Black Goo

John K Clark (
Sat, 30 Aug 1997 20:49:38 -0700 (PDT)


Some people say (correctly I think) that we can know almost nothing about
what things will be like after the singularity, BUT then they tacitly assume
that the rate of change after The Spike will level out into a plateau of
sorts, a very high plateau to be sure but a plateau nevertheless. I see no
reason why that should be true and think we should expect an accelerating
rate of change for the indefinite future.

Let's assume sometime after the singularity, around breakfast, a suicidal nut
case makes some black goo with the intention of destroying the world. About
the only thing I can say with any confidence about the world after the
singularity is that life will be fast and things will change, so by lunch
time this black goo would seem comically old fashioned, positively stone age
compared to the vastly improved nanotechnology that had been developed in the
following 4 hours, an eon of subjective time. The black goo might look pretty
scary in the first few milliseconds after it was made, but after a geological
age (a minute or two) it would seem more pitiful than scary, like a man armed
with a flint ax trying to concur the world.

In the long run intelligence will always beat stupidity, so to be really
dangerous, life destroying dangerous, you'd need to make an intelligence
hostile to all life that could improve itself faster than any machine anybody
else could build. That's a very tall order and far beyond the capacity of
"goo" of any color that some Bozo cooked up in his basement.

John K Clark

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