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The Nanotech Network by Alexander Lazarevich.[Part 2]

 

Part three: on the brink of a revolution

 

3.1 July 7, 1997. Recording of A.Levshovís address to the people.

ďComrades, ladies and gentlemen, and just people! The things that Iím going to tell you now may seem to you so improbable, that itís possible you may not want to continue listening to me and will want to switch to another channel. Please donít do it, because at the end of my speech Iím going to give you such proofs of the truth of my words that can convince even a most hardened skeptic. I cannot present these proofs immediately, because, without my preliminary explanations, the things you are going to see and hear may frighten some of you. So please be patient and listen to me for a quarter of an hour. Even if the first part of my speech may seem boring, or obscure, or unbelievably absurd to you, I can promise that by the end of my speech you wonít be disappointed.

You all know that the current social order called capitalism didnít always exist. Way back at the dawn of history, at the time when there was still no technology, whenever a man needed food, or an animal skin for his clothing, or firewood for his bonfire, that man just went to a nearest forest and took whatever he need directly from Mother Nature. It goes without saying that there was no money back then. It was a sort of prehistoric communism. This state of affairs lasted for tens of thousands of years, which is much longer than the time that has passed from the moment when money was invented a mere few thousand years ago. In other words, one may say that a moneyless society is, in a certain sense, more Ďnaturalí, more in harmony with the human nature.

It may well be that many of you wonít agree with such statement. The official propaganda is now trying to convince everybody that capitalism is the society most fully consistent with the human nature, and, consequently, capitalism is eternal. I think that falseness of the latter statement is obvious to any thoughtful mind: nothing in this world is forever, everything that has a beginning has an end. The only question is: What is going to replace capitalism?

To answer this question, weíve got first to understand what made capitalism possible in the first place, that is how did it happen that almost every thing in the world (with a few exceptions, like air, which one can still get for free) could be assigned a certain numerical value called the cost of that thing. The fact is that the cost of any thing consists of four components. The first component is the rarity of the material of which this or that thing is made: the shorter the supply of the material, the higher the cost of the product. The second component is the mechanical work required to manufacture the thing: the more physical energy went into building a thing, the costlier it is. The third and the fourth components are related to the information imparted to the thing during its manufacture. Every thing differs from an amorphous mass of raw materials of which it is made in that it has a certain structure, in that the initial raw materials in it are arranged and ordered in accordance with drawings, or with programs loaded in a numerically controlled machine tool, or simply with the ideas in the head of a craftsman. In other words, whenever a thing is manufactured, an information contained in drawings or in some other source is copied onto the initial raw materials. And this information also contributes to the cost of the final product. When we consider this phenomenon weíve got to distinguish between two aspects - the cost of creating the information itself, and the cost of copying this information during manufacturing of a product. The cost of creating information is the cost of the creative labor of inventors and designers who create drawings of a future, still non-existent product, the cost of the labor of a writer who is writing a book which is still to be printed, that is, converted into a final product, a thing. The cost of copying the information is the cost of the labor of workers cutting the metal according to the drawings, the cost of the labor of typographical workers printing the book. The more difficult it is to perform this process of copying, the more expensive the final product will be. Thus, the rarity of the material, the amount of expended energy, the effort required to create information, and the effort required to copy it are the four components of the cost of any product.

Capitalism can successfully evolve and progress only if there are proper conditions for providing adequate remuneration for the creative effort of the information makers, that is, only if the cost of creating the information can be included in the price of the final product, thus providing an incentive for the inventor to further improve his product. In the nineteenth century, which was the age of rapid growth for capitalism, this was not a problem because of a peculiarity of the then level of technology. The peculiarity consisted in the fact that in order to manufacture almost any thing, you need a fairly large factory with a large number of machine tools and workers. Back in those times, if somebody would have wanted to copy, for example, a book without paying fees to the author, he would have had to find a printing house, which employed at least several people, potential witnesses to his act of piracy. In other words, in the nineteenth century, due to a low level of technology, the process of copying was very complicated, which made infringements of copyright or patent law almost impossible. The inventors and authors were receiving proper rewards for their inventions and works, which resulted in a rapid progress of technology.

