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kilobug comments on Total Nano Domination - Less Wrong

11 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 November 2008 09:54AM

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Comment author: kilobug 24 September 2011 09:43:51AM 0 points [-]

Interesting article. I would add two other reasons for which replication is not a binary phenomena :

  1. The speed of the replication. I somehow imagine that nanotech will be able to replicate itself very fast (in a matter of minutes), but that may not be the case, there may be reasons (like need to store enough energy before doing some operations, and the energy only arriving slowly) which would make it much slower.

  2. Most importantly, the conditions in which the nanobot can self-replicate. Between a nanobot able to replicate itself under very carefully controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, light exposure, concentration of supplies in the different atoms it requires, and one able to reproduce itself in the rainforest, the crater of a volcano and the moon (not even speaking of deep space), there is a large margin, both in term of breakthrough required to make the bot, and in term of gain advantage. I would give a high confidence level (above 90%) than the first fully-replicated nanobot will only be self-replicating in carefully controlled conditions, not in the "wild".

On another topic, I don't agree with « thanks to nuclear weapons making small wars less attractive ». Nuclear weapons made big wars (direct clash of major powers, or world wars) much less attractive, but it didn't made "small" wars less attractive. Quit the opposite, it made the major powers struggle with each other by fighting "small wars" in foreign countries, and it didn't (at least not significantly) lower the amount of "small wars" between non-major countries.