quadibloc on May 07, 2010, 08:10:46 pm
Why don't we have streets running with blood, as the hoplophobes assert must be the inevitable consequence of mixing people with guns?

When you have the answer to that question, we can proceed to something more hypothetical, such as grey goo.
You can't kill that many people with a gun before you're stopped. And shooting sprees do happen occasionally.

Why do we have all those security precautions in airports, when passengers would react differently now to an attempted hijacking? Because if there are enough copycat attacks by people who are merely suicidal, one will eventually get through.

So if it becomes too easy to whip up something which could kill millions before it is stopped, a few individuals would be crazy enough to do so, it would seem.

They would also be a lot more compassionate than us. They wouldn't ignore the Virginia tech shooting guy, even though he was obviously mentally distressed enough to unleash a doomsday device if he had one. They would help that guy, because ignoring him means massive destruction.
This is interesting. If such technology only comes about in a distant future, yes, I could see people gradually becoming more civilized.

But this also suggests a more disturbing possibility.

Let us say we're not quite in the stage of fearing grey goo, but ordinary individuals do happen to have a fair amount of destructive power at their command. It could be that one category of person is more likely to endanger the society in violent bursts of rage than another, and if persons of that category aren't an outcast group, but one central to the society, then they might be especially accommodated.

In other words, since the commonest cause of a man going postal is a woman leaving him, one could see a reversion to the inequality of women.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 08:17:02 pm by quadibloc »

Illuminaughty on May 07, 2010, 10:03:06 pm
Quote
Let us say we're not quite in the stage of fearing grey goo, but ordinary individuals do happen to have a fair amount of destructive power at their command.

OMG! there should be a dozen, maybe two dozen twilight zone episodes about this.

In one, a small group of people, people like you and your friends, so like cool people, not violent or aggressive oppressors, right, learn unequivocally that they exist as subroutines on a computer simulating the world, not like the Matrix, no physical bodies somewhere. We are all information. And they learn a series of syllables that doesn't exist in any Earth language that would end the simulation and wipe the hard drive, essentially killing the whole world. How would that change you? How many people could learn the secret before the unthinkable happens? How would you prevent the secret from getting out? If it did get out, how would people's lives have to change, to avoid disaster?

There could even be the love angle you keep coming back to, with the couple breaking up after they learn the self destruct code, and the guy all like, "I can't live without you. I'm going to end everything." And he starts saying it. What would she do, faced with the imminent destruction of the world? That would be an awesome scene.

Maybe we should start a new thread about ideas for stories in which people are faced with the technological necessity of anarchy (government coercion becomes impossible because individual people have WMDs), but they are not yet civilized enough to handle it.

Escape from Terra is kind of like such a story, in that we are shown a space ship that can go from Terra to Ceres in 10 days. (It's engines would pack more of a punch than tactical nukes to be able to get such a large ship to go that fast.) But in EFT we are shown the anarchist society fully formed, the people, decent and civilized. But your comments make me want to see the growing pains.

Sean Roach on May 07, 2010, 11:35:27 pm
I have a weapon.  It's a couple tons of Detroit Steel.
It is a potent weapon.
I am not alone in having this highly destructive device, and yet incidents involving people deliberately running down pedestrians are relatively rare.
Of course, it could be that very few people actually stop to think about the potential destruction locked up inside that vehicle, and this is unfortunately at least in part true.  Very few people actually stop to think.  I hold that most motorists aren't homicidal.

Remember the scene in TPB where Lucille Kropotkin comments about using "planet movers" as weapons.

...
Of course, I'm not sure how true THIS is.  In an an-cap society, where people are encouraged to think, or at least not discouraged from thinking.  Where people are encouraged to be more inventive.  I suspect more people would be aware of the...potential... in just about anything, including destructive potential.  Of course, growing up to be a free thinker would probably go hand-in-hand with not being a malcontent bent on the death of others.  I can't point to any evidence of this, unfortunately.


terry_freeman on May 08, 2010, 01:06:30 pm
The folks who work for TSA are not there to provide security; they have in fact failed many times; tests have shown that the TSA are seldom able to detect weapons. The shoe bomber and the crotch bomber got through TSA's screening. The TSA exists to provide sinecures for people who could not find honest work in a free market.

