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Phil's Rambling Rants

October 25th, 2006

October 25th, 2006
09:37 am

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Science Fiction question
That is, a question that science fiction should be examining, not a question about science fiction.

From the beginning of human civilization, we've had various sorts of rules, many of which were stupid. The primary defense mechanism against stupid rules was to simply ignore them; we could know they wouldn't be enforced, usually because no one would know we'd violated them.

Today, we're developing technology that creates, for the first time in history, the possibility of truly enforcing rules that many people think are overly intrusive, ethically wrong, or just plain crazy. Will that technology bring about the most oppressive society humanity has seen yet, or will it finally cause people to stop allowing rules they don't support to exist (because they can no longer say "it's not really a problem; I can ignore that rule like everyone else does")?

Discuss.

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