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

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 20:59:09 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> 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 :-) takes a different mentality to lead an army of ignorant
buillies, than to oversee a group of educated scientists. Quite
probably, almost any person on this list - on the slightly inaccurate
assumption that this list is representative of people who are at least
slightly informed about the most powerful new technologies of today -
would not stand to have suggestions for improvements ignored and
unappreciated day after day if a better option (defection to the other
side with lots of classified info) were available.

> 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.

The pursuit of knowledge and true power makes one less interested in the
pursuit of power over people?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:04 MDT