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Nanotech and Domed Cities

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  • Erin Casson
    I m an advocate for covering cities with domes made from tough, light, transparent materials, in order to have year-round comfortable controlled temperatures
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 30, 2010
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      I'm an advocate for covering cities with domes made from tough, light, transparent materials, in order to have year-round comfortable controlled temperatures and weather conditions.
       
      A good overview on this is here:
       
      What are some possibilities with moderate nanotech and advanced nanotech as far as this goes? I can envision moderate nanotech enabling the mass production of diamondoid polymers or nanostructured plastic composites(or nano glass?) that could fit the role. Supposedly the issue won't be heating it but cooling it.
       
      Aside from technical issues, what are some nontech objections people would or could make?
       
       

    • Erin Casson
      An interesting thread of discussion that has been dealt with on other forums over years has to do with the use of currency in a nanotech-enabled world. If we
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 30, 2010
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        An interesting thread of discussion that has been dealt with on other forums over years has to do with the use of currency in a nanotech-enabled world. If we have self-manufacturing machine systems what use would there be for money or currency? If everyone has their own personal nanofactory, and local areas/neighborhoods have nanofactories, things become very decentralized. Apart from people choosing to congregate in cities and have global networks, the trends of globalism for manufacturing and distribution of goods would be reversed. I see this as a good thing in many respects.
         
        However, the question still remains: How would people be reimbursed for their efforts and work, even if those jobs are service and information based?
         
        (Lets assume the idea of human or beyond human level AI is not doable, so that humans always remain the only ones able to create new designs and write software code for the machines)
         
        Example: Say I write code for a new nano CAD program to build a special nanotech based chair, and I desire something in return for giving this software package to the human race. What sorts of currency would I receive? Or would it be purely a recognition-based thing, and self-betterment thing, like "I will put this software out there for your use, in return I receive fame/recognition in the eyes of fellow humans"?
         
        There are, ofcourse, physical limits that even the most advanced assemblers could not exceed: 1 Thermodynamic limits. No free lunch. Nanotech will require energy; that energy could be cheap, such as solar based, but they do need energy inputs. This also leads to limits on the speed of assembly, etc.
        2 Control limits. Nanotech cannot rearrange atomic nuclei, or the components of nuclei such as protons, neutrons, and any smaller components. Nanotech machines cannot perform nuclear level transmutation, such as turning iron into gold. So perhaps for a while "precious" metals like gold and platinum would be useful as currency. The idea of using nanomachines to filter gold from the oceans and dirt would be very energy intensive and take a longer time, though there are asteroids in space with platinum group metals, and, the lunar surface has this.
         
        Another issue: Once a new software program is written and out there on the net, it is out. People will download it and make use of it.
         
        An interesting site that discusses this concept in the fictional Star Trek universe is here: Perhaps the author raises some good points relevant to this question about nanotech economics and currency:
         
         
         
         

      • tom@tomtalleur.com
        Eric: You raise some interesting sociological questions which would take a short book to answer. Legions of philosophers along with the founders of the US
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 31, 2010
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          Eric:

          You raise some interesting sociological questions which would take a short book to answer.  Legions of philosophers along with the founders of the US federal constitutional republic could spend weeks going around about this question on currency as it begs the very structure of societies and governance.  

          I'm not sure anyone can accurately predict what the answer to your question about currency might be around year 2100 which is the end point for my research right now.  I suspect we'll see a mature extension of the pattern we see today: using an embedded and fully transparent automated transaction infrastructure for a system of debits and credits unless and until we change our economic model (capitalism vs socialism, and modifications thereto).

          Isn't it interesting that the author (re the link you provide) implies a communistic-type system?  Somehow, we may infer, we may assume this future society has avoided the de-motivating nature of this form of governance leading to the societal malaise so notable in the Soviet Union.  And, I think Eric Fromm would assert that mankind will continue to become alienated from their inherent character in a democratic, capitalistic society.

          On the issue of self manufacturing, we'll see nations controlling this process through law, rule, regulation, policing and embedded anti-counterfeiting policies much like we see today until underlying structures change.  And, we'll see the criminals look for methods to circumvent controls as we do today.  We will see limits on the ability of citizens to acquire the capabilities to duplicate prohibited functions for the greater good of societies (much as we see with nuclear weapons, bomb-making, and satellite imagery capabilities today).

          Well, there's a lot to speak to and I'll cut my comments off here as I need to get back to my work.  Regards ...


