Re: spears versus shields

Philip Witham (
Sun, 01 Mar 1998 23:40:12 -0800

>Wei Dai said:
>>I can imagine some nanodefenses that would be effective against

>Another way nanotech could help "protect" against these and other
>macroweapons is by keeping a running tally of the state of your >brain in
multiple hard-to-destroy nodes in your body, possibly >uploading deltas to a
central site.  It would protect by >providing all the necessary information to
reconstitute you in >the event of major trauma.

Multiple and hidden backups of everybody spread about the earth and in
space as

Perhaps one has to eliminate the incentives for destructive acts in order to
obtain stability. Even if we cannot find out who committed a particular act,
if the act doesn't gain the perpetrator as much as cooperative behavior, it
won't become commonplace. So if murder (destruction of information) and theft
(especially of information) can be made technically near-impossible through
backups, encryption, and anonymity, the problem looses it's energy supply.

But, Anders is right historically, defense has never held out for ever against
offense. It is easier to destroy than to build. Yet, still we live, after
gaining many times the power necessary to destroy ourselves. Sometimes I
we are *well* into the singularity, and things just keep slowly getting

- PW