A better way to handle airport security would be for the government to remove themselves - self-immolation would be acceptable, if environmentally nasty - perhaps sepukku would be a bit less messy - and let airline crews and passengers develop ways to solve the problem. This would save approximately $6 billion per year, plus the cost of hundreds of thousands of nail clippers, bottles of water, and other items deemed to be dangerous by the TSA.


Rocketman on May 10, 2010, 10:34:45 am
The folks who work for TSA are not there to provide security; they have in fact failed many times; tests have shown that the TSA are seldom able to detect weapons. The shoe bomber and the crotch bomber got through TSA's screening. The TSA exists to provide sinecures for people who could not find honest work in a free market.
Indeed.  Of the TWO attempts that we know of BOTH TIMES the TSA failed to detect the explosives.  In engineering circles that's called a 100% failure rate.  How do we know that they're have only been two attempts to take down the planes?  We don't.  But doesn't it make sense to everyone that if the TSA had actually found a bomb before the airplane was boarded that they would be announcing it all over the place as a example of the "good" job that they were doing and that they weren't a waste of time and money?

Sean Roach on May 10, 2010, 11:01:59 am
Actually, no.

Granted, "Security through Obscurity" is flawed, but it is still a component in many systems.

When something quietly fails, it gives less information to the actor to revise his approach.  A black box is harder to analyze than an open system.  It's also harder to identify any holes that may already be known to, or correctly assumed by, a limited population.

If something fails, and the opponents spell out what they did to thwart it, and how they knew, the next actor will take that information into account.  Use heat-seal plastic on the former water bottles to make them look unopened for instance, (or drill the bottom at the sprue, and drain and refill them that way, then use a little extra virgin plastic of the same type, and a soldering iron, to patch the bottle.)  Incidentally, you can no longer take even unopened water bottles into the secure area of an airport.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 04:03:27 pm by Sean Roach »

Rocketman on May 13, 2010, 10:52:41 am
Actually, no.

Granted, "Security through Obscurity" is flawed, but it is still a component in many systems.

When something quietly fails, it gives less information to the actor to revise his approach.  A black box is harder to analyze than an open system.  It's also harder to identify any holes that may already be known to, or correctly assumed by, a limited population.

If something fails, and the opponents spell out what they did to thwart it, and how they knew, the next actor will take that information into account.  Use heat-seal plastic on the former water bottles to make them look unopened for instance, (or drill the bottom at the sprue, and drain and refill them that way, then use a little extra virgin plastic of the same type, and a soldering iron, to patch the bottle.)  Incidentally, you can no longer take even unopened water bottles into the secure area of an airport.
Sean, while you do have a point I think that your wrong. The TSA is and has been roundly criticized in the past for their unprofessional behavior.  The only reason that they haven't been abolished  I think is because the government believes that they are neccessary. (that's a whole nother story)  I think that the need for them to show that they are worth the aggravation that they are causing the FAA and the passengers on the airplanes out weighs the need for secrecy, besides if they believe that some details of the capture would aid the terrorists it would be easy for them to leave them out of the press briefing.

terry_freeman on May 13, 2010, 01:26:08 pm
I don't think even the government is stupid enough to believe that the TSA is necessary; the reason the TSA persists is that the government hates to admit to being wrong.

If the government ever admitted that peace can be privatized ( to borrow a line from Iron Man 2 ), then why should we consent to being taxed to support violence, mayhem, mugging, theft, bombing, poverty, kidnapping, propaganda, and other government "services?"

Rocketman on May 14, 2010, 09:13:20 am
Terry: The TSA is a government entity, therefore of course they are going to keep supporting if because it gives greater power to the govenment, also in the strictest sense we don't consent to having the government take our money in taxes  No one asked me and I doubt if they asked you.  The reason that I give the government money is because I don't like spending the next five to ten years in jail.  If I actually had an option my money wouldn't be used to pay the bailout of a bunch of fat cat bankers who make insane loans that they knew from the very beginning would never ever be able to be paid back.  >:(

 

anything