Re: look out! long-haired gun loon!

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Sun, 14 Dec 1997 18:58:55 -0800

This is clearly a sensitive subject.

I don't want to engage in "rearranging my prejudices" on this one, but let
me suggest that reasonable minds may differ.

>My reaction to Anton's posting has more to do with my reasons for
>being on this list rather than the fact that he owns a gun. I'm here
>to work with others to find the new ways in which humans will move
>beyond their present state. I'm looking for the new stories that
>will be told, and the new technologies that will take us there.

These are all valid points. Anton is "guilty" of proclaiming his
acquisition of old tech, and in that sense it is no more relevant than,
say, my announcing that I bought a new "beater" $1000 car.

>If anyone can explain to me how discussion of instruments designed
>solely for the killing and maiming of other humans relates to the
>purpose of breaking out of entropy and moving human evolution along,
>I will listen.

Please don't interpret what I say as some sort of snap reaction. I've
thought about your question for several hours now, and I think it's worth
pointing out that your "solely" has a symbolic component.

With respect, I'd like to point out that to a great many Russians, the SKS
is emblematic as a tool that helped to save their Motherland from
subjugation, and their wives and sisters from torture, rape and death, at
the hands of the Waffen SS.

Further, as a symbol in the eyes of aggressors, sometimes the intimidation
factor is enough. This is a function in addition to the two you mention,
and it is absent if only the aggressors possess the artifact carrying the
said symbolic (and functional) content.

>Until then, I find it sickening, and it frightens me in ways I can't
>explain insofar as our future as posthumans. I mean, what are we
>working towards, anyway?

Again, important questions. I have the impression that functional diversity
implies a sheaf of strategies. If posthuman society can exist in any
meaningful sense, I suspect that some capacity to do violence will be
retained by somebody. Who? Why?

If what you mean is that you don't want to live in a world where violence
is possible--well, I tend to agree; but I don't see how to get there from
here, especially right now. This does not mean that the list should glorify
violence, or the capacity for same.

Let me reiterate that I am sincere in wanting to explore these questions,
and in wanting to avoid kneejerk interchanges--even with a certain
(*other*) "kneejerk". :)


>Kathryn Aegis
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