Re: Fwd: Eclectic Pseudoplague

From: Aaron McBride (
Date: Wed Jun 19 2002 - 09:47:42 MDT

At 07:45 AM 6/19/2002 -0700, you wrote:

>--- Aaron McBride <> wrote:
> > If this is true, then how do I defend myself from a
> > nuclear bomb? We've
> > had 50+ years of technology between the invention of
> > nukes and I still
> > don't have a Kill-o-Nuke. I'm afraid Mr. Joy may be
> > right on this one,
> > even if he's wrong about the solution. The future
> > is unknown - there may
> > be some weapons that have no defence.
>Eliezer's hypothesis still stands in that equal rates
>of technological advancement among aggressors tends to
>minimize actual harm from the same. The nuke scenario
>could serve as an almost perfect example of this, in
>that ICBM parity defined the Cold War (emphasis on
>I do not believe that an SDI-type nuclear defense
>shield can never be developed. How ridiculous that
>this has become the mantra of the dirty-dems in DC. It
>betrays a pathetic, not to mention insulting,
>pessimism about our abilities. What would they have
>said to their cult-hero, JFK, when he announced that
>Americans would walk on the moon by the end of the
>In any case, the problem lies on the demand side.
>Should an ICBM threat from a "rogue" nation become a
>reality, that shield would go up pretty quickly (or
>the threat would be eliminated. Iraq?...)

Yes, "equal rates of technological advancement among aggressors tends to
minimize actual harm from the same." But that's not necessarily what we're
worried about. How about un-equal rates to technological advancement which
can be expected as the rate of technological change increases. In the past
group X may have been 3 months ahead of group Y, but with nearly equal
advancement rates a year later group X may be 3.01 months ahead of group 2,
no big deal. What happens when one group can go from being 3 months ahead
to 6 months ahead a year later? I think you're right about the major
problem being the demand for advanced weapons/defensive systems. There's
still the problem of lag time. If one group is able to develop a doomsday
technology and deploy it before any other group develops counter-measures
then we're all in trouble. ICBMs can be stopped with SDI, but SDI can't
stop suitcase nukes. It's the suitcase version of germ/nano-warfare that
could set a human born singularity back by thousands of years.


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