Re: Savior Machines? (was Re: Future Technologies of Death)

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Sat, 3 Jan 1998 14:51:20 -0800

> From: "Nick Bostrom" <>
> To:
> Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 00:00:52 +0000
> Subject: Re: Savior Machines? (was Re: Future Technologies of Death)
> Reply-to:

> "Michael M. Butler" <butler@comp*> wrote:

> > Another problem: someone commits a heinous crime, then doses
> > eirself with (say) a Rohypnol-Scopolamine cocktail that scrambles
> > long term memory fixation. Chemically-induced amnesia. What does a
> > brain scan reveal?
> Realistically, mind-scans will probably not be possible until we are
> digital, and then it would be even easier to forget at will. So one
> could only scan for evil intentions, not for memories of commited
> crimes.

Well, you *could* scan for memories of completed crimes, and you'd
occasionally catch an idiot.

> One can imagine a sci-fi plot as follows. A wants to become The
> Leader, but every candidate for the leader role will have to undergo
> repeated psycho-scans. So A splits into B and C. B is designed to
> run for the presidency with pure methods and a good intentions. C
> on the other hand will break into the opposition canditate office
> and plant false evidence of some scandalous event. In the end, B
> becomes president, and, having only socially accepted intentions,
> hunts C down and puts him in prison.

Actually, there is a back door into B. B is completely unaware of
this, but C knows about it. Once B becomes President, C uses this
back door to re-integrate the two -- without any memory of C's
heinous acts, or even of C's previous independent existence.
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