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Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality




> Mad Vlad wants to know:
>
>>something most anarchists here will deny is the existence of something
>>that could be called *immoral science*. is there such a thing? 
>............................................................
>
>No.  There are, however, immoral scientists.   One way to skew the
>interpretations of what you write, besides bringing up the subject of
>morality, is to describe things in ways which do not correspond to their
>actual manner of existence:  "science" does not exist without those
>individuals who have set themselves to pursue it.  

hmm, lets see, there were german scientists perfecting the ability
to torture people in the death camps. they were practicing science,
no? was it immoral? no? was it criminal? criminal but not immoral?

>They should bear the
>blame if they practice it immorally.

they should bear a cost, a penalty, a censure, 
imposed by their moral peers.  (oops, there's that word "should". 
yikes, I am really slipping. please forgive me for pretending I
actually have a point here.)

>You again have brought up several issues which can be examined separately
>and do not necessarily coexist:

well, it does help to have a highly fragmented brain to exist in todays
world. one that doesn't think about things like tax money and
evil government scientists at the same moment <g>

>
>There is a book in Objectivist literature which presents the idea of
>"context dropping", which is, that in order for some people to function as
>if things were normal and that what they're doing is consistent with moral
>principles, they must drop a part of their information out of sight, out of
>thought, so that their actions appear logically related and make sense  -
>they eliminate elements from the given context, crucial essentials which
>make the difference in its character.  People like these might practice
>secrecy in keeping information from others, but equally significant, they
>also hide things from themselves.

this is just basic Freudianism. but I agree its what I'm talking about.

>So that's one thing which would explain some scientist's lack of moral
>principles in the pursuit of science.   Then it must be explained why so
>many people aren't complaining about it.  Are they insensitive to their
>mistreatment, sitting ducks for opportunists?  Or maybe these taxpayers are
>equally immoral, thinking only about promised benefits, forgetting about
>the disadvantage of losing control over the quality of their life?

who cares why it is happening? I care, but I also want it stopped. and
I want others to care enough to want, and work, to stopping it.

>It's possible for some people to override the boundaries of decency, even
>if they're otherwise smart enough to pursue science.  But what would you
>expect cryptographers to do about it?

a mere cryptographer can do nothing. a mere anarchist will encourage
you not to. a moral human being might become alarmed enough to 
change their perspective and participate in government, or changing
government, in a way other than watching election commercials between 
the segments of their favorite TV show.  an anarchist will deny such
an activity is even possible.