Re: sleep and extropian dreams

Spike Jones (
Tue, 02 Nov 1999 22:48:24 -0800

> Spike Jones wrote:
> > We can *finally* do away with this madness of men on a
> > field shooting lead at each other.

Billy Brown made a number of good points in rebuttal:

> Sorry, Spike, but it isn't going to be that easy. Foot soldiers won't be
> obsolete until we can build equally capable robots for less than it costs to
> train men, and that won't be for another 10-20 years.

Good deal! If they are ready in 10-20, that fits my definition of "threshold of a dream." We will never see anything like the horrifying first world war again. Huge armies are more of a liability than an asset. Infantry would be a special team of highly trained people with lotsa high tech gear and an intense focus.

> The ability to bomb enemy leaders is not the same as the ability to kill

Ja. What I have in mind is surgical damage to the enemy infrastructure, that disables communication, command and control, in such a way that repair is easy after the short war is over. When all is said and done, a war could conceivably be fought with few or perhaps no casualties.

Consider the threads that were going around here six months ago regarding planes dropping a webby substance, and some were arguing about what it could be. Turns out it was carbon filaments, dropped in exploding cannisters that would drift down and short out power lines. Now *thats* my kinda war!

> Planes cannot capture terrain, they can
> only weaken an enemies ability to resist. Open terrain can be taken by
> armored forces...that means infantry remain essential even in a modern army.

This *assumes* terrain must be taken and held. Of course this is the way it has *always* been done, but I urge you to ask yourself why exactly this is necessary. I can imagine many scenarios in which a technologically advanced society could get its way, while allowing the adversary to keep all their terrain, even allow it to imagine itself as having won the war, yet stop whatever behaviour that we found objectionable to start with.

Since the *real* currency of our times is information, the whole notion of capturing dirt seems absurd. Please someone more advanced than me, chip in here and extrapolate forward. spike