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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Peter Merel pete at extro.su.oz.au
Sun Feb 19 19:56:40 EST 1995

Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:
>past, planning for the long view with a real plan.  The picture you paint
>could not occur without a great deal of long planning and sticking to the
>goals that may well conflict with IMMEDIATE desire.  Otherwise, IF such 
>things came to pass, it would be by happenstance and in a far-off future.

I see nothing in nanotech that is incommensurable with immediate profit. If
we can easily reclaim and beautify  today's deserts and toxic dumps, do you
imagine that people will not buy real estate there? If we can construct
much faster and more capacitous computers, do you see no commercial advantage
in using them? If we can engineer materials of such strength and with such 
low cost that space elevators become feasible, can you imagine that nations
would not desire to extend their borders to the fantastic amounts of primary 
resources that are available off earth? Given the global threat of 
destruction by rogue nanomachines, do you think that military forces will not
fund nanotech research? When we can construct pills that will prevent ageing,
cure cancer and immunise against every known disease, do you think that 
people will not shell out hand over fist to buy them? When we can replace
all of today's energy generation and transportation technologies with 
clean solar energy and vast capacity batteries, at practically no cost,
do you think that no one will want to buy them? If food can be constructed
without the need to clear land, plant crops or slaughter animals, for 
practically no cost and without any threat from drought or flood, do you 
think that no one will pay to eat it?

If you can think of a single reason why people will not pour money into these
fantastically remunerative business opportunities, I'd really like to hear it.
Don't hand us a bunch of abstract guff about history - give us concrete
counterexamples and real problems. If humans were ruled by history then 
they'd still be pond scum; if you want us to believe that nanotech won't be 
attempted or achieved in the next couple of decades, then tell us _why_.

Internet:pete at extro.su.oz.au           |         Accept Everything.            |
http://www.usyd.edu.au/~pete           |         Reject Nothing.               |

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