Re: Billy, stop feeding your robot scraps from the table.

  • From: Steve Baker <ice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 11:13:48 -0500

Neil Doane <caine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> * Steve Baker (ice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) on [07-19-00 19:15] did utter:
> >   Humans and tanks will be cheaper and more effective for quite some time I
> > should think.  Besides, nuclear power is a much more efficient and reliable
> > long term energy source if you want to build a roaming people eating 
> > machine.
> Okay, well obviously ice has no sense of fiction.  I mean, think 'The
> Matrix' or 'Terminator' or something. :)  Besides, can you show me a 
> portable nuclear generator that we have working right now?  Self-sustaining,

  Virtually every deep space probe we've ever launched was equipped with a
nuclear pile, and several moon missions carried along nuclear piles to power
the many scientific instruments that were left behind.  How they worked and
much power they produced is unknown to me but they must have been designed
to produce at least 8 watts for at least some 20-30 years, which they did,
and all were small enough for a single man to lug around.

> hunter-seeker robots that can hunt down and find their own sources of power
> (albeit humans, birds, dogs, whatever) indefinately and are basically 
> mass-produced disposable heros in a box that you can dump by the thousand 
> out of a C-130 over enemy lines...sounds like an interesting sci-fi 
> book. ;)

  Genetically engineered viruses that just kill your enemy are scarier if
you ask me.  We already have Cruise missles, and they cost far too much, so
I don't think you're going to sell me the idea that we can make complex
robots for cheap, at least not if the military makes the specs.  Besides I
doubt that the military would want to unleash these things on the world
unchecked.  What's to keep them from being captured, re-programmed and
turned on those who built them in the first place.

>  Oh, something like that could also be used to wipe out enemy food
> stores, drop them in like locusts, ravenous for wheat, corn, people,
> whatever they can get their teeth into.  It's sortof a Bond-villian sortof
> thing.  

  And totally unrealistic, even in the long term.  If you want to destroy
their food, then poison it or use bacteria to contaminate it (or eat it
even), building small robots to eat it is ridiculous.  Using them to seek out
the food and contaminate it, that's something else (which a solar powered
robo-insect might be capible of doing).

                                                                - Steve

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