Re: spears versus shields

Anders Sandberg (
28 Feb 1998 18:13:43 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> On the contrary, most forms of personal defense can readily handle most any
> personal threat, even so far as poison gas.

It should be noted that this thread deals with defenses in general,
not just personal defense. Can the shields protect better than the
spears hurt? How do you create a personal defense, usable in daily
life, that can save you from (say) half a tonne of ammonium nitrate
explosives? Is there a *workable* defense against unexpected attacks
with nuclear weapons or killer nanites?

> I think that the day some terrorist group demonstrates their ability to deploy
> a nuke in an urban area is the day that SDI technologies will quickly come to
> the market, if only at first for cities to purchase for their police forces.

Huh? I assume you are assuming the terrorists would be silly enough to
use a missile of some kind, possible to track from afar (and leaving a
trail to the launch point). A more likely use would be to drive a van
with a nuke to the destination, leave by commuter train or something
similar, and then blow it up. How does SDI help in this scenario?

If you can see your enemy and know he is your enemy, then things are
much more even. But surprise attacks with weapons of mass destruction
are hard to deal with, since you may not know there is a real threat
until it is to late.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y