Those of us who spend our days looking at innovation would do well to look at the other side now and then. The New Yorker gives us a chance with a book review by Steven Shapin of the book “The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900” (Oxford) by David Edgerton. He [...]
Archive for the 'Reviews' Category
A recent issue of the useful journal Nanotechnology Law & Business includes a review (pdf) by Daniel Moore of J. Storrs Hall’s book Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology. The conclusion: Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology will be of interest to those looking for an introduction to the concepts of nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing. It is [...]
The Institute for the Future, in a UK-funded study published on the Stanford website, presents eleven outlooks for nanotechnology over the next 50 years: • Better drug delivery through nanotechnology • Carbon nanotubes and lighter vehicles • The coming nanoshell revolution in oncology • The dream of biochemical nanocomputing • Manufacturing with programmable materials “Advent [...]
First a confession: I have not, in fact, read the entire article “Living with Uncertainty: Toward the Ongoing Normative Assessment of Nanotechnology” by Jean-Pierre Dupuy and Alexei Grinbaum of the Ecole Polytechnique in France, published in Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. It is about 10,000 words long and has a great deal of philosophy [...]
It had to happen: a book in which German philosophers direct their attention to nanotech. (Ethicists and social scientists too.) Excerpts from the English abstracts (pdf), with my commentary inserted: An account is provided of how the purpose of gaining knowledge is reoriented towards purposes of application. This helps clear up the relation of discovery [...]
Foresight director Glenn Reynolds has a new book coming out March 7 which you can order on Amazon now: An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. Chapter 9, “Empowering the Really Little Guys”, is on nanotechnology. Some excerpts [emphasis added]: “All sorts [...]
In the journal Nanotechnology Law & Business, there’s a book review by J. Steven Rutt of Foley & Lardner titled “Bayh-Dole and Nanotechnology: A Review of University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education”. The abstract: “Nanotechnology joined the Dummies book series in 2005. While Dummies is a light read, Jennifer Washburn’s grave book, [...]
Jerry Glenn, Director of the Millennium Project sponsored by the American Council for the United Nations University, brings our attention to the 2005 State of the Future report, now available for ordering. He points out that the “Royal Society of Arts in London has just published a distillation, of the distillation, of the distillation of [...]
It's not available until May 6, but on Amazon you can preorder a copy of Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology by J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D. From the foreword by Eric Drexler: "Reaching a solid understanding of new technology–the understanding necessary to judge its effects–is an intellectual adventure. I could not wish you any better guide than Josh Hall. Before the term 'nanotechnology' had reached a tenth of its current popularity, he had already formed the first worldwide Internet discussion group and led the discussion for a decade. He has done research and development in nanotechnology since the early days, with multiple inventions and discoveries to his credit…You'll get the whole story here." The price is right too: only $18.48.
Just received a review copy of Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman, edited by his daughter Michelle, sister of Foresight member Carl Feynman. It includes letters about the two miniaturization prizes that Feynman offered personally, and quite a few new photos. I had the privilege of attending a couple of his informal tutorials for Caltech students — he made the most challenging physics seem so understandable. Foresight is proud to administer nanotech prizes in his name.–CP
What do you think were the most important nano-related developments of 2003? What were the downsides and upsides of nanotechnology's breakthrough into the mainstream?
Phillip Ball from Nature magazine makes his case, from a British perspective, here.
from the gradual-future-shock? dept.
redbird (Gordon Worley) writes "Most of this is filled with spoilers, so I recommend that, unless you've seen the film, don't click read more. For those of you looking for a basic review, this is an okay movie (I'd give it about 2.5 out of 5 stars), but certain aspects of the film really ruin it. Basically, I consider this a cute movie about subhuman AIs and is not dangerous to the public's perception of AIs (in fact, it may actually help it by gradually future shocking them)."
Read more for the redbird's review . . .
from the choice-of-weapons dept.
There has been much discussion on Nanodot recently about regulating nanotechnology. Some of the scarier scenarios of abuse come from the threat of nanoweapons unleashed by terrorists. Jessica Stern's book, The Ultimate Terrorists, offers a useful framework concerning the choice of weapons by terrorists, within which potential threats from terrorist use of nanoweapons can be considered. - Bryan
Read More for a review.
from the tomorrowland dept.
Bryan Hall writes "Raymond Kurzweil, author of 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' has a new website showcasing the ideas of leading visionaries and breakthrough web technologies. The site is hosted by Ramona, a real-time virtual hostess, using natural language processing, real-time facial animation, and other technologies to answer visitors' questions vocally. Ramona is programmed to verbally explain hundreds of `thoughts' (such as `artificial intelligence') to visitors as well as provide articles, glossary definitions, links, and other information…A major focus of the site is the exponential growth of technology, leading to the 'Singularity,' which Kurzweil described as “future accelerated technological change so rapid and profound that it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.'' The site's content includes parts of Kurzweil's forthcoming book, “The Singularity is Near.''"
from the dramatic-futures dept.
I bought Pine and Gilmore'sbook,The Experience Economy a few years ago, but only recently got around to reading it. I discovered something both more profound and more practical than I had expected. I keep seeing new relevance for their ideas about increasing demand for experiences and transformations, including thinking about the implications of nanotechnology. Comments invited. –Bryan
Read More for the review.
from the getting-oriented dept.
A well-done brief overview of molecular nanotechnology by University of Georgia chemist Dennis Rouvray is available at chembytes: "[Most] scientists were persuaded that nanotechnology was an unobtainable objective. Indeed, it was not until the second half of the 20th century that a few intrepid individuals risked raising their head above the parapet to question entrenched authority on the subject…Even with our current rudimentary chemical nanotechnology, it has been possible to fabricate a surprising range of simple nanomachines. These include abacuses, batteries, brakes, gears, plugs, rotors, ratchets, sensors, shuttles, sockets, switches and wires."
from the funding-difficult-goals dept.
Senior Associate WillWare writes "Ronnie Horesh, an economist in New Zealand, has recently published a book on his notion of social policy bonds. The government issues bonds at a low price, redeemable at a high price when a social goal has been accomplished. This allows the government to set and fund social agendas while leaving the details of implementation to the free market."
from the who-needs-lectures dept.
To do nanotechnology, one had better know a lot of chemistry. Chemistry is often poorly taught, so going to school isn't necessarily the answer. Instead, or in addition, get started with Bonding II from Cybered, reviewed in the 15 Dec 2000 issue of Science: "Bonding II provides electronic instruction on the basics of chemistry. Packaged on a Macintosh/Windows hybrid CD-ROM, the tutorial contains a narrated set of modules covering fundamental concepts for a freshman-level chemistry class." At $130, this is a lot cheaper than a college class, but we'd prefer an open source version: anybody know of one? Meanwhile, Cybered has other chemistry modules as well.
from the nanotech-defined-as-protein-only dept.
David Coutts writes about the book Evolution Isn't What It Used To Be: The Augmented Animal and the Whole Wired World by Walter Truett Anderson: "In his brief mention of nanotechnology he says: 'The third generation, which – depending upon what you read – may never come or may be just around the corner, is nanotechnology: miniscule protein computers, submicroscopic protein machines that will sail through the bloodstream to fight disease or repair damage to the body'…He has limited the nanotechnology vision to a third generation protein building tool…This is either laziness, ignorance or a peculiar form of psychological blindness or phobia I shall dub nanophobia. So, whilst I would agree that skepticism of a largely unproven technology is entirely healthy, the author should try and present the full picture or at least clearly state that the working definition of nanotechnology (for any book or article) is deliberately limited by the author." Read More for the full post.