Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Picture of the day

Title: Spider’s website

Description: RF-MEMS structure consisting of a stack of 5 ┬Ám Al + 50 nm TiW + 200 nm PECVD SiO2.

Shot at magnification 240x using an FEI NovaNanoSEM600

Credit: Frans Holthuysen (Philips Research)

Another image from The 49th International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication Bizarre/Beautiful Micrograph Contest

From a purely artistic p-o-v I prefer this one, although "M. C. Escher Award" and "Tower of Babylon" run a close 2nd and 3rd and are all intriguing images.

Quote of the day

"There is no doubt that nanotechnology has the potential to make the world a better place and that members of the National Nanotechnology Initiative have great intentions to do the right thing. But given what is at stake here — the quality of our environment, the future vitality of the American economy, and the health of workers and consumers — good intentions are not enough."

~Andrew Maynard, chief scientist for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, commenting on U.S Gov. non-action on nanomaterial safety regulation.


November 6th, 2007

Most who have read my “bits and pieces” over the years know that I firmly believe that nanoscale technologies will enable more change in fewer years and be more disruptive than all technologies to-date. I am not alone in this belief, and am backstopped by many of the most critical thinkers of the 21st Century. Someone I greatly respect sums it up thus: “we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate).” He is, of course, primarily referring to nanoscale technologies and advanced computing.

What I believe

My core beliefs center on the fact that new technologies are inevitable, difficult to predict and to prepare for. I further shape my beliefs around the certainty that labs around the world will continue to be funded with an increasing number of billions of dollars per year in an effort to expand our knowledge of the unique properties of the nanoscale; all in an effort to turn that knowledge into products and services, many of which will disrupt society in ways great and small. One of the things history teaches us is that when huge capital investments are made in new technologies that huge changes to society result.

Nanotechnologies represent the new “huge.”

Why I believe in the beneficial power of nanotechnologies

I continue to believe that nanotechnology's highest and best use should be to create a world of abundance, where no one is lacking for basic needs. At a bare minimum we should insure that everyone can count on adequate food, safe water, a clean environment, housing, medical care, education, public safety, fair labor, unrestricted travel, and freedom of artistic expression and from fear and oppression.

What I hold on to tightest to is my firm conviction that every single stakeholder (that’s you and me and everyone) can play an important role in the process of anticipating and preparing for technology-driven change. We each hold in our hands the ability to make a difference in things that are important to everyone living on this beautiful blue marble. All we need do is stay informed and to participate – to whatever extent – in the debate.

Consider delving deeper into this blog for other interesting and enlightening “bits and pieces.” I think you will find it a great thought starter as well as a critical information resource.

In closing

If one does not participate in the shaping the future than one cannot complain about the outcome. Get involved.

Rocky Rawstern