The Internet as an existential threat

post by Kaj_Sotala · 2017-07-09T11:40:50.195Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 3 comments

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comment by ImmortalRationalist · 2017-07-14T19:57:24.401Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Although with a sufficiently advanced artificial superintelligence, it could probably prevent something like the scenario discussed in this article from occurring.

comment by ImmortalRationalist · 2017-07-14T19:56:15.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ted Kaczynski wrote about something similar to this in Industrial Society And Its Future.

We distinguish between two kinds of technology, which we will call small-scale technology and organization-dependent technology. Small-scale technology is technology that can be used by small-scale communities without outside assistance. Organization-dependent technology is technology that depends on large-scale social organization. We are aware of no significant cases of regression in small-scale technology. But organization-dependent technology DOES regress when the social organization on which it depends breaks down. Example: When the Roman Empire fell apart the Romans’ small-scale technology survived because any clever village craftsman could build, for instance, a water wheel, any skilled smith could make steel by Roman methods, and so forth. But the Romans’ organization-dependent technology DID regress. Their aqueducts fell into disrepair and were never rebuilt. Their techniques of road construction were lost. The Roman system of urban sanitation was forgotten, so that not until rather recent times did the sanitation of European cities equal that of Ancient Rome.

comment by lifelonglearner · 2017-07-10T04:16:43.035Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The discussion on the SSC subreddit has some good pushback in the other direction that offers arguments against the vulnerabilities the OP is suggesting.

Short summary:

  • redundancy as a form of security is already industry standard

  • shared system vulnerabilities can also have benefits like common knowledge and solutions generalizing to the whole system.

  • actual scenarios discussed in OP would likely not be as bad, like the solar panel one