Re: Nuke Weapon Mishaps--was Re: Bill Joy on the CBS evening news

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 08:41:59 MST

On Sat, 6 Jan 2001, John Marlow wrote:

> Oh this is beautiful; how to make nanotechnology even
> harder! I agree that such precautions could be taken.
> Will they be, by all parties? Not likely. Limiting the
> things in such ways will drastically reduce their
> usefulness.

No, it makes design *easier*. A broadcast architecture is simpler than
designing all the computing power on-board. Encrypted instructions are
almost trivial...and help a company prevent reverse engineering. Relying
on special preprepared "nutrients" is *much* easier than designing to
forage in the wild.

I've spoken with some of the top researchers about is *very
hard* to design wild replicators, and of very limited use. I can see,
myself, only two uses for a "wild" replicator: offensive military, and
possibly terraforming when you are unable to deliver more than a few
milligrams of payload (say a distant start system). If anyone can figure
out some other use for *self-replicating nanoscale devices* that cannot be
done with some other architecture, I'd like to hear it.


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