Re: Hanson antiproliferation method?

Dan Clemmensen (
Mon, 18 Aug 1997 22:32:35 -0400

Nicholas Bostrom wrote:
> 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?
Nuclear proliferation may be amenable to government control in the
pre-nanotech era because nuclear technology generally needs a large
and difficult-to-conceal technical base. Nanotech-based mass
destruction (nuclear or otherwise) is a much more difficult
proposition. In what way will world government, or any government,
be able to prevent nanotech-based mass destruction? The only
way I can think of would be nanotech-based invasive survailence
of the entire populace on an unprecedented scale, and I'm not sure
that even that will help.