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« Statistical Death | Main | Look! Up in the Sky! »

June 01, 2005


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"Flying cars, space travel for everyone, the elimination of poverty and hunger, and powerful new tools to combat disease, and even aging. These are some of the amazing predicted developments of nanotechnology, the coming science of designing and building machines at the molecular and atomic levels. Will this new scientific revolution be for better or worse? Some commentators have described utopias; others have prophesied disaster. Find out the likely reality from an expert, Dr. J. Storrs Hall, in this absorbing insider’s guide to the near future."

Isn't this the same thing that everyone in the Fifties expected for the year 2000? Next, please.


All of this is absolute horse hooey. In the 1950s people thought that we would be living on the moon and downing food pills by now. Stop listening to Kurzweil and kooks like him. Wake up and smell reality.


The only way we shall achieve any of these things is to lose the qualities which make us human. Ordinary, unenhanced humans and flying cars would be a recipe for disaster. We're just too damn stupid to eliminate poverty and humger. Let's face it, it's a jungle out there. We fight and fuck like animals. We start wars. So how the HELL can we handle these things in our current state?


So, Americanskeptic, are you suggesting that the products of a quickening pace of technological progress won't be developed, or that they will be developed but used in an irresponsible manner?


I'm saying a bit of both, ordinary humans wouldn't know how to handle molecular nanotech without a major catastrophe on their hands, in the unlikely event that MM/MN is developed at all.


AS, you seem to feel MM will be more like cold-fusion attempts than A-Bomb in its likelyhood of success. But you still admit that it might be possible. Given its incredibly destabilizing effects if it does occur, does it not make sense to at least try to brainstorm and some effectively safe/altruistic policy ideas in the faint hope the 1st MM effort might actually use them? The further away in time you think MM is, the more tiny efforts today can compound through the future...

Brian Wang

Why are we or more people not living on the moon ? The vision of people living on the moon was not achieved. However, this was not limited by a technological problem. There were money, political and planning issues.

If Johnson and Nixon Administrations had made different choices (yet perfectly reasonable and realistic choices), then a permanent lunar base could have been created. Not spending money on the space shuttle but instead on following on skylab with more replacements and then making a long duration lunar base etc...

Interesting futures that are not dependent on only the US or Russian governments and agencies to make the right choices are the current developing situation.

It is well known that several dynamic companies are on the verge of radical changing the models and costs for space access. China has some interesting plans for a space station.

Flying cars had flaws in its concept. Legal liability, zoning, noise and safety issues were not properly addressed. It is a new air traffic system and navigational automation that were the sticking points as well. I have seen Dr. J. Storrs Hall concept which does address those problems. Whether this is the best/winning economic model is still an open issue ? That is if the air taxi system becomes very successful (small affordable jets flying between the 5000 small airports) can that mean that flying cars becomes a smaller and perhaps economically unviable market.

Poverty elimination is beginning to get detailed economic and sociological analysis and more programs that are achieving real successes and efforts with a more realistic possibility of success. The biggest real gains in poverty elimination have been China and India correcting their systems so that these populous countries make broad and lasting economic advances. They have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.

So progress around problems and benefits is possible now and more progress can be made in the future, but only by really digging and in and understanding what is being done and what needs to be done to make good things happen or to stop bad things.

The statement of "this sounds like something from X years ago and that did not work out" or "people are inherently bad or animals and we are screwed up now" does not move things forward.

Kurzweil statements carry weight because he has made many signicant inventions and created successful multi-million dollar companies from them. He is contributing to creating the future that he speaks and writes about.


"AS, you seem to feel MM will be more like cold-fusion attempts than A-Bomb in its likelyhood of success."

More along the lines of perpetual motion.


MM violates the laws of physics?

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