RE: Another new offensive strategies

From: Reason (
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 14:23:18 MDT

--> Harvey Newstrom

> John Clark wrote,
> > Bin Laden is a hero in much of the Islamic world but that's also a
> > society that disapproves of alcohol and is astronomically puritanical,
> > so what we need is someone who's good at PhotoShop. What we
> > need is a picture of Bin Laden drinking a martini with his arm
> > around a beautiful girl in a bikini, or better yet a gay looking young
> > man in a Speedo.
> Spike Jones wrote,
> > We have really good printing technology. We can print and
> > bind books for almost nothing. How about if we print truckloads
> > of korae, except each one with one altered verse? If we get
> > clever, we could print a million of them, each with a different
> > altered verse, bind them with pre-aged covers, so they could
> > not be distinguished easily from the originals without reading
> > the entire thing, carefully. If those get into circulation, print a
> > new set with the old altered verse plus an additional altered verse.
> > In each case these altered verses reverse the meaning of the original.
> > I figure one cruise missile aimed at scorched and barren desert
> > would cost about the same as one truckload of korae. spike
> This is ludicrous. Extropians are believers in TRUTH. Yet every time we
> have any sort of threat to our ideals, many people on this list start
> inventing all sorts of subterfuge and lies. The archives are
> full of ideas
> on infiltrating groups, committing crimes and blaming them on
> someone else,
> issuing false statements attributed to someone else, starting
> false rumors, etc.

I agree. You can win with the truth; descent into subterfuge and secrecy is
very bad. I see this all the time in business; it's the knee-jerk reaction
of 90% of execs when in conflict with other companies or when something goes
wrong. Must be hardwired into humans somewhere.

But I liked the underlying core of the koran idea, if not them
implementation. As a culture (and including technology in this definition),
US core competency is not in fighting wars [rationale: the US doesn't want
to, not that it is technically bad at it]. US core competency is in
spreading the US cultural meme package -- you just have to look at China to
see how we're doing at that with a country where we're really trying.
Whatever anyone says, US companies and interests are fully engaged and
merged with Chinese companies and interests in my industry (wireless) and
many others; there is a great exchange of culture, ideas and technologies
going on right now. Chinese and American businesspeople -- the politicians
and influencers and moneymen of tomorrow -- are open and friendly with one

If you look at where real non-negotiable problems in the world come from,
they seem to center around isolated countries and regions, those in which
the citizens cannot be a part of the global flow of knowledge. So taking the
book idea, we apply it to an equal mix of : a) educational materials (got to
make it easy for people who can read to teach those who can't), b) history
and cultural works relevant to the region we're dropping them on, c)
literature from around the world, d) books formed up of translated newspaper
digests from around the world.

Then we get on and drop this stuff on a country.

There's all sorts of tech solutions too (which is where we get fanciful):

a) drop handhelds and chips instead of books. Use the simputers developed
for India; $200 each, rugged and simple.

b) if you're going to invade someplace (which you really shouldn't -- see
point on core competency above), invade it in a small way to set up and
protect small distribution centers surrounding those recently-invented
book-binding devices that can run off books on demand. Propagate the devices
and the books they produce.

c) hell, radios would work. Lots and lots of them; the wind-up clockwork

So anyway, back to the points: books are better than bombs. Isolationism
breeds worse terrorists. In a small world, the community can't afford to let
countries damage their own populations by sitting in the corner and not
participating. Or forcing them to do the same. Just build a big pipe for the
exchange of information between cultures, and let the market and human
nature do the rest.


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