mercoledì 10 febbraio 2016

FUTURE IMPERFECT David D. Friedman - 18 nanotecnologie

 EIGHTEEN Very Small Legos FUTURE IMPERFECT David D. Friedman - 18 nanotecnologie
  • the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom.
  • 602,400,000,000,000,000,000,000.... number is the number of atoms in a gram of hydrogen.
  • all living things, are engineered at the atomic scale.
  • When an atom in a strand of DNA is in the wrong place, the result is a mutation. As we become better and better at manipulating very small objects it begins to become possible for us to build as we are built... That is the central idea of nanotechnology
  • Since the bonds between atoms are very strong, it should be possible to build very strong fibers from long-strand molecules.
  • Mechanical parts move very slowly compared to the movement of electrons in electronic computers. But if the parts are on an atomic scale, they do not have to move very far.
  • a cell repair machine. Think of it as a robot submarine that goes into a cell, fixes whatever is wrong,
  • build an assembler. An assembler is a nanoscale machine for building other nanoscale machines. Think of it as a tiny robot
  • it would be interesting in surgery if you could swallow the surgeon. Richard Feynman
  • Ralph Merkle proposed and Robert Freitas further developed an ingenious proposal for an improved version of a red blood cell... Its advantage becomes clear the day you have a heart attack
  • Scettici. Some authors arguing that the technology is and always will be impossible for a variety of reasons. The obvious counterexample is life, a functioning nanotechnology based on molecular machines constructed largely of carbon.
  • Il solito problema. if the design works why don't we already have them?
  • Inefficienza dell'evoluzione. evolution can produce large improvements that occur through a long series of small changes, each itself a small improvement... But if a large improvement cannot be produced that way, if you need the right twenty mutations all happening at once in the same organism, evolution is unlikely to do it. The result is that evolution has explored only a small part of the design space... Hence we would expect that human beings, provided with the tools to build molecular machines, would be able to explore different parts of the design space, to build at least some useful machines that evolution failed to build.
  • VERY HARD SOFTWARE
  • To build a nanotech car I need assemblers - produced in unlimited numbers by other assemblers - raw material, and a program, a full description of what atoms go where. The raw material should be no problem.
  • An acorn contains design specifications cations and machinery for building an oak tree, but it needs sunlight to power the process. Similarly, assemblers will need some source of energy.
  • Once we have the basic technology, the hard part is the design... software
  • One implication of nanotechnology is an economy for producing cars very much like the economy that currently produces word-processing programs. A familiar problem in the software economy is piracy.
  • Come piratare. I cannot simply put my friend's nanotech car or nanotech computer into a disk drive and burn a copy. I can, however, disassemble it. To do that, I use nanomachines that work like assemblers, but backward. Instead of starting with a description of where atoms are to go and putting them there, they start with an object - an automobile, say - and remove the atoms, one by one, keeping track of where they all were.
  • Soluzione 1. One approach to dealing with the problem of copying is an old legal technology, copyright,
  • The solution may break down if instead of selling the car the pirate sells the design to individual consumers, each with his own army of assemblers ready to go to work.
  • Soluzione 2. One possibility is tie-ins with other goods or services that cannot be produced so cheaply - land, say, or backrubs.
  • Pubblicità incorporata. the melodious voice telling you everything thing you didn't want to know about the lovely housing development completed last week, designed for people just like you. On further investigation, tigation, you discover that turning off the advertising is not an option.
  • You cast your mind back to the early years of the Internet, thirty or forty years ago, and the solution found by web sites to the problem of paying their bills.'
  • Soluzione 3. Another possibility is a customized car. What you download, this time after paying for it, is a very special car indeed, one of a kind... But if you disassemble it and make lots of copies, they will not be very useful to anyone but you.
  • This again is an old solution... all it requires is a CPU with its own serial number... it is possible to produce a program that will only run on one machine.
  • Soluzione 4. A third possibility for producing nanotech designs is open source: a network of individuals cooperating to produce and improve designs, motivated by some combination of status, desire for the final product, and whatever else motivated the creators of Linux, Sendmail, and Apache.
  • THE GRAY GOO SCENARIO
  • Virus. Now consider a replicator designed to build copies of itself, which build copies, which....in a startlingly short time, it could convert everything from the dirt up into copies of itself, leaving only whatever elements happen to be in excess supply.
  • One precaution you could apply to assemblers as well as other replicators tors is to design them to require some input, whether matter or energy, not available in the natural environment.
  • Another is to give them a limited lifetime,
  • Almost Worse than the Disease
  • I have described a collection of precautions that could work in a world in which only one organization has access to the tools of nanotechnology and that organization acts in a prudent and benevolent fashion... such a monopoly seems extraordinarily unlikely
  • One organization makes the breakthrough; it now has an assembler. Very shortly, after about forty doublings, it has a trillion assemblers. It sets them to work building what it has already designed. A week later it rules the world. One of its first acts is to forbid anyone else from doing research in nanotechnology... The result would be a world government with very nearly unlimited power.
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • Suppose we avoid world dictatorship and end up instead with multiple independent governments
  • One possibility is that everyone treats nanotech as a government monopoly, with the products but not the technology made available to the general public...The problem with this solution is that it looks very much like a case of setting the fox to guard the hen house.
  • Consider two possible worlds. In the first, nanotechnology is a difficult cult and expensive business... In that world, gray goo is unlikely to be produced deliberately by anybody but a government
  • In the second world, perhaps the first world a few decades later, nanotech is cheap... Gov. going to keep the technology out of the hands of anyone who wants it. And it is far from clear that even that would suffice.
  • Virus di internet. designer plagues will exist for much the same reasons that computer viruses now exist. Some will come into existence the way the original Internet worm did, the work of someone very clever, with no bad intent, who makes one mistake too many. Some will be designed to do mischief and turn out to do more mischief than intended. And a few will be deliberately created as instruments of apocalypse by people who for one reason or another like the idea.
  • Il lato positivo. With enough cell repair machines on duty, designer plagues may not be a problem. Human beings want to live and will pay for the privilege. The resources that will go into designing ing protections against threats, nanotechnological or otherwise, will be enormously... The only serious threat will be from organizations tions willing and able to spend billions of dollars creating really first-rate molecular killers
  • In dealing with nanotechnology, we are faced with a choice between centralized solutions - in the limit, a world government with a nanotech monopoly - and decentralized solutions. As a general rule I much prefer fer the latter. But a technology that raises the possibility of a talented teenager producing the end of the world in his basement makes the case for centralized regulation
  • Analogia. Smallpox. the only remaining strains of the virus were held by U.S. and Russian government laboratories. Because it had been eliminated, and because public health is a field dominated by governments, smallpox vaccination had been eliminated too... If a terrorist had gotten a sample of the virus... he could have used it to kill hundred of millions, perhaps more than a billion, people. That risk existed because the technologies to protect against replicators - that particular class of replicators - had been under centralized control. The center had decided that the problem was solved.
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