Re: Nanotech Restrictions (was: RE: Transparency Debate)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 05:24:12 MDT

Adrian Tymes <> writes:

> Just a theory, but maybe...
> * In order to effectively use these technologies, one must acquire a
> lot of knowledge.
> * In the process of acquiring said knowledge, people typically learn of
> ways to solve problems better (cheaper/faster/more effective) than
> violence and mass slaughter.
> * By the time one amasses the facilities and knowledge to actually use
> these in a terrorist capacity, one has usually moved beyond terrorist
> tactics and onto tactics that actually accomplish whatever ends were
> desired. (Exception: if one is extremely devoted to a cause that
> acknolwedges no solution except death to one's enemies, for instance
> with the Iraqi weapons labs.)
> Does this seem plausible, or is there some major logic hole that I'm not
> seeing?

I'm not sure, but isn't the fact that several major dictators have got
quite solid academic educations a problem for this model? I seem to
recall that Pol Pot went to Sorbonne, the current Bhutan junta to
Harvard and so on. Of course, they might have majored in the wrong
specialities :-)

Overally, I think your model explains part of why we do not see hordes
of well educated terrorists. But I still see enough engineers with
good knowledge of engineering and an apalling lack of sociology to
make me suspect there are other reasons too.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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