Re: Goo prophylaxis:consensus

Carl Feynman (
Wed, 03 Sep 1997 14:02:00 -0400

At 02:33 PM 9/3/97 +0000, Nicholas Bostrom wrote:
>Our discussion about the strategic situation after and during the
>development of nanotechnology has gone on for a while, and there is
>still disagreement on several issus. But perhaps we reached a near
>consensus on the following non-trivial points?
>1. Provided that technological research continues, nanotechnology will
>eventually be developed.


>2. An immune system wouldn't work unless it was global.

Let's say that no large areas of the earth should be left unsupervised an
immune system. No need to assume that only one immune system exists; I can
easily imagine multiple, overlapping ones.

>3. In the absence of a global immune system, if everybody could make
>their own nanotech machines then all life on earth would soon become

All human life, anyway. Subterranean bacteria may hang on, if only because
nobody bothers to try to exterminate them.

>4. In the absence of ethical motives, the benefits would outweigh the
>costs for a nanotech power that chose to eliminate the competition or
>prevent it from arising, provided it had the ability to do so.

I utterly disagree. I've had an ear infection for the last few days, so I
haven't been posting with my usual vigor, but my silence does not indicate
that I have come to agree with you on this point!