Re: SCI and ECON Nanotech

Damien Broderick (
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 23:47:06 +1000

At 11:30 PM 9/29/96 -0500, Lyle wrote:

>The cost of making somthing in a large-scale genie machine (a factory),
>putting it on a truck or train, and shipping it somewhere, will be less,
>in many cases, than the cost of reprogramming a genie machine to make
>the item at home.

If we accept the argument in Drexler et al (UNBOUNDING THE FUTURE, 1991, p.
259), the only way to stop some demented or feckless brat from reprogramming
his genie to emit meteorological quantities Aum Supreme Truth happy gas, or
pick plutonoium out of the sea and stockpile it for later fun times, is to
maintain strong regulatory authorities which licence users of genies able to
produce dangerous outputs only if these are restricted to sealed assembler
labs or factories. This rather short-sheets the utopian dream of a genie in
every pocket, but I find it hard to see any other way to forestall the Fermi

Damien Broderick