Re: Abuse of future neuroscience applied technologies

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 04:26:06 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> From: <>
> <<Ok... that's like saying "Let them buy thier crack, eventually, they'll die
> off because of it, and the world will be better for it.">>
> Well, I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but perhaps you've come up with a
> kind of solution (reminescent of the "7% solution"). This policy would
> probably do well in US prisons, where more than half of inmates have been
> convicted of drug offenses. Naturally this approach would only involve
> volunteers.

Victimless crimes should not result in prison sentences. A lot of
people are in prison on pot charges. That is a major travesty.

> << It strikes me as a rather socially irresponsible view. They *dont* die
> off. Drug addicts today, and simsense addicts tommrow, always have a stead
> suppply of new converts, and the rest of society suffers for it. >>

Not as much as it suffers from the so-called "war on drugs".
> Probably one of the most destructive and anti-social memes (are memes real, or
> just another useless hypothesis?) going around these days is the accusation of
> social irresponsibility. If your're sincerely concerned about social
> responsibility, then you should support responsible policy vis a vis the
> so-called "war on drugs" which would mean ending it.

Hear, Hear.
> Anyway, you started off with "Abuse of future neuroscience applied
> technologies" and now you're confuting that with illegal drug use. Do you have
> an ulterior agenda here... one which would place applied neuroscience
> technologies in the same category with illicit drugs?

If I spent all my time in the future jacked in working on very
sophisticated problems and tend to forget about physical reality matters
unless reminded, am I then an addict or simply engrossed in my work?

If someone else is building and exploring elaborate fantasies and is
similarly engrossed are they addicts and perhaps to be judged
"criminal"? To whom?

> << Further I happen to believe that people have intrinsic value in
> themselves. Letting them deal with the consequences of thier actions is one
> thing, but letting them die because they made a few foolish choices is pretty
> damn jaded. What, you don't believe in social support nets, and catching
> somebody when they stumble and fall, rather than just letting them smash thier
> head on the sidewalk? >>

It depends on what you mean. It is not my responsibility to protect
every person on the planet from the consequences of their actions.
Although admittedly I often dream of playing Technological Boddhisattva
and secretly uploading or backing them all up so that ultimately, if
they so choose, there always is another chance to grow and succeed.

> So we need to institute social support nets for people who are addicted to
> games? And who provides social support nets for the bureaucrats who are
> addicted to the game of providing social support nets? No thanks. The position
> of Extropy Institute and other groups dedicated to improving life by expanding
> technology seems more responsible to me.

I don't believe technology alone is sufficient. With a large-scale
enrolling vision or set of visions and a very solid rationally grounded
ethics I suspect the technology will only result in all our strengths
and flaws becoming so magnified that the change of humanity surviving is
much too small.
- samantha

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