The new issue of Business Week (August 31 cover date) is a special double issue on the 21st Century Economy. The issue focuses on the effects of advanced technologies on the economy.
"Going somewhat further out [compared to MEMS]--probably 15 to 20 years--high-tech visionaries foresee a transition that's far more radical and disruptive. Its quintessence won't be smaller, cheaper, faster electroniccs--though we will have all that in abundance. The transition scientists speak of involves nothing less than the hijacking of nature's own creative machinery.
In medicine, this spells the ability to repair or replace the body's failing organs. In manufacturing, it means coercing molecules to asemble into useful devices--the same way that crystals and living creatures assemble themselves. The coming wave of miniaturization and molecular electronics--sometimes called "nanotechnology"--is taking shape at the intersection of chemistry, physics, biology, and electrical engineering. And if it crests as many scientists predict, it will bring a wholesale industrial transformation, more dramatic than the late-20th century flowering of microelectronics." (p.80)
This article, and others on various high-tech topics including biotechnology, don't stop at these general observations, but identify specific pathways and possibilities.
Once again, Business Week confirms the mainstreaming of extropian thinking.
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute: