Subject: Re: Questions about Symbolics lisp machines
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 16:39:31 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Christopher Browne
| Larry Niven has played the game, too, with an essay or two on what would
| be the effect of having "replicator machines."

  A disturbingly large fraction of science fiction is based on the premise
  "what if infinite amounts of energy were free".  I used to enjoy this
  greatly, until it dawned on me that speculation like this is worthless.
  There is an insurance company that annoys me with its stupid ads on CNN
  these days, with the punch line "if you take away risk, anything is
  possible".  Yes, way, way too much of anything is possible without risk.
  Risk is what makes us think, value, prioritize, and ultimately allocate
  our time wisely.  Would ethics be the same if you could not be hurt,
  could not die?  I do not think so.  I think ethics evolved from realizing
  that people can get hurt and will die.  Risking harm is good, but being
  able to control risk is even better.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.