TERRORISM: looking for solutions

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 10:07:07 MDT

As some of my posts to the list over the years have shown one of the
big problems I think we will face in the future is "trustability".
How do you trust that you will not be betrayed and/or damaged
by other entities whose inner workings you cannot verify.

So, in memory of today's sad events I would like to challenge the
members of the Extropian community to think long and hard about
what ways might be used to create innovative solutions to
terrorism that would increase trustability and personal security
without imposing restrictions on freedoms (in other words, please,
please lets not make it a debate about guns).

Now, with the situation at hand, a couple of ideas occured to me.
At the first sign of any struggle to take over a "flying bomb"
the plane could be programmed to enter autopilot mode such that
it could only be unlocked using commands from the ground after
flight controllers could convince themselves that the pilots were
in control. Obviously this has problems with technical difficulties
such as loss of communications.

Another possibility would be a more sophisticated program that would cause
the plane to fly itself to "safe" locations such as military air bases.
Monitors for vocal stress patterns in pilot communications would be
another possibility.

But, people on the list have discussed before such things as ships
with atomic bombs entering major harbors. And of course I'm highly
aware of the damage that can be done by small bioweapons that are capable
of spreading themselves. Today's events apparently were in essence
predicted in a novel (perhaps by Tom Clancey?) a few years ago
involving a plane being crashed into the capitol building.
Why haven't we done anything about it? Can we come up with good
technological solutions?

Lets get off of our collective butts, stop the petty plonkings
and come up with some ideas for things that could *really* save
lives. All the cryonics contracts in the world don't do you any
good when the plane on which you are flying gets used as a weapon
of mass distruction.

On a bright note, it looks like the time between the plane impacts
and the collapse of the towers was about an hour, so one can hope
that most of the people were able to evacuate safely.


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