Re: Saul Kent's powerful new cryonics organization

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 12:18:40 MST

On Thu, Feb 14, 2002 at 11:18:18AM -0800, wrote:
> A couple of years ago, Foresight essentially declared victory in the
> war for acceptance of nanotechnology. There were conferences held every
> year, one or more respected journals, government funding was ramping up,
> articles in business journals. By all accounts it was now an accepted
> future technology.
> But maybe that was premature. We are seeing a backlash, a rearguard
> fighting action against the original vision of nanotech. Opponents are
> trying to build a firewall against Drexlerian mechanosynthesis, drawing a
> distinction between their prosaic nanotech and Drexler's far-out visions.

A very good point. I think partly this is because a lot of the
researchers and institutions working under the nanotech
banner moved in there as the field became "sexy" and well funded. They
have no real ties to Drexler's ideas, and are mostly interested in
pursuing their own research interests.

> I think Foresight needs to go back to its roots and shore up the
> foundations. It's not enough to have "nanotechnology" initiatives showing
> up everywhere. Few of those efforts are making significant progress
> towards Drexler's machine-based models. Foresight needs to remind
> people that there is more to nanotech than making ultra-fine powders
> for smoother paint. We have to keep our eye on the prize, a technology
> which can utterly revolutionize every aspect of the world. If research
> is not moving us towards that goal, it should not receive funding under
> nanotech grants, even if it happens to involve little tiny pieces.

I think this is a good example of why no field - be it nanotechnology or
transhumanism - seeking dramatic results in the long run, can afford not
to constantly work on its foundations and visions, show that they are
not just relevant but actually important to guide action.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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