Re: TRANSPORTATION: Replacing Cars with Shuttles

Dan Fabulich (
Sun, 08 Nov 1998 00:45:32 -0500

my inner geek wrote:
>The petroleum economy cannot be incrementally phased out. The
>information economy is growing too quickly, and without massive
>deliberate intervention, there will come a point when available
>weapons design information will collide with petroleum economy
>tension, resulting in large scale conflict.

Well, gee. When you put it that way... ;)

So, let me get this straight: if we don't switch to an authoritarian gov't that literally opiates the masses (or barbiturates, or crystal-methamphetimates the masses) and organizes everything from the top down, people are going to to get smart enough to build horrible weapons, and then people are gonna USE those weapons and blow us all up.

In short, if we don't adopt a dictatorship/oligarchy soon, the world's going to end.

Allow me to raise the point that if you're wrong about your predictions, that adopting such a system would be Bad(tm). Much worse than what we've got now. Economically, top down structures just don't work as efficiently as bottom-up markets do. Logistically, huge portions of the intelligence of the world will go untapped as people become completely alienated from their incentives. And ethically? Well, I happen to be a utilitarian/ libertarian. Maybe I won't even bother to open this can of worms here.

If you're right about your predictions, (and you'd have a hard time convincing me of this in the first place,) then I don't think a top-down economy is going to fix things. You see, in a top-down hierarchy, those who find their way to the top are those who want to be at the top. Those who want to be at the top and have powerful weapons at their fingertips may be inclined to use them. If the rest of the sheeple are unarmed, then the rulers will feel no repercussion whatsoever over misuse of these weapons. In short, whatever it is that you think is going to blow us all up will do so eventually; maybe faster than would happen in a market-oriented society. Maybe not. Either way, the total obliteration of humankind would be inevitable. The longevity we transhumanists are striving for would be utterly pointless, and we'd all die.

To sum up:

If you're right but we don't listen to you, we die.
If you're right and we listen to you, we die.
If you're wrong and we don't listen to you, life is (relatively) good.
If you're wrong but we listen to you anyway, life sucks a lot.

Transhumanists have an interesting take on these "end of the world" scenarios, no?