Re: ULE: covert vs overt

From: Michael Wiik (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 17:08:40 MDT

To expand my views on this, I want to restate that my feeling is overt
ULE is much preferable to covert ULE.

I don't accept the idea of 'Transparent Society', I see no reason
whatsoever why governments would go for this. Libertarians who might
support this idea might see it as 'turnabout is fair play' or something.
I accept it's not gonna happen. I accept that the government is always
gonna be way ahead of any (revolutionary) libertarian/anarchist
movement, and is gonna be able to spin events it's way as long as people
are uninformed. The idea is to inform the populace and engage them in
anti-terrorism/accident prevention efforts.

In some sense, I think Bill Joy is quite right. I don't think humanity
is capable of using nanotechnology/genetic engineering/etc without a
good chance of at least some local disasters. So, I can see the need for
police-state like ULE to prevent such disasters.

At that same time, the darkside of covert ULE would consist of
relocating the boundary between chaos and order, moving it way toward
order (speaking rather metaphorically here). This would limit 'thinking
outside the box' and result in a dreary 1984-like world. This is not
conducive to the global, molecular-level monitoring required to continue
to safely develop singularity precursor technologies. We need to get
everyone actively involved, and thinking.

Getting people involved might be initiated via a series of
future-shock-inducing memetic campaigns. Take the assassination politics
idea: add a clause saying no payouts if anyone else dies simultaneously
and within some limited distance of the target, then reframe the idea as
a life-saving measure. Any government official who then opposes it could
be cast as using innocent people as human shields, placing his own
safety above the people he supposedly serves.

Sorry for not being too coherent on this...


Michael Wiik
Messagenet Communications Research
Washington DC Area Internet and WWW Consultants

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