RE: The Education Function

Eugene Leitl (
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 23:46:08 +0100

Billy Brown writes:

> those who have no money. By the time we have even moderately advanced
> nanotech, providing a 20th century standard of living to those who can't

There cannot be any such thing as 'moderately advanced' nanotech, at least not for long. In fact, the second assembler after the (cruddish) bootstrap assembler will be already highly sophisticated, because by then the design space would have been pretty thoroughly explored by human artifexes equipped with design tools (the fun may indeed start pretty soon, if OpenChem indeed gets off ground in finite time). We also now have the outline specification for the optimal 'omega' computational hardware (funny thing, looks exactly like a reversible 3d CA in molecular circuitry to me -- I also don't see the fuss about bit erasure, as a lot of very useful computations are perfectly reversible), which can be immediately piped into the design iteration loop, in its instance as reality simulator (fitness function) and GA (structure generation). You don't need much resources to start that runaway loop, a small team or a single competent person should suffice. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if NanoCAD packages would soon to be declared munitions, but I guess they will have leaked out via the Open Source model before the bureucrats realize what is going on. (At least that's what I hope).

And what is going on?

Nanotechnology Volume 9 Number 3 September 1998, a very fine issue.

Molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics analysis of Drexler-Merkle gears and neon pump.*

Nanoscale electronic devices on carbon nanotubes.*

Semiconductor nanoparticles for quantum devices.

Ultimate theoretical models for nanocomputers.*

Making electrical contact to single molecules.

Energetics, structure, mechanical and vibrational properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes.**

Machine-phase fullerene technology*.

Regulation of cell functions by micropattern-immobilized biosignal molecules.

Signal-response gating by a polyelectrolyte pelage on a nanoporous membrane.

Nanoscale control and detection of electric dipoles in organic molecules.

The logical core architecture.

Towards a light-addressable transduces bacteriorhodopsin-based.

Langmuir-Schaefer films of poly(o-anisidine) conducting polymer for sensors and displays.

Direct and controlled manipulation of nanometer-sized particles using non-contact atomic force microscope.

Molecular scale electronics: syntheses and testing.

Protein fragmentation due to slow highly charged ion impact.

New motifs in DNA nanotechnology.

Combining agoric and genetic methods in stochastic designs.

Theoretical studies of diamond mechanosynthesis reactions**

Uracil as an alternative to 5-fluorocytosine in addressable protein targeting.

I don't have to tell you which ones are HOT (starred items reflect some of my preferences, I have not yet studied the issue wholly). It seems to me that we are rapidly approaching the point where the first prototype design will be exhaustively validated by computational means. After that, all hell will break lose: funding, which is lavish even now, will grow astronomical.

If you're a neoluddite, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.