Lee Corbin wrote:
> Eugene quotes
> > But the Pentagon has staged a series of show-biz events that have been
> > rigged to appear successful when, in fact, they prove next to nothing....
> No one on this list by any means knows whether a missile defense system
> would work, or when, but really, no one else knows for sure either. The
> future takes a long time to happen.
This is an important point for extropians. We tend to think any future
development that takes more than about 50 yrs as irrelevant, which it
most likely is. We tend toward an apocalyptic view of the future, since
a singularity will most likely occur sometime in the next half century.
Even I agree with that, and I tend to be conservative in my estimates
of when the singularity will come. The attitude is eerily reminiscent of
one I know well from my misspent youth: that of the second-coming-ists,
the jesus-is-coming-soon crowd. They and we tend to be unconcerned
about environmental issues, for instance, because those impacts are
unlikely to be significant before the apocalypse/singularity.
Military thinkers, on the other hand, are the closest you will find to
professional long-range prognosticators. Reason: it takes a loooong
time to develop a new military system. You may have read that
congress gave the OK for low-rate initial production of the F22
fighter last week. The F22 fighter is 20 years old this month. The
design phase was kicked off in the early months of the Reagan
administration. 15 years is a typical design cycle for a major
system. So the generals always need to be thinking 20 to 30
years out, a period beyond which most of us would argue is
impossible to predict, since it is post singularity. Missile defense
is already nearly 40 years old, and may take another 40.
The future takes a long time to happen, unless the singularity
comes along. But there might be some unknown reason why
the singularity will not happen. I do not know what it is, but
there might be one. In the mean time, I suspect it would be
quite dangerous to stop developing newer and better weapons.
History shows that when any nation does that, some other
nation comes along and wipes them out. So I consider myself
a techno-dove, one who seeks peace by developing better
and better weapons. spike
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:13 MDT