Re: Saul Kent's powerful new cryonics organization

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 13:02:17 MST

On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 wrote:

> I have felt for some time that cryonics was a lead weight dragging down
> acceptance of Drexlerian nanotech. My theory is that people have an
> overwhelmingly negative emotional reaction to cryonics, in part because
> it implies that the death of their loved ones was preventable, and this
> carries over to any technology which would seem to make cryonics
> credible.

It is not that simple, but for all practical purposes you can consider
cryonics to be cursed, and everything it touches tainted.

> 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.

Nanotechnology, not molecular manufacturing. "Nanotechnology" has suffered
namespace DoS by dilution/overuse.

> But maybe that was premature. We are seeing a backlash, a rearguard
> fighting action against the original vision of nanotech. Opponents are

I'm not seeing this at all. In fact in the passed years opposition to
drextech was considerably tougher, and those voices get progressively
extinguished as our capababilities in characterisation and petty
fabrication (one grad-student-afternoon) of nanodevices have been ramping
up. Future never looked brighter.

> trying to build a firewall against Drexlerian mechanosynthesis, drawing
> a distinction between their prosaic nanotech and Drexler's far-out
> visions. They prefer to focus on biotech, on nanoparticles, on MEMS, on

The worse for the fools. That way they won't even get to bask in reflected

> bulk materials engineering at the nanoscale. All these things can be
> done today, in fact they are the natural consequence of existing
> technologies just extending their capabilities a bit. They want to get
> funding for their current research. In this environment there is no
> reason to even think about blue sky dreams like eternal perfect health,
> or nightmares like engineered malignant replicators.

Well, this has been going on for many years now. Funding is a lot like a
scam, based on participating in fabricating consensual realities.

> 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

Right. We need molecular manufacturing initiatives.

> 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

Not all of them are evil, you know. Some of the nanoclusters could be
useful for precursors of molecular devices.

> 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.

Foresight now deals in two-digit megabuck grants? Wow. Nobody told me.

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