A question of personal rights

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DaneKoponen, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen Member

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    I'm something of a pyromaniac, and I've always had a fascination with fire, and later, explosives. I never felt these were unhealthy interests, and I made efforts to channel that curiousity into productive activities- I worked as a wildland firefighter for 3 years, which was basically the perfect job :)

    Later, I started experimenting with some basic sorts of things in the privacy of my own home, eventually working my way to more complex ideas.

    At one point I was doing testing with some fairly advanced compounds, even by military standards.

    http://rapidshare.com/files/424130865/CarDemolition.mov

    http://rapidshare.com/files/429489878/FAE.mov

    I was young, as I still am, but I was sure to keep safety of others my foremost concern.

    Sadly, others did not see things this way and I've since had to put a stop to my activities.

    My question is, in things like home experimentation, where do you think the government should draw a line on what a person can and cannot do?

    I'm curious to hear thoughts from people in various countries. America has a rather zealous anti-terror stance, and is eager to associate a person's private testing with such nonsense :cry:
     
  2. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    They should draw the line at you blowing shit up.
     
  3. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen Member

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    How about someone just messing around with a blackpowder+gas tube charge (I don't know what they're called, but its just a fireball maker, like they use for Hollywood explosions). Plenty of people mess around with stuff like that, or have fun with oxy-acetylene. Or for instance the kinds of things they do at Burning Man and many other events:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vYE7B1_PU

    And for what reasons would you draw a line? What concerns do you have?
     
  4. Xz

    Xz Monkey Admin Staff Member

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    So long as you you own or otherwise legally dispose an appropriate piece of land where nobody else is around, and no chance of a fire spreading, you should be allowed to do whatever you want.

    Also chemicals which can contaminate the ground water should also be banned, unless appropriate measures are taken to avoid such contamination.

    Basically if there's no, or negligible, chance that you'll hurt someone else.
     
  5. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, I'm actually back in college now seeking majors in chemistry and physics. Eventually I'd like help standardize use of nitro-tetrazole explosives, which are still in research and testing phase.

    Not to nitpick, but do you have some specific examples? I read that and got a little confused. Can't pretty much everything poisonous be considered capable of causing ground water contamination? Even the things under most kitchen sinks that are designed to go down the drain can be poisonous if introduced to a water supply, especially if they form other compounds on the inside of a pipe for instance.

    Are you referring only to really exceptionally poisonous molecules like dimethyl mercury?

    But yes, I agree that safety should be a primary concern in any undertaking :)
     
  6. Xz

    Xz Monkey Admin Staff Member

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    All I'm saying is that measures should be taken not to hurt others through contamination of the ground water. Nothing specific in mind, not saying the chemicals should be banned in general, but that irresponsible usage of them should be.
     
  7. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Something you learn in the military is that rules are usually made after somebody does something stupid and ruins it for everybody. If everybody did the right thing all the time, there would be no rules. But there are idiots among us, so things like drugs and explosives will be abused and have to be controlled. There are also people who look at something dangerous and say, "How can I use this to hurt people?" instead of, "How can this be used safely to improve quality of life?"

    So yeah, if you want to study and engineer explosives, there are avenues available to reach that end. Just not in your back yard or basement.
     
  8. bryant1380

    bryant1380 New Member

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    Close. They should draw the line at you blowing someone ELSE'S shit up. If you wanna blow up yourself or your house, by all means.
     
  9. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    The OP knows about explosions better than any of us (I imagine). They aren't things you can self-contain in your neck of suburbia all too easily. Here are some reasons why nobody wants you setting off explosions in their neighborhood:

    A) You could cause a fire. I don't care how 'skilled' you think you are.

    B) Bits of shrapnel could go flying out of your backyard and damage somebody's property or person. The shockwave could take our their glass windows.

    C) Explosions are loud. Nobody wants you waking up their baby with the sound of constant artillery fire. I've lived near an artillery range, in fact, and it drives people crazy. Your explosions won't be as rapid, but they will be equally jarring to the poor guy with a heart condition.

    D) You will drive down property values with your scorched backyard, directly harming everybody adjacent to you.

    E) No doubt you haven't bothered to check what's underneath the ground, and you'll take out a pipe or some electrical wiring and ruin somebody's day.

    F) You are going to be the proud owner of explosive devices. Everybody will know this. Anybody who wants to blow some shit up will steal your explosives from your house and do it, as we saw with youth gangs stealing gun collections in Southern Ontario five or ten years ago. Or, you will simply blow us all up yourself. It's a weaponry regulation.


    I completely agree with the "Let people do whatever they want to themselves" idea. I've been saying it for years. But explosions do not only affect the bomber.
     
  10. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Nope, that's what ranges are for. I'd have nothing against it for the same reason I have nothing against going to a shooting range with your gun (but I do have something against people shooting their guns in their yards, for similar reasons).

    Unfortunately, the OP gave us this as his second line:

    which made me think he wasn't talking about going to a range.
     
  11. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen Member

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    Indeed, your concerns would be true if I had been operating anywhere near civilization. Any actual testing was done in specific areas far from any buildings- to the best of my knowledge, the nearest structure was roughly 5km away, across the other side of a mountain. I think the nearest pipes and electrical lines I'd have to worry about hitting were about 70km away. Rural Alaska is excellent for this sort of thing :)

    There were two sites, a gravel clearing designated for it, and in winter, a frozen lake nearby (it was easier to find and clean up debris out on the ice).

    As far as fires go, as a wild-land firefighter I think I've got a pretty good idea on fire safety :)

    Thanks for the opinions folks.
     
  12. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for isolated pyromaniacs throughout the wilderness exploding experimental devices without official approval.

    Let chaos reign!

    I wouldn't do it if I were you, though, you're asking for trouble.
     
  13. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    I would rephrase that and say that I very much approve of you doing it, since I'm not the one who will have to face the trouble.
     
  14. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    That's true; I totally approve, as long as it's the hell away from me.
     
  15. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    When people play with explosives it's a tender situation. Undeniably, explosions look cool. I think taking bodily harm out of the situation with blast shields is prudent, and think anyone willing to protect themselves and others while exploding things is doing the art a service. Getting careless is easy to do and can be a slippery slope.
     
  16. Kaitol

    Kaitol New Member

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    Restricting these things normally is a prudent, wise thing, idiots with legal explosives is a bad idea. However his explanations and arguments are rather good, and I believe we should have a system where he could ask for a permit to continue legally. I'd rather this guy be experimenting with explosives then kids buying fireworks and that's legal in some places. Besides if someone with an agenda wants explosives or weapons enough, they'll get their hands on it one way or another, restricting weapons because they might be stolen is moderately pointless.
     
  17. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    I agree with this, but I would say just go get a degree as a pyrotechnician, and spend the rest of your (possibly short) life making fireworks.
     
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