Re: Major Technologies

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 18:13:38 -0600

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> But there will be a second group
> doing the breakthrough fairly soon (helped by the knowledge that it is
> possible and the hints they will get by looking at the first group),
> and soon there will be many others with the same capabilities. Here
> comes the assumption Eli and others seem to make, that the first group
> will try to monopolize the technology totally.

I explicitly said otherwise. I said that the naive people at Foresight will publish their breakthroughs and that someone else will try to monopolize the technology totally. Does the US embargo prevent Saddam from visiting Foresight's Web site?


The term "naive" is strong.  I began using this term when, during a
debate on red goo vs. blue goo, I pointed out nobody had proposed any
sort of active shield that would stand up to nuclear weapons, and
someone said, quote, "That's not fair."  Fair?  Whoa.  "I never thought
of that", says the Universe, and everyone comes back to life.  I suppose
that dropping 20 megatons on an undefended city is fair.  Fact is,
offensive technology is running far enough ahead of defensive technology
to blast civilization right now, fair or unfair, and I think the problem
will only get worse.  An honest assertion that active shields can stand
up to fusion weapons is one thing.  Pretending that nobody will try to
use nanotech for military attack and world domination is naive.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.