I was watching a technical talk on the topic of computational geometry on YouTube and a comment popped up that in one sentence managed to include both a racist and a homophobic slur. This made me wish that I could somehow ban the ability of human beings to do write such comments (just because they are protected by the cover of anonymity). Of course, you couldn’t enforce anything like that, unless…
So I wondered what kind of things I’d love to see a dictatorial government implement. Here are some random ideas that would either benefit me directly or indirectly
- YouTube comments that contain racist or homophobic slurs would be punished by forcing that person to recite the same comment in-person to a group of people against which the comment was made. The group will then have 30 minutes to do with the commenter what they wish.
- Salads would be heavily subsidized. So that a salad will always be cheaper than a burger. (Of course, then, the fast food lobby would convince Congress that a burger is actually a salad because it sometimes has lettuce).
- Every citizen is required to prove on a yearly basis that they have the minimum civics knowledge required of most immigrants seeking citizenship. Questions like “What are the main branches of our government?”, “What is the Bill of Rights?”, “Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court?”, “What are the rights guaranteed by the first amendment to the constitution?”, etc.
- Every politician would be required to pass a much more stringent civics test. Basically you should be knowledgeable in 20th century international history, political science, law, and the basics of all major scientific disciplines (biology, physics, chemistry, etc).
- Hypocrisy in hateful speech (e.g. homosexuals speaking out against gay marriage) should be punished with some kind of humiliation on Twitter.
- Since the Olympics are going on, my kind of dictatorial government would actually fund the athletes training hard for years to represent their nation in the myriad of Olympics sports that do not provide them with a natural source of income.
On a serious note, while I believe that government (aka the people) can do a lot of good, I also tend to agree with Thomas Jefferson that “I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.”