Re: Brainpicking: constitutional effects of loyalty mods

Anders Sandberg (
20 Sep 1999 21:04:57 +0200 writes:

> If Billy Brown and Greg Burch have parsed out Ander's original
>scenario correctly, then I would agree that it would probably result
>in a military takeover.

Well, that may be one possibility. But since the military is just as scared as everybody else of infection (maybe even more - if a general got infected he could start using the troops under his command to further the infiltrators) they can't just walk in and take over physically. The best they could do in this case would be to threaten with their weapons from orbit, making everybody obey at least on the surface. But that won't stop the infiltration much. Besides, the NA military would then have to deal with a lot of militias (the planet in this scenario had some serious cohesion problems even before the infiltration) as well as infiltrators in all sorts of unexpected positions.

> My main quibble--I don't quite understand the
>method of infection. America is so huge and geographically scattered,
>that if we did have some sort of epidemic there would exist pockets
>that the infection does not reach. Half our government officials fly
>home to those scattered locations on a regular basis--they don't keep
>permanent residence in the capitol.

Yes. And in my scenario the scatter is even worse, with an entire planet consisting of small towns on islands as well as a belt of orbital habitats. So clearly not everyone has been infected; the problem is that it is nearly impossible to tell who is and who isn't.

Hmm, what about those congresspeople and other officials who can be proven not to have come into contact with the infections? (for example, a congressman inspecting one of the installations in the outer parts of the system or on holiday in a remore habitat). Would it be possible to set up some skeleton government using them, or would that be unconstitutional?

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