Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brain re-wiring

Let's suppose you have a friend who has volunteered for an experiment*. His brain will be wired to a device, and when activated, this device will make him feel happy (at least temporarily) and powerful. It may even eventually make him wealthy.

It also has a 95% chance- or greater- of changing his personality and making him a bad person. His previous ethical or moral reluctance to steal and aggress will be short-circuited.

And he's asking you to be the one to push the button to start the device.

Would you do it?

What if it takes two people to push buttons simultaneously? Would you be willing to share half of the responsibility? Remember, your friend wants this. What if there are millions of buttons that would all have to be pushed to activate the experiment? What if "authority" figures tell you it is your duty to push the button, and your other friends, family, and neighbors all agree? They say you should be ashamed if you refuse. Why do I see shades of Milgram?

This is the same thing as voting for a decent person who wants a political office. Only, in this real-world experiment, those who push the button and those who refuse will all be victimized by your friend after he gets what he wants and is changed.

How can you consent to be among those who do this to a good person?

*Of course, it's not really an "experiment" since it has been done multiple millions of times with the same results- you know how this will end unless you are successful at deluding yourself.



  1. This part of the reason I don't vote.

  2. Meanwhile one political party is racing towards tyranny, and the other party maybe not so fast towards tyranny. (if the reform trying to take hold in it begins to work)

    Maybe like if we are coming up on a gorge in a car out of control, do you gas it hoping to hit the bottom fast enough to all die instantly without suffering? Or do you slam on the brakes hoping to maybe survive and live a few more years? We won't know if we are right or wrong until after the fact. Very few would choose to do absolutely nothing.

    But I do think it is my responsibility to do what I can to maintain the quality of life we have today for my children. And there is one political party that is blatantly steering us in the obviously wrong direction.

    1. Both halves of the DemoCRAPublican Party are exactly the same. Exactly. Except in the lies they tell the "voters". They each lie in the way they believe will make their supporters vote for them.

      "Maybe like if we are coming up on a gorge in a car out of control, do you gas it hoping to hit the bottom fast enough to all die instantly without suffering? Or do you slam on the brakes hoping to maybe survive and live a few more years?"
      I would try to jump out. Or try to steer to avoid the gorge. You present a false dichotomy as if hitting the brakes or the gas are the only two choices, but they aren't. There is almost always a better choice- and initiating force- and continuing to play a rigged game- isn't "better".

    2. I have written about the "heading over a cliff" scenario: link

    3. In the analogy to "jump out" would be to leave the country. And "steering left or right" implies you are willing to work with the systems in place to reform it.

      I don't like the fact I am trapped in a "vehicle" the seems to be wrecking, but I would rather do something than nothing. And "jumping out" is not an option worth considering at this point.

    4. Jumping out could mean to leave the country. But not necessarily. The fe(de)ral government doesn't let you really leave anyway. Or have you missed that information? They force you to leave behind a large percentage of your property, and claim ownership of your earnings for years, and even claim they can "draft" you to fight in their wars for many years after you leave. And there are probably more things I'm not thinking of at the moment.

      And "working within the system" would indicate staying on the tracks. Although, according to Thomas Jefferson, bloody revolution every generation or so is part of the system of keeping liberty intact, so... But, no, I'd rather find peaceful solutions as long as it is possible. The danger is when "laws" make that option impossible. And that is getting closer every day, due to too many people propping up "the system".

      The only effective way to "jump out" is to withdraw consent. Don't lend your appearance of consent- legitimacy- to a thoroughly rigged "system". Live your own life. Don't pretend any government is anything other than a mafia. Live by the ZAP. Embrace your outlawry (remember that each and every one of us- that includes YOU- commits an average of 3 felonies every day... and you probably have no idea of the "laws" you are breaking).

      That's not "doing nothing"- it is doing the only thing that can work.

  3. You blew it at the start, anyone who could build such a device, could quite easily build in a switch which the subject could engage without ANYONE other than himself being responsible. - Paul K. Brubaker, Sr.

    1. I kind of suspect the same could be said about "voting"- since I see no evidence that votes actually matter to the results.

  4. You're largely right in this observation. One thing to rememner is that if believers of liberty and the Constitution don't vote, everyone in government will be elected by those who are opposed to it. I don't want to give such people more power than they already have. Then take the two parties. One major party is entirely devoted to destroying individual and economic liberty, and its ideology and supporters exist for that purpose. The other major party believes in them in the abstract, but fails to support those things mostly out of ineptitude or loss of nerve (nearly the entire national media and popular culture is opposed to them) rather than design. A group whose purpose is destroying what we were meant to be won't stop until it succeeds, so I think we should stop them even if it means aligning with the only group with a realistic chance of defeating them, though they are also flawed.

    1. "...everyone in government will be elected by those who are opposed to it"
      And the real-world difference would be, what? No puppetician obeys the Constitution anyway, unless it suits his purpose at the moment.

      "Then take the two parties."
      You mean the two branches of the DemoCRAPublican Party? They fool you if you believe they are at odds in any substantive way. They simply work together to devour you.

      "A group whose purpose is destroying what we were meant to be won't stop until it succeeds..."
      So, you seem to be saying they'll win, eventually, no matter what. In that case, let them. The "other party" won't defeat them- it goes against their purpose. It's like asking them to defeat themselves (and, while they all eventually will defeat themselves, since socialism always fails- and "both sides" are socialist to the core- it won't happen intentionally). Let's work on building a way to survive in spite of them rather than wasting precious time and energy on fighting them on their own turf.

      I sympathize- I really do. Once upon a time I believed the Republicans were a little better on liberty. Then I made the mistake of observing what they always did, rather than what they sometimes said. That delusion fell away quickly at that point. Of course, now I see the Libertarian Party as more of the same. Liberty can't be preserved politically.

  5. Anyone you do not vote for (whether you voted or not) does not represent you. He or she only represents those who voted for him or her. That's called a plurality, where, perhaps 30 to 35% of all people eligible to vote, vote in the winning candidate or party. The rest of us are forced (in the most direct meaning of that word) to obey the laws of those who do not represent us... or take the necessary steps to end the tyranny. Zero Aggression Policy only applies if others are not using aggression against you. Since many, if not most of the laws today violate the rights of otherwise honest, peaceful citizens, then ZAP doesn't apply. The only question is how much tyranny will you take before you resist violently a government that does not represent you and oppresses you? Or can you live under the radar, so to speak, or very meekly so as not to get entangled in the oppression?

    Also, among the studies done to see just how people will react in certain situations, is the study done by Zimbardo (1973) in the basement of a building at Stanford University. Students were recruited and given psychological testing for "normality" (whatever that might mean). Some were to play prisoners, the others prison guards. Scheduled to go for two weeks, the experiment had to be shut down in six days. The student guards began acting brutally and the student prisoners began acting subservient and ratting each other out. One of the "prisoners" had to be removed, screaming and ranting and in great psychological distress. Here the URL: