a few people are greatly concerned about new technology, and
want to restrict it, pointing at the problems that mis-use
of technology has got us into so far.
am inclined to believe that we will need more tech in future,
wisely used, not less, to clean up the problems of the past.
I am interested in how we might look at new tech, in particular
things like nanotech, to see how we might go about avoiding
the problems that have occurred with technological introduction
in past. I don't believe the process will ever be completely
smooth, as we are dealing with unknowns, but hope it could
be gone about more smoothly.
Green applications for nanotech might be one way that the
tech might be usefully looked at.
example, 'mining' landfills for toxic chemicals, some of which
there is little or no terrestrial sources for any more. There
would be issues of powering the nanomachines, disposing of
generated heat, and probably removing any active nanotech
afterwards, but yesteryear's rubbish and slag heaps might
be important resources for tomorrow.
example that comes out of looking at today's newspaper is
refurbishing derelict housing. In a lot of cases builders
seem to want to bulldoze the whole area, and put up characterless
multi-storey flats. This totally changes the character of
the area, and the replacement homes are often without gardens,
and are nothing like as 'solid' as the existing structures.
Regenerating old homes like this with nanotech, fixing crumbling
wood or mortar, old wiring, old glazing, maybe adding improved
heat and sound insulation (and controlled ventilation), wiring
for multimedia/broadband etc. This implies leaving a static
environment behind, without any active nanotech, that could
act as a good home for people for 30+ years. Again, some care
would be needed with regard to heat dissipation, particularly
if you want to do things quickly.
Does the idea of green' nanotech, which ensures there is no
(active) nanotech left behind in the environment, make sense?
nanotech offers more possibilities with maintaining the infrastructure
of our society, the wiring, piping, etc, and leaving the terminal
systems to us?
Many people look at nanotech as starting with a "clean
sheet", but this is often a lot easier than working on
an existing system.
am interested in how we can use nanotech to work around what
is already there, repair or even improve things, then carefully
we can develop the control to do this, I think a lot of people
will be much happier with nanotech applications, as opposed
to the "live in a nanotech saturated environment"
approach. In the near term far too many things to go wrong...
Copyright © 2004 Rory McLean