Re: Domination and First World Survival from Third World (Nuclear) Threats

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 02:12:32 MDT

William John wrote:
> I think that the survival of the First World and Western Civilization is
> definitely at stake. If transhumans are ever to make it to posthumans,
> it can only happen in an educated, sophisticated, technologically
> literate, capitalist democratic society as found in US, Europe, and Japan -
> essentially the industrialized First World. The undeveloped Third World
> such as Afghanistan, much of South America, most of Africa and some of
> Asia will, it seems, never make it. Some countries like India and Pacific
> islands like Taiwan and Singapore may be able to upgrade their countries
> from Third World to First World, otherwise, the rest may need to go
> extinct like the dinosaurs.

Hoo boy! How is it any vision of a future worth acheiving if we
begin by writing off over half of the human race? Taiwan is
"third world"? Hmmm. Why don't you pull all of those third
world memory chips out of your PC and then write that again.
India has a very thriving high tech sector despite having a lot
of poverty and superstition in her poorer population. Singapore
is another surprise on your list.

No people "need to go extinct" to reach Singularity. Some
cultures need to go extinct as they cannot adapt and will not
serve their people well as we move to Singularity. Some
persistent memes, more of a few of them our own, need to be
replaced by much better memes. But along the way we will create
such abundance and so many levels of freedom, or rather we can,
that no peoples need go extinct. As a matter of fact, I believe
that thinking of Singularity in terms of something we "haves"
hoard and develop for ourselves alone is a very sure way to make
sure it does not occur. This is not because the "have nots"
will take it away from us. It is because we will have rotted
away our chance by being too bogged down within our own
ill-serving cultural mindset - a mindset based on scarcity, fear
and "getting mine". That mindset will not allow us to move
forward well.

You can see it already. Open information and software tools are
eseential to dealing with the masses of choices, of information
and computational needs leading to Singularity. But the old
cultural forces wish to outlaw this abundant cornucopia and
divide all information and processing ability as if all is still
scarcity. They would like to outlaw and choke the very means to
create and take advantage of unlimited abundance in this area.
If it isn't scarcity then, by God, we will pass laws treating it
as if it is, wreak the economy to slow down these upstart geeks
and start-ups and start an ill-defined oppressive war to keep
this abundance stuff from making us all soft and no doubt some
fuzzy headed kind of latter day communists or cybergnostic

I can just imagine what the repressive memes and means will look
like when we have the first Assembler.

No. If we want to achieve a Singularity then one of the first
requirements is that we throw the shackles off our minds and our
hearts. We create this for the betterment of all and using new
ways of thinking, being and working or we don't create it at

>From a memetic point of view we will go a lot further if we are
doing this to bring as much heaven on earth as possible rather
than if we are in a mad rush to do a high-tech endrun on
humanity and leave the everyone else to die in hell.

> Futurists a decade ago called this bifurcation the North South economic
> conflict between wealthy Northern Hemisphere nations and poor,
> impoverished Southern Hemisphere nations. The East West political
> conflict of Eastern Hemispheric Soviet (Second World) nations and
> Western Hemispheric, democratic nations is the other conflict that has
> somewhat subsided at least in the classic Cold War bipolar US vs. USSR
> dual superpowers scenario. What is happening is totalitarianism is now
> mixed with Islam instead of Marx (for the East West conflict) and
> the North South conflict of First and Third World is more alive than ever

They are totally different pheonomenon and it is a mistake to
conflate the two. It is also a mistake to use old scarcity
based models as means to choose a correct path forward.
> Actively exterminating terrorists is essential if First World transhumans
> are
> ever to make it to the 22nd century.

I utterly disagree. Enriching the entire world would take the
wind out of some of the unrest in the world. Stopping the
oppression my giving the people choices would ease tensions much
faster than killing off any number of terrorists and guerillas,
assuming you could find them.

> The Pentagon's Strategic Defense
> Initiative (SDI) or "Star Wars" program is really intended to fend off
> nuclear blackmail from the Third World. Such nuclear blackmail would
> take the form of "give us your money, food, medicine, etc. for free or
> we will nuke New York City"

But, in short order if we don't fuck it up ourselves, we can
give them all of the food and medicine and material means anyone
could wish. Not as a ransom but as the open benevolence of a
truly abundant society. Of course, we do have a war. We have a
major memetic war within our own minds and our own culture to
see the world as one of increasing abundance and to help this
abundance flower ever more fully. That will be difficult.

Your nuclear scenario is simply absurd. No third world nations
has enough missiles to do more than get us utterly ticked off
and turn their country into a burning cinder. If terrorist
wished to use such means then they would bring the atomics in by
stealth, not in any manner an SDI would help against.

> SDI would simply counter their missiles
> and kill them. The Third World must "die" by upgrading to First World
> status by going for capitalism and foreign investment like India appears to
> be doing or die by the intertribal/civil war combined with the infection and
> starvation that comes with unrestricted overpopulation. - William.

Capitalism based on scarcity thinking and scarcity economics is
part of the problem. It is not the solution by itself. The
best means of yesteryear will not suffice for the radically
different tomorrow we dream of.

- samantha

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