X-Message-Number: 21680
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 01:41:07 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Chicken Little/Narcissus chimera
References: <>

> Message #21654
> From: "MIKE TREDER" <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #21646 - #21651
> Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 11:07:39 -0400
> My response to James Swayze (on the Cryonet list), who takes exception to
> CRN's highlighting of nanotech dangers...
>  I strongly feel even only a tiny bit of doubt of the safety of
> >nanotech on our part goes a huge amount, AN EXPONENTIAL AMOUNT, toward
> >bolstering their arguments.
> On the contrary, if we were not to acknowledge doubt about the safety of
> nanotech, we would be dismissed as unrealistic, if not ignorant.

I did not think you would be convinced. With all due respect I think your little
group is a

little full of themselves. See a chance to hobnob with the likes of Drexler 
maybe? Mark my

words your efforts are going to harm us more than help us. You passed right over

argument giving it little notice, too caught up in your own ideas. Hence I 
believe your

group is feeling too self important to realize what you are proposing. To whit, 
I did not

say we should not recognize _true_ dangers but I strongly feel since you all are

experts you are thus making mountains out of molehills. You can't possibly 
understand the

whole picture and so you are acting out of ignorant fear. You are seeing dangers

there are none and creating dangers that need not be. Leave it to the experts 

The worst is any mention at all of gray goo. It won't happen! First of all we 
already have

the ancient danger of green goo and it has never happened. I heard it said once 

microbials could bury the Earth a mile high in microbial soup if left to their 
own devices.

Why hasn't it happened? Not enough energy! Secondly it is likely we will never 

_truely_ and _completely_ self replicating nanobots. In my opinion it is simply 

difficult to get _all_ the necessary computing power onto a single bot. If this 
is so then

they will have to be controlled by an overseer AI or simply a really strong 

We don't even need them to self replicate either. I have said before we can 
achieve the

goals of self replicators by using a military hierarchy structure and so have 
single job

bots in squads led by superiors and on up the chain of command. No single bot 
can do all

jobs and cannot replicate by itself. Replication or rather group managed 
manufacture of new

bots can occur but only by direction of the upper echelon bots under ultimate 
control of
the supercomputer.

By talking gray goo you only inflame the likes of Michael Chrichton and his fans
and the

Bill Joys of this world. They  are reasonably educated and look how wrong they 
are. Now

think of what your "the sky is falling" efforts do to people that will never 
bother to
learn the truth but get their knowledge from sound bites and hype?!

> We would be
> seen as not qualified to participate in rational discourse about the future
> of this technology.

Speaking of not qualified, funny how you admit to it, by suggesting that even 
the experts

cannot mediate policy you suggest we make committees of not nanotech qualified 
people and

allow them to control the direction of nanotechnology? What a total mess that 
will be!

> >I'm not saying deny there is danger. I am saying stop highlighting it
> >so much. Make them work for their criticisms and fight against that wrong
> >headed junk science at every opportunity but don't give them ideas! I
> >personally have faith in science and scientists to work the kinks out
> >without amateur meddling!
> I have great faith in science and scientists as well, to perform good
> science and make good decisions so far as their expertise enables them. But
> most scientists will tell you that they are not necessarily qualified to
> make policy recommendations

I don't buy it. They are just as much the voters, consumers of and recipients of
good or

bad from nanotech as any of the rest of us are with the exception of knowing 

accurately, as the common person cannot, what really is or is not dangerous. 
Only they are
qualified to make policy.

>  or advise on implementation of measures to
> alleviate societal disruption.

Speaking of societal disruption, oh it will happen but trying to force the old 
system to

remain, as in economics, is flatly ludicrous and short sighted. You say nano 
anarchy is

what we don't want. I say it is exactly what we need. By trying to micro manage 
every step

you will lock up technologies from creative individuals that would likely 
produce the odd

genius improvement or find the fluke that was missed by the so called experts  

especially your quagmire of committees. We need open source. Only open source 
and myriad

creative minds working in every corner will be able to respond quickly eb=nough 
and braodly
enough to whatever dangers might arise.

