Human Weaknesses – Part 1

On the NEW COMPENDiUM the focus is expressly on finding protection from exploits targeting human weaknesses, and in order to achieve that, all human weaknesses are classified and catalogized according to the well-known and widely accepted Maslow’s Pyramid (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model). Because of the specific context it is altered in some ways to reflect the realities of our present day and our probable future.

The knowledge base is ordered from bottom to top, in an order of importance, according to the degree of danger to human life a particular class of weaknesses presents.

The  Knowledge Base is continued here: >> HUMAN WEAKNESSES – PART 2<<

HW1A The human weaknesses

HW1A1. Modelling human weaknesses: the Maslow Pyramid

The Maslow Pyramid (officially the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory) is a fairly successful attempt to describe the human needs and their relations to each other. It lays a foundation by determining the humans as biological organizations first and foremost, true to species and variety. The theory then adds further layers of hierarchical needs, with all subsequent layers being of lesser importance than the preceding one. While the theory had been published in 1943, it has not lost its validity even today. For the sake of truth, it should be noted that although the theory is widely accepted in the broader public, it has been criticized in scientific circles for its “unscientific” approach.

However, as one researcher notes: “The continued resonance of Maslow’s theory in popular imagination, however unscientific it may seem, is possibly the single most telling evidence of its significance: it explains human nature as something that most humans immediately recognize in themselves and others”. For this very reason we find it appropriate to base our knowledge base on the model.

The revised model of the Maslow Pyramid. It contains five described layers and one transcendent and un-described one.

HW1A2. Biological and physiological weaknesses

Biological and physiological weaknesses are arising from the physical and boichemical requirements for human survival. Biological and physiological needs are the most important, since if these requirements are not met, the human being simply cannot exist. Thus, a human living environment can only be exist if and when the biological and physiological conditions are met. Consequently any exploit that targets the existence of these conditions are the most severe for the human beings.

HW1A2.1. Physical resistance of the human body

The human body is able to withstand a number of physical pressures, but it is dependent on age and health conditions. The resilience of a human body can only be imagined within a range of values, that could be different from individual to individual, but there are values that no human body could withstand without some sort of protective measures.

The human body could withstand a certain level of physical impact, but it is dependent of many factors, such as:

  • which body part is affected by the physical impact,
  • whether the injury could be fully healed,
  • what kind of permanent disabilities it will cause and what impact will it have on later autonomy.

Despite the human body’s abilities to recover and heal itself (luckily with medical help) there are certainly cases where and when the human body can not survive a physical impact. Such impact types are (including but not limited to):

HW1A2.1.1. Collision with a solid object (incuding projectiles)

This human weakness is one of the easiest to target, and it could be done by faulty or intentional commands by the softwares and / or the artifical intelligence of self-driving vehicles, weapons tageting systems, a machine moving significant weights (such as a forklift or an elevator), etc. Cases may differ, but the mechanism is always the same: the human body meets an object having a higher density / higher strength and resistance to deformation than that of the human body, and the collision takes place at a significant velocity.

Such events could be numerous, but the use of firearms, explosives and most accidents could be firmly placed into this class.

HW1A2.1.2. Exposure to extremely low or extremely high temperatures

The human body could not survive exposure to extreme temperatures for an extended period, because these lead to frostbite and heat stroke respectively. This weakness could be targeted trough any machine that controls the temperature of a confined space, such as a building or a vehicle.

HW1A2.1.3. Exposure to freezing or burning

The human body can not possibly survive freezing and burning, because both of these lead to irreversible physical and chemical changes in the body which are incompatible with life. This weakness could be targeted by any machine that controls or develops frosting or fire.

HW1A2.1.4. Exposure to extremely high current or voltage

If the human body is somehow becomes part of the circuit, an exposure to extremely high current or voltage could be mortal. While it could happen in the nature as a consequence of a lightning strike, it is more probable around electical equipment. This weakness could be exploited trough all machines that are consumes electricity, and is able by design to accumulate and discharge electric shock. This is usually done by a capacitor, which stores potential energy in an electric field. Capacitors are having charging and discharging cycles, and in the latter it is possible to force one or more capacitors to discharge enough electricity to harm a human operator or a bystander. Since the capacitors are known for a number of untrustworthiness, such as capacitance instability, leakage and electrolytic failure from disuse with an insider knowledge of a given system’s circuitry it is possible to design such an exploit.

