This is a truly interesting piece(even if off a blog) about the potential capability of nano-weapons. If these weapons are capable of what this writer says they are, this is the kind of thing terrorists are going to want to get a piece of...
Molecular manufacturing raises the possibility of horrifically effective weapons. As an example, the smallest insect is about 200 microns; this creates a plausible size estimate for a nanotech-built antipersonnel weapon capable of seeking and injecting toxin into unprotected humans. The human lethal dose of botulism toxin is about 100 nanograms, or about 1/100 the volume of the weapon. As many as 50 billion toxin-carrying devices—theoretically enough to kill every human on earth—could be packed into a single suitcase.
Guns of all sizes would be far more powerful, and their bullets could be self-guided. Aerospace hardware would be far lighter and higher performance; built with minimal or no metal, it would be much harder to spot on radar. Embedded computers would allow remote activation of any weapon, and more compact power handling would allow greatly improved robotics. These ideas barely scratch the surface of what's possible.
An important question is whether nanotech weapons would be stabilizing or destabilizing. Nuclear weapons, for example, perhaps can be credited with preventing major wars since their invention. However, nanotech weapons are not very similar to nuclear weapons.
Nuclear stability stems from at least four factors. The most obvious is the massive destructiveness of all-out nuclear war. All-out nanotech war is probably equivalent in the short term, but nuclear weapons also have a high long-term cost of use (fallout, contamination) that would be much lower with nanotech weapons. Nuclear weapons cause indiscriminate destruction; nanotech weapons could be targeted. Nuclear weapons require massive research effort and industrial development, which can be tracked far more easily than nanotech weapons development; nanotech weapons can be developed much more rapidly due to faster, cheaper prototyping. Finally, nuclear weapons cannot easily be delivered in advance of being used; the opposite is true of nanotech. Greater uncertainty of the capabilities of the adversary, less response time to an attack, and better targeted destruction of the enemy's resources during an attack all make nanotech arms races less stable. Also, unless nanotech is tightly controlled, the number of nanotech nations in the world could be much higher than the number of nuclear nations, increasing the chance of a regional conflict blowing up.
Admiral David E. Jeremiah, Vice-Chairman (ret.), U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an address at the 1995 Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology said: "Military applications of molecular manufacturing have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power."
An excellent essay by Tom McCarthy explores these points in more detail. He discusses the ways that nanotechnology can destabilize international relations: It will reduce economic influence and interdependence, encourage targeting of people as opposed to factories and weapons, and reduce the ability of a nation to monitor its potential enemies. It may also, by enabling many nations to be globally destructive, eliminate the ability of powerful nations to "police" the international arena. By making small groups self-sufficient, it can encourage the breakup of existing nations.
Industry groups will generally say that these conclusions are far-fetched, or at least so remote that they need not alarm us now. But CRN believes nanotechnology development could accelerate at such a pace that we might be caught unaware and unprepared.
Liberals sometimes claim to believe in personal freedom, but their concept of liberty seems limited to matters related to sex....Yet outside the sexual realm, liberals are downright illiberal. They want to control every aspect of our lives: what we eat, what we smoke, what we drive, how we defend our homes and families, how much of our own money we're allowed to keep. - James Taranto
Originally posted by GrimisThis is a truly interesting piece(even if off a blog) about the potential capability of nano-weapons. If these weapons are capable of what this writer says they are, this is the kind of thing terrorists are going to want to get a piece of...
I'm more worried about what our milirary will do with it
UC Santa Barbara is building a HUGE facility that was on the drawing board for years and just broke ground - the vast majority dedicated for nanotech reserach (and mostly sponsored by DoD and others related contractors).
As technology grows, so does the threat to humanity. Watch this space, we all might die soon! Well infact i beleive that humanity will be killed by some idiot (Bush, maybe?) who presses the wrong button or gives the wrong access code or something. Either that or when oil runs out the world will go nuts.
I'm sorry, guys, but it'll be a while before we have to worry about nanotechnology, for Christ's sake. I know there are elements in our government who are trying to foster an atmosphere of fear, but, honestly, this is like worrying about an Al Qaeda Death Star.
The US is probably miles and miles ahead of any other developer in this area. And the US is probably miles and miles away to any applications. I'd be more worried that some crazy asshole with a nuke would do enough damage that we never see any nano-weapons.
"Huard, gonna go back to throw the ball. Sets up, looks, throws towards the corner of the endzone...it is INTERCEPTED INTERCEPTED, THE DUCKS HAVE THE BALL! Down to the 35, the 40. Kenny Wheaton's gonna score! Kenny Wheaton is gonna score! 20, the 10, Touchdown! Kenny Wheaton on the interception, the most incredible finish to the football game!" www.eatmyassbeavernation.com
Originally posted by ShotGunShepThe US is probably miles and miles ahead of any other developer in this area. And the US is probably miles and miles away to any applications. I'd be more worried that some crazy asshole with a nuke would do enough damage that we never see any nano-weapons.
Problem being is that we have so many freakin' foreign students over here who study everything then go back to their countries and use it against us.
"I'm not that big, but I'm fast, I'm pretty sure I can outrun the whole Dallas Cowboys team." --high school senior RB (and possible future Boomer Sooner) Adrian Peterson on his thoughts on his chances in the NFL
Am I the only person who hope this kid signs into the NFL and Roy Williams and Parcells get to let that comment stew for the next 7 months?