Re: Limits of nanotech, have you seen this argument?

From: Randall Randall (
Date: Thu Jun 01 2006 - 11:01:24 MDT

On Jun 1, 2006, at 12:09 PM, David Picon Alvarez wrote:
> I was wondering if you have seen this website before:

He's been around for many years; this was on extropians a long
time ago.

> I'm not sure if his argument is right. I think the analogies he uses
> (universal assembler must equal in complexity the world economy, for
> example) are suspect, though. Likewise, the argument that
> automation isn't
> free because you have to pay programmers is trivially true in that
> writing
> code has cost in time and energy, but can later be trivially
> replicated...
> I'm not sure.

Indeed, using his argument, we can prove that computers are cannot
be universal copiers of data. That's even true in a trivial sense,
but doesn't affect their usefulness. A universal assembler is just
a general purpose compiler for matter, instead of for bits -- some
person will still have to write programs for it to compile, or
programs that write programs for it, but that doesn't mean that it
isn't general purpose.

Randall Randall <>
"This is a fascinating question, right up there with whether rocks
fall because of gravity or being dropped, and whether 3+5=5+3
because addition is commutative or because they both equal 8."
   - Scott Aaronson

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:56 MDT