[ExI] state of conflict technology

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 8 15:39:23 UTC 2020

Re:  poverty.  After a divorce:  I have cooked a hamburger over pine
straw.  Surprisingly good.  I have had the toilet water in my trailer
freeze.  Out of propane and had no money to get more.

Procedure:  get in bed with electric blanket.  Get up in the morning, run
into the bathroom and turn on the shower hot water.  Do the usual.  Get
dressed.  Open the door to 25 degrees in the house.  Am sweaty.  Run to the
car, which has a plugged up heater core, (1965 Mustang, btw) so no heat,
and drive seven miles to school.  It wasn't real poverty, of course, but I
missed a payment at the bank and went to the president where I nearly
chocked up explaining why I could not pay him this month.

Not real poverty - but it was a taste of it.  bill w

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:15 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> We used to write a lot in this forum on conflict technology, but now we do
> not for it seems to persistently devolve into political chaos.
> I offer a challenge to our small technology-oriented forum.  Write about
> this topic if you will, but without mentioning the name of any political
> leader, party, nation, anything that is not a universally-applicable
> meta-concept.  Recent historical events are fair game of course, and
> relevant, but who did what is not.
> Twenty years ago on this forum we wrote a lot about future warfare, which
> would do away with marching columns of young men with rifles on their
> shoulders, desperate hungry refugees, destroyed cities, generally do away
> with the horrors of warfare.  We thought of how much better it would be if
> warfare was a battle of technology, or at least better from the point of
> view of technology-enabled societies.
> Recently we saw a fulfilment of a dream.  We saw persistent conflict
> between two nations.  The more advanced nation fired one missile and took
> out one military leader and his staff.  The enraged victim nation very
> carefully fired back 15 missiles but hit nothing.  Intense but very
> localized destruction, low loss of life, few of the traditional well-known
> horrors of war.
> The reason I prefaced this discussion on requesting we leave off with
> politics and focus on technology and the future: we don’t live in the real
> world.  We don’t.  Look at us.  The closest to a real-world person here
> might be BillW, for he is a retired college professor who has seen it all,
> but we haven’t.  But consider the rest of us.  Good chance no one here
> suffers poverty or real hunger, no one here is desperate or addicted,
> everyone here at least has a computer and an internet connection.
> I look at myself: I grew up in a rural area, went to a small college,
> studied engineering, worked for a company surrounded by people who had
> never done anything wrong more serious than ripping a tag off an old
> pillow, and could strap on a polygraph and prove it.  That isn’t the real
> world.  I have some second cousins who live in the real world.  I am
> horrified by the vague descriptions I hear from them.  We live on the same
> planet, different worlds.  However… they vote, and there are more of them
> than there are of us.
> So… I urge that we focus on what we know best: science and technology.
> By some mysterious means the other guy does not have, a tech-advanced
> society reached in with one missile that came from some unseen
> radar-invisible source, guided by some undetectable technology of some
> kind, achieved the result the tech-enabled society wanted with little of
> the traditional horrors of war.  If we look back 20 yrs in the ExI
> archives, we had a demonstration of the dream we wrote about and vaguely
> envisioned.
> spike
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