On 18th November 2016, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, spoke on BBC Radio Ulster on the topic of cryonics.
Category Archives: Science (Technology)
Looking beyond Nuclear
by Sean Gabb
(12th July 2006)
An easy answer to the question of nuclear power is to ask what Tony Blair thinks about it. Since he has now said he likes it, and since everything he says or does is bad, we have an answer. I feel, however, this answer might gain by a more formal demonstration.
I begin by asserting that nuclear power is inherently dangerous. Heat is generated by the manipulation of highly poisonous and highly unstable materials. These may, unless closely watched, run out of control; or their waste products may escape in various ways. In the past generation, there have been notable misfortunes in America and in the Soviet Union. There was, I am told, a leak from an English power station in the late 1950s—though the main fact of this was hidden by the authorities until the 1980s. Read more
Note: I take issue with Robert on this one. Computers have made me able to do things faster than I could when I was young. They have also allowed me to do things I could never otherwise have done. Every so often, I find something new that computers have enabled, and my delight is only limited by the reflection that I should have known about this when it first became available. I think of Google Books, which I discovered by accident, and which allows me to own books published in the 17th century, books that I might previously have been able to access only by going to the British Library or the Bodleian. Computers have transformed my life for the better, and I do not find them very hard to use.
As for the young, my own daughter has had no trouble with digital technology. She has a tablet, and is increasingly able to do things on it without my help. She can do Google searches for her homework, and she has a restricted e-mail account, and is able to correspond with her Slovak relatives.
Doubtless, many people have problems with computers. But software interfaces are increasingly easy to use. When I used Wordperfect 5.1, I had to remember dozens of formatting commands that are long since obsolete, now everything can be done via the menu or intuitive keystrokes.
Nor are computers being used effectively to enslave us. Until the present century, governments had an almost unlimited ability to lie to us because of their grip on the mass-media. That ability has fallen to the ground. The compensating ability they have acquired, to gather vast amounts of data, is not really any compensation, as the resulting flood of data cannot be processed.
I love computers. I love digital technology. We are living through a revolution with will make us rich. Before then, it will make us free. SIG
The Paris Atrocities: The Most Probable and Bankrupt Response of Our Own Government (2015), by Sean Gabb
The Paris Atrocities:
The Most Probable and Bankrupt Response
of our Own Government
by Sean Gabb
14th November 2015
Because Keir Martland has already commented with great brilliance, and even a certain nobility of tone, I will make no comment directly on the Paris Atrocities or their probable causes. I will instead deal with our own Government’s most likely response to them. This will be a new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. It will require Internet and telephone companies to store all communication data for a year, and to make this available to the police and security agencies.
The stated reason for this will be that we are in danger, and in particular danger from Moslem terrorists. What happened yesterday in Paris was only the latest episode in a campaign of terror that began with the American Bombings in September 2001, and proceeded through the Madrid Bombings, and the London Bombings, and the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, and the Charlie Hebdo killings. How long before a coordinated terror attack in planned again for London? We are at war, and war calls for a deviation from the normal course of government. Read more
The Perils of State Surveillance
by Sean Gabb
Speech to the Traditional Britain Group
24th October 2015
Here is an audio recording made on my mobile telephone and then tarted up in Audacity. A better version will be available soon, but this will do for the moment.
I argue as follows: Read more
Pwnd Again: Don’t Trust These Jokers With Your Information
There’s an old television trope — I’m not sure where it originated — in which a shady-looking character walks up to a group, flashes open his trenchcoat to reveal a bunch of cheap (and presumably stolen) timepieces, and asks “anyone wanna buy a watch?” That image springs to mind every time I hear it suggested that Americans should trust the security and confidentiality of their personal information or critical data to the US government. Read more