[Discuss] Request for Comments: Digital DIY: Legal Challenges & Solutions Practised Report

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Wed Sep 21 13:37:14 UTC 2016

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Wouter Tebbens
<wouter at freeknowledge.eu> wrote:
> Dear colleagues, friends and OSHWA members,
> as you may know the Free Knowledge Institute is part of the Digital DIY
> research project. As part of our work we are studying the legal
> challenges and how practitioners resolve them.
> We have produced a draft report that we hope to be useful for the
> various maker and related communities. We would be delighted to receive
> your constructive feedback.

 hi wouter,

 i went to the site, it requires accepting cookies (in a way that
reminds me of the pointlessness of having a warning about the
existence of cookies) and it requires registration: these things put
me off from spending the time to comment there, so i will provide a
comment here instead.

 technology and knowledge are expanding outwards without limit, now.
it is possible for pretty much anyone to find the means to do anything
they want, whether it be highly creative and brings about great
positive benefit, or whether it be insanely destructive, dangerous,
irresponsible and in effect indistinguishable from world-wide

 i can off the top of my head think of at least five emerging
technologies which could get sufficiently out of hand as to turn our
planet into a barren rock in as little as between three to fifteen
years.  i can think of several more that are being considered for
expansion to country-wide or world-wide where we simply don't have the
planetary resources to even *remotely* contemplate it being practical.

 the emergence of all this knowledge is therefore not as important as
it is to emphasise how critical it is that we act WISELY in choosing
whether to deploy it (at all), or into whose hands we allow it to be

 certain technologies, for example, genetic manipulation, simply need
to be outright banned on a world-wide scale, elevated to the same
level as is reserved for nuclear weapons: not tolerated.  at all.  if
you *don't understand why* then you are simply not equipped with a
full enough understanding of quite how insanely dangerous genetic
manipulation really is (in other words: you do not have the WISDOM to
understand why an outright world-wide ban is so critical).

you will also not be aware that many pharmaceutical companies involved
in genetic modification have labs that are hermetically sealed and
have napalm reservoirs on standby to wipe out anything (and anyone)
inside the lab in case of an accident: these measures are a necessary
precaution but simply do not go far enough.  genetic manipulation
should only be carried out in hermetically-sealed bio-labs that have a
ONE WAY DOOR on them.  anyone that goes in should simply not permitted
to leave, for the rest of their natural life.

 there are so many more examples where giving knowledge to people is
just an extremely stupid thing to do.  science fiction books by the
best authors cover this in some detail: peter f hamilton is one such
author, and there are many others.  the "stargate" series is another
illustration of where access to technology can result in drastic and
disastrous consequences: replicator technology for example spawned out
of a child's toy gone drastically wrong.

ian m banks in particular, with the "culture" series, explored at
great length the care that had to be taken when even *discovering* new
species who were not equipped to comprehend the responsibility that
goes with access to knowledge and technology.  several examples
include aggressive species that expand outwards into space from their
original home world, whose entire culture is basically genocidal to
the extreme.  giving such a species access to quantum level weaponry
would be utterly and insanely irresponsible!

 sci-fi authors therefore give us an "early warning" - a heads-up - of
what's just around the corner.  previously it didn't matter: there
wasn't a global internet, there wasn't easy access to global shipping.
now add "global knowledge" to "global shipping" and we have the
potential for anyone, anywhere in the world, to both design and then
do something incredibly dangerous and irresponsible that could
literally kill us all.

 with knowledge comes RESPONSIBILITY and it requires WISDOM and DISCERNMENT.


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