Re: Raising kids [was Re: Freedom or death? ]

Hal Finney (
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 12:37:15 -0700

The more general problem here is the private mistreatment of sentient

In the future, it will be possible to create all sorts of minds, with
varying degrees of consciousness, intelligence, sentience, etc. These
can be created in a state in which they are under the control of the
creator, who can mistreat them as he wishes. (Think of Vinge's image of
the poor subject being "smeared across a million death cubes".)

These beings, who could be considered children (this might be a common
method of reproduction in the future, direct creation of new minds),
could be subjected to torture and other forms of mistreatment, within the
privacy of someone's own home (or even within the privacy of someone's
own *mind*).

Can we expect to do anything about this? Should we try? Or must we
just resign ourselves to the fact that some people choose to mistreat
those less fortunate than themselves, and that the laws of nature make
this rather easy to do?

It's hard to see how to stop it without an omnipresent "blue goo", a
nanotech/infotech police force which monitors all information processing
and prevents the unauthorized creation of minds beyond some level of
sentience. Not clear that such control is really possible, though.