[ExI] NBIC/GRIN Elements as Philosopher's Magnum Opus

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Tue Aug 9 13:42:21 UTC 2011

Adrian Tymes wrote

2011/8/6  <natasha at natasha.cc>:
> The four elements: earth, water, air and fire

"In that light, consider solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.  Granted, that's
more of a stack than a circle - until one considers the very low pressure
plasma that makes up most of the universe, which often interacts directly
with solid objects too small, and too far from any star (most of this is in
interstellar space), to have much (if any) of the other two phases.  Also,
with very few exceptions, the heavier elements that form solid bodies are
manufactured in plasma (stars)."


> But I wonder, if NBIC, GRIN, etc. are the tools (chemistry) for the 
> life extension/expansion are they somehow equitable to the Alchemist's 
> 4 or 5 elements?

"They're closer to techniques or fields of study, such as brewing potions or
methods of analyzing unknown chemicals.  Water itself was never a tool per
se, though it figured prominently in many tools.  The raw elements - well,
these days we have more than just the 4 or 5, and that's a good thing (more
combinations we can play with, thus more effects without going too far
beyond the basics)."

They are tools because they are technologies and science and, together, they
form fields of study. I do like your brewing metaphor though.  

"... So, while you can not always directly equate modern methods with those
of an alchemist (though modern surveyors, for example, use methods an
alchemist might recognize the principles of), you can extend their methods
into the modern toolkit, tracing lines through history as more capabilities
and more understanding became available."

Yes, alchemy was the first science and pseudoscience. It is the tracing of
the lines that I was interested in, and forming metaphors.  

Thank you Adrian,


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