Re: Goo prophylaxis

Nicholas Bostrom (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 23:07:39 +0000

The Low Golden Willow wrote:

> As Anders said, dynamite takes energy too.

Certainly, but the amount of chemical energy contained in a
medium-sized forest, for example, is enormous. The cost of a few
tonnes of TNT to a nanopower is like the cost of Mars bar
to a billionair.

> } > 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?

By getting up very early in the morning, before anyone else was
awake. But seriously, the point is that it could happen so fast that
nobody has time to do anything about it before its too big to be
obliterated with bombs etc. But Ido agree that it's important to
think in terms of processes (i.e. not forgetting the genesis problem
-how could anything *become* that way?)

> 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."

That organism would itself be floating in an aqueous environment
being glommed by nanites from all directions, unless your immune
system were global to begin with...

> how is the current world going to turn into isolated
> castles in a sea of goo?

By the nanites eating up everything that is not protected by a global
nano-immune system; we assumed that there were no such system.

> } 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.

Are you proposing that you are going to sit on the roof of your
bunker and hold the nanites back with a canon?
Nicholas Bostrom

*Visit my transhumanist web site at*