Saturday, November 12, 2005


Recently I've been thinking a good deal about Foresight's efforts to animate a nanofactory (see the slideshow) and turn it into a DVD, with presumably wide distribution.

Click here for larger image.

This was originally blogged in December 2004. Since that time, a very pretty final version has been finished, which you can find on Foresight's website or at Google Video.

I like this idea a lot. I think it can impress upon people that nanotech is really a pretty simple idea (although some of the engineering details will be quite complicated). Right now, the possibility of really mature nanotechnology ("make anything that doesn't violate the laws of physics") is probably viewed by most people as centuries in the future, if it's on their radar at all. The real point of the DVD is that this stuff isn't incomprehensible, and it needn't wait 50 or 100 years to happen. That's important, because there are huge benefits to be gained, particularly in terms of human health and longevity, and the sooner they come, the better.

The public relations effort to put real nanotechnology on the map is important. It would be particularly valuable for the medical profession to wrap their brains around this. If a doctor starts to advocate for real nanotech, maybe some of his patients are CEOs or senators. Maybe the doctor mentions that nanotech will usher in an age of treatments that, today, we could only call "miracle cures". Maybe the next bill before Congress advocating nanotech research says, hey, let's throw some money at the real thing, rather than mislabelled silly tricks.

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