Nanotechnology and 3D Printing

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Nanotechnology and 3D Printing

Post by Globalfightback »

There are two technologies currently under development that could truly revolutionise our world by ending scarcity and impoverishment: namely, 3D Printing and Nanotechnology. These technologies have the potential for placing the ability to produce commodities into the hands of every individual as opposed to the current model where capitalists control and monetise almost everything from physical resources to knowledge.

It's been 50 years and more since science correspondent James Burke predicted that nanotechnology would end scarcity by placing the power to produce goods into the hands of everybody. He claimed that any physical object in the world could be created at very little cost using four readily-available materials: dirt, air, water, and cheap, carbon-rich acetylene gas. The 'nano factory' would then manipulate these materials at an atomic level to create anything we desire. Furthermore, he stated that if such factories were rolled out to people globally then, due to their ability to replicate themselves, every person in the world would have one two years later! You can read more about this in the following article: ... -anything/

There is an additional useful article here: ... verything/

and a 30 minute documentary here:

This is truly mind-blowing stuff that could completely revolutionise the world we live in. No longer would a small elite control the production and distribution of goods and services for the profit of a small elite at the expense of humanity as a whole, which is the current model that dominates global economic systems (i.e. capitalism). Potentially, everybody on the planet would have everything they need, and we would all live happily ever after. However, it is of course not as simple as that. The articles above, and perhaps James Burke himself, fail to take into account the all-too prevalent deficiencies of the human psyche. What would prevent individuals creating harmful items such as weapons - even weapons of mass destruction? What are the potential negative effects to the ecosystem in a world where there is suddenly an uncontrolled surfeit of material products? Road infrastructure can only sustain a finite number of vehicles, landfill sites can only cope with a finite amount of waste, and uncontrolled physical structures such as dwellings would be unworkable in terms of waste disposal, ecological harmony and many other factors. It goes without saying that the rolling out of such revolutionary technology would have to be preceded by many socio-political and technological checks and balances: we would need to arrive at limits to the quantity and types of items produced, and have very robust technological barriers to ensure that the software that powered such factories could not be hacked and manipulated for psychopathic ends - because once the technology is out there in the hands of the masses it would probably be too late to roll that technology back. It's a classic example of how the genie in the bottle can be our friend or our foe. It would seem to me that the release of such technology is going to have to be preceded by two other revolutions: a political revolution that does away with vested interests and replaces it with a true democracy of the people, for the people and by the people, and a spiritual revolution (or rather evolution) that puts an emphasis on the negation of ego and the interconnectedness of all life on this planet. James Burke postulates that nano factories might be rolled out as early as 2040. Whilst humanity could perceivably revolutionise democratic systems in such a timescale, it is difficult to be anything other than highly dubious that a species that has spent many millennia in the paranoid destruction of its own kind, and anything else it sees as a threat, can effect any meaningful change to its spiritual psyche in anywhere near such a short timescale. Still, we will perhaps soon have the potential to revolutionise our world for the better: we will simply have to make the correct choices - and, of course, history teaches that the making of such choices will be a long, long way from simple.

Your own views on these matters are of course welcome.
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