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« Painting Pictures, Nano Style | Main | The Singularity Institute »

April 13, 2007


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Ok, this is my list:

Nanotechnolgy - Stolen from the get-go.

Nanofactories - Stolen recently to refer to the production of drugs inside the body by the University of Maryland.

Molecular Nanotechnology - Stolen just now NSF's Mihail Roco.

Am I forgetting any?

Compared to the redefining of nanofactory, this most recent redefinition is closer to the concept the term is based on. Also, unlike the word nanotechnology, these last two terms were not first used by Norio Taniguchi. I'd like to see how the NSF tries to get out of funding real MNT work now, considering that the term has been uttered by Roco!

Brian Wang

Roco and others like him are again trying to co-opt a term which has futuristic cache to describe things that are rapidly being achieved. He is moving the goalposts closer for something that while interesting is far more limited.

Just as before nanotechnology meant something revolutionary and became something more evolutionary.

So the shift to molecular nanotechnology was made by CRN and others to define the revolutionary capabilities being able to make largescale systems that are molecularly precise.

This new attempt is to enlargen the target to include other work which is often less complete and without the power of the originally defined work.

Tom Craver

Well, assuming he gets away with it, let's pick a new term that others will be too embarassed to steal.

How about "Poofy-atoms Nanotechnology"? or maybe something more descriptive, like "Scalable Mechano-Chemistry".

Hmmm - the other way to look at this, is that we keep making up good marketing names for them to steal, which helps them get funding - so it's helping advance the arrival of MNT.

So we should make up another new name, promote it widely, and then let them steal it yet again if they develop something on the path to MNT. Come up with a name that looks like it may be applicable to a likely next level of technical advances - maybe something based on random assembly creating large quantities of identical simple machines/parts. "Nano Component Technology" perhaps.


Mechanosynthesis is probably the best candidate for a replacement, though I think the MNT definition should still be fought for. The good thing about the word mechanosynthesis is that it is inseparable from the concept of precise and mechanically directed chemistry.

Drexler has proposed renaming MNT to zettatechnology, zetta meaning one sextillion (10^21). I only think this word would be appropriate for the products of a nanofactory which would likely have one or more sextillion parts.

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