RE: Submolecular nanotech [WAS: Goals]

Eugene Leitl (
Sun, 23 May 1999 23:36:02 -0700 (PDT)

O'Regan, Emlyn writes:

> I don't think its going to be all that difficult to convince customers
> that these things are safe particularly - ufog sounds like the
> consumer's dream, and its incredible appeal as the ultimate in consumer
> durables must outstrip fear of its danger (even if that fear is well
> founded). Is ufog more dangerous than a car? Than having guns around the
> house? Than having cleaning products in your laundry?

Oh, people would believe that these things are safe. People will just about believe anything if it gives them an apparent local-minimum advantage. People can't help it, since they're built this way. And because majority rules we'll be always in trouble.

Of course these things won't be safe, even if there was no autoreplicator capability built-in. No man-made computers are provably secure, and hacked nanofoglets make great arms or bootstrap tools for creating true autoreplicators. Positional control is what we are lacking, and there is no utility fog without advanced positional control.

(However, I honestly believe no utility fog will be ever built, since we either screw us up first *real tight*, or evolve beyond the necessety of needing utility fog at all before we have a chance of building it. If you can work with electronically excited states and photons, why on earth would you want to drag atoms around? (Disclaimer: system maintenance and coevolutionary artefacts excluding)).