Re: Tolerance strategies (was: Two Essays on the violence...) (fwd)

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 17:45:07 MDT

> > A tolerant society allows all ideas to be expressed; it even allows
> > actions many people find objectionable so long as they are done with
> > consent of all parties affected, but even the most liberal society
> > cannot tolerate coercive and violent actions except in self-defense,
> > and even to most peaceful society must occasionally itself respond
> > to such actions with defensive force. It is not acceptable to allow
> > murderers to run free, for example; they must be forcibly detained
> > and prevented from killing others.
> What if a particular meme is acted upon with high frequency, and this
> action is a violent one? What if a promoter of this meme moves in next
> to you, should you seek to stop them or wait until the meme spread and
> is acted upon and then defend against or avenge each individual
> action?

If every time the action is taken, someone goes to jail, that will
eventually have an effect on the meme.

> > Eli's point is quite valid: a tolerant society in which ideas are
> > expressed freely will result in better technologies, including those
> > technologies that are useful for defense. And such a society will
> > recognize that using them is necessary.
> A tolerant society will by its nature also relinquish certain very
> effective weapons it invents, such as mind control and germ warfare.

Not if it's tolerant enough that I can say something about it. I
absolutely reject the idea that any technology should be relinquished,
_especially_ those useful for self-defense. If mind control, germ
warfare, nuclear weapons, nanotech, interrogation drugs, or any other
technology becomes necessary for self-defense, I would not oppose it.
Of course many of these things pose a risk to ourselves and our
freedoms as well, so using them wisely can be difficult. But even
if we do have to forgo some of them (mind control is the most obvious
dangerous example), there will be others. None of this will happen
overnight; we're talking about effects that happen over generations
(though that timeline will speed up in the future as well).

> I'm not talking about evil here. I'm merely saying that if any amount
> of secrecy or fiat rule is necessary to the survival of a society,
> then it will be leveraged by those in on the secret for personal gain
> and to the detriment of the society that entrusted them with the
> secret. Since you disagree with my premise that secrecy is necessary
> to a society's survival (and I don't blame you, I'm not sure I think
> it's actually necessary-- I just see that it's omnipresent) we can't
> really debate point 1a at this point.

OK, expressed that way you have more of a point. You're right, I
think "secrecy" is one of those dangerous weapons that might be useful
in defense but that can endanger the freedoms we're trying to defend.
Whether or not using it (or the others) is necessary is a good
question, but again it's only a question of time before other new
technologies come along. In the meantime, I can agree that there is
a concern about these technologies being misused.

> Let's keep in mind that any one of these setbacks could usher in a new
> Dark Ages that will delay the singularity by a couple of generations,
> halt life extension research, and/or destroy your cryo-provider's
> ability to maintain the temperature of your DeWar.

Yep. The short term is a bitch. And we live in the short term.
Kinda sucks for us visionaries. :-)

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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