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« The Middle Way | Main | CRN in any language »

January 16, 2004

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Janessa Ravenwood

Fortunately, it stands no chance in hell of never coming about as it would require all countries on Earth to sacrifice all of their nationalistic interests and work together harmoniously. The U.N. would try to take it over (see Atomic Energy Commission), further complicating issues (I guess it should be noted that if the U.N. ever did set up such a body, it would be just as ignored and flouted as the U.N. is now). The U.S. Government in particular would never to agree to essentially cede its sovereignty to such an organization that would end up having total control over any country that accepted its rules and influence. And without the U.S., forget it. The U.N. and foreign countries (particularly Europe) who have contrary ideas about our national policies are being held in more and more contempt by the average American – a good thing from my point of view. The more “imperialistic” the U.S. becomes, the less chance plans like yours have of coming about. I certainly hope the trend continues and at present it shows every sign of doing just that. I guess the world is fortunate you tranzis are essentially incapable of comprehending the Realpolitik of the globe.

It should also be noted that the technical details of enforcement in your "master plan" are full of holes. You really should have consulted someone competent in computer security before issuing them.

Also interesting that national self-interest will end up saving our civil liberties from tyrannical schemes like yours.

P.S. I assume you set this up because Howard shut his down?

Janessa Ravenwood

[PART 1 - CUT OFF - SORRY!]

Unfortunately, your solution calls for the creation of the most totalitarian system I've ever heard described. One that would have absolute control over every aspect of our lives. A “benevolent bureaucracy” – such a thing exists only in your dreams and the dreams of other tranzis. Though I have to say, as tranzis go, you guys take the cake!

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Janessa, I hope we are both wrong. I hope I'm wrong, because I do recognize the potential for massive oppression. I hope you're wrong, because I also recognize the potential for massive destruction.

If no policy is made in advance, then massive oppression remains just as much of a possibility. Maybe more so, because those who manage to seize power will be more insecure about it and less intelligent about wielding it.

If no policy is made in advance, then widespread destruction looks more likely than it does with policy. I could be wrong about that, but would take some convincing.

Is it possible to have business-as-usual with MNT? To absorb it the way we have absorbed the Internet and the assembly line? Don't forget that the assembly line emptied the farms--and the fax machine almost brought down the Chinese government. I'm speaking metaphorically, but I think the point is valid: some kinds of technologies are incompatible with some kinds of societies.

So what's the answer? Let the chips fall where they may? Russia is trying that now, and it's not pretty. China is managing a transition. Opinions differ on whether they're headed for freedom or fascism.

How would history have differed if there'd been no IAEA? If nuclear proliferation had been unconstrained?

I'm not trying to give answers here--just to show that there are no easy answers. In addition to attacking our ideas (which is good, as long as it's constructive), please suggest alternative ways to look for answers and alternative plausible desirable outcomes.

Janessa Ravenwood

Janessa, I hope we are both wrong. I hope I'm wrong, because I do recognize the potential for massive oppression. I hope you're wrong, because I also recognize the potential for massive destruction.
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First of all, thank you for responding.

The potential for mass destruction has existed since the birth of the atomic bomb. We’d never listen if the IAEA tried to harshly regulate our stockpiles of them here in the U.S. And despite this, we muddled through and we’re still here.


If no policy is made in advance, then massive oppression remains just as much of a possibility. Maybe more so, because those who manage to seize power will be more insecure about it and less intelligent about wielding it.
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Not much of an argument to note that Yes and No possibilities currently exist. Exactly who is supposed be seizing power? And where? And how? Of what?


If no policy is made in advance, then widespread destruction looks more likely than it does with policy. I could be wrong about that, but would take some convincing.
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I fail to see how you’ve arrived at this conclusion. I’ll certainly agree that *A* policy would be a good idea, but right now you can’t even convince the U.S. Govt that MNT is actually possible! And of course we disagree a good deal on just what we think that policy should be. Something along the lines of “All nanofacs must use broadcast architecture and not have independent roving nanobots” sounds reasonable to me. “All nanofacs will be subject to the absolute utmost in Big Brother monitoring and control technology” does not. For myself, I look at nanofacs as putting into the hands of the people the power to escape government restrictions on things they can or cannot own. Yours (explicitly stated on your site!) would strengthen the government’s power to oppress them further in this regard.


Is it possible to have business-as-usual with MNT? To absorb it the way we have absorbed the Internet and the assembly line? Don't forget that the assembly line emptied the farms--and the fax machine almost brought down the Chinese government. I'm speaking metaphorically, but I think the point is valid: some kinds of technologies are incompatible with some kinds of societies.
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Why not? And I could live with the Chinese government being brought down – some societies shouldn’t survive.


So what's the answer? Let the chips fall where they may? Russia is trying that now, and it's not pretty.
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How so? And I’d disagree with that. That’s just the public show. We’re beginning to get a picture that the good old boys network is still really running the economy, it’s just that there are a few new faces now. Besides which they ARE improving, though not as quickly as was hoped.


China is managing a transition. Opinions differ on whether they're headed for freedom or fascism.
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I’d say they’re being dragged kicking and screaming towards at least more freedom with each passing year. The old communists are dying off and the younger generation is more Westernized.


How would history have differed if there'd been no IAEA? If nuclear proliferation had been unconstrained?
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Who listens to the IAEA now? Yeah, they’ve done such a great job with the rogue nuclear states of the Middle East. News flash: it was credible U.S. threats that caused Libyan WMD capitulation recently, not some U.N. feel-good tour.


I'm not trying to give answers here--just to show that there are no easy answers. In addition to attacking our ideas (which is good, as long as it's constructive), please suggest alternative ways to look for answers and alternative plausible desirable outcomes.
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Like I said, a few common sense rules like broadcast-architecture only and some quick-response teams stationed in all major cities that are equipped to deal with a “rogue nanobots” scenario and then bust those responsible but good. We don’t NEED draconian transnational progressivism here. And I always tend to be distrustful of those who say that the sky is falling and that the only way to save ourselves is to cede to them absolute power. Down that path lies slavery, as history has proven time and time again.

saravnan

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