Re: LIST: the Gooies
19 Apr 1999 21:37:12 -0000

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:

> THE SCENE: Deep in the laboratories of the Singularity Emergency
> Response Team.
> Mitchell Porter came running in, waving an email. "Zyvex has had a
> little accident, and grey goo has eaten three major cities! What will
> we do?"
> "Let's use the anti-grey-goo nuclear weapons!" cried one person. "No,
> the blue goo!" "The active immune systems!" Conversation in the room
> quickly threatened to degenerate into chaos.

"Let's light a match!" cried Damien Sullivan. All conversation instantly hushed, as the room turned toward the one person who threatened the dignity of the crisis.

"If the goo consists of tiny diamond engines, it consists of microscopic particles of pure carbon. Like coal dust and the contents of grain silos, only purer and finer. It should explode in the presence of a spark and oxygen. In fact," he said slowly, his forehead frowning in doubt, "how could goo eat three cities? How could particle of pure carbon dismantle cars, power stations, power lines, smokers? One dropped cigarette should more than avenge any gooed smoker."

"April Fool!" said Mitchell Porter, dashing out.

> Says you. It could just as well happen after a decade. Straw man.
> Nobody specified overnight.

If the goo takes a decade to take over the world then we have a lot of time to fight it.

Randall Randall <> wrote:

> It will very likely be made out of diamond, or similar materials. I am
> unaware that any natural lifeform is able to use diamond as raw material,

Try fire. Oh, wait, not a lifeform. The goo must be safe.

And diamond and corundum take a fair bit of energy to chemically manipulate. What's powering this goo?

-xx- Damien Raphael Sullivan X-)