Re: Community comments..
> % Please don't overreact on the
> % notions. You are making wild
> % accusations based on technical
> % on a technical related website about
> % very non-technical issue.
> % like these can't be made one way or
> % other.
> Actually, my opinion is based on my
> long standing experience with technical
> people. Definitely, NOT all of us are
> like that. And don't take this
> personally (I haven't checked what were
> your comments if any). And, basically,
> my point was that no matter if we're
> doing technical stuff or building a
> house we should remain humans. Or at
> least do our best to remain humans.
Not just computer techies. Look at the attitude of most scientists to political arguements. One rather paranoid ( but possibly correct) friend holds that this is part of the problem of the "scientific objectivity" worldview. By teaching scientists and techies to be apolitical It becomes possible to manipulate them more easily, and through them, everybody else. I don't feel that it as deliberate as he feels, but the problem is there. The subject-object divide which allows psychopaths to see other human beings as objects to be played with. On a small scale - serial killers. On a large scale - genocide.
Oppenheimer and his colleagues had to face these same questions when they developed the Manhattan Project.
Open Source Software isn't necessarily going to have the same potential for creating mass destruction, but the moral and ethical problems remain.
Re: What about the war pigz?
> You know, I never hear anybody talking
> about the ethical issues of about 80% of
> computer science research funding coming
> from the military.
The British Computer Society had to deal with this same problem when a programmer who worked for one of the big tobacco firms applied for membership. He was refused on ethical grounds.
But you're right. Most of the technology that has been developed since the bronze age has been used in the military fields, before us civilians get to use it.
The other point to remember is that in the USA there is supposed to be a strict separation between what the federal Govt. is allowed to do in funding industrial research. Pure research is cool, but directly funding US companies, strictly speaking, not allowed. There have been a lot of arguements between the EU and the US over this.
One of the ways around this is for the US DoD to directly fund military research, and let the researching company keep the commercial applications. The US DoD funded research into the developement of a flying fuel tanker. They received their prototype and let Boeing keep the commercial applications. Remove the tanks, add the seats and you have the Boeing 747.
> This kind of simulation training not
> only hurts the people who are killed,
> but it also hurts the killers. People
> know it's wrong to kill, and people who
> kill feel strong psychological distress
> which can scar them for life with post
> traumatic stress disorder. The reason
> why you see so many f**ked up Vietnam
> vets on the street who can't work or
> even manage to live in an apartment
> while collecting welfare is because of
> the use of primitive forms of simulation
Have you played Doom recently?