Osama Airlines

Salon runs an article today that shows how easy it would be to learn how to pilot a jet plane by using some new video game. They call it Osama Air Lines, or something.

I have been reading the new Krakauer book, so maybe my nerves are a bit raw. But we have this paralyzing fear that we are going to educate people into being able to destroy us. There is always this fear of knowledge, like we ought to be more careful about publishing instructions for making pipe bombs and handing out blue prints to malls and stuff.

I’m sure I am wrong about this, but I believe that truth will win out in the end. Jordana was reading the letters to the editor of Newsweek after they published their Gay Marriage issue, and she was appalled by the people who wrote in with their typical ‘God’s Law’ and ‘Adam and Steve’ arguments. And she is furious because these people are having tons of kids and they are going to vote.

But America is set up to stop any church from taking over any state, even Utah. And if they take away a woman’s right to chose, we will fight to get it back. The beauty of America, the greatness of our constitution, is that as soon as someone swings the pendulum in a way that makes no sense, we Americans can swing it back. We have to stand our ground and vote and fight, but no loss is permanent. The other side knows this, we have to as well.

And our only weapon is a free and aggressive exchange of all ideas. Even video games that show you how to pilot a 747. Even tracts blaming the Jews for 9-11. Maybe not outright lies like that, but maybe by reading bullshit and seeing where it’s wrong, you get a better sense of what the truth is.

If everyone knows everything possible, then America will approach its ideal. There will still be shades of opinion, people with all the figures will still believe that abortion is murder and that the death penalty affects crime rates, because some people aren’t smart. But almost everyone is smart enough to recognize the truth when they see it.