In the laboratory, we call this the six-degrees-of-separation-from-cancer rule: you can ask any biological question, no matter how seemingly distant-what makes the heart fail, or why worms age, or even how birds learn songs-and you will end up, in fewer than six genetic steps, connecting with a proto-oncogene or tumor suppressor.
What we must remember, however, is that preservation of liberties does not depend on motives. A suppression of liberty has the same effect whether the suppressor be a reformer or an outlaw. The only protection against misguided zeal is constant alertness to infractions of the guarantees of liberty contained in our Constitution. Each surrender of liberty to the demands of the moment makes easier another, larger surrender. . .
William O. Douglas