June 2009

Exploratory Engineering:
Applying the predictive power of science
to future technologies

June 26, 2009

While I’m on the subject of foundational concepts in the relationship between science and engineering, here’s the outline of a methodology for applying current science to assess lower bounds on the capabilities of a select subset of future technologies. (As many of you know, some of those lower bounds are startlingly high.) A subset of […]

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The Antiparallel Structures
of Science and Engineering

June 22, 2009

The heart of the problem(Full image below) Science and engineering are inseparable domains of thought and action, linked by a shared language of mass and energy, molecules and thermodynamics, physical systems and physical law. This shared language makes communication deceptively easy — easy, because scientists and engineers can see every detail in the same way; […]

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Myths through mythquotation

June 18, 2009

Not really a separate world When Slashdot runs the slightly misleading headline, “Real Nanotechnology Getting Closer, Says Drexler” (with a link to the technology roadmap — lots of downloads!), the Tech Talk blog at IEEE Spectrum quite naturally reports this as “Eric Drexler has just been quoted as saying ‘Real nanotechnology is getting closer’”… and […]

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Science and Engineering:
A Layer-Cake of Inquiry and Design

June 16, 2009

Science-intensive engineering Engineering-intensive science (launch to Saturn included) Inquiry is the essence of science, design is the essence of engineering, and in their pure forms, these activities are utterly different. Scientific inquiry draws observations from the world to reshape the mind; engineering design projects ideas from the mind to reshape the world. One is an […]

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The Physical Basis of High-Throughput
Atomically Precise Manufacturing

June 12, 2009

The body of this post has been updated and moved to this page.

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A Telescope Aimed at the Future

June 9, 2009

+ Often a good approximation Our time in history is unique in that physical knowledge and computational methods enable partial understanding of technology levels above our own — and in some areas, far above. Because we understand the universal physical laws that govern matter and energy, we understand the physical laws that will govern the […]

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Talk at 09 ISMICS

June 5, 2009

I was up in San Francisco this morning for the annual meeting of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS). These are the innovative surgeons who’ve been developing instruments and procedures that greatly reduce the collateral damage of surgical interventions, accomplishing what must to be done with less damage to skin, muscle, fascia, […]

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The Paradox of Choice

June 3, 2009

Why More is Less In standard theories of rationality, it is practically axiomatic that having more choices is always better. It should come as no surprise that this isn’t true of real human beings: Too much choice can make us miserable. In The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz unfolds a broad […]

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A Welcome to New Readers

June 2, 2009

In the last few days, other sites have directed many thousands of readers to my recent posts on knowledge and learning: How to Understand Everything (and Why), How to Learn About Everything, and A Map of Science. The learning process I describe led me to focus on what I am persuaded is the greatest technological […]

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