Re: ECONOMY: The Absurdity of Merchant Account Requirements

den Otter (
Tue, 8 Sep 1998 11:44:23 +0200

> From:

> den Otter [] wrote:
> >Nothing that onboard video surveillance combined and a swift & sure justice
> >system wouldn't fix. A more liberal policy with regard to keeping and
> >bearing arms would probably also help.
> Yeah. I'm sure the little old lady will feel really happy as she lies dying
> on the floor after the thugs beat her up,

She and the other people on the bus/tram/street would be allowed to carry guns, and there's a real chance that the attackers would get shot. Even if they'd escape, the police would eventually find them (since they're not wasting their time on victimless crime anymore) and they'd be executed/jailed, depending on the severity of the crime.

> knowing that -- Thank God! -- a
> surveillance camera recorded the whole thing and the thugs might, possibly,
> be caught. If the operator wasn't using the zoom lens to peep at the other
> women in the carriage; which is apparently the single largest use of the
> British police surveillance cameras, according to a recent report.

There wouldn't be any operator (save for some very busy areas), but the cameras would primarily function as hard evidence in court. With swift and sure justice, the old lady's murderer(s) would be executed once found guilty (and put in cryostasis, just in case you had the wrong guys). After a couple of months there would be hardly any criminal activity, because all reckless offenders (the majority) would be either dead or in jail. Once would-be criminals see the smashing effect of ubiquitous surveillance combined with a firm justice system and motivated police force, they'd think twice before breaking the law. And if not, well... [swoosh goes the guillotine]

> This is the whole problem with surveillance; it's purely an attempt to deter
> criminals with the threat of potential capture, and most of them aren't
> going to stop because of it.

Some will, some won't. The stupid ones would quickly disappear from society. The really smart ones (relatively few) would get a hard time indeed, now that they're the focus of (virtually) all police attention.

> I recently saw a surveillance video of a few
> kids on a British housing estate who smashed up a car with rocks then
> set it on fire, in full view of the camera. Maybe the kids were caught --
> though the resolution was so low I doubt I could identify them from it --
> but I'm sure that won't make the car's owner any happier.

Nowadays, cameras with good resolution aren't that expensive anymore. When produced and bought in bulk (millions), they'd be considerably cheaper still. "Hot spots" like shopping districts could get even better cameras, for top quality identification. The abovementioned kids would (in my system) quickly be arrested, forced to pay for all the damage (their parents wouldn't be pleased with that), and put in jail for a year or so (or until the damages are paid). Soon there wouldn't be much cases like this anymore.