[extropy-chat] When Did (or Do) People Start Locking Doors?

Anders Sandberg asa at nada.kth.se
Fri Dec 15 21:00:55 UTC 2006

MB wrote:
> We've lost something. Something I think was quite valuable. I have no idea
> how we
> could go about getting it back.

One approach is of course transparency - if anything is stolen or broken
you and everybody else who cares will know who did it. We will be there
soon. But I doubt that adds much to a sense of trust and security, which
is what this thread really is about. Knowing that the police can catch the
wrongdoers doesn't lessen the fear of being attacked by them.

My guess is that the valuable thing you are longing for is a friendly
neighbourhood social network, where people know each other well enough to
act as a robust protective system. It seems that this has become harder
both due to urbanisation and some bad architectural solutions and the move
towards widespread but weaker social links. Scale also matters: living in
a big city means that even if the fraction truly nasty people is very low
there are going to be some of them around - and given the density they are
likely not that far away. Meanwhile diffusion of responsibility effects
make nice people less efficiently nice in a large setting. Maybe we should
all move into small and cozy metavillages and exurbs, telepresencing to

Or maybe we should just mandate higher oxytocin levels everywhere.

Anders Sandberg,
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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