[hackerspaces] will the fruits of our labors be used for good or for evil?

Moritz Bartl moritz at hackerbus.eu
Mon Dec 5 02:00:40 CET 2011

+1 Mitch

Wonderfully stated. Thank you.

On 04.12.2011 23:57, Mitch Altman wrote:
> My view is a bit different.  You don't have to agree, but please
> consider:  DARPA is a government agency that exists to further its
> goals.  It seems to me that those goals are to make things easier and
> better for hurting and killing other people.  It seems to me that this
> is why they exist.  If people working for DARPA are giving grant money
> away, it is to further the goals of DARPA.  This isn't to say that good
> things can't be done with DARPA money.  But DARPA is spending this money
> explicitly to further the goals of DARPA -- and it *will* be used to
> further those goals.
> Werner von Braun was an incredible visionary.  He wanted to explore
> space!  It was his lifelong dream.  He found an opportunity for funding
> his dream when Hitler offered to pay for him to make rockets.  Those
> rockets were used to destroy the lives of civilians in London in the
> form of V2 missiles.  After the war, he was eventually hired by NASA to
> make rockets that eventually became the basis of the US space program. 
> Was this a good trade off?  I know how I feel.  I don't want to tell
> others what to do, or what to think or feel.  Please make up your own mind.
> In my mind, I would rather change projects than hurt others in order to
> fulfill the goals of my project.  But, before changing projects, perhaps
> there are other means of funding it, or allowing the project to
> proceed.  Those other means are way worth exploring.
> One other point I feel is worth considering:  A powerful method of
> marketing is to associate PRODUCT X with a warm and fuzzy feeling. 
> Repeat that enough times, and enough people subconsciously associate a
> warm-fuzzy feeling with PRODUCT X, and sales of PRODUCT X go up some
> percentage.  PRODUCT X can be dish soap, a soft drink, a TV show, a
> political candidate, a banana republic dictator, green-washing corporate
> image -- anything the people paying for the marketing request.  PRODUCT
> X can also be DARPA.  If we make more warm and fuzzy associations with
> DARPA (by using their money for what we feel is *good*), then some
> people will more likely feel it is OK to work for an agency to further
> the goals of DARPA -- and those goals may not be in line with what you
> believe is of true benefit to you and those around you.  Or it may. 
> Again, please think this through for yourself.  And please make a
> conscious choice.

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