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Re: Retracting the term ownership

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: Retracting the term ownership
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006 10:45:42 -0400

On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 11:42 +0200, Tom Bachmann wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Christian Stüble wrote:
> > The interesting question for me is whether [a)] the negative scenarios 
> > coming
> > with this technologie are caused by a bad design of the technology, or 
> > whether 
> > [b)] these bad examples are a logical consequence of a design that
> > allows the "good" ones [...]
> Can you show me _one_ technology that inherently only allows negative
> scenarios? I cannot. I suspect such thing as inherent good or inherent
> bad do not exist.

I concur. Especially in this case. A lever exists per se. It alters the
balance of forces in some application. The lever is neither good nor
bad. It is the nature, intent, and effect of the application that makes
the *application* of the lever good or bad. The lever is not good or

Equally, a gun is not good or bad. The difference between a lever and a
gun is that (in the view of many societies) the majority of applications
of guns are bad, and the simplest way of preventing them is to outlaw

Please note: I am not stating any position on guns or gun control. I am
setting forth a framework for evaluating restrictions on technologies.

Aside: the argument for outlawing software is much better than the
argument for outlawing guns. :-)


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