Monday, June 09, 2014

Thought Experiment

A Thought Experiment is a method for testing an idea.  The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question.  One of the most famous thought experiments is Schr√∂dinger's cat, which is briefly seen in the short video below:


Now, for those fans of the Big Bang Theory, you've probably already seen some humorous explanation. But the point I'm making is that thinking through the consequences of an idea is a an accepted mode of inquiry.  What I'm asking you to do is think about the Open Carry movement in this way.

So, look at the picture below.  What do you see?  Perhaps you see people exercising their constitutional rights.  Perhaps you see people with unhealthy fetishes with weapons. Do you see potential terrorists?


Now, look at the picture below:


What do you see?  Perhaps you see people exercising their constitutional rights.  Perhaps you see people with unhealthy fetishes with weapons. Do you see potential terrorists?

I think you can see where I'm going with this experiment.  We could go on, substitute Muslims for the Open Carry folk, Latinos, and so on.

So, this last weekend, a white married couple murdered two police officers in Las Vegas, then covered the officers' bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.  Where is the uproar about domestic terrorists?  I went to FoxNews.com to look for the story, and it was hard to find.  Now, go back to your thought experiment machine, and imagine 2 Muslims killing 2 policemen, and an innocent bystander, while proclaiming the upcoming revolution. How do you think FoxNews would treat this story?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a demographic of the NRA. I'm betting it's mostly white, if not ALL white. As for domestic terrorists, it's plain that if they're white, they get leniency, but if they're anywhere else in the color spectrum, they're toast. Bring up Tim McVeigh's name, and you get perplexed looks. It's as if only A-Rabs and dark people can be the bad guys.

Jeff Johnson said...

Nice thought experiment.
My only other comment is about comments themselves: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/internet-comments-and-perceptions-of-quality/371862/

Geoff Gould said...

Well Jeff, you're probably right. Perhaps it's a testament to my blog's small readership that it hasn't been overrun by trolls!

Bob said...

What did I notice? Who's the blonde? :)

The topic of reasonable gun control measures is so infuriating. Such a commonsense issue at its core. I don't know what it's going to take - maybe showing more old Westerns where guns are checked by the white guys at the bar and everyone gets it??

Mark Geiger said...

Been a while since you did one of these. Hope you get a bit more frequent with it. I read that the fifth fatality was an armed shopper who did not realize the couple were working in tandem and lost his life in the process. Untrained dolts playing hero is a helluva a bad way to get your 15 minutes of fame. There will be plenty more of that and plenty more "accidental" shootings, too. Besides with phones, I Pads and all the other crap we carry, who in the world wants to drag one of these weapons around? I can barely carry myself around these days and now I've got to carry an M16 or AK 47 to feel safe?