Re: SCI and ECON Nanatech

E. Shaun Russell (
Sun, 15 Sep 1996 23:04:19 -0700 (PDT)

>>=Anders Sandberg
>=Robin Hanson

>>If strong nanotechnology is possible, then economy as we know it will
>>be completely different (an information-based economy might work in
>>moderate cases, but if rapidly self-augmenting SI becomes possible
>>even that fails).

>I think folks are too stuck on the notion that changes must be
>incomprehensible - you don't know what you can or can't understand
>until you try. And you haven't really tried until you've used the
>best intellectual tools available.

In this case, *both* of you are correct. When the creation of
nanotechnology becomes manifest, there will certainly be a nearly
instantaneous turnabout in the current economy. Initially. Ones who are
equipped with nanites will gain much recognition as 'cyborgs' and
'heretics'. Mothers will be bending down to their children, pointing and
whispering at the ones with the enhancements. Initially.

Eventually, however, nanotechnology will become commonplace and
tolerated around the world. People will no longer know the difference
between an enhanced human and an unenhanced one. It just takes a little bit
of time for people to get used to the notion of 'bettering'. Even those who
do not agree with nanotechnology will have to accept it...they'll have no
choice. One of the most prominent trends in nature is 'adaptation through
change'. I think mankind will follow this trend whether or not it is
entirely accepted.
"A mountain summit can be climbed by a man; a swelling sea can be sailed by
a canoe; but a great man cannot be trampled on."
--Maori Proverb