Re: The grey goo draws closer

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Thu Jun 23 2005 - 19:44:36 MDT

Dani Eder <> wrote:
Please explain why highly automated macroscale
manufacturing would not serve to generate abundance.
As an example of highly automated, the computer chip
company AMD is proposing building a 3rd factory
near Dresden, Germany with an investment of
$3 million per worker:
and an output of 30,000 cpus per worker per year.
This chip factory, by the way, is expected to
produce CPUs with 45 nm feature size. One could
say this _is_ boderline nanotech, since you are
almost as close to nanometer scale as micrometer

  Highly automated macroscale manufacturing should serve to generate abundance, there is more than enough wealth to go around generated by current indrustrial capital. Carbon bonds are about 1.5 Angstroms wide (0.15 nm), and the positional precision and resolution required to deposit carbon atoms is about 5 nm. One advantage of a MM factory over macroscale is diversity of product designs; it should also theoretically be able to manufacture factory components as one of its products, this allows industrial capacity to grow at a geometric rate. Another advantage is thanks to the scaling law: as length of a component is decreased by 10, the speed in which it can be manufactured is increased by a thousand. This means a 45 nm component can be MM a million times faster, assume the tools used to macro and molecularly make the components, are proportionally sized. It doesn't make sense to talk of 0.45 transistors, but MM should enable molecular computers and eventually, massive quantum
 computers. Assuming MM can be reached without precipitating a pre-emptive nuclear attack, and used to depopulate the world of competing programmes fast enough to avoid a "nano-arms race" without the design of UFAI or other doomsday products, and without later sliding all too easily into an Orwellian "nano-tyranny" in the aftermath, it could finally enable a leisure society of abundance. This could conceivably slow down a singularity enough to control its ascent in a safe manner. I'll put my money on a nano-tyranny.

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