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3184Re: [nanotech] economics, nanofacturing, and the social implications

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  • biodun olusesi
    Jun 2, 2003
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      If I get this argument right, as long as we remain MACROSOMIC, having the wherewithal to manipulate submicroscopic or even subatomic particles for our needs is going to serve just that - OUR NEEDS! Our creations will not replace us.
      This to me is a brilliant argument. When we reach the point in history when the effects/products of Nanotechnology become all-pervading, the major fear expressed so far has been that of CONTROL (e.g how do you prevent the grey-goo? etc). and that is why I believe that subsequent human progress at that point will rely on those who shift attention from nanotechnology to "subnanotechnology" (can you change the properties of an atom by manipulating its subatomic components?).
      Someone wrote that to know how stupid somebody is, you need to look a liitle bit below him (i.e at his subs, his component parts).
      Human mind will forever remain insatiable until he fashions out the solution to any adverse effect of whatever technology he creates. and nanotechnology is, and will never be an exception.
      Mark Gubrud <mgubrud@...> wrote:
      The dilemma facing capitalism is that when you get to technology at the
      level of nanotech and human-equivalent artificial intelligence, the
      exchange value of human labor collapses.  Another way of looking at this
      is that capitalism works today as a social system because everyone is
      born with two valuable pieces of capital: their brain and body. 

      Already the progress of technology is devaluing both, resulting in
      dislocation, unemployment and underemployment, and excessive
      concentration of wealth.  But at the level of nanotech, the floor drops
      out, the process is complete, and human brains and bodies fall in value
      to the price of hamburger, which is going to be pretty cheap if it can
      be nanoassembled.

      One thing I like about this is that it sheds a harsh bright light on
      processes that we see taking place in the world already, or that have
      been taking place since as far back as ca. 1800 (hence the Luddites, et
      al.); and it shows that there isn't always going to be a new industry
      that we can retrain people for (as if 45-year old factory workers thrown
      out of jobs thanks to free trade and automation could really start new
      careers in software or biotech anyway).

      Back in the Cold War days it was said that communism could never work
      because it required the creation of a "new man" unlike what human beings
      really are.  It was said that capitalism made a better fit to human
      nature.  So what happens when capitalism no longer fits human nature?

      One group, the transhumanists, already has an answer: A new humanity!

      We seem to have forgotten the argument that capitalism was good because
      it served people well.  Now we seem to think people are only as good as
      their service to capitalism.

      We seem to have forgotten that technology was created by people to serve
      human needs.  Now we think that people will become obsolete when
      technology doesn't need them anymore. 

      I think we have some more thinking to do.

      Mark Avrum Gubrud                  |  "The Farce?"
      Center for Superconductivity Research      |  "Well, the Farce is what
      Physics Dept., University of Maryland      |  gives a Jolli his power.
      College Park, MD 20742-4111 USA            |  It's a comedy field created
      ph 301-405-7581 fx 301-314-9541            |  by all suffering things..."

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