Increasing Density of Killing Potential: How Will We Adapt?

Given the reality that massive killing power is becoming more and more compact (nanotechnology, suitcase nukes, biological warfare) it’s not hard to foresee a day when one “mad scientist” can take out half or more of a country. How will we adapt? Will the density of killing power increase to the point that the survival of the entire human species becomes determined by its weakest link? (That would suck, eh. I know my share of weak links).

As attacks become more frequent and deadly, I see civil liberties being traded away in bulk. I see “risky” personality types being thrown into asylums in childhood. I see an anti-science attitude becoming rampant. I see interrogations and lie detectors becoming part of daily life.

Is there a better way? I can’t think of any alternatives, though it may be my lack of imagination.

You’re thinking too big.

One man with a sniper rifle kept the entire eastern seaboard in a panic this year.

There have been tons of cases where some nut with a knife paralyzed a city by committing a string of murders.

Who needs high tech?

You’re right of course, but your examples relate to perceived threat, as opposed to real danger. In my scenario, technology increases to the point that one nut can create, say, a virus, that wipes out cities and even nations.

Think Internet worm, except with actual death, not network downtime.

Well if those things come to pass you will see the breakdown of modern society.

If your virus kills the part of the population that say grows the food then everyone else is really in trouble. If say you destroyed a large city with a suitcase nuke I’m pretty sure you would see some retaliation on the same level. What ever country ‘harbored’ the terrorist gets nuked to submission. Then of course there would be a huge economic downturn, and that would lead to… anyway I doubt that the ‘lone madman’ will ever be able to pull anything like this off.

I assume the technology required to turn an entire continent into a pile of shimmering, roiling gray goo will also require some fairly esoteric materials. Anybody with access to that sort of thing will be closely watched. And monitoring technology itself will also (maybe unfortunately) increase as well.

After the Roman Empire collapsed, hundreds of years passed in a period of time known as the “Dark Ages.” Much knowledge of science, mathematics, and engineering was lost. Nothing guarantees that it couldn’t happen again.

History tends to favor a balance of power. Sure, genetics and nanotech can be used to create awesome weapons, but they can also be used to create as-yet-unimagined defenses.

The average gun shop in Texas today has weaponry far superior to Napoleon’s infantry. A band of Texans from 2003 could stop Alexander the Great, suppress the American Revolution, or eliminate invading Vikings before the even got out of their boat. But future weapon technology is balanced with future defence technology.

we adapt the way our ancestors did. make more babies. we deal with it.

Hijuack Alert:

What is the minimum number of people to have enuf genetic diversity to repopulate the earth?

Probably a hundred or so,maybe less, assuming none of these people are related to each other or carry serious genetic diseases.