Re: Goo prophylaxis

The Low Golden Willow (
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 21:07:19 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 29, 1:45am, "Nicholas Bostrom" wrote:

} >As soon as the world realizes that there is massive
} > power to be had, everyone will work like crazy to catch up.
} But the leading power will work like crazy to keep the lead. If they
} all work equally hard, the one that starts out with an advantage
} should get to the goal first. The main point we are discussing is

You seem to be assuming a bunch of isolated powers or labs working
toward nanotech, with one having and keeping a vital lead. Setting
aside the probability that progress will be too gradual for a massive
discontinuity to develop, the non-leading labs can collaborate, applying
more brainpower to the problem than the leading lab can muster, and
abolishing the lead. (I don't say reversing the lead, as the easiest
collaboration would be a public process -- science as usual?)

} to effectively defend themselves against the leading power. I think
} the major military advantages could differ dramatically between some
} of the pairs of adjacent generations, so that the first power to
} develop the later version would have an easy match against the power
} who has the earlier version. This means that even if the whole road
} to advanced self-replicators is long and slow, there would still be
} some point where a slight progression yielded huge military payoff

You're changed scenarios again! First it was destructive gray goo
launched by some nihilist fanatic. Now it's national warfare. Even
if there was a leading power they could still be nuked, making
declaration of nano-war somewhat unattractive.

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

"The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary
telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York,
and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without
the cat." -- Albert Einstein