Re: The End of Privacy ?

Anders Sandberg (
01 Jul 1998 16:09:53 +0200 writes:

> Anders Sandberg [] wrote:
> >Note that the real worry is crazies, rational evil people don't do
> >anything that would wipe themselves out or cause an enraged humanity
> >to track them down.
> And, outside governments, crazies with mass destruction weapons are quite
> rare; crazies tend not to amass the amount of money required to build
> weapons which can kill millions or billions of people.

True. But today a moderately educated crazie can buy enough ammonium nitrate to blow up a block or two. Tomorrow he might buy an assembler kit and release industrial strength disassemblers in the watru supply. The point is that off-the-shelf stuff can be dangerous. As Eugene pointed out, terrorists doesn't seem to have the R&D mindset, but they can borrow the products of other minds.

> >In
> >the extreme case there exists some technology that allows you to
> >destroy the world from the comfort of your home;
> So what? If it exists then you get off Earth.

Then you better make sure you have off-world tickets before black hole generators (or whatever) become widely available in the stores. The point is, you have to be able to move away *before* somebody starts being dangerous. If you start to build your launchpad afterwards, there is a real chance that it becomes a logical target.

I think you miss my point in this thread: there is a real problem is certain technologies of mass destruction become too available and there are no good ways of protecting from them or avoiding them. Which technologies are going to become troublesome and how to deal with them must be looked at on a case-to-case basis; some are much easier to deal with than others, and we have different time to implement solutions in. Just saying they are no problem is hiding your head in the sand, hoping you have an escape before they become dangerous.

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