Random signs of the end-times

Ken Shirley, ex-ACT MP, is now running Organics Aotearoa New Zealand. In other news, pigs fly, sky falls, Michael Jackson black and beer gets colder when left out in the sun.


The Singularity, in the year 1835

The Ministry (of RS&T) is working on a roadmap for nanotech. Which set me thinking… So here’s Dr Me’s roadmap for a technology that could revolutionise civilisation. I call it macrotech! Take some high-precision, dimensionally stable material, say cast iron, and use it to create a single-point, rotational cutting device, namely, a lathe. We’ll only need to do this hard step once, because you can use a lathe to make another lathe. So, once you’ve got one lathe, you’ll rapidly have two, then four, then eight, and so on.

In a very small period of time, lathes will make everything that we could possibly need and we’ll live lives of indolent luxury. (There may be some risk that the whole world will be covered in out-of-control lathes and humanity will be their slaves.)

Of course, what happened back in RealityLand was the two-hundred year long Industrial Revolution, which quintupled our population, raised the wealth of about half of us and got us to the Moon, and yes, lead to some people being slaves to the lathes (see Marx).

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