[extropy-chat] Rapid prototyping makes police state more likely

John john.heritage at v21.me.uk
Mon Sep 25 14:31:52 UTC 2006

> Humanity is facing an entirely new threat with the rapid prototyping.
> spike

Indeed, printing birdy sized drones and things from your desktop could be 
possible in a decade or two.

The problem there would be the number of different, probably specialised, 
materials that would need printing and fitting together to produce something 
that can fly, for example (motors need light conductors like copper, wings 
need to be light but strong etc). That would drive up the cost and 
complexity of the process. Of coarse, there's scope for inventive ideas to 
limit those requirements - like finding a material that works for the body 
as well as the wings.

But I still suspect their use as weapons probably won't come about until the 
technology begins to trickle down.

You, of coarse, need to offset the cost and complexity of buying the 
stereolithograph equipment and running it against the end effect. For most 
terrorists, I think a gun and bomb is going to remain the standard weapon of 
choice for decades to come.

And, as has already been pointed out, by the time the terrorist has hold of 
a 3D multimaterial stereolithograph machine, the people who build things to 
protect people from the possible malevolent creations will have already 
produced something better.

However, I personally prefer the line of thinking that desktop prototyping 
will allow us to build more things to help people out and prevent them ever 
wanting to go along with that line of thought to begin with.


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