Re: poly: Re: the destruction problem (was: singleton)

From: Nick Bostrom <>
Date: Fri May 01 1998 - 16:40:03 PDT

Anders Sandberg writes:

> I think the best solution is nature's way: maximum diversity

I could also be argued that if there is a way to "blow up the world",
then with maximum diversity chances are that somebody will find it.
(I think there is an important role for diversity, though. But one
has to bear in mind that diversity is such a general concept that
everything will depend on what kinds of diversity we are talking
about. For example, as long as we are restricted to the surface of
one planet, it's hard to see how any degree of cultural diversity
could decrease the risk of destruction though nanotech.)

> and
> dispersal in the large

Yes, I think most transhumanists agree that space colonization is
good from a safety point-of view.

>, and as strong defenses as possible locally.

...though it's important to be clear about what local defenses can
and cannot accomplish. One conclusion that at least I drew from the
classic goo profylaxis thread on the extropians list last summer is
that an "island" cannot defend itself from a "sea", if both have
advanced nanotechnology. (I.e. active shields would have to be

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Received on Fri May 1 23:22:34 1998

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