Re: poly: The singleton hypothesis

From: Nick Bostrom <>
Date: Sun Apr 26 1998 - 17:42:28 PDT

Hal Finney wrote:

> We already face
> a situation where small groups are capable of causing immense damage to
> the world, through biological or nuclear terrorism. At this point it
> appears that this problem is only going to get worse.
> Advances in biotech may allow for tailored viruses like an air-vectored
> version of ebola (which kills very quickly). In ten or twenty years it
> is likely that virtually any motivated group could create such a bug,
> and it is not at all certain that countermeasures would exist.
> Then of course nanotech will raise the stakes even farther, allowing
> more destructive power and potentially easier design mechanisms.

These are simple but very important insights. (I have yet to hear a
sensible extropian proposal for how do deal with this situation.
Personally I suspect that individual freedom etc. will in the future
only be possible *within* the singleton.)

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Received on Sun Apr 26 23:48:22 1998

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