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February 28th, 2005
In his novel "Cat's Cradle," Kurt Vonnegut created three new words suitable for nanotechnology. Vonnegut defines the words in his collection of essays, "Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons": "A wampeter is an object around which the lives of many otherwise unrelated people may revolve. The Holy Grail would be a case in point. Foma are harmless untruths, intended to comfort simple souls. An example: 'Prosperity is just around the corner.' A granfalloon is a proud and meaningless association of human beings."
Nanotechnology is undeniably a wampeter.
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