Quote of the day—John Robb

Over time, perhaps in as little as twenty years, and as the leverage provided by technology increases, this threshold will finally reach is culmination—with ability of one man to declare war on the world and win. Now, with every improvement in genetic engineering and nanotechnology (only some of many potential threats), we come closer to the day when a single individual will have the budget, the knowledge, and the tools necessary to make this future possible.

John Robb
Brave New War, page 8.
[As Brett has told us:

Three weeks of utilities are all that separate us from savagery.

And also:

What people can do with what they buy at the gun store doesn’t bother me much. It’s what the brilliant molecular biologist who has gone sideways can do in his basement in mayonnaise jars that absolutely terrifies me.

I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles to Robb’s claim. And if he is correct then we are now 10 years or less from this prophecy becoming a reality.

I’m reminded of a t-shirt I have. On the front it says, “One man can change the world.” On the back it says, “With enough ammunition.” Perhaps the back should be edited to say, “With the correct type of ‘ammunition’”.—Joe]


10 thoughts on “Quote of the day—John Robb

  1. John Ringo, suggested it maybe much closer than that in his Black Tide Rising series
    First book Under A Graveyard Sky has someone using juniors first gene – splicing kit to create virus induced zombies. No higher brain function but highly aggressive and contiguous, but still living not dead .

    • I read the first three in that series. Pretty good stuff.

      I’m not sure there was someone who “won” in that scenario, but your point is valid.

  2. On the Gripping Hand (neo-classical scify reference), a robust diy molecular biology technology using techniques like crispr-CAS9 gene splicing and senescent cell removal or prevention treatments provide a diy counter force to the efforts of the stipulated “crazed individual molecular biologist” threat, and likely advance notice of his/her existence due to the probable high likelihood of overlap in that particular Venn diagram (whether or not anyone will pay attention in advance of catastrophy is a separate issue).

    Yet another example of the reality of freedom not being free of cost.

    • History tells us that people can be totally manipulated by very simple, old-fashioned methods– No need for fancy gene splicing and other such strenuous, high-tech means. But whatever.

      • The threat under discussion was “a brilliant molecular biologist who has gone sideways”. Speculating that a robust culture of independent molecular biologists, at least some of whom might be engaged in using certain molecular biology techniques, might be expected to provide an independent counter to said “evil genius” as well as early recognition of the threat offered. But whatever.

  3. “It’s what the brilliant molecular biologist who has gone sideways can do in his basement in mayonnaise jars that absolutely terrifies me.”

    Well, if you’re already “terrified” then you’ve already lost the war.

    Also, this goes right along with my assertion (in response to the frequent cases of genuine stupidity among politicians) that I’d prefer a right-principled simpleton any day, over an evil genius, that our political problems will never be solved by requiring an IQ test for public service, etc. The constitutional Oath is right there, and has been all along. There’s nothing more to be done as far as rule-making. Rather, this is all about enforcement.

    Also; “We struggle not with flesh and blood, but with Principalities, and corruption is high places…” You’re already subsidizing the most likely, deadliest enemies of the state (and of Mankind), weakening yourself while strengthening them.

    Keeping people terrified is part of it. I keep using the term “Back on our heels and walking on eggshells” to describe the simple state of distraction, and how easy it is to induce in millions of people.

  4. As always, it’s not the lone lunatic, no matter how powerful his weapon(s), that I fear, it’s the governments with the resources, population and propaganda that will exterminate us.

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