Re: Nanodevelopment [was Re: Calculating a personal long term good]

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 23:14:50 MDT

Robert Bradbury wrote:
> On Sun, 9 Apr 2000, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> > For those who know enough to take advantage of future tech, there is
> > potential for boundless resources, given time. But at any specific date
> > in the future, there will always be a finite number of people aware of
> > the realities of nano, and a finite amount of time between now and then.
> But there is a relatively long lead time up to nano (10's of years),
> during which people will become aware of what it can do for them.

Some people, yes. You and I, definitely. The stereotypical African
villager, probably not.

> > Unlimited production does not mean immediately infinite supply, no
> > matter how much we wish it were otherwise.
> No, but once you have real "almost anything" boxes, you do get to the
> "infinite supply" position for most human needs relatively quickly.
> It is only a matter of days to give everyone alive an AA box. This
> is obvious if you think about the doubling times. The mass doubling
> times for AA boxes are of the order of hours. The mass doubling times
> for humans are of the order of months to years.

Ok, so you have more AA boxes than there are people on Earth. And let's
say you can ship these boxes to every person - a challenge, perhaps, but
not insurmountable. How do you:
* get everyone's attention long enough to inform them of what an AA box
* convince every person that an AA box is worth having
* communicate to every person how to use the AA box (even if you just
  have to put on a headband and imagine the desired object, you still
  have to know to put on the headband first)

Granted, if one makes a halfway decent effort to meet these challenges,
then being a "have not" becomes unarguably voluntary from the point of
view of the "haves". But if one remains poor and ignorant, one may well
believe that there is no way out, despite the fact that a way out is
repeatedly offered, maybe even shoved in one's face...and one still

If, as will likely be the result, some people have AA boxes and others
don't, then you will still see some human beings dealing with limited
resources - not the upper class by any means, but they still exist. And
it is therefore realistic to write about such characters, even in a
world which has AA boxes.

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