Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Complexity Conundrum

Our “anti-terrorist” effort: too big to succeed

By Justin Raimondo

"Many years ago I read a science fiction story in which earthmen are conducting a war against a primitive people in a far distant star system: the natives, while less developed than their Terran overlords, were putting up quite a fight, and the colonizers, in an effort to stamp out the insurgency, launched an effort to utilize their chief advantage – high technology – and finally crush the enemy, which was armed with little more than bows and arrows.....

The memory of this story is, admittedly, faded by the years – if anyone can identify the title and author, I’d be grateful – and I may have the details wrong, but in essence the theme of this well-told tale wasn’t just a warning that technology may not hold all the answers, but also that increasing complexity is a problem, one inherent in the very nature of “advanced” civilizations. In any case, this story came immediately to mind as I read the first installment of “Top Secret America,” by Dana Priest and William Arkin, currently being serialized in the Washington Post. ....."

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