Featured image is by Willem van de Velde the Younger.
Let’s say that human beings could only perceive the world, and decide how to act, based on mathematical equations. Further, there are many such equations we could choose from.
Each equation has a history; originally formulated by specific people, with variations devised by other people. Often, attempts at creating wholly original new equations end up having clear predecessors.
Let’s say that there’s one particular equation that outputs flourishing, happiness, and a meaningful life for the widest range of values for the variable X.
Only for a specific set of corner cases of X, its output is that nationwide ethnic cleansing is permissible.
Question: should we throw that equation out entirely?
Well, that depends on what the other equations get you, right? What if all the viable alternatives get you genocide for a wider range of X values? Or what if they give you some horrible outcome other than genocide, how would you even being to weigh different possible horrors?
I don’t have the equation for you to answer those questions.
But even if it ended up being the best of all possible equations, wouldn’t you still want to know that some X values lead to a horrible outcome? Even if you couldn’t determine precisely what those X values were?
And wouldn’t you want to look into the history of the thing, to see if you could find any information on what sorts of horrors it’s capable of producing, and what exactly have caused it to produce it in the past?
I’d hope you would.
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One thought on “Warning: For Some Values of X, Y = Genocide”
Life is so complex that the equation is waiting on the AI computer to solve it. I am equally sure that when it decides there will be no.concern about the cleanse of people it finds unnecessary.
Some people have already tried this approach of cleansing because one race, one religious sect, or modle of government opposed his ideals. Going back in history the early nation of Israel killed men, women and children of the countries they passed through on their way to the promised land.
Modern day leaders have tried the genocide model. Hitler’s atrocities are well known though denial becomes easier with each passing decade. This still continues with the power of hatred one society desiring the elimination of another.
The question is about a mathematical formula that may by some small probability lead to A the utopia we seek or B the ethnic cleansing of one group would I attempt to follow the program hoping to avoid the destruction…
Experience of others who tried to effect their idea of utopia on the world hatred is the known quantity that given power seeks revenge rather than utopia.
Perhaps each of us have varying amounts of hatred, jealousy, sence of right; that utopia is unattainable because we can not find peace internally.