So often I see apocalyptic predictions as the breakdown of rules and law. For instance in the recent post I put up from the Economist about “machine ethics” the problem was presented as a host of new and uncertain challenges to navigate. But what if the biggest potential problems are actually in the building up of new rules and laws? For instance in patenting DNA strands or even entire species, tracking both all internet activity and all offline activity as the two become merged and the subsequent loss of privacy, etc. Far from “when nothing is sacred, everything is permitted,” fewer and fewer things are escaping the watchful eye of some regulatory agency.
Which should we fear more: the breaking down of current society or the building up of a more oppressive one?