Re: Goo prophylaxis

The Low Golden Willow (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 12:27:00 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 27, 11:37am, "Nicholas Bostrom" wrote:
} The Low Golden Willow:

} >Their very life requires
} > energy, not to mention, as Anders noted, the cost of trying to
} > concentrate extremely diffuse and oxygen-bonded uranium.
} Use dynamite then. But energy wouldn't be a problem.

As Anders said, dynamite takes energy too.

} > Solar
} > collection will take lots of area, be noticeable, and be exposed. Shade
} > it, dust it, bomb it.
} As I said, if it covers a whole continent you can't do that.

Doesn't anyone think in terms of processes? How did it get to cover a
whole continent without anyone noticing?

And I hope that everyone doing their little exponential growth
calculations is trying to consider geometrical constraints as well.

} With nanotech, we might be able to catalyse arbitrary prosesses and
} gain energy, as long as there is a net increase in chemical binding

As Anders said, thermodynamics constrain what reactions are possible.
Catalysts speed up reactions that happen slower than you'd expect given
simple thermodynamics. They don't magically make anything possible.

} > I challenge this "lower division" assumption. Antibodies can't gum up
} > the works of nanites; phagocytic cells can't enclose and dissolve them?
} > Hydrogren peroxide and free radicals are popular weapons. Oxidizing
} > chemicals vs. small pieces of pure carbon; I bet on the white blood cell.
} Of course, nanomachines can do everything biological cells can, since
} these are a special kind of nanomachines; but they will be able to do
} much more since they can be use all parts of design space, not only
} that little corner that was available to evolution.

You seem to have utterly missed my point. A nanite invading an organism
is a machine floating in an aqueous environment being glommed by
antibodies as well as swallowed and exposed to highly oxidizing
chemicals. "It's easier to destroy than create."

Actually, as I remember, the original gray goo scenario was of nanites
spreading and gobbling whatever they could, starving the biosphere by
grabbing all of the biomass. That's where the concern about
indigestability comes into play; bacteria may not be able to usefully
eat nanites. White blood cells don't have to eat nanites, they just
have to destroy them. I think pre-empting the biosphere is a somewhat
more realistic threat than eating it directly.

} Yes, but even that would not save you long. You would run out of
} resourses. The only way is to go out there and conquer the world

Again, where did this sea of nanites come from? Yeah, invading one
would be bad, but how is the current world going to turn into isolated
castles in a sea of goo?

} But those communication lines are on the outside of your organism.
} You would need an immune system that extends all over the place and

No, you need artillery.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"I think it's amazing that 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult thought
they would beam up to space ships if they killed themselves. Any
reasonable person knows that in reality they will be reincarnated as
animals. You might not agree with my belief in reincarnation, but a lot
of people do, so it's not a cult. There's certainly no evidence that
larger groups of people have ever believed anything stupid. So once the
number of believers exceeds a certain level, say 40, you have to think
there's something to it.

Unlike those "cultists" I wasn't brainwashed into my beliefs. I simply
had a huge painful void in my life that I filled with the first thing
that came along. You have to respect that. I'm not as gullible as those
poor saps. That's probably because I was born in June, which makes me
a Gemini. We're naturally skeptical." -- Scott Adams