I like your cell phone idea, Robert. I assume the phones will be programmed to only call authorities? We have to think about cost. But we have a far worse problem than that and I'm not talking about the massive amount of land we would have to cover. The worst problem is for those cell phones to work there needs to be cellular towers every few miles. 1 grenade is probably all that is needed to take one of those out.
From: Robert J. Bradbury [SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 2:51 AM
To: Extropy List
Subject: TERRORISM: Finding bin Laden and related topics
I've been wondering about the problem of finding bin Laden
and bringing him to justice. Obviously the 5+ million dollar
price on his head hasn't worked so far. It is reasonable to
assume this is in part due to fear of reprisals for whomever
provides the evidence that allows his capture. But in part
it seems to me due to the fact that anyone who might weigh
in on the side of providing information to capture him (say
someone facing starvation) lacks the means to communicate
the crucial information regarding his whereabouts to the
people who can do something with it.
Now, it would seem to me that a combination of satellite
phones, witness protection programs and perhaps telephone
access to "known" authoritative Islamic authorities might fix
this. Air-drop satellite phones with clear instructions
on how to use them. Allow people in Afganistan to talk
to educated Islamic moderates who can effectively counter
the bin Laden propaganda. Then those individuals would
be morally comfortable in providing the information needed
to capture bin Laden. If they are guaranteed "removal" from
the situation, future protection, and the reward -- I think
one would find a large number information sources.
It may also be time to up the reward -- a look at the hit
on the impact to the U.S. and world economy, the costs
being spent on capturing him seems to suggest that $5M
is chump change.
(And for Anders -- as to why this message is extropic -- the net
negative impact on world resources as we attempt to secure ourselves
is huge. Resources dedicated to securing ourselves from untrustable
individuals are resources that cannot be dedicated to extropic
efforts. How much of the funds that will go into the military
campaigns, increased security precautions, shifts of resources
from the Natl. Institutes of Health to the Dept. of Defense, etc.
is difficult to say. I would argue that the longer bin Laden
remains an unconstrained entity -- the slower the growth of
extropic developments will be.)
The post is also extropic from the perspective that by pointing
out how we might achieve more open communications and greater
information access we may defeat forces that oppose such ideas.
(Though I will agree it is going to be *really* hard to reverse
the brain-washing that radical Islamic schools are promoting.)
(Here one starts to wonder if a drug could be developed whose
effect would be to "forget everything you have learned" or
"suppress" all "strong" feelings). I'm not even sure that I
want to open this can of worms.
I'm unsure whether the capture of bin Laden and close associates
will "solve" the problem (I probably doubt that will be the case).
If so, then my gut feeling is that real nanotechnology and/or the
singularity have been postponed by perhaps 5-10 years.
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