Re: 1e6 advantage to the terrorists

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Thu Sep 27 2001 - 20:21:54 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > I would just go straight to the fourth estate: your local news
> > providers, talk shows, etc.
> I honestly think this is irresponsible. Terrorists are not as creative as
> Extropians. They may be putting lots of thought into the problem, but it
> will be conventional thought. We should not be lending them our
> creativity.

But consider: they don't even have the creativity to *look* in the
places we discuss for answers. How hard do you think it would be, for
instance, to build a flock of UAVs, load 'em with McVeigh-style
explosives, have 'em swarm into the skyscraper of your choice and
blast a hole to the center column, then follow up with another swarm
loaded with napalm? And that's just off the top of my head...

Public discussion of technology will, on average, preceed terrorist
deployment of same if it is allowed to do so. OTOH, if discussing
weapons (and how to stop them) were immoral and outlawed, only immoral
outlaws would discuss weapons, leaving the rest of us without defenses
when the time comes. This is not just a cliche, but proven fact from
those areas where public discussion and research *has* been stifled on
"ethical" grounds, but the discussion and research holds obvious
potential. It's gotten to the point that it's almost unethical to be
ethical anymore.

Our technology can keep us ahead of our enemies (both tangible ones
like the terrorists and intangible ones like death itself), but only
if we continue to develop it as fast as possible. To do less is to
throw away those lives we could save.

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