Re: NANO: Lessons learned
Sat, 6 Sep 1997 16:10:02 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 9/6/97 6:18:43 AM, (Eliezer S.
Yudkowsky) wrote:

>I don't think it's time for a consensus yet, especially since we still all
>disagree, but my own points-in-progress are utterly different from the four
>mentioned by Nicholas Bostrum.
>I offer these assertions:
>1. Given an island vs. sea battle, the sea will win, whether the "island"
>a malevolent spore or a city.

Hmm. Homo Sapiens apparently started as an "island" of a few thousand
individual amidst a "sea" of hundreds of thousands of other hominids spread
throughout the tropical and temperate Old World. We're here and they're
gone. I can think of many historical examples as well - any modern major
religion, Rome, the Han Chinese, and Copernican theory proponents, for
starters. An island can do very well against a sea, particularly if it
embodies greater intelligence or better use of intelligence.

>2. As the world stands, nanotechnology cannot be freely distributed.

I expect that in its initial appearance, it will be widely distributed. The
first nanotech will be hard to make and hence many labs, companies,
foundations, and customers will all have a hand in its creation.

>3. Unintentional gray goo is not a serious problem.

Well, it's trivial next to deliberate destructive goo.