From: Aaron McBride (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 19 2002 - 07:35:14 MDT
If this is true, then how do I defend myself from a nuclear bomb? We've
had 50+ years of technology between the invention of nukes and I still
don't have a Kill-o-Nuke. I'm afraid Mr. Joy may be right on this one,
even if he's wrong about the solution. The future is unknown - there may
be some weapons that have no defence.
At 05:56 AM 6/19/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>Robert Bradbury requested that I forward this to SL4:
>Mitch Howe recently contributed a long exploration of the various ways
>nanospawn could be used to create a plague to wipe out humanity as
>an argument for promoting a safe singularity soon.
>I don't buy his argument and I encourage others not to do so. Here is
>how I look at it -- any "group" with "magic" technologies can wipe out
>any "group" lacking "magic" technologies. We have existed in that
>state for the last several million years and exist in that state today.
>Historically, nature (in the form of viruses and bacteria) had the
>"magic" technologies and were fought to rough balance by our immune
>systems. Then humans came along and developed everything from gunpowder
>to mustard gas to atomic weapons, any of which could have wiped out
>significant fractions of humanity but we managed to develop the means
>to defend ourselves against these various technologies allowing most
>of us to avoid a premature death.
>The same will be true for nanotech. If one allows a group hell bent
>on eliminating you to gain significantly superior technological
>capabilities then all bets are off. If one balances any advances
>in potential offensive capabilities with equivalent defensive
>capabilities then the worry level should be no higher than it is
>today. There is a fundamental flaw in people arguing the risks
>of a nanotechnology enabled group against the current state of
>the world (non-nanotech enabled). There seems to be an implicit
>assumption that one (evil) group should be able to take a dominant
>lead in the development of plague-spreading nanotech and everyone
>who might become victims of such a situation are simply sitting
>around sucking on their thumbs.
>The bottom line is this -- it doesn't matter *what* the technology
>is -- if "they" can hurl more matter or energy at you than you have
>the ability to defend yourself against you are toast. If you have
>the ability to defend against such attacks then you aren't.
>All of the toxins/spore spreading scenarios are easily dealt with
>by having immune systems designed to recognize and eliminate such
>materials. This isn't that much different from how it has been over
>the millions of years of evolution that have gotten us to this point.
>If you really want to be safe, you live in a deep underground bunker
>where all incoming materials are irradiated with high levels of
>radiation (to corrupt any nanobot programs), then run through
>a plasma torch to disassemble any nanobots, then sorted by mass
>to remove radioactive isotopes, leaving one to be fed with a
>completely certified as safe stream of elements. Using this
>approach you would be *much* safer than you are today wandering
>around in a world where everything from drunk drivers to flesh
>eating Streptococci can kill you.
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