Re: Near-Term Scenarios -- Nanotech

Hara Ra (
Sat, 23 May 1998 23:19:53 -0700

G Burch:

>Right, and herein lies my doubts about development of an "anything box"
>2015, at least. I believe it was Robin Hanson who best expressed my
>reservations: We know it takes the information processing capacity of either
>(1) a large segment of the economy or (2) a very complex living organism to
>generate just about any complex device right now. Any device that could
>generate a complex device from inputs of only atoms and information would
>to be equally complex and coordinated. Creation and control of such an
>"anything box" doesn't seem to be any simpler than modeling an entire economy
>or organism at a highly detailed level. I believe this problem is solvable,
>but is very, very difficult. It seems to me that it will be some time before
>a device under the ultimate control of a single individual -- even a highly
>augmented one -- can be created.
First, there might be a meeting point between microtechnology (the little
silicon gears and so on) and nanotech built sensors. A very small amout of
nanotech interfaced with chips, basically.

Second, an "anything box" need only be able to connect together a few atomic
types and bonds, about 10 elements, a hundred or so bond types. Like a floppy
disk, reading and writing are the trivial part. The software and data sets to
make this device make anything useful is a whole other fish. The PC on my desk
has undreamed of capabilities, but the currently available software just
to touch a few of the possibilities.

| Hara Ra <> |
| Box 8334 Santa Cruz, CA 95061 |
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| Death is for animals; |
| immortality for gods. |
| Technology is the means by |
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