RE: NANO: Institutional Safety

Rik van Riel (
Mon, 15 Nov 1999 19:09:50 +0100 (CET)

On Mon, 15 Nov 1999, Billy Brown wrote:

> No, you haven't missed anything. Nanotechnology makes it almost
> impossible for multiple sovereign powers to coexist on a single
> planet, because they will tend to find themselves forced into an
> exponential arms race that converts the entire mass of the planet
> into industry and weaponry.

Why? We've all seen that in the cold war there were 'enough' weapons to ensure mutual destruction. With nanotech that point will be reached much earlier and the 'enough' will be even more extreme. After that there shouldn't be any incentive to build more weapons (since there's no need for more).

> The fact that there is no room to deploy effective defenses
> against many high-tech weapons makes the problem even worse.

No, this makes the problem a lot less problematic. When the superpowers can ensure mutual destruction using just 1% of their production power, there's no need at all to use the rest for military too.

It could be quite an improvement over the 30% needed during the last cold war...


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