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<nettime> Bill Joy on the threats of technology
cisler on Wed, 15 Mar 2000 19:08:12 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Bill Joy on the threats of technology


In the current Wired magazine Bill Joy, chief scientist at Sun
Microsystems, has the lead piece entitled "Why the future doesn't need us" 
< www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html> wherein he describes his
worries about self-replicating technologies: robotics, nano-technology,
biotech. 

It's worth a look because of the credentials of the writer, not because
others have not said the same thing. In fact, he comments quite a bit on
Ted Kaczynski, as well as Ray Kurzweil and Hans Moravec (both of whom seem
to view humans as part of the transition to smart machines that will
actually run affairs on earth...and elsewhere). 

Here is a brief quote:

"The nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) technologies used in
20th-century weapons of mass destruction were and are largely military,
developed in government laboratories. In sharp contrast, the 21st-century
GNR (genetics nanotechnology and robotics) technologies have clear
commercial uses and are being developed almost exclusively by corporate
enterprises. In this age of triumphant commercialism, technology - with
science as its handmaiden - is delivering a series of almost magical
inventions that are the most phenomenally lucrative ever seen. We are
aggressively pursuing the promises of these new technologies within the
now-unchallenged system of global capitalism and its manifold financial
incentives and competitive pressures. 

This is the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by
its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself - as well as to
vast numbers of others." 

I'm taking part in a discussion on Wired's future mailing list with a
number of other writers, doers, scientists, and I've recommended a few
techno-skeptics be included. If anything earthshaking takes place, I'll
report back.  Meanwhile, the article might be worth discussing here on
nettime. 


Steve Cisler
4415 Tilbury Drive, San Jose, CA 95130
cisler {AT} pobox.com
http://home.inreach.com/cisler
(408) 379 9076
"There are some places where the road keeps going."
-Bud Parker.


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