Re: UPL: The myth of we

Technotranscendence (
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 23:09:58 -0800

On Friday, December 03, 1999 5:32 PM Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> I was thinking more along the lines of individuals respecting individuals.
> It takes very strong motivations (starvation or lack of mates) or a lot
> of other+self convincing that you have a well defined advantage (so
> you are "likely" to get the spoils you are risking your life for)
> to put humans into a mode where they become violent towards other
> humans. One on one the risks of self injury are usually too high unless,
> as you point out, one side has a significant technology edge.

This would not explain gay bashings, racially motivated killings, and the like. I don't buy the economic theory of crime and war. If that were the case, then we would expect the US, admittedly the richest nation now and for about the last century or so, never to engage in warfare.

> Once an individual or group gets a distinct technology or numbers
> advantage, then yes, we do seem to have a bad habit of falling
> back on violence. Presumably latent drives for food or mates
> coming to the surface. Interesting isn't it how few women you
> you see going on rampaging killing sprees or becoming power
> hungry dictators....

Also, I don't think it takes a "significant technology edge." Usually, it just takes some weapons. Remember, e.g., the Nazis -- perhaps a bit too talked about given the human proclivity for mass violence; i.e., the Nazis are not all that aberrant -- in a lot of areas were technologically inferior to the French, British, and, yes, even the Soviets. They did not have a technological advantage over the Jews and others they slaughtered so much as just a willingness to do the slaughtering. (Well, that and a few helpful social factors, such as legally disarming people and being better organized.)

In this sense, when I'm walking down a dark alley, even if I've got my palm top, cell phone, and a 9mm, the guy who comes up from behind me with a club can still kill me. Does he really have a "significant technology edge" over me or is it just dumb luck or a better strategy or the ruthlessness to use what he has to get what he wants?

> I'd strongly suggest the uplifting be done to females of the
> uplifted species before males.

Overgeneralization in my view, though, to be fair, it might be good in a lot of mammalian cases. I've heard it said, e.g., female dogs are less likely to turn on their owners. However, in many species, the females can be extremely violent too and into dominace hierarchies. Even among mammals, there is the hyaena, which is basically matriarchal.

I don't have as much fear of an uplifted species being worse than humans though. I tend to be optimistic, maybe because reading some history has made me believe that none of the atrocities are all that new. Our species and civilization has survived regardless.

I also tend to agree with what Glen wrote in a post I'll reply to elsewhere. That is, there's no reason to expect uplifted organisms to be devils or angels. Nor need they be.


Daniel Ust