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« Nano Promise and Problems | Main | Better Building Blocks »

June 06, 2004


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Mike Deering

The ability to make lots and lots of conventional weapons is not the biggest threat associated with MM. Witness the first U.S. vs. Iraq war. The victory decisively goes to those with the superior weapon design not quantity. How smart are your weapons? How good are their senses? How targetable, versatile, maneuverable, adaptable are they? These are the factors that determine who wins an arms race, not brute force manufacturing capability, assuming it's a real race and both sides have MM.

Michael Vassar

It's very important that Joy be brought on board in a sensible manner. He is sincerely concerned about these risks, and has enough clout in the tech community to raise the money needed to make a difference. More importantly, he has the software skills to make serious contributions to MNT software design, including safety features, and the connections to find other people with like skills. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't propose a "public debate or discussion". Don't be adversarial at all. That technique is aggressive and unnecessary. There is nothing to be gained by "defeating" him in a debate. He has no followers to dissuade. He will not be impressed. Engage him politely and personally, in a manner resembling the Phoenix Atkins (?) debate on the feasibility of molecular manufacturing. I would like to be involved in doing this actually. If you can contact him and arrange for an appointment I would like to try to attend. I will be discrete and avoid making active proposals, but will try to moderate in order to emphasize the shared aims and to make sure that the sincere mutual desire for the public good overcomes the sincere unstated desire to have a fun but minimally effective debate with a worthy opponent.

Janessa Ravenwood

I disagree. I think he should be kept out of it as much as possible as I doubt he would come over to the "pro-nano" side from what I've heard him say in the past. So unless he's changed his views I believe he's an opponent to the development of nanotechnology at all and as such his only "contribution" would be to say "don't do it." Thus I fail to see how that would be of any help.

Rocky Rawstern

Here's the link to the Atkinson-Phoenix Nanotech Debate


Debate is possible, and minds can be changed.

Mike Deering

As has been noted, Bill Joy is a smart guy with resources, a valuable addition to any endeavor. Even if he can't be convinced that GNR technologies are more positive than negative, he would probably concede that they are inevitable and imminent. And if they are coming anyway, who better to have on the team designing safeguards against the results none of us want to see than Bill Joy? You don't have to convert him to pro-nano, just that relinquishment is impractical, and management is better.

Janessa Ravenwood

Interesting approach. THAT might achieve some results. Good thinking!

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