[SPORK] Loving The Troops

JS Kelly jskelly@jskelly.com
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 14:37:39 -0800 (PST)

On Thu, 20 Mar 2003, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Thu, 20 Mar 2003, JS Kelly wrote:
> > there's one other thing which i wish i had remembered to include in my
> > prior post, because this thread probably deserves to die (sorry for
> > prolonging the agony, then).
> Looks hale and hearty, from where I sit. Perhaps too political for 
> techies, but then, this list hasn't been carrying too much technical 
> content for a while now. It won't shrivel up and die from this splash.

i don't know. i think most everyone who is posting is agreed that the
troops didn't send themselves to the gulf; that protesting the war is OK
and shouldn't be criticized as 'not supporting' a group of people who have
very little control over what they're about to do (which includes killing,
being killed, maiming, being maimed)... and quite probably, committing
atrocities. it's hard to be in a kill or be killed situation without
making some mistakes and/or without becoming psychologically damaged.
> > there is one other reason that people join the military, and that is as
> > a public service, because they believe in our freedoms and rights as
> "freedoms and rights" indeed. Which are going by the minute, for the last 
> three decades in the US. Sounds rather hollow, you know.

doesn't sound hollow to me -- i still value them, even if this
administration (and, as you say, previous ones) don't; and i do what i can
to fight for them, even though that usually only amounts to speaking out
and supporting orgs like the aclu. with all that's happening now, i expect
that that people who care about these things will have to begin to do
more. at least, i hope so. 
> > much as everyone on this list does -- and they believe that these
> > freedoms are worth fighting and even dying for -- just as the founding
> > fathers did, and just as most of us probably believe. that is, if our
> Which fondling fathers? Why are you limiting this to a purely national
> state view, and view things purely 'original designer = good' view? People
> forming clusters is something which needs to be eroded, not encouraged. 
> Things do change, albeit slowly, especially if human firmware is 
> concerned.

i'm discussing it from a us pov because we were discussing us residents
who had signed up for service in the us military. didn't mean to seem
nationalistic - sorry. but you're wrong to assume that i am thinking as
simplistically as "original designer = good." the founding fathers (silly
name, isn't it?) put an amazing amount of critical thinking into the
documents which define what this country is supposed to be about -- if you
took the time to study their work (i'm assuming that from your assumption
about my opinions of them that you never have) then i think you would be
impressed.  what succeeding generations have done to that framework is
quite a lot different -- especially (as you point out) the most recent
> > nation were attacked by some hostile power, i think that most of us
> Do you have a candidate for that? I can't, not right now.

i don't, of course. we could begin to debate whether the us even needs a
standing army (i don't think that we do, myself). but i was describing the
circumstances under which most of us would probably agree to fight, no
matter how pacifistically we view ourselves -- and no matter what country
we're from. i think that under most circumstances, i would not be willing
to fight. i can imagine a few scenarios under which i probably would.
having my country attacked might be one of them -- depends on the
circumstances. i wonder how people here would feel to have leaflets rained
down on them from above, telling us not to fight the 'coalition forces'
that have come to liberate us from the morally bankrupt bush regime...

> > would be willing to fight for our homes, our families, and our
> > neighbors. and most of us would be very thankful that there is a group
> > of people willing to do this on our behalf. so, sure -- many signed up
> > to 'kill or be killed' -- with the expectation that any conflict they
> > were asked to take part in would be worth it.
> Your firmware assumes a 100-200 individual group, all of them closely 
> related. Current firmware version seems to attempt to cluster things at 
> memetic level and some 100 M individuals, but this can be only a 
> transient. We're probably going to wind up with a hierarchical cellular 
> organization structure. If this is what is happening, we can engineer 
> things for getting there sooner.

if you had a little bit of humanity, it wouldn't be so hard for you to
extrapolate that closely-knit group to include more of your fellow man. in
this country, we /are/ closely related -- the real majority of people do
care a great deal about liberties, freedoms -- and about each other. that
only a minority of people turn out on election day is a shameful tragedy.

as for your heirarchical cellular structure -- the current fad of
comparing human society with biological systems or insect life is silly.
with or without "nations," people are always going to cluster on some
level. always have.
> > that these volunteers signed up to protect the rest of us in case of
> > conflict is something that we should all be thankful for. that the
> > government is misusing this resource is something we should protest.
> Reasonable enough, for 1950. Maybe not nearly enough for 2003. Time for 
> some fresh conceptry.

it would still work if they were kept at home for emergencies instead of
being sent around the world for empire building.