Re: Active Shield Concepts

my inner geek (
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 16:08:42 -0700

"Robert J. Bradbury" <> wrote:

> Well this is one of the unresolved areas in nanotech. One suggestion is
> for the machines to disassemble themselves on intruder detection. You can
> easily sense if your temperature is being abnormally lowered and warm
> yourself up to normal temperature or disassemble. I'm fairly sure that a
> nanobot could detect itself being X-rayed and actively respond. I doubt
> that there is any exploratory method that you could use that the nanobot
> could not detect. Remember all of those methods they used to hide
> evidence in Mission Impossible? They only get fancier in the nanotech
> world.

Thank you for this explanation. One of the things I keep forgetting is how much physical space you actually have for sophisticated security mechanisms. Maybe it's easier to detect malicious intent?

Nanotech public relations involves emphasizing the positive and eliminating the negative, but realistically it seems that blue goo is the most practical solution. A complex design issue: what are the rules that direct the robotic nanopolice that detect motives and modify behavior? Will they be simple principles, or elaborate encyclopedias of convoluted laws?

In terms of conflict reduction, direct modification of the brains of the citizens seems like a logical solution to the problem. As scary as it sounds, sociopathic and Hitler-like at first, it seems that it will be hard to resist waving the magic wand to directly remove the warfare from society on a neural level. "You're still free."

Experience suggests the mass populace will not be involved in such decisions. Probably it will be a military decision, with cooperation from a few hundred scientists who are forced to make a tough judgement call.

Environmentalist nanotech experts say a top priority is to "get this mess cleaned up." Beyond the physical symptoms, the deeper mess is cultural identity that consumes and pollutes excessively. Do you create an army of pollution eating nanomachines, or modify the culture to eliminate polluting behaviors? Why not get to the root cause? This type of education and communication will surely be on the unconscious level, for efficiency. Or will a benevolent totalitarian government simply transfer the populace into a simulated safe world?