Re: Perversion attacks

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 14:22:34 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 21 Oct 1996, Lyle Burkhead wrote:

> Where did Vinge write about Perversion attacks?

Mostly in _Across Realtime_ (especially in _Marooned in Realtime_, the
final story) and _A Fire Upon the Deep_, but there are mentions in other
stories too (as others have pointed out).

> What if the civilizations are not 100 light years apart? What if they
> are on the same planet?

A perversion war would be *fast* on a planet (and the chilling thing is
that many nations are gearing up for it - information warfare is HOT
right now), and probably would be over quickly - leaving more normal
kinds of conflict. If the enemies were 100 ly apart, then it would take
too long to hack into somebody from afar, so agents have to be sent into
the enemy system (which is a very uncertain prospect unless you are a SI).

SLIGHT SPOILERS: An interesting take on this is the Meme Wars in Barnes'
_Caleidoscope Century_: memes (Barnes' version) are AI systems able to
transmit/translate themselves across operating systems, including into the
human nervous system (shades of _Snow Crash_). These memes started out as
weapons of religious warfare, but quickly began to mutate and take control
over regions. Each meme fought the other memes and sought more hosts, both
by infiltrating the media, contagion or direct coercion (the protagonist
was part of a mercenary team working for a meme). Finally a meme invents a
distributed model of itself and begins to turn humanity into a kind of
borganism (individuals still exist, but they all run the same memes).

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y