TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: 3-D PRINTING AND NANOTECHNOLOGYJuly 31, 2013
That transhumanist singularity may have just taken another step closer to our world. Readers of Dr. deHart's and my Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas will recall that much of the transhumanist movement touts the so-called GRIN technologies: Genetics, Robotics, Information-processing, and Nanotechnology. And as all these technological transformations of culture take place, we have the "sudden" appearance of 3-d printing on the scene, which I have suggested was a deliberate leak of a technology developed in the black world, and which I have also suggested was being deliberately introduced in an attempt to diversify, de-centralize, and re-vivify the North American manufacturing base.
Now, it seems, nanotechnology and 3-d printing are poised to take off in yet another way:
"Currently, most nanofabrication is carried out in multibillion-dollar foundries, but researchers have long sought to create a desktop tool that decreases manufacturing time and cost.
"'The key idea here is best explained by analogy to printed documents,' says Chad Mirkin, director of Northwestern University’s International Institute for Nanotechnology in Evanston, Ill. 'Many documents, books, newspapers and the like are printed in centralized facilities. Consider how the desktop printer changed information transfer by allowing one to rapidly generate documents as needed and at the point of use. Our work is designed to take nanofabrication out of the foundry and on to the desktop.'
Mirkin and his colleagues have invented a system slightly larger than a printer that can produce working electronic circuits. His lab even used it to produce a map of the world with nanoscale resolution that is large enough to see with the naked eye.
"'This methodology could lead to true desktop nanofabrication, a longstanding goal in the nanoscience community,' Mirkin says."
In other words, we are on the cusp of a 3-d nanofabrication era, one that will make the decentralization of information-and-document processing and production pale by comparison.
Inevitably, this will be of concern to the power elite, already concussed by the internet era and its growing inability to manage perceptions as acutely as it once did when there were just three (or, depending on the country) four television channels and a few big publishing houses. Nano-fabrication could be an even bigger nightmare, and for once, the power elite would be right to be concerned.
Many years ago, the nano-revolution was predicted in a remarkable book by Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, which outlined the positive and negative aspects of the emergence of nanotechnology. In the latter column is the "gray goo" scenario: a nano-bot engineered to take whatever it encountered, and turn it into inert, useless, gray goo... a kind of nano-bioweapon on steroids. The proliferation of such a technology would most certainly raise concerns about it falling into the wrong hands, and we can rest assured that already the steps are in place to prevent such scenarios.