Re: French Anderson & GATTACA

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 14:53:30 MST

Zero Powers wrote:
> My point? Forget about debates. Concentrate on memes. Websites, books,
> conferences, mailing lists, organizations. Not to mention putting your
> money where your brain is (like Mr. Yudkowsky & company). That and keeping
> in mind the virtual impossibility of legislating against progress. In this
> day and age it just can't be done, at least not on a global scale.

Depends on what you consider success. Legislation against nuclear
proliferation internationally has been generally successful, given the
relative handful of actual enforcement actions taken in the last 50
years. Legislation against civil use of nuclear technology has been
highly successful in making it far more expensive than it should be, and
in limiting access to technology.

That the few instances of violations are so sensationalized is the
exception proving the rule of successful enforcement. The more
technically complex a technology is, the easier it is to legally limit
access to it, because you can legislate who can be taught the knowledge
needed for the technology, and you can legislate the legal liabilities
for those who misuse it. Note the legislation against common civilian
use of explosives over the last decade. Time was a farmer needing to get
rid of some stumps could mix up some ANFO devices in his workshop. Now
anyone who does that is considered a public threat and prosecuted.

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