[extropy-chat] How Dangerous Our Times? (was Rational force?)

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Dec 12 06:09:47 UTC 2006

Russell writes

> On 12/12/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> > It is indeed dangerous.  Life does not proceed without risks.
> To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;

Already you're displaying unhealthy pessimism.  Are you *totally*
sure that there is zero percent chance that cryonics will work?
Whence such certainty?

> But here's why I think our current time is such a desperate crisis:
> we're floating, gasping in a void, tech-wise. 

*Our* times are desperate?  I humbly suggest you read more
history, and put yourselves in the invariably precarious position
of our ancestors.  Now *those* times were desperate, at least
for each individual.

True:  there may be greater global risks than in 1820, but six plus
billion people are not going to just vanish from the face of the
Earth as you suggest below.

> As the West crumbles, people will not forget how to make
> tractors and rifles - for those things can be sustained by a
> small community, perhaps towns and their surrounding fields
> and villages, machine tools and workshops, early 20th
> century tech.

Are you worrying here mostly about Moslem takeovers or
AI getting out of hand?  Or just global warming?

>  They will forget how to make 65 nanometer chips, for those
> things can only be sustained by a great civilization,
> economically viable in the field of a billion consumers with
> wealth and leisure time to spare for video games and $5
> billion factories. 

There have been setbacks before.  If a huge war had taken place
between the USSR and the USA, then progress would have been
set back perhaps 100 years.  I consider greatly exaggerated all
the projections of world wide apocalypse.

> filled core" to fade to the end? 
> I think not. There is a reachable edge. With sufficiently advanced
> hardware technology, factories can be made on the scale of a town
> - or a Kalpana One. With sufficiently advanced software technology,
> machines can be programmed by a small team rather than requiring
> man-millennia of labor. The current desperate void is a passing stage. 

That's the spirit!

> If I fail to figure out the software half in time, it won't be for lack of
> trying; but let's try to not actively cut the available time please?


> If we can't create, then not destroy? If we can't defeat the enemy
> called Death now, then not do his work, nor yet surrender, but
> hold back the tide as long as we can - nor dynamite the dykes. 

Right on.  Let's keep our economies humming, above all else.


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