[extropy-chat] FWD (UFO UpDate) A Peck Of Nanotech

Terry W. Colvin fortean1 at mindspring.com
Thu Jan 19 02:42:39 UTC 2006

[Partial woo-woo alert!  -Terry]

From: Bob Soetebier <xxxx.xxx>
To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates at virtuallystrange.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 20:45:19 -0600
Subject: A Peck Of Nanotech

Because of the obviously advanced technology involved -
exhibited via "impossible" high-speed maneuvers and other high-
tech attributes - some have speculated that Alien intelligence 
certainly would have long ago mastered advances in atomic-level 
miniaturization. In other words: Nanotechnology.

My interest in nanotechnology began around 1990. That is when I 
first read about fullerine and 'Bucky Balls' (named to honor 
former St. Louisan Buckminster Fuller, the inventor of the 
geodesic dome), along with the development of carbon 

Many consider nanotechnology "science fiction" - if they have 
heard or read about it all. Nanotech holds great promise and is 
already being implemented in various fields, including 
electronics and medicine, among others.

(For some examples of current nanotech in use in everyday 
products, you can read a Tues., Jan. 3, 2006, St. Louis Post-
Dispatch 'Op-Ed' piece, by Julia A. Moore and Daniel Ray -
entitled, SCIENCE: Super-tiny 'machines' are already at work -
at the following URL.):


At the same time, the potential threat posed by unrestrained 
nanotech 'in the wild' is a very real possibility! For those who 
might discount some of the hazard warnings, please consider the 
following from a September 24, 2002 PC Magazine article 
entitled Nanotech Hazards?, by Sebastian Rupley:

... The National Science Foundation predicts that within ten 
years the entire semiconductor industry will rely on 
nanotechnology and nanomaterials. But according to some new 
reports, there may be hazards in toying with Mother Nature's 
building blocks.

At a meeting held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) this past spring, researchers reported that nanoparticles 
(bits of material engineered at nanoscale) have already appeared 
in the livers of research animals and may eventually piggyback 
on bacteria and enter the food chain. That report was followed 
by a warning from the ETC Group, an organization focused on 
technology's risk to the environment, criticizing the fact that 
there is no regulatory body tracking nanomaterials.

While keeping that above reference to "bacteria" in mind, 
consider the following predictive info that was contained in an 
April 2000 "Wired" magazine article entitled "Why The Future 
Doesn't Need Us" by Bill Joy. Regarding nanotech developments, 
Bill Joy quotes Eric Drexler (author of the book, Engines of 
Creation) thusly:

As Drexler explained:

"Plants" with 'leaves' no more efficient than today's solar 
cells could out-compete real plants, crowding the biosphere with 
an inedible foliage. Tough omnivorous 'bacteria' could out-
compete real bacteria: They could spread like blowing pollen, 
replicate swiftly, and reduce the biosphere to dust in a matter 
of days. Dangerous replicators could easily be too tough, small, 
and rapidly spreading to stop - at least if we make no 
preparation. We have trouble enough controlling viruses and 
fruit flies.

Among the cognoscenti of nanotechnology, this threat has become 
known as the 'gray goo problem'. Though masses of uncontrolled 
replicators need not be gray or gooey, the term 'gray goo' 
emphasizes that replicators able to obliterate life might be 
less inspiring than a single species of crabgrass. They might be 
superior in an evolutionary sense, but this need not make them 

The gray goo threat makes one thing perfectly clear: We cannot
afford certain kinds of accidents with replicating assemblers.

Gray goo would surely be a depressing ending to our human
adventure on Earth, far worse than mere fire or ice, and one that
could stem from a simple laboratory accident.

Considering recent incidents of the escaping into the wild of
unintentionally - but, not necessarily unpredictable - 
'bio-engineered' herbicide-resistant weeds, no one can any longer
doubt the threat of such man-made negligence. Everyone should be
concerned of the gravely serious hazard posed by 'in-the-wild

Bob Soetebier

"Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress." Copyright 1992, Frank Rice

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
     Alternate: < fortean1 at msn.com >
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