K. Eric Drexler is the founding father of nanotechnology—the science of engineering on a molecular level. In Radical Abundance, he shows how rapid scientific progress is about to change our world. Thanks to atomically precise manufacturing, we will soon have the power to produce radically more of what people want, and at a lower cost. The result will shake the very foundations of our economy and environment. Already, scientists have constructed prototypes for circuit boards built of millions of precisely arranged atoms. The advent of this kind of atomic precision promises to change the way we make things—cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale. It allows us to imagine a world where solar arrays cost no more than cardboard and aluminum foil, and laptops cost about the same. A provocative tour of cutting edge science and its implications by the field's founder and master, Radical Abundance offers a mind-expanding vision of a world hurtling toward an unexpected future.
Radical optimism and the technology bias -- Is there a law of technological progress? -- Does technological progress make us happier? -- The new paradox of progress -- We need technological progress experiments -- Why technological progress won't end poverty -- Choosing a tempo of technological progress -- Afterword : don't turn well-being technologies in Procrustean beds.
Nanotechnology is changing the world in a very big way, but at the atomic and sub-atomic level. Although the roots of nanotechnology can be traced back to more than a century ago, the last three decades have witnessed an explosion of nano-based technologies and products. This reference work examines the history, current status, and future directions of nanotechnology through an exhaustive search of the technical and scientific literature. The more than 4000 bibliographic citations it includes are carefully organized into core subject areas, and a geographic and subject index allows readers to quickly locate documents of interest. Although a sense of the global reach and interest in nanotechnology can be gleaned from the reference sections of countless journal articles, conference papers, and books, this is the only reference work providing an in-depth global perspective that is ready-made for nanotechnology professionals and those interested in learning more about all things nanotechnology. Despite the abundance of online resources, there is still an urgent need for well-researched, well-presented, concise, and thematically organized reference works. Instead of relying on wiki pages, citation aggregators, and related websites, the author searched the databases and databanks of scholarly literature search providers such as EBSCO, ProQuest, PUBMED, STN International, and Thomson Reuters. In addition, he used select serials-related databases to account for pertinent documents from countries in which English is not the primary national language (i.e., China Online Journals, e-periodica, J-STAGE, and SciELO Brazil among others).
Tomorrow has never looked better. Breakthroughs in fields like genetic engineering and nanotechnology promise to give us unprecedented power to redesign our bodies and our world. Futurists and activists tell us that we are drawing ever closer to a day when we will be as smart as computers, will be able to link our minds telepathically, and will live for centuries—or maybe forever. The perfection of a “post-human” future awaits us. Or so the story goes. In reality, the rush toward a post-human destiny amounts to an ideology of human extinction, an ideology that sees little of value in humanity except the raw material for producing whatever might come next. In Eclipse of Man, Charles T. Rubin traces the intellectual origins of the movement to perfect and replace the human race. He shows how today’s advocates of radical enhancement are—like their forebears—deeply dissatisfied with given human nature and fixated on grand visions of a future shaped by technological progress. Moreover, Rubin argues that this myopic vision of the future is not confined to charlatans and cheerleaders promoting this or that technology: it also runs through much of modern science and contemporary progressivism. By exploring and criticizing the dreams of post humanity, Rubin defends a more modest vision of the future, one that takes seriously both the limitations and the inherent dignity of our given nature.
NanoInnovation: What Every Manager Needs to Know is the most comprehensive book written to-date on innovative technologies and applications in the field of nanotechnology. Author Michael Tomczyk conducted more than 150 interviews with nano-insiders to present the inside story of scientific discoveries, research breakthroughs, and commercial products and applications that are already changing our lives, thanks to the remarkable ability to manipulate atoms and molecules at the nanoscale.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.