Re: Goo prophylaxis (was: Hanson antiproliferation method?)

Nicholas Bostrom (
Tue, 26 Aug 1997 12:25:44 +0000

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Our immune systems are unimaginably more sophisticated than a virus or a
> bacterium, using controlled evolution to combat natural evolution. And yet we
> still suffer from colds and diseases. The only reason that the viruses
> haven't killed us outright is that it isn't good strategy.

Very good point about the biological immune system analogy.

> It is easier to destroy than create!
> Well... I'm not competent to estimate the percentage of the population with
> the genius and expertise to design death goo. The "twisted" part can pretty
> much be taken for granted. And I truly don't think death goo would be that
> hard to design. If any human is even capable of designing an immune system,
> then the average educated person will be capable of breaking it, given time
> and effort. Any twisted genius will go through it like tissue paper.

> situation will be pretty much the same with nanotechnology... except that a
> first strike will have a different probability of succeeding. If that
> probability is high enough, MAD won't work and nano should be confined to a
> *single* group.

I agree. This single group could be demorcatic, though.

Nicholas Bostrom

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