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Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

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Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

Posted by
Thomas Seay on February 11, 2000 at 16:04:28:

As a computer scientist, my field of enquiry is cybernetics.
Now, basically, computers are very simple. Every "bit" of information is reduced to an "on" bit, a 1 or an "off" bit,
a 0. Everything that you see on your screen right now or anywhere on the internet can ultimately be reduced to a series of off (0) or on (1). There is no "in between" bit,
in other words no gray area. It's either yes or no.

Now many people fear(rightly or wrongly) the day when computers will equal human intelligence. Well, that day has apparently come, because from what I can see, the American people (other peoples too) approach many of our social issues in the same way as a computer. We either are for it, in which case we support it, or we are against it, in which case we try to aggresively eradicate it. Two of the issues that come to mind in this regards are prostitution and drug use. I wish to discuss this latter.

Let's begin with the simplistic (and wrong to my mind) premise that "all street drugs are evil". The way that our society has dealt with this resembles that of a computer. In computer language our American drug program looks like this. If drug then eliminate. The computer does not care if what is eliminated is a human life. It does not consider if the cure is worse than the sickness.
It just blindly carries out its program. It would appear that this is the American policy in regards to drugs as well.

We believe that the only solution to our premise "All street drugs are evil" is to aggressively eradicate
all manifestations of these drugs wherever they manifest.
This means not only destroying drugs, but imprisoning and punishing those who use or sell drugs. You might argue that punishing people is a way of discouraging or preventing drug abuse.

The question is, "is the cure for the sickness worse than the sickness itself"? If we have a headache, and we take a pill to cure our headache, but the pill kills us, then we can surely say that the cure was worse than the sickness, can we not? I suggest that this is the case for our cure
to the our so-called sickness, drug abuse.

Getting caught with marijuana can get you put into prison
for years. Property can be seized. Student loans denied, employment refused...you get stigmatized and socially marginalized as a criminal. What does this cure? Is the cure worse than the sickness. I suggest that it is.

Some of us might reply, fine, marijuana is not such a dangerous drug after all. What about heroin? Heroin is addictive, lethal in large doses, people spread hepatitis through the needles, addicts often steal and mame for a "fix".

Ok, let's see how effective our cure has been in regards to a "hard" drug, such as heroin. First of all, let us assume that the user is an addict and not just somone who occasionally uses this drug. Why does he steal (and commit all the adjunct crimes in order to steal)? He does so, because the drug is illegal; because the drug is illegal
a relatively cheap substance becomes very expensive.

Make no mistake, heroin is available...by criminalizing it
you dont eradicate it, you just make it expensive. This, in turn, makes it necessary for the addict to get large amounts of money to get his drug. He will steal to do so.
In addition to this, because of the criminalization, the
"gang element" which very often controls the street sells of
such hard drugs, enters the equation. They introduce another layer of violence as they fight one another over control of territories where they operate their drug sells.

So, you see, once again, our cure, criminalizing street drugs, actually exacerbates the problem.

"Well", you might say, "let's nip the problem in the bud".
Let's patrol our borders to prevent the drugs from entering our country, let's scour the countryside for pot farms and
metamphetamine labs". Despite the billions of dollars that have been spent on this endeavor already, it has proven unsuccesful. The billions of dollars spent on policing our borders and battling domestic drug production has done nothing to DECREASE drug use; it has,instead, INCREASED
bureaucracy and unconstitutional police powers. In fact the only two groups who have profited from the War on Drug
are the government bureaucrats and the drug pushers (who are able to demand exorbitant prices).

Now, I began this essay by saying that we were treating the drug issue much as a simple computer program would. Either we are for drugs or we are against them. I would suggest
that instead of this "binary" approach, that we just accept the fact that drugs, substances that alter our consciousness in some way, have been a part of human society
probably since the inception of our species; that trying to eradicate them often has a more pernicious effect on the user and his society than the actual drug use itself. Instead of draconian measures to prohibit drugs, we would be much better off as a society by finding a way to integrate drug use into our society, accomodate them in a way that is rational and results in the most auspicious
consequences for our society.

