Re: Uses of cloning

Anders Sandberg (
19 Dec 1998 01:28:31 +0100

"Scott Badger" <> writes:

> >"Scott Badger" <> writes:
> >
> >> Hmm. If we successfully encouraged women to use genius sperm banks,
> >> I wonder what % of those children would grow up to be evil geniuses? I'd
> >> want those parents checked out pretty closely. One evil genius could do
> >> a lot of damage...especially if s/he uploaded!
> >
> >Please, try to get rid of that silly Hollywood meme.
> Thanks for the advice, but I actually got this meme
> from Jim Halperin who impressed upon me how
> the destructive capabilities of the single individual
> have increased so dramatically with technology.

Ah, not that one. I completely agree with you and Halperin in that we are going to have trouble with increased power at the hands of single individuals. This is of course only a problem if this power cannot be counteracted by the large majority of non-maniacs, but in some technological areas there are more spears than shields, so to say.

The silly Hollywood meme I was refering to was the evil genius. I don't know about the incidence of antisocial behavior among geniuses but a quick guess is that it is normal or below normal; they might be eccentric or flaunt their societies' norms, but few seems to be downright antisocial. The evil genius meme is just the continuation of the evil magician meme (in our mythology, scientists and magicians are isomorphic; in Hollywood they can't even tell the difference), the old fear of somebody wielding unstoppable black magic.

Most magic/technology is stoppable. And I worry more about evil people than evil geniuses, the later are so rare they are not important even if they have more destructive creativity.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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