[ExI] future of warfare again, was: RE: Forking

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 11:31:59 UTC 2012

On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM,  "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> While the US lost relatively small numbers of people in the jihad war
> to date, there were an awful lot of people killed.

Not when compared to previous conflicts, and I think that is the
point. Even with 100,000 Iraqi's dead in ten years, that's less than
the 200,000 who disappeared into Abu Garab when Saddam ran the
place... not to mention the 500,000 killed in the war with Iran that
he started. So while 100,000 dead is bad, it is a decrease in rate
from Saddam's time. So, while things are surely bad, they are getting
better. Now with our retreat, we will see whether things will get
better or worse. I'm betting on worse. If less than 100,000 people are
killed over the next ten years in Iraq in sectarian violence,
terrorism and by the new government, I will be surprised.

>> We are seeing what amounts to warfare between Iran and
>> the US/Britain/Israel axis.  Drones are flying over and being apparently
>> commandeered and captured, viruses are wrecking their nuclear separation
>> facilities, plenty of computerized struggle is reportedly ongoing, but most
>> of the population is unaware and unconcerned.  So different is this from
>> every previous war in every previous century of human existence.  Are the
>> old rules still applicable?
> I see no reason human nature would have changed.

Me neither.

> How much damage was caused to the US economy by spending a trillion
> dollars on the recent wars?  How many people will die because of the
> economic collapse that engendered?

Woah there big fella!! The economic collapse was not brought about
because of the war. Usually wars make the economy go like gangbusters.
The war probably made the economic problems less severe than they
otherwise would have been. The real problem was the unholy alliance of
Washington, Wall Street, Freddy, Fanny and the rest of us. The housing
problem can not be pinned on the war by any means. The increase of the
national debt is only minimally impacted by the war, and nobody has
definitively shown that to be a cause of the economic downturn (yet)
that we have been experiencing. Business fears of overregulation and
Obama-care are a bigger cause of the recession than the war.

> The big problem is that war expenses make the future bleaker for just
> about everybody on both sides, leading in a many cases to additional
> spread of xenophobic memes that lend support to more war.

But wars also help put money into certain types of research. Do you
think we would have flying humming bird robots without the war? I
don't. The progress on autonomous vehicles and especially airplanes is
astonishing. War isn't ever a total failure in technical terms, it
just changes priority and order of discovery and invention.

> And the other factor is that the memes leading up to wars divert
> leaders from rational thinking.  Certainly you can make a strong case
> that starting the war with Iraq was a widely supported irrational act.

The war in Iraq was started irrationally. People got into a circle of
belief much like that experienced in religion. You hear the testimony
of your co-workers about Iraq, and you start to believe it yourself
after a while. It was the culture of the CIA and Cheney and Rumsfeld
fed it and fed off of it in a vicious circle. We didn't need that war,
for sure. But I do think it was a good thing for Iraqis, but probably
not for Americans.

> One of the many things that I worry about is an irrational government
> commissioning an AGI with the intent for it to help them win the
> current war.

It is going to come sooner or later... and when it does it will be
employed for good and evil, just like EVERY OTHER technology in the
history of the world. I say let them foot part of the bill.

> Such people are not going to be considering "friendly" as a desirable trait.

Yeah, that can keep us up at night.

> Keith


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