September 14th, 2009

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Because Our OS Has Built In Safeties

Interesting article in NYT on the likelihood (or lack thereof) of organized military resistance to an attempted evacuation of West Bank settlements.

It's not that Jewish ideology can't be subverted for various ends or as rationalization for particular behaviors. Of course it can. But it really does not lend itself well to fratricidal warfare. The cultural conditioning factor is extremely strong. Heck, we have a whole fast day after Rosh Hashanna dedicated to precisely the idea that Jews don't kill Jews. Even the more heroic acts of warrior zealotry, such as those around the destruction of the 2nd Temple, have a decidedly mixed reaction in Jewish tradition.

By contrast, self-sacrifice is practically hardwired into the OS. Note we will mark the New Year with the reading of the Sacrifice of Isaac.

Not that it couldn't happen, and things can always spin out of control. But it takes a heck of a lot to move from obnoxious behavior to actual armed, organized violence.
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And If You Want To See How Policy Could Be Discussed

Blair Levin of the FCC gives a most excellent speech at the Free State Foundation:

FSF is a hardcore free market think tank. Randy May is one of the leading folks in Libertarian anti-reg on telecom. He is one of my "opposite numbers" I respect, even where we generally disagree.

I have occasionally heard folks say that it is easy to disagree over telecom with civility and respect because the stakes are not nearly as emotional as, say, abortion. To which I respond: this is nonsense. We are talking billions of dollars in investment and -- for many of us -- deep concerns over the core principles of free speech and self-governance. It is trivially easy to poison this atmosphere -- although I shall refrain from pointing to examples.

For those who despair, read Blair's words (printed below) and as "why can't we see more of this, and how do we change it?"

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