Edwards' law states that "You cannot apply a technological solution to a sociological problem". This has often been shown to be correct.

Once a problem becomes embedded in a society, an attempt to eliminate it with new technology will fail. Changing society's opinions, however, can eliminate it much more effectively. This is mainly because once a problem exists, people will put effort into bypassing technical solutions. Re-educated people, however, will not need restriction, because they believe exploiting the problem is wrong.

Take music piracy as an example: This is a sociological problem, and a technical solution (such as DRM) would be very hard to produce, and many people would try to bypass it. If, however, people could be taught that piracy was wrong, they would not do it.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, but in general, it proves true quite often.

I can think of many technical solutions to social problems, but I doubt they'll catch on:

Bad Drivers - mount paint guns on cars so that you can mark the car that cuts you off or does some other fool thing. Then, when you see a car that has been marked many times, you can ease back and give the idiots room.

People who vote without knowning anything about the issues - the voting machine requires you to answer some simple questions about the positions and background of a candidate before you're allowed to vote for them.

Telemarketers - require all phones used for the purpose of telemarketing to send out the caller ID "Fucking Telemarketer".

People who don't turn off their cell phones at the movies - remind them to turn them off by sending a recorded call to every cell phone that passes the ticket-taker (by listening for the signals between the phone and its cell).

I could go on and on... but I you're probably tired of this by now and will start responding with ways to eliminate the social problem of "people noding their smart-assed bullshit"

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