Re: NANO: Directive of Evacuation

Anders Sandberg (
29 Aug 1997 11:03:57 +0200

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:

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

I like it, but without nanotech space colonization is much less economical;
with nanotech it becomes easy. So I assume you must have a stage where
the nanopowers (whoever they are) produce the necessary infrastructure, and
then declassify it? Sounds awfully altruistic to me, I doubt that would
come to pass.

On the other hand, do not ascribe to central planning what can be ascribed
to self-organisation: if nanotech is developed, it will first be fairly
limited and mainly used in labs by people in white coats. Then its products
will be marketed and sold, and eventually every home will have its own
assembler-tank. But it will take a while, and while it is unlikely there
is any way to prevent the spread of knowledge and ability to build nanotech
it will still be a lag between the companies and organisations that first
developed it and "the masses". During this lag period it is IMHO less
probable that nanotech will be misused in a globally dangerous way
(fewer people involved, less powerful technology), and it would give
the necessary capabilities to get off-planet as soon as possible. After
a while everybody will (in principle, if not in practice) have access to
nanotech anyway, and living in an orbital habitat starts to sound very nice...

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!    
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y