Thu, 09 Dec 2010

Legal vs illegal prostitution

Okay, this kinda of crap makes me angry, just angry. Go read the article. Do you see what's wrong with it? I see no distinction between legal prostitution and illegal prostitution. Now let's look at the difference between legal and illegal drugs. The first you can buy in any store (everybody sells aspirin), in controlled doses with brand names and labels. The police aren't involved, violence isn't involved, it's all up front and everybody knows what they're getting into when they start selling legal drugs.

So by the principles expressed in this article, because illegal drugs are risky, then, too, are legal drugs. Defending legal drugs clearly says nothing about illegal drugs, and yet the article does not distinguish between legal and illegal prostitution. The two situations are very similar in that the illegality is the CAUSE of the problems that make people want it to be illegal! Circular cause and effect! The solution causes the problem. You see this kind of reasoning everywhere. "Oh, oh, poor people don't earn enough money, so we will help them by forcing a minimum wage." and yet that destroys the employment of anyone whose productivity does not justify paying them the minimum wage.

This is NOT to justify any of the horrible activities described in the article. They ARE horrible, and they ARE horrors. But I suggest that all of them are caused by the illegality of prositution, and I encourage anyone worried by the article to examine the operation of legal prostitution.

Posted [00:00] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,prostitution [digg this]

Sun, 05 Dec 2010

About Terrorism

The best thing we can do about terrorism is: nothing. It's not that terrorists don't create harm. It's that terrorism is not about the harm; it's about the fear. We kill, each month, more people in automobiles than were killed by terrorists on 9/11. But that's not the correct comparison to make, because the tactics employed by the terrorists cannot be reproduced. Nobody will sit still for a hijacking ever again. Thus, the real comparison is against the number of airplane passengers killed. We kill, each month, TEN TIMES more people in automobiles than the number of airplane passengers killed by terrorists on 9/11.

The terrorists are hacking our brains. Being a hacker myself, this is intolerable to me. Being a security professional, this is intolerable to me. They are trying to set up a situation where there is a very very very low risk of very bad harm. They do not have the ability to create actual harm. They can only create a harm that is terrifying (and I cheerfully admit that I cannot sleep when I imagine myself on Flight 93, knowing that I have to defeat the terrorists on the airplane or die).

The terrible aspect, when multiplied by the tiny risk, cannot be comprehended by the human brain. Such a small number, when multiplied by a large number, becomes unity. Thus, people overreact, even though the risk of death by being killed by a violent airplane passenger is equal to the risk of dying on the road in the next 9 days. As I write this, between now and Christmas, three weeks away, fully twiceas many people will be killed by automobiles as have everbeen killed by violent airplane passengers.

The solution to this problem is to not be scared. Not all of us arescared. We need those of us who are not scared to struggle against those who are. We need our political leaders to be strong enough to ignore terrorism. There is nothing they can do to stop it, so what they should do is nothing.

Terrorism is an evil hack, nothing more. It's a trick. We need to ignore it.

Posted [00:00] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,terrorism [digg this]

Fri, 03 Dec 2010

Forgiving the TSA

I could forgive them groping me if they would just acknowledge that nobody will ever succeed in hijacking an airplane, and allow anything which cannot harm the whole airplane itself. Enough with keeping bladed weapons off airplanes, including those hellish nail clippers. You couldn't even commit suicide with one, much less harm anyone else.

I could forgive them worrying about bombs on airplane if they would just acknowledge that the threat to sports stadiums, subway stations, or heck, busy security lines, are just as bad if not worse than airplanes.

I could forgive them worrying about terrorism if the terrorists could actually cause us more harm than we are harming ourselves. We kill 10X as many people EVERY MONTH on the highways as they killed airplane passengers on 9/11.

No, I can't forgive them.

Posted [00:00] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,tsa,security,securitytheater [digg this]