Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 09:23:22 -0500

Randall Randall wrote:
> Shaun wrote:
> > Furthermore, the assumption that technology will have progressed *that* far
> > in the next fifty years is not an extrapolation that I would care to gamble
> > on. Though I would honestly love for this claim to be true, my optimism
> > wanes in the face of my realism. Show me good, hard, *tangible* evidence
> > for your hypothesis and I will probably believe it as well.

Point of order: Shaun asks for tangible evidence for a predicted future event. I think we all need to agree that this is infeasible. I therefore assume Shaun wants to see Elizier's methodology for extrapolating present trends to his predicted outcome. Elezier and others have covered this ground many times, most recently in the singuarity discussion on the transhuman list.

> The only technology required for that assumption is nanotech,
> and that seems to only be 5-20 years away. Curiously, the
> people most knowledgeable about nanotech predict the shortest
> times until we have it (e.g. Zyvex' website claims that they
> will have an assembler within 5-10 years). If so, and if
> the resulting machine is replicating, then posthumans could
> exist within weeks of that point.
A small clarificaton: you mean that nanotech results in posthumanity. I agree. However, nanotech is not the only way to get there. For example, I claim that strong AI also results in posthumanity, so even in the unlikely event that nanotech should prove to be infeasible, that won't prevent the advent of posthumanity. Incidentally, I don't see how nanotech self-replication results in posthumanity in days or weeks unless it gets there by a massive increase in computing capacity resulting in a massive increase in the intelligence of some computer-augmented or computer-based intelligence. But, the existance of a such an intelligence can easily result in nanotech in days or weeks.