Vital national interests will change.
Perceptions may not.

August 6, 2014

As a century-or-so update to To War for Trade? — 3 August 1914 (UK), I note more recent US defense policy: Quadrennial Defense Review – May 1997 Section III: Defense Strategy When the interests at stake are vital…we should do whatever it takes to defend them, including, when necessary, the unilateral use of military power. […]

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To War for Trade? — 3 August 1914

August 4, 2014

Edward Grey, to Parliament re. the wisdom of joining in what later became known as World War I: “…let us assume that consequences which are not yet foreseen and which, perfectly legitimately consulting her own interests — make Italy depart from her attitude of neutrality at a time when we are forced in defence of […]

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Keynote at TVC 2014

July 3, 2014

Sorry for the late mention, but last week I gave a talk at the Technology Ventures Conference at the University of Cambridge. The organizers promise to post a video. The conference was a lot of fun. I don’t know where else I’d have an opportunity to discuss nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, Haskell, and medicine all in […]

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The five kinds of nanotechnology

April 4, 2014

Why understanding seems stuck: I count five kinds of nanotechnology, of which only three are called by that name. Of the three, one is a revolutionary prospect, one is a fantasy, and the third is mostly materials science. As for the other two kinds, one is the heart of today’s greatest technological revolution, while the […]

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Rise of the robots (per the Economist)

April 1, 2014

In the Economist: “Rise of the robots: Prepare for a robot invasion. It will change the way people think about technology”. The robotics revolution is, of course, riding the exponential wave of today’s leading nanotechnology, digital nanoelectronics, and today’s robots give only a taste of what nanomechanical technologies will enable through radical improvements in the […]

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Civilizational impact

March 13, 2014

Nanoelectronics is a nanotechnology that makes possible the drone technologies that threaten to upend the power relationships that underpin modern civilization: Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years Noah Smith is often worth reading:

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Pauling Memorial Lecture, Portland Oregon

November 16, 2013

After touching base here at Oxford, I’m off to give a Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture in Portland Oregon (7pm Wednesday, November 20th). Linus Pauling helped to found the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology, and he received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his fundamental work on the nature of the chemical bond. […]

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It’s official: “Nano” now means materials

November 11, 2013

From “About this journal”: Nano Research…focuses on all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology…ranging from…materials to…materials.”[edited for maximal snark] Here’s the full paragraph: Nano Research is a peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary research journal that focuses on all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Submissions are solicited in all topical areas, ranging from basic aspects of the science […]

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What Aristotle can teach us
about nanotechnology

November 7, 2013

What is “nanotechnology”? There has been enormous confusion, and Aristotle can help to cut through the tangle: …[a] distinction must be drawn; the instruments commonly so called are instruments of production, whilst a possession is an instrument of action. [In weaving, for example,] the shuttle…is not only of use; but something else is made by […]

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Atomic precision or atomically precise design?

November 6, 2013

Why is foldamer engineering a key to unlocking the potential of atomically precise engineering? The reason is that foldamers (polypeptides, polypeptoids, nucleic acids, and the like) form a modular construction kit for a vast, combinatorial range of structures, while most other atomically precise constructs do not. Consider a recent surprising discovery in the world of […]

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Four Revolutions Compared: Agriculture, Industry, Information, and APM

November 4, 2013

The following table is excerpted from the new report, NANO: Nano-Solutions for the 21st Century (the full report is available from the Oxford Martin School here). “HT-APM” refers to high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing, a critical development on the horizon of advanced nanotechnology. The Agricultural Revolution Provided new means of producing food and materials by exploiting […]

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Serverification of molecular engineering tools

November 3, 2013

If you’re interested in RosettaDesign (see Learning practical atomically precise fabrication and Further notes…), you might want to look at this PLOS ONE paper: Serverification of Molecular Modeling Applications: The Rosetta Online Server That Includes Everyone (ROSIE) …This paper describes the ROSIE server infrastructure, a step-by-step ‘serverification’ protocol for use by Rosetta developers, and the […]

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