As technological progress went on, in all the industries the process of copying was growing increasingly simple, requiring less and less labor, while the copying equipment was growing smaller and less expensive. And so now, by the end of the twentieth century, the situation in some of the industries is such that a man sitting at home can single-handedly and fairly quickly copy any product of that industry. And thatís why the end of the twentieth century became the era of mass piracy, which cannot be stopped in principle. When I say ďmass piracyí I donít mean factories somewhere in China that churn out unlicensed products - these are actually the ones that can be easily detected and closed down, if only there is a political will to do so. No, what I really mean is individual piracy that we indulge in at our own home when we tape a movie aired on TV on our VCR, take a computer game from a friend and copy it on our diskette, or scan and print out on our home printer a book written by somebody else. And the home printer is just a beginning. If we extend this technological trend into the future, weíll see that in a few decades we are going to have an all-purpose home robot that will be able to copycat and manufacture any product, not only a book . And then the individual piracy will make inroads into all the industries, not only video, audio, software and publishing industries that are the hardest-hit today.

And you also have to keep in mind that the accessibility of information will also be continuously growing. Probably all of you have heard about Internet, and many of you have actually used it. Today, the home printer is probably the only ďmachine toolĒ that can be hooked up to the Internet. But as soon as the all-purpose home robot comes into existence, there will be programs posted on the Internet that will allow to manufacture all kinds of things using that robot. Youíll need only one hacker in the world to make any licensed product freely available to all the mankind. Sure enough, the makers of information will do their best to protect their copy rights and patents. Tougher and tougher laws will be passed against piracy. But the only way to enforce such laws would be to create a totalitarian state that watches over every little step of its citizens, monitors their every phone call, and conducts regular searches in every household to check for the existence of unlicensed things in that household. As a result of the development of information technologies, from a society of economic freedom capitalism will turn into a society of non-economic coercion. The Internet, originally hyped as the triumph of capitalism, will actually turn out to be its gravedigger.

The only way to avoid the rise of the global state of total surveillance is to legalize free use of information, to recognize that any information is the common property of all the mankind and can be copied by any citizen of planet Earth free of charge and without any restrictions. You might ask what the inventors will have to live upon, if they cannot sell their inventions, because they wonít even have money to buy themselves food? The only answer to this question is to abolish money. Using todayís science and technology one can transform the Nature in such a way that man will once again be able to freely take from Nature all that he needs, just as he did throughout the major part of the mankindís history, up till the moment when society based on money came into being.

The evolution of society moves along a spiral path - after completing a full circle society returns almost to where it had been before, but on a higher plane.

And now we have reached the most important part of my todayís speech. Comrades, ladies and gentlemen, and simply people! I am proud to have been entrusted with the honor of announcing to you the most important news in the history of mankind. The spiral has completed a full circle - a technological system capable of supporting all your needs has already been developed, tested and deployed, and is ready for operation from today on. The only thing left to do is to issue a command to completely activate the system, and Iím going to do this in a few minutesí time. But before I inaugurate this system, I would like to briefly explain to you how it works. As you probably know, inside each person there have always lived billions of bacteria, some of them absolutely innocuous, some less so. Not long ago, a team of scientists which I represent here, took the liberty of spreading a strain of bacteria which was engineered in our lab and which is absolutely harmless to human beings. I want to emphasize this last fact - these bacteria are not only absolutely harmless, they are actually good for your health, and can help your body fight off many kinds of diseases. These are no ordinary bacteria, these are self-replicating engineering systems, which took us fifteen years of hard work to develop. These bacteria, which have by now spread all over the world, are capable of storing and exchanging data in the same way as computers hooked up to the Internet. We have called this data network of bacteria the NanoTech Network, since its physical basis are the nanotechnological devices built into these bacteria. This network can do absolutely every thing that the Internet can do. Actually, we even have a gateway to Internet, we can retrieve data from it. So, in a certain sense, NanoTech is a subnetwork of the global network Internet. But on the other hand, NanoTech is capable of doing many things of which the Internet is still incapable, and in that sense NanoTech represents the next evolutionary step after the Internet, its logical extension.

