Re: poly: The singleton hypothesis

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Thu Apr 30 1998 - 12:37:30 PDT

Nick B. writes:
>> You're assuming that any single dominant power must be all knowing
>> and all powerful. ...
>The slave owners lacked certain essential technologies. For example,
>they could not read the slaves' minds, and they could not simply
>program the slaves to totally embrace whatever values the slave
>owners wanted them to have. ... peoples' brains will no longer be
>blackboxes where all sorts of unexpected things can happen; they
>will be computational structures amendable to direct
>manipulation by anybody in power at time zero.

There is a vast difference between a single world government and a
such a totalitarian power. Even when it in principle possible to read
and modify brains, it will be at first very expensive. I find it pretty
implausible that the first power to effectively use nanotech for military
purposes will quickly also have the power to economically change human
brains to be joyfully obedient without substantially sacrificing their

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Thu Apr 30 19:47:40 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:30 PST