[SATLUG] 1984, Robots, the Military and Technology

Brian Lewis astro at astr0.org
Fri Mar 21 08:17:48 CDT 2008

And this has what to do about Linux? Please move it off the list.

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 21, 2008, at 8:12, Geoff <geoff at w5omr.shacknet.nu> wrote:

> ed wrote:
>> In the movie, "Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country," and later
>> mimicked  by Captain  Picard in ST: TNG, was an intriguing suggestion
>> (paraphrased...):  "Advancements in technology and their uses weigh
>> heavily upon us of late.  Perhaps its pursuit should be revised to
>> consider the premise that, just because we /can/ do a thing need not
>> mean that we necessarily /must/ do that thing..."  or words very like
>> these...  Wise thoughts from a more recent philosopher...
> I wouldn't expect words like that to come out of the mouth of Jack  
> O'Neill (grin) but, I a while back I -did- read an interesting piece  
> written by a Scottish (I think) professor about the rise and fall of  
> a democracy, and how -any- democratic society (like which we live  
> in, today) usually only lasts around 200 years.
> Interestingly enough, it was written around the end of the 19th  
> century.
> I've tried looking through my emails (I never delete anything) and  
> searching the web, but can't find the -exact- quote from the Prof.
> Here's something close:
> "About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new  
> constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor  
> at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of  
> the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier: 'A democracy is  
> always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent  
> form of government.'
> 'A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters  
> discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public  
> treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the  
> candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury,  
> with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to  
> loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.'
> 'The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the  
> beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200  
> years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
> 1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
> 2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
> 3. From courage to liberty;
> 4. From liberty to abundance;
> 5. From abundance to complacency;
> 6. From complacency to apathy;
> 7. From apathy to dependence;
> 8. From dependence back into bondage'
> "Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St.  
> Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the  
> 2000 presidential election:
> 'Number of States won by:
> Gore: 19
> Bush: 29
> 'Square miles of land won by:
> Gore: 580,000
> Bush: 2,427,000
> 'Population of counties won by:
> Gore: 127 million
> Bush: 143 million
> 'Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
> Gore: 13.2
> Bush: 2.1'
> "Professor Olson adds: 'In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush  
> won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this  
> great country.  (How much memory buffer does an iphone have,  
> anyway?) Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living  
> in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of  
> government welfare...'
> "Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the  
> 'complacency and apathy phase' of Professor Tyler's definition of  
> democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population  
> already having reached the 'governmental dependency phase'."
> If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million  
> criminal invaders called illegal and they vote, then we can say  
> goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
> Apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.
> Every day of Freedom is a good day to thank a vet!
> --
> -Geoff
> -- 
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