Near-term stuff (was: Singurapture)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 09:25:23 MDT

söndagen den 29 april 2001 16:59 J. R. Molloy wrote:
> From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> > What I would like to see is a bit more discussion about the problems in
> > the present and near future that does not end in "The singularity will
> > make it irrelevant", "The government/illuminati will stop all such
> > attempts", "People are too stupid to get it" and "Oh, it is trivial to
> > fix".
> Of course you realize my comments were tongue-in-cheek, but I see what you
> mean, Anders. What about the cyber-attacks by Chinese hackers? What's the
> Swedish position on the "One China" policy? Do you think it's possible that
> the Russians have built an artificial human brain?

Don't worry, I noticed the tounge in the cheek. But your post was a good
starting point.

OK, now I better try to discuss near term problems from a >H perspective:

Cyber-attacks: I attended a meeting about information operations recently,
and one of the main points the speaker made was that while once war was waged
by nations against nations, now individuals, groups and nations can attack
individual, groups and nations. We are (due to technological changes) seeing
a kind of "democratization" of capability which profoundly undermines the
legitimacy of the traditional nation state (it might be interesting to read
the privateering paper Technotranscendence posted about in the light of
information warfare) both by giving capabilities to non-government groups and
also making it uncertain if governments can provide their protection against
distributed horisontal attacks.

The meeting discussed the Swedish programs to deal with information
operations, and it was clear that the centralist statist attitude prevalent
among government planners was definitely one of the main problems. To deal
with this kind of distributed threat we need distributed solutions, where the
private sector (including informal groups, universities and other
associations beside companies) is a cruicial part. How to manage such
cooperations, that remains to be invented - this is an area where
transhumanist creativity can participate and produce immediate dividends.
Besides, we can use dealing with cyber-attacks as a training for dealing with

One China: I don't know the official Swedish policy, but the general opinion
seems to be that Taiwan is better off not part of the PRC. Here the >H angle
is of course how to deal with abusive nation states and maybe how to play
them against each other to increase individual freedom.

Russian artificial brain: no, it all sounds like a news hoax. There is a
steady stream of inflated claims coming from Russia (from elsewhere too, but
fact-checking is especially limited when it comes to Russia), and the news
story you refer to did not appear to contain anything new. >H moral: critical
analysis of news is quite essential to avoid spending too much time on
spurious claims.

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