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

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 19:50:54 MST

On Sat, 6 Jan 2001, John Marlow wrote:

> 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.

There is a big difference between "wild disassemblers" and "wild
replicators" in difficulty and complexity.

I can think of many military uses for nanotech that do not require
nanoscale self-replication. The vast majority of research into biological
weapons, for instance, has focused on organisms that do not easily infect
from person to person, so that the effects can be localized and

Of course, then the Soviets had a major failure of sense and weaponized
smallpox, so I can hardly argue that your senario is impossible. All I
maintain is that a wild replicator is so much more difficult to design and
construct than more specialized devices that, if we are smart and don't
try to supress research, countermeasures and defenses can be in place
before your killer bug gets loose.


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