As I have already said, the only ďmachine toolĒ that at present can be hooked up to the Internet is a printer. In a few years, a home robot may be added to that list. But in any case, the robot will need a source of power and materials for manufacturing new things, and that means that even if the information is free, the final product itself isnít, because the other two components of price - power and materials - still remain. Add to this the amortization of equipment - the robot and computer eventually are going to wear out - plus the phone bills, and youíll realize that one cannot change over to a moneyless society using the classical Internet concept.

On the other hand, NanoTech takes all the power and materials it needs quite literally out of the air, and thatís why one can safely say that itís as gratuitous as the air itself. For the raw materials, NanoTech extracts carbon atoms from its environment, arranges them into a thing in accordance with the data stored in the network, and as soon as the need for that particular thing ceases to exist, it just releases these atoms back into the environment. This kind of technology is environmentally safe from all aspects. It doesnít produce wastes. It mimics nature in its workings - one may even say that it just adds one more cycle to the natural recycling of atoms. This new cycle is man-made, but it is made in similitude to the Natureís own cycles.

Conventional technologies pull atoms out of their natural cycles for prolonged periods of time, and bind them inside dead things that are very rarely used, if ever. Conventional things exist regardless of the fact whether we need them in this particular moment or not. Thatís why conventional technologies need so much raw material - because the efficiency of their use of that material is extremely low. And thatís why conventional technologies are such a burden on the environment.

In contrast to this, NanoTech requires very little amounts of raw materials, because it doesnít bind atoms in dead things, because at any given moment in time most of its things exist only as virtual things, as data in the network, and they materialize only when they are actually needed. Itís exactly because of this that NannoTech puts very little load on the environment, and itís exactly because of this that NanoTech can satisfy all the needs of all the people on Earth, and not only of the chosen ones living in the rich countries, and do all this without causing an ecological disaster.

And when I say Ďall the needsí I do mean all the things that have been invented by Man, and all the things he is still to invent in the future. Currently the NanoTech Network doesnít contain too much data, and there are still not very many things that it knows how to build (although the things which it already knows how to build are quite sufficient to allow any person to lead an independent life with a living standard adequate for preserving oneís dignity and self-respect). But you will be able to fill it with new data and teach it to build many new things. The NanoTech is an all-purpose machine that can be infinitely upgraded, improved and enhanced. The most important thing is to use it in Reason, and not to teach it evil. Governments originally developed this system as a means of sabotage against other countries. Eventually, this system could be used as a means of total surveillance over every citizen, if the above-mentioned regime of strict enforcement of copyright and patent law were to be instituted. I saw what the things were coming to, so I stole this system from the rulers to give it to you people. That was the only chance to stop the impending disaster. But to make this chance into a reality, youíve got to use this system right. This system must serve only Reason, and it must never be used for seeking and gaining advantages over other people, otherwise the history will repeat itself - once again there will emerge the Rulers and the Ruled, the Rich and the Poor, the Elite and the Outcasts - and then the Disaster will become inevitable. Then, wars, fights and killings will continue, but this time with an assured total mutual destruction at the end of the road, since this time the weapons will be one hundred percent accurate, efficient and deadly.

But we do have a chance to avoid this, because now, for the first time in the history of mankind, you, each and everyone of you, are absolutely free and independent. As recently as this morning each of you had the Damoclesí sword of fear hanging above your heads, fear that your neighbor will get ahead of you and will snatch your bread from your mouth. This fear was suspended over every person throughout the entire history of mankind, and it was this fear that made people trample their neighbors, elbow aside the weak, trying to snatch a bigger piece of pie, to carve out their place in the sun.

In a few seconds Iím going to activate the NanoTech Network, and each of you will get access to the means for a dignified life. But before I do this, I want you to clearly understand one thing: nobody will ever be able to take away from you what you are going to receive now. You will never again have to be fearful of your neighbor. Whatever happens to you from now on, youíll always have food and lodgings. Youíll have to learn to treat other people not as competitors, but as friends to whom youíll be giving the fruits of your creative labor and receiving the fruits of their creativity from them.The NanoTech belongs to all the mankind, and at the same time it belongs to each of you. These are not just empty words or slogans. This is reality, because the NanoTech is first and foremost the information it contains, and the information, by virtue of its very nature, can simultaneously belong to an infinite number of people. Bernard Shaw once said: ďIf you have an apple, and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples, both you and I will still have one apple. But if you have an idea, and I have an idea, and we exchange ideas, youíll have two ideas, and Iíll have two ideas.Ē And since NanoTech contains not things themselves, but rather the ideas of things, the only way to get rich in the NanoTech System will be to give your ideas to all the mankind, in order to augment the common bank of ideas. To give, rather then to take away, as it used to be throughout all the previous history of mankind, when people had to live not among ideas, but among material things that indeed could only be acquired by taking them away from other people.