Thomas



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

Posted by M on February 11, 2000 at 17:34:07:

In Reply to: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by Thomas Seay on February 11, 2000 at 16:04:28:

Thomas,

What you wrote is very interesting and I agree with you. I read somewhere that a certain percentage of people do not ever do drugs for the sole reason that it is illegal. If they were legalized, then those people would supposedly do them. I think the reason that the US is continuing with this seeminigly irrational war is because if drugs were legalized then I think the beaurocrats believe that it would creep into the "good"(i.e. conservative rich white america) neighborhoods (as if it werent already there). Those "good" neighborhoods are where the beaurocrats get their money and power. Gotta make them happy!

Although I think drugs (at least some) should be legalized (for economic reasons alone) It still makes me nervous. I think some people would go apeshit with it and do some incredibly stupid things. There is only so much regulations and education can do. Would it become as mainstream, overly abused, AND socially acceptable as alcohol? I dont know, there are a lot of people that dont use their heads AT ALL when drinking or doing drugs.


M



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

Posted by
Thomas Seay on February 11, 2000 at 19:10:11:

In Reply to: Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by M on February 11, 2000 at 17:34:07:

M,

Thanks for your interesting response.
I dont know how many people DID NOT drink alcohol
during the alcohol prohibition because it was illegal,
just as I dont know how many people don't do drugs
because it is illegal.

The alcohol prohibition is an interesting model.
Just as we still have alcohol problems, we will still
have drug abuse problems if the drug prohibition is
ended. The difference is that we wont have the involvement of a truly criminal type element,,,mafia etc...poisoning because of tainted drugs (as happened with alcohol prohibition), the bolstering of the police state, lives of casual drugs users shattered, etc.

One way to deal with drug abuse is through Intelligent truthful education of our children, instead of the lies
and hysteria preached to our children through such
organizations as DARE. DARE lies and uses scare tactics in regards to such drugs as marijuana. When children do try
marijuana and find that it is relatively harmless, they then dont believe the stories they've been told about all of the other drugs and are liable to think that heroin is
as harmless as pot. Of course, this is just one scenario, but the point is that truthful information and education is what is needed, not scare tactics.

Thirdly, instead of the money being used to fight the War on Drugs, I recommend a fraction of that money be put aside where people could try psychedelics if they wanted. In general, psychedelics, such as LSD, are not dangerous. However, they are amplifiers and if taken under bad conditions and in a bad state of mind, they can lead to
really bad trips.

As you may know from my other posts, I am quite supportive of serious psychedelic use...I think that it can promote mind expansion, spirituality and creativity. It has been said that if it weren't for acid, there would have been no computer revolution. While that is only partially true, you would be surprised at how much of the software, etc that you are using was inspired by a psychedelic session.
This is the truth of the matter...the BIG innovations did not come from the pasty-looking status quo good boys working on mainframes in your IS department...it came from acid-dropping cyber-shamans.

Thomas



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

Posted by alexis on February 12, 2000 at 16:53:41:

In Reply to: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by Thomas Seay on February 11, 2000 at 16:04:28:

Thomas, et al,

Interesting premise- although you alluded to, but missed yet another binary aspect of drug usage- that of the illegal "bad" drugs and the legal "good" (allopathic) drugs.

Which truly do the most harm?

I contend allopathic drugs that deaden, kill, numb and maime under the pretense of "therapy" are much more evil than the illegal ones. They are worshipped as "miracles", when they usually cause more problems than solve.

Example - chemotherapy- drugs that kill you slowly, inch by inch, with the vague chance of killing the cancer before they kill the patient. A crap shoot touted as the unquestioned response to cancer. Weaken the body to the verge of death- destroying the immune system until life is hanging on a thread. This is progress? This is one of the "good" drugs?

Let us be more honest here. We (as as the dominant law-making majority) worship the drugs that are crammed down the throats of the sick and dying, yet despise those that open up new doors to a higher conciousness, used by healthy seekers to reach higher levels of the mind.

It is all about control.

Can medical doctors control the use of marijuana? Peyote? LSD? I think not. The allopathic cartel cannot have people in control of their own lives -(not to mention their own bodies!) So, those drugs are feared and maligned.
Those drugs, used recreationally or for spiritual enlghtenment, are the "bad" ones. Some of these have the power to open minds to extrordinary concepts, bringing life to dead minds.

