Re: TERRORISM: Is genocide the logical solution?

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 19:30:02 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>
To: "Extropy List" <>
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 12:10 PM
Subject: TERRORISM: Is genocide the logical solution?

> I know that by raising this issue, I am going to take a large
> amount of flak. But that is the purpose of the Extropian
> list -- to engage in rational discussion of ideas -- even
> if those ideas may seem repulsive at first.
> Those of us who believe in the extropian/transhumanist perspectives
> expect that the world is likely to undergo a significant adjustment
> of its perspective over the next 10-30 years. These will include
> such developments as artificial intelligence, molecular nanotechnology,
> the elimination of aging and death and the feasibility of uploading
> our minds into much more robust hardware.
> We also know, from calculations that I and Eliezer (independently)
> have done, that the annual cost between where we are now and the
> full manifestation of what we expect is feasible is of the order
> of 50 million lives per year. That is approximately 10,000 times
> the number of lives lost in the WTC attacks.
> According to the CIA world fact book, the population of Afganistan
> is ~25 million people. In contrast the population of the U.S.
> is 280+ million people and the world is 6+ billion. It is highly
> unlikely that the population of Afganistan will make a significant
> contribution to the development of the advanced technological era
> we expect. In fact their ongoing existence seems likely to be
> directed towards negatively impacting that development. To the
> extent that the activities of individuals in Afganistan, or the
> support of such individuals by the leaders or population at large
> delay the development of the era we anticipate, we can assign
> a cost to it.
> >From my perspective the analysis is relatively simple. If the
> population of Afganistan, or the people supported by them
> delay the onset of an era of advanced technological capabilities
> by 6 months or more, the value of their lives is negative.
> >From a rational position, *if* the case can be made that the
> Afgani position & politics is likely to result in the diversion
> of resources and delay the development of the technologies we anticipate
> developing by more than 6 months, then a plan of genocide to
> bury the country in rubble seems justified.
> Is this feasible? It would appear to be the case. 100 Minutemann III
> ICBMs could launch 300+ Ktons each at Afganistan. This roughly
> translates to over 1 ton TNT/person. While this is unlikely to
> kill everyone, it is likely to knock the population back to the
> sub-cave-person level and make a large negative impact on the
> feasibility of staging terrorist activities from that country.
> Of course the downside will be in the likelyhood that it may have
> in promoting individuals and countries in developing similar
> capabilities. But of course once the line has been crossed, there
> are relatively few barriers towards the use of nuclear weapons to
> continue knocking down potential terrorists as needs require.
> Robert
While we are at it, I suppose we ought to figure out the likelihood posts
such as yours might cause a severe backlash against the transhumanist
movement. I guess if your post puts the movement behind even a few moments
then we might have to think whether it is rational to take you out. Now
where's my calculator?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:49 MDT