[ExI] How fun could doom intelligent life to a blissful extinction

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Thu Jul 20 20:29:49 UTC 2023

On 20/07/2023 20:05, BillK wrote:
> For countries with nanotech it could help to address the challenges
> such as resource depletion and environmental degradation. On the other
> hand, it could lead to a widening gap between rich and poor countries,
> as those with access to nanotech could reduce their populations while
> those without would continue to grow.
> The distribution of nanotech is also an issue. If it falls into the
> wrong hands, it could be used for harmful purposes, such as
> bioterrorism or the development of new weapons. It is therefore
> essential to develop effective mechanisms for controlling the
> distribution and use of nanotech safely to poorer countries that hate
> the developed world.
> If nanotech with virtually unlimited power is developed, then humanity
> will only survive with total control over how every member of the
> population uses nanotech. Perhaps an AGI which monitors and controls
> the behaviour of every human will be required.
> Humans are a very unruly mob to be given unlimited power.

Now I think it might be you who isn't thinking things through.

If advanced nanotech is the panacaea we think it will be, then we should 
encourage its spread to literally everyone in the world.

What are the root causes of terrorism and armed conflict? why do poorer 
countries hate richer ones? If nanotech can indeed cure these problems, 
then restricting it will just exacerbate them.
Yes, there will be the odd nutters who don't care how well off they can 
be, but just want to cause mayhem, but that's just as true in the first 
world as in the third. Of course we will need defenses against the 
occasional rogue use of nanotech, but to talk about 'the wrong hands' is 
just falling back into the kind of thinking that causes most of our 
problems in the first place.

I think it wll be essential to develop effective mechanisms for widely 
distributing nanotech to every country and individual in the world. 
There will be problems, of course, but the advantages will massively 
outweigh them, I think.

I want to look forward to a future where there is no wealth gap between 
countries, or even between individuals, and I think nanotech has the 
potential to achieve that. Not to mention, of course, its potential to 
completely disrupt authoritarian regimes.

We've seen what the internet has done. Individually-controllable, 
advanced nanotech would leave the internet in the dust, in terms of 
individual empowerment. Imagine a world where every female on the planet 
has total control of her own reproductive system, just for starters.


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