[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

ben benboc at lineone.net
Sun Oct 8 17:16:34 UTC 2006

"Russell Wallace" <russell.wallace at gmail.com> wrote:

> What I am opposed to is autoimmune disease: allowing our supposed 
> protectors to turn inwards and target us instead of our enemies.

This raises an idea that i think is very relevant, and leads to some
rather depressing conclusions.

Biology has 'solved' (or is in an ever-ongoing process of solving), many
of the same types of problems we face in the realms of
communications/IT, and these same solutions are probably applicable not
only to tackling computer viruses etc., but also to facing threats from

Strategies for defence against computer viruses are tending towards the
same sort of solutions that our immune systems use, and those strategies
could probably be applied to societies as well.

The depressing part is that biology seems to indicate that the most
effective solutions centre on identifying what's friendly ('self'), and
regarding everything else ('not-self') as an enemy, and treating it
accordingly (i.e. destroy it if it gets too close), rather than the
other way round (identify what's harmful, and regard that as the enemy.
Tolerate everything else).

Actually, i just realised something. I've recently switched from a
'black list' strategy to a 'white list' one for dealing with spam, and
find it much more effective. That's exactly the same thing.
I find this worrying. How long will it be before we have to prove
'friendliness' in order to travel about?

Autoimmune disease, unfortunately, is part of the price you have to pay
for an effective immune system. I'm just grateful my surname's not Buttle.

ben zaiboc

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