Re: Following the Script by Joseph Sobran

From: steve (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 11:20:36 MDT

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From: "Technotranscendence" <>
To: "Extropy" <>
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Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2001 3:56 AM
Subject: Following the Script by Joseph Sobran

> from
> Following the Script by Joseph Sobran
> If this is war, it makes World War II look as quaint as an
> eighteenth-century pistol duel at 20 paces. Our enemy is not a state with
> central nervous system we can strike at, but a vexingly decentralized
> organization. It's a perverse twist on the principles of the free market
and federalism.

Absolutely - he seems to have read all those management books about "lean",
"flat", "market based management". However there is a historical precedent
for this kind of organisation in Islamic history, several in fact, but the
big one is the conspiracy led by Abu Muslim which overthrew the Ummayads and
brought the Abbasids to power. Worth reading up on this - I'm sure Bin
Laden is well aware of it. SD
> Moreover, the 9/11 attack may mark a dreadful threshold. The whole world
> now seen that the sole remaining superpower is by no means invulnerable.
> This can only encourage other potential enemies to try their hand. It's
> rather like the four-minute mile: as soon as one man broke it, everyone
did.It no longer seemed the outer limit of human achievement. From now on we
must watch our backs everywhere on earth.
For me this is the really scary part of the attack. These hijackers have
shown just how vulnerable a modern great power is to a small group of
organised, determined people with no scruples. Many other people must have
thought "We could do something like that". It's not only the U.S. that has
to worry either. There are many potential terrorist groups out there, often
with the same kind of decentralised, hard to penetrate, organisation Al
Queida has (eg animal rights activists, deep green ecologists, neo
fascists). Suddenly the balance of power between governments and organised
but destructive groups has shifted away from governments. The key fact is
the extreme centralisation of modern industrial civilisation and the way its
technology and systems organisation is highly vulnerable to disruption. The
answer surely, (as people have said in other threads) is to develop
technologies and organisational systems which encourage decentralisation and
multicentredness. This could have all sorts of beneficial side effects.
There is an article with some comments in this direction at:

Steve Davies

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