23:58 Thu 19 Jul 2007
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Technology. What does that mean? We think of it as meaning electronics, computers, but it means all our tools. Including the latest gadgetry, yes, but also the simplest things, like clubs and knives.

Like the garotte I was holding.

A plain rope, with a loop. Looks harmless, and in many ways it is harmless.

Technology, however, is not only our tools. It is also our techniques. The ways in which we use things, even our own bodies, these too are technological. Mathematics is a technology, despite its lack of physical form.

The methods of assassination are also technologies. Ancient, so we don’t associate them at all with the devices all around us.

There were easier, more reliable ways. Strangulation rules out accidental death, and if killing openly, why not use a gun or a bomb? I had one, and easy access to the other.

I don’t know the answer. I have rationalizations, about the need to challenge myself, about practice, about artistry. In many respects everything we do is art, everything we do is self-expression, creation of our world. Therefore we must, in order to be true to ourselves, pay heed to the inner signs that tell us how a thing should be done.

This, of course, can be used to justify any whim, any impulse, any excess, any recklessness whatsoever. That is not what it is for. Justifying acts to others is mostly pointless. If we engage in justifying things to ourselves, it is clear we have lost our way. With proper discernment regarding our own signals, we know before we act that the act is right. We know during the act that we must strive to make it as right as possible. We know after the act, if we are successful in carrying it out, that it was right.

This ability to read the landscapes, the climates, of our souls is perhaps the most important technology of all.

The door opened. My target entered the room, closed the door without seeing me, and walked towards the library.

A stride, a practiced movement, the application of pressure, interspersed with various noises of surprise or protest, and it was over. Both this creative project and the life of this target—done, the warmth seeping out of them as I freed the rope. Years of practice alongside weeks of planning had culminated in this success, in this adherence to my inner sense.

(400 words)

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