Re: evolved viruses

Dan Clemmensen (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 22:37:19 -0400

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Pat Fallon wrote:
> >
> > >I think it was Eliezer S. Yudkowsky who wrote
> >
> > >To solve the crack ghettos I need to ... use force-evolved viruses to
> > >target cocaine supplies.
> >
> > And I suppose you would have been in favor of engineering a blight during
> > alcohol prohibition in order to "solve" the problems caused by bathtub gin,
> > had it been technologically feasible?
> >
> > I don't want you, or the nanny state, "protecting" me from "evil" drugs.
> [snip]
> I had this discussion the last time I proposed using biotech. As I said then:
> ---
> I've been convinced that drugs are evil.
> The Libertarian principles depend on free will. When people who have
> free will but "not enough wisdom to use it" - such as children - become
> involved, the Libertarian principles are either modified or abandoned
> entirely, depending on the Libertarian. When a substance such as crack
> starts infecting the population, the Libertarian principles cannot
> provide a simple solution; they are up against a problem of a higher
> order than the principles, one having the ability to modify the
> postulates on which the principles depend. Under the circumstances, I
> think that my response - that of obliterating drugs (but not users!)
> without coercive force - is restrained, mild, and appropriate.
> Consider crack to be a hostile government equipped with mind control.

If you propose a technological solution, why don't you solvee the
problem more elegantly? Don't use your technology to eliminate the
drug. Rather, use your technology to eliminate the "anti-libertarian"
effects of the drug. Create a technology that permits an "addict"
(physical or psychological) to instantly and painlessly break the
addiction. This restores free choice.

On a different thread, we've already discussed the fact that an uploaded
intelligence (and several other types of intelligences) will have
direct control of the motivation and pleasure-generating portions
of their "minds". Thus, we'll have to solve the equivalent of the
drug problem some time within the next 50 years anyway, and probably
before we have the equivalent technology for current drugs.