Re: Ebola

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 16:30:15 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Future Bokov" <>

> We as a civilization are using centralized, hierarchical tools (laws,
> of military force) to fight decentralized, distributed threats. The
> is, how can the system be rigged such that anybody working in their
> can also help *prevent* biowarfare? A couple of possibilities immediately
> spring to mind--

Ken Clements wrote:

>There is a
> corollary of the Law of Large Numbers called the "Some Nut Theory" which
state that "In a
> sufficiently large population, no matter what it is, there is some nut out
there who will
> try it." Unfortunately, this implies that when the technological cost of
whacking your
> first megaperson gets down to $1.50 and two box tops, a fair number of us
are going to get
> whacked.

Our individual power is increasingly at a rapid rate. As already noted, it
won't be long before it is trivial for any one individual to get a hold of
the tools necessary to do lots of damage to lots and lots of other people.

I've thought about possible solutions, but they all point in relatively
undesirable directions.

For instance, the only way I can imagine preventing certain types of
mega-nano-crimes is to predict the intention. But I don't really like the
possible implications of this sort of mental 'eavesdropping.'

For those of you who've read 'The Diamond Age,' by Neal Stephenson you'll be
familiar with the 'nano y nano' scenario. Unfortunately it doesn't appear
possible to create perfect 'anti-bodies' and it has always been easier to
destroy something than to prevent against destruction. It lies in the hands
of the defender to predict against all possible attacker vectors, now and in
the future, and I don't see how that will ever be possible.

Again, I believe the step towards increased security lies in 'getting ahead'
of the act and intercepting the intention. Since the advantage lies in the
hands of the attacker, it should necessarily follow that when your brain is
wired to the network, the tools to hack it will always be one step ahead of
the tools to shield it. (Barring unbreakable encryption-- of which I am an

I think some variant on the 'active defense' is going to be necessary in any



::jason.joel.thompson:: ::wild.ghost.studios::

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