My memory was just jogged by the recent reference to a _new_ or perhaps infrequently used term, computronium. I remember reading a 1950s short story that as far as I know coined a term, electroponics.
The definition attached was simply the construction of things atom by atom in the nanotech way. Personally I think its an apt term that would do good to filter into common parlance.
Just as hydroponics means growing in a medium of water, electroponics means to grow things in a a medium of electrons. Currently when people talk of nanotech they talk a couple of generally different things. 1. Actual nanometer scale systems (computers, assemblers) 2. Macro or real world scale things that assemblers will produce
but won't necessarily be much different from what we have today, (cheap materials, endless food supply, diamond bridges, etc.)
I think there's a useful split to be made between the new devices in category 1 and the products (category 2) that those who own the devices/IP for category 1 will make/sell.
You can do lots of stuff with nanotech. Wouldn't seperating out a subset of electroponics aid understanding where the future is heading? It would also make nanotech sound safer if people knew that its most likely that its only category 2 things (things manufactured with electroponics) were available in the public domain and the assemblers (electroponics equipment) were safely locked away.
Your thoughts please!