Re: The capture of Eric Drexler's nanotechnology memes.

From: Alan Patrick (
Date: Wed 17 Dec 2003 - 12:49:46 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: The capture of Eric Drexler's nanotechnology memes."

    > But he also seems drawn out of his element and outflanked by better-funded
    > and far less scrupulous adversaries. Drexler's seniority in the field and
    > the scientific logic of his position are unassailable, while that of his
    > detractors is questionable.

    As you said above, its the money - this is the brightest new New Thing in tech circles. Also, the book from Michael Crichton won't have helped the PR of MNT a lot.

    Drexler's problem is that he hasn't really done anything new since 1992, so he's leaving himself open to new players. Also, if you look back at most births of new things in science you will see the same unedifying spectacle - very seldom is the guy credited in the history book the one who really did the real thinking. Memes are not faithful in the way they hitch their waggons to the next thing that advances their progress.

    > By now, the military
    > must have a black program to develop MNT before the Chinese or Arabs or
    > Russians get it.

    I would say the Russians and Chinese are already working on it, maybe with western corporate funding. Add to that the Indians, all of Europe, Australia, Japan, and the Science councils of a dozen emerging countries. Nano is pretty old hat, most universities around the world are working on it somewhere. For Crichton to write a book on it means its already hit tipping point public perception.

    What is more interesting is to think through just why teh NNI is going after him now - the stable door is well open so what is the NNI's purpose so late in the game . He is clearly perceived as a major threat by them, but why?



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