The pretext is ludicrous.

alexis



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs (Archive under philosophy.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 13, 2000 at 08:50:38:

In Reply to: Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by alexis on February 12, 2000 at 16:53:41:

Hi, Alexis.

I appreciate your note. It needed to be said and I couldn't agree more. MY wish would be that everyone would read it!

Since every known state of mind can be produced by pretty simple training, my hope is that people will realize that they can avoid playing this government game by just bypassing it.

Of course, I have personally experienced certain groups of people who call any mind training "of the antichrist" ---even biofeedback!

Namaste`

Walt



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs (Archive under philosophy.)

Posted by alexis on February 13, 2000 at 15:53:39:

In Reply to: Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs (Archive under philosophy.) posted by Walt Stoll on February 13, 2000 at 08:50:38:

Thank you, Walt.

I agree that reaching altered (true?) mental states can be done with proprer training, (which would be the obviously preferred method). However, unless you are aware that they exist and are motivated to try to get there, most will never try. Psychotropic drugs are a shortcut, which is fine for the outset of the journey, as a means of discovery, but ultimately I need to reach it on my own. Personally, I have never come close to the same susutained phenomena naturally. I have only had glimpses.

alexis



Thomas...

Posted by alexis on February 13, 2000 at 21:52:24:

In Reply to: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by Thomas Seay on February 11, 2000 at 16:04:28:

Please repost your website address. I thought I bookmarked it, but I didn't.

Thanks,

alexis



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs

Posted by
Thomas Seay on February 13, 2000 at 22:56:24:

In Reply to: Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs posted by alexis on February 12, 2000 at 16:53:41:

Alexis,

I love you. You are absolutely right on in what you are saying. An interesting book that treats the subject of
more democracy on drug use, including breaking the monopoly held by the medical profession is Thomas Szasz M.D.,
"Our right to Drugs". It's a very well reasoned and scholarly book.

Thomas



Re: Thomas... (URL For Website)

Posted by
Thomas Seay on February 13, 2000 at 23:02:24:

In Reply to: Thomas... posted by alexis on February 13, 2000 at 21:52:24:

The URL for my website, entheogens and psychedelics is
http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/entheogensandpsychedelics
I have also included the link below. We discuss
drug legalization, spiritual and creative use of psychedelics, philosophy, etc. All are welcome to
join the discussion.

Alexis, my email address is entheogens@yahoo.com
if you have any more questions.

ciao,

Thomas



Sorry, babe, it doesn't work...

Posted by alexis on February 14, 2000 at 12:24:16:

In Reply to: Re: Thomas... (URL For Website) posted by Thomas Seay on February 13, 2000 at 23:02:24:

neither your link or the URL got me anywhere...

and a Yahoo match had no results.

How you gonna take me there?

lexi



Re: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work...

Posted by -JGG- on February 14, 2000 at 12:49:58:

In Reply to: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work... posted by alexis on February 14, 2000 at 12:24:16:

Alexis,

Try this.



Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs (Archive under philosophy.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 14, 2000 at 13:26:05:

In Reply to: Re: Cybernetics and The War on Drugs (Archive under philosophy.) posted by alexis on February 13, 2000 at 15:53:39:

Thanks, Alexis.

I couldn't agree with what you have said here more! Once I learned to do this by training, I tried some of the psychedelics and learned something from them even then.

Once I knew both approaches, I found that training suited me best because I did not have to worry about the law, pay money for drugs OR worry about any side effects.

Namaste`

Walt



Re: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work...

Posted by
Thomas Seay on February 14, 2000 at 15:00:27:

In Reply to: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work... posted by alexis on February 14, 2000 at 12:24:16:

Alexis,

Goddess-woman, I clicked on the hypertext in that message
and it took me there...Perhaps it (my board) was down for repairs when you tried it. Anyway, if it doesn't work again let me know..send me an email and we will see what we can do about it.

I WILL take you there ...to the promised URL!

Thomas



Got it, thanks!

Posted by alexis on February 14, 2000 at 22:44:45:

In Reply to: Re: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work... posted by Thomas Seay on February 14, 2000 at 15:00:27:

See you there!



Thanks, JGG, it works now...(nmi)

Posted by alexis on February 14, 2000 at 22:48:49:

In Reply to: Re: Sorry, babe, it doesn't work... posted by -JGG- on February 14, 2000 at 12:49:58:

(:->)



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