Re: ULE: covert vs overt

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 02:59:36 MDT

tisdagen den 17 april 2001 19:32 wrote Michael Wiik:

> 2) Embrace overt monitoring, and (to borrow a theme from Microsoft)
> extend it, by demanding LE resources be taken away from victimless vice
> crimes and applied directly to anti-terrorism efforts. This might also
> include national policy changes to avoid pissing off half the world.
> My belief is that the 2nd approach would result in maximum
> accountability and more actual liberty. However I welcome other choices
> or arguments as to why my premises are incorrect.

There is an interesting paradox in how people react to intrusions into their
privacy. On one hand nearly everybody regards it as bad, and we get firm
protests against corporate abuse of customer information and how our
governments handle sensitive personal information. On the other hand people
seem to be almost too ready to allow surveillance and biometrics in order to
prevent crime or apprehend criminals. In a situation where real global risks
exist, it is all too likely people might embrace broad surveillance and ULE
without demanding compensatory accountability. This is where we better debate

An extropian approach to the problem of destruction (which I consider one of
the more significant problems of advanced technology in a free society) would
not be based on the assumption of a strong government initiative or even any
global change of mind. In order to work in real life and avoid the pitfalls
of technocracy a bottom up solution seems more extropian.

This suggests that we might gain more by looking at private systems of
monitoring of dangerous technology and in promoting an open/transparent
society with sane policies. A good example of private monitoring is antivirus
software, where we currently have a fairly fast and efficient network of
updates. This could presumably be extended to nanoimmune systems and perhaps
biotechnology. It might also be worth examining whether insurance companies
would be interested in participating in these networks, as mediators,
investors or promotors.

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