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    • CommentAuthorHarvey
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007 edited
    See, the thing about all this nanorobotic business is that I'm not convinced it's actually going to happen. All the papers I've seen on the whole thing have been largely theoretical and all the conferences I've been to on the subject (and I'm limited to medical nanotech here) have contained at least one talk where someone has pointed to a picture like that one on Kevin Kelly's piece with the little robot and the red blood cell and said 'here's what everyone seems to think we're doing, but we're not'. The thing is, operating tiny robots inside people is so difficult and fraught with factors limited by physics that I'm not sure anyone is seriously doing large scale research on manufacturing these devices. That's not to say that people aren't interested in self-replicating autonomous devices that can tool about repairing tissues - it's just that biologists and medics don't want to start buidling things from weird diamond-like materials and worrying about power sources when we've got these devices already - cells and bacteria. we know how they move, how they're powered and how to write commands into them. We know how to get them to make stuff and how to get them into people, and they aren't going to start dissassembling anything (tempting fate a bit, obviously...). Medical nanotech, in my opinion, will be based on programmed cells and bacteria, not tiny replicating robots. I mean, we know so much about them, why start again from scratch?
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    Medical nanotech, in my opinion, will be based on programmed cells and bacteria, not tiny replicating robots.'s so easy to lose sight of this particular reality...
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    Cyborg Moths
    The creation of insects whose flesh grows around computer parts — known from science fiction as cyborgs — has been described as one of the most ambitious robotics projects ever conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Defense.
    • CommentAuthorNecros
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    Nanotechnology has some scary implications, but the grey goo scenario, scary as it is isn't necessarily the most frieghtening thing that it could bring with it. Noting of course that this is all speculation, I think the subtle uses of nanotech are fundamentally world altering in ways that we can't really even conceive of at this point in time.

    What if someone can use nanotech to hack your brain, alter your memories, or turn other human beings into robitic slaves? What about the possibilities for changing ourselves into things that can't even be understood today, monsters, clouds of sentient particles floating in the what point do we cease to be human and become something else? Can a political viewpoint become a literal nanovirus, that forces everyone infected to have a certain point of view, how much pain would it take to turn a regular human being into a tool, that could be used by anyone with the right control software? Criminals could theoretically make people commit murders for them, change their DNA or make themselves and/or their victims into whatever they wanted as part of or in order to carry out criminal acts.

    Imagine a nanotechnological worm that infects and translates whatever data into the very essence of all who come in contact with it. That is truly frightening...

    Thank whatever higher power you want that this stuff is so far future as to be nearly meaningless now, and be glad that the positive applications are almost as numerous as the negative, and probably just as unknowable to us sitting here today.
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    Whatever cures/prevents cancer instantly because I quit smoking well over a year ago and I still miss it. Could be nano or geno I suppose, though I'm assuming just nano for us Already Alive types. Generally I find nanotechnology pretty creepy given some of the potential uses, but then again:

    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    Here's a funny scenario for y'all:

    Chemical toxicity tests are typically done on a single chemical in isolation. That means synergistic effects from the reactions between two chemicals or cumulative effects from a family of separate chemicals which affect the same metabolic pathways are being missed.

    I forget the chemical involved but there's a chemical which, in high doses, doesn't damage mice directly but does damage female mouse embryos. Specifically it damages their ovaries ans makes them sterile.

    Now imagine a synergistic combination of two chemicals which had that effect on humans. Imagine that the chemicals were similar to, say, DDT in that they were extremely stable in the environment and fat-soluble so they accumulated in human cells.

    By the time we noticed the problem (which would likely be when the first girls effected hit puberty) the whole world's population would be affected.
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2007
    Okay, here's something I find a little unnerving. And it's being used right now...An A&E Billboard 'Whispers' a Spooky Message Audible Only in Your Head in Push to Promote Its New 'Paranormal' Program The technology is called an "Audio Spotlight" and it's being produced by a company called Holosonic.

    Ha--a shill from this company came to my home forum, where we also had a topic on this, trying to dispel some of the "gross misunderstandings and crazy myths" surrounding this wondrous bit of tech.

    A link, for the interested here
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    Speaking of renegade tech:

    Who ever heard of such a horrible thing!?