Re: Freitas on Gray Goo

From: Til Eulenspiegel (
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 23:10:14 MDT

> Oh, they're terribly viable weapons if *you've* got them and the enemy
> *doesn't*. So, diamond is 10x stronger than steel... that means your
> jet might be light enough for you to *outrun* non-diamondoid missiles.

    You might not need diamondoid missiles to shoot down diamondoid planes.
Unmanned aircraft would probably work just fine, esp. if armed with
hypersonic missiles. Modern fighter aircraft are limited in flight by their
most delicate component: human crew. There will be one, maybe two, more
generations of manned fighters. The whole question is rendered moot by the
USAF's development (on-time, under-budget) of the airborne lasers for
theater defense against ballistic missles. Diamondoid, superalloy, or
unobtainium composite, your jet won't be light enough to *outrun* a laser
beam. Evasive actions to break line-of-sight or specialized coatings to
diffuse beam power might help

> Heck, right now, Moscow is screaming because the US is talking about an
> ABM defense.

    Moscow screams about US ABM defense proposals as a political ploy, not
because they seriously believe the limited and marginally competent hardware
possessed by the US poses any real threat to their ability to vaporize big
chunks of North America's cities.
> "A few years?" A heck of a lot can happen in a few years! If the USSR
> had developed nukes "a few years" before the US, instead of vice versa,
> there would have been hell to pay.
    I strongly disagree. At best, USSR instead of USA would have conquered
Japan. At worst, WW2 would have continued in Europe as US and USSR turned on
each other. US casualties would have been terribly high as Soviet bombs fell
on troops advancing through Eastern Europe, but the superior industrial base
of America would have told in time. Ultimately, American nuclear bombs from
Pacific or Indian airfields would have turned USSR's surviving industry to
glass. The Cold War would have started later, another generation would have
been lost to war, and the USSR would have been more tightly confined than it
was in history. I would also expect to see the Cold War end sooner.

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