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article about Nanotechnology on rationalwiki
(05-06-2015, 11:37 PM)Rynn Wrote: I've only skimmed the article but I'd say it's entirely fair. Drexler's nanotechnology vision, in the manner that he described it, is flawed and there is huge hype and misconception about what nanotechnology is. You see it all the time with media outlets constantly attaching artistic impression pictures of microscopic robots onto articles that aren't talking about that at all, most of the time it's just a new type of drug-nanocarrier system.

I would disagree about the article being fair. In fact I have a hard time taking any 'article' seriously that includes slang terms like 'bollocks' and ad hominem attacks like 'fanboys' in support of its position.

While I don't disagree that Drexler's vision may not turn out to accurate or exactly what we actually end up with in terms of nanotechnology, I would point out that the same could be said of Leonardo da Vinci's ideas about flight and various other things. While it took centuries for anything like his ideas to be achieved and the actual functionality of the technologies don't operate much like what he envisioned - we still acknowledge that he came up with the basic idea and attempted to imagine how it might work. We don't call him names, nor do we denigrate him for not getting it exactly right.

Incidentally, Drexler also makes a point of crediting Feynman as originating the idea in Engines of Creation and some of his other writings. What others may or may not choose to say about it isn't really Drexler's problem.

(05-06-2015, 11:37 PM)Rynn Wrote: That's not to say that the wildest dreams of nanotechnology are impossible; medical microbots, self replicating robots, universal assemblers etc. But it's certainly not as simple or mainstream as "nanotech enthusiasts" (for lack of a better term) make it out to be. Professionally I think a lot of people within the field are sick and tired of news and social media misreporting everything to fit within visions laid down by cranks like Kurzweil.

While I can sympathize with the frustration you describe, I would also point out that Drexler is not in control of the media. Blaming him for what they may or may not do isn't really fair IMO.

(05-06-2015, 11:37 PM)Rynn Wrote: We can't really say what the future will bring. Anyone who thinks they can is either lying or predicting something really simple (or just lucky).

We can however try to predict what the future might bring. And in doing so we might even inspire some people to actually make some of those predictions happen. Cf some documentaries I've seen in which some of the people who invented cell phones and other devices talk about being inspired by seeing Star Trek or other SF movies or books.

I would suggest that people who never try to predict or imagine the future aren't very likely to do much to make it happen, including providing funding for research into new (and possibly revolutionary) sciences and technologies.



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RE: article about Nanotechnology on rationalwiki - by Drashner1 - 05-07-2015, 12:13 PM

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