Monday, August 19, 2019

"They Were Programmed to Fight Crime, Not Make Value Judgments"

REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM: According to Wikipedia (HERE), the term which means in . . .

. . . "(Latin for 'reduction to absurdity'), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin for 'argument to absurdity'), apagogical arguments or the appeal to extremes, is a form of argument that attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion, or to prove one by showing that if it were not true, the result would be absurd or impossible."

The statement being disproved, reduced to the ridiculous, by our author in today's story could be summarized as: "We'd be better off if we turned law enforcement over to machines."

"The Perfect Cop."
By H. H. Morris (?-?; HERE).
Illustration by Jack Gaughan (1930-85; HERE).
First appearance: Analog, January 1976.

(No reprints.)
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archive (HERE; PDF; go down to page 117).

     "This time we have a device that fights crime instead of cops."

It's what the public keeps saying it wants, law and order, but how do you achieve it in a world full of imperfect people?

~ Lieutenant Clancy Phillips:

  "I'm in charge of this precinct."
~ Cantrell:
  "You think you're in charge, Lieutenant, but the Humintecs obey only the law."
~ Alpha Humintec, Bravo Humintec, and Charlie Humintec:
  "They're the perfect cop."

- Apart from the few stories he or she is credited with, we know nothing about H. H. Morris.

The bottom line:

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