Saturday, December 16, 2006

Fog of War

I watched Errol Morris’s Fog of War again on DVD, and was amazed again. The movie is subtitled, “Eleven Lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara.” The first two lessons are, “Empathize with your enemy,” and, “Rationality will not save us.” Try to see yourself through the eyes of your enemy, is essentially the point of the first, and reason alone is not enough to prevent humanity’s self-destruction, is the point of the second. These are valid lessons.

Nevertheless, the wonder of the technology boom of the latter half of the twentieth century has been that technologies become cheaper, smaller, easier to use, and more widely distributed. I assume this trend is true of things like Weapons of Mass Destruction as well. Therefore, I conclude it’s inevitable that some terrorist organization will one day get its hands on some nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon and use it against the population of a country. If everything can be explained through an economic theory that states, humans overcome physical hurdles to meet a demand through innovation and technological savvy, I assume the same will be true of methods of large-scale destruction. There is a market in the world for efficient ways to kill more people. Expect amoral and ambitious human beings to fill the need.

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