Some tech news part 2

Les Schaffer godzilla at
Tue Mar 14 05:42:13 PST 2000

Hey Chuck... hows it going?

you sed:

> It runs from the enlightenment dream of science and progress,
> through the machinations of capital, then into US imperial dreams of
> global hegemony, on into the conquest of the earth and everything
> that lives, all in the name of progress---which of course results in
> global poverty, human misery on a vast scale, and exactly the future
> that Bill Joy worries about, while he has basically insured it will
> occur, etc, etc.

Joy's article is to appear in the April Wired, so i am guessing that their online site wont put it up for a month.

NYTimes ran a Reuters piece yesterday on him. This section seems to outline his main contention:

***The first, robotics, involves the development of ''thinking'' computers that within a matter of three short decades could be as much as a million times more powerful than those currently available. Joy sees this as setting the groundwork for a ``robot species'' of intelligent robots that create evolved copies of themselves.

The second, genetics, deals with scientific breakthroughs in manipulating the very structure of biological life. While Joy says this has led to benefits such as pest-resistant crops, it also has set the stage for new, man-made plagues that could literally wipe out the natural world.

The third, nanotechnology, involves the creation of objects on an atom-by-atom basis, which before long could be harnessed to create smart machines that are microscopically small.

All three of these technologies share one characteristic absent in earlier dangerous human inventions such as the atomic bomb: They could easily replicate themselves, creating a cascade effect that could sweep through the physical word in much the same way that a computer virus spreads through the cyberworld.***

i agree with you that Joy doesnt touch the economic foundations for __how__ technology works the way it does.

les schaffer

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