1. weedhopper
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    25 Aug '08 16:57
    The Science Channel did a story on Personal Fabricators last night. The gist was rgar, with advances in nanotechnology, robotics and quantum mechanics (whatever all of those are), we will someday be able to "create" any thing that we want, from a meal to a suit of clothes to a computer to a copy of ourselves, in our homes. Kinda like the replecators in Star Trek, anything that has a "pattern" can be replicated. I couldn't help but wonder--does that mean I could replicate say, Hitler, if I had his pattern? How about a gallon of demoral? Or several thousand ingots of platinum? This sounds grrreat!!!🙂
  2. Joined
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    25 Aug '08 21:31
    Actually, this could be quite terrible.

    One thing you couldn't create is energy. Someone who had excessive resources of energy, could run the replicator to make what they wanted. But because anything could be replicated, money would have no meaning. You couldn't pay for whatever you wanted to get. The folks with the energy would have no particular incentive to share what they could make. Do you see where this could go?
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    West Coast Rioter
    tinyurl.com/y7loem9q
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    31 Aug '08 16:12
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    The Science Channel did a story on Personal Fabricators last night. The gist was rgar, with advances in nanotechnology, robotics and quantum mechanics (whatever all of those are), we will someday be able to "create" any thing that we want, from a meal to a suit of clothes to a computer to a copy of ourselves, in our homes. Kinda like the replecators in S ...[text shortened]... out a gallon of demoral? Or several thousand ingots of platinum? This sounds grrreat!!!🙂
    Nanotechnology - little teeny machines or structures, too small for the eye to see. There is overlap with chemistry and biology due to the scale involved.

    Robotics - you know what robots are! Basically complex computerized machines, often used to do repetitive tasks.

    Quantum Mechanics - The laws of science get weird when you look at things on a very small scale. This is fairly advanced physics/chemistry.
  4. weedhopper
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    31 Aug '08 22:001 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Nanotechnology - little teeny machines or structures, too small for the eye to see. There is overlap with chemistry and biology due to the scale involved.

    Robotics - you know what robots are! Basically complex computerized machines, often used to do repetitive tasks.

    Quantum Mechanics - The laws of science get weird when you look at things on a very small scale. This is fairly advanced physics/chemistry.
    (It was a rhetorical comment; yeah, I know what robots are. The parentheses indicate, I would hope, that the nested comment wasn't the point of the post.)
  5. Joined
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    31 Aug '08 22:23
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    The Science Channel did a story on Personal Fabricators last night. The gist was rgar, with advances in nanotechnology, robotics and quantum mechanics (whatever all of those are), we will someday be able to "create" any thing that we want, from a meal to a suit of clothes to a computer to a copy of ourselves, in our homes. Kinda like the replecators in S ...[text shortened]... out a gallon of demoral? Or several thousand ingots of platinum? This sounds grrreat!!!🙂
    I assume you are talking about 3D printers.

    There is lots of development going into 3D printers, that can essentially build up a 3-dimensional object. I think they are mostly built along the lines of inkjet printers but they print multiple layers of plastic to build the object instead of a single layer of ink.

    You have to have the raw material, in a form that can be used by the printer. In order to print an ingot of platinum, you need to have the platinum first...

    There are projects like the Clanking Replicator Project [http://3dreplicators.com/index.htm] to build a printer that can print copies of itself.

    They are very basic but yes, they could change society hugely if, to have the latest gadget, you just needed the plans, raw materials and some energy.

    --- Morat.
  6. Joined
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    31 Aug '08 22:42
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I assume you are talking about 3D printers.

    There is lots of development going into 3D printers, that can essentially build up a 3-dimensional object. I think they are mostly built along the lines of inkjet printers but they print multiple layers of plastic to build the object instead of a single layer of ink.

    You have to have the raw material, in a fo ...[text shortened]... have the latest gadget, you just needed the plans, raw materials and some energy.

    --- Morat.
    The project I was actually thinking about is the RepRap project:

    http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome

    That has a load of links to articles & papers on the philosophy and social implications.

    --- Penguin.
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