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SoftSecurity and its paramour HardSecurity act primarily through architecture to control or adapt or mitigate unwanted behaviour. This does not always imply a PassiveDefense?. It may simply ease the job of defenders or LimitDamage that still needs to be cleaned up by some good samaritan. While MediaIsControl?, since the DigitalNetwork disintermediates us, we do not always have architecture to protect us. We often have to deal with people directly.

There are of course many strategies to regulate the actions and our reactions to others. While perhaps the most NonViolent is to ControlYourself, that is only in competing circumstances. We presume BarnRaising and collaboration here. Instead of being insular, we ought to seek to build PersonalRelationships with others to extend the boundary of what we consider "yourself" to "ourselves."

When competing, say for dominance in a PeckingOrder, many people escalate the conflict by using a HardResponse?. The goal is to intimidate the other party or to expend too many of their resources that they back down, and you achieve dominance and control over them. Doing so is very risky, and likely costly, but can be successful if you have enough resources and skill and luck to win. Conquering another territory is one example. While that certainly will extend the perimeter of your community, if you lose, it may back fire. Even if you win, it may be a PyrrhicVictory, as you will have expended so many resources that you are a takeover target by another competing party. You may even lose the ability to regulate within your perimeter, and rebels like AntiAuthoritarians will overthrow you.

Ideally we want to create a situation where TheCollective is self-reinforcing. They are all aligned along the same SuperordinateGoal, co-operating, freely willing to ExchangeValue?, BarnRaising, SelfPolicing, and so on. This is the least costly scenario. Further, it creates a StableBase upon which energy previously expended by AnIndividual on overhead can be put towards developing new advancements.

Therefore, we need to use SoftResponses that do not escalate conflicts. Moreover, we want to integrate the other party from being an outsider to being an insider. The last thing we want to do is create OutcastNewcomers unnecessarily (for we want to LimitTemptation of retaliation as well as foster CommunityGrowth?). If the point of contention between the VisitorRole and GuestRole to being a CommunityMember is simply the acceptance of the CommunityExpectations and alignment with the SuperordinateGoal, we should rather work to bring the two sets of behaviours and expectations into unity. Presuming that we are a mature community and our expectations are reasonable, we need to help the other party change their conflicting behaviour to fit into our framework.

A SoftResponse then would be to either teach the other party how to change themselves so they no longer produce the unwanted behaviour or to find wants to functionally transform that behaviour so it no longer has the negative effect on the community. These two strategies may work together. By being a good RoleModel by continuously transforming unwanted behaviour into acceptable behaviour, others will learn the CommunityExpectations implicitly. If their own behaviour is transformed, and you have constructed a PersonalRelationship of mutual respect, they will hopefully reconsider doing that kind of behaviour again.

A middle response would be to employ ConflictResolution techniques to address a conflict directly, but respectfully, rather than this approach to AvoidConflict in the first place.

But, the caveat that our BehavioralNorms are correct is not an assumption, and it is never perfectly true. It is incumbent on all to employ FairProcess to keep the community pliant, adapting, and improving towards a better social framework.

CategoryConflict CategorySoftSecurity

I'm just reading a text about the history of law and the Greek and Roman roots of our law. It's interesting that abut 500-300 b.c. a lot of innovative ideas were developed. One idea was that an abstract law might not fit a special case and that it's necessary not just to apply the law but to rethink the special case and the reasons for the law and maybe adapt according to the case. This was obviously a big step forward compared to natural law or law given by gods that was to be followed blindly. -- HelmutLeitner

-- JerryMuelver

I see SoftResponse and HardSecurity as bands or areas withing the larger Security spectrum. I do not think of either as the sole choice that can be made to solve a particular problem, but rather think of each as an initial starting point, from which is it possible to move away from or towards the other. The trick to being efficient in this, is to decide what the appropriate initial response is and how frequently to move and what step size to use in order to reach a desired state. In effect, this is what a mathematician would call an 'approach by successive approximations'. I also believe that, once the problem is analyzed a bit further, we might be able to define a 'model' that we could then test.

America's founding fathers also spent quite a bit of time grappling with these types of issues.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin.

-- HansWobbe

After a couple years of thought, I've come to the conclusion that you use soft responses when you have a sympathetic audience, since they are listening at some level, and hard responses when the only responses that are "heard" are actions or counteractions. The latter case includes the insane, stupid, or economically motivated. This breakdown is the difference between diplomacy and military action. We talk things out because it is less expensive than fighting, but talking is something humans evolved after we were already animals acting in a physical world, so it's not necessary just preferred. -- SunirShah

Yes, but it is also a matter of escalation and deescalation. Hard responses harden the atmosphere, soft responses soften the atmosphere. If one wants to have fun, soft is better. Holiday resort, tourism, soft drinks, fun. Trenches, warfare, hard fighting, vengeance. While a single hard or soft action will mean nothing, may even open a spectrum of ways to act and react, the overall level seems important. Also the potential to deescalate a conflict, to step back, to apologize. But also the credible ability to be tough and protect whatever and whoever needs protection. Fighting, yes, why not? -- but FightingIsBoring. Softness without hardness appears as weakness. There is no simple solution, just a dynamic equilibrium, WikiIsParadoxical. -- HelmutLeitner



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