[ExI] Total Surveillance may be necessary to save humanity

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 19:37:36 UTC 2019

On Tue, 23 Apr 2019 at 07:43, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> Mankind has hundreds of millennia of practice destroying things. All
> the easy ways to kill and destroy have largely been mastered already.
> I am not going to lose sleep worrying that some budding young genius
> somewhere is going to figure out a way to uncouple matfrom the Higg's
> field by using only his cell phone, a pocket-knife, and bubblegum.
> Furthermore, While it is the nature of civilizations to rise and fall
> in their own time, relative to previous eras, modern civilization is
> unusually robust. This is because it is so wide-spread and
> diversified. Embodied as multiple self-organized nation-states, all
> using different governance strategies, it is nearly inconceivable that
> all of modern civilization could be destroyed by any easily-accessible
> technology.

Nick Bostrom and his staff at University of Oxford’s Future of
Humanity Institute specialise in thinking about existential threats to
humanity. He is 'future-thinking' about possible threats and possible
solutions. (So no need to panic just yet).  :)
Current terrorist / deranged human weapons so far are conventional but
can still cause much death and destruction. All governments are
increasing population surveillance in an attempt to detect these
groups / individuals before they cause harm.
Bostrom is quite reasonably extrapolating present activities into the future.

It does seem likely that weapons (of all types) will become more
powerful and more widely available. Also that surveillance will
Both developments are too attractive to those involved.


> > How to Protect Humanity From the Invention That Inadvertently Kills Us All
> > What happens if we keep opening Pandora's box?
> Nothing. The myth of Pandora's box is very clear that upon opening the
> box once, all the ills packed in box by the gods escaped the box and
> afflicted humanity. Therefore opening the box again would have no
> additional effect. Furthermore Pandora's box was designed as a
> punishment for mankind for accepting the fire of the gods bestowed
> upon man by Prometheus who was himself punished by Zeus by having his
> liver eaten on a daily basis by Zeus' eagle. So in short, the fire of
> the gods has been bought and paid for by the suffering of men and
> titans alike. I refuse to give up fire because the people who think
> they run things are afraid.
> Fear manufactured to justify tyranny is the only invention we need
> worry about.
> > <https://www.inverse.com/article/55024-nick-bostrom-how-to-protect-humans-from-the-invention-that-will-kill-us>
> >
> > Quotes:
> > Bostrom proposes two key systems.
> >
> > The first would require stronger global governance which goes further
> > than the current international system. This would enable states to
> > agree to outlaw the use of the technology quickly enough to avert
> > total catastrophe, because the international community could move
> > faster than it has been able to in the past. Bostrom suggests in his
> > paper that such a government could also retain nuclear weapons to
> > protect against an outbreak or serious breach.
> A one-world government deciding who gets to use what technology does
> not make us safer, it just puts all our eggs in one basket. A stupid,
> slow, often irrational, and sometimes downright malign basket.
> > The second system is more dystopian, and would require significantly
> > more surveillance than humans are used to. Bostrom describes a kind of
> > “freedom tag,” fitted to everyone that transmits encrypted audio and
> > video that spots signs of undesirable behavior. This would be
> > necessary, he argues, future governance systems to preemptively
> > intervene before a potentially history-altering crime is committed.
> > The paper notes that if every tag cost $140, it would cost less than
> > one percent of global gross domestic product to fit everyone with the
> > tag and potentially avoid a species-ending event.
> No. Absolutely not. Any attempt by ANY government to tag me like some
> sort of cattle will result in MUCH bloodshed. I am an American who was
> born free and I would rather die than submit to tyranny. This is
> non-negotiable. When did Bostrom start subscribing to totalitarian
> authoritarianism. Did he join the Alt Right Endarkenment?
> Any government that fears its citizenry this much is not worthy to
> govern. Paranoia is the last refuge of tyrants and is often the very
> thing that causes the people to rise up and overthrow that tyrant.
> Just ask Caligula. In this regard, Bostrom's so-called "freedom tag"
> might very well be the invention that causes the fall of civilization
> or the government at the least. I could never condone this, not even
> if I was the one who got to decide who got to use what technology.
> > It is a chilling set of proposals, particularly in a post-Snowden
> > world. Perhaps the best response is to simply hope that humanity never
> > discovers an easily-accessible technology that would require such a
> > heavy-handed response.
> Maybe instead stooping to such despicable depths to preserve the power
> and privilege of the elite, we should focus on building  civilization
> that doesn't allow the few to oppress the many; a civilization that
> everybody feels they have a stake in and so nobody would want to
> destroy. Why would anyone want to live in a civilization so odious
> that people have to be constantly watched to prevent them from
> destroying it? Is being the monkey on the highest branch really worth
> all that?
> > Another reason for the Great Silence?
> Do you mean elitist nanny-state politics? Possibly. Or maybe ET just
> doesn't have anything worth spending so much energy to say.
> Stuart LaForge
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