Re: We're stuck with each other

From: Louis Newstrom (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 20:54:27 MST

From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>

> You are talking about entirely different realms here. One is nanoscale,
> the other is macroscale. You seem to not be seeing what many people
> don't see which is that biotechnology *IS* nanotechnology. My
> current business plan is on how to make robust bio-nanotechnology
> to large numbers of molecular biologists within *this* decade.

That is an entire area I have not considered. I was thinking of machine
robots. I thought you were comparing machines we build today to the
efficiency of biology. I should have read you more literally. Bio-tech IS
the way to go.

> I think you might want to either (a) consider accepting the opinions
> of the people who have studied this; or (b) educate yourself about it
> so you can evaluate the probabilities based on your own knowledge.

Both sound like good options (I don't have much time. I may just ask

> Look at Linux! Its effectively free.

As a Linux supporter, I bow to your excellent example, and concede the
point. (After all, open source only takes ONE philanthropist to make it

> That is because the numbers don't add up. Even if all the billions
> of all the billionaires in the world adds up to $600 billion, divided
> over ~6 billion people, thats $100/person. Not enough to feed them
> for very long.

Hmm. Perhaps the failure of rich people to feed the poor is more the fault
of ability than motivation.

> You have ~40 trillion bacteria in or on your body. Many of them are E.
> The doubling time for E. coli is ~20 minutes. If, as I said, you provided
> them with access to sufficient energy and raw materials, they would
> your body in less than a day. Eukaryotic cells in contrast have a
> time of ~24 hours.

You are right. My (relative) ignorance of biology is showing. I didn't
consider my body as a limited food supply.

I wil concede the points on the molecular manipulation, and the "free
energy". Once I realized that you were talking bio-tech rather than
mecha-tech, molecular manipulation is a lot easier. (As I said, I was
assuming building microscopic robots. That technology is very far away.)

> If I can design one first, I'll be happy to give you one on the condition
> that you give one to anyone who asks for one. Oh, and you and anyone
> you give them to will have to pay me a small royalty for any income
> you derive from them.

You just stepped away from Linux's open source model. However, for this
kind of technology, I don't think I mind.

Louis Newstrom

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