[extropy-chat] MARS: Because it is hard

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 15 15:16:08 UTC 2004

--- Dan Clemmensen <dgc at cox.net> wrote:
> Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> >Begs a very good question as to when they start yanking projects
> because
> >it looks like nanotech is really going to be feasible and the
> lifetime
> >of the project using standard tech is past the transition point so
> it
> >will just make no sense to try and do it before when it will be so
> >much easier after.
> >  
> >
> If you really believe that nanotech will be available at time X, then
> you should not start a project that has a payoff time later than X.
> Note that many people seem to think that X is 2020 or before. Most
> research has a longer payoff time than 15.5 years.

Some people think x is 2020, typically those who are satisfied to sit
around and wait for the nano-Santa. Such typically ignore the very real
threat of the Ku Kass Klan putting the nano-Santa up against a wall to
be shot for excessive vision, imagination, and aggravated

> The problem with this is that you immediately get accused of
> abandoning progress when you apply this line of reasoning.

Depends. If its an excuse to lotus-eat and navel-watch, it is
abandoning progress. If you are actually doing research and/or getting
active on defensive politics, watching our backsides, its okay.

> Logically, we should redirect all R&D into nanotech and computing.
> One of these two will get to the SI, and the SI will achieve any
> research goal sooner than we can achieve it without the SI. We do
> need to define nanotech and computing fairly broadly. On the other
> hand, we cannot really use all that money effectively, so it may be
> just as well to let most of society pretend that other
> research is relevant :-)

Well, yes, keeping everybody busy with make-work will keep them too
occupied to get pissed off at Nano-Santa when all he delivers is coal.
Murphy says its not likely to be as awesome as claimed. Nano is such a
high risk payoff that one must approach it realistically with a "don't
quit your day job" mentality.

Mike Lorrey
Chairman, Free Town Land Development
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                                       - Gen. John Stark
Sado-Mikeyism: http://mikeysoft.zblogger.com

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