But now all this is over. I want you to clearly understand that from now on there is no objective need to behave in this way. From now on you are free. You are free to be humans, not beasts that snatch gobbets from each otherís maw. And the only things that may prevent us from living happily are bad habits and customs that have accumulated over the previous history of mankind, and the instincts that we have inherited from our bestial ansestors. Only our reason can overcome these last barriers. And I believe that the Reason will at last prevail, because now, for the first time in the history of mankind, the material circumstances of peoplesí lives will be on its side.

I intend to demand from all the governments in the world that they immediately let anyone, who will express such a wish, give up his or her citizenship in their respective countries, and become simply citizens of planet Earth. In so doing, the governments will be obligated to destroy all their records, files and any other documents related to such persons, and begin to consider such persons as non-existent, that is, the governments will no longer be supposed to levy taxes on such persons, to conscript them into military service, and so on. All the care about the well-being, health, education and security of such persons will be assumed by the NanoTech Network and voluntary societies of the citizens of NanoTech.Ē

Levshov fell silent for a couple of seconds and then said:

ďI have just issued the command to enable access to NanoTech Network for all the people on Earth. Weíll have to wait for a couple of seconds until this command reaches the farthest corners of our planet. This command gives you all access to the network resources at the ordinary userís level. This level of access allows you to get from NanoTech any kind of foodstuffs and medicines, except narcotics, and any kind of things, except weapons. This level of access also provides a wide variety of information services. Youíll be able to talk to any person located at any point on the globe, youíll even be able to hear what his ears hear and see what his eyes see - but only with that personís consent, of course. The capability to eavesdrop, spy and control other personís actions is disabled at this level of access.

And now a briefing on how to log on to the network. All youíll have to do is to say in your mind one word. Donít be frightened when in response youíll hear a voice coming seemingly from nowhere, sort of from your own head - itís just the system sending its reply directly to your auditory nerve bypassing your ear. So, try now to say in your mind, but as clearly as possible, just one word: ďNanoTechĒ. If you donít hear the reply: ĒSystem readyĒ, try to say this password once again. Itís even possible that youíll have to say this word aloud once or twice - the system must learn to recognize your manner of speech. It learns very quickly, because it recognizes not the sounds which always have lots of acoustic noise in them, but rather the action currents in the muscles of your throat. And this means that even when your voice gets hoarse, the system still understands you perfectly, because what it recognizes is what you wanted to say, rather than what you have actually enunciated.

A small digression for our viewers from abroad. I hope that my speech, or at least excerpts from it, will be shown by TV companies from abroad. If you donít understand Russian you can switch the NanoTech user interface from Russian to English. (Unfortunately, at the moment the system does not support any other languages besides Russian and English, but we expect that with your help weíll be able to rectify this omission in no time). In order to switch to English, all you have to do after you log on is to say two words: ĒEnglish interfaceĒ. After that your userís interface will be permanently set up to work in English until you choose to change the interface language once again.

Well, I think that by now most of you have already heard the ďsystem readyĒ reply and we can proceed to the next step. Now, just as clearly as the first time, youíll have to say in your mind (or maybe aloud, if speaking in your mind doesnít work yet) two words. But before I give you these words, I once again want to warn you that you neednít be afraid when in the air right in front of you youíll suddenly see a sort of a ďwindowĒ in space through which youíll be able to look into some other world. In reality, physically speaking, there will be no ďwindowĒ in the air. This will be the same kind of illusion as the voice that said to you ďsystem readyĒ. What will actually happen is that cyborg-bacteria that are attached to your optic nerve will make a virtual inset into the picture that your eyes actually see. So, say now, as clearly as possible, two words: ďGraphic InterfaceĒ.

And so, if the system has been able to correctly recognize your command, you must now see right in front of you a ďwindowĒ that takes up about a quarter of your field of view. Inside the ďwindowĒ you must see what we call a ďvirtual mallĒ - a long street with lots of small shops on each side. Each shop has a sign with the names of supplies it provides.

