Re:virus: OZ

From: Walpurgis (
Date: Mon Jul 29 2002 - 03:53:23 MDT

People would live in far greater fear were the vicious social predators
among us not civilly restrained from publicly indulging in their savage

Once again - I'm not suggesting psychos roam free. What I was saying this time, was that prosecuting what are known to be innocence so as to solve a crime/save others is a pure utilitarian calculation which does not take into account the emotional responses people will have if they live in such a state. The very knowledge that one can be innocent but punished for utilitarian reasons is enough to ruin the whole point of the utilitarian exercise.

Yes, governments should have the power to execute sociopaths who
endanger a country's citizenry.

How are they a danger if they are locked-up? Killing them would be nothing more than an act of revenge and torture (electrocution and hanging can last a long time if the victim is unlucky). And it wouldn't save money either becuase the companies that build and profit from prisons would loose another resident.

Giving a state the power to execute a citizen, no matter how deranged, is a step back in history to an earlier paradigm of power. The state has the power to protect its citizenry, but to kill them or order them to die is overstepping the mark IMHO.

They should also have the power of
conscription in wartime. As a military veteran, I understand that the
rights and freedoms we enjoy in this nation are paid for with a price of
responsibilities and obligations,

Just by the military? What other non-military responsibilities and duties are there? What of those of parents? a professor? a journalist? a teacher? and so on. It could be argued that all of these people have national duties which contribute to our rights and freedoms. The military certainly is not the vanguard, protector or originator of many of our freedoms. The military serves the government and as such can be (and is) a force of oppression.

It could also be argued that our rights and freedoms are somewhat illusory when so many others are living under the heel of subjugation. Their chains are ours too.

Here are some examples to show potential conscripts what they would be involved in and why. Some examples to show how the military protects freedoms and democracy (I assume the rest of the world in a concern to Joe and not just the US?).

Both The US & UK were complicit in the assassination of up to a million dissidents under the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia in the 1960s. The US government trained deadly Contra terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s resulting in up to 50,000 deaths and the overthrow of a democratically elected government (,3604,589011,00.html).

Britain and America ignored the Indonesian genocide of 200,000 East Timorese in the 1970s and 80s, while selling arms to the Indonesian dictatorship. NATO systematically tore up international law in 1999 in bombing civilian targets in Yugoslavia, which left 1,500 civilians dead.

The US and UK governments are waging a modern form of siege warfare against Iraq, in which economic sanctions supposedly meant to hurt Saddam Hussain have killed up to a million civilians, half of them children. (

Further evidence of the US’s anti-freedom and warist belligerence is provided by the fact that it has been at war *every year* (count them) since World War 2.

Here is a list of the countries that America has been at war with - and bombed - since the second world war: China (1945-46, 1950-53), Korea (1950-53), Guatemala (1954, 1967-69), Indonesia (1958), Cuba (1959-60), the Belgian Congo (1964), Peru (1965), Laos (1964-73), Vietnam (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-70), Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s), Panama (1989), Iraq (1991-99), Bosnia (1995), Sudan (1998), Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001-2002) next up Iraq?. (,1361,579196,00.html)

and penalties if these are shirked and transgressed.

Next you'll be telling me I'm obliged to work for money, or to go shopping on credit.

totalitarian adversary because a volunteer military were insufficient, all,
including those able yet unwilling to fight, would suffer.

Those unwilling to fight would probably suffer. But that does not mean they could not non-violently resist.

As for sterilization, one might be able to make such a case for certain
hereditary maladies (for instance, Huntingdon's Chorea), but I am
hopeful that our growing genetic understanding will allow us to engineer
viruses that will literally infect such individuals with genetic and
reproductive health by repairing the gene sequence abnormalities
responsible. I also do not think it is a good idea for AIDS sufferers to
attempt to reproduce, due to the high probability of their passing on the
virus to partners and offspring.

Does this mean you would seriously consider endorsing enforced sterilisation under our present circumstances?

What of enforced genetic screening when it becomes possible?

> Surveillance is an alternative, as written in the seperate thread.

And as I answered, it is an inadequate one (at least the radio collar is)
allowing for only a posteriori determination of guilt, not prevention of
violent criminality.

There are other forms of monitoring and as they are not yet optimal, they are best used regarding minor offenders. When technology allows for a more total observation, surveillance becomes more realistic.

Needless to say, I am extremely wary of the construction of a system of surveillance that could easily be transferred from criminals to other members of society - mightn't the government push for the monitoring of people with "personality disorders"? terrorist suspects? political dissidents? suspected perverts? - The line must be *guilt*. Such a system should never be used on suspects. The citizenry must be trusted (or rather - trust itself) and assumed to be respectful in their behaviours. Monitoring the innocent would be an act of distrust and unethical.

I see such AI systems just a few years down the road. Notwithstanding the philosophical problems surrounding the issue of AI, these systems are going to be just as good as (or better than) people in understanding human behaviour. The criminals behaviour will be the measure of his criminality.

It is likely there would be pressure to use these AI monitoring systems to monitor other human behaviour. Employers would want them in the workplace - they have and are doing so with less sophisticated tech. after all:,,s2082114,00.html

(a story in the UK's street-paper "The Big Issue" covered latest developments).

Advertisers and retailers are likely to want to closely observe behaviour in shopping malls and online so as to ascertain the effects of space, advertising, crowd numbers etc etc in malls and gather data on how a surfer reads a page, what s/he clicks on etc., so as to optimise their selling techniques. Unless there is resistance to such invasions, AI monitoring systems could proliferate into all areas of life. Perhaps each home might have one, which can help adjudicate domestic disputes? or suggest a healthier breakfast?

The camera system in Orwell's 1984 would exist, but with an equal or greater than human intelligence which is tireless, always learning and obedient to the ruling power would be the eyes behind the eyes.

Hm. Maybe we should stick to prisons after all. Then again....

prisons themselves are designed to allow close observation of inmates (Michel Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" is extremely informative in this regard) and such systems would likely be installed in prisons when they arise. See

There would be ways of defeating a system which isn't too smart though - like ours today (though it gets smarter daily).

Do we really have either the exorbitant funds or the

How much to it cost to run and staff a prison? How much would this management system cost? The latter is speculation at this point, but once AIs are up and running, they wouldn’t need a wage.

to allow murderers and rapist to walk unrestrained among us,

You're talking about violent criminals again, who will still remain - protected from each other - in the few prisons left. Who the hell is this "us" by the way? Law abiding god-fearing citizens? Many citizens break the law, they just haven't been *caught* - yes, they walk amongst "us" too!

each accompanied by a law inforcement official,

No need. Artificial intelligence programmes would be able to monitor them eventually, without much need for human involvement.

for their natural

No, for the duration of their sentence of course.

The criminal has proven to be untrustworthy, so must be watched in his social interaction. But at least he can still socially interact! (earn money, see his/her family, etc.).


This message was posted by Walpurgis to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS.

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