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3199Re: [nanotech] economics, nanofacturing, and the social implications

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  • Mark Gubrud
    Jun 3, 2003
      > paulc@... wrote:

      > computer power is already displacing brainpower in economic
      > roles,
      > for example when architects and engineers use Autocad
      > instead of hiring
      > draftspeople, or when telephone operators are supplanted by
      > voice-recognition and automated call-routing, etc. etc.
      > etc...
      > These jobs are hardly the creative types of work required of
      > human brains.

      I don't think I claimed that computers were already equivalent to human
      brains. They will be in a few decades. The issue of "creativity" is a
      red herring. There is nothing that a human brain can do that a machine
      of equivalent or greater processing power cannot.

      > According to your cynical outlook, soon
      > computers will be running the world
      > for....COMPUTERES!!!!...wake up and smell the humans

      They'll be running it for the wealthy individuals and institutions of
      power that own them. Computers will "take over" only if we let them,
      but unfortunately the present political-economic structure is more or
      less guaranteed to let them.

      > You seem to have a rather bleak view of the
      > future....

      No, a realistic assessment of what we're up against. Maybe I have in
      some ways a more bleak view of the present than most people like to
      have, but that, too, is realism. As for the future, it remains to be

      > as for embracing technology, i see nothing wrong with
      > that, especially if we are trying to embrace it to protect
      > it from being horded by others....

      Well, I prefer to embrace a warm human body, but I have nothing against
      the use of technology to serve human needs and desires; what I object to
      is deifying technology or allowing technology to set the agenda and I
      object to any plans for dehumanization or the destruction of our

      > do we want robots? just because we can make robots to
      > design our homes and cars....do we want them? do we want to
      > make ourselves redundant? whose interest would that serve?

      People will want to use machines including robots and computers. Maybe
      you enjoy doing some kinds of work, but usually only if you have a
      choice, and if there's something you don't want to do but you need to
      have it done, you may use a machine. In practice, there are a lot more
      things that people want or need to have done than they have time or
      desire to do themselves.

      > According to you, I should go tie myself to a railroad track
      > now and get it over with...who wants to live in your world?

      I'm not sure what you base that on. The world can be whatever we make
      it. I'm just pointing out the need for a radical rethinking of

      > but then maybe your answer is to stop the spread of
      > technology, to go back, something far more unrealistic than
      > anything i've proposed

      No, maybe that's your answer, but I never suggested such a thing. There
      are some uses or forms of technology that we should block, but we can
      use other forms of advanced technology to obtain what we desire without
      threatening our own survival and values.
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