[extropy-chat] Freedom and Practicality

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Mon May 29 06:20:09 UTC 2006

On May 28, 2006, at 4:17 PM, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> John K Clark wrote:
>> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <sentience at pobox.com>
>>> The overreaction to this event will be a hundred times worse than  
>>> the
>>> damage caused by the actual terrorist act." The last thought was
>>> understated by, oh, three orders of magnitude or so.  I would  
>>> estimate that
>>> the overreaction to 9/11 was around five orders of magnitude  
>>> worse than
>>> 9/11.
>> A bit of hyperbole here. 911 killed about 3000 people and bad as  
>> the idea of
>> going to war in Iraq was it has not killed 300 million nor is it  
>> likely to;
>> but I may be too analytical and should treat it as poetic license  
>> because I
>> think the point you were trying to make was largely correct.
> *Blinks.*
> *Thinks.*
> Yes, this was silly, heat-of-the-moment hyperbole.  You'd need an
> Iraq-war-inspired terrorist to release a supervirus before the
> overreaction to 9/11 caused in the realm of 1e5 x 9/11 damage.
> Actually, "a hundred times" worse is probably a fair estimate both
> economically and in terms of lives lost.  I think I pretty much  
> foresaw
> correctly that first morning - the Iraq war is only two or three times
> as bad as I expected, not a thousand times as bad as I expected.  I
> guess it could have been worse.


The Iraq war is only one symptom of the over-reaction to 911.  The  
tremendous weakening of civil liberties in the US, the tremendous  
strengthening of governments everywhere to pry into the affairs of  
people and organization and to seize funds, goods and people on mere  
suspicion, the general focus on danger and fear, these and other  
things go far deeper than war in Iraq.  I do not thing that at least  
four orders of magnitude worse reaction than the actual event is out  
of line.

- samantha

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