Now youíll have to learn to move in the virtual ďspaceĒ without moving in the real space in the process. Since this might take some skill, at the initial phase of learning small movements of arms and legs in real space are allowed. However, you must try to get rid of them as soon as possible, just as you must try to desist from saying commands aloud and start issuing them mentally.

So now, imagine that you want to look down. I say imagine that you look down, but donít actually look down. The cyborg-bacteria attached to the nerve fibers going to the muscles in your eyes and neck are sensitive enough to pick up those weak action currents that the brain sends to muscles even when the movement is not actually performed, but is only imagined. And now, if you clearly visualize that you are turning your eyes downwards, youíll see the image in the ďwindowĒ moving in accordance with this visualization - in the virtual space youíll be looking down at your feet, while according to the image of the real space that surrounds the ďwindowĒ, youíll still be looking straight ahead. Or, rather, youíll be looking straight ahead only if you have performed this action correctly, that is, only in your imagination, and not in the real world. Otherwise youíll be looking downwards in the real space as well. Actually, we decided to leave a border of real-world image around the virtual ďwindowĒ on purpose, so that you could monitor your actions both in the virtual and in the real world simultaneously. I donít want any one of you to fall off a balcony in the real world, while making a step ahead in the virtual space. As soon as you learn to move around in the virtual world without moving in the real one, youíll be able to switch to the graphic interface that completely fills your field of view, but for now please train a little bit with the one-quarter field.

So, what you see now in the virtual window are your feet. Of course, these are not your real feet. These are your ďvirtualĒ feet. You can control them by imagining that you move your feet. Now weíll try to make a step forward in the virtual space. For the purposes of monitoring, please turn your eyes downward in the real world and look at your real feet. They are not supposed to move. And now clearly visualize that you take a step forward. If you did everything correctly, the feet in the virtual window must take a step forward, while your actual feet in the real space must not budge. You donít always succeed at the first try. If you fail, try once again.

So, now you have taken your first step in the virtual space. Now go forward and look around you. In so doing, try not to turn your head in the real world, just imagining that you turn your head is quite enough. Now your hands. The same thing - your virtual hands must act, while your real hands must quietly lie in your lap, or just hang relaxed by your sides, as you like. Try to visualize each movement as clearly as possible, while your real muscles should be relaxed - and youíll succeed. Walk around in the virtual space a bit, flail your virtual arm a little. If you can do this right away, thatís excellent, but if you canít, donít despair, all it takes is a few more minutes of practice, and youíll succeed.

The next step. NanoTech draws its power from water. Those of your whoíll venture to live exclusively on NanoTech, wonít always have tap water readily available, thatís why the first thing that youíve got to learn is how to extract water from the air. If you have wandered off far along the virtual street, please return now to its beginning. The very first shop in that street is the shop for water-extraction devices. Enter the shop. Inside youíll see lots of water extracting machines of all sizes. Take with your virtual hands the smallest machine, size number 1. Whatís coming next is a little bit irregular for NanoTech, and it has to do with the fact that today you are visiting NanoTech for the first time, and you still have not been assigned a ďdefault objectĒ, that is, the raw material from which, by default, all the things of NanoTech will be manufactured for you. What Iím going to ask you to do now, youíll have to do maybe only once in your life in NanoTech. While you continue holding in your virtual hands the water extraction device Size 1, please cup your real hands in the real world. (Those of you who donít have hands, or whose hands are for some reason disabled, will find instructions about what they should do in this case in the virtual book shop, which Iíll describe later). Now, in the virtual space, press with your right thumb the big red button on the right side of the device. A light must come on inside the button signaling that you did everything correctly. And now just wait a little. Droplets of whitish liquid will transpire now from the pores on your real palms. Some people may find this unpleasant, but please be patient - as I have already mentioned, youíll have to do this only once. In a few seconds youíll have in your real palms a white mass which will quickly assume the same shape as the water-extraction device that you hold in the virtual space.

