Date sent: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:44:51 -0800
From: Loree Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Viruses
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> "Joe E. Dees" wrote:
> > Loree:
> > > If we do eradicate every virus, and it later turns out we need a few > > of
> > > them to solve a particular problem, wouldn't we just create them?
> > >
> > It's a lot easier to reverse-engineer them from observed behaviors
> > than to create them from scratch for specific purposes.
> Why would you need to start from scratch? I would assume that while we
> are eradicating them, we'll be storing the information on what they are,
> how they're built, what they do... and so on. IOW, we'll be doing the
> reverse engineering upfront.
> There may be good and valid reasons for not destroying all viruses. It
> may even be that it is simply too much trouble and not worth the effort,
> but at this stage of the game, the possible evolution of viruses isn't a
> reason at all as far as I can see.
> I may have had a misimpression. I thought that the broad outlines of
> the near term future were already agreed upon by the members of this
> list. That problems such as "are viruses valuable and what can they
> evolve into?" will be solvable by applying a tiny fraction of the nearly
> unlimited intelligence and processing ability available.
> Is superintelligence still a contested issue?
No one can guarantee that the superintelligent horse would arrive
before the necessity of building a viral cart from scratch. Your
point concerning mapping existing viruses prior to eliminating them
is well taken, and will happen if we are wise. There is always a
possibility that any form of life might prove of future utility to us,
even if we can discern no present use. I think that it is a good
principle to follow NEVER to take an action that might forclose
possibly beneficial future possibilities.
> Loree Thomas
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