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PowerDistortion

Near a black hole gravitational fields become so intense that
time and space themselves are twisted --- until at the event horizon,
the point-of-no-return Schwarzschild radius,
escape velocity reaches the speed of light. Time becomes a
spacelike direction; the radial space dimension in turn
becomes timelike. Inside a black hole one can no more avoid moving
toward the central singularity than one can go backward in time.
You're trapped ... doomed.

Near a power center, judgment similarly becomes twisted. Even with
the noblest of intentions one loses the ability to reason,
to choose wisely,
to act with justice. As Lord Acton said, "Power tends to
corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It becomes
impossible to release the reins of control. Thomas Jefferson
wrote concerning slavery
(in http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/jeffwest.html , a letter to John Holmes, 22 April 1820)
"... as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither
hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and
self-preservation in the other." A nation was trapped ... doomed
to eventual Civil War.

(See ^zhurnal 21 February 2000 ForYourOwnGood.)

Monday, February 12, 2001 at 20:54:16 (EST) = Datetag20010212

TopicScience - TopicSociety - TopicJustice


(correlates: NoTimeForThat, UnfortunateBillboard, SingularPoints, ...)