Re: camera tech for crime prevention

phil osborn (
Sat, 02 Oct 1999 21:30:23 PDT

><< Julian Assange has written,
> >Power currupts, and absolute power currupts absolutely.
> I think corrupt people seek power, and absolutely corrupt people seek
> power.
> --J. R.
> >>
> I think power magnifies attributes, and absolute power magnifies
>attributes absolutely. Therefore, what in the powerless might seem like a
>small flaw, in the powerful could become a serious problem, and in the
>omnipotent could be a disaster of universal (or greater) proportion. But I
>believe the same is true for good traits, so that what in the powerless
>be an endearing characteristic, in the powerful might be saintly, and in
>omnipotent could save us all.
> This is why I am a transhumanist....after all, if what either Julian
>J.R. have said about power is true, then what does that say about us
>transhumanists who seek to stride amonst the stars for eternity?

>Glen Finney

There is also the cultural aspect. For example, the same person who was a great co-worker may be a vicious, overbearing, sado-masochistic, irrational jerk as a boss. But in western culture we assume that the same rules apply to everyone, so we condemn people who are corrupted by power, even as we recognize the fact that it happens. The heart of our attitude is our belief, unique among cultures, as far as I know, in general objectivity. It took a major leap for China and Japan to adopt the scientific method, for example, because their respective cultures did not recognize any objective reality in any explicit philosophical form. We of the West, however, make a virtual leap of faith in assuming that objectivity also rules social/ethical/political issues. Thus, we both condemn and expect some kind of satisfaction from the politician or manager who abuses his position. Not true of Eastern cultures.

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