Popehat sees the same 3-D printing/desktop CNC revolution coming that I did, and points out it moots a lot of gun control.
--Theodore Sturgeon was famous (in some circles, anyway) for the aphorism "Ask the next question." The next one along this line of thought might be desktop "printing" (for want of a better word) of simple chemical mixtures -- and moving from there to more complex synthesis. Smokeless powder, aspirin, ascorbic acid -- or LSD and heroin. As far as I know, that's still over the horizon, but ask me again in five years, or ten.
One the other hand-- Prediction tends to go sideways, kind of like having a long tape measure spooled out; the darned thing doesn't always go where you'd think. Print-on-demand made a change, but it's nothing to the paperless version: the e-reader/iPad/smartphone is rapidly expanding the wealth of "printed" matter available to people. I love my library but those several thousand volumes would take up a few thumb drives at most. What happens when the contents of your medicine chest (and all that stuff in bottles under the kitchen sink!) goes the same way?
What happens when you cross that with 3-D printing? (Print out a nice new computer?)
My other "tolja" is considerably more grim. Back when Anwar al-Awlaki was offed for bein' seditiously mouthy, one of the defenses offered was that he had it comin'. Which, okay, he did -- but not in any legal sense; as a citizen, you can go off and preach against your government all you like. Even if you're actively helping set up malefactors, you-the-citizen don't generally rate summary execution unless you're in the act thereof and violently resist apprehension. Nope, rule was that you had your day in court, just like it says right there in writing, and then they took you out and strung you up, and no weaseling about it, either.
...Used to be that way. Now? Now it's not even the President; it's some knot of wonks at the National Security Council who decide you're a bad, baaaaaad person and wham! you get an exploding visitor from above, no arrest, no trial, no nothing, not even the State of Texas tellin' you that you'll have what's on the same menu the other jailbirds are getting. Who chose these guys? Did you vote for 'em? I sure don't remember having the chance. But hey, for now, if you stay in the country, you're probably fine. Besides, the neighbors will agree after the news reports that you probably had it coming anyhow.
Take what comfort you can that whichever party is in power, it's the same shined-up jackboot. And as long as it is only stomping cockroaches, who cares? --At least, who cares until they find themselves defined as a cockroach.* But, damn you, don't look me in the eye and tell me that it is in any way how the freely elected government of a free country of free men and women operates, 'cos it ain't.
So much for Article Three, Section Three. But hey, Mr. Madison, nice work anyway. (Lotta good stuff in there, btw, including the evils of Hamiltonianism, which ought to look very familiar.)
* Which reminds me, has anyone camping out in an NYC park for "Occupy Wall Street" ever heard of what happened to the Bonus Army? Or, for that matter, the Canadian solution? Sleep tight!
Introduction to Sim
5 months ago