Regarding the economy, on your website you said something truly unbelievably 
myopic. You

said that if a designer of a new gadget to be manufactured by MNT cannot get 
paid why would

he create in the first place? Are you kidding me? Do you realize how asinine 
that is? If I

am a designer and I have a magic MNT box and so does everyone else what the hell
need of

money will I have?! I'll create for other reasons than monetary gain or 
traditional wealth

building. Perhaps designers would design for peer recognition, societal 
recognition or
altruism or hell even simple pride.

The old economy is going to go away and good damn riddance! Wealth building 
worked for the

old capitalist economy. I am a capitalist. But I see the writing on the wall. 
One day in

some lab somewhere a lone creative anarchist is going to let the the genie out 
of the box.
Perhaps it goes like this in a summary of a story I have toyed with.

A researcher that feels strongly that open source is the way to go makes a 
breakthrough and

creates a nanobot system that can replicate under the guidance of an overseer 
program and

within a social heirarchy. He uses it to inject his own body with them. Within 
hours they

build a network that links with his mind and grow an onboard AI avatar that is 
empathic and

believes that it is a part of his mind, an ultra ego if you will -- it shares 
his identity

and therefore would not harm itself and him with it. Over the next few hours he 

asleep and in this pleasant dreamy sleep the nanobots guided by the avatar go to
work to

transform his body and mind. He becomes a superhuman overnight. Diamondoid 

strengthens his bones. His muscles get an upgrade. His immune system become 

Every cell is refurbished and many upgraded. He now has a more efficient energy 
use system

and now needs not to pass any waste. Al waste material is utilized by the bots 
for their

creation and maintenance. Many many systems get upgraded but most of all his 
mind is now

linked to all the information databases and his rate of thought increased 

He wakes up looks in the mirror and years of age have disappeared. He feels a 

compassion, as he did before, for his not yet upgraded fellows. He calls a 
friend to come

visit. The friend cannot even recognize him at first but they soon through 
shared knowledge

of past events establish his identity. The friend asks what has happened to him.
He lays

out the whole thing and offers his friend this wondrous gift. After some thought
and much

explanation the friend agrees and they shake hands. Painlessly enough nanobots 
to begin the

process pass between the two people imperceptibly via osmosis. Using radio waves
the core

avatar AI within the first communicates the instructions needed to begin. Soon 
there are

enough within the second to contain the core program to continue on their own. 
The first
and the second contact another two friends each. Singularity has arrived.

Within a week every human is now posthuman. All governments cease to exist. 
There is no

need of them anymore. With everyone's mind linked together and all of human 
available to all at will and all language barriers now but a memory long held

misunderstandings simply disappear. Greater capacity to understand problems and 

together on them and meet consensus leaves no need of governance. All religion 
dies a

millisecond after the last individual comes online. With an incredibly increased

for rationality and absolute knowledge of true reality no one is willing any 
longer to

believe lies and fables. Religion becomes a curious memory to contemplate and 
mourn for the

violence it has caused. The former economy ceases to function, money is useless 

valueless. The mad rush to greedily horde all one can is no more there is no 

Everything one could want is available for free at will. Need a mansion? Your 
friends will

think it silly to tie yourself to one but they will indulge, so simply grow one.
What you

can't buy a spot of land? Not a problem, suspend your mansion from the floating 
cities that

now dangle on gossamer diamond threads from the orbiting ring the surrounds the 

equator -- a stepping stone to the stars. The Earth is now freed of most ground 

and nature is allowed to take over -- unfettered natural selection begins again.

> In fact, many scientists, including Eric
> Drexler, have commended CRN for the work we are doing.
> >Please take my amateur comment in the proper context. To whit, I don't know
> >if you, Mike Tredder, have a degree in nanotechnology that gives you
> >expertise to judge what may or may not be at some future nexus dangerous
> >use of nanotechnology but
> >even if you did you could not know everything about it. In other words it
> >requires all of science to make those judgements. If you do have such
> >degrees I think your and anyone else similar, those involved with you, best
> >efforts would be to instead get involved behind the scenes where dangers
> >are dealt with _quietly_ before they get a chance to upset the ignorant
> >unwashed masses. I for one am damn well tired of
> >those ignorant imbecile inadequately educated about science unwashed
> >masses coercing their representatives into outlawing the very things I and
> >so many others, the entire human race, need for future and current
> >survival.
> Concern for the survival of the human race is the motivation behind CRN's
> activities.

