Re: Nanotech Arms Race

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 26 Jan 1999 01:34:28 -0600

Billy Brown wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > My suggestion for inertial confinement fusion wasn't intended as a
> > "nanofusion" power source, but as a method of constructing fusion
> > weapons without carrying around a lot of uranium. I specifically
> > originated the suggestion when someone purported to prove that
> > nanotechnological attacks would be less powerful than modern weaponry,
> > which is absurd.
> Well, obviously we will still have nukes, and I imagine we'll be able to
> make them a bit smaller than we can now. I'm not sure why we are focusing
> so much on nanobots, however - IMO, systems of cheap robotics with widely
> varying scales are far more effective than swarms of nanobots.

Yeah, but a bunch of nanobots can link arms and turn themselves into robots on any desired scale - and self-repair, and disintegrate into a cloud of dust if anyone comes looking. That's part of what I meant about it being absurd to say that nanotech is less powerful than macrotech. Nanobots can simulate robots any time, and the simulations can do things that blunt robots can't.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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