Hell on Earth: how to imprison a person for 1,000 years

And further suppose there was some economic experiment that stood a decent chance of generating a financial black hole that could destroy the enfranchisement and well-being of future generations. If someone deliberately set up a toxic asset investment scheme or fraudulent housing bubble, I could see that being the kind of supercrime that would justify an eternal sentence.

Oh wait…


''Shiny, bring it on!"

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While I’m not a fan or retribution either, a lot of people think that way, so I think the discussion engendered (here and elsewhere) is useful. I can’t speak to the quality of thought of this particular person (I’m not familiar with her), but I’ve still find the whole discussion interesting.

There’s not much continental philosophy going on in the US (or so I’m told by the folks who study/studied it at the academy); it’s mostly analytic (which is a bit boring, IMO, but it obviously floats some boats).


Try 30 million years.


Sounds like she finally got around to seeing Dredd.


tend to agree. What novel was it where the victorious general kept the disembodied, upside down head of his vanquished foe as a punching bag, kept alive and on pain intensifying drugs as I recall.


Would humans have the capacity to handle that sort of imprisonment? Our minds degrade over time (not just strictly due to physical degradation with age), as does our capacity to recall new information.

Also, seeing as our perspective on time is shaped by how much we’ve experienced (time feels like it passes faster as you age), wouldn’t this just make the released prisoner experience ‘real’ time as a blur? Is the goal is to shape them into being seemingly apathetic and unfeeling?

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yeah well, thanks to those eggheads for their really creative input on the future of torture and generally contributing to human misery. this is just the kind of irresponsible anything-goes political consulting that gets me all whipped up in a righteous anti-intellectual frenzy.


Marlboromonk’s is a creative twist. Probably more readily achievable too. It even offers the immense pleasure of pitting Big Pharma vs Big Penal.

The original article presumes that; 1) the the greater the punishment, the more effective the deterrent, and 2) we know what constitutes an optimally hellish punishment for any given person. The record on each of these isn’t too encouraging.
Consider also whether to design the ‘hellishness’ to personally suite the hideous perp or just to appear most hellish to all prospective perps-in-waiting. Given enough monkeys with enough philosophizing…

Those who righteously insist on 7th level Inferno-style retribution yet are unwilling to rely on Dante’s accuracy might then confidently begin the re-animation of Hitler, Bin Laden, etc in order to dole it out personally. What could possibly go wrong?

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Yep. Timothy Leary tried using LSD for exactly this in the sixties. His experiment (which was never successfully repeated) found that a small dose of LSD gave people in prison a feeling of ‘connection’ with the rest of mankind, or God, or whatever, which made them less likely to re-offend. He claimed some thing like a 30% rate of ‘going straight’ which is miles above conventional prison treatment. This may not be so, because no-one has ever repeated it. However, if iit was as never repeated because it was suddenly and arbitrarily decided that drugs were baaad, and what was pharmaceutical research was now a crime, and no more research should ever be done. We have just had the first LSD trials since then, after a 50 tear pause.

I hope and trust the paper is a thought experiment. It is a reasonable idea to consider the possibility of a chemical prison sentence to expose the fallacy of a real prison sentence as a cure.


Roache: “Suppose there was some physics experiment that stood a decent
chance of generating a black hole that could destroy the planet and all
future generations. If someone deliberately set up an experiment like
that, I could see that being the kind of supercrime that would justify
an eternal sentence.”

Why do philosophers hate the Hadron Collider?


C3PO could easily be saying that the digestion takes a thousand years whether you remain alive throughout or not.


Ok, now I remember. Watch the Black Mirror tv-series’ episode: White Bear.

Black Mirror on channel-4

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It would certainly take a pretty sick f*** to continue inflicting punishment on a being that had long ago lost any memory of what it was being punished for. I don’t care if the drooling old fossil in the life-support chair was once Adolph Hitler—if he doesn’t know anything beyond his current suffering then the person keeping him there is a sicko.


In other words “How can we torture people, completely destroy them, rip out their souls and shred their sanity forever without leaving marks or any evidence that we did it.”

Rebecca Roache, you are not a “philosopher”. You are a monster. I will not shed a tear if you die a slow, lingering, agonizing, degrading death. Because that is something less than what you are trying to create for others you miserable fucking excuse for a human being.


Am I the only one who thinks this is great news? If we can extend pain by 1,000 years, surely we can use the technology to draw out pleasure for 1,000 years!

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‘The worrying suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun…’


Remember what Yoo and Cheney and Bush said. It’s not, y’know “torture torture” unless there’s actually a major organ failing.


Indeed. I’m glad she’s on “our” side, because she’d fit right in, should she choose to change alignment and start engineering torture/death chambers for some less-than-democratic regime.

I don’t know if this is supposed to be a happy blog, exactly… It long ago stopped being a directory of wonderful things, just by virtue of all the awful things it cataloged. And there are certainly some pretty bad bits of news I’d rather read here first than in other places…

Mostly I agree with you, though, that this topic is not worthy of this blog. It goes into my category of, “Pulling wings off of flies”- I’m sure there are ways of using solar power and an arduino to remove those wings, but I don’t really need to know about them. While I’d hope that some sense of editorial propriety might kick in before someone hit Enter, there’s a limit to my outrage when this is sadly not the case.

To this blog’s credit, I haven’t seen any gore above the fold in quite some time. At least this one is ideologically nauseating, rather than just a kick in the stomach shock image.

I think the last time they covered a topic this dumb, was, “keeping a severed head alive in a jar”.