[ExI] DARPA seeking Genesis-style godware capability

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 24 21:18:21 UTC 2009

--- On Wed, 6/24/09, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 3:26 AM, spike<spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> When DARPA proposes something wacky, I listen and
>> think.
> DARPA is exactly in the business of high-risk, far-fetched,
> high
> failure-rate, long-term projects, that is what the "market"
> (nor even
> other agencies bound to deliver essential services and to
> guarantee
> specific results in a short-to-medium term framework),
> would never
> finance, based on the idea that *some* money should also be
> invested in this direction.

If people were allowed to keep more of their money and the government didn't have such a big footprint in R&D, then I bet there'd be a lot more private investment in this area.  Right now, DARPA and related agencies in the US and in other countries, act to subsidize basic and fringe research for the corporate world.  It's merely another way the corporate ruling class gets a subsidy.  (This also happens with big pharma, where those companies will get publicly funded universities to do a lot of the research and then profit share with them.)
> This is an incredibly far-sighted approach, and a legacy of
> a
> different era, when people were less obsessed by short-term
> ROI and
> more on long-term competitiveness of their society and
> countries.

Well, that's partly because they can get the long-term stuff subsidized -- so they socialize the cost to the taxpayers -- but also because living in an inflationary economy, long-term investing is much more risky.  An inflationary context has the cultural result of a higher time preference: the focus becomes more present-centered.  Also, that we live in a economies that are highly regulated and the regulations can be changed at any moment due to interest group warfare for state power means people have an incentive to get in and get out before some regulation eats up their profits and maybe their capital.

Again, the solution is to alter this context: get rid of inflation by de-nationalizing money; get rid of regulations by dismantling the state.
> Thus, while of course DARPA's political agenda and concerns
> are not
> mine, since I am not a US citizen, I sincerely welcome its
> existence,
> both for what it ends up producing for the "state of the
> art" in
> various fields, *and* as a stimulus for other countries to
> do at least
> a little of that as well. The fact that the it is military
> research
> may be unpleasant to some of us, but I dare say that
> research whose
> immediate purposes are of a military nature remains way
> better that no
> research at all.

DARPA, as far as it does any good, is merely the broken window fallacy in action.  Yes, someone will benefit, but at what cost -- and at cost to whom?




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