Re: Nanotech Restrictions

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 10:28:42 MDT

AAHEMMM... Please note the subject line "Nanotech Restrictions" *NOT*
"Cuban-American" Poltics and *NOT* "WACO (yet again)".

Somedays I wonder if we will ever get to soar like the eagles when
members of the tribe display repeated patterns of attempting takeoffs
with bricks attached to their feet.

Oooops, splat... "And another one's gone, and another one's gone,
And another one bites the dust"... So convenient, they fit so
much better in the cryo tanks with their wings broken...

On Sat, 8 Apr 2000, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> "Adrian Tymes" <> wrote on Saturday, April 08, 2000 3:38
> PM,
> > I call it "enlightened greed", and it is driven by the principle that
> > the correct action is that which will benefit me most in the long term.
> >
> > The important thing is that nowhere in the decision is there
> > consideration of what would be good or bad for anybody else,
> Wouldn't this system lead to mass criminal behavior? If I am a skilled
> hacker, then I can make money easier by stealing it than by working as a
> consultant. According to your system, that would be best for me. Does your
> system lead to this conclusion?

Well, if as a result of criminal behavior, you get imprisoned, presumably
there is a real hit to your long term benefit. So, unless you come up
with the foolproof perfect crime, enlightened self-interest dictates
a fair amount of other-interest.

If you are going to live 2000 years, sooner or later you are going to
have to deal with the cleaning up the mess of your miss-spent youth
(e.g. pollution). So a *real* "long-term" perspective includes an
accounting for the commons, a desire to utilize and allocate resources
most efficiently, and a desire to uplift others to your level (because
its going to get damn boring talking to 10^10 copies of yourself), etc.

I think most people have a *lot* of rethinking to do in order to determine
what their own self-interest is. There are very intersting tradeoffs
between short-term and long-term benefits. You only favor the short
term if you can invoke a "guaranteed early termmination" scenario.
Otherwise investing for the long term is generally a better strategy.

The whole nano-terrorist perspective has problems because its applying
current "scarcity" economics to a post-scarcity environment (unless
one invokes the making 10^10 copies of oneself caveat). The only
terrorist situation I see that makes any sense is an "irrational"
scenario where individuals are motiviated by beliefs and not by needs.

For example, Stephanson's "The Diamond Age", provides no explanation
as to why the benefits of the technologies should not be available
to everyone. It implicitly assumes there are some limits on energy
or mass (for an approx. current Earth level population) and that simply
*is not* true.


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