The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'nanotechnology'
A poll has shown that fewer than a third of Americans consider nanotechnology to be morally acceptable; considerably fewer people than in Europe:
In a sample of 1,015 adult Americans, only 29.5 percent of respondents agreed that nanotechnology was morally acceptable.
In European surveys that posed identical questions about nanotechnology to people in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, significantly higher percentages of people accepted the moral validity of the technology. In the United Kingdom, 54.1 percent found nanotechnology to be morally acceptable. In Germany, 62.7 percent had no moral qualms about nanotechnology, and in France 72.1 percent of survey respondents saw no problems with the technology.The authors of the poll believe that this is not so much due to any specific moral issue concerning the making of molecule-sized materials or devices per se, but due to many Americans subscribing to a religious worldview that takes a dim view of "tampering with God's creation":
The catch for Americans with strong religious convictions, Scheufele believes, is that nanotechnology, biotechnology and stem cell research are lumped together as means to enhance human qualities. In short, researchers are viewed as "playing God" when they create materials that do not occur in nature, especially where nanotechnology and biotechnology intertwine, says Scheufele.
The moral qualms people of faith express about nanotechnology is not a question of ignorance of the technology, says Scheufele, explaining that survey respondents are well-informed about nanotechnology and its potential benefits. "They still oppose it," he says. "They are rejecting it based on religious beliefs. The issue isn't about informing these people. They are informed."Which is somewhat ironic, if the first post-Enlightenment nation is now dominated by a steadfastly pre-Enlightenment worldview; a people at peace with technology but hostile to the scientific mindset that makes it possible. Or, in the words of one member of a Christian Fundamentalist web forum (of course):
Technology makes peoples lives easier. Technology is the product of inventive geniuses who were inspired by God. Inventions and innovations improve life.
Science causes confustion and makes things complicated. Everytime there is a new discovery the old discoveries and old wisdom are discarded! And theories get more and more complex. Science makes people confused and complicates things. Who is the author of confusion? Satan of course. The bible it the opposite of science. Biblical wisdom NEVER CHANGES, and anyone can get it. Scientific wisdom is always changing and contradicting itself, and really nobody gets it.On a similar tangent: "Dumb and Dumber: are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?", a review of a new book claiming that anti-intellectualism is on the rise in the US.
Nanotechnology researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed the blackest material ever, which reflects virtually no light. The material is comprised of silica nanorods at precisely 45 degrees, and appears like a black void, no matter how much light one shines on it.
Metalheads, goths and emo kids are eagerly awaiting news of clothing applications of the discovery.
The US Government is looking at the possibility of using mind-control nanotechnology against terrorism.
Yonas said he has talked with military officials developing mind-control nanotechnologies that would give war leaders a choice to "either blow up that building, or do something to the people inside, so the people inside lose the desire to continue with combat."
(That opens up a lot of possibilities. If you can use it to defend national security, you can use it for economic security. Make anti-corporate protesters into contently apathetic McWorld consumers, break down those pesky third-world peasants' resistance to buying Monsanto seeds and so on. (Just think: if Shell had this in the 90s, they wouldn't have had to have those Ogoni massacred; they could have just love-bombed them into compliance.) Or even use it on a broader population, making everybody more docile and more inclined to spend even more of their money on shiny crap, to the exclusion of everything else. I believe K. W. Jeter had a similar idea; he called it the "turd on a wire", one step better than the corporate-capitalist holy grail of the "turd in a can".) (ta, Mitch!)
We Have Control of the Mind: Given that the USA is about to harness its advertising industry to the Middle Eastern war effort, and some months ago, some pundit suggested that developing behaviour-modifying nanobots may be the most effective way to get rid of the Middle East's resentment of America, I have been thinking about how such schemes could possibly work, and have come up with some ideas for possible nanotechnological solutions to anti-American sentiment.
Various pundits and experts are contemplating novel stragegies against terrorism, from reducing anti-American resentment in the third world to memetic warfare:
The goal of U.S. policy, he said, should be to "re-engineer the perceptions of our enemies." Suicide bombers have to be convinced "they get nothing for dying for Allah," and the people who support terrorists -- leaders or commoners -- have to be persuaded such violence is an insult to Islam and counterproductive. So Baxter proposed a Manhattan Project of "perception engineering," which would explore and develop a variety of means: psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns designed by advertising executives ("these guys were selling Chevrolets when they were crap with the 'heartbeat of America'"); nanomachines that can invade the circulatory system and effect the brain and thought patterns of the target; cultural products that can engender warm feelings toward the United States.
Nanomachines that make you love America? Loyalty plagues and love bombing? Or as Kennedy said, "we have control of the mind". (via Rebecca's Pocket)
Drexler's Engines of Creation is now on the web. (via bOING bOING)