Doug Jones wrote:
> Drexler wrote of starting a sellar economy by delivering "a hollow shell of
> strong material several microns in radius and containing about a cubic
> micron of cargo" to another solar system. See
> A few tons and a few people would be more than enough, with hard nanotech.
> Bottom line: Give me the right tools and I could be out of here tomorrow.
To which Robin Hanson replied,
> . . . how fast you could develop
> the tools is part of the question. So.. a month, a year, ten years, or what?
Having mentioned some reasons why the "hard nanotech" might take longer than one might like to reach fruition, I find the prospects for getting viable communities of people into space *soon* to be as problematic as ever. Although I argued earlier that space development could get a good start with just "partial" nanotech, I must admit that big time space access and relocation, with survival basically independent of Earth, might well have to wait for the "real deal", i.e. the "hackable" factory, or "matter compiler" or classic nanoassembler, (or whatever else you may want to call it, call it a "Grail", maybe, like in that Phil Farmer novel, _To Your Scattered Bodies Go_).
The way it looks, we had just better take all reasonable environmental concerns seriously, because what we have here on Earth really is the only game around, at least until we can build molecules all the way up to the point where we have programmable factories and the Nano-Singularity as a consequence. If it's any consolation for us outer space dreamers, isn't this at least a bit reassuring, in the sense that we've got a ways to go, for instance, before any possible radical military effects of these "hacktories"? Presumably, the "hard" nanotech capabilities, with power densities needed for handheld laser weapons and suchlike, are not likely to burst upon us for at least another 25 years or so, anyway.
Finally, now that I've mentioned security related matters, are there any really bright ideas for lessening possible dangers of nanotech, short of running far, far away, that is? Someone is going to tell me that AI's will take over and take care of it all, I'm sure, but I'm really more interested in whether organizations of relatively ordinary humans could somehow deal with this competently?
David Blenkinsop <email@example.com>