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      CommentAuthorMark Seifert
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (246.1)
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.2)
    I gotta say I'm more excited about the robo and nano technologies.
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      CommentAuthorGypsy
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (246.3)
    Favorite as in which am I betting on will have world domination first? Gray goo is my vote. Take itty bitty little machines and give them the programming that allows them to self replicate...and I think they'd do a better job at creating themselves than the job we'll do at creating them because they would be able to work at scale. Thing is, if they are programmed to self replicate, will they design themselves with the same flaws? Then add in the natural laws of chaos...just one of those things throws in something different, then they start building themselves differently and so on and so forth, et cetera, ad nauseum and...the thought of developing those little nanite suckers to that level scares the crap out of me. Not to mention, they want people to accept the idea of introducing these things into their bodies to replicate and do repairs inside us...and eventually humanity will cave to this. Odds are, our children will eventually be born with cyber parts. Is there a drawback? Ask the mom who hasn't had the nanite enhanced vagina and uterus installed yet....
  1.  (246.4)
    Nope - Gray Goo won't be a problem, the reason behind this is that we can visualise it and therefore protect against it. The worry will be the thing that smacks us completely out of left field. We won't see it coming, and hopefully it'll be something instantaneous. Or slow enough that I can raise my own empire of Road Warriors in order to enjoy the end of the world.

    (Of course Chernobyl was built and could never go wrong - but that hurts my argument so I shall put my fingers in my ears and go "Lalalalalalalalala".

    I do like the GRIN acronym.
    • CommentAuthorBenny
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.5)
    He made good points in what to worry about, but my question is, what other form of technology is out there besides GRIN. Seriously, doesn't GRIN pretty much cover almost all aspect of technology that we have now?
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      CommentAuthorGypsy
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.6)
    @ Reynolds
    Gray Goo won't be a problem, the reason behind this is that we can visualise it and therefore protect against it.

    You're right! So, the solution is to stop right now while we still have a chance!

    In all seriousness, I think that "third option", the one defined under "Prevail" will be the correct outcome in most doomsday scenarios. But that doesn't preclude the fact that it'll get worse before it gets better when the bog juice finally hits the oscillator.
  2.  (246.7)
    Also more seriously - I agree, we haven't managed to kill ourselves yet, and having seen people hack technology to do away with restrictions on them I'm a big fan of 'Nerd Determinism'.

    If someone is bright enough to wipe us out, some other equally bright spark will work out the way to save us.

    That and I'm a born optimist.
  3.  (246.8)
    Haha. The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology thinks that while robotic issues would be more likely to pop up first, if we do reach a certain level of goo technology then we've got problems:
    If we ever get to the point where script kiddies can release dangerous gray goo, we're probably doomed—since it'll surely be harder to stop goo than to stop slow-moving, slow-thinking meat robots from pushing the wrong buttons.
  4.  (246.9)
    Haha. The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology thinks that while robotic issues would be more likely to pop up first, if we do reach a certain level of goo technology then we've got problems:


    No - I reckon that if/when we reach that sort of level we'll have things like the nano killers from Stephenson's 'The Diamond Age' just floating around in the atmosphere. If only because we'd want to be protecting ourselves from rogue states before we have to worry about the script kiddies (I would assume).
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      CommentAuthorBen
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.10)
    I feel like script kiddies would be much more of a threat simply because rogue states would want to use the power of gray goo as leverage for some political goal, whereas script kiddies would release nasty goos simply because they could. No thought to consequences for actions, just "Whee! Look what I can do!".
  5.  (246.11)
    Good points, Reynolds and Ben. It might then become a constantly upgraded battle between new gray goo and new nano killers.
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      CommentAuthorBen
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.12)
    I wonder how long a battle like that would take to reach the point where neither side takes into account the people they were trying to protect and we all die of some horrible respiratory disease.
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      CommentAuthorMark Seifert
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (246.13)
    Ben - probably not very long! There'd be a booming business in doktorsleepless-esque BIOMETRS to constantly monitor your condition.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.14)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    The tech that will change the world has probably already been developed. I read a really good article on the CSIS(Canuk spy service) site about how the future of terrorism/intel/warfighting is using existing tech in new and innovative ways. The article specifically was discussed cell hones and web accessed pay per view sat photos in real time as being extremely important. Strong encryption and instant text messages will also be useful. The article also explained how nobody realized what a boon internet propaganda would be for insurgents. I have some insurgent made Juba sniper vids and it is very dramatic and effective.
  6.  (246.15)
    I have some insurgent made Juba sniper vids and it is very dramatic and effective.


    Meanwhile the West has Ogrish. Stuff like terrorists/insurgents being shot to the soundtrack of 'Yakkity-sax' (The Benny Hill music).

    (I don't feel the need to link to the videos - go find them yourself if that sort of thing floats your boat, I can do without it).

    But, yes - a good point that information and propaganda may well be the catalyst that finishes us off.

    Perhaps two new initials for the GRIN acronym - I for Information and M for Meme.
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      CommentAuthorGypsy
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
     (246.16)
    Okay, here's something I find a little unnerving. And it's being used right now...An A&E Billboard 'Whispers' a Spooky Message Audible Only in Your Head in Push to Promote Its New 'Paranormal' Program The technology is called an "Audio Spotlight" and it's being produced by a company called Holosonic.
    The Audio Spotlight is a revolutionary new audio technology that creates sound in a narrow beam, just like light. Aim the flat, thin speaker disc to your desired listening area, and provide all of the sound — with none of the noise.

    Imagine that, an honest to goodness excuse for those strange voices you hear in your head.

    *Quick note- Damn voices are whispering to Ryan Thomas and Warren Ellis, too. This is also posted in Warren Ellis' blog but I didn't know that until five minutes ago.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (246.17)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    How long till some kid changes the wispers to"burn everything"?
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
     (246.18)
    "Good points, Reynolds and Ben. It might then become a constantly upgraded battle between new gray goo and new nano killers."

    That would be analogous to the ongoing co-evolution of bacteria and phages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage

    The trick is to ensure the killers evolve at the same rate as, or faster than, the goo.

    (Of course, this is also analogous to the ongoing battle between anti-virus software writers and black-hat hackers. So far, that's been pretty much a draw. Of course, if the anti-virus guys ever got a definitive advantage they'd all be out of a job, kinda like a predator wiping out its prey.)

    The killer-makers are likely to have the same or more resources than the goo-makers and will be able to track the goo outbreaks and learn from them.

    One neat trick of phage therapy is that the doctors take blood samples from patients who recover and extract the phages. The next patient who gets treated will get phage cultured from multiple different donors and is more likely to have at least some phages capable of beating the bacterial strain they're infected with.

    In other words, the phage are exposed to additional evolutionary pressure compared to the bacteria.

    The question is how we duplicate that with nonkillers.

    Considering we're probably currently decades away from being able to build a fully autonomous self-replicating robot on any scale, I think we still have time to plan.
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      CommentAuthorGypsy
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
     (246.19)
    @Kosmopolit
    The trick is to ensure the killers evolve at the same rate as, or faster than, the goo.

    ...so, if it is possible, what then happens when they run out of goo? In the interest of "job security" would there ever be an end or just a constant evolution?

    However, you must keep in mind that, while you're preoccupied with battling gray goo, a genetically nano-enhanced zombie created by the new generation of cyborgs will come out of nowhere, take a bite out of your butt and robotics will assume dominion over the technology race...
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