[extropy-chat] Recipe for Destruction - Joy/Kurzweil NYTimes Op-Ed

justin corwin outlawpoet at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 00:05:08 UTC 2005

On 10/17/05, Brian Atkins <brian at posthuman.com> wrote:
> There's some misreading of the intent here.
> Kurzweil is simply using the latest bird flu news and other flu news to push
> into the national consciousness the idea that we need better anti-virus
> (literally) tech.

>From the article:
"We urgently need international agreements by scientific organizations
to limit such publications and an international dialogue on the best
approach to preventing recipes for weapons of mass destruction from
falling into the wrong hands. Part of that discussion should concern
the appropriate role of governments, scientists and their scientific
societies, and industry."

"The precise genome could potentially be shared with scientists with
suitable security assurances."

Any reading of this, other than scientific controls and relinquishment
of certain research is pollyanna ish in the extreme. He's proposing
international controls on publication backed up by government force,
and security clearances(administered by whom?).

He proposes:
 "We also need a new Manhattan Project to develop specific defenses
against new biological viral threats, natural or human made. There are
promising new technologies, like RNA interference, that could be
harnessed. We need to put more stones on the defensive side of the

Which is fine, so far as it goes, but doesn't speak much as to the
other content of this letter. This certainly isn't being taken as a
proposal for anti-virus tech in the media.

People are reading this as advocating controls on 'releasing' such
data, and in some cases, agreeing vociferously(
http://kowalski.redstate.org/story/2005/10/17/131413/47 , for example)

I don't think that I'm missing any points.

Justin Corwin
outlawpoet at hell.com

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