[CrackMonkey] Brian Behlendorf tells it to the man!
whig at debian.org
Tue Apr 25 13:15:35 PDT 2000
I truly believe now that what we are seeing are the death-throes of
the old system, as technological innovations liberate information
beyond the ability of corporations and governments to contain.
In response to Mr. Bad's concerns that certain information should
never be made free, i.e., how to construct a nuclear weapon, I
respectfully disagree. As has been noted here, constructing a
fission bomb is already public knowledge, though obtaining the
materials to actually build one is no small matter and readily
detected. Why not a hydrogen bomb, then, or for that matter, an
Ultimately, as adults, we have to have the ability to make
decisions. While children might be protected from information that
could be harmful to themselves or others if misused, adults are
responsible for their actions. Just because I might own a gun does
not mean I am a threat to my neighbors, and indeed, if my neighbor
worries about such things, she could get her own firearm. As
Heinlein observed, an armed society is a polite society -- as long
as people reserve the right and means of self-defense, they are
bound to be a whole lot more respectful of one another.
Children, by contrast, are not respectful. Visit any schoolyard,
and you will see all manner of rudeness and casual cruelty
inflicted against smaller kids who cannot defend themselves. At
best, the recipient of this treatment might complain to the teacher
or some other "authority" figure, with the likely result being even
worse for him after school. Functionally, this is how
authoritarian societies work, as well -- reducing all citizens to
the status of children. But in a healthy environment, children
learn to defend themselves, to take responsibility for their own
protection or redress.
If the Enlightenment was the adolescence of civilization, then the
twentieth century was a period of juvenile detention. Now we are
about to be released into the light of day, and assume at last our
full adulthood. It's pretty frightening, not knowing how we will
manage to survive. But I think we'll figure it out.
Okay, this wasn't really on-point to Brian Behlendorf's article
AT ALL. Sorry about that.
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