Re: Nanotech..Alternate Scenario

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 11:04:47 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 16 Jul 1997 wrote:

> << [Aside: Greg Bear likely made it expensive to tone it down in his
> story (which wasn't about nanotech) - cheap, ubiquitious nanotech
> changes things too much, and most authors realize they cannot handle
> all the implications. Linda Nagata and Neal Stephenson are so far the
> only authors I have read who have tried to explore the possibilities. >>
> It appears so...isn't that irritating?

Yes, but at the same time it is extremely hard to write well about a
society where almost everything is different from the present - the
economics, daily life, ideology, technology and sociology. So it is
understandable that many authors try to avoid it.

> In the novel.."Arostoi"..Walter Jon Williams (i think hes the author)..does a
> credible job of combineing many emergent technologies . I read it the first
> time and was a little confused...later I read it again and thourghly enjoyed
> it...I guess some of the ideas had to ferment for a while.

Yes, it is a quite nice book. Phil Goetz called it "New York
Transhumanism" and I think it fits; it is a static but very nice
(mostly) society, but honestly I don't think it is very stable (the
basic assumption was the utter incorruptibility of the aristoi, which
doesn't seem very likely even given this technological level and
sophistication). It demonstrates several technologies I think we
should try to develop, but maybe not a society we should strive for.

> I...personally...think it will destroy governments as a concept...and a
> society of self-reliant individualists will emerge like a butterfly from a
> cocoon...

What we seek is not the overthrow of the government but a situation
in which it gets lost in the shuffle.
-- Duncan Frissell <>, CP 29-Aug-96

Personally I think we will be surprised. The new society that I'm
sure will emerge will likely be something utterly different from what
we expect and hope for.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y