Hanson antiproliferation method?

Nicholas Bostrom (bostrom@mail.ndirect.co.uk)
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 01:04:15 +0000

I would be interested to hear your opinions about the following
problem: (and especially Robin Hanson's opinion, since it's close to
his area of expertise)

How do we best deal with the danger of nuclear proliferation and
the spread of other weapons of mass destruction?

It is conceivable, for example, that there will be some early stages
of nanotechnology, before the onset of a singularity-like event,
where nanotechnology could provide destructive powers sufficient to
eliminate all intelligent life on earth. (And this might be before
any significant space-colonization has taken place.)

One possible answer, of course, is a world government. Does anybody
have what they think is a better idea, or an idea of how best to
implement a world government?

It seems clear to me that this problem needs to be addressed. I've
heard people defending "each one's right to his or her own nuke", but
that principle seems to me absurd. (Since each nuke could kill more
than a million people, and there probably are more than one
per million who would use his nuke, it would kill all of us.)

Nicholas Bostrom

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