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Re: [nanotech] Nano Futures

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  • Anthony Craig
    ... check. . . as long as ... Since fiction is my goal at the moment it seems prudent to investigate what other authors have done with it. I have read all
    Message 1 of 8 , May 6, 2003
      --- Andrew <bittercrank@...> wrote: > Yeah, a good sci-fi might be a good bet for you to
      check. . . as long as
      > you keep in mind that it is fiction. Arthur C. Clarke said something
      > about predictions that is very true; they are hard to make, and almost
      > always wrong. Take a look at some of the fantasy stories put out in the
      > 1910's to 1940's about what the world was going to be like in the year
      > 2001. Even the predictions made by Mr. Clarke himself. We just don't
      > know what is going to happen. However, predicting is still a good
      > exercise, and fun to do.

      Since fiction is my goal at the moment it seems prudent to investigate what other authors have
      done with it. I have read all Peter Hamilton's works and like the way he uses nanotech. I obtained
      a list of SCI-Fi that deals with nanotech and am currently working my way thru the list. At the
      moment I'm reading "Ventus" by Karl Schroeder about nano-terraforming gone haywire. Great read.

      > *
      > What are the likely futures for human society once nanotechnology has
      > taken over traditional
      > manufacturing processes? If we are able to make virtually everything
      > from practically nothing:
      > What will happen to manufacturing industries? Will they all disappear or
      > will there still be a
      > need for, say assembly of materials manufactured at the nanoscale?
      > *
      > Keep in mind, that we aren't making something from nothing. We'd just
      > be able to access raw materials that are now too difficult to harvest,
      > and create materials which we presently can't. The manufacturing
      > process would indeed change, in that you could not only re-create a
      > single object as many times as you wanted, as long as you have the
      > requisite source molecules, but objects could be routinely repaired as
      > they break down. Those running shoes that died on you after a year?
      > They may well last decades, or until u get bored of them. Think music
      > pirating is considered a problem? Imagine if you could download
      > patterns for objects and reconstruct them at whim. I wonder what would
      > happen to the world economy. Hehehe.

      One of my tech problems is that what are the limits to what one could make in some sort of
      universal constructor in the home? Food and clothng would be no problem, but would you be able to
      make complex appliances with hundreds of components? Would the price of software be prohibitive
      for these more complex items for certain social strata, given that there may still be a working


      > What will the transition be like?
      > *
      > The answer to that can only lay in whose hands nanotechnology is
      > wielded, and how it is received. We could see a slow progression of
      > gradual increased use of nano-tech that creates a slow and almost
      > unnoticeable change over the next century. On the other hand, we might
      > have a transition that is sharp and makes the industrial revolution look
      > like a mild social 'burp.' What if a nano-advanced country goes to war
      > with another? What if an age of new cultural colonialism falls on us?
      > What if, what if, what if.

      In my scenario, a billionaire benefactor decides to stage a nano-coup. He cuts through the
      red-tape and legislation by developing the technology in space and releasing it simultaneously to
      every country in the world so no-one gets an edge.

      > *
      > Will national economies suffer?
      > *
      > In, what I consider a best case scenario, national economies would
      > suffer, then die. The citizenry on the other hand would prosper
      > greatly. After all, what is the need of money when u might grow a house
      > and turn your own yard waste into a delicious pork tender loin with a
      > side of greens? The monetary system might very well end up taking it's
      > place in the history books next to the type-setter and black smith.

      This is one of the big problems to grapple with. If economies change, in what way will it suit the
      story I am telling?


      > *
      > Which professions will be unaffected?
      > *
      > You may as well ask what profession wasn't affected by the use of
      > electricity, by computers, by manufacturing, by literacy, by the wheel.

      I had read elsewhere where certain professions will disappear, like mainly manafacturing, but
      software design, IT, lawyers, police, civil admin, etc will remain in place but still be affected.

      > *
      > Which problems will disappear (eg. poverty and disease) and what new
      > ones will be created?
      > *
      > As for that point. . . very good question. Go back in time and ask a
      > young Nobel what problems his work would cause and eliminate. I think
      > we're still too far away to say much about that. Cancer and most forms
      > of disease might be eliminated. Some self replicateing nano-robots
      > might go get loose and begin attacking people at random. A nut-job
      > might make a weapon that reduces our solar system to a cloud of debris
      > in a month. Starvation might end. Life-spans might increase.
      > Overpopulation would be faced. A new rush to colonize other places and
      > a subsequent struggle for control over those places. Who knows.

      I have used Drexler's ideas about active shields to prevent the more obvious rebellions of
      nanotech, but natually it can't infallible as I would have no conflict. :) As to the other
      problems I have considere most of them - overpopluation would coincide with colonisation of the
      solar system so space (and naturally resources) won't be a problem.


      > I hope my blitherings have been of some help.
      > Andrew

      Many thanks.


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