HW1A2.1.5. Exposure to extremely low or high pressures

Exposure to extremely low or high pressures, which are different from the Earth’s atmospheric pressure and gravity to a large extent would make a human body incompatible with life. The human body is pretty much optimized for operating on the surface of the Earth, and deviations in the pressure significantly reduces its chances to properly function – or make it outright impossible.

This class of human weaknesses could be exploited trough the manipulation of pressure control, air ventillation systems or by deliberately causing extremely high pressures trough controlled shock waves over and above normal atmospheric pressure. Shock waves could be caused by sonic boom or by explosion for example.

HW1A2.1.6. Exposure to abnormal radiations

The human body is accustomed to bear radiations that are consistent with the natural background radiation on the face of the Earth. These include cosmic radiation and environmental radioactivity from such as naturally occurring radioactive materials including radon and radium. Exposure to extreme radiation could render the environment of a human unsuitable to survive in.

This weakness could be exploited trough leverage of man-made radiation sources, which are usually controlled by computers, such as x-ray and computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, Radio Detection And Ranging (radar) devices, primary effects and fallout of the use of nuclear weapons and any contemporary or future technologies using any wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

A number of radiations of currently unknown (to us, that is) origin and character were and are used by actors accross the board, like reading and altering the human brainwaves and the use of sonic wave to inflict bodily harm.

HW1A2.2. Biological resistance of the human body

The human body, being a living organ has only a limited possible biological resistance to chemicals, germs, viruses and illnesses. Within the scope of commonplace illnesses, to include genetic and immune system disorders, there are chances of recuperation and healing – even more so if treatment is done by health specialists. But in the event of the use of agents that has been designed especially to be incurable and unbearable or if certain factors render curing impossible, exposure to biological agents is certainly mortal.

Although the use of biological and / or chemical weapons of mass destruction was thougth to be unrealistic, they have been used in both targeted and mass attacks against people, both on the battlefields and in peaceful urban environments. And as the magnitude of the use of such weapons of mass destruction is increasing, it could not be ruled out that it will be used again somtimes and someplace.

Skeletal formula of the chemical weapon / nerve agent going by the name “Agent November” or “Substance-33”, which has at least one documented use in a non-combat environment. (image source: Yikrazuul \ Wikipedia)

While these agents are usually heavily guarded and controlled by state actors, their potential use by AI-driven drones or other mechanisms could not be ruled out either, because it would not require human assets to deliver it and for this very same reason a case of plausible deinability is also provided.

HW1A2.3. Breathing

Human beings are required to breathe in order to function. The air that is breathable is roughly 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and it contains small volumes of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and hydrogen by volume. If any of the above mentioned component is missing or its percentage is changed significantly – it makes human life impossible. (From a scientific point of view it is a complex and multi-discipline issue, governed largely by atmospheric chemistry and pulmonology.)

This human weakness can be exploited by the machines or those who can have a control over machines.

If any mechanism that is controlling the flow of air in confined spaces, such as buildings and vehicles a malfunction occurs due to technical failure or intentionally, human lives could be and will be endangered. Also, computerized fire-fighting systems that are based on the principle to extinguish fires by putting non-flammable gases onto the source of the fire could be switched on, even in cases where there are no fires present. This cessentially means that a machine could replace breathable air with non-breathable gases, that could lead to the death of humans present in the concerned airspace.

HW1A2.4. Access to water

The human body is composed of roughly 70% of water and the normal functioning of the body requires an almost constant access to potable water. Water is universally required for the maintenance of homeostasis in the human body. If a human body is cut off from the opportunity to acquire water, it leads to dehydration, which is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes and which eventually leads to terminal dehydration in a matter of days.

The water at room temperature is a tasteless and odorless liquid, and is nearly colorless – which makes it difficult for humans to determine whether a source of water is contaminated or not – without instruments.

