Re: Attotechnology

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 01:28:00 MST

I said...

> If one had no "bumps" in the road, one would reach attometer
> (10^-18 m) technology scales around ~Y2235. If we conquer
> aging in the next 30 years, this time is well within the
> potential life expectancy of anyone currently under ~40-50 y.o.

Picking up the most recent "predictions" from AMD & Intel
we hit attoscale circa 2155. The same predictions yield the
date of the nano(atomic)scale speed bump are between 2030-2035.

If we are typical (a big if), then the transition time of
a civilization from "primitive" to "singularity" is between
2000-6000 years (depending upon when you want to say we
transitioned from "primitive" to "civilized". The "L"
parameter of the Drake equation (the Length of time a
civilization remains detectable by non-singularity
civilizations) would thus seem to be ~100-130 years
(assuming our radio waves started to become detectable ~1940).
You can detect civilizations post-singularity but its only
by the heat signature they would leave. And as I believe
Nagata has pointed out there may be ways around that if
you are willing to sacrifice thought capacity for stealth
capacity (by using a star's heat signature to mask the
civilization's heat signature).

The interesting question remains -- whether we hit the
nanoscale speed bump in 2030 or 2060 -- if "attoscale"
technology turns out to be impossible -- *what* are the
implications of that? We don't run out of things to
do (exploring the nanoscale construction phase space
would take forever) but it does mean that some exploration
vectors will be of little use (i.e. attotech == cold fusion).

Are there some good examples (science?, music?, literature?)
where the previous vectors exhausted themselves and an
entirely new direction of exploration was produced as
a result?


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