Re: new offensive strategies

From: steve (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 05:05:53 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 8:10 PM
Subject: Re: new offensive strategies

> 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

Eliezer said

> That's very creative, except that it involves taking revenge on Islam
> rather than bin Laden, which is even less attractive than taking revenge
> on Afghanistan instead of bin Laden.
> I do wonder why the U.S. doesn't print up handbooks of democratic theory
> and citizen responsibility and "The Incredible Bread Machine" and drop
> them on nondemocratic nations. This seems like such a blatantly obvious
> thing to do. Likewise, I'm still sore that the US failed to print up a
> billion copies of "How To Be a Citizen in a Capitalist Society" and send
> them over to the remnants of the Soviet Union after the collapse.
Although I think Spike's original idea would be highly counter productive
the kind of proposals made here are surely what needs to be looked at as a
long-term cultural/intellectual strategy. The problem is not simply
geopolitics but the existence of a particular kind of religious mindset
which has appeared in Islam. What I would look to do is to revive the
rationalist tradition in Islam, which suffered such a huge defeat in the
13th century. Time to print and distribute lots of copies of Averroes to
young Muslim intellectuals (BTW most Muslim terrorists are highly educated)
and to revive the rationalist Mutazilite tradition. This would have the
advantage of coming from_within_the Islamic tradition. Steve Davies

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