RE: Submolecular nanotech [WAS: Goals]

Billy Brown (
Wed, 19 May 1999 15:46:24 -0500

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> I don't know about that. Certainly I challenge the phrase "bad" science
> fiction, because it's been done well a couple of times... but that's not
> the point.
> I know of at least two instances of sub-molecular technology. (1)
> artificial atoms; (2) sculpted quantum states.
> (Unfortunately my links
> appear to be broken - sorry, guys! (1) is changing the shape of a
> single atom's wavefunction, and (2) is doing some kind of custom stuff
> on probability distributions, I think. Anyone have a valid link?)

I agree. I think Anders was on to something with his "picotech processors living on a neutron star" idea. Creating a density regime in which it is possible for subatomic particles to form compact structures with the same range of complexity exhibited by normal matter is probably a very delicate process, but it seems reasonable to think that it could be done in principle. That being the case, we should expect than any posthuman society would either graduate to pico-scale engineering in short order or invent something so much better as to make it superfluous.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I