Terrorists’ Misunderstanding and Fear of “Grey Goo” Lead to Attempted Scientist Bombing
“Last month, Armando Herrera Corral was wounded when a package delivered to his office at Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education turned out to be a bomb. Nobody knows who sent the package. But someone posted a manifesto online, taking credit for the attack and explaining why they targeted Corral.
The terrorists, by their own account, acted out of fear—of “grey goo,” the sci-fi scenario where sentient nanotech robots replicate themselves to the point that they devour everything on Earth. If you believe that threat is imminent, you have no choice but to defend humanity. Even if that means trying to kill people like Corral, director of a technology transfer center at the Monterrey Institute.
But how does somebody’s perception of science, and scientists, get so screwed up?”
This episode involves an infinitely multiplying army of self replicating Benders that threaten to devour the entire planet. Grey Goo whut whut!
Grey goo is a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario known as ecophagy (“eating the environment”).
Self-replicating machines of the macroscopic variety were originally described by mathematician John von Neumann, and are sometimes referred to as von Neumann machines. The term grey goo was coined by nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, stating that “we cannot afford certain types of accidents.” In 2004 he stated “I wish I had never used the term ‘grey goo’.” (wikipedia)