james at exaflop.demon.co.uk
Mon Jun 8 04:34:03 EST 1998
>Where do these "grey goo" machines get the energy to replicate? That is in
>itself a resource. How do they get rid of the heat generated? We already
>have huge sectons of the earth subject to wild out-of-control chemical
>reactions. They're called bushfires. Even at a high efficiency (just
>releasing heat, not building complex chemical structures from mostly
>inert elements) they require extremely favorable environments to spread
>and release huge amounts of energy (energy that the replicators would
>need to deal with, yet they're extremely susceptible to).
You could well be right. I am certainly no expert in nanotechnology (nobody
is) but it is possible. Infact if you wanted to use nanotechnology for
tasks such as building construction then some of the problems your describe
will doubtlessly need to be solved, and if someone manages to solve these
problems for controled sytstem then it is posible that such a technology
could go 'nuts'.
Even if the enginearing problems of nanotechnology meen that this can't
occur it still does not move away from the issue of 'technological
singularity' that was the soruce of this discussion.
However in answer to your question, nano technology could be made far more
flexible than a fire using chemical and/or solar energy to operate. The
heat problem can be solved to a degree by slowing the whole process down a
little and maybe using the peltier effect to move heat into a storage
location ready radiate it into space at night time.
However if nanotechnology can work at any speed and the only counter to it
is nanotechnology then with a reasnable head start their would be no stoping
it even if it took a year instead of a couple of days to completel its job.
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