While it is the most plentiful substance on Earth, more and more people find it difficult to access water. The lack of adequate quality and quantity of water has now become a deep-seated cause of many armed conflicts.

The dependence of human beings on the access to water could be expolited primarily by targeting water filtration, water pumping, water level regulation and water distribution systems, but being the most prolific substance in the the human diet it is equally possible to target any food processing mechanism that uses water as an ingredient in any form.

HW1A2.5. Access to food

Food is any substance consumed that is required for normal physiological function that cannot be synthesized in the body – either at all or in sufficient quantities – and thus must be obtained from a dietary source. Apart from water, essential nutrients are indispensable for various cellular metabolic processes and maintaining tissue and organ function. In the case of humans, there are nine amino acids, two fatty acids, thirteen vitamins and fifteen minerals that are considered essential nutrients. In case of an inability to access food, the human body is gradually degraded to the point when it is unable to function.

This human weakness can not be easily exploited for the time being other than physically preventing someone from getting food. While it sounds almost impossible to some, but it is a historical fact that famine was used more than once as a weapon of war and the resulting starvation caused millions of deaths in the last few decades. The notion that  AI-assisted supply chains could be able to design scenarios which disrupt the distribution of food in such a way that it could lead to famines is far from being impossible.

HW1A2.6. Sleeping / regeneration of the human body

The human body needs  a recurrent state of sleeping in order to regenerate and to be able to fuction properly in the awaken state. However there are no references of occurences of long-term total sleep deprivation of people, it is noteworthy that lab animals were indeed been deprived of sleep to the point of dying. For the purpose of this knowledge base we assume that it is not impossible to deprive a human of sleeping to the point that s/he can not survive it.

Exploiting this weakness could be done in many ways, especially by putting a human in a position when her / his safety is constantly endangered to such an extent that s/he can only evaded by continously watch out for the dangers and to move away from these. By the use of loitering drones equipped with both the necessary sensors to track humans and both weaponry to attack them, it is more than possible today to do so.

HW1A2.7. Clothing / temporary protection from the elements

The human body needs protection from the elements, especially from temperatures that are widely different from its internal temperature. This weakness so far wasn’t ever expolited to our knowledge and it would be hard to think about one – yet theoretically it could be exploited one day.

HW1A2.8. Shelter / permanent protection from the elements

People living in extreme weather conditions  for extended periods (say, trough a winter) need shelter that will at least protect them as long as they sleep. This weakness could be exploited by the destruction of possible shelters, making the routes that lead to possible shelters impassable and by controlling one or more conditions of a possible shelter such a way that it renders it useless.

While we have no knowledge of attacks ever taking place in order to intentionally devoid people of their shelters, this is always the result of any prolonged armed conflict, because an area of destroyed buildings is ain’t necessarily classify as a location of a potential shelter (and even less so if the area is contested by the warring parties).

Rubbles and ruins of a war aren’t necessarily provide shelter for the people. (image source: (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)

HW1A2.9. Desire for sexual intercourse

While the most definitive property of sex is the aspect of reproduction and the generation of new individuals, it is not necessarily this aspect why the need for sexual discourse is so pressing in certain individuals. While the need for intimacy is equally typical for almost every human being, a strong sexual drive is not. However, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this knowledge base a number of people are having such strong sexual desires, that are more important for them than any of the needs that are coming hierarchically after this class of weakness.

It is debatable at lengths whether which gender or which group of people or which individuals are actually have such strong desires, but we think it is sufficient to note that the eight largest online streaming porn video sites are together reported to be one of the top three consumers of bandwidth in the world, and their users are accounting for an estimated 35% of total Internet downloads. And this is only the eight largest online streaming video porn sites. This means that porn – which is nothing more than pictorial representation of sexual intercourses- serves very deep and very basic needs of people.

This becomes a human weakness as soon as it could be targeted by exploits, and the number of existing exploits that are related somehow to the human desire for sexual intercourse is practically infinite even today. Part of these are simple scams, but more and more new exploitative methods are born every day. And because most of the dating, messaging and the porn is based on computers and are constantly analyzed by machine-learning-driven  AIs, it is already a weakness that is being expolited by machines, big time.