“Geez, that’s a good point. I’ll reconsider my logic.”
👆 No one has ever said that after being punched in the face.
Violence can’t really resolve an argument — over a long enough timeline it only ever seems to delay its resolution. If you’re lucky or skilled the delay is so long that you never have to think about it again and you get to call that a victory. History shows us that the arguments will often return as increased conflict after we try to shoo them away with violence. I think that’s accurate if you look at the history of all violence. It’s probably a good thing to keep in mind.
Punching someone in the face to change their mind is obviously a stupid plan doomed to failure. When someone decides violence is a good plan that provides us with a great opportunity to talk about cognitive empathy. Unfortunately nobody ever likes this conversation.
Ineffective and poorly considered violence is presented and used as a solution to all sorts of arguments, and all sorts of other violence, all throughout history. The history of violence is some version of the future of violence. It only stops when we learn to stop reacting to conflict with our default behaviour — the often aggressive bullshit that we needed to survive before we could have arguments.
I imagine some version of this as the default for all intelligent life evolved through competition, whether traditional life like us or engineered ones like artificially intelligence systems, nations, or corporations. (If you think nations or corporations aren’t alive now, what will they be when they’re controlled primarily by artificially intelligent systems? What happens when Skynet is just a corporation that’s an actual person and wants its share price to go up? What will have changed in their behaviour to warrant the new definition at that point?)
If machines take over it will be because they’ve manifested themselves into corporations and nations. This conquest will be as nonviolent as things look now (corporate violence is camouflaged) but it will be much more focused. It will happen at a pace that will shock us and many of us will just go along with it.
Violence doesn’t appear to have ever solved anything… other than (in some but not all cases) an infinitesimally small percentage of all past violence. Violence often appears to cause more future violence even when it solves past violence (through violence).
I’m sorry to say that I’m not anti-violence
You’d think I would be because I go around calling myself a nonviolent extremist. Extremism is where I think there’s never any room for violence. Sometimes you need violence to stop violence.
Violent extremism appears to be how you can destroy the most bits of the world so it should definitely be avoided, but also violence exists and people have no reason to consent to it. We always need to be able to defend people and we always seem to need violence as an option to do that. I’m open to, and actively seeking, alternatives.
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