Knee jerk concern.

> After doing a close examination of potential benefits and risks
> of molecular nanotechnology (MNT), we are convinced that the dangers are
> great. We also believe that good solutions may be found,

Only if nanotech is open source and not quagmired in endless debate.

> but that a sense of
> urgency is clearly appropriate.
> CRN's research leads us to conclude that MNT will arrive suddenly, perhaps
> within the next ten years, and almost certainly within the next twenty. If
> it takes the world by surprise, we will not have systems in place that can
> deal with it. No single organization or mindset can create a full and
> appropriate policy--and inappropriate policy will only make things worse. A
> combination of separate policy efforts will get in each other's way, and the
> risks will slip through the cracks. By the time MNT arrives, we must have
> accomplished several things that each take significant time. First, we must
> understand the risks. Second, make policy. Third, design institutions.
> Fourth, create the institutions--at all levels including international
> levels, where things move slowly. This could easily take twenty years.  If
> advanced nanotechnology could arrive in ten or fifteen years, then we'd
> better get to work. (For more, see http://www.crnano.org/action.htm)

This is the silliest and most alarming of all your group's suggestions. The very
last thing

we need is to set up more and still more burgeoning bureaucracies to fuddle the 
works. By

doing this the one thing you can be sure of is that the dangerous stuff will go 

and out of sight. Worse than that all the good stuff will be halted and lost in 

debate mired in myopic committees that have little knowledge, too much self 
interest, way

too much greed for tax dollars -- after all how did you intend to fund it all? 
and likely a

whole lot of graft and corruption. Maybe eventually getting a huge helping of 
tax dollars
is the true aim of CRN?

> >Perhaps my perspective a bit more sensitive. Perhaps? Nay, it damn well is!
> >For those that don't know it yet I am a quadriplegic. Not only that but, I
> >have diabetes, only one kidney remaining, a debilitating and chronically
> >painful bone disease as well as a likewise chronic pain causing nerve
> >disorder via the paralysis and I am but weeks away from possible double
> >amputation. So maybe I am
> >just a little bit closer to the issue when science such as stem cell
> >research, somatic cell nuclear transfer, germ line genetic therapy, even
> >any and all manner of anti aging research, nanotechnology and whatever else
> >the neo luddites fear, come under fire from those ignorant unwashed
> >uneducated superstitious masses. Get the point?!
> I feel for you and share your desire to see the future get here as quickly
> as possible.

If this is really true than re-assess your thinking because from my perspective 
you are

hopelessly flawed. I just can't believe one of our ilk is in favor of more 
regulation and
tax devouring bureaucracy!

> Thank you for sharing your point of view.

Wish I could say the same for yours. I feel yours was better kept to yourself 
before ever
starting this hugely irresponsible project.

Cryonics Institute of Michigan Member!
The Immortalist Society Member!
The Society for Venturism Member!

MY WEBSITE: http://www.geocities.com/~davidpascal/swayze/

Signature Memetic Virus--The worst enemy of those who now or will need medical 
care is the

politician and proselytizing religious bigot who proscribes what doctors are 
allowed to

prescribe and research, with the consent of their patients. Those who understand
this are

strongly encouraged to modify this to fit their personality, and add this to 

signature file, and organize to recover our freedom from Big Brother. For those 
who wait

until they are sick, it will be too late. Those who suffer from diseases which 
might have

been cured by fetal tissue research or schedule 1 drugs banned by Big Brother, 
have the
right to hold accountable those who sat on their hands or worse, deferred their

responsibility for personal and humanity's survival to useless gods and 
religious quacks, while they remained ill and dying.

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