Re: The Singularity and Nanotechnology

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 17:01:24 -0400

Peter C. McCluskey wrote:
> (Dan Clemmensen) writes:
> >Why not? What will limit the speed of adoption of MNT? what will limit
> >the rate of advance of MNT technology, given the obvious (to me, anyway)
> >feedback mechanisms by which MNT will beget better MNT?
> >
> >The only limiting mechanism that I've been able to come up with is
> >the economic disruption itself. Not pretty. It may result in the
> >need to employ the aforementioned MNT subsistence scheme.
> I can't see any signs of a sudden change in feedback mechanisms.
> It's silly to expect the first assemblers to be easily programmed general
> purpose devices, for the same reason that it would have been silly to
> expect the first computer to run Smalltalk. There will be a number of
> constraints imposed on designs by the limits on what is chemically
> stable, and it will take a lot of trial and error before we know how
> to handle those limits well.

It's true that the very first assembler will not be very capable.
However it differs from the very first computer in one essential
way: the first computer was not useful in the fabrication of the
second computer. This is the "sudden change." The trial and error
to which you refer can therefore be accompished much quicker.