Re: Surveillance Technology

den Otter (
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 12:45:41 +0100

> From: Paul Hughes <>

>Your position is extreme

Compared to the status quo it certainly is. As there's a lot wrong with the stutus quo, this is not (necessarily) a negative thing.

>and elitist.

You're an elitist yourself ( I quote: "Since I don't expect the emotional intelligence of the average person to increase much in the near future, I've focused my efforts instead on getting off this primitive rock of savage domesticated primates and heading for the stars as soon as possible"). I don't say elitism is bad, btw (when justified), but one shouldn't use it as an insult if one is just as black as the kettle.

As an up-wing libertarian, your position
> is at the exact opposite side of the spectrum as mine.

No, it's not (unless you value the means more than the goal). See also below.

If I had to classify it -
> I'd say you are an extremely right-wing authoritarian, even by American standards.
> Short of name calling, I see no significant difference between you and a
> right-wing party prominent in Europe in the 1930's and 40's.

Oh, righ. So the extreme American Right and mister A.H. support(ed) legalization of victimless crime and maximal personal freedom in general? They really care(d) about making prisons safer, justice less arbitrary and preventing child/spouse abuse. Of course. Yes, the US Right also is a firm supporter of atheism and critical thought in general, and they most certainly support the right to have an abortion. Certainly. It goes without saying that they want to extend welfare by means of automation to a level where no-one is forced to work etc.

Somehow I get the idea that you've been reading my posts in a very selective manner...Happens all the time. I understand your confusion though, as there's something of a paradox to my ideas: use "totalitarian" methods to "enforce" freedom. Why? Because freedom is such a fragile thing, it needs to be protected. You can't just let the masses decide, they will enslave themselves and us with them in no time (as they have done thousands of times troughout history, and are still doing today). So, *theoretically*, an "ideal" system (one that allows maximal individual freedom while maintaining stability, progress and justice) would have to be "ruled from the top" by idealists (this could best be done discretely, so that an illusion of "democracy" is kept, more or less like the current system does, only with different intentions).

> Gathering by the relative silence on this list in response to your political
> suggestions, I felt more apt (regardless of my future reputation on this list)
> in speaking out. Call me irrational, or emotional, I could care less whether I
> the standards of a 'Spock' or 'Data' . I am neither a Vulcan or an android,

Of course you're not. All our motives are ultimately emotional, and thus "arbitrary".

I care
> about my freedom, and I take great offense when intelligent people like yourself
> taking a swipe at it - so be it...

You see it as an "unacceptable" limitation to your freedom if you're not allowed to murder, rape and steal? Pretty much everything else would be legal(ized), you know...However, as there would always be people who can't even respect the simple Golden Rule, there would have to be law enforcement. And to do law enforcement right, you need as much data about a crime as possible, which brings in such measures as public cam systems and DNA databanks. See the logic? If you seek perfection, you don't have much of a choice (either this or you rewire everyone according to your wishes, which is a lot worse than what I propose).

> Regarding my LSD solution, which unlike yours has actually been tested, actually
> works.

Based on one test of questionable integrity? Yes, it *could* work for some, but I'm highly suspicious about the alleged success rate. Also, LSD therapy as 'punishment' will hardly deter anyone, unless it really feels horrible, and leaves the victim a zomby. In that case you've effectively introduced torture and capital punishment. Furthermore, this treating of criminals as 'mental patients' is a greater insult to personal freedom and free will than anything I have come up with. The ultimate arrogance, and a method that has written 'abuse' all over it. Finally, even if LSD therapy turned out to be 'peachy keen', it would, from a moral standpoint, still be inappropriate to apply to murderers and other violent offenders. The need for retribution is a rational emotion which should not be discriminated against. If you want to ban this [fairly rational] emotion, why not all others?

What evidence do you have, outside of your own mental fabrication, that your
> ideas have any merit at all?

Just watch shows like "I Witness Video", "Cops" etc. to see the power of cameras in action. See how the criminal usually confesses as soon as he hears that video footage is available. See how crime drops in well-monitored areas. For the power of DNA indexing etc, check out shows "Medical Detectives" on Discovery. The merits of ideas like "legalize all victimless crime" (which you conveniently seem to forget) need no further explanation, I assume.