Re: [JOIN] Stephen Reed

From: Brian Phillips (
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 18:19:40 MDT

Looks like "Christian L." wrote:
> >
> > I'm curious about this statement. My gut feeling is that the military
> > consider research aimed at the Singularity as something potentially very
> > *harmful* to the nation. If the research is successful, it would mean
> > END of the government and the military. My feeling is also that there
are a
> > great deal of narrow minded people in the government/military sector,
> > perhaps are afraid of such a massive upheaval.
And Eliezar responded
> I don't think that military officers - US military, at least - are that
> evil. >
  US military officers are not evil as a rule. When they are evil it's
generally a petty little sort of evil, the sort that enjoys humilating
others, turf-protection, and harassing the folks in their vicinity who
are insufficently cynical about what it all means. Most officers are
just people.. they have to fight traffic and buy diapers like everyone

> If they misinterpreted a Singularity project as a threat to the US
> and the world, then yes, they wouldn't take it well, as is only natural.
  I suspect that as long as you
 1. stay in the continental US (i.e. Atlanta is a good town)
 2. don't discuss selling seed AI to China or someone.
 3. explain the Singularity as an extension of familar concepts rather than
   something truly new under the sun, and stress the inherent pacifism of
   the idea (which you seem to do well)
  then I really can't see any US military officer creating more work for
themselves by interfering. The instant reaction of any "real" officer would
be "Could this Sysop thing possibly reduce my paperwork?"
> I
> think that if the typical officer in the US military saw a real chance of
> ending war forever, they would see this as a *very* good thing, not a
> threat. To the extent that people are narrow-minded, they are likely to
> miss out on the possibility of a real upheaval entirely, seeing the whole
> issue in terms of an ordinary technological revolution instead.

  The idea of ending war forever is a laughable notion to serious Line
officers, however attractive the notion. They read too much Kipling
for the gods of the marketplace to be persuasive. Talk about
ending terrorism.. that might be more plausible to them.
  But as far as missing the possibility of real upheaval.. yes, this is
well said Eli.
  Besides...military officers are used to things happening slowly.
Large bureacracies are like this. My advice on this thread?
 Be vaguely loyal and don't worry about the DoD unless you're
 contemplating them as a funding scource.
  Sufficent unto the day are the hassles thereof.


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