George, ya ever think that your Drexlerian (new meme!) Anything Boxes, as depicted in Neil Stephanson's novel Diamon Age, might be a long, long, ways off? I am suggesting centuries to work out the technical bottlenecks. If ya buy into this premise, then what about an older idea called Laser Deposition Spectroscopy? Thats where lasers or particle beams basically sort matter by atomic weight and deposit it separately. This could be used for keeping socks for becomming separated into non-matching pairs. The idea was conceived in the 70's by Bomb Developer Ted Taylor, who suggested the concept of releasing Santa Claus machines into the asteroid belt and use Laser Spectroscopy to manufacture desired items like washing machines. Of course cranking up the Laser Deposition from a Lab table curiosity to a factory size might take a bit of doing? I suspect that your anything boxes might beat it to the punch after all.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:04:56 MDT