NANO: Directive of Evacuation

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 20:23:02 -0500

The Directive of Evacuation:
"Do not declassify nanotechnology until all persons wishing to leave the Earth
have done so."

I think this is a very Libertarian, cautious, ethical way to state the issue.
Strategic considerations make it necessary to partition humanity and remove it
from large masses before allowing everyone access to nanotechnology.

I should also propose the easiest way to do this without leaving anything behind:
Carve the Earth's crust into citylike sections or hundred-square-kilometer
sections, whichever is larger, and lift all the sections into separate orbits.
Transportation between sections must be provided. Also roofing and
centrifugal gravity.

So, a bit after nanotech is discovered, the sky changes color, airports and
the Interstate undergo some peculiar changes, and space is filled with giant
spinning crowbars with domes on one side and counterweights on the other.

This may violate property rights, but much less directly than seizing any
particular person relative to anyone else. You're simply adjusting the
macroscopic world a bit; no sociological or coercive action is involved. If
you have to take an action that falls outside the Libertarian rules, that's
the way to do it.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.