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« Sounds of Silence | Main | An ASU Assist »

March 01, 2004


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Tom Jensen

Are there any issues in terms of using raw materials derived from non-virgin feedstock in making nano materials (as long as the material is of good quality)?

Also, to what extent would incorporating nano materials (e.g., for anti-scratch in windshield glass, nano tubes in building materials (such as wallboard) complicate recycling?



Mr. Farlops

The idealist in me advocates international cooperation in nanotechnology development, and we'll probably see some cooperation given that science has always been an international endeavor, but the realist in me thinks that, in the ways that actually matter, international collaboration won't happen.

Once the United States is commited to building proto-assemblers, it is certain that most military applications will be kept deeply secret.

Also, looking at the history of technical development in the United States, there was always a period where the government would look the other way while monopoly formed in the private sector. It is unlikely that this trend will change.

Examples of this would be railroad development, the petroleum industry, steel, telephones, broadcast media, pharmaceuticals, the cable industry, mobile phones, and so on. In each case, the government would allow monopolies in the private sector to form and then only step in to reign them in or break them up after a technology or market was mature. This is because monopoly, despite its evils, tends to lead to rapid development. If Apple, Intel, Motorola, IBM and Microsoft were on even footing, would personal computers have spread so rapidly in the United States? Would de facto standards have spread so rapidly? Only now that the personal computer market is mature, has the government finally stepped in to restrain Microsoft.

This leads me to think that the same will happen in MNT. Perhaps Zyvex, Monsanto, GlaxoSmithKline or IBM will be the big bully in the MNT market they everyone will be complaining about in twenty years.

Additionally, I don't think we are going to avoid proliferation issues. If proliferation with difficult and expensive technologies like nuclear weapons is already a problem (I have just read rumors that Pakistan may have shared nuclear secrets with Nigeria.), then MNT will be at least as slippery and difficult to control on an international level. Terrorism and military use looks likely and unavoidable.

Having said all this, it's absolutely necessary to tell Foresight, CRN and other MNT advocacy groups to push just as hard for defensive MNT along with proto-assemblers. Defensive technologies should be as cheap and open as we can make them so that they spread more rapidly that the offensive applications. Sort of like how immuneware like firewalls, network security tools and computer virus scanners are offered for free and are often open source.

It is true that a big push into defensive technology may synergize with offensive technology research, but it will reduce the threat posed by proliferation. Offensive often tends to be cheaper than defense, this is why ballistic missile defense has only made sense in very limited applications. But we have to try. If we are going to push for proto-assemblers, we definitely have to make certain that defensive technology matures soon afterwards.


Dear Sirs! Please see the papers. SciTecLibrary - Articles and Publication [2] The literature generally describes a metallic bond as the one formed by means of mutual bonds betwee... http://sciteclibrary.ru/eng/catalog/pages/4564.html , 77354 bytes How much electrons from the atom are placed in zone of conductivity? Why crystal structure of single crystals is such but not another? PROPOSALS:I think what Rh need to measure around T=737K for Ca and Rh for Sr around T=813K (Li for T=140K)!!! Sincerely,Henadzi Filipenka,teacher of materials, Grodno Belarus hfilipenk@rambler.ru SORRY! In Appendix 2 must be B theoretical (calculated), B measured P.S. In Russian please see at: http://kristall.lan.krasu.ru/Science/publ_grodno.html Thank you! Sincerely,Henadzi Filipenka.Grodno Belarus.

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