e-book: Engines of Creation

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ENGINES of CREATION | Afterword

February 21, 2001
Author:
K. Eric Drexler

Afterword, 1985

IN THE FIELDS I have described, the pace of events is swift. Within the last month or so, a number of developments have occurred or come to my attention:

 Several groups are now working on protein design, and the newly founded Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology plans to support such efforts. A group at the National Bureau of Standards has combined two molecular-simulation techniques in a way crucial to designing assemblers. Advances have also been made in the use of computers to plan molecular synthesis.

ENGINES of CREATION | Chapter 6: The World Beyond Earth

February 21, 2001
Author:
K. Eric Drexler

That inverted Bowl we call The Sky; Whereunder crawling coop’d we live and die.
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam

THE EARTH is but a small part of the world, and the rest of the world will be important to our future. In terms of energy, materials, and room for growth, space is almost everything. In the past, successes in space have regularly fulfilled engineering projections. In the future, an open space frontier will widen the human world. Advances in AI and nanotechnology will play a crucial role.  

ENGINES of CREATION | Chapter 8: Long Life In An Open World

February 21, 2001
Author:
K. Eric Drexler

The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
Sir THOMAS BROWNE

CELL REPAIR MACHINES raise questions involving the value of extending human life. These are not the questions of today’s medical ethics, which commonly involve dilemmas posed by scarce, costly, and half-effective treatments. They are instead questions involving the value of long, healthy lives achieved by inexpensive means.

ENGINES of CREATION | Chapter 9: A Door To The Future

February 21, 2001
Author:
K. Eric Drexler

London, April 1773.
To Jacques Dubourg.
Your observations on the causes of death, and the experiments which you propose for recalling to life those who appear to be killed by lightning, demonstrate equally your sagacity and your humanity. It appears that the doctrine of life and death in general is yet but little understood…   I wish it were possible… to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But… in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection…
I am, etc.
- B. FRANKLIN.

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