Re: Nanotech promotion and post-government feasibility

Joseph Sterlynne (
Sun, 12 Sep 1999 08:30:58 -0600

I haven't been able to send these few messages out recently as my mail service was down for a few days.

> Jeff Davis
>> Joseph Sterlynne

>There is a kind of traditional paranoia about "the powers that be", that
>depicts them as some "Star Chamber"/Trilateral Commission ultra-elite that
>pulls all the strings via some old boys spook network or somesuch thing. I
>don't buy it. It's too simplistic.

This is indeed a traditional and rather attractive paranoia. It is too simplistic. More could be said about this but I think that the existence of such an exaggerated image does not preclude the existence of a much less formal network. People with power still intend to protect their power.

>And it's too Hollywod.

It does end up in Hollywood but I doubt that it has much of an origin there. Hollywood just picks it up for the purpose of producing a traditionally coherent plotline. (For one thing, it's much easier for have one bad-guy group than ten million independent bad guys.)

>The power people have to work at keeping things going the way they want
>them to.

At least in some situations. Some of the time they let the way that the system is already set up to do their work incrementally and in a distributed fashion. But yes, people in power will have some work to do when nanotech and other technologies appear.

>More believable to me is that technology drives the evolution of culture.
>Technology is the wave everybody--the power people included--rides or is
>carried along by.

I agree---I was just saying that people in power might have enough power to stifle or divert the wave before it reaches others, at least temporarily.

>Again, I will state, in my opinion, almost all human conflict is the result
>of competition over limited resources, mostly basic human needs. Once
>these are met in abundance, I believe there will be markedly less rock
>throwing, either individually motivated, or by social group manipulation,
>ie interpersonal violence or warfare, respectively.

I'm not so sure about this. Belligerence and tendency toward conflict are now, after however many years of evolution, part of human psychology. This sort of thing is to some extent genetically determined; local circumstances are not going to so easily reverse the results of evolution. Some people today possess wealth and material goods in great abundance; have they escaped their genetic programming? There are millions of other things for people to fight about.