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Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality

At 07:14 PM 1/12/98 -0800, Blanc wrote:
> 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

Depends.  [#invoke Godwin's Law]
Consider the Nazi studies done on human susceptibility to freezing,
poisons, torture, etc., and the followon work done by various
evil empires.  Some of it was just done for fun,
but some of it _was_ real science, with hypotheses and experiments,
and there's only so much research you can do into the
resistence of the body to serious damage without actually
damaging live bodies, most accidental damage to human bodies
isn't done in sufficiently instrumented environments to be useful,
and it's just _damn_ hard to get good volunteers these days.
Did most of that work rate as "immoral science" - I'd say so.

Now, some of it has uses outside the torture business,
but the primary customer of the work on freezing was the
nuclear bomber forces of some of the larger evil empires,
which wanted to know how much risk they could take
destroying their competitors' motherlands.  Sure, part of the goal
is to protect their employees, but even that is primarily to
increase their ability to destroy their enemies' civilians,
which is pretty morally dicey even if your enemy is evil.

A few users like oil companies have workers in the Arctic, and 
most moral organizations are more concerned about preventing accidents 
and minimizing risks to workers than getting away with
as much damage to their workers as they can; there are still
some legitimate uses of the knowledge like how to do medical
care for freezing-related accident victims, or extreme situations
like nuclear power-plant disaster cleanup.  But not a lot.

Bill Stewart, [email protected]
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