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