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It’s an interesting quandry: in order… Thursday, 18 October 2007

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting.

It’s an interesting quandary: in order to learn chemistry, you have to learn how different chemicals react: what’s safe, what isn’t. In short, to learn how to make aspirin, you have to learn how to make a bomb. At some point, you learn that it’s a bad idea to mix, say, drain cleaner and ammonia and bleach… but you also learn that that’s exactly what you do if you want to cause caustic damage to someone.

A new panel (http://news.wired.com/dynamic/stories/S/SCIENCE_AND_SECURITY?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-10-18-09-32-13 ) has been proposed that would supposedly balance the need for knowledge and the need for security.

I myself can’t see it working, but the idea has some basis in real need.

I’d propose instead the teaching of ethics and moral behavior: positive socialization trumps secrecy any time in my book. But I don’t think that would fly, either.



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