[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 03:37:18 UTC 2006

On 10/2/06, Joseph Bloch <transhumanist at goldenfuture.net> wrote:

> However, I do agree with them on one overriding point; that the threat
> posed by Islamist extremists is one which threatens the very existence
> of the United States and Western culture as a whole, and I find that
> ensuring the overall survival of Western civilization, which I believe
> to be the most conducive to achieving a PostHuman future, is paramount.

Given that we are within a generation of a "real" posthuman future I would
like to see someone propose *any*  scenario through which external actions
of any group with the possible exception of Russia could bring about the
downfall of either the United States or Western culture.  The only scenarios
I can imagine are completely shooting ourselves in our feet (which the
recent executive and legislative actions seem to be *slightly* leaning
towards) or completely sticking our heads in the sand and not taking the
necessary actions when things may be really serious.

Yes, there are tens, maybe hundreds of millions of people who are or could
be brainwashed to take action against us -- but they *do not* currently have
and as far as I can run forward scenarios, *cannot* develop, the means to do
"us" serious harm before we are *well* into or past the rapid change phase
of the singularity.

I believe, as Eliezer points out, that only a global pandemic due to an
engineered bioweapon with significantly greater ill effects than the 1918
influenza epidemic could cause such a problem.  It would be very difficult
to engineer a weapon with that kind of lethality and impossible to engineer
it in such a way that it would not come back and cause significant harm to
ones own "tribe" [1].

I is a case, as MC Hammer once put it, of "You can't touch this."


1. It is one thing to send in 1 in 100 as suicide bombers, its entirely
another to sacrifice 50, 60, or 70% of ones own population to take down 70,
80, or 90% of another population.  Particularly when the people left
standing are likely to respond with overwhelming force.
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