Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Karen Armstrong

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Ever since she was on the TED video podcast I have been following the recent work of Karen Armstrong – she has some good thoughts and can communicate them very well. I appriciate & applaud her efforts regarding the “Charter for Compassion” project.

What to do when the law prevents me from doing good?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

It is my belief that in our current society we are forced to “live life against the law”. We humans are tinkerers wanting to express ourselves; we are again in a phase where we “make our own”, but in contrast to a century ago when we made to use & consume, we now use technology to not only individualize our experiences & environments but also to share it nearly instantly with loosely-formed international (and often ad-hoc) communities of special interests.

No one human can know “all law” – nor is it knowable – as even the written law is a negotiation, a mere framework within which we are forced to operate. And since we don’t have “agent technology” yet that knows what we do and can negotiate (on our behalf) with our environment, it is practically impossible to comply at all times – since we simply don’t have the time to exchange the meta-data needed to ensure constant compliance.

I personally try to live my life as a Libertarian – but even with the best intentions & great effort it is impossible; this as any engagement will always include the government (and thus the law), which is too large and nearly never has a black & white answer (we all know that having better and/or more lawyers makes a difference in the outcome).

Why than do we limit ourselves to (still) have government? The answer is finally clear to me … because we can not know, let alone negotiate all possibilities in every engagement we enter into combined with the fact that we want to feel in control over our own time/space. And since we can not talk to everyone to make sure everyone will agree to let us have our “own” we feel we need a framework to trust upon to give us the illusion of control over our own time/space. However, by putting trust in a framework we limit ourselves – and at some point in time there will be too much friction between the framework and our capabilities & desires. At all times we balance the consequences between compliance and our capabilities & desires. In our current belief: the more advanced the framework is, the more each individual is “cared for” in the best possible way (according to our common/shared beliefs of what “good” is) – this makes the system inflexible (as everything needs to be accounted for and “balanced out” in advance). My point is that, as a consequence, the penalty for breaking compliance is roughly equal to the number of people who also do not comply (weighted for the “badness” we, as a society, on average place on the deed).

My personal predicament is that I am in a unique engagement where I know, and all those I have been able to share my ideas with agree with, that what I am doing is “good” and desired – but because it is (as legally defined) so close to something we as society currently disagree with (although that is slowly changing again), there is no method that allows me to operate within the current framework. Should I press forward (and risk loosing everything) or should I stop being the best me I can be and not have all those affected by it benefit?