New Civilization News: The Diamond Age    
 The Diamond Age11 comments
picture 30 Apr 2004 @ 18:19, by Flemming Funch

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has an easily readable overview of the likely path of the development of nanotech, the timeline, the issues, the dangers.
Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) manufacturing means the ability to build devices, machines, and eventually whole products with every atom in its specified place. MNT is coming soon—almost certainly within 20 years, and perhaps in less than a decade. When it arrives, it will come quickly. Molecular manufacturing can be built into a self-contained, tabletop factory that makes cheap products efficiently at molecular scale. The time from the first assembler to a flood of powerful and complex products may be less than a year. The potential benefits of such a technology are immense. Unfortunately, the risks are also immense.

Even a primitive diamond-building nanofactory can create products vastly more powerful than today's versions. Electrical power can be converted to motion, and vice-versa, with one-tenth the power loss and about 108 (100,000,000) times more compactly. Computers can be a billion times smaller and use a million times less power. Materials can be about 100 times stronger than steel. This means that most human-scale products would consist almost entirely of empty space, reducing material requirements and cost. Most of the rest of the product would be structural, easy to design. Even the simplest products could be software-controlled at no extra hardware cost. Manufacturing of prototypes would be quite rapid—a few minutes to a few hours. Because manufacturing and prototyping are the same process, a successful prototype design could immediately be distributed for widespread use. A designer working with a few basic predesigned blocks could design, build, and test a simple product in less than a day. Products with complex interfaces to humans or to their surroundings—information appliances, automobiles, aerospace hardware, medical devices—would be limited by the time required to develop their software and test their functionality. However, in some fields the high time and money cost of manufacture slows other parts of the development cycle; this effect would disappear. An explosion of new, useful products could rapidly follow the widespread availability of a nanofactory.
In Neal Stephenson's science fiction "The Diamond Age" (which is a fabulous book), a typical apartment had a Matter Compiler in the kitchen. It was plugged into a feed of basic atomic components. And then you could basically ask it to manufacture on the spot pretty much anything you'd know how to ask for. Which would be built atom by atom. It is called the Diamond Age, because diamond would become one of the easiest and all-around most useful materials to build stuff of. You just need carbon atoms, which are in plentyful supply, and diamond is a very strong material, and transparent. Your windows would quite naturally be made of solid diamond.

Anyway... in twenty years or less!!?! This is serious, folks. Yes, obviously, if somebody makes workable nano-assemblers and figures out how to power them, then one thing will take another, very quickly. Then they can build duplicates of themselves. And then hardware suddenly is just a matter of software. I.e. you need just some raw atoms and a blueprint. It is going to cost nothing. The world will never be the same. And, no, it won't just be a nice appliance to have in the kitchen. Everything will change pervasively.

So, there's a big hurry to solve the moral and organizational and security issues around this. If anybody can download the plans for a nuclear bomb or the ebola virus, and press a button to build them any time they want - then what? So the race is on, to either build some kind of sofar uninvented safeguard into such a system, or for humanity to figure out how to organize itself so as to survive such capabilities.

[< Back] [New Civilization News]



1 May 2004 @ 00:31 by b : This is the most amazing stuff
Nanotechnology: the bin, assember and nano computer are here. Who knows what the government has been doing with this technology. Michael Crichton's "Prey" is an example of the creation of a nano swarm. This is the type of technology that could produce the replicators on Star Trek. Yes we will all have to adapt and safeguards must be built in that can not be altered. Robotics, genome therapy, bio manipulation can all be very dangerous without ethical systems part of the design. Isaac Asimov and the 3 laws of robotics. Nanotechnology, self replicating atomic machines. Can space ships to the stars be too far from view?  

1 May 2004 @ 03:36 by ov : Stephenson's Book
Ming this is incredible, this book just came up in a discussion a few hours ago over on another site. We were talking abouting creating societies and subject of tribal scale came up. One person mentioned that a big part of The Diamond Age was the social structure made up of coalitions of tribes. I bought the book a month ago but hadn't started reading it yet, and then the high recommendation and tribal thing put it high on my priority list, and then you brought it up here in the blogs. All within a few hours.  

1 May 2004 @ 08:04 by ming : Tribes
Synchronicities! Anyway, yes, it is an important element in Diamond Age that society consists of tribes. In part because you have the protection of your tribe. For the more powerful tribes in the form of swarms of nano-probes that would track lots of little details that might otherwise ruin your day. But also the tribes are collective choices of radically different life styles and story lines.  

