Re: poly: Dreams of Autonomy

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Aug 27 1999 - 11:11:05 PDT

Curt Adams wrote:
> >It occurs to me that a common theme in many dreams of the future we have
> >been enticed by is an unusual degree of autonomy.
>I don't think "autonomy", which means self-government, is quite the right
>word for what you're discussing.

Fair enough.

>Certainly the current trend is for greater interdependence. If anything,
>the cutting-edge technologies that are looked on as the vanguard of
>nanotech (computers, software, biotech) are interdependent in the extreme.
>Individuals choose not to make substitutes for existing devices, but to
>devise new ones and then trade to get the ones they don't make. I see
>no profound reason that our approach to general-purpose manufacturing
>(i.e. nanotech) would differ greatly from our approach to general-purpose

So what would you conclude from this about the likelihood of seeing
personal nano-factories producing personal goods from standard molecules?

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323
Received on Fri Aug 27 11:12:30 1999

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