Re: The Singularity and Nanotechnology

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 11:03:40 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 25 Sep 1996, Dr. Rich Artym wrote:

> It's not just the products that will become easy and cheap to produce,
> but the blinking MEANS OF PRODUCTION too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This sets the little cogwheels in my head in motion... What about the
means of producing the means of production? A nanoassembler can build an
identical nanoassembler, just as a robot factory could build another, but
they would be qualitatively similar. Building a better or different
assembler (for use in space, the bloodstream or in the atmosphere of
Jupiter, or based on silicon instead of carbon) would require some work
and expertise.

If assemblers are general enough to produce just about everything needed
in a certain environment (like the exotic surface of the Earth) new
assemblers isn't needed (but then again, why do we write new compilers
and computer languages all the time when they are all essentially
equivalent?). But up until that point the means of producing new means of
production are very important; my guess is that they will supercede the
means of production in importance quite soon after nanotechnology becomes
really useful, up until the point where it can do everything everyone

One could look at even higher levels of "means of producing the means
of...", but what we are essentially seeing here is a level of
metaengineering, where the goal is to develop better ways to reach goals.
Quite similar and synergetic to self-augmentation, which is the same
process applied to intelligent systems.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
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