> In his Re: Automated Workforce post of 12 July to the Extropians list Danny
> >Theres also an article in an issue of Discovery which talks about self
> >replicating robots in the Sahara desert, which create an endless amount of
> >solar panels out of the elements in the sand, including chips, metal railings,
> >factories, furnaces etc...
>> A manufacturing base which could produce thousand square mile quantities of photovoltaic cells, if converted to the production of computing resources, could be expected to crank out some serious -flops worth of computing power. Mayhaps enough bring about the nativity of the first generation, somewhat clunky, pre-nano superintelligence? Just a thought. <<
Yes, and even if no real (super) intelligence were forthcoming, it would still be the most powerful (centralized) computer on the planet, that's always useful.
> I, too, strongly believe that a powerful opportunity is staring us
in the face.
> I can't shake the irksome feeling that shortly, someone with
the vision and indomitable drive of a Bill Gates will seize this opportunity and make it into a reality, and I will be left thinking, "That could have been me."<<
I think there are lots more of these great opportunities that are staring us in the face (like the mind stimulator -- hey Eliezer, how about building one of those? ;-) It's really too bad that there isn't some kind of focussed transhuman effort to do produce and market some of our more feasible ideas. If you set up a company, everyone could buy a couple of shares to start it up. If it fails, personal losses are small, if it turns out to be the next Microsoft then everybody's a big winner. Makes sense? Surely, if all those bright minds on this list alone worked together on a single product there should be some good results fairly soon.