Re: The Singularity and Nanotechnology

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 17:24:11 -0400

Twirlip of Greymist wrote:
> On Sep 28, 10:01pm, "Dr. Rich Artym" wrote:
> } I wonder though, is there anyone else on the list besides Lyle that
> } doesn't believe that MNT will achieve the bulk of the things that are
> } being predicted for it? It would be good to know --- it might save us
> I've expressed skepticism in response to the messianic MNT fervor
> expressed by some, including you, I thought on both lists, some time
> ago. "Drextech." Certainly doubt as to whether useful general
> assemblers will be achieved 'soon'. I don't have any strong arguments
> to drag out, just a concern as to whether the engineering problems might
> turn out to be much more difficult than expected.

When I read "Engines of Creation," I ended up with the same feeling you
have. I therefore bought "Nanosystems" and read it (reasonably)
I feel that I have enough technical background to evaluate Drexler's
arguments in "Nanosystems", except for the thermodynamics. I found the
arguments convincing. I consider the proposition
A) "a MNT factory can build another MNT factory"
to be proven in theory. I consider the proposition
B) "given a MNT assembler, we can build a MNT factory"
to be proven in theory. I consider the proposition
C) "We know how to build the first MNT assembler without using MNT"
to be unproven. However, I appears to me to be likely. It's therefore an
assumption in my line of reasoning.

My discussions with Robin lead to explicit statement of the following
additional proposition:
D) "we will develop capable MNT design software."
This is not proven, so you may treat it as a premise. I'll call it a
professional judgement.

Now, My various random posts may not constitute a formal proof, but
I feel that C and D lead to A and B. I also feel that A, B, and D lead
to rapid feedback, economic meltdown, and the Singularity.