The technology we need is memewar! RE: The endgame is near -- my comments

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 12:25:53 MDT


As I said before, in a more heated moment, the technology you're
looking for is called propoganda.

This particular ilk of terrorists don't care about survival, don't care
about comfort, but they do care about respect. About their reputation
among their people. We may not understand what their people respect and
don't respect, but it's time to start learning and using that knowledge
to make them look like cowards, weaklings, fools, and perverts.

Another problem is meme deployment. Many of the countries harboring
terrorists know their Acchilles heel and take great pains to isolate
themselves culturally. If American business or media can find any
foothold there, though, we can use that to start sowing the seeds of
rationality, autonomy, and enjoying Earthly life rather than
sacrificing everything for the sake of the thereafter.

It wasn't military force that won the Cold War, after all. It was
bluejeans, Big-Macs, and Hollywood movies. Forget bombs. Drop
humanitarian supplies. Bags of extra-spicy pork rinds. Porno
mags. Gangsta-rap CDs. Bibles in comic-book format. Refurbished
computers with wireless uplinks. Let them fight amongst themselves for
the loot, or let it all get 'confiscated' by the Towelban, eroding
their public support. Win-win either way, and probably still cheaper
than our high-end munitions. Let the memewar begin.

Of course, rational optimists envision the best but prepare for the
worst. The worst to prepare for is IMO groundwar in Afghanistan and
fascism at home for the next decade, followed by a defeatist cultural
backlash and an ever expanding network of enemies abroad. My question
to you, my favorite think-tank, is how do we prepare for *that*? How
do we prevent a downfall or at least slowing down of civilization, or
that failing, how do we protect ourselves and our projects from such
a downfall?

On Sun, 23 Sep 2001, Barbara Lamar wrote:

> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > Barbara Lamar wrote:
> >
> What technology could render the
> > > threat of terrorists obsolete?
> >
> > Ours.
> The SIAI's, sure. This is so obvious it doesn't need to be said.
> The reason I'm interested in further answers to this question is that it's
> not easy to predict exactly how long it will take you to develop Friendly
> AI. Leaving aside the difficulty of estimating how many human-hours the
> creative process itself will take, I can think of the following
> uncertainties off the top of my head: You don't know how many additional
> people you can hire. You don't know whether the group of people you assemble
> will work well together. You are, as far as I know, dependent on the smooth
> operation of electrical, water delivery, and transportation services.
> It is not realistic to count on governments to shield you (or the rest of
> us). So the question still stands: what technology could render the threat
> of terrorists obsolete?
> Barbara

- --

Vickie Weaver Koresh IRS
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