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[FYI] From Internet Scientist, a Preview of Extinction
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- Subject: [FYI] From Internet Scientist, a Preview of Extinction
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- Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 17:40:41 +0100
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>From Internet Scientist, a Preview of Extinction
By Joel Garreau
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 12, 2000; Page A15
A respected creator of the Information Age has written an
extraordinary critique of accelerating technological change in
which he suggests that new technologies could cause
"something like extinction" of humankind within the next two
The alarming prediction, intended to be provocative, is striking
because it comes not from a critic of technology but rather
from a man who invented much of it: Bill Joy, chief scientist
and co-founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., the leading Web
Joy was an original co-chairman of a presidential commission
on the future of information technology. His warning, he said
in a telephone interview, is meant to be reminiscent of Albert
Einstein's famous 1939 letter to President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt alerting him to the possibility of an atomic bomb.
In a 24-page article in the Wired magazine that will appear on
the Web Tuesday, Joy says he finds himself essentially
agreeing, to his horror, with a core argument of the
Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski--that advanced technology
poses a threat to the human species. "I have always believed
that making software more reliable, given its many uses, will
make the world a safer and better place," Joy wrote in the
article, which he worked on for six months. "If I were to come
to believe the opposite, then I would be morally obligated to
stop this work. I can now imagine that such a day may come."
Joy enjoys a level-headed reputation in the industry. "Nobody
is more phlegmatic than Bill," said Stewart Brand, an Internet
"He is the adult in the room."
"..also stell Dich nicht so an/Runter in den Keller/und reiss Dich
Aus dem Dunkel dringen/seltsame Geraeusche/doch was immer da unten
Du wirst es verscheuchen/wenn Du Mut hast/und dieses Lied singst."
-- Die Antwort, "Runter in den Keller"