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Erin Casson [mailto:solidstatefusion@...]
          Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 08:49 PM
          To: CRNtalk@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [CRNtalk] Nanotech, Replicator Society and Money

           

          An interesting thread of discussion that has been dealt with on other forums over years has to do with the use of currency in a nanotech-enabled world. If we have self-manufacturing machine systems what use would there be for money or currency? If everyone has their own personal nanofactory, and local areas/neighborhoods have nanofactories, things become very decentralized. Apart from people choosing to congregate in cities and have global networks, the trends of globalism for manufacturing and distribution of goods would be reversed. I see this as a good thing in many respects.
           
          However, the question still remains: How would people be reimbursed for their efforts and work, even if those jobs are service and information based?
           
          (Lets assume the idea of human or beyond human level AI is not doable, so that humans always remain the only ones able to create new designs and write software code for the machines)
           
          Example: Say I write code for a new nano CAD program to build a special nanotech based chair, and I desire something in return for giving this software package to the human race. What sorts of currency would I receive? Or would it be purely a recognition- based thing, and self-betterment thing, like "I will put this software out there for your use, in return I receive fame/recognition in the eyes of fellow humans"?
           
          There are, ofcourse, physical limits that even the most advanced assemblers could not exceed: 1 Thermodynamic limits. No free lunch. Nanotech will require energy; that energy could be cheap, such as solar based, but they do need energy inputs. This also leads to limits on the speed of assembly, etc.
          2 Control limits. Nanotech cannot rearrange atomic nuclei, or the components of nuclei such as protons, neutrons, and any smaller components. Nanotech machines cannot perform nuclear level transmutation, such as turning iron into gold. So perhaps for a while "precious" metals like gold and platinum would be useful as currency. The idea of using nanomachines to filter gold from the oceans and dirt would be very energy intensive and take a longer time, though there are asteroids in space with platinum group metals, and, the lunar surface has this.
           
          Another issue: Once a new software program is written and out there on the net, it is out. People will download it and make use of it.
           
          An interesting site that discusses this concept in the fictional Star Trek universe is here: Perhaps the author raises some good points relevant to this question about nanotech economics and currency:
           
           
           
           

        • Erin Casson
          The first nanofactories and industrial assembler systems will likely be special purpose units that require special inputs of chemical fuel and prefahricated
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 20 6:41 AM
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            The first nanofactories and industrial assembler systems will likely be special purpose units that require special inputs of chemical fuel and prefahricated building blocks, and which will require special programming. Their productive output will likely be very limited, but as time goes on and as the systems are refined they will gradually become more and more general purpose in their input and output as well.
             
            We should expect early products to be things such as computer chips, inert, simple structural materials such as diamond fiber beams and household goods such as diamondoid flatware (stronger harder tougher and lighter than steels and does not rust ever, nearly indestructable).
             
            The products will become more complex, more intricate, and "smarter", such as shape-changing active materials and robotics and much more.
             
            Ultimately there is no reason why nanofactories could not be designed to produce food items. The early systems will not be able to, though.
             
            Would you all tend to agree with the above, as related to some of the limitations and products on early nanofactories?
             
             

          • Chris Phoenix
            Sorry for the delayed response... There are several different dimensions of what can be built. One is the materials used. One is the complexity of the product.
            Message 5 of 22 , May 18, 2010
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              Sorry for the delayed response...

              There are several different dimensions of what can be built. One is the materials used. One is the complexity of the product. One is the size of the product. There are others, but let's stick with those three.

              The first nanofactories will build special materials with special inputs, as you say. The materials may not be high performance (e.g. DNA rather than diamondoid).

              By the time we get to nanofactories that can build macroscopic objects, we will probably be able to build very complex objects. If we can build a diamondoid fork using a nanofactory, we can probably expect to build motors and computers out of diamondoid, and integrate them into e.g. a mini-airplane. (This may not be as true for other materials - DNA motors are slow and weak.)

              Chris

              On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 6:41 AM, Erin Casson <solidstatefusion@...> wrote:
               

              The first nanofactories and industrial assembler systems will likely be special purpose units that require special inputs of chemical fuel and prefahricated building blocks, and which will require special programming. Their productive output will likely be very limited, but as time goes on and as the systems are refined they will gradually become more and more general purpose in their input and output as well.
               
              We should expect early products to be things such as computer chips, inert, simple structural materials such as diamond fiber beams and household goods such as diamondoid flatware (stronger harder tougher and lighter than steels and does not rust ever, nearly indestructable).
               
              The products will become more complex, more intricate, and "smarter", such as shape-changing active materials and robotics and much more.
               
              Ultimately there is no reason why nanofactories could not be designed to produce food items. The early systems will not be able to, though.
               
              Would you all tend to agree with the above, as related to some of the limitations and products on early nanofactories?
               
               




              --
              Chris Phoenix
              cphoenix@...
              650-776-5195

              Founder, http://OnePercentGlobal.org
              Executive Coach
              Director of Research, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, http://CRNano.org

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