Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Just a little note that I'm finally active again over at my other associated blog, Class Wargames. I'm taking a macroeconomics class, and blogging on subjects that come up during it over there.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

On Means and Ends: Still Torture

In the midst of this also-otherwise-fine item from Juliet Lapidos of Slate, "There Are Four Lights! Revisiting Star Trek: The Next Generation's eerily prescient torture episode," is this key paragraph, as far as my own little obsession with means & ends goes:

The extended torture sessions take a toll not just on Picard but on his interrogator as well. The more time the Cardassian spends with Picard, the more he becomes fixated on breaking his prisoner. And so the supposed goal of torture—information—is sidelined, while the means by which the goal will theoretically be achieved—mental submission—becomes an end in itself. As Picard puts it, "Torture has never been a reliable means of extracting information. It is ultimately self-defeating as a means of control. One wonders it is still practiced."

Cf. On Means and Ends: Torture