Re: TERRORISM: Finding bin Laden and related topics

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 04:16:43 MDT

On Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 11:51:16PM -0700, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> (And for Anders -- as to why this message is extropic

Don't worry, I'm not sitting here tallying your extropian score,
planning to list who is extropiac and unextropic on the list :-)

Actually, I think your point is quite extropian, because you take a
different look at the situation from the traditional political one and
look for unorthodox solutions that help humanity advance better. I
especially like the idea of a mullah hotline, where the satphones can
connect the people to authoritative experts on islam - it manages to
leverage the influence of authority in islam into something useful,
while at the same time applying high tech for efficient subversion.

It is interesting to note how often we return to the theme of airdropped
satphones/miniterminals here. Maybe we are just lacking imagination, but
I think it shows that this - properly implemented - could be an
extremely powerful tool of good. Having people communicate better with
each other is nearly always good, and helps undermine elites. However,
so far to my knowledge no such airdrops have ever been udnertaken: are
there any organisations working on realizing this, or should we direct
our energy to convincing relief organisations that it is a good idea?

> I'm unsure whether the capture of bin Laden and close associates
> will "solve" the problem (I probably doubt that will be the case).
> If so, then my gut feeling is that real nanotechnology and/or the
> singularity have been postponed by perhaps 5-10 years.

My guess is that it has not changed the rate of progress with more than
a week; I think people worked far less that fateful September week than
normally, but I don't see that great redirection of action from
worthwhile pursuits now. Even a few billion less in research budgets is
not really a showstopper - people might do less expensive experiments,
spend time doing simulations rather than chemistry and so on; to really
delay things the money drain would have to be so large that research
groups in academia and industry are disbanded, and even then the
research can likely occur in other groups. I would say science is fairly
elastic in this respect.

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

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