What types of weapons will use self-replication (which in this context means the ability to easily and rapidly make exact copies of themselves on a massive scale without human oversight)?
Here’s a really simple taxonomy. Had some fun with this. All of these use rapid, very difficult to counter self-replication to do massive damage.
- Weaponized computer worms/viruses/malware. Legal bot networks that control/manipulate society and markets (think in terms of quant hedge funds). That’s the White horse. Conquest.
- Drones/robots. Weaponized drones that at first self-perpetuate by acquiring fuel from the environment. Weaponized drones that can self-replicate ala 3-D fabrication and scavanged materials (think rep-rap). That’s the Red Horse. War.
- Superbugs/superweeds (some may be aided by engineered modification, but all get their start due to the stupidity of growing food in monocultures). Organisms that can wipe out monocultures and cause the loss of productive farmland and crops ond a global scale. That’s the Black Horse. Famine.
- Plague. Genetically modified weapons, laboratory mistakes, or naturally occuring disease (due to too much physical proximity) that result in plagues. That’s the Pale Green horse. Death.
Again, folks. The only long term counter to self-replication is through the smart decentralization afforded by networked resilient communities.
Communities that produce most of what they need locally. Communities that can physically disconnect themselves as needed. Communities that aren’t dependent on complex global computer systems that can be corrupted. Communities that use diverse polycultures to produce their food.