from the please-comment dept.
It's been fifteen years since Engines of Creation (or see free online version) came out — time for a new book looking at coming technologies. Read More for an initial chapter topic list, target readership, and a list of specific items requested from those wishing to help with the book. Comment by posting here on nanodot in the usual way, or you can use Foresight's annotation tool Crit.org to insert comments at specific locations in the text.
Nanoshock (was: Engines of Creation 2001) title/subtitle ideas are welcome Paper version vs online version: in the long term, we expect the online version to grow far beyond the paper version both in content and importance. In the short term, we'll be focusing on extracting a paper version from the material collected online. Target readership: average intelligent general reader, assuming no science background since high school Style: informal. Online version can link to references. Goal: to be as reassuring as possible while honestly presenting coming powerful changes in technology, focusing on nanotechnology Specific items requested: examples and analogies (from history, art, literature, science, technology, business, fiction, science fiction); illustrations (graphics, charts, etc.) How to contribute: make suggestions as comments to book-related item on nanodot.org, post a new book-related item on nanodot, or annotate the draft using Crit.org. (If you must, send email to the author directly, but then it will not be in the visible draft development, thereby missing public credit). We expect the online material to eventually be merged into a larger data structure of ideas, accessible via a good user interface. Table of Contents Note: these are chapter topics, not chapter titles Chapter 1: Technological Change, good and bad Examples of both kinds Trying to stop technological change has unexpected side effects (abortion ban, drug ban, cloning ban). Some bans are worth doing anyway (murder ban) Chapter 2: Nanotechnology Chapter 3: Life Extension, biotech, human modification Concerns about biotech are temporary Chapter 4: Space Who "inherits" the Earth? Chapter 5: Openness, transparency, surveillance End of violent crime as we know it Chapter 6: Earth's environment the end of rage and despair Example: end of oil as fuel Chapter 7: AI Chapter 8: Software reliability and security Chapter 9: Intellectual property The social cost of controlling bitstreams into and out of people's computers outweighs the proposed benefits Chapter 10: Nanodefense, immune system Chapter 11: Social software, personal action Acknowledgements Further reading Glossary Index Themes throughout book: traditional/evolved human values (e.g. human scale traditional Mediterranean lifestyle) (quote from, e.g., Hernando de Soto) human need to be able to make personal plans freedom [i.e. freedom from coercion vs freedom from misfortune (consequences of one's actions, ancestor's actions, lack of money); division/boundary is "where your fist meets my nose"] evolution openness power, avoiding abuse of old problems go away, new problems arrive what the free market doesn't provide thinking vs feeling, role of each war, government, politicians Amish as "canary in coal mine" indicator of freedom/stability science fiction, usefulness of continual redistribution as economic and environmental problem, no stewardship policy DAG (directed acyclic graph of escalating policy coerciveness) principles to aim for, to protect values we care for (i.e. cold rules with warm human effects) role of "local knowledge" globalization vs local control, depends on topic area OK to be more restrictive locally than over wider area cost of policy errors (need non-dollar measure that shows human cost, i.e. one Ivy League education) you already have the mental tools, and probably some valuable capital, to deal with what's coming how to explain these ideas