Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at
Tue Apr 19 04:43:05 UTC 2005

Joseph Bloch wrote:

> Brett Paatsch wrote:
>> Do you think a "PostHuman era" can emerge with existing governments
>> in place?
> Do you think it cannot?

Yes I think it cannot.  I think a PostHuman era and existing governments
are incompatible.  Existing governments would oppose a PostHuman era
emerging without even noticing that they were doing so unless PostHuman
advocates became violent or directly threatening to it, then they'd oppose
it knowing that they did so.

> How do you envision bringing it about?

I don't envisage it.  I envisage a lot more history largely as usual. I 
that national democracies of the sort that exist in the US constitute 
of an evolutionary local peak. But the peak isn't going to be high enough to
get to a PostHuman era.

Unfortunately, my best guess is that humanity will go backwards before it
goes forwards again. I think the US threw away the rule book when it
invaded Iraq and that that fundamentally changed world politics for the
worse because the US was and is in fact the world leader in the ways
that matter.

I think the US 'defected' in game theory terms at the UN and it was
seen to 'defect'.  Then I think the US voters validated the defection
by re-electing the Bush government. The Australian voters did the same
here with the Howard government. The Brits will probably do the same
with the Blair government on 5 May.  I think all of these things were done
as a result of agents pursuing their self interest (but sub-optimally).

But that they were done in front of the whole world in the media is
significant to me. I think that educated populations of the west, regardless
of their political affiliations, saw that the 'defect' happened and that the
defector got away with it.  They voted for mortages or other issues, so
the voters got to make choices in their own self interest but only very
narrow, very constrained ones.

I think rational people in the western countries or just people in countries
with media are as a consequence more likely to draw the conclusion that
they are living in a human world where 'nasty' strategies such as Always
Defect rather  than 'nice' but retaliatory strategies like Tit for Tat.
Everybody is on the make. Everybody is trying to outgame everyone else.

I'd *like* to be wrong on this. I know that I am drawing a long bow.
But wrong or not, that is what I think at present.  I think we're looking
at a lot more war, because we haven't evolved out of it yet and more of
us are trying 'nasty' strategies. Our national voters are too dumb (to move
us to a PostHuman era or anything else that involve some short term pain)
and as a consequence so are the political leaders they elect.

These opinions are entirely my own. And they could be wrong.

Brett Paatsch 

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