RE: No Singularity?

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 10:56:57 -0500

Hal Finney wrote:
>Billy Brown, <>, writes, regarding
> > It's mostly an argument against the nano-Santa Claus viewpoint, which
> few of
> > us support in the first place. Those of us who expect the nanotech
> > revolution to look more like the computer revolution (i.e. fast exponential
> > improvements, but not an instant achievement of Nirvana) find nothing
> at all
> > persuasive there.
>In fairness though we do have many people here and in nanotech circles
>who expect a much faster transformation. See Eliezer's recent posts about
>his Singularity Institute, for example. So it is quite appropriate for
>critics such as Lyle to address such claims.

Indeed. In fact, I think Lyle Burkhead is right that this Santa Claus view is the natural one that most readers get from Engines of Creation, and that Drexler has not explicitly enough disavowed it in print. Thus it is fair game for Lyle to critique. I do think Billy Brown is right though, in saying that few smart folks who take nanotech seriously are thinking of this Santa view.

>... I agree
>that this is a useful way to access the site, although I suspect that
>the author is unaware of these annotations and hence not in a position
>to respond.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323