I posted along with that sentence, which was embedded in the middle of it, namely that there will always be crazies with the intent to do enormous amounts of damage, and that such crazies will sometimes be able to organize into terrorist cells, and that no matter how free or minimalist we make government, the terrorist threat will always exist. So it's not a matter of getting blown to kingdom come for principle, but a matter of pragmatism: the way to reduce the threat is not PRIMARILY by reducing the motivation. I think that I also said that reducing the motivation should of course occur and should be a secondary measure.

>I don't think that we need
>to destroy privacy. We can design and build more effective devices to
>nuclear/biological/chemical weapons, as well as conventional explosives.

Uh-huh... and that won't destroy privacy? Being subjected to arbitrary searches and scans by the cops, which will very quickly be expanded to include anything else they can scan for? And what will you do when the freedom fighters take that as an incentive to strike now?>>

The Energy Department has had a program for some years dedicated to the development of such devices, and they've come a long, long way in the inception of it. As far as, say, being scanned automatically when I enter a dense population area, or any public, for nuclear/biologica/chemical weapons I can say that I don't regard that as an invasion of my privacy. If I don't have any such weapons, the scan will tell them nothing.

Freedom fighters? Like I said in another post, the term usually refers to guerilla movements. I don't know of any guerilla movements in the United States. If you're referring to terrorists, like McVeigh, frankly I think it makes perfect sense to develop such scanning measures BEFORE they lay their hands on NBC warfare materiel. That cult in Japan, the Aum, tried using a variety of biological measures against Tokyo and the HQ of the U.S. Seventh Flt. in Japan, including the spraying of anthrax spores and the Q fever. None had any detectable effect (they were a bit more successful of course in the subway attack). I'd rather not wait to develop scanners until the means of employing biological and chemical weapons are refined enough for organizations like the Aum, or any with the same intent, to be horribly successful.

<< > I
>thought that optimism was an integral part of the Extropian Ethic. Am I

Not your kind of "if we just ignore reality it will go away" optimism. >>

Which I've never advocated.