Re: Love that Cheese Worm! Linux

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat May 26 2001 - 14:43:31 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > By BBC News Online technology correspondent Mark Ward
> > A helpful virus is making its way around the web, checking computers for
> > vulnerabilities and closing them.
> HA! I wondered when this was going to start happening. The virus itself
> may sound benevolent, and it probably is, but the whole thing betrays a
> new kind of ecology where users' computers are just pushed around by
> whatever force takes control of their system. Now it's not a question of
> good users and bad hax0rs fighting it out, but good viruses and bad
> viruses fighting it out.

Perhaps. Or perhaps individual computational devices
should/could be seen as merely nodes in an extended
computational substrate. Many of the things that we here dream
about require or can be usefully archtected in whole or part as
various types of agents that move from machine to machine or
span multiple machines.

Now, the owners of the machines should have say in what is and
is not on their machines. But that say in the best of cases is
limited by the time and ability to understand and evaluate
various configurations supporting various software and by the
ability to communicate the relevant information. I expect that
a computational ecology will evolve various types of
cyber-organisms, malignant and benevolent, over time with and
without the owners consent.

Also, I suspect the line between boxen I own and the general
cyber environment will become increasingly blurry as we head
toward ubiquitious computing.

- samantha

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