Merkle to ACM: why "relinquishment" can't work

from the why-the-good-guys-have-to-work-work-work dept.
Foresight advisor Ralph Merkle responds to Bill Joy's concerns in an interview for ACM's Ubiquity: "…if we attempt to block the development of new technology, if we collectively try and say, 'These technologies are technologies that are not meant for humans to understand,' and we try to back away from them, what we effectively have done is not to block the technologies, we have simply ensured that the most responsible parties will not develop them…In other words, a relinquishment of the new technology, unless it is absolutely 100 percent effective, is not effective at all. If it's 99.99 percent effective, then you simply ensure that the .01 percent who pays no attention to such calls for relinquishment is the group that will develop it."

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