Re: Bill Joy on the CBS evening news

Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 13:11:24 MST

"S.J. Van Sickle" wrote:
> Really? And when have nuclear weapons been used by mistake? I don't see

Nukes are macroscopic, made from rare elements with high infrastructure
costs and don't autoreplicate. Isolated deployment is negligeable, massive
deployment is not Armageddon class in respect to biological life,
especially humanity. Gdeaths you'll get, albeit with (noncamouflageable)
investments on the , but not sustainable kill.

Molecular weapons (industrial use is safe with minimal design-level
and environment precautions) are microscopical, made from ubiquitous
elements and do autoreplicate. Exact impact is of olive nano unknown
but due to estimations I think you can only achieve a dynamic
weapon-countermeasure equilibrium, at great running costs to anything
organic. Deployment of microscopic amounts can easily become irreversible.

Nanotechnology is a metatechnology, a great enabler of other technologies,
most of them not yet invented/nonviable. I have great respect against
conventional weapons of mass destruction (ABC), but machine-phase
molecular autoreplicators (N) are in an utterly different class.

> how simply increasing the possible consequences would cause us to *reduce*
> the current safeguards or make an accident more likely. Quite the
> opposite.

Fissibles are quite easily controlled. Much more difficult with a virus
design kit, and quite impossible with nanotechnology, which provides and
propagates means for its own production. As soon as Pandora's box is open,
there's no going back.

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