Monday, October 25, 2010

WMD Risks and Consequence Mitigation (Under-implemented Singleton)

Michael Anisimov has another good post about the accelerating risk of genetically enginered bioviolece at

In considering our children’s future with genetically engineered bioviolence, I would add Dr. Dexler’s famous 2007 comment that “…Advancing technologies will eventually make it easy to suppress terrorism. The great struggle will be to keep this power from suppressing too much more.” Sir Martin Rees voiced the same concern in his 2006 Edge interview, even calling it his “greatest concern”. See also Nick Bostrom’s similar concern within his excellent ‘What is a Singleton’ article at his website.

Another excellent website on this topic is Peter Hollings at Peter's book, available at his website or, is also highly recommended.

If a technologically- enhanced, single regulatory authority is a possible (or likely) consequence of emerging technologies and super-empowered individual violence, what is the more likely outcome? For example, what does the history of man’s implementation of complex projects tell us about the likelihood of under-planning, under-testing, erronous implementation and other unintended consequences from a hastily implemented Singleton? As Nick Bostrom himself wrote, trial and error is not an effective approach to existential risks.

Is it possible that mass bioviolence is now otherwise unpreventable and that our best actionable focus is to mitigate the risks of an under-implemented Singleton? Is this issue even being discussed?

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