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Your help with a nanotech question...

 
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underdog



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 58
Location: 42 Logical Positivism Avenue
PostPosted: Fri 28-Apr-2006 10:07 am    Post subject: Your help with a nanotech question... Reply with quote

I'm posting this on behalf of somebody else, who has a research interest in nanotechnology and asked me to ask sci-fi heads about it...

Quote:
I am interested to know how board members see nanotechnology.
Could you reply with short message that outlines how and where you first heard about nanotechnology
what benefits and risks you associate with nanotechnology
in what sci-fi books or films you have noted references to nanotechnology


Thanks Very Happy

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Chip Livingstone


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Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 168
Location: Marino
PostPosted: Mon 01-May-2006 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nanotech. I can say that I grew up with the idea.
I am not saying I knew about it all my life, but from reading SF and real science books over a long period.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I became aware of it as a process, a continueing process of science.

If we ever truly get nanotech up and running the results will be beyond our imagination, there will be both good and bad. The current debate on stem cells will pale into nothing compared to what nanotech will bring.
It's what they call a Singularity , an event so powerful that it will change the way we see the universe. Think about the printing press, the true maps of the Earth, the fact that Earth moves around the Sun and the Sun moves around the galaxy.

Nanotech will change everything and I mean that literary.

-------------------------------------

Those are my thoughts, I would love to hear yours.

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lostcarpark



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 59
Location: Drogheda, Ireland
Display Name: James Shields
PostPosted: Mon 08-May-2006 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Could you reply with short message that outlines how and where you first heard about nanotechnology


I'm I'd come across mentions of it in SF books beforehand, but hadn't really found an explanation that made sense until I came across an article in Reader's Digest in the late 80's/early 90's.

Quote:
what benefits and risks you associate with nanotechnology


Benefits:

Revolutionise medicine - mamo-machines could rebuild our cells as they wear out, keeping us young and healthy indefinitely.

Manufacturing processes could make everything we make and use obsolete overnight, as they could build any object from the subatomic level up.

Computers could be orders of magnitude more powerful and could be built into anything at the molecular level.

Risks:

Would completly change the world economy, so it's hard to predict what affect that would have on society.

Once the technology got "out there" it would be very difficult to control.

There's the potential for a "grey goo" incident where self replicating machines keep making copies of themselves until they have consumed the entire mass of the planet, and everything on it.

Quote:
in what sci-fi books or films you have noted references to nanotechnology


Irish author Flann O'Brien wrote about nanotech in The Third Policeman as far back as the 1940's. He had a needle that was so sharp you couldn't see the point of it - which is exactly what a Scanning Tunnelling Electron Microscope is, and made a couple of other nanotech and quantum physics references.

An episode of Star Trek where nanobots escape and take up residence in the computer, rewiring it to meet their needs. And, of course, the Borg.

Iain Banks' Culture novels

Replicators in Stargate SG1

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Accelerando by Charles Stross

Nanogenes in new Doctor Who series
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