Re: SciAm: nano and cryonics

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 11:49:52 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> >
> A great post until this line at least.
> >
> > I agree with Robin that it sounds like the last gasps
> > of those who don't want to admit that once we know
> > how to fly, the blood of billions will be on our
> > hands for not doing it sooner.
> >
> It is a balance between progress and conservation of the known.
> It is not helpful to consider the time spent before acting in a
> massively guilt-tinged way. If we act to swiftly without
> adequate thinking, testing, preparation and so on the blood of
> billions may be on our hands. Except their may bot be any of us
> to accept the blame.

And who exactly is doing the "thinking, testing, preparation"? It
certainly is not the kind of skeptics out there who would seem to
prefer that it all just go away and not happen.

I agree with you that we should not plunge into this all, but I also
agree with Robert that anyone holding back our ability to do the
necessary work and testing at this stage of human history (when it
is rather clear what the realistic possibilities are) should be made
to feel guilty. It is not political or really abstractly punitive in
any way, it is simply the truth, just like how I'm sure the catholics
still feel over the whole Galileo and other incidents. The stakes are
so much higher now though...

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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