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« Nanostructures Conference - Don't Miss | Main | Molecular Manufacturing vs. Self-Assembly »

January 26, 2010

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David

I'm very interested in how responsible nanotechnology could bring clean healthy water to people more cost effectively. I read on this blog about how nanometer-scale pores can remove 100% of bacteria, viruses, and even prions. Anyone else hear any new ideas about nanotechnology advances in water filtration?

Chris Phoenix, CRN

I would not expect 15 nanometer pores to remove prions. On the other hand, I've never heard of water-borne prion diseases. Prions are a problem in meat.

Chris

Summerspeaker

A decent list, though we can do much better. The species had the ability to provide for everyone well before the 1970s. Of course, this would take radical social change rather than major projects within the existing capitalist system.

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Summerspeaker, what would you add to the list?

What do you see as alternatives to capitalism, and in which contexts? Would you want to change the whole system, limit its scope, develop a system that could outcompete it, or...?

(Apparently, Bucky Fuller would have agreed with you that the system needs to change in order to provide all basic needs. I haven't read enough of him to know what kind of change he was proposing.)

Chris

Summerspeaker

Based on the principle of equality, I believe everyone should have the same access to the good things of life. While it would be a dramatic step forward to assure the basics you've listed to each human being on the planet, the system would remain oppressive because of the vast inequality. I propose an alternative along the lines of the technocracy movement or the anarchist society described by Ursula Le Guin in The Dispossessed. We should leverage technology for an even and abundant distribution of wealth across the world.

Tom Craver

I guess I'd add "bicycles" - to expand people's range of action.

And I'd add "electricity". I realize electricity is somewhat implicit in your list, and being immaterial doesn't quite seem to fit. But having the physical means to gather energy from one's environment, store it, and later convert it to electricity on demand - that gives people *options*.

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