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The Engines of Creation: Eric Drexler

      Molecular-sized robots, or nanotechnology, sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but with our technological capabilities doubling at a frantic rate, they may be part of our reality much sooner than we expect. Just how soon will molecular robots come into being, and what effect will the technology have our society?

The Engines of Creation.       In his book, The Engines of Creation, author Eric Drexler takes us through the fields of medicine, biology, and physics to detail each of the technological hurdles we must cross before nanotechnology becomes a reality. He makes a convincing argument that the younger people in this world will see nanotechnology in their life-times.

      With molecular machines it will be possible to program and build--atom by atom--virtually anything that doesn't violate the laws of physics. For instance, we would be able to build ultra strong, lightweight rocketships out of pure diamond--basically by shaking up the raw ingredients (carbon) in an over-sized test tube. Molecular robots would grab the atoms out of the solution and put them where programmed.

      Equally important to the ability to build anything is the ability to disassemble or recycle everything that we do build. General disassemblers would do just that, separating any kind of garbage into its constituent atoms.

Nanosystems.       Obviously there is a certain risk to working with machines that are so small that it would be virtually impossible to find one if you dropped it. What would happen if disassemblers got loose and started disasembling the planet and everything on it? Eric Drexler out-lines a plausible safe-guard against these kind of disasters.

      The amazing thing about Drexler's book is that it was written "way back" in 1986, yet is still right on the mark. We have already crossed many of the technological hurdles Drexler out-lined, and at a pace faster than even he expected. For example, one of the pre-requisite technologies he described was an inter-connected world-wide information system with "hyper-links" for navigation. The internet did not functionally exist back when he wrote the book. We have made similar advancements in the fields of medicine, biology, and physics.

      The Engines of Creation was a critical missing link I needed to finish Direct Pointing to Real Wealth: Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Money. The important part is not so much where technology will take us on this journey, but the process of change along the way.

Read the complete Engines of Creation On-line.


Books about Nanotechnology

The Engines of Creation by K. Eric Drexler
Paperback. Reprinted October 1987.
Order from Amazon.com
Or read the book on-line at the Foresight Institute.

Nanosystems : Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation by K. Eric Drexler
Paperback. 576 pages. September 1992.
Order from Amazon.com

 Nano: The Emerging Science of Nanotechnology.

Nano: The Emerging Science of Nanotechnology by Edward Regis
Paperback. July 1996.
Order from Amazon.com

Nanotechnology : Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance by BC Crandall
Paperback. August 1996.
Order from Amazon.com

Next Page: The Cultural Evolution of Consciousnes: Julian Jaynes/Ken Wilber



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Thomas J. Elpel
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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Shanleya's
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