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New Reynolds’ book covers nanotech & power

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 of new technologies promise to empower individuals, but the ultimate empowerer of ordinary people may well turn out to be nanotechnology, the much-hyped but still important technology of molecular manufacturing and computing. Indeed, for all the nano-hype, the reality of nanotechnology may turn out to exceed the claims. The result may be as big a change as the Industrial Revolution, but in a different direction…

“But in the long run, the growth of nanotechnology means that we won’t just be worrying about countries, but about individuals. With mature nanotechnology, individuals and small groups will possess powers once available only to nation-states. As with all powers possessed by individuals, these will sometimes be used for good, and sometimes for ill…

“What this suggests is that a world in which nanotechnology is ubiquitous is likely to be less threatening than one in which it’s a closely held government monopoly. A world in which nanotechnology is ubiquitous is a rich world. That doesn’t preclude bad behavior, but it helps. A world with such diffuse power makes abuse by smaller groups, or even governments, less threatening overall.”

4 Responses to “New Reynolds’ book covers nanotech & power”

  1. Adrian Wilkins Says:

    The idea has been explored before, in science fiction. My proffered example would be the Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson), which explores a variety of cultural models enabled by nanotech.

  2. Phillip Huggan Says:

    Is the author suggesting ubiquitous nano consumer products is a good thing, or that ubiquitous nano weaponry is a good thing? I can see how the former would apply as it would give people one less reason to be pissed off at other people. The latter is silly.

  3. Guy Says:

    Has this dude ever heard of the moslems? The koran has an exortation to “slay all unbelievers” the thought of nanotech in the hands of the Iranian government scares the living hell out of me. Idealogy and technology are not always a good mix.

  4. Phillip Huggan Says:

    Have you ever read the Bible? Same thing. Tehran has a very vital nanotech R+D program. It is not world class but they certainly make contributions. Don’t confuse religion and extremism. Remind me who trained and armed Muslim extremists in the 1980′s? Worse case scenario is that an extremist successfully smuggles a small nuke in a container ship. The civilian casualties would still not exceed those being incurred right now by Iran’s neighbour. The American military-industrial complex’s permanent war footing is much more dangerous than is brainwashed kids with weapons.

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