Goo is grey not black

John Clark (
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 12:44:54 -0400

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:

>If it ever gets up to that point with military goo, we'll have lost so
>totally that - hell, I don't even have words for it. Try this: We'll
>be really, really, dead.

We'd be dead but the Earth might get a second chance. If Nanotech goo took over the world things would certainly be bleak but perhaps not totally hopeless, just gray not black. If the worst happened you'd have an astronomical number of tiny machines smaller than bacteria each with more computational power than a supercomputer. The machines would be distributed more or less evenly over the surface of the Earth in a layer several hundred to several thousand feet deep. The main energy source on such a planet would be sunlight and chemical energy residing in the sea of machines itself. A machine that could go higher and put his fellows in the shade or was strong enough to eat his companions would be at a advantage. Natural radiation would sometimes scramble the programming of these machines and I would define life as information that changes by natural selection. I think you see where I'm going with this.

I suspect that very soon the principles of Lamarck would predominate over those of Darwin and the goo machines would start to inherit characteristics that their parent had acquired, if so then physical evolution would happen as swiftly as cultural evolution does today.

John K Clark