[ExI] MiNTing (or if you must, APM) library

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Oct 27 14:19:29 UTC 2013

On 2013-10-27 03:10, paul michael wrote:
> a MNT transitional society would need something like a UL stamp of 
> approval for the MiNTing software.  Why?  Because think about it - a 
> scrip kiddie decides that it would be 'fun' to change the molecular 
> design of cotton such that in sunlight the clothes made from this 
> cotton turn transparent or some such thing

This is generally true for complex artefacts where trust is important, 
yet the source is not an easily tracked nym with reputation capital. 
Consider software certificates, or peer review in science. Ideally 
papers, software and consumer products should be reviewed and analysed 
in great detail by trusted third parties (certification agencies, 
consumer reports, review boards) or at least customer information 
compiled (yelp, amazon). The challenges are (1) complex objects can have 
complex flaws that are near-impossible to find, (2) who bears the cost 
of testing?

Breaking down artefacts into modules helps reduce 1 and 2: a library can 
be analysed and then re-used, but failures of review can make a vast 
number of derived artefacts unreliable. Strengthening the traceability 
of causes and agents can also help: if you can find who inserted what, 
and then bring the authorities or internet opprobrium down on his head, 
there is some disincentive for bad behaviour. But this only works if 
traceability to real names or high-capital nyms works.

A mature NMT economy has this problem but to a higher degree. I wonder 
why you just think this is fpr transitional economies?

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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