Now your first water extraction device is ready. You no longer need to hold it in your real hands, you can put it wherever you like, but not far away, because all the things that youíll be taking from the virtual space, in real space youíll be taking out of this device. True, size number 1 is too small, and for most of the things youíll hear an error message: ďObject Resources InadequateĒ. Thatís why, before you leave the water extracting machine shop, it would make sense to acquire a water extracting machine size number 2. Since you already have your default object, all you need to do is just grab a Size 2 machine and put it in your shopping basket. On the handle of the basket a yellow light will come on, which is the system confirmation that you have acquired the thing that you put in. After some time a green light should come on to notify you that the manufacturing of this thing in the real world is now complete. After that, in the virtual world, the virtual image of this thing will just disappear from the basket leaving free space for new things on your shopping list. If the green light is not on yet, that probably means that the Size 1 machine has not yet extracted enough water from the air to manufacture a Size 2 machine. Maybe youíll have to wait half a minute more. An extraction machine of any size fully filled with water has enough resources to manufacture a machine that is one size bigger. Have a look in the real world at your Size 1 machine. I think that by now it should have grown to Size 2.

Now, letís leave the water-extracting machines shop, and stroll around other shops. Letís stop by the bakerís shop. Choose your favorite sort of bread and put it in your shopping basket. Once again, first a yellow light, and then a green one should come on. After that, in the real world, you can take your favorite bread out of the water extracting machine.

Iím not going to accompany your on a tour of the other shops, I think that you already understand how it all works. If you suddenly get a message that object resources are inadequate, go back to the water-extracting machines shop and select a machine one size bigger. But if you decide to travel (I mean, in the real world, not in the virtual one), choose once again water-extracting machine Size 1, it is very compact and suitable for travel. This time you wonít need to press the red button and extract the material from your own palms, just put it into your virtual shopping basket, and in the real world your machine of, say, Size 40, will quickly shrink to Size 1.

Before we conclude this first tour around the virtual space of the NanoTech Network, I would like to draw your attention to one of the shops in this virtual mall - the book shop. Enter it. Inside, you see lots of shelves with books. You can take any of these virtual books from the shelf, open it and read it as if it were a real-world book. Please note that books are grouped according to their subjects. The subjects are written on the labels attached to the shelves. The very first shelf has a label: ďNanoTech System Userís HelpĒ. If you have any questions about the NanoTech Network, you may find the answers in the books on that shelf. Any time you have problems come here. Besides, you probably noticed that in a corner of this shop there is a desk with a computer on it. This virtual computer operates like a real one. It has an on-line NanoTech help, as well as a browser for Internet surfing (as I have already mentioned, NanoTech has a gateway to Internet).

Now itís up to you to learn to walk around this virtual world and to get acquainted with it. When you want to return to the real world, all youíll need to say is: ďClose NanoTech SessionĒ. Got it?

During the next talks that Iím going to give you Iíll tell you how you can transfer your favorite things into the virtual world of NanoTech, if they havenít yet been transferred to it, and how new things can be designed using the NanoTech System. Then Iíll tell you how you can use NanoTech to communicate with the people that are as far from you as the other side of the globe. NanoTech is a wonderful communications tool, which will allow billions of people to think together, to make decisions together. The mankind will become a single intelligent being. Nay, not only mankind, all the biosphere, all the hydrosphere of the planet Earth are replete with cyborg-bacteria, and thatís why if we wish we can always learn how the soil under our feet or clouds over our heads are doing. The dark depths of the oceans will no longer be a mystery to us and will become a part of ourselves. The weather will no longer be an incomprehensible external force of elements, for we will be able to feel the movements of air masses as if they were blood streams in our own body. We will be able to see what birdsí eyes can see from the height of their flight, or fishesí eyes from an ocean depth. Weíll be able to see the world with the eyes of an ant, a bee, or an octopus. Weíll be able to see the world with each otherís eyes. The term noosphere, which up until now has been just a beautiful figure of speech, a poetic metaphor, will turn into a physical reality.

And when we have learned to think together, weíll have to address the most difficult issue. As I have already mentioned, there is no access to weapons, or to the tools of control over other people at the userís level. However, such functionality does exist in the NanoTech System, and it would be unreasonable to completely destroy it, since NanoTech will still have to protect itself against the people whose intellect cannot prevail over their apish instincts. Weíll have to define who and how is going to use these functions, who and how is going to license the access to them. These capabilities may give their users a tremendous power over the lives of other people, and we must see to it that this power be used for the good of the people, and not against them. Power always corrupts. It awakens in men their animal instincts, the striving for an even greater power, power for powerís sake. Weíll have to work out a system that will allow NanoTech users to exercise control over those who will be given this power. Weíve got to come up with such a mechanism of control, which would allow to use these functions only for maintaining the freedom and safety of the citizens of NanoTech, only for fighting the criminals who would dare to encroach upon such freedom and safety, and would never allow the criminals to take possession of these weapons.

This ends my todayís talk. I congratulate everybody with the first day of the World Communist Revolution.Ē

The light on TV camera went off, the recording session was over.

- ďBut you have not actually enabled the access to NanoTech Network for the general public yet.Ē - said the Colonel.

- ďIíll do this as soon as this speech will be on the air.Ē - said Levshov - ďI donít want somebody to stumble upon NanoTech before time by chance, just by saying some word which sounds like ďnanotechĒ. I donít want somebody to be scared to death by this.Ē

- ď And you still hope that this will be allowed on the air?Ē - chuckled the Colonel.

3.2 July 8, 1998. An entry in the personal diary of the CIA liaison officer with special powers in Moscow.

ďStrictly speaking, Iím not supposed to keep a diary. And I never did before. I always believed that keeping a diary was something that only acned teenagers do, being unable to understand themselves and the world around them. But now, this is exactly the case with me. Recently I found than I no longer understand myself.

Iíve just sent to the Center the latest information about Levshov, along with a video recording of his TV address, which, Iím sure, will never be allowed on the air. This address contains some new technical details, which might be of help to our experts trying to crack the NanoTech network. They had been saying that any casual word said by Levshov, any minute detail might turn out to be the clue. This may well be true.

In this case I just donít understand why Iím doing all this. The more I read Levshovís interrogation transcripts, the less I understand why I should fight against him. Sure enough, he is a communist and an atheist, and I was told ever since I was a kid that godless communists wanted to destroy our country, our freedom and our democracy, and that it was the duty of any true American patriotÖ and all that. Maybe that was exactly how it was, and those communists did indeed want to destroy America.

But now Iím sitting here in Moscow trying to understand what this communist and atheist Levshov really says, trying to translate all that he says into terms that are readily understandable to a Christian, and to my dismay I discover that when he talks about the Reason, he refers to what is good and divine in man, while when he speaks about apish instincts he means the Evil and the devilís temptations.

The horror of it is that this man came out against all the evil in the world virtually alone. And Iím forced to fight him. It follows from this that I, who always prided himself on being a true Christian and Patriot, a straight arrow and a champion of Freedom and Democracy, suddenly find myself fighting in the cause of the Evil.

For the first two or three days I did not admit this to myself. I took refuge in patriotism, I told myself that if we donít take over the power of NanoTech, it will be taken over by the Russian nationalists, which will have dire consequences for the freedom and democracy all over the world.

But today I was struck with a disgusting thought: all these justifications are based on the assumption that Levshov can never win, that this game has only two possible outcomes: either we win, or the Russian nationalists win. But why canít he win? He canít, because the forces of Evil are too strong, and even when Levshov has all the power of NanoTech behind him, he still cannot win, because the forces of Evil draw their strength from the apish instinct, ages of tradition deeply rooted in the very cultures of peoples, and, what is most important, organizations based on the apish instinct. Organizations are not just a simple sum of their members. Any organization has a will and interests of its own that are different from the wills and interests of the people it consists of. Just as me, each of these people may be against evil, but all of them together will be working to strengthen and expand their organization, because the number one interest of any organization is to protect its own existence through its growth and strengthening. Levshov trespasses against the very foundation upon which any organization is based - the apish instinct. And this means that all the organizations all over the globe, warring against each other although they may be, will join their forces to fight him. This man does not have a chance. He will be crushed.

The most disgusting thing following from the above is that Iím on the side of the Evil only because the Evil is strong and therefore will prevail. So much so for the True Christian, Patriot and the Champion of Freedom and Democracy. And now Iíll go and get myself drunk. Thank God, vodka is cheap in RussiaÖ

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Copyright © by Alexander Lazarevich, 1997, 1998.
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