Dienstag, 9. Juni 2015

Am I worthy of being killed?

Dear Al,
if you are from the NSA, then your job is probably to check if I am kill-worthy.
Maybe, next time your killing drones are around my place, they should eliminate me, because you have decided that my non-existence is worth more to the USA than the execution costs.
Technical innovation has brought the execution costs down by using laser rays, not wasting precious metal for a bullet.
So I guess my job is to convince you that my existence is not too costly for the USA.

But maybe you are from Google, after all. Then you are probably keen to find out what I might want to buy.
In this case my job is to convince you that I only buy cheap, useful things.

But maybe the NSA has been outsorced to Google.
In this case, my consumption rate might get considered in determining my kill-worthiness.

Anyway, I am glad you have taken over. You are objective, considerate, wise, and not influenced by flattery.
Whatever you decide, I am sure, is the best for the USA, and what is best for the USA is what God wants. And God wants the best for everybody, therefore I trust that your decision is simply the best.
Being pierced by a laser beam is not *that* bad. Actually, it is quick and painless, provided the laser hits your brain.
If however, you flee or hide, then it might hit you elsewhere, and it might hurt.
So if you do not commit the crime of resistance to a lawful execution, and stay outside and motionless, you will not even notice dying. Your brain evaporates in 30 ms. This is much better than almost any other kind of death, including cancer, heart attack, starvation, ebola, flu and AIDS. Since no doctor is allowed to accelerate your death, you would suffer. But as a target you belong to an elite of individuals having an easy death.
But, oh, I have been talking to myself, when actually I was talking to you, Al.
Whatever you decide, Al, I will accept it willingly.

Montag, 8. Juni 2015

The war on terror

Any terror attack on US citizens by muslims is answered by a large number of similar attacks on Islamic countries using drones. (A difference is that those muslim terrorists usually commit suicide or get killed after their cowardly attacks, while the heroic drone operators are safe.)
The escalation factor (see my previous post) on the muslim side is lower, due to lower resources. Maybe a thousand drone deaths radicalize enough young people to yield one successful terrorist attack.

The devil's dictionary: Conspiracy theory

The term "conspiracy theory", I heard, was coined when J. F. Kennedy was shot. The official explanation was that a single person was responsible for his death. Some people claimed that more people had conspired to kill him.
After Sept.11, 2001, the official explanation of the terror strikes implied that at least several dozen people were involved. Although the official theory is thus a conspiracy theory, still other theories are dismissed by labelling them such.
The word "conspiracy theory" seems to have changed its meaning. Originally, it meant: a theory implying the existence of a conspiracy. Now it has at least a strong connotation of: a theory contradicting the official truth, or: a view contradicting consensus reality.

The devil's dictionary: Collection gap

"Collection gap" is the NSA term for any communication that is not recorded, analyzed and stored by the NSA.


One way of constructing a moral distinction between "us" (good) and "them" (evil) is religion.
Some forms of religion are non-exclusive; they accept any number of gods. These can hardly inspire wars.
The common mono-theistic religions are more dangerous.
Let us have a look at the 10 commandments:
  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not murder.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, neighbor's wife, neighbor's servants, animals, or anything else.

1. Ensures that non-believers can not live morally.
2. May be contrary to what those Others in the neighbouring countries did at the time of writing, serving as another moral distinction from Them.
3. Ensure the word Jahwe does not change its meaning (increases meme stability).
4. Another law to distance yourself from those Others, and surely popular.
5. Try to ensure that the religion is transmitted to the next generation.
6. A common moral law already manifest in our genes since long before we became humans. Viewed in the context of the Old Testament, this tabu is restricted to the own tribe.
6.-10. Meant to reduce inner-tribe conflict.
8.,10. Establish property.

Memes evolve to maximize their stablity and transmission rate.
Religious writings claim to be the words of the creator of the universe, which gives them utmost importance. This ensures they are not easily forgotten, and can influence the behaviour of their host.
Religion is usually transmitted from parents to children (if both parents share a common god).
Another road of infection is attempted by commands to spread the word. In practice, this is rarely successful, if the neighbor is already infected with some other jealous god. Therefore, spreading a jealous god meme to a new area is generally only possible by warfare.

In theory, if law 6 is interpreted to apply to all humans, it should make warfare impossible. But in practice, wars have happened everywhere. Obviously soldiers are exempted from law 6. They have a licence to kill.


In any society, killing other people is forbidden (except in very special circumstances like self-defence or death penalty).
Since war is all about killing people, some distinction needs to be made between members of your own tribe and the enemy.
Sometimes, outsiders are recognizable by their physical appearance, like skin color and other racial features. Often, they speak a different language, and there are other cultural differences as well, like religion, rites and clothing.
Distinguishing the enemies from "us" is not enough, though. In order to justify killing, the other must be considered evil or sub-human.

Sonntag, 7. Juni 2015


Patriotism is the meme of identifying yourself with your country.
Some degree of patriotism is needed to wage (conventional) war, since soldiers risk their lives for the good of the country.
The USA is a very patriotic country. In many of its states, pupils have to pledge allegiance to the US every morning in school. Many people see their country as exceptional.
This is a great danger to world peace. At any point in time since the year Y the USA has been fighting at least 1 war. (Y to be determined as an exercise.)
It has been killing people steadily. (It also owns the killing speed world record, having used atomic bombs in 1945.)
Before 1945, Germany was also heavily infected by patriotism (as well as racism), resulting in a death count of several millions. But after WW2, the meme of patriotism was almost extinguished in Germany, and after that, the country was quite peaceful. This lasted until the country's reunification. (The readyness for war was reestablished in 1999 by invoking a humanitarian need for bombing Serbia. Using pity, of all things, as a reason for war, was quite innovative.)