Re: Truth machines

Damien R. Sullivan (
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 18:39:46 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 17, 11:55am, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Perhaps. Maybe worth looking at impulse control disorders like
> kleptomania and Tourette's syndrome. Then of course, being unable of
> lying would likely be a social handicap and limit the range of human
> behavior. Ethics alert.

And limiting the range of human behavior is necessarily a bad thing? Civilization has consisted in large part of expanding the range in some direction while limiting it in others -- and the limits are often what make the expansion possible. First World civil servants have limited behavior compared with their typical Third World counterparts, where corruption is endemic; this is not a bad thing. Impulse killing seems more restrained these days too, despite deadlier weaponry.

A world where everyone was incapable of lying would probably outcompete our own, if it had some immune function so defectors couldn't expoit the system. For one thing the market would run much more smoothly, I'd think.

Disabling selected individuals, yes, that would be bad.

-xx- Damien X-)