Re: armed robots

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Fri Mar 09 2001 - 07:58:58 MST

denis bider wrote:
> Spike writes:
> > Let us save our species making peace more profitable than war.
> I'm not convinced this idea will work entirely the way you want it to.
> War is initiated by a group of people A who want to take control of another
> group of people B by progressively threatening to destroy, and then actually
> destroying, something group B holds of value. This continues as long as
> group B doesn't yield to the pressure; if group B doesn't yield at all,
> group A will eventually destroy each individual in group B until no group B
> remains.
> Group B typically has only one way to counter: fight back. (If they don't,
> group A has achieved their objective, and you have failed.) By fighting
> back, group B mirrors the process undertaken by group A: they progressively
> threaten to destroy, and then actually destroy, something group A holds of
> value, until group A ceases to fight back.

This theory is completely demolished by the last 80 years of history,
and the last twenty in particular, unless you count ideas like
'totalitarianism', 'dictatorship', and 'militarism' to be 'something of
value'. I, and I would guess most people consider those ideas to be of
little or no value, even most people who used to live under such

Things like 'communism' and 'socialism' have not been 'destroyed', they
are sadly alive and well around the world, making life worse for
billions of people, and will continue to be as long as we all believe
that freedom means the right to be as stupid as you want to be. The cold
war was not a conflict, really, between communism and free markets, but
between a statist mercantilism and a mercantilist statism. One used a
fascist dictatorship to govern, the other used an open participatory
republic to govern. The first used 'communism' as its propaganda dogma,
the other used 'free market capitalism' as its propaganda dogma. Neither
nation came anywhere near achieving either state, though it seems that
we now, in a state of peace, are more likely to achieve both (which will
turn out to be very similar to each other with a few important

The conflict was essentially about how one is to attain one's own
utopia: by reaching consensus voluntarily with like minded individuals,
or by force of arms, propaganda, lies, theft, and betrayal. Making
everybody play nice, among humans, only seems to occur when some big
Ju-Ju sort of deity holds the threat of damnation and hellfire. Absent
belief in such a deity, the threat of nuclear destruction of everybody
seems to work sufficiently well as a substitute. Most people
subconciously understand this, and nuclear weapons will be eliminated as
a threat when enough people have grown up enough to handle power

Because that is essentially the problem: Individual humans have evolved
well to be able to handle their individual liberties quite reponsibly,
it is only when you give them more power than an individual normally has
that you tend to get problems with corruption. We can each be trusted
generally to take care of ourselves, it is only when we are taking care
of others that there needs to be controls in place until humans properly
learn to handle such responsibility. Many people do do so quite well,
but many also do not.

The proper place for armed robots is as nannies for elected and
appointed officials (of both public and private nature) who have power
over individual citizens of one sort or another, not to protect those
officials, but to make them behave.

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