17 Aug 2015 @ 01:37 by 1234 @ : 1234
When Jon [link] Stewart [link] took [link] over the anchor’s seat [link] of “The Daily Show” [link] from [link] Craig Kilborn, nobody [link] was quite [link] sure what to [link] expect. The opening jokes were about [link] President [link] Clinton’s [link] impeachment trial. [link] One gag [link] involved [link] a [link] Senator Jesse Helms action figure [link] that, Stephen Colbert deadpanned, came with [link] a [link] gay figure for the Helms [link] doll [link] to [link] hate. Watch the entire clip here →Madeleine SmithbergCo-creator of [link] 'The Daily Show'I’d love to [link] say I [link] planned some [link] amazing [link] premiere [link] episode for Jon for his first [link] show, but I [link] think [link] it was just the way the [link] guests dropped. Guests [link] were [link] not [link] the first thing [link] that we thought about. [link] Because [link] of [link] the [link] nature [link] of [link] the [link] way [link] the [link] show was produced, [link] the [link] thing that you’re [link] focusing [link] on with all your might is the news of that day. I always [link] describe [link] it [link] as [link] playing slot machines with the [link] world. [link] You [link] would [link] pull [link] this [link] imaginary lever and [link] five stories [link] would [link] come [link] up [link] and that was what you had to work [link] with. And the [link] writers would [link] come in [link] at 9 and start writing, and at 1 o’clock the jokes [link] would [link] come in and [link] you knew whether or [link] not you had a [link] show.I [link] had been [link] offered [a [link] job with Craig] [link] Kilborn [link] and [link] in the process [link] of [link] trying [link] to decide [link] whether I should go to “Late Late [link] Show,” I called [link] Jon, who was [link] my [link] really [link] good [link] friend, and said, [link] “What [link] do I do?” [link] And he [link] had [link] said: “Well, do you like coming to work at ‘The Daily Show’ every day?” And [link] I said: “Yes, I love it. [link] I [link] love [link] everybody I [link] work [link] with. [link] I [link] love [link] the way we [link] interact [link] with the world.” And he told me later that [link] in [link] the process of [link] helping me [link] to [link] arrive at [link] my decision, [link] he [link] realized it [link] sounded [link] like a [link] great [link] job.Michael J. [link] FoxFirst guestI did [link] his [link] show [link] on MTV [“The [link] Jon Stewart Show”] and [link] he returned the favor [link] and did [link] an episode of [link] “Spin City.” [link] When he took [link] over [“The [link] Daily Show”] from Kilborn he [link] asked me to be on [link] it, so [link] I happily [link] agreed. [link] I don’t remember [link] much about the appearance [link] aside from [link] being a smartass [link] and joking [link] that I’d [link] been [link] there [link] more times [link] than [link] he had. I [link] knew [link] he was [link] a smart, funny [link] guy. But I had [link] no [link] idea the [link] weight that he’d carry [link] going down the line.I’ve [link] watched the show religiously. It was the water [link] cooler. He can [link] have an opinion, [link] but [link] you [link] always [link] sensed [link] an [link] openness, [link] like: [link] “Convince [link] me. Tell me [link] I’m wrong. Show [link] me where I’m [link] not [link] getting it. But I’m a [link] smart [link] guy [link] and I think that [link] I’m getting [link] it, [link] and I think that it [link] smells.”  

20 Aug 2015 @ 12:45 by Best Hosting Coupons @ : Great
Ths is a great article for me.
$ 1 Web Hosting  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:00 by agario @ : nice
I gathered useful information on this point . Thank you posting relative information and its now becoming easier to complete this assignment
[url=]hulk games[/url]
[url=]mickey mouse games[/url]  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:00 by mahjong @ : great
Useful information.I am actual blessed to read this article.thanks for giving us this advantageous information.I acknowledge this post.and I would like bookmark this post.Thanks  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:00 by minecraft @ : fun
Wonderful blog! This is very informative site. I am totally pleased by your excellent work. Many thanks for sharing  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:01 by pacman @ : nice
This was among the best posts and episode from your team it let me learn many new things.  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:02 by halloween @ : nice
Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog.  

29 Sep 2015 @ 10:02 by kizi @ : good
In your blog I was happy to see your article, better than last time, and have made great progress, I am very pleased. I am looking forward to your article will become better and better.  

Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:

Other entries in
7 Feb 2005 @ 12:25: Time For A Consciousness Upgrade.
6 Feb 2005 @ 23:12: We are the New Civilization
9 Apr 2004 @ 17:27: Imagining the year 3000
31 Mar 2004 @ 03:05: The Singularity and the Fifth Dimension
5 Mar 2004 @ 13:02: We Need a Dream
6 Dec 2002 @ 23:59: More Prophets

[< Back] [New Civilization News] [PermaLink]?