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

From: John Marlow (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 19:17:53 MST

Well to begin with, you specify nannites which work
only in vacuum. Living "products" we might wish to
construct cannot survive in a vacuum. Likewise, it
would be difficult to constrct, say, skyscrapers in a

And if the past is any indication, the bulk of the
funding will be for weapons research--and their goal
is, as you acknowledge, "wild" disassemblers.

john marlow


At 09:41 AM 1/6/2001 -0600, you wrote: 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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