Re: The Spike, nanotech, and a future scenario

Brian Atkins (
Sun, 05 Oct 1997 14:06:52 -0400

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> I find it very frustrating that the list spends so much time on
> irrelevant issues of economics and politics. The current economic
> and political environment will not change significantly prior to
> the singularity: there's not enough time, even if the event occurs
> in 2025.

I have to disagree with you at least on the economics part. Before
we get to a singularity caused by nanotech or powerful enough
computers for human-level AI there will be major economic changes
due to the increasing cheapness of computing power and bandwidth.
These changes result in what Wired calls a "Network Economy" (see
Wired 5.09, "New Rules for the New Economy"); we already live in
the beginnings of this, everything on the net is part of it. Article
is here:
It makes some interesting points, especially the idea that most
if not all commodities in our world are dipping towards being free.
Anything from a CD player to a modem to a stock quote online gets
cheaper. In the coming years your phone line will dip towards free
as they offer you better stuff(xDSL) for $$$. Reading and becoming
familiar with these ideas can give you a powerful edge- for me,
reading it triggered an idea for a new net-based business that
is starting up on Monday!

As for politics, I can tell you from my experience that since I
ran into the net 4 years ago it has significantly changed _me_.
I think that over the next 25 years or so as the majority of
the planet gains net access (hopefully) there is the potential
for something to happen.

The future has arrived; it's just not evenly distributed.
                                                       -William Gibson