On the minus side, I had another long conversation with Morna. Those are always stressful, but if we didn't have them, nothing would ever get resolved, would it?
When I was driving home, after I got off the freeway, I saw some small animal on the road next to the sidewalk. It was either small oppossum, a large rat, or a deformed cat. In any case, I managed to swerve and miss it pretty easily, but it looked like it was walking along the edge of the sidewalk, not knowing how to get up.
I worry that it will have turned around in frustration and gone back into the street and gotten creamed by the next car =( I wonder if I should have pulled over and tried to get it off the street. But where would I have put it? It's not like there's any reall wilderness anywhere around. Even if I did get it off the street into the bushes, it might have just as easily turned around and gone back out into the street. But I'm still feeling guilty about it, like I should have done more. I hope I don't see a dead whatever it is tomorrow morning =(
For some reason on the drive home, I got to thinking about a book called The Weaponshops of Isher. The basic premise of the book involves a future where the power of a giant dictatorial empire is balanced only my a confederation of merchants who run Weaponshops, where anyone can go to buy a weapon.
It seems at first glance like an over the top endorsement of the second amendment, but if you pay attention, it's really about what the second amendment means.
The weapons sold by these shops have two primary features, One: they generate a forcefield that makes the user immune to the effects of most other weapons. Two: they are highly leathal, but can only be fired in self defense (through some kind of weird brain analysis or some such)
So unlike the beliefs of certain militia groups that the second amendment is designed so that you can go out and kill anyone who gets in your way, the purpose of the second amendment is to allow a citizen to say "no," or as is stated frequently in the Illuminatus Trillogy, "Non Serviam," - "I will not serve." The right to bear arms was only the best understood way to allow a citizen to say no without fear of unjust retaliation.
Of course the ability to shoot at the people you want to say no to is not the only method of accomplishing this. If you live within a society that is relatively just, then the practice of civil disobedience becomes feasible, with nothing to fear beyond a possible prison sentence.
An impenetrable forcefield would allow you to say "no" in any circumstances, even within a society ruled by a totalitarian government. It would give you the ability to effectively opt out of society at any point you wanted.
Of course even such a theoretically peacefull tool would be abused in some ways. It wouldn't be long before teenagers decided to jump into the middle of a freeway with their forcefield turned on to see what havoc they could wreak.
More importantly, if every individual was able to opt out of society at no cost whatsoever, society itself would probably quickly break down. Come tax day, everyone would be cowering behind their forcefields, choosing to opt out. However five years down the road, would any of them be willing to take responsiblity when social security went bankrupt and the highways fell apart into ruin?
I'm not sure if I was going anywhere with this. Just a random ramble from way too early in the morning.