Re: Bill Joy on the CBS evening news

Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 15:24:16 MST

"S.J. Van Sickle" wrote:

> Well, yes. Frankly, I find the differences between the extinction of the
> human race, extinction of all higher life, and extinction of D.
> radiodurans to be rather academic. Call me selfish.

Because radioisotope contamination doesn't last forever, it won't
exterminate humanity. Nor even higher life, considering how
much resources the full-scale Armageddon project would take.

This is rather academic indeed. Let's say we have 10 k nukes.
Each produces 100 kg pure Co-60 or similiar nasty isotope
(probably one order of magnitude too much), which is spread
uniformly. Look up the surface of the Earth, and how much
isotope/m^2 the surface sees. Sr-90 would have a better
yield, since accumulating in bone, and thus
irradiating bone marrow from within, but still: you don't get
the isotope nuclei seek out animals actively.

Also, you underestimate the resilience of biological life and
overestimate how much punch dirty nukes have. Exterminating
higher life would be a major long-term project for humanity.
What is possible physically is not necessarily possible

As opposed to releasing a single micron sized machine into
the environment, in best case.
> > Similiar things said Dr. Strangelove.
> Ummm...that was a movie.

Yes. A movie with a point.

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