Re: ETHICS: reprogramming others, trials, justice (was Re:remorse, whatever that is)

Dan Hook (
Sat, 5 Jul 1997 22:41:04 -0400

> From: Michael Lorrey <>
> >
> > Extinguishing them *might* be more ethical. I'm not sure.
> Emminently more ethical. Give them the choice: execution or
> reprogramming. Either way it is the end of that "individual". If a
> person does not want to become a nice, polite, pliable cipher of
> society, they should be able to choose the alternative.

It would seem that if an entity could be easily reprogrammed the
technology would exist to make them a more complex, and considerably less
easily reprogrammed, entity. If the entity was considerably less complex
than the party it offended, it could be easily swatted down. Human level
intelligence could simply be another being's mosquito.
The concept of individual in the post-human world is also likely to be
rather malleable with high band width connections blurring the lines
between where one begins and ends. We already have an extremely good
example of this with the brain. Cut the corpus collosum (an extremely high
bandwidth connection) and each side of the brain has to find out about the
world with it's own half of the body. Few people think about considering
each half of the brain as separate individuals but they are, they just talk
to each other really fast.
The offended parties in the post human world could link up, each
contributing resources in proportion to the offense given. They could then
reduce the offending party to raw materials. That is unless the offending
party also had friends. Obviously, violence is not going to work in every
case. Therefore, polycentric law will be applied. It will actually be the
only law that can be applied because data flow between entities is so high,
they cannot help but know what each one's goals are (probably survival and
therefore expansion, most everything else would probably be tossed). This
means that polycentric law will actually be more like agoric computing.
One would not consider the relegation of a computer program hogging more
resources than its worth to a lower priority slot, or even deleting it, as
"capital punishment." Executions, more properly prunings, in the
post-biological world will probably be as dramatic, and necessary, as
cutting one's toenails.

Dan Hook