RE: Security and Naughty Tech (was Re: LIST: the Gooies)

Billy Brown (
Tue, 20 Apr 1999 09:19:29 -0500

O'Regan, Emlyn wrote:
> What can you do about this kind of thing? No regulations, or set of
> conventions, or anything like that is going to stop such an advance (if
> it is possible, which I am betting it will be). We could legislate and
> regulate until we're blue in the face, and end up being wiped out (in
> any number of ways) by a program which starts "This Krazy Brane created
> by the Phunky Phreaky Hacker Whackers club, yeah, we are the best"..

IMO, you are looking for solutions in the wrong place. Social control has never succeeded at controlling a new technology for long, and there is no reason to think that things will be any different in the future. A better weapon for controlling technology is generally other technologies.

If you think that a particular nasty technology could be contained by the proper defenses, the logical thing to do is to promote the development of those defensive technologies. If you can get your defensive nanosystems online in time, that nasty gray goo doesn't look quite as scary.

OTOH, if you don't think that there is any practical defense against a threat, and you think that the threat is likely to be real, your only real choice is to look for some other technology that would make the whole issue irrelevant. So, if you think gray goo is invincible, you try to promote space colonization or fast SI, or some other development that changes the parameters of the problem.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I