The James Bond Movie
had the following scene which is typical of
movies and some TV shows.
Scenario: A (good) female Russian computer programmer has made
it really hard for the bad guys to do what they want to do.
Boris is already working for the bad guys as a programmer
HEAD BAD GUY: How long? (will it take to undo what she did)
BORIS: Two minutes... one minute.
HEAD BAD GUY: Guard! (he is calling over a guard who comes).
BORIS: I'm fixing it! (nervous)
HEAD BAD GUY: (to Guard) If he moves, kill him.
Boris was already on the bad guys side.
Applying that kind of pressure seems counterproductive.
Yet this is typical of bad guys in movies- they
think that a threat of violence against a scientist already
on their side
will make them work faster- whether
its programming or developing a nuclear bomb or whatever.
If the bad guy is trying to convince someone not on his side
to work with him, then violence might make more sense.
But even then, pressure may be counter productive.
Better to offer the scientist a grant.
Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity
at 2/02/2009 11:43:00 AM