The Singularity and Nanotechnology

Robin Hanson (
Sat, 21 Sep 96 13:28:47 PDT

Lyle Burkhead writes:
>My point is that everything costs something. This is just a natural fact,
>like friction in physics. It isn't going to change just because
>manufacturing gets more and more fine-grained.

Right. All prices are relative. Don't say "effectively zero price",
say what price will be much smaller than what other price.

>Molecular manufacturing will emerge within the same capitalist
>economy that we live in now. Factories will still be factories.
>They will require elaborate buildings and millions of dollars' worth of
>specialized equipment. They will employ biotechnologists with rare and
>expensive skills. Factories will still be owned by investors who want to
>get their investment back. They will produce products for the market,
>and buy inputs from the market. The managers will still understand the
>concept of planned obsolescence.

This seems the simplest scenario to expect. Things may go otherwise,
but the burden is on those who think so to explain why we should

Robin D. Hanson