Re: Meme-set conflicts [was Re: some U.S. observations and notes]

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 14:14:10 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> Meme changing weapons would not necessarily be dangerous.
> Consider the meme "lay down your arms." In our current
> world, this meme does not bring peace. The one who carries
> it gets killed. If history is clear on anything it is this: weakness
> does not stop war, it invites war. But imagine some sufficiently
> advanced weapon that blankets the entire earth with the
> swords-to-plowshares meme, one that works on everyone.
> This is not a dangerous weapon but a weapon of peace.

It's a weapon of nonconsensual thought alteration. By some ethics -
Spider Robinson's, for example - this is just as evil as killing people
outright. With a large enough disparity in technology it is possible to
simply halt an attack without killing, harming, or brainwashing the
attacker, and given this I see no reason to be discussing ethical

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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