Re: The End of Privacy ?

Anders Sandberg (
01 Jul 1998 18:34:45 +0200

"Scott Badger" <> writes:

> I understand that we should all be concerned with our own welfare. But your
> "So what?" attitude is still a bit disconcerting. Perhaps I'm misreading,
> but it sounds like you're saying, "Just don't be one of the unfortunate
> ones. You can't stop crazies so don't even try. Save your own butt." I hope
> this is not a common perspective among extropians. I don't conceive of
> Transhumanism as being about ME transcending MY limits, but about US
> transcending OUR limits.


(sorry for getting game theoretical)

The extreme individualist solution of just trying to avoid the crazies is not as fit as a cooperative solution under a wide set of assumptions (under some assumptions such as the possibility of extremely powerful untraceable attacks cooperation might not be optimal, but we are clearly not in that domain *yet*). We manage to deal with the problem of destruction today rather well by tracking down offenders and punishing them (it doesn't matter if it is done by the king, the police or a PPL). One doesn't even need to care about other people to adopt a cooperative strategy if it is more fit and evolutionarily stable, it is the rational thing to do.

What I want to find out is:

  1. When do we have a problem? (This involves estimating the risks of various technologies carefully)
  2. What solution strategies exist for this problem?
  3. Are they good enough that they can handle the problem? (And what are their limits, when we *should* run up into the hills?)
  4. How to implement them? (Even the best solution might be completely impossible to put into use, we need to find solutions that can be implemented for real)

I'm a bit worried that the discussions on this list (and elsewhere) tend to be dominated by less well considered opinions (or what *appears* to be little considered opinions at least). There are many people out there who actually think extropians are gun-toting survivalists beliving in a technocalypse, and all this talk about creating heavily fortified island nations, surviving the Y2000 problem and escaping into space doesn't help that image.

Let's use rational thinking instead, and use our tools of theoretical applied science, game theory, economics and sociology to do some serious analysis of the problem.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y