Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Life is Not a Science Fiction Story

February 11th, 2010

Life is Not a Science Fiction Story

Abstract:
Mike Treder: Many transhumanists are under the mistaken impression that the world they live in operates like a science fiction novel. It doesn't.

This cognitive confusion seems to underlie some of the conflicts between moderate technoprogressives, like me, and the more exuberant types who expect that radical, wondrous changes are always just around the corner—because they read it in a book.

Don't get me wrong. I love reading science fiction. I find it fascinating, compelling, mind-expanding, and occasionally even well-written. But I try to remember the second word in that genre description: fiction.

You see, the real world is not a story. It is not designed to be easily understood, to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It doesn't have a moral. It cannot be edited to improve clarity and flow.

The actual world we inhabit is complex, confused, arbitrary, random, chaotic, contingent, and messy. It's hardly the stuff of a best-selling novel, or at least not the kind that seems to incite such zeal among transhumanists who believe that what they read in a book or saw in a movie must be true.

No, if real life was a science fiction story, it would be very different.

Nanobots

If life was a science fiction story, maverick genius scientists would be able to create powerful new technologies in their basement laboratories. Disrespected by their peers, they would go off on their own—assisted only by pimply geeks wearing glasses and beautiful blonde reporters who stumble onto the scene and fall in love with the protagonists—and they would do what the others said couldn't be done. They would invent it and prove the doubters and naysayers wrong. But life is not a science fiction story. Such things don't happen in the real world. Nanotechnology (or bioengineering, or computer intelligence, or whatever) is instead a slow, laborious, painstaking process that features many more failures than successes, many more dead ends than discoveries, and far too many boring, step-by-agonizing-step procedures to make a good novel.

Source:
IEET

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Possible Futures

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Molecular Machines

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 2017

Micro-bubbles make big impact: Research team develops new ultrasound-powered actuator to develop micro robot November 25th, 2016

Scientists come up with light-driven motors to power nanorobots of the future: Researchers from Russia and Ukraine propose a nanosized motor controlled by a laser with potential applications across the natural sciences and medicine November 11th, 2016

HKU chemists develop world's first light-seeking synthetic Nanorobot November 9th, 2016

Molecular Nanotechnology

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Tip-assisted chemistry enables chemical reactions at femtoliter scale November 16th, 2016

Scientists come up with light-driven motors to power nanorobots of the future: Researchers from Russia and Ukraine propose a nanosized motor controlled by a laser with potential applications across the natural sciences and medicine November 11th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project