Reformulation and Observations Re: SELF DETERMINATION /

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Mon, 15 Dec 1997 18:10:53 -0800

Having stood a bit more in uffish thought, I offer a slight reformulation:


MMB's CREDO RE: UGLY TECHNOLOGIES, Release 1.0 of 97.12.15

1) It is an observed fact that bullies and fools frequently have use for
weapons--crazy people sometimes use them too.

2) It _does not therefore follow_ that decent, sane people have _no_ use
for weapons--even ugly ones. This sobers me, but I've come to terms with
it. I am even able to consider the following points relatively coolly:

3) There is no magic in a uniform, nor a job description, that transforms a
bully, a fool or a crazy person into an honest (let alone decent or sane)
person. Wonder Woman's Golden Lasso and the Divine Right of Kings are
fiction, and that's too bad.

4) There is no magic in a weapon, nor in commonly available tool-like
technologies--even ugly ones--that transforms a decent, sane person into a
bully, fool, or maniac. Elric's demon-possessed sword is fiction, and thank
heavens for that.

5) One can imagine other technologies which _can_ perform such a
transformation, and some would argue that they exist today and already are
in use; were such employed, they would make any "menace of firearms"--such
as that decried of late on the floor of the UN, and in US, EC, Japanese and
Downunder media--pale by comparison.


Special bonus observations:

(po) From a certain Bierceian perspective, the aforementioned media are
themselves such a (5) technology.

(po) Guns don't kill people, _memes_ kill people.

(po) Desensitization (including simulation) is a time-honored working
method for (_attempting to_) lower the willingness-to-kill threshold of
young testosterone-peaking males.

(po) What ARE mean ghetto streets, Hollywood revenge-/action shoot-'em-ups
and Duke Nukem _GOOD FOR_?


(NOTE: Robotlike replies to the above address will fail;
*noncommercial* communications are welcome; kindly
substitute a hyphen for the asterisk in the above address.
Sorry for any inconvenience.)