Re: poly: The singleton hypothesis

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Sun Jun 28 1998 - 13:33:55 PDT ("Nick Bostrom") writes:
>First, I think that the complexity of the two-mode nanite is only
>slightly greater than the sum of the complexity of its two
>componants, which I think were assuming were already at hand. Given

 Not close. I can understand a machine that destroys a specific metal
in terms of simple chemical operations - catalysing the oxidation of
the metal, and moving some metal atoms out of the way so the oxygen
can reach the buried parts of the metal. I don't know how to describe
"foraging", "storing energy", or "using that energy to destroy the glass"
in simple enough chemical terms that I would know how to guess whether
a specific means of accomplishing them was feasible.
 I think you need a better understanding of chemistry before you can
do an adequate job of the analysis you're attempting.

>Second, we are talking about destroying enemy glass. But don't you
>think that once their metal and plastic and rubber (and a range of
>other materials) are destroyed, their infrastructure will be so
>weakened that it will be hard to keep up in the race to develop more
>advanced nanotechnology?

 I think they will be weakened by widely varying amounts. Their motivation
will be increased. The results seem hard to predict.

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list
Received on Sun Jun 28 20:49:55 1998

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