Friday, September 05, 2008

My Talk at Google

A few days ago I gave a talk at Google on Future Imperfect; the video is now up.


Andrew Rosenberg said...

Hi Dave, thanks for coming.
I'm looking forward to reading your book.
They definitely should give you more time next time.

Kim Mosley said...
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Kim Mosley said...
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Kim Mosley said...

Enjoyed your talk tremendously. In the sense that Buddhists believe that we construct reality in our minds (that it is an illusion) then virtual reality would become an illusion in another dimension.

Unknown said...

In Future Imperfect you list three possible solutions to the difficulty of copyright enforcement.
1. Substitute technological protection for legal protection.
2. Control only large scale copying
3. Permit copying; get revenues in other ways

What do you think of controlling only commercial copying? Would it make any difference to solution 2?

Mike Huben said...

Nice talk. David, you're a great speaker.

I'd think the real problem with the Nozickian experience machine (and most other surrender of personal autonomy, such as drug usage) is the threat that you are making yourself vulnerable to no longer being able to seek your own best interests. For example, you may care that your children are real, but in the experience machine you can be absolutely convinced that they are real even though they are pure fictions.

All play, including World Of Warcraft, presents goals that compete with what you might otherwise consider your own best interests. However, play may also be considered in our own best interests when it is training or conditioning to deal with real-world best interests. That could help explain why we grow tired of some games, refresh ourselves with others, etc.

Anonymous said...

Excellent talk. You succinctly covered a lot of topics. thanks for the link.


Unknown said...

Great talk.

I'd argue, however, that in addition to fraud, force is also available online.

That's what I'd categorize uninvited hacking as, anyway.


I'm admittedly biased, as my profession is a information security specialist.

David Friedman said...

The question of force online.

It seems to me that cracking into a computer is really fraud. It's a complicated form of fraud, deceiving your agent--the computer--instead of you. But you are still the one who can pull the plug, or restore to backup, or in various other ways maintain physical control over the machine. The cracker is simply tricking the computer into doing what he wants instead of what you want.

Anonymous said...

Actually the scariest implication of immortality could be immortal governments - imagine Cuba with an immortal Fidel Castro for example. :(

David Friedman said...

"Actually the scariest implication of immortality could be immortal governments"

That did occur to me. From the book:

"In a world without aging it seems likely that Salazar would still rule Portugal and Franco Spain. It would have been Stalin, equipped with an arsenal of thermonuclear missiles, who presided over, and did his best to prevent, the final disintegration of the Soviet Union. With the aging problem solved, dictatorship could become a permanent condition. Provided, of course, that dictators took sufficient precautions against other sources of mortality."

Unknown said...

I would definitely agree that much of hacking or social engineering is simple or complex fraud. However, some of it, I think, could be classified as force. A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), for example, floods a system with bits (from multiple sources) to cause the system to malfunction or lose operating capacity.

Again, as you say, you could disconnect your computer from the network when this happens, but the hacker has still altered or misused your property without your consent: you are just seeking to restore it.

What gets really scary is that we are now seeing some instances where a person can physically be affected by a hack. One instance was causing epileptic persons to suffer seizures as a result of viewing certain images. Another is the hacking of a person's pacemaker.

Naturally, as we move into more advanced cybernetics and the like, this sort of hacking will be a growing concern.

Unknown said...

Greatly enjoyed your talk. Thanks very much.

But I disagree with your idea of using backlinks in the browser as an answer to libel, because

1) Makers of browsers have no interest to implement such a feature.
It would be nice for the person being libeled. But it doesn't solve a problem for Internet-users.

2) Spam would make such a feature useless. Blog comments and trackbacks are heavily spammed already. And if the backlinks are automatically collected by the browser, they cannot be moderated by the website author.