Re: >H Happy New Year!

Anders Sandberg (
01 Jan 1998 19:04:29 +0100 (Forrest Bishop) writes:

> I've played around with a animated planner, and with a 3D chart
> that shows interlinks between various technologies. The animation is
> particularly interesting, one can show future projections as
> semi-transparent objects, with surface properties based for instance
> on the degree of likelyhood, importance, field, applications, etc. It
> gives a more "gut' feel for progress than a 2D chart.

This sounds like great fun! What program was it?

(Hmm, might be a fun java applet for a transhuman website, a sketch of
possible future developments. Now link it to the Foresight

> >What I would like is a molecular film that acts as a cellular
> >automaton. Maybe we could use the microtubule units?
> What for?

Fun. Aesthethics. I like CAs :-)

> How small a unit cell? How many (how few, actually)?
> Is there a market for this that cannot be filled with projected
> Si 'von Neumann' chips?

It would likely be significantly faster and denser than the chips. And
if we could tune the transition rules, then we could get lattice gas
dynamics with a wonderful resolution, or make universal computations
for real. Or just run the greatest Game of Life ever.

> What good is a microtubule? It has to be in water, no?

I think so. Normally the units form a cylinder, with a helical tiling
of the subunits (and some interesting stability properties; they are
dynamical structures, constantly being formed and dissolved at the
ends). The fun thing is that it is possible that the units flip
around, acting as a cellular automaton which can have all sorts of
dynamics. If this is used for the transport proteins (dyneins and
kinesines) that move vesicles along the microtubule is anybody's
guess. I really understand why some think microtubulu are "magical",
they are extremely subtle self-organized structures.

> Any other ideas for thin-film, nearly nanotech products?

What about using reaction-diffusion dynamics to create complex local
strucures? That might be useful to maximizing catalytic efficiency,
adapting to